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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1908


 

 

Thursday, November 16, 1944

Funeral services were held earlier this month for a 23-month-old Jenkins boy who was fatally injured after being hit by a coal truck near the home of his parents in Jenkins. Glen Moore Dingus, son of Mr. and Mrs. Walker Dingus, was killed on Friday, November 3. Mr. Dingus is an employee of Consolidation Coal Company and has been a resident of Jenkins for the past 15 years.

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Two men were killed in a slate fall yesterday at a Consolidation Coal Company mine in Jenkins. They are Gilmore Collins, whose funeral will be held at Craft Funeral Home in Whitesburg, and Rev. Thurston Meade, whose funeral will be held at Poore Funeral Home in Clintwood, Virginia. No further details of the mining accident were available before press time.

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Memorial services for Sergeant Chester Holbrooks will be held on the fourth Saturday of November at the Primitive Baptist Church on Craft’s Colly. Sergeant Holbrooks, son of Mrs. Rachel Holbrooks of Southdown, was killed in action in the Central Pacific in August.

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Funeral services were held in Whitesburg Sunday afternoon for Professor H.H. Harris, a Lee County, Virginia native who taught school for 56 years before retiring just over two years ago. Harris, a former Whitesburg mayor who would have turned 85 on December 16, began teaching in 1885 when he established a school at Booneville in Owsley County, Kentucky. He later taught for 18 years at Beattyville in Lee County, Kentucky, then taught in the Jackson City Schools for seven years before coming to Letcher County in 1919, where he taught in Whitesburg, Hot Spot, Haymond and Eolia. He was very active in the Whitesburg Methodist Church.

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Coy Holstein has purchased half the property where Mother Craft’s Restaurant is now located. Dr. B.F. Wright and Dr. D.V. Bentley, both of Neon, sold the property to Holstein just as The Eagle was going to press. This purchase adds to the property Holstein recently purchased from Star Frazier, making him the owner of some of the most valuable property on Whitesburg’s Main Street.

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A Neon aerial engineer-gunner who flies with the invasion-leading Silver Streaks Marauder group in the European Theatre of Operations was recently promoted to the rank of sergeant. Ballard J. Bentley, 29, son of Mr. and Mrs. Mack Bentley of Neon, was promoted from corporal to sergeant. He now wears the Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters “for meritorious achievement.” The husband of Alice L. Bentley, Sergeant Bentley has completed 15 combat missions. As a member of the combat crew of the Ninth Air Force Marauder “Hell’s Dust Storm,” he has taken part in raids against Luftwaffe airdromes, railroads, bridges, flying bomb launching sites and other Nazi military installations in France, Belgium and Holland. Before the sun came up on D-Day, the bombs of the Silver Streaks hit the French beaches as the group spearheaded the invasion of France with an aerial blow at Cherbourg a few minutes before initial landings by ground forces. Sergeant Bentley, who attended Fleming High School, entered the Army in April 1943.

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Richard “Red” Centers, about 50, died Wednesday at the Fleming hospital, where he was taken after apparently overdosing on nerve medicine. Funeral and burial will take place Friday near his home on Sandlick.

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Private First Class Bill Callahan, 28, of Roxana, has completely recovered after being wounded by shrapnel from an enemy shell during the attack on Saint-Lo in northwestern France during the Battle of Normandy. Callahan, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Callahan of Roxana, will soon leave the U.S. Army General Hospital in England and report for duty. A veteran of both the African and Sicilian campaigns, he had gone through heavy fighting in both without receiving a scratch. “But the Germans were really fighting for keeps at Saint-Lo,” Callahan said. “We ran into the SS troops and all the artillery they could scrape up just outside the town, and I figured it was getting a little hot to be in the open with just that Browning (automatic rifle.) I got hit just as we’d almost finished digging in.” Private Callahan entered the Army in October 1940 at Fort Bragg, N.C. Before that he was a farmer on his father’s land at Roxana.

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John Hall, a well-known local man, recently took over as manager of the Star Filling Station located on the Hazard-Whitesburg Highway and owned by the Texaco Oil Company. He is a disabled coal miner.

