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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1908


 

 

Thursday, January 4, 1945

A cold wave with snow coming from the north hit Kentucky and the south this week sending the temperature in Letcher County to near zero.

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Private Elmer Smith of Eolia has been awarded the Combat Infantry Badge for “exemplary conduct in action against the enemy on November 29, 1944.” Son of Mrs. Julia Maggard, Private Smith attended Lee’s College for two years before entering service in March 1943.

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Coporal Cecil Pittman, 27, grandson of Mrs. Rosa Pittman of Whitesburg, has returned to the U.S. after serving 54 months in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater of Operations. He will be in Miami Beach, Florida until his next assignment is determined.

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Half a million war casualties were reported in 1944.

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Reecy Faye Mason is the first baby born in Letcher County in 1945. Born at Fleming Hospital on the morning of January 1 and weighing 10 pounds, she is the daughter of Mr. and Hubert Mason. Dr. E.G. Skaggs was the attending physician.

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The Whitesburg Bus Station was broken into again this week — the second time in two weeks. After getting away with between $50 and $75 in the first break-in, the thief or thieves got nothing this time.

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Cossie Quillen has purchased B. Dave Blair’s one-half interest in the Childers Drug Company of Whitesburg. Quillen and Blair bought the store just recently, but Blair says he will devote his time to the tax commissioner’s office. The business will now be known as Quillen Drug Company.

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Staff Sergeant James Hamlet Bailey, 39, son-in-law of Mr. and Mrs. W.V. Holbrook of Neon died suddenly after suffering a heart attack at Fort Niagara, New York on December 14. Sergeant Bailey came to Letcher County from Ft. Bragg, North Carolina in 1940 and married Myra Holbrook of Neon. He went overseas in 1942 and spent two years before returning and being stationed in New York.

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One of Neon’s leading businessmen died Wednesday at Seco Hospital. John W. Wright, 56, had suffered a lingering illness. He leaves to mourn two sons, Benton, who is serving with the Marines somewhere overseas, and Owen, who operates a cafĂ© in Neon. Two daughters who are not named also survive, as well as brothers Dr. B.F. Wright and Tilden Wright.

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The first indictments of 2015 were returned Wednesday by the Letcher County Grand Jury. Floyd Holbrook was indicted for the murder of Urias Polly. Willie Boner, a colored man, was indicted for the killing of Samuel Lewis in Jenkins some time ago.

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Stormy skies and engine trouble robbed Lieutenant William W. Ison of Blackey, pilot, and other crew members of the 7th AAF Liberator bomber “Shack Bunny” of their chance to plaster Japanese targets in the Philippines. Because of heavy clouds, the plane was flying at low altitude when its number three engine died. “We were only 300 feet above the water,” said Lieutenant Ison, “and the weather was bad. We had to leave the formation, but the remaining three engines took us safely back to the base. When the engines went out, we jettisoned the ammunition and all loosed equipment to lighten our load. We couldn’t drop the already armed bombs from that height because the upwash might have damaged the plane. So the bombardier crawled back to the bomb bay and replaced the safety pins. Later the explosives were dropped into the sea.” Other bombers in the formation went on the bomb the Jap target. Ison is the son of Margaret Ison of Blackey. He was graduated from Stuart Robinson High School and attended the University of Kentucky before entering the AAF in July 1942.

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Cary Grant and Priscilla Lane star in “Arsenic and Old Lace” showing Sunday and Monday at the Kentucky Theatre in Whitesburg. Next Thursday brings “Days of Glory” with Gregory Peck and Tamara Toumanouva.

Thursday, January 13, 1955

Coal production was sinking fast at 1954 came to an end with no immediate hope in sight. Kentucky’s coal production for the year trailed the value of 1953 by 13 percent, with employment figures off even more.

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Court of Appeals Judge Bert T. Combs announced this week that he will seek the Democratic nomination for governor of Kentucky in the August primary election as the candidate with the blessing of the administration of current Governor Lawrence Wetherby. Combs is from Prestonsburg. He is being opposed by former Governor A.B. “Happy” Chandler and John Young Brown of Lexington.

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The Letcher County Grand Jury has returned arson and grand larceny indictments against two young men in connection with the burning of the Pioneer Clubhouse and the burglary of three homes at McRoberts. Named in the indictments are Jerrell Stamper, 20, and Dan Berry, 21, both of McRoberts. Letcher County Sheriff Robert B. Collins said the two admitted setting fire to the clubhouse on December 24 and to stealing between $500 and $600 from the homes of Gilbert Fleenor, James Mullins, and J.D. Mullins the same night.

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Mr. and Mrs. D.L. Bradshaw of Junction City, Ky., and Mr. and Mrs. Frank Lay of Cincinnati are the new managers of the Jenkins Recreation Hotel. This hotel specializes in “Whataburgers,” which is being hailed as a “double bargain,” and invites everyone to come and try the new creation.

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W. Howard Adams has opened for business the former Day’s Cafe at Pine Mountain Junction.

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Corporal Wallace E. Whitaker is on his way home today after serving more than 15 months in Korea. Whitaker, 22, is a son of Mr. and Mrs. George Whitaker of Roxana. He returns wearing the United Nations Service Medal, the Korean Service Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal.

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William M. Whitaker Jr., formerly of Blackey, has been selected as manager of radio station WMOR, which is scheduled to begin airing soon in Morehead. He is the son of Mrs. Callie Back of Blackey.

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A total of 50 deer were released on the Pine Mountain Game Reserve in 1954, said Letcher County Game Warden Bill Long. Long says Letcher County can become one of the leading game preserves in Kentucky if people will report and prevent forest fires and report out-of-season hunters.

