Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1908


 

 

Thursday, February 15, 1945

The American Legion of Whitesburg, Douglas Day Post No. 152, is erecting an honor roll at Whitesburg, acknowledging all the men and women in service from Letcher County. The work is continuing in a vacant lot near the L&N Railroad depot.

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Corporal Johnny Tackett and Private First Class Louis Tackett Jr. met in Belgium recently, the first time the brothers had seen each other in more than a year. Both young Letcher County natives volunteered for service and are serving in tank divisions. They are the sons of Mrs. Louis Tackett of Whitesburg.

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Master Sergeant Steve Whitaker, son of James J. Whitaker of Roxana, played an important part in maintaining a steady flow of supplies from ship to shore during the vital stages of the Normandy invasion, the Army says. Landing in France on D-Day, Sergeant Whitaker and a select crew of maintenance men from the 191st Ordnance Battalion immediately undertook the task of restoring to running condition amphibious trucks that broke down. The work was carried out despite intense enemy artillery and small arms fire and strafing from the air by enemy planes. Before entering the service, Whitaker was a teacher at the settlement school at Linefork.

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Private Arius Holbrook is somewhere in Belgium and getting along fine. Holbrook has been overseas for 21 months and says he misses the United States and all his friends at home in Kentucky. Holbrook’s wife, Blanche, and their son, Jr., are living at Mayking.

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Staff Sergeant William N. Cornett, 22, of Whitesburg, a B-17 Flying Fortress gunner with the 15th AAF, is back in the United States after his 50th mission in the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations. Sergeant Cornett is now married to the former Miss Mable Pigman. The couple are now honeymooning in Miami, Florida.

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Basil Hall is said to be doing nicely with his new store at Kona.

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Mr. and Mrs. James Reynolds announce the birth of a son, Peyton Foster, on February 2.

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Private William D. Moore, husband of Mrs. Nannie Moore, has sent the Purple Heart he received for combat in Germany to his wife.

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The community of Sackett reports roads in very poor condition, so much so that J.R. Maggard had to use an old-fashioned horse and wagon to get out when his truck couldn’t navigate the rutted road.

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Sergeant Ira Calihan of Roxana has been wounded and his mother has received his Purple Heart. Last reports have Calihan back fighting somewhere in Belgium.

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Private First Class Colman Day has been discharged from the Army after being wounded.

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Private Cecil Hall of Linefork has received the Purple Heart for wounds he received in France. He sent the medal home to his mother, Mrs. Sarah E. Hall.

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No one has heard from Private First Class Boyd Boggs of Linefork in about 14 weeks.

Thursday, February 17, 1955

Former Fleming High School football star Clayton “Stud” Stapleton is the new backfield coach at Oregon State University. Before going to Oregon, Stapleton, who is married to the former Edith Tucker, was head line coach at the University of Wyoming. He also played basketball at Fleming, where he was a regular for five years.

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Kerney Day, who has been in the grocery business in the Lewis building in Whitesburg for several years, has sold his store to Ray Pigman and Bill Collins, both school teachers in the Letcher County system. Day said he decided to sell the store to concentrate on the coal business. He said Main Street is fortunate to get two outstanding young men in Pigman and Collins.

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Triplets — two girls and a boy — were born February 12 at Fleming Hospital to Mrs. Anna Lee Harristone, 40, of McRoberts. The girls have been named Cora Lee and Nora Lee. The boy is Allen Lee. Each girl weighed four pounds at birth while the boy weighed five and onefourth pounds.

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Harry M. Caudill has announced his candidacy for reelection to the Kentucky House of Representatives. Caudill said that if he were reelected he would work to fully finance the Kentucky Minimum Foundation Program, which he co-sponsored in 1954. Caudill said that if fully funded the Foundation Program would give school children in Letcher County and elsewhere in eastern Kentucky “the fine school opportunities” found in some Bluegrass counties and in parts of Louisville. “Our schools are going to pieces for lack of money,” he said. “Teachers are leaving the profession by the thousands. Library and laboratory facilities are primitive and in many places non-existent. Sanitary facilities are deplorable. Yet in some areas of the state excellent schools are maintained.”

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Pansy L. Day, Whitesburg, and Anna S. Reed, Crown, both aged 19, have completed basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.

