Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1908


 

 

Thursday, December 28, 1944

A former Kingscreek man is accused of murdering his wife — herself formerly of Sandlick — after a domestic dispute in Baltimore, Maryland. Ruby Berry, the 24-yearold daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John P. Caudill of Sandlick, died after her husband, 33-year-old Hargis Berry, slashed her throat and stabbed her in her abdomen. Authorities say that after the slaying, Hargis Berry attempted to commit suicide by cutting his wrist. Police in Baltimore say the murder was the result of jealousy. Mr. and Mrs. Caudill said there was no indication their daughter and Mr. Berry had been having trouble. Just last week, Mr. Berry, a son of Dave Berry of Kingscreek, was visiting Letcher County and telling family and friends that he and his wife had saved enough money to buy a farm here and would be returning when the war ends. Both were employed in the shipyards in Baltimore. Funeral services for Mrs. Berry were held at Craft Funeral Home, Whitesburg. Burial was in Sandlick Cemetery.

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Merchants are being asked to keep an eye open for any young man spending unusually large amounts of money after the Whitesburg Bus Station was burglarized last Friday night. Sheriff Gilbert Polly said one or more men broke into the bus station and stole between $65 and $75, about $25 of which was in one-dollar bills and the rest in silver dollars. Word about the Christmas night burglary of M.L. Webb’s store and post office at Mayking has also reached The Mountain Eagle. It is not yet known how much money was taken.

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There will be no new automobile license plates issued in Kentucky in 1945. Instead, a windshield sticker will be issued, but the 1944 plate must be retained on the vehicle.

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Accidents are being blamed for the deaths of 332 United States citizens over the Christmas holiday. Automobile accidents were responsible for the deaths of 275 people between midnight last Friday and Tuesday of this week.

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Charlie Craft, Glenn Marcum and Johnny Morgan narrowly escaped injury on Christmas night when their car ran into a train at the Ermine crossing. Miraculously, all three were thrown from the car in which they were traveling before it was demolished by the train. A passing motorist took the three men to the Fleming hospital, where they were treated and released.

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David Fields, small son of Mrs. Pearlie Fields of Big Cowan, had his fingers blown off by a blasting cap. The cap exploded after the child stuck a pin in it. He was treated at the Whitesburg hospital.

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Corporal Wallace Adkins, son of Mr. and Mrs. Sherman Adkins of Whitesburg, is back home after serving five years and two months in the European theater as a combat engineer. Corporal Adkins wears the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Good Conduct Medal, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge and others.

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Hard rains, freezes, and heavy traffic are being blamed for the large potholes on the majority the roads and streets in the Neon area. While gravel has been placed into many of the holes by the state highway department, the holes seem to get deeper by the day.

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Jeremiah resident Charlie Blair has four sons serving their country in the military. He has also been doing his part for his country by working in a defense plant in Detroit. Blair’s sons who are in the service are Sergeant Afton Blair, a mine layer in New Guinea; Master Sergeant Robert Blair, troop carrier in the Air Corps; Tech Sergeant Wilmer Blair, who is fighting somewhere in Germany, and Edon Blair, whose only communication with his family comes through the Red Cross. It is thought by the family that Edon’s mission is so secret he is forbidden to write his family.

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Staff Sergeant Ralph Perry Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Perry Sr. of Jenkins, has been granted an extended furlough from the Nashville Convalescent Hospital. Sergeant Perry, who completed 51 missions in the European Theater of Operations, has been awarded the Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters for meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight.

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Private First Class Lendell Franklin is spending his 30-day furlough with his parents at their home on Craft’s Colly. It is PFC Franklin’s first furlough since joining the armed forces three years and eight months ago.

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Tech Sergeant Fred C. Gardner of McRoberts, aerial engineer on a B-24 Liberator, has been authorized to wear the Distinguished Unit Badge with one Bronze Cluster as a member of a veteran bomber group which twice has been cited by President Franklin D. Roosevelt “for outstanding performance of duty in armed conflict with the enemy” in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations. He is a son of George W. Gardner of McRoberts. He is married to Carrie M. Gardner, who also lives in McRoberts.

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Private William D. Moore was wounded in action somewhere in Germany on December 4. He is expected to recover from his injuries.

Thursday, December 30, 1954

Tuberculosis was responsible for the deaths of six Letcher County residents in 1953, new statistics show. From January 1 through December 31 of 1953, TB — the state’s number one communicable disease — killed 642 Kentuckians, down from 855 in 1952. Health officials believe the numbers of deaths related to TB in Kentucky have fallen dramatically in 1954, but those statistics won’t be available until late in 1955. The death rate from tuberculosis continues to drop because of improved medical techniques.