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Charlie Holcomb, 51, of Linefork was convicted by a Letcher Circuit Court Jury January 7 in the fatal shooting of his son-in-law. The jury deliberated 40 minutes before fixing Holcomb’s penalty at three years in prison. Holcomb contended he shot Ezekiel Holcomb, 28, in self-defense during a fight last July 24.

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Harry Burke, 48, one of the best known lawyers in eastern Kentucky, fell to his death in Abbott Creek at Bonanza, 10 miles north of Prestonsburg, on Monday night. The body was discovered, nearly submerged, by a child on his way to school on Tuesday. Floyd County Coroner James Carter ruled the death accidental after an inquest. Carter said the attorney apparently walked off a short bridge near his home in the darkness and struck his head on a rock 10 or 12 feet below. The bridge has no rails.

Thursday, January 7, 1965

Retired United Mine Workers of America will get a $10 a month pension increase February 1, and at the same time UMW members 55 years of age or more will become eligible for retirement.

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Chester Sparks has been elected to a four-year term as superintendent of the Jenkins Independent School System. Sparks currently is serving out the unexpired term of former Jenkins Supt. Lee Johnson, who resigned two years ago.

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Two hundred thirty-three new telephones were installed in Letcher County by Southern Bell Telephone Co. during 1964, the firm said. The Pike and Letcher county areas combined gained a total of more than 1,000 new phones during 1964. The counties now have 12,918 telephones, compared to 11,872 at the end of 1963.

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Funeral services were held at Pikeville Wednesday for Harding Dawahare, 43, who died unexpectedly of a heart attack at his home in Pikeville. Dawahare, a native of Letcher County, was one of eight sons of the late Srur Dawahare, who came to eastern Kentucky as a peddler in the early part of the 20th century and remained to build a retail merchandising chain of stores which are now run by his sons.

Thursday, January 9, 1975

The Whitesburg City Council has instructed city police to bring charges against the parents of teenagers who were riding motorcycles on city streets without proper licensing.

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All at once, the sights and sounds of a propaganda buildup for war is coming at us, almost daily on our television sets . . . war with the Middle Eastern oil countries, war again in Vietnam, says a Mountain Eagle editorial. “It is an age-old practice for political regimes who are in deep trouble to attempt to secure their own political base by taking their nation into war . . . if (Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and President Gerald Ford) are so unsure of their leadership, so empty of ideas as to how to cope with the world problems that they can think only of war, then it is time for both to resign.”

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Negotiators for the Letcher County Board of Education and the Letcher County Teachers Organization have agreed on a new contract for the 1974-1975 school year. The board and the teachers will vote on the contract. The major change in the contract is a salary increase which has already gone into effect following a three-day teachers’ strike in October 1974.

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State officials say Kentucky driver’s licenses will bear a color photograph of the license holder in 1975. The cost of a driver’s license is being raised from $3 to $4 to cover the additional expense of the photography process.

Wednesday, January 16, 1985

The Letcher County School Board has ordered a new school site study to examine other options before committing itself to building the proposed new Whitesburg High School on the city industrial site. The board is looking at the cost of putting the school back on School Hill, and building a new Whitesburg Middle School instead of a high school.

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Gov. Martha Layne Collins says she will remove the tolls for the Mountain Parkway as soon as the bonds issued to finance the road are paid off sometime in 1985. Some state legislators have proposed retaining the tolls (80 cents from Campton to Lexington) to finance road maintenance and improvements, but the suggestion was opposed by eastern Kentucky representatives.

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The Fleming-Neon Lady Pirates, coached by Doug and Sue Kincer, are off to a 10-2 start.

Wednesday, January 11, 1995

Dogs on the loose — including a pack of more than two dozen biting Chihuahuas — are wreaking havoc in Jenkins, and city officials want the county government to do something about it. Jenkins Police Chief Bill Tackett says residents are having several problems with dogs and things are getting even worse because the Letcher Fiscal Court does not have a dog warden.

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Forest Madden, a 17-week-old baby who suffers from a rare disease which prevents his body from fighting infection, is scheduled to receive a bone marrow transplant at Duke University Hospital. Forest was diagnosed with Omenn Disease shortly after he was born to Amanda Madden.

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Twenty-four forest fires burned 1,169 acres in Letcher County during the fall 1974 fire season, state officials say. The average size of the fires was 48.7 acres and the total cost of fighting them was $16,845. Nineteen of the fires were deliberately set, and three were the results of persons burning debris.

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The Whitesburg Middle School Lady ‘Jackets won the Letcher County Middle School Tournament for the third straight year. Their record for the three years is 34-1, and they have been undefeated for two years.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Ten years after a bone marrow transplant, Forest Madden, 10, is doing well. When he was a month and a half old, he was diagnosed with Omenn syndrome, a rare form of severe combined immunodeficiency. His mother, Amanda Madden, donated the bone marrow cells used in the transplant he received on January 13, 1995 at Duke University Hospital.

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Church and organizations in Letcher County are still trying to decide if and how they are going to send donations to help with the Southeast Asia tsunami disaster relief.

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Members of the Letcher Fiscal Court and UNITE Letcher County are joining forces to request a drug treatment center to be located in Letcher County. The court voted unanimously to work toward getting one of 10 new drug treatment centers announced recently by Gov. Ernie Fletcher.

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Beulah Gibson Caudill, 97, of Little Cowan, died January 8. Mrs. Caudill was a daughter of Joseph Hop and Manerva Adams Gibson. She was married to the late George Sigrest and after his death married the late Cassel Caudill.


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