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A&P Food Stores, the nation’s largest coffee distributor, has cut coffee prices up to 12 cents a pound on all four of its own brands. A&P’s popular Eight O’Clock Coffee is now priced at 79 cents a pound. Red Circle is 89 cents a pound, while Bokar is 85 cents a pound. A&P’s Vacuum Pack Coffee was reduced to an all-time low of 89 cents a pound.

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The Millstone Homemakers held their February meeting at the home of Maggie Richardson; the Neon Homemakers met for February at the home of Juanita Bentley; the Whitesburg Homemakers held their monthly meeting at the home of Mrs. French Hawk; Martha Lou Finch hosted the Seco Homemakers; the Fleming Homemakers met at the new home of Lucille Gish at Haymond, and the East Whitesburg Homemakers held their February gathering at the home of Mrs. John Jenkins.

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Local businesses are congratulating Archie and Virginia Craft on the reopening of their newly remodeled funeral home in downtown Whitesburg. “This lovely funeral home is second to none in the state, and Letcher County is fortunate to have such progressive-minded people,” said Dawahare’s Inc. of Neon and Whitesburg. Craft Funeral Home was established in Whitesburg in 1935 in the former Felix Fields home behind the Whitesburg Post Office. The Crafts later purchased the old Presbyterian Church, in which they operated the funeral home until 1943, when they purchased the current Whitesburg and Neon funeral homes. Associated with the Craft Funeral Home in Whitesburg are funeral director and embalmer Ferdinand Moore, Albert Routley and Glenn Polly. Assistants in Neon are funeral director and embalmer Durward Banks, assisted by Bee Day Jr.

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U.S. Army Captain Elbert Taylor of Fleming, son of Mr. and Mrs. W.E. Taylor of Cromona, has been named recruiting officer for the substations of Maryland. Taylor has 13 years of service in the military. After serving in North Africa and Northern Italy during World War II, he was discharged in 1945, but returned to service in 1949, later serving in Okinawa and Korea. He holds the Bronze Star, Combat Infantry Badge, and campaign stars for combat in Italy and combat in Korea.

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John Swisher celebrated his sixth birthday last Thursday afternoon in the Fellowship Hall at Graham Memorial Presbyterian Church in Whitesburg. A number of his kindergarten classmates and friends joined him for an hour of games and fun under the direction of the kindergarten instructor, Mrs. Kermit Boatright, after which John’s mother, Yarlette, served delicious cupcakes, ice cream and punch to the children attending.

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On Friday, February 11, Owen Wayne Wright celebrated his 12th birthday with a party at the home of his parents. Games were enjoyed by those present, after which Mrs. Myrtle Wright served delicious refreshments carrying out the Valentine’s motif.

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Layman Dell and Davis Adams, the sons of Mr. and Mrs. Gehiza Adams who ran their arms through a washing machine wringer on January 20, are improving very slowly.

Thursday, February 18, 1965

Mines of two Letcher County coal companies were picketed by large groups of men and women in an apparent renewal of the “roving picket” move of two years before. The pickets targeted the Elkhorn-Jellico Coal Co. of Marlowe, and the Polly Mine of South East Coal Co.

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Sp/4 Edward Raleigh of Eolia is being treated at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C., for wounds he received in the intensified fighting in Vietnam earlier this month.

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Construction of new telephone facilities for the Carcassonne area has been completed and installation of telephones will begin within weeks.

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Fire of unexplained origin destroyed a 10,000-layer poultry house at the home of Columbus Sexton at Colson. Sexton was a pioneer in the emphasis on egg production in Letcher County, and his poultry house was the first of several built in the county. All 10,000 hens were lost along with equipment and a barn that stood nearby.

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Mrs. Nathan Baker received a certificate of appreciation this week from the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce at a luncheon in Louisville honoring the 85 manufacturing firms that announced new industrial plants in Kentucky during 1964. Mrs. Baker represented Fire-Glow Cannel Corporation of Isom, which packages cannel coal for home fireplace use, and Boone Boy Industries Inc. at Letcher, which manufactures upholstered furniture. Governor Edward T. Breathitt presented the certificate.

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The Chesapeake and Ohio Railway Company is seeking the Interstate Commerce Commission’s permission to abandon its Meade Fork Subdivision, Ashland-Russell Division, extending from Jenkins (Meade Fork Junction) to the end of the line near Meade in Wise County, Virginia., a distance of approximately 14.51 miles.

