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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1908


 

 

Thursday, January 22, 1925

The new highway from Eolia across Pine Mountain to Whitesburg is expected to be open to the public soon. “This will be one of the most romantic highways in Kentucky and will no doubt attract tourists from all over the country,” writes Mountain Eagle editor N.M. Webb.

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Bascomb Slemp, first cousin to P.W. Slemp and A.C. Slemp of Millstone, has announced that he will step down March 4 as secretary to President Calvin Coolidge.

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Kentucky Governor William J. Fields has ordered an investigation into public corruption in Perry County. Fields, also known as “Honest Bill from Olive Hill,” says he will not hesitate to call a special session of the Kentucky General Assembly for impeachment trials if the state Attorney General’s Office uncovers evidence of corruption. Under authority of a law enacted in 1924, the governor can remove any peace officer found guilty of malfeasance in office.

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Owners of Kyva Motor Company of Millstone, dealers in Oakland and Chandler cars, have announced they will erect a modern three-story garage on property they purchased recently on Madison Avenue in Whitesburg. [Note: the historic building is still erect and is now being rehabilitated for use as a distillery.]

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A letter from reader Henry C. Adams appears on the front page of this week’s edition of The Mountain Eagle. Adams, of Fleming, enclosed $1.25 with the letter to pay for his subscription for 1925. “I enjoy reading the news and never miss a word in it from cover to cover,” Adams writes.

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Goldie Mae Craft of Fishpond in Letcher County has not missed a day of school since starting last year as a fourth-grader. Miss Craft, 11, has already been promoted to sixth grade. “If we go to school every day the lessons will get easier and we will like school better,” she writes in a letter to the editor. “I got to Jenkins School and will try to learn all I can and try to make a better girl, this help to make a better Kentucky.”

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The Whitesburg High School boys’ and girls’ basketball teams defeated St. Nicholas High by scores of 13 to 11 and 19 to 17. The St. Nicholas teams spent some time in Whitesburg after the games.

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The Hazard Bulldogs’ 7 to 2 win over the fast Blackey boys’ team was Hazard’s 44th straight victory without suffering a defeat. The Bulldogs will soon visit Cincinnati to play games there.

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Master Commissioner John L. Hays sold the Jenkins Coal & Coke Corporation’s mining operation located at Ulvah for $2,000. The operation was valued at $50,000. Hays also sold the Huntington Byproduct Coal Company operation in Burdine for $700. It, too, was valued at $50,000.

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Bankruptcy referee L.J. Madden sold the entire operating plant of Elk Creek Coal Company near Blackey for $5,000 in front of the Letcher County Courthouse Monday. The plant was valued at $100,000.

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There are no vacancies in any of Whitesburg’s hotels this week. This is because of the new session of Letcher Circuit Court and the general uptick in business here.

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Dr. Little Whitaker, who has just installed a good water system in Blackey, was a visitor to The Mountain Eagle office this week.

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Dr. H.R. Skaggs, for years located at McRoberts, will soon relocate to the Fleming Hospital, where a new addition is now under construction. Dr. Skaggs recently completed a special post-graduate course in surgery in Chicago. He is now at the Mayo Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota, where he is getting more acquainted with the work of his profession.

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The First National Bank of Fleming, the First National Bank of Jenkins, and the First National Bank of Jenkins are bidding for new business through advertisements placed in The Mountain Eagle this week. Also soliciting new business is Blackey State Bank of Blackey.

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Studebaker has reduced prices on all its “closed cars.” A “Standard Six Country Club Coupe” is on sale for $1,345 at Miners Motor in Whitesburg. A “Big Six Coupe” is on sale for $2,450.

Thursday, January 18, 1945

Officials with the United Mine Workers Union’s District No. 30 are asking district members to honor the government’s appeal to produce more coal with fewer men. The union miners are being asked to work Sunday, January 28 at double time for the seventh day of work, and under the same conditions again on February 7. “We must not deny this request, as it comes from the men in the foxholes,” says District 30 President Sam Caddy. “It takes 50 tons of coal to make a B-29 bomber; 150 tons for a 50-ton tank, and 12 tons for an anti-aircraft gun.”