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Ollie E. Fox, 88, retired mining engineer who had prospected much of the coal in Harlan County before the railroad arrived, was buried December 27 in Paris. Fox, brother of author John Fox Jr., died Saturday at Veterans Hospital in Mountain Home, Tennessee after a short illness. He had served as a mining engineer for many of the coal companies in this area — 20 at one time, including some in Letcher County. Fox, who never married, lived with his sister, Minnie Fox, in Big Stone Gap, Virginia until his death.

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Two former Letcher County high school football players were honored last week at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. Ova Singleton of Cromona was one of 31 members of the Cowboy grid squad who received a varsity letter. Bobby Adams of Whitesburg was awarded a number for freshman football.

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Two more moonshine stills have been found in the Craft’s Colly section of Letcher County by Sheriff Robert B. Collins. According to Collins, the stills were being operated by Elmer Morgan.

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A McRoberts woman was stabbed several times during a family quarrel and police are looking for her husband, who will be charged with the stabbing. Police say Mrs. Dolona Branch, 34, is being treated at the Fleming hospital for stab wounds to her back. The husband, 40-year-old John Branch, ran into the hills after the incident.

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Seventy Christmas baskets were distributed to needy families by the Whitesburg Ministerial Association.

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About 30,000 trees have been ordered for setting in Letcher County during 1955, well short of the goal of 200,000, said Soil Conservation Agent Cecil Hensley. “However, with the enthusiasm and conservation attitude of the people, it seems the goal can be reached,” said Hensley.

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The United States has nearly 40 percent of the world’s coal reserves. At the present rate of use, that’s good for another 2,000 years, coal industry leaders say. “Even if we use twice as much coal per year in the years ahead, either as solid fuel or transformed into gas and oil, we will have enough to last for hundreds of years,” an industry news release says.

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At least 3.1 million tons of coal a year will be required to supply necessary electric power for the new Atomic Energy Commission plant near Portsmouth, Ohio. To accommodate the barges carrying that coal, a threequarter mile long dock has been built in the Ohio River, near Gallipolis.

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The Letcher County Medical-Dental Society is upset with four physicians and four dentists who haven’t joined the organization. “No organization is stronger than its weakest member,” writes R. Dow Collins, the Society’s newly elected secretary-treasurer. Dr. Owen Pigman was elected president of the Society on December 28. Whitesburg dentist Lee Moore is the new vice president.

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Coach Adolph Rupp’s Kentucky Wildcats are the nation’s top ranked college basketball team in the United Press Board of Coaches poll. UK received 337 of a possible 350 first-place points after victories over Utah and La Salle in last week’s UKIT. North Carolina State is second, followed by La Salle, which lost to UK in the finals of the UKIT. Utah is ranked No. 7.

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Honky tonk singer Webb Pierce holds four of the top 10 positions on Billboard magazine’s “Country and Western Best Sellers In Stores” singles chart. Pierce’s “Slowly” holds down the No. 3 slot, followed by his “Even, Tho” at No. 4. At No. 6 is Pierce’s “More and More,” while his “There Stands the Glass” comes in at No. 8. “I Don’t Hurt Anymore” by Hank Snow is the nation’s top-selling C&W single.

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First graders Martin Joe Adams and Patricia Ann Campbell were selected by students at Stuart Robinson School to be Prince and Princess.

Thursday, December 24, 1964

More than 50 tons of food, toys and used clothing have poured into Letcher County in response to a televised report, “Christmas in Appalachia”. Several thousand dollars was also received. The flood of contributions started as a result of a half-hour documentary on CBS showing families on Pert Creek and at Roxana in Letcher County and at Weeksbury in Knott County. Commentator Charles Kuralt pointed out that Christmas would be sparse if it arrived for all for the families he visited.

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Reviews and screenings will begin to find recruits for the Job Corps being organized under the federal government’s war on poverty. The first 10 boys will leave Letcher County by Jan. 15, 1965 for a Job Corps camp in Maryland.

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United States Marshall Archie Craft, the former funeral home operator and state legislator from Whitesburg, is teaming with seven other men, including former Gov. Bert T. Combs, to organize a new bank in Lexington. The new bank, to be called the Bank of Lexington, would be the city’s sixth.

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Responding to an effort by the Whitesburg Junior Chamber of Commerce, 115 persons had their blood typed last Saturday at a clinic sponsored by the Jaycees. Most of those who participated have permitted their names to be put into the register of blood donors.

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Letcher County Clerk Charlie Wright says he will be at the police station in Jenkins every Saturday in January to register voters. Wright says he will register voters in McRoberts every Saturday in February at the union hall there.