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Sergeant Wallace Adkins, son of Mr. and Mrs. Sherman Adkins, has landed in the United States after being away without furlough for five years. Sergeant Adkins, who was wounded in Sicily in August 1943, was married in Florida. His parents have never met his wife, but will soon when their son and new daughter-in-law arrive in Whitesburg soon. Mr. and Mrs. Sherman Adkins have another son serving somewhere in Germany. He is Corporal Willard Adkins.

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Sergeant Kyle Campbell was a recent visitor at the home of his mother, Mrs. Jane Campbell of Marlowe. Sergeant Campbell worked at Elkhorn Jellico Coal Company of Marlowe before volunteering and entering the Marines in March 1942. He wears the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Bar with two Bronze Battle Stars, one for Saipan and the other for Tinian. Sergeant Campbell’s visit was made possible by the Marines to allow him to pay tribute to the passing of his grandmother, Mrs. Judith Logan, a pioneer of Letcher County whose death was recently mourned.

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State Representative Harry L. Moore of Whitesburg has written to Kentucky Governor Simeon Willis to express his displeasure over proposed cuts to the state’s Old Age Assistance payments.

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Technical Sergeant Raymond E. Ogelvie, son of Mr. and Mrs. R.M. Ogelvie of Jackhorn and veteran of 32 months in the Southwest Pacific, is returning to the United States. A clerk, Sergeant Ogelvie has been a member of “The Sun Setters,” one of the oldest and best-known B-25 bomber-strafer units of the Fifth Air Force. Sergeant Ogelvie is one of the original members of the group and received his basic training with them at Jackson Army Air Base. He landed overseas with his unit in February 1942. Sergeant Ogelvie’s ability and devotion to duty have been outstanding as shown by the many rapid advances in grade he has made. A student of Fleming High School, Sergeant Ogelvie enlisted in the Army in June 1938 and served two years in Panama before coming with “The Sun Setters” in February 1942. Sergeant Ogelvie is authorized to wear the Battle Stars for the Papuan, the New Guinea and the Bismarck Archipelago campaigns.

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The 12th Air Force Marauder group of Private First Class Ralph Hicks of Fleming has been awarded the Croix de Guerre with Palm by the French government for prevision attacks on bridges in support of the French ground forces in Italy. The oldest medium bomber outfit in the Mediterranean theatre, the group was cited in a order by General Charles De Gaulle commending an entire Marauder wing. It is the only Army Air Force unit to be decorated in this war by both the United States and French governments, having previously been cited twice by President Roosevelt for the accuracy of its attacks on Rome and Florence rail yards in Italy.

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Interested workers from Letcher and surrounding counties are needed in Nebraska to harvest corn. The work will last 30 to 40 days. Wages are 10 cents per bushel. Room and board and transportation both ways will be furnished. A representative of Nebraska farmers will be in the basement of the Whitesburg Post Office on November 20 to answer questions and take applications.

Thursday, November 18, 1954

A multi-million-dollar coal mine considered one of the safest and most modern in West Virginia became a flaming tomb for 15 trapped miners Sunday after officials made the fateful decision to abandon rescue efforts and seal the mine off. An outside worker also was killed in Saturday’s initial explosion, bringing the death toll to 16. Fire still raging deep inside the Jamison Coal and Coke Company mine released additional gas and touched off two more blasts within 45 minutes early Sunday. The decision to seal the mine came after a three-hour meeting between officials with the federal and state mine departments, the United Mine Workers Union and Jamison Coal officials, all who agreed that further rescue efforts were hopeless and would only endanger the lives of rescue crews.

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Kentucky’s coal production fell from 64,515,091 tons in 1952 to 63,535,507 tons in 1953, the chief of the state Department of Mines and Minerals has reported to Governor Lawrence Wetherby. Mines and Minerals director A.D. Sisk also told Wetherby that 46,780 men were employed in the coal mining industry in 1953, working in 2,214 mines. Those figures are down from 53,742 miners working in 1952 in 2,367 mines. Sisk also reported that 59 miners died on the job in 1953.

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“I am indeed very happy and proud to become a citizen of the United States” was the response from Mrs. Elizabeth Moncrief of Whitesburg after naturalization ceremonies in Lexington on November 11. Mrs. Moncrief came to the U.S. in February 1946. She is the wife of S.E. Moncrief Jr., and mother of two children, Barbara, who was born in England, and Douglas. Mrs. Harding Dawahare of Pikeville was also among the group members who received naturalization.

