Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1908


 

 

Thursday, February 25, 1915

J.P. Haney and E.P. Blair are the new owners of The Mountain Eagle, which was founded August 28, 1907 by Nehemiah M. Webb. “We expect to be first for the right, second for our friends, and third, against nobody, but pitted against the wrong and the evil from any and all sources whatsoever,” Haney and Blair say in a message to Eagle readers. The paper, they add, is “for the mountains always, for how could the mountains ever be wrong?”

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Fess Whitaker is a Republican candidate for the office of Letcher Circuit Court Clerk. “Left an orphan when a little boy and with scanty chances to accomplish anything, I have tusseled along and have not been a great failure,” Whitaker says in an advertisement announcing his candidacy. G. Bennett Adams announced that he is also seeking the Republican nomination for circuit court clerk. Adams in now in Louisville attending law school.

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A new “fire-damp” indicator recently demonstrated in London, England will give increased protection to workers in coalmines.

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Letcher County Court Judge H.T. Day has ordered that overseers of public roads in Letcher County be paid $5 each for their extra work in “the prosecution of men who refuse and fail to work after being duly warned for six years as prescribed by law. It is up to the overseer to see that those who have not worked have been prosecuted.” Road work is required of all “able-bodied male citizens over 18 years and under 50 years of age, except ministers of the gospel and men living in incorporated towns and cities.” Overseers “are required to get permission from the Magistrate in their voting precinct before they are allowed to employ teams to do extra work on any road. $3.25 is the top price per day for man, who must work six days of eight hours each as prescribed by law, or $2.50 per day for mule or horse teams. The Magistrate is to say how many days are required with teams.”

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The Evelyn and the Carib, cotton-carrying ships from the United States bound for Bremen, sank February 20 and February 22 after hitting German submarine mines planted in the North Sea off the coast of Germany. A German scout boat saved the captain and 28-man crew of the Evelyn, which was sailing from New York City. A German patrol boat also saved all but three crewmen of the Carib, which was sailing from Charleston, S.C. President Wilson called the sinking of the ships tragic accidents resulting from ship pilots not following the safe courses that were laid out for them.

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According to news from Sergent, the Louisville and Eastern Railroad “pay train” made its regular monthly round dispensing much of the “badly needed to its employees hereabouts.”

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The Consolidation Coal Company, which has been operating during the winter under greatly reduced workforce, is reported to have received big orders to keep its mines in the Big Sandy territory busy for several months. Consolidation Coal is the largest in the eastern Kentucky coalfields. The closing down of many of its workings at McRoberts and Jenkins has caused a considerable depression in that section.

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Mattie Adams, operator for the Whitesburg Telephone Company, is back on duty again after an illness.

Thursday, February 26, 1925

During a meeting of the Whitesburg Businessmen’s Club held at Letcher State Bank Friday night, a resolution was passed calling on law enforcement to take action required of them by law to address the problem of “at least one dozen boys ranging in age from seven to 15 years, who habitually loiter upon our public streets and in and around public buildings and places of business.” The boys are not being made to attend school, as is required by state law, the businessmen say. “We heartily condemn this laxity in enforcement,” the resolution says, adding that without a proper education the boys will become “ignorant criminals, or at best mere howers of wood and drawers of water.” The group also asks that the Whitesburg Town Council pass a curfew making it unlawful for boys 15 and under to be out at night.

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January sales of Ford cars and trucks in the United States totaled 103,022. In addition, 4,156 Ford tractors and 395 Lincoln cars were sold.

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Reverend Enlow, new pastor of the First Baptist Church in Whitesburg, has arrived and will fill his pulpit on Sunday.

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Jasper Cornett is resigning as postmaster at Linefork after 19 years on the job. He said he hopes that whoever succeeds him has an easier time than he has had, having written thousands of letters for the public without charge.

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Sheriff John D.W. Collins headed a raid into the head of the Cumberland River section of Letcher County last week. He and deputies Oscar Marcum and Henry Brown made up a posse that destroyed 10 moonshine stills and liquor. The loss to the operators of the stills is estimated to be $7,234. Just a few days before the officers went on the raid they poured out four gallons of moonshine on the streets of Whitesburg.

