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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1908


 

 

Thursday, November 6, 1924

The Republican ticket of Calvin Coolidge, former governor of Massachusetts and Vice President to Warren G. Harding, and former Brigadier General Charles G. Dawes were elected President and Vice President of the United States Tuesday. In heavily Republican Letcher County, the vote was 3,131 for Coolidge-Dawes and 1,847 for Democrats John W. Davis and Charles W. Bryan. The Progressive Party ticket of Robert M. LaFollette Jr., a Republican from Wisconsin, and Senator Burton K. Wheeler, a Democrat from Montana, drew 662 votes in Letcher County. Coolidge assumed the Presidency after Harding’s death in August 1923.

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Letcher County’s Republicans and Democrats joined forces to approve Kentucky’s Road Bond Issue in Tuesday’s election, 5,468 to 152. However, the $75 million road bond proposition lost by more than 50,000 votes in Kentucky although it was heavily favored in the state’s rural areas. “The big Bluegrass and commercial centers of the state just outvoted the mountains and the western end of the state,” The Mountain Eagle reports.

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Will Adams, about 50, was shot and killed at Mayking last Thursday. Brothers Care and Earney Morgan are charged in the killing, but are still at large. Adams, son of Sam Adams, is a member of one of the oldest Adams families in Letcher County. Particulars of the shooting are conflicting.

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A front-page editorial in The Mountain Eagle says Calvin Coolidge was elected President of the U.S. on Tuesday because of Catholics upset over a split that occurred between Protestant and Catholic candidates during the Democratic National Convention at Madison Square Garden in New York City. “For the first time in the political life of the nation a fight was inaugurated to run a Catholic [New York Governor Al Smith] for President of the United States,” The Eagle says of the July convention in which 103 ballots were cast before John W. Davis won the Democratic nomination. “It was a fight to the finish. Smith and [California Senator William Gibbs McAdoo Jr.] fought furiously, figuratively speaking, till blood dripped from their brows. They were thrown from the state without compromise, but with venom still rankling in their bosoms. … A million or more Catholics unsheathed their swords and joined in the fray for their champion, Smith. His Catholic vote at home at home and the 30 million or more Catholics all over the country remembered the battle in the Garden and carried their venom to the polls. They were not so much for Coolidge, but they wanted to show their strength in this nation, and they did.”

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The Collins Bakery is now in full operation in Whitesburg and turning out a fine grade of bread.

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“In the past few days, several friends have told us that the election had never been mentioned in their neighborhoods,” writes Eagle editor Nehemiah M. Webb. “This is no doubt true in many mountain sections and accounts for the great loss in our voting population. Many of them will never know, or care, who was elected to the Presidency or other high offices. All they want is the liberty of laboring for themselves, their children and neighbors. With this privilege they are happy as can be and they live much longer. To say the least, this is a strange world and just about as orderly as the people themselves make it.”

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Jason L. Holbrook expresses gratitude that he was able to come to Whitesburg again and make the rooster crow. He says a lot of his good friends also were glad to come to town and make the same rooster eat crow.

Thursday, November 8, 1934

Signifying their support for President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal,” voters in Letcher, Pike, Knott, Floyd and Perry counties overwhelmingly elected Democrat A.J. May as U.S. Congressman over Republican physician A.M. Gross, who won the majority of votes in Martin, Johnson and Magoffin counties.

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One man was killed when the large car in which he was a passenger went off the highway on Pine Mountain near Whitesburg and rolled at least 500 feet down the side. Ernest “Bad Eye” Niece died soon after being taken to the Seco Hospital. Also injured, but not critically, were Hoss Niece and his son and Ed Rinninger, all living near Whitaker. All the men were thrown from the vehicle before it stopped rolling. It is said the car was traveling slowly, and on the point of making the brisk curve the steering wheel locked, causing the car to run over the mountain.

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Ramon C. Smith was killed this evening after the car he was driving plunged over an embankment on Sandlick Road. Smith, about 30 and single, was operated on at the Bach Hospital in Whitesburg by Dr. Hashberger of Norton, Va., but died of a crushed liver. His remains were taken to Norton for burial.

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Five young men were seriously injured, with one now being near the point of death, when the car in which they were traveling from the direction of Blackey ran off the road at Sandlick. Witnesses say the car was traveling at break-neck speed when the wreck occurred. According to information that is current, the young men were returning from a basketball game at Blackey Saturday afternoon, where one of the men had been arrested after raising some kind of disturbance but managed to escape and flee in the vehicle, which was being chased by a deputy sheriff. Most seriously injured was Chester Adams, about 21, who is being treated in the Jenkins Hospital with little chance of recovery. Also injured were Milford Craft, about 23, George Newman, 24, Emory Willis, 18, and Gardner Heltner, 20.

