Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1908


 

 

Thursday, February 15, 1925

In its report to Letcher Circuit Judge J.E. Childers, the Letcher County Grand Jury says it has found evidence of “considerable grafting by some of the officials of Letcher County, and that the county’s finances and records have been handled in a reckless and careless manner.” The grand jury recommended that the next grand jury continue the investigation “and lodge indictments against some of the parties we believe to be responsible for these acts.”

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Actress Margery Wilson was the guest of honor at the Jenkins Kiwanis Club’s regular Saturday night luncheon. The actress, a native of Gracey, Kentucky, also spoke to a crowded house at the Jenkins Theatre after the Kiwanis meeting.

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A large crowd in Jenkins gathered Saturday night to witness the burning of 20 gallons of moonshine confiscated by officers. The moonshine was poured out on the concrete walks and set on fire.

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Work on the Pound Gap Road near Jenkins is progressing nicely, as the steam shovel can be heard from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. daily.

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Consolidation Coal Company at Jenkins is bringing in new miners daily, as the company is hiring all who will come to Letcher County. More coal is being mined and shipped from Consolidation mines at present than ever before in the company’s history.

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Business leaders at Poor Fork [now Cumberland] have organized a Chamber of Commerce in hopes of securing funds to help finish the Whitesburg to Poor Fork road.

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Claud E. Howard, who established the Chero-Cola Bottling Works at Blackey, died yesterday in Cincinnati, where he had been rushed for treatment of acute indigestion. A native of Sullivan County, Tennessee, he was 53 years old and also had business connections in Neon, where his son, Charlie Howard, is also a prominent businessman.

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Earl McCloud, expert mechanic at Short Motor Company, died in Neon Tuesday from the effects of typhoid. McCloud came to Letcher County many months ago from LaFollette, Tennessee.

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Several cases of smallpox have been reported at Blackey.

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Contractors are blasting away on the highway leading from Caudill to below the mouth of Big Cowan. The new bridge across the river at Sandlick is completed and will be ready for use as soon as the new highway is ready.

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Mr. Groundhog failed to see his shadow Tuesday and scampered back into his hole for another six weeks.

Thursday, February 1, 1945

Two young sons of Mr. and Mrs. Harrison Sayler of Whitaker have paid the supreme price so that their country might be free. Private Braton Sayler and Private Buford Sayler were both killed in the European theatre of war. Braton was wounded in Normandy during the D-Day invasion and died of his injuries at a hospital in England in June. Buford was listed as missing in action somewhere in Germany before his death was confirmed by the War Department on November 29. The young brothers volunteered in Norton, Virginia in 1940 when Braton was 16 and Buford was 14. Both lived in Letcher County all of their lives, and both graduated from the Seco graded school just before entering service.

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Private First Class Bert C. Banks was slightly wounded in Germany on December 14. He has been moved to a hospital in England.

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Fayette Shepherd, about 45 years old, was killed in the mines at Carbon Glow a few days ago. A son serving overseas and two daughters who attend Stuart Robinson School survive him.

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Corporal William C. Pennington has been honored with the Bronze Star for his heroic achievement in connection with military operations against the enemy from August 23 to September 18, 1944 in France. A few hours after Battery B moved into position for its initial combat mission, Corporal Pennington began operating an outpost still under counter attack. Despite the fact that nearby artillery observers abandoned their posts because of intense enemy shelling, Corporal Pennington remained at his position and continued sound ranging on enemy installations. On one occasion, heavy enemy artillery fire was concentrated on his position. The intense barrage cut several communications lines, but wires were hastily repaired under fire. Four hours later, Corporal Pennington moved his outpost a half-mile ahead and occupied a position in the infantry’s front lines. By keeping his post in operation, numerous enemy installations were located and neutralized. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. H.C. Pennington, who operate Sandlick Coal Company. He has a brother, Joseph Murphy Pennington, serving with the U.S. Navy in the Pacific theatre. William was employed at the Marlowe Store before entering the service.

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Seaman Second Class Roy Lu Burgess, 23, of Neon is a survivor of the sinking of the USS WARD by enemy action off Ormoc in the Leyte, Philippines campaign. Burgess was among a group of survivors brought in recently to the Receiving Barracks at the Naval Training and Distribution Center at Treasure Island, San Francisco, California. Burgess has seen plenty of action during his eight-month career in the Navy. He is a veteran of the invasion of Morotai, took part in the naval engagements off Halmahera Island, and participated in the Philippine engagements.

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Because of the shortage of coal, the federal government has issued an order effective February 1, 1945, which prohibits the use of electricity for any of the following items: Outdoor advertising, display lighting, or outdoor decorative lighting; show window lighting; marquee lighting in excess of 60 watts for each marquee, and white way street lighting in excess of the amount determined necessary for public safety. Violators will be subjected to severe penalties ranging from discontinuation of services to imprisonment, warns Kentucky and West Virginia Power Company.