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The proposed construction of an L&N Railroad branch line up Linefork to a connection at Chad, or Poor Fork, would cover a distance of a little more than 20 miles, bringing two great and distinct sections of the state together, says Mountain Eagle editor and publisher Nehemiah Webb. “The section opened up would be one of the greatest timber areas in all the mountains, to say nothing of some excellent coals. The Kingscreek route is several miles the shorter way to the Black Mountain Division of the L&N, but it would not cover such an area of timber and coal.” The survey of the proposed line will be completed in a few days.

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The 1925 Studebaker Standard Six Sedan is on sale at Miners Motor Company in Whitesburg for $1,545.

Thursday, February 22, 1945

Governor Simeon Willis denied clemency this week to Tommy Nelson, 35, who murdered Frelin Estep in Letcher County in 1943, and set Nelson’s execution date for Friday, March 16. Nelson, a stove repairman from Logan, West Virginia, killed Estep in a quarrel after they and others had been drinking in a roadhouse. Nelson claimed someone stole his whiskey and that he fired his gun when Estep threatened him with a rifle. The Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction and the U.S. Supreme Court refused to intervene. Governor Willis said he had considered the record carefully and saw reason to intervene. Nelson is to die in the electric chair at Eddyville before sunrise on the date set in this week’s orders.

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Marine Staff Sergeant James Majority, son of Mrs. Ollie Majority of Whitesburg, was presented the Purple Heart Medal from his commanding officer for wounds received as a result of enemy action during the Guam campaign last July. Majority, a veteran of 23 months of fighting in the Pacific, also took part in the Bougainville campaign.

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Corporal James M. Combs of Crown has been rescued from a Japanese prison camp, the War Department said February 18.

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Sergeant Eugene Vermillion, 19, of Whitesburg, was awarded the Air Medal for meritorious achievement while participating in sustained bomber combat operations over Continental Europe. A nose gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress, Sergeant Vermillion is taking part in the bombing attacks against targets in Germany. A graduate of Whitesburg High School, he is a son of William L. Vermillion.

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The Kentucky Court of Appeals this week validated Perry County’s local option election of last May 1, in which the county voted dry. Wets had argued the election was illegally called.

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Neon businessmen are “getting the jump” on post-war plans and will establish a new building for a laundry that will be owned and operated by J.M. Sims of the American Dry Cleaning Company.

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Sergeant Woodrow W. Fultz of Thornton has returned from fighting overseas and will be treated for wounds he received in France at the Army’s Borden General Hospital in Chickasha, Oklahoma.

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Private Clifford Shepherd of Blackey has been seriously wounded in Germany. Another Blackey soldier, Private Ralph Brasher, is missing somewhere in Germany.

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Private Clyde Fouts of Skyline has been seriously wounded somewhere in Belgium.

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Ralph Thompson of Seco is only 16 years old, but is already home on leave from the Navy.

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Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall star in “To Have And Have Not,” showing Sunday and Monday at the Kentucky Theatre in Whitesburg.

Thursday, February 24, 1955

Approximately 900 guests joined Mr. and Mrs. Archie Craft for the reopening of their newly remodeled Craft Funeral Home in Whitesburg on Saturday.

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Last week, The Mountain Eagle erroneously stated that Bill Collins had purchased Day’s Grocery, along with Ray Pigman. Elmer Collins and Ray Pigman bought the store.

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Despite continued recession in the coal industry, upon which the area’s economy is based, banks in Letcher and 15 other eastern Kentucky counties showed a marked improvement in assets during 1954. A consolidated statement of 28 banks in these counties reveal an increase of $7,627,838.74 in assets in 1954 over 1953, when total assets were $131,834,227.18.

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A.C. Brown of Whitesburg says he is closing The Brown Lumber Company, including his mill, trucks and horses, because of his poor health.

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Lee Campbell, who was killed instantly by a car on a highway in Indianapolis, Indiana, was brought home to Letcher County for funeral and burial at Orchard Branch near Blackey.

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The Jenkins Board of Education is discussing the possibility of leasing the Jenkins Field House as soon as it has been converted into a modern gymnasium. The Jenkins Kiwanis Club is converting the Field House into a gym that will include space for dressing rooms, offices, washrooms and hopefully a youth center. The playing floor will be above what is now the basement or first floor.

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Dr. Dow Collins of the Letcher County Health Department was in the Jenkins School District this week giving typhoid and smallpox immunizations.