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Letcher County’s only two living veterans of the Civil War — Jim Collins of the Union Army and Chunk Craft of the Confederate Army — will be honored in the Whitesburg Graded School Gymnasium on Armistice Day next Monday, November 12. Veterans of the Spanish-American War will also be honored during the ceremony.

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Crosley radios are available for $19.99 and up at Whitesburg Hardware and Furniture Company.

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Sunday dinner is now 65 cents at the Daniel Boone Hotel in Whitesburg.

Thursday, November 9, 1944

Reversing its previous ruling, the Kentucky Court of Appeals added Letcher County to Kentucky’s dry counties on Wednesday. The opinion giving Letcher County to the dry forces was unanimous by the full court. The court decided last May that sufficient ballots had been illegal to nullify the result, but granted a plea by the dry forces for reconsideration and on Wednesday declared that a review showed not enough ballots were affected to have changed the loss by wet supporters. The original official count gave the dry supporters 3,001 votes and the wets 2,952, but a recount cut the dry lead to 32 votes and the Court of Appeals reduced that to 29 votes.

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Voters in Letcher County joined those nationwide Tuesday in selecting President Franklin D. Roosevelt for a fourth term in office. In Letcher County, Roosevelt and running mate Harry Truman defeated liberal Republican nominee Thomas Dewey and his running mate John W. Bricker, 4,597 votes to 4,055.

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Seventh District U.S. Representative A.J. May has won election for a seventh time. In Letcher County, May, who got 4,048 votes here, lost to Republican nominee Elmer E. Gabbard, who got 4,223.

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Kentucky’s “Iron Man” Senator is going back to Washington. Alben W. Barkley the Senate Majority Leader who has been in the House and Senate for 32 years, defeated Republican James Park on Tuesday. Barkley easily won Letcher County, 4,323 votes to 3,909.

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First Lieutenant Leonard Peterson of 223 Second Street, Fleming, a bombardier with the Army Air Force’s oldest B-26 medium bomber group, has been awarded the Air Medal and five clusters for “meritorious achievement in aerial flight.”

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Hundreds of Letcher County residents paid final tribute to Private Hobart Caudill of Jeremiah, who died of a heart attack last Wednesday at the Station Hospital at Camp Hood, Texas. Caudill enlisted in the Army three years ago. After spending nearly a year in training at Camp Breckenridge in Kentucky he was sent to Camp Hood, where he remained until his death. Caudill, 37, was employed at Carr Fork Coal Company before entering service. He was buried Monday in the cemetery above the Sycamore School.

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Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Dixon of Whitesburg have received word that their son, Sergeant James A. Dixon, is a prisoner of war of the German government. No futher details were received in the telegram from the Adjutant General’s Office. Sergeant Dixon had been missing in action for several weeks.

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Major Klair E. Back of Whitesburg has been promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. The announcement was made at Stewart Field in New York, the flight training school of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Col. Back is Air Inspector at the field and has served in that capacity since last July. He has been on duty at Stewart Field since July 1943.

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Private Danyeal Cornett of Whitesburg fought his way to the top of one of the highest peaks in the Gothic Line as his company took the objective after an eight-hour battle on the Fifth Army front in Italy. The company is in the 349th “Krautkiller” Regiment, 88th Infantry Division.

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Letcher Schools Superintendent Martha Jane Potter appears to be safe in her position after all three candidates who support her — Dr. E.G. Skaggs of Fleming, Randall Maggard of Polly, and Frank Blair of Mayking — won election Tuesday. Young Dave Craft of Mayking would have been named superintendent if the three who won had been defeated.

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Basketball shoes have been released from rationing, the Lexington District OPA Office announced this week.

Thursday, November 11, 1954

A new partnership business was born at Tunnel Hill last week when W.B. Hunsucker and C.S. Dagnan leased the Lucas Store. Mr. Hunsucker says Gulf gasoline products will be sold along with a complete line of groceries and fresh meats. The store building is located across from Stumbo’s Supply Company and at the entrance of the Memorial Hospital project one mile East of Whitesburg.

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Mr. and Mrs. G.D. “Dewey” Polly are back in Letcher County to oversee the remodeling of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company building in Whitesburg. The Pollys, formerly of Letcher County, are here while having their new home built in Naples, Florida, where they now live and plan to give much time to the new radio station they have started there. Mr. Polly has been a pioneer in several businesses in Letcher County.

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The home of Mr. and Mrs. John Cochran on Sandlick Road was destroyed by fire Wednesday morning. The fire in the uninsured home began in the kitchen flue and was discovered by their step daughter-in-law while the Cochrans were away.