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With more coal needed to manufacture planes, tanks, guns and thousands of other items needed for war, the United Mine Workers of America is arranging for voluntary work in the coal mines on the next two Sundays. Governor Simeon Willis has issued a statement asking “every patriotic citizen to encourage this endeavor.”

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With the pool of 18- to 25-year-olds dwindling, War Mobilization Director James F. Byrnes traced out the course to be followed in the induction of industrial workers in the 26 to 29 class without impairing the production effort. Under Byrnes’s formula, 26- to 29-year-olds not in essential activities would be the first to go in service. Meanwhile, some 365,000 deferred farm workers between 18 and 25 years of age began receiving their preinduction physicals, preparatory to local boards’ review of the cases of those found fit for service.

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Sergeant Chester A. Boggs, son of John Boggs of Partridge, has been cited by the 6th Armored Infantry Battalion of the First Armored Division and awarded the Infantryman Badge for actual participation in combat against the enemy with Lieutenant General Mark W. Clark’s Fifth Army in Italy. Standards for the badge are high. The decoration is awarded to the infantry soldier who has proved his fighting ability in combat. The handsome badge consists of a silver rifle set against a background of infantry blue, enclosed in a silver wreath.

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Private First Class Delbert L. Lantz of Thornton was recently awarded the Bronze Star for heroic achievement in action on September 1, 1944.

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Master Sergeant Robert Blair of Letcher will soon return to the United States for a 21-day furlough after serving with a Troop Carrier Unit with the Fifth Air Force. Blair has more than 6-1/2 years in the Army, with more than 21 months of that time with the same unit. His duties in the Southwest Pacific theatre have been those of flight chief, which entails the responsibility for maintenance of five of the C-47 transports. In addition to those duties, he has flown, as aerial engineer, over the jungles of New Guinea and nearby islands for more than 600 hours, with more than 210 of those hours classified as combat. He is the recipient of the Air Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the Good Conduct Medal, American Defense Ribbon, and the Southwest Pacific Theatre Ribbon with one Bronze Star for the New Guinea campaign.

Thursday, February 3, 1955

Clyde J. Potter, 29, son of Sherman and Ida Reynolds Potter of Jackhorn, died January 25 of injuries suffered in a car wreck near Wellston, Ohio. Potter, who died six hours after the wreck, had been employed as a farmer and truck driver in Ohio for the past 18 months. He leaves behind his wife and two small daughters. Funeral services were held January 28 in Jackhorn.

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Announcement is being made of the opening of the Arthur H. Johnson Funeral Home in Whitesburg, located in the former M.D. Lewis home on Main Street, across from the Johnson Hotel. The large brick home, long a showplace of Whitesburg, has been remodeled to meet the needs of a modern funeral home. A large brick garage has been built on the rear of the property. Arthur Johnson is well known to the people of Letcher County, having built Whitesburg’s first funeral home in 1934, built a funeral home in Neon in 1938, and operated both places until the latter part of 1943. Johnson also owns and operates funeral homes in Hazard and in Lynch. He now makes his home in Lynch, where his wife is superintendent of the Lynch Independent Schools.

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Mr. and Mrs. Archie Craft of Craft Funeral Homes announced this week that the remodeling program of their funeral home in Whitesburg is going according to schedule, with formal plans for reopening expected soon.

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A contract is being let for construction of the Ulvah- Linefork Road beginning near the mouth of Turkey Creek and extending to near the mouth of Big Branch, a distance of about four miles.

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Marie Franklin is the new owner of the Owl Café located at Thornton on U.S. Highway 119.

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Whitesburg attorney Harry M. Caudill has announced that he will seek re-election to the office of state representative.

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Harlan Circuit Judge Astor J. Hogg has been appointed Judge of the Court of Appeals from the Seventh Appellate District. Acting Governor Emerson “Doc” Beauchamp made the appointment of Hogg, who succeeds Judge Bert T. Combs of Prestonsburg, who has resigned to run for governor against former Governor A.B. “Happy” Chandler. A native of Roxana in Letcher County and graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Law, Judge Hogg is a former Whitesburg mayor and Letcher County Attorney. He was appointed Harlan Circuit Judge in 1951 to succeed the late James S. Forester.

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Dr. E.G. Skaggs of Fleming and Letcher County Judge James M. Caudill were commissioned Kentucky Colonels by acting Governor Emerson “Doc” Beauchamp.

Thursday, February 4, 1965

The procedure for grocer-participation in the new food stamp program in Letcher County is to be explained at two meetings at the courthouse. The new program is replacing the commodity distribution program, which has been in place 10 years.