Thursday, December 26, 1974

The Mountain Eagle’s editor-owner, Tom Gish, is the 1974 winner of the University of Arizona’s John Peter Zenger Award for “distinguished service in behalf of freedom of the press and the people’s right to know.” The award is named in honor of the colonial publisher who in 1734 was accused by the crown governor of seditious libel despite the truth of the stories. A jury acquitted Zenger in 1735, gaining the first major victory that led to the establishment of a free press in America.

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Criticizing the U.S. Congress, a Mountain Eagle editorial says, “. . . it was, on the whole, an exceedingly poor performance we saw coming out of the House and the Senate this past year. It is difficult to think of a single major national problem made any better because our 435 Representatives and 100 Senators did, in fact, convene and spend most of a year in Washington. Congress has done nothing about unemployment, nothing about inflation, nothing about the ridiculously high cost of hospital and medical care, nothing about housing, nothing effective about strip mining, nothing about the oil shortage, nothing about the Arabs and their continuing blackmail. About the only legislation of consequence that passed was a trade bill that, AFL-CIO President George Meany fears, will increase the rate at which American factories are being closed with thousands more jobs to be exported overseas.”

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”Here it is winter weather and we are already getting seed catalogs,” writes Millstone correspondent Mabel Kiser. “So spring and its glory of budding and blooming are not far away.”

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”Christmas is love,” writes Blackey correspondent Charles Anne Mullis. “Take each day as it comes and enjoy it. Your neighbors may need you so check often. People are indispensable, because you can’t manufacture love.”

Wednesday, January 2, 1995

Beth-Elkhorn Corporation is calling back 150 laid-off coal miners, including some from Letcher County, at its Elkhorn Division. The operations affected by the re-calls are Mine 21 in Letcher County and the division shops in Jenkins, Mine 25 and 26 in Pike County, and the coal preparation plant at Mine 29, also in Pike County.

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The state Board of Education is expected to act on a recommendation that Marla Gentry, a transfer from Warren East High School, be reinstated to the Whitesburg Lady Yellowjackets basketball team. The recommendation comes after an administrative appeal of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association’s ruling that Gentry be declared ineligible to play.

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A report on the Whitesburg Municipal Airport says the airport hangar has been stripped of most of its metal siding by thieves and vandals, the road leading to the facility is deteriorated and lined with garbage and abandoned cars, and the airport has been virtually abandoned. The airport opened in 1967.

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”City Heat” starring Burt Reynolds and Clint Eastwood is playing at Plaza 1&2 in Wise, Va. The other feature is “Missing in Action” starring Chuck Norris.

Wednesday, December 28, 1994

Westmoreland Coal Company’s Kentucky Criterion Coal Company operations at Deane have been purchased by Consol of Kentucky. Westmoreland is using part of the proceeds of the sale to pay off its $39 million debt.

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A Letcher County man was killed and another man injured when a fuel tank exploded in Pike County. Hase Eugene Hall, 23, of Jenkins, died in the accident. The two men were cutting into the metal tank with acetylene torches when the tank exploded.

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Letcher County Board of Education Chairman Tommy Vanover ended the year on a somewhat conciliatory note by releasing a statement urging school employees, board members and others concerned about the school system to “work together” in the future. This signals a possible shift in his attitude toward officials of the state Department of Education and others who were critical of his tenure as school board chairman. During 1994, the superintendency changed hands four times; the school system underwent an unprecedented takeover by offi cials of the state Department of Education; and a strike by teachers and other school employees was averted at the last minute.

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The Lady’ Jackets won the Savannah Holiday Classic, a 20-team invitational tournament in Savannah, Ga., to remain unbeaten at 7-0.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

The repair of U.S. 119 over Pine Mountain is 98 percent complete. The stretch of U.S 119 from Whitesburg to Oven Fork received eight areas of curve widening, addition of five truck lanes, three slope stability enhancements, one major slide repair and two areas of minor realignments.

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April Dawn Boggs, convicted in 2003 of facilitating the murders of a Whitesburg man and his four-year-old son, will remain in prison for at least 60 more months, the Kentucky Parole Board has ruled. Boggs was convicted by a Letcher County jury after her husband, Jerome Watson Boggs, was sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison after pleading guilty to the murders of Timothy L. “Blister” Cook and Cook’s son, T.J.

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The Jenkins Cavaliers boys’ team won one and lost two in the Appalachian Wireless Classic to see their record fall to 5-6. The Lady Cavaliers fell to 2-6 on the season as they lost to Green County in the Wendy’s Holiday Classic.


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