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The home of Harold Hurst, Mayking, was destroyed by fire of unknown origin Sunday night while the family was away in Lexington. The Whitesburg Fire Department was called to the scene, but the home was destroyed before firefighters could arrive. Losses are estimated at $10,000.

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Private Lee Doyle, son of Mr. and Mrs. Uley Doyle of McRoberts, is now an MP at Fort Bragg. He attended Jenkins High School.

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Bill Farley of Jenkins has returned to his base at Columbus, Ohio, after coming home to be with his wife, who is now home from Sharon Heights Hospital in Jenkins after being a patient there for 10 days.

Thursday, November 5, 1964

President Lyndon B. Johnson carried Letcher County by a margin of 2,788 votes in the Nov. 3 general election. Letcher County residents voted more than two to one in favor of the President, who accumulated 67 percent of the number of votes cast in the county.

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In an advertisement in The Mountain Eagle, South- East Coal Company announces it “desires to sell all real estate it owns on Thornton Creek, Millstone Creek and all real estate in and around the towns of Millstone and Seco.”

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The 12-mile stretch of Ky. 15 between Van Cleve and Jackson will be opened to traffic Nov. 12, the Department of Highways announced.

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A meeting is scheduled for November 13 for the purpose of organizing a non-profit corporation to install a television “translator” in Letcher County. Harry Lucas of Whitesburg, who has been instrumental in obtaining the “translator”, said a site has already been leased high on Pine Mountain. The “translator” will permit television reception in the area from the head of Sandlick to Whitaker without use of a cable, Lucas said.

Thursday, November 7, 1974

Democrat Wendell Ford carried Letcher County as he defeated incumbent Marlow Cook in the race for one of Kentucky’s Senate seats. U.S. Rep. Carl D. Perkins received 2,313 votes in the county on his way to winning re-election. His opponent received 787 votes.

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The contract between the United Mine Workers of America and the Bituminous Coal Operators Association is expiring with no agreement reached, and a strike seems imminent.

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Criticizing the Appalachian Region Commission, a Mountain Eagle editorial says, the ARC “has created a monster — a new level of government that sits in-between the state and the counties. Called regional development districts or area development districts, these new boards are swallowing more and more of the functions of local government and have their fingers out for others . . . Thing is, none of this regional structure is elected by the people of the area. . . . There is no accountability to the voter . . . there is simply total control.”

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Round steak is $1.29 a pound at the A&P Food Store. Ham is $1.69 a pound.

Wednesday, November 14, 1984

One hundred and seventeen miners have been laid off from their jobs at Scotia Coal Company at Ovenfork. The layoffs affect 97 members of the Scotia Employees Association and 20 company employees. According to Letcher County Judge/Executive Ruben Watts, at least 1,600 miners are out of work in the county. Watts said that total represents about 84 percent of the county’s mining force.

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Democrats carried Letcher County but lost nationally. Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro won the county by a 600-vote margin, but Ronald Reagan and George Bush won re-election nationally by a landslide.

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Maintenance men in the Letcher County Courthouse found several feet of melted electrical wiring in the building. The fiscal court took action in a special meeting and gave Judge/Executive Ruben Watts authority to try to come up with emergency money to re-wire the courthouse.

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Letcher County has had eight forest fires since the beginning of the fall fire season October 1.

Wednesday, November 9, 1994

The future of the Letcher County Food Pantry is uncertain as the organization is running out of money. An average of 30 families use the Food Pantry every month as a source for emergency food.

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Describing a hunting trip, Ike Adams says, “Yours truly had two rabbits nearly knock him off his feet without firing a shot.”

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More than 220 National Guard soldiers have been called up to support firefighting crews battling dozens of fires in eastern Kentucky forests. At least half of the fires are the result of arson, officials say. Among the eastern Kentucky fires was one that burned 75 to 80 acres at Bill Moore Branch in Letcher County.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Five Letcher County residents received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Coal Miner’s Memorial Committee at the unveiling of the second phase of the Coal Miner’s Memorial in Hemphill. Given the awards were Mabel Johnson, Jonelle Williams, Lois Hill, Ruby Zidaroff and Eugene Meade.

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Water service is now available for most residents living on Whitco Hill and along Highway 3401 north of Whitesburg. Flushing, pressure-testing, and bacteriological analyses were completed during the first week of November, and 20 homes and businesses are now receiving water service.

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Letcher County veterans will hold a Veterans Day walk and ceremony November 11 in front of the Letcher County Courthouse.

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A jury has convicted former Letcher County Board of Education member Tommy Vanover, 50, of a felony charge of second-degree trafficking in narcotics. The jury later recommended that Vanover be sentenced to 18 months in prison for the crime.


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