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The first of several changes in the nine-county project for previously unemployed fathers has gone into effect. Officials say there will be a much stronger emphasis on increasing the job potential of the fathers through education and vocational training plus work experience.

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”Millstoners are thawing out from one of the lowest temperatures of the winter,” writes Millstone correspondent Mabel Kiser. “Schools are closed and as many as can are sitting inside by the fire.”

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The brand-new Ford Mustang is being offered by Harlow Motor Company at a price of $2,385.

Thursday, February 6, 1975

More than 50 teachers crowded into the courthouse to request that the Letcher County Fiscal Court place a severance tax on minerals mined in the county and that 50 percent of the revenue be used for education. The teachers also made the request the previous October. The fiscal court took no action on the proposal.

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The Special Subcommittee on Highway Safety Problems will meet in Whitesburg and an editorial in The Mountain Eagle urges county residents to appear before the panel and speak of the dangers of driving in the mountains. Among the roadways the editorial names as dangerous are the intersection of new 119 and old 119 at Pine Mountain Junction, the exit from Graveyard Hollow onto Kentucky 15, the entrance to Whitesburg Hospital, and Kentucky 15 Breathitt County when coal trucks are operating.

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Four Alice Lloyd College students from Letcher County are touring Florida, Georgia and Tennessee with the Voices of Appalachia, the ALC choir. The students are Veechel White of Democrat, Cathy Collins of Mayking, Johnny Williams of Jenkins, and Gano Caudill of Jeremiah. The 28-member choir is scheduled to give 13 concerts during the one-week tour.

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”The groundhog did not see his shadow in Letcher County,” writes Jeremiah correspondent Hassie Breeding. “If the old saying is true, aren’t we supposed to have a milder, earlier spring? We will at least be hopeful he was right this time.”

Wednesday, February 13, 1985

The Letcher County Fiscal Court has agreed to pay the University of Kentucky $22,000 before July 1, 1985 to keep the extension office open. UK officials had told the court the service would be closed if the county didn’t pay a $55,000 debt it owed the university for the county’s share of operating the service.

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Complications involving drainage are delaying reconstruction of the portion of US 119 from Cumberland to the Letcher-Harlan county line. State highway officials say federal road construction authorities told them to redesign “substantially” the section near Cumberland in order not to disturb existing streams.

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Letcher County posted a 27.2 percent unemployment rate for December 1984, the third highest in the state.

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A rash of shoplifting in Letcher County has resulted in the arrests of five juveniles and three adults. The arrests came as a result of separate incidents at the A&P Food Store and Maloney’s Discount Store in Whitesburg, and the Maloney’s store in Neon. A father of one of the juveniles was also charged with complicity in shoplifting.

Wednesday, February 8, 1995

State assessment tests of schools show Whitesburg and Fleming-Neon High Schools “in decline,” while Jenkins is “successful year 2” and Letcher is “improving.” The designations indicate the schools’ standing in the annual assessment tests given to students in the fourth, eighth and 12th grades in all Kentucky schools. Students at Whitesburg High School scored 10th lowest among high schools in the state on the 1993-94 assessments. Students at Fleming-Neon High School scored higher than in 1993, but were declared “in decline” because their test scores in 1994 were so low they brought the combined result of 1993 and 1994 below the baseline the school set for itself in 1991-92.

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The Letcher County Board of Education voted to hire Dr. L. Kendrick Scott as a consultant to assist the board in recruiting a new school superintendent. The school board is seeking a successor to Larry Ison, who retired in December 1994 after about six months in office. Mike King is serving as interim superintendent as well as head of the management team representing state Education Commissioner Thomas Boysen and the Kentucky Department of Education.

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The Lady ‘Jackets, the state’s topranked girls’ team, ran their record to 21-0 with a 76-63 victory over Fleming-Neon. The Jenkins Cavaliers edged Elkhorn City 78-77 in overtime to raise their record to 15-5. The Cavs were 9-1 for the month of January.

Wednesday, February 9, 2005

Suggestions are being taken to determine what should be done with trophies, school pictures and other memorabilia from Fleming-Neon, Letcher and Whitesburg

High Schools after the opening of Letcher County Central High School.

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Hibbert Lee Caudill, 44, of Bull Creek, was killed when he lost control of the allterrain vehicle he was operating.

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Residents were evacuated from four homes in the Gilley community early Tuesday morning as a precaution against flooding by water escaping from an abandoned underground coal mine. Water began rushing down Koyle Branch of Linefork Creek on Monday night, apparently after an “earthen seal” faltered in an underground mine formerly operated by Coastal Coal Co. No one was injured by the escaping water.

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Felicia Boggs, an eighth grade student at Arlie Boggs Elementary School, is the winner of the 2005 Letcher County Spelling Bee.


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