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A slippery road is being cited as the reason for a car wreck near Vicco that killed a Letcher County man. Henry C. Combs died at the Hazard hospital Saturday, where he was being treated for injuries he suffered when his car went over an embankment just below Vicco. Exposure to the cold weather also contributed to his death. Combs, 60, was the sixth child of a family of nine. After teaching in the Letcher County school system a number of years, he went to work as an insurance agent. He was buried at Isom.

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Stacy White, 43, died at the Fleming Hospital this week of injuries he suffered in a motor accident that occurred in the Hemphill Mine on January 5. A leader and booster of the UMWA, he was married to Mrs. Kate White. After a funeral at the Fleming Baptist Church, he was buried in the Thornton Cemetery.

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Day’s Grocery, located in the Lewis Building in Whitesburg and owned by Kearney Day, was badly damaged by fire early Monday. There was no insurance to cover the damage.

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The number of elderly people receiving monthly payments from Old Age and Survivors Insurance in Letcher County is 441, reports the Hazard office of the Social Security Board.

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U.S. Army Private First Class Raymond Hill, son of Reverend and Mrs. K.E. Hill of Whitesburg, has returned to Letcher County on furlough after being wounded in the Pacific Theater of Operations. Private Hill took part in five invasions, three of them major — Attu, Leyte, and Kwajalein. He will soon return to General Hospital in Texas for an operation for the injury he sustained in action on Leyte on October 24, 1944.

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Private Mack M. Bates is a patient in an Army hospital after being wounded somewhere near Germany. The parents of Private Bates, Mr. and Mrs. Enoch Bates, died several years ago. Bates, who entered the Army in November 1940, made his home with Mrs. Troy Taylor of Millstone after his parents’ deaths.

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Mr. and Mrs. Fred Frazier of Upper Cowan have heard from their son, Ray, for the first time in weeks. He said he is OK somewhere in France.

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Chester Hogg has purchased the Nola B. Combs Store located between Whitesburg and Marlowe.

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Slowed by a freight train stalled by mechanical trouble, the Southern Pacific Railway’s “Pacific Limited,” with 300 passengers aboard, was creeping through the Salt Lake Marshes, about 70 miles from Ogden, Utah in the early morning hours of December 31 when a 20-car mail and express train roaring behind crashed into its rear, throwing coaches along the 40-foot causeway like jumbled links in a chain. Late counts showed 48 persons killed and 81 injured, many of them service personnel headed back to duty after holiday furloughs.

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Mr. and Mrs. Harrison Profitt of Camp Branch received a telegram from the War Department on Saturday notifying them that their son, Private Dennis Profitt, has been wounded in Belgium.

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Mrs. Lizzie Pigman of Colson has been notified that her son, Sid Pigman, has been promoted to the rank of Second Lieutenant with the Seventh Army in France.

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With a report that a German sniper was lurking in the vicinity, Private First Class Clifton Shepard of Blackey and two fellow members of Company A, 10th Infantry, set out to capture him. In the search, one of the three was wounded, a second ran back for a medic, and PFC Shepard remained in pursuit of the enemy. When the second member of the trio returned with the medic, consternation was rife as Shepard was not to be found. Three days later, Shepard showed up unharmed. He had gone on to kill the sniper, but lost, linked himself with another outfit, and finally rejoined his original unit.

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Ray Back, son of Mr. and Mrs. John C. Back, has been promoted to Marine Sergeant. He is fighting somewhere in the Central Pacific. Vance Back, another son of the John Backs, is fighting somewhere in Southern France.

Thursday, January 21, 1965

First-grade enrollment is down 50 percent from 1951 in Letcher County schools because of outmigration. There were 1,187 first grade students in 1951. That number is down to 633 in 1964-65.

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A Mountain Eagle editorial asks, “Why do all the television and newspaper reporters from ‘outside’ come to eastern Kentucky when they’re looking for material on Appalachia? . . . Statistics bear out their choice . . . 57.3 percent of the families in the Appalachian region of eastern Kentucky have yearly incomes of less than$3,000 . . . The unemployment rate . . . is 8.8 percent, more than double the 1950 rate of 3.6 percent . . . In Letcher County, between 30 and 35 percent of those who start first grade do not complete high school . . . Why do they come here to look for poverty? Because this is where poverty is.”