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Kentucky’s game wardens have no authority to enforce a 100-year-old Blue Law that prohibits hunting on Sunday in this state, says Earl Wallace, Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. The statement from Wallace comes after reports emanating from some sections of Kentucky that Sunday hunting would be banned this year. Wallace pointed out that the Blue Law under which hunting may be banned can be enforced only by peace officers, and then only after a warrant is obtained by the owner of the property where the Sunday hunting occurs.

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During an assembly program Tuesday at Whitesburg High School, football coach Ed Moore presented the Eastern Kentucky Mountain Conference Runner-Up Trophy to Principal Kendall Boggs. All-EKMC players Buddy Fields, halfback, and Don “Lightning” Caudill, guard, were honored during the event, as was the Whitesburg High School band, whose director, Jack Taylor, presented Boggs with the trophy the band won for being the best of six bands competing at the Big Sandy Bowl on November 12. Whitesburg High’s Ramona Sparks was chosen Queen of the Big Sandy Bowl for 1954 and was crowned by Miss Kentucky. This is the second time that Whitesburg High School’s candidate has won this honor.

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Staff Sergeant Franklin Webb, son of George W. and Anna Webb of Thornton, recently spent a 30-day furlough with his parents after his return from France, where he had spent the past 18 months of his four years in service. He will report to Orlando, Florida to complete the remainder of commitment, which ends in September 1955. His wife, the former Mary Alice King of Sergent, will join him in Florida.

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Maurice Blair of Whitesburg has been elected president of the Alpha Beta Pi business fraternity at Georgetown College. He has also served as vice president, secretary and treasurer of the Kappa Alpha social fraternity. Blair is sports editor of the Belle of the Blue and presides over the band. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles V. Blair and grandson of Kelly Fields, all of Letcher County, Maurice Blair graduated from Whitesburg High School in 1951. He played saxophone in the WHS band.

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U.S. electric utility plants this year continue to burn more coal than ever before.

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Harry Caudill of Whitesburg planted approximately 4,000 pine trees in the spring of 1954, reports County Agent Robert H. Fike. Fike says Caudill got nearly 100 percent survival on the trees, which were set through the cooperation of the U.S. Soil Conservation Service.

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Private Melvin D. Adams, son of Mrs. Chloe Adams of Blackey, is serving with the 7th Infantry Division in Korea. Men of the “Bayonet Division” are undergoing intensive training to maintain the combat efficiency displayed by the unit from Pusan to the Yalu River.

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King and Queen of the Whitesburg High School Halloween Carnival are Don Webb, son of Mr. and Mrs. Woodford Webb, and Phyliss Hall, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Hall. They are juniors at WHS.

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Among the Jenkins residents attending the Kentucky Mining Institute held in Lexington last week were Mr. and Mrs. George O. Tarleton Sr., Mr. and Mrs. R.L. Blake, Mr. and Mrs. D.A. Zegeer, Mr. and Mrs. M.E. Prunty, Mr. and Mrs. D.C. Duncan, Mr. and Mrs. C.D. Halbert, Henry Sewell, Ed Harris and Cas Collier.

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The Jenkins Kiwanis Club now has 47 members, three short of its goal of 50.

Thursday, November 12, 1964

Letcher Fiscal Court has decided to sell the Letcher County Jail and use the money to buy furniture for the new courthouse. County Judge James M. Caudill said he believes the Letcher County Board of Health will be willing to pay $20,000 for the jail site.

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An advertisement in The Mountain Eagle invites bids for the erection and completion of 40 dwelling units and an administration-maintenance building and lawns and planting work for the project of the Whitesburg Municipal Housing Commission.

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Paul Collins, a 26-year-old mine operator, was killed about noon Wednesday when he fell from a coal truck he was driving and the truck ran over him. The accident occurred in the Stallard neighborhood on Craft’s Colly. Apparently, the truck door flew open and Collins fell out. His wife, Mrs. Avenell Sandlin Collins, and an employee, Kenneth Day, were riding in the cab with him at the time of the accident. The truck hit an embankment after Collins fell from the cab, but the passengers were not hurt.

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Blackey correspondent Larry Caudill reports that Canton Combs, who was drilling a gas well on Crases Branch, said he struck a foot-thick stratum of “red rock”, which is very similar to “red dog”, the oxidized stage of coal-mine slag. Canton thinks it very well could be “red dog” oxidized in the formation of the earth’s crust by heat generated by pressure of the overburden.