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Columnist Larry Caudill of Blackey writes about a conversation he had at the Whitesburg hospital with Blanche McSwain of Jenkins, who taught the Negro school at Carbon Glow in 1932 and again in 1943. “There was a house full of students that first term,” she told Caudill “There were so many nice people.” It was quite different the second time, in 1943. “So many of the folks had gone. There were only seven children in the school,” Ms. McSwain remembered. “But we put on a Christmas entertainment. The play needed eight characters. We had only seven. So we made a dummy. When he had a line, somebody else spoke it. It was loads of fun.”

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A meeting was held at Cody in Knott County this week to discuss further plans for the proposed Carr Fork Dam, reports columnist Mabel Kiser. The Corps of Engineers plans to start construction work early this summer and to have all the land that the lake will cover purchased by 1967.

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Two films starring Pat Boone are at the Alene Theater in Whitesburg. The films are “Journey to the Center of the Earth” and “Never Put It in Writing”.

Thursday, February 20, 1975

Some 4,000 barbiturate tablets, valued at $3,000, were stolen from the office of Dr. R.J. Acker at Fleming. The thieves “took all they could carry,” according to Kentucky State Police Detective Dean Stansberry.

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Letcher County is in danger of losing its ambulance service unless by March 1975 a proposal for federal and state funding for an eight-county ambulance service is approved. The county, which has operated its own sporadic service, originally appropriated $20,000 of revenue sharing funds when the Appalachian Regional Hospitals discontinued the service because of operating deficits. County Judge Estill Blair said the county has already spent $16,000 of the $20,000. He estimates fund will be depleted by the end of the month.

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”Mrs. Ralph King of McRoberts is a worker and an early riser when it comes to gardening,” writes Millstone correspondent Mabel Kiser. “This year she planted her peas and onions on Feb. 13. That beat Sherd Martin and Earnest Reynolds, and when you get earlier than them you have to be up before daylight.”

Wednesday, February 27, 1985

Mud and debris began sliding from a two-acre mine operated by Watt-Stone Energy Corp. and blocked Solomon Road in Whitesburg. The company was cited for violating state reclamation laws and ordered to clean up the mudslide.

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Bad weather forced the Letcher County schools to close 24 days, moving the closing day back to June 19. School officials are hoping the state Board of Education will grant five to 15 “calamity days” to compensate for time missed.

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The Lady Cavaliers defeated Letcher in the opening round of the girls’ 53rd District basketball tournament. The Lady ‘Jackets, tied with Laurel County for the No. 2 ranking in the state, finished the regular season with three wins to raise their record to 23-2.

Wednesday, February 22, 1995

James C. “Jimmy” Duncan of Whitesburg, was awarded a Purple Heart for being wounded in action in the Korean War in November 1950. After he was wounded, Duncan was captured and was held prisoner in North Korea for 33 months.

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The Pine Mountain Letcher County Crafts Co-op is scheduled to be on the QVC television station selling wall hangings and racks. The co-op made 250 wall hangings for the special craft feature.

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The Letcher County Board of Education voted to conduct a national search for a new superintendent.

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”It was a wonderful sight to be able to see the ground once more,” writes Ice correspondent Sara C. Ison. “It had been covered so long with ice and snow, but then it changed to rain and the rough stuff has left us. It is hard to be cooped up in the house, but as the saying goes, ‘This, too, shall pass.’”

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

A bill that would allow heavy trucks hauling natural resources such as sand and gravel to carry as much weight as coal trucks appeared closer to becoming law this week, said Letcher County Magistrate Wayne Fleming, who has been fighting the measure since it was introduced last year.

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The Letcher County Grand Jury indicted Kyla Bellis on charges of complicity to attempted murder, complicity to first-degree robbery and complicity to first-degree burglary. She is accused of helping her late boyfriend, Simon Christopher Haynes, carry out a plan to murder his grandmother, Virginia Geraldine “Gerri” Haynes. Mrs. Haynes was hit in the head two times with a claw hammer before she was able to retrieve a handgun and shoot her grandson to death.

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Hassie Breeding Helton, 89, died February 16 at her Jeremiah home. Mrs. Helton was a retired state employee and a past board member of Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation. As a correspondent for The Mountain Eagle, she proved news of residents in the Jeremiah area for more than 25 years.

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Emotions are riding high as Whitesburg, Fleming-Neon and Letcher high schools prepare to play in their last 53rd District tournament before the schools are consolidated into Letcher County Central High School.


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