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Two soldiers from Letcher County participated in the President Lyndon B. Johnson’s inaugural parade in Washington, D.C. Pfc. Thomas Ray Romine drove the car which carried Kentucky Gov. Edward T. Breathitt in the parade. Sgt. John L. Thomas marched in the parade representing the 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg, N.C.

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Work has begun on a 40-unit low-income public housing project in Whitesburg. Don Brown, executive director of the Whitesburg Municipal Housing Commission, said the final contract price was $477,125. The building is expected to be completed in a year.

Thursday, January 23, 1975

Four persons have been indicted by the Letcher County Grand Jury on charges connected with the burning of The Mountain Eagle’s offices in downtown Whitesburg on August 1, 1974. Former Whitesburg city policeman Johnny Dwight Caudill and Bradley Wayne Jones were indicted on a charge aiding, counseling or procuring the willful and malicious burning of a building other than a dwelling. Benny Ray Bentley and Roger Stewart were indicted on a charge of willfully and maliciously burning a building other than a dwelling.

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A Mountain Eagle editorial on the shortage of gasoline proposes that President Gerald Ford ration gasoline instead of “letting prices run wild . . . To price as essential beyond the reach of millions of Americans runs directly in the face of basic concepts of equal justice, equal treatment, for all citizens.”

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The Kentucky State Police raided the American Legion and seized beer and whiskey that had been held in “safekeeping” after it was seized in a raid on the Legion post three weeks earlier. This time the liquor was destroyed.

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First Security Bank reports $21,057,389.17 in assets.

Wednesday, January 30, 1985

Fundraising events and other activities are keeping some Jenkins students from getting the six hours of classroom time a day that state law requires, Supt. Alex Eversole told the Jenkins Board of Education. Eversole said classroom “interference” must be reduced in the Jenkins school system is to continue improving its academic standing.

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The Whitesburg City Council voted to assure all recently annexed households that they would receive water and sewer service as soon as possible. But the council cautioned that “we may not be able to do it tomorrow.” The city also proposed to extend its planning and zoning regulations to areas of east and west Whitesburg which recently were annexed.

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”There is no use to ask if everyone is happy, because I know you’re not, with all the problems left by the subzero temperatures we have had,” writes McRoberts correspondent Madelyn Barton. “There have been all kinds of water problems with pipes burst everywhere and furnaces out because of frozen oil tanks, also stalled cars and hazardous road conditions.”

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George Ann Brown was born at 5:40 p.m. New Year’s Day, making her the first baby born in Whitesburg in 1985.

Wednesday, January 25, 1995

The number one priority of the Kentucky Department of Education’s management team in the Letcher County schools will be instruction, Mike King, head of the team, said. He said the management team will help the school system develop ways to improve instruction in the school system.

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The Thomas School on Little Cowan Creek, which has been closed for more than 20 years, is being razed. The one-room school was opened in 1946 when Martha Jane Potter was superintendent of the Letcher County School System.

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First Security Bank reports $94,288,000 in assets.

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The Jenkins Cavaliers, the top team in district standings, defeated the Whitesburg Yellowjackets 66-65. The Lady ‘Jackets remain unbeaten. After defeating Knott County Central and Powell County, the Lady ‘Jackets’ record in 19-0.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Daniel K. Mullins, 58, of Jenkins, and Hazel Brumfield, 65, of Avon Lake, Ohio, were killed near the Letcher-Pike County line when the pickup truck in which they were riding was hit by a loaded tractor-trailer. Kentucky State Police say the pickup being driven by Mullins pulled into the path of a Freightliner truck that was pulling a loaded trailer.

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Preliminary hearings are scheduled this week in Letcher County District Court for six Letcher County men accused of selling OxyContin. Letcher County Sheriff Danny Webb said Larry Slone of Neon, was the leader of an organized ring of pull pushers selling the powerful and highly-addictive pain-reliever OxyContin, much of which was being brought into Letcher County from out of state.

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The Letcher County Board of Education voted 4-1 to establish the position of director of school and community health and fitness.

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The Whitesburg Lady ‘Jackets are the All ‘A’ 14th Region champions. In the tournament, the Lady ‘Jackets defeated Lee County, Jenkins and Owsley County to take the crown.


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