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Whitesburg High School cheerleaders Shirley Willians, Brenda Watts, Shirley Boatright, Kay Kincer and Shirley Smith attended a Cheerleaders’ Clinic at Eastern Kentucky State College in Richmond earlier this month.

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The Band Boosters Club will sponsor a sock hop at the gym at Whitesburg High School on Nov. 20 for the benefit of the band. Admission will be 50 cents.

Thursday, November 14, 1974

Letcher County was a leader in population growth in the previous three years. The county showed a 10.6 percent population gain and tied for ninth place in increased population among Kentucky’s 120 counties.

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A Mountain Eagle editorial says, “Have you been to central Kentucky recently by way of Kentucky 15, the Mountain Parkway extended, from Campton into Whitesburg? What’s that? You almost got killed twice and the trip is an hour longer than it used to be? Then join the crowd. The present condition of the road is an absolute disgrace to the Commonwealth of Kentucky . . . In numerous places, the roadbed has been destroyed, presumably by overweight coal trucks and overweight gravel trucks. Repair efforts by the state highway department have simply made a bad situation worse.”

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Burdine Elementary School held an open house. About 150 visitors came to see the new school.

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The Kentucky Department of Highways is publishing a notice of a proposed project to replace the two Bailey bridges over Rockhouse Creek on Ky. 7 near Letcher with two modern bridges.

Wednesday, November 21, 1984

The state Court of Appeals has ruled that the Letcher County Board of Education can condemn the Whitesburg industrial site and use the land for a new high school. The Whitesburg/Letcher County Industrial Foundation is making plans to appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Court.

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John Sayers, a coal truck driver, and his son, 12-yearold Wendell Thomas Sayers, will receive “certificates of heroism” from the Boy Scouts of America for their efforts in rescuing a husband and wife in separate accidents. The father helped Mrs. Vernon Sturgill of Eolia escape from her car after it had run over the mountain on Route 932. Several months later, Wendell Sayers pulled both Vernon Sturgill, who cannot swim, and Sturgill’s young son from the deep end of a swimming pool.

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Louis Runyan, operator of C&B Coal Company in Letcher County, has been granted a temporary injunction preventing the state from closing his mining operation because he failed to meet a technicality in the state mining law. Runyan filed suit after the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet issued a closure order to C&B after the company failed to meet an advertising deadline set out in the change of supervision of strip mine reformation laws from the federal to the state government.

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The Kentucky High School Athletic Association ruled Marla Gentry, a member of the Whitesburg High School girls’ basketball team, ineligible. The KHSAA said unnamed WHS representatives used “undue influence” to persuade her to transfer to the school. Gentry plans to appeal the decision.

Wednesday, November 16, 1994

The Children’s Organ Transplant Association is helping Amanda Madden and Anthony King raise $100,000 to pay for a bone marrow transplant for their nine-week-old son, Forest, who is suffering from Omenn Disease, a rare and severe form of immunodeficiency.

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A strike by employees of the Letcher County school system has been apparently averted, however employees still have to consider and vote on proposals put together by a group of state and local representatives.

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It took two overtime periods for Whitesburg High School to defeat Sheldon Clark 30-28 in the second round of Class AA football playoffs.

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”The Santa Clause” starring Tim Allen, “Stargate” and ”Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein” are playing at Whitesburg 1 & 2.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Alma Tindle and Sue Thomas are the only employees still working at Hoover’s Department Store in downtown Whitesburg, will close in the next few weeks.

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A crowd of about 200 people gathered at the Letcher County Courthouse on Nov. 11 as Letcher County celebrated Veterans Day. Several dozen veterans were honored during the ceremonies. Each veteran stated his name and his military assignment. The veterans represented every U.S.-involved conflict dating back to World War II.

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Jenkins High School junior Chris Grimm finished his race in a Region 6-A meeting in first place, qualifying him for the state meet in Lexington. Also qualifying for the state meet from Jenkins were Eric Grimm and Josh Treadway.

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CSX Transportation will run its 62nd annual Santa Train from Pikeville to Kingsport, Tenn., via the former Clinchfield Railroad mainline on Nov. 20.


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