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The widening use of conveyor belts in coal movement is demonstrated at the Narragansett, Rhode Island electric utility plant where coal moves to the crushing station from the docks at a rate of 1,000 tons an hour, or 615 feet a minute.

Thursday, February 25, 1965

South-East Coal Co. has filed suit against the men and women who were involved in picketing activities at the Polly Mine near Colson. Letcher Circuit Judge J.L. Hays issued a restraining order prohibiting picketing at the mine. The company said in the suit that none of its employees were involved in the picketing.

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Hoover Dawahare is conducting a one-man campaign to get letters written to Gov. Edward Breathitt and University of Kentucky officials in support of locating a UK community college in Letcher County.

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Blackey citizens are starting a new folk craft program designed to produce salable items from native materials. The program will be in addition to the Hound Dog Hookers rug-making enterprise already in operation in Blackey.

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The Whitesburg Municipal Housing Commission is to begin registration from persons interested in living in the city’s new low-income housing project under construction.

Thursday, February 27, 1975

Letcher Fiscal Court voted a 10-cents-a-ton franchise on all coal shipped in the county. Collections will begin April 1, 1975. With an estimated 7.5 million tons of coal mined annually in Letcher County, the amount revenue would be approximately $750,000. The revenue will go to the county’s general fund.

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A legal notice contains a map showing the proposed highway corridor of the Pine Mountain Crossing of U.S. 119 from Partridge to Ermine. The notice, published by the Kentucky Department of Transportation Bureau of Highways, says the project will begin approximately 1.5 miles east of the Harlan-Letcher county line and extend northeast to the junction of the proposed Whitesburg Bypass, a distance of 13.720 miles.

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Three people were arrested in Whitesburg on charges of stealing three parking meters from a city parking area adjacent to the railroad tracks behind Hoover’s Carpetland. Police also reported the arrest of five juveniles who were nabbed outside Gibson’s Department Store with merchandise they had stolen from the store. According to police, the boys entered the store wearing long coats to conceal various tools, drills, pocketknives and other items.

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Kingdom Come Elementary School has been “invaded” and “taken over” by a loose-knit gang of local youths, according to parents, PTA officers and at least one teacher. Two Letcher County youths were arrested on charges stemming from an incident at the school when two 18- or 19-year-old youths reportedly entered a classroom when the teacher was absent, “roughed up” one fifth-grade boy and held the knife to the stomach of another.

Wednesday, March 6, 1985

Eastern Kentucky landowners won a major victory when a federal judge blocked state officials from issuing strip-mining permits solely on the basis of a broad form deed.

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Volunteer firefighters from Letcher, Fleming-Neon and Mayking were called to Sandlick to help forest rangers try to control the county’s first major forest fire of the spring fire season.

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The Whitesburg Lady ‘Jackets, winners over Jenkins in the 53rd District basketball tournament, defeated Breathitt County 70-60 in the first round of the 14th Region tournament. With the win, Whitesburg improves its record to 26-2.

Wednesday, March 1, 1995

The Letcher County Board of Education surprised school administrators by declining to approve a small tax increase required to obtain maximum state funds under Kentucky’s school finance law. Some $62,000 of state money for the schools is in jeopardy.

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Reports of planned changed in enrollment at several Letcher County schools have drawn protests from teachers, parents and students. School Supt. Mike King said there is nothing definite in the discussion and possible changes are among many possibilities considered by school administrators.

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Southeast Ohio correspondent Carson Back tells about a haunted place on Doty Creek known as Sawdust. “The story goes that two or three different people riding horseback past the Sawdust while drunk on white lightning has Satan himself jump on the horse behind the rider,” he writes.

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The Jenkins Cavaliers defeated the Letcher Eagles in the first round of the 53rd District tournament. The Whitesburg Lady ‘Jackets finished the season undefeated and are the top-ranked girls’ team in the state.

Wednesday, March 2, 2005

Thirty physicians, employers and uninsured citizens discussed concern about gaps in health insurance at a public forum. Michal Smith-Mellow of the Kentucky Long-Term Policy Research Center said the majority of those without health insurance in Kentucky can be described as working and poor.

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A Letcher County School Board member resigned from her elected office in the wake of a grand jury indictment accusing her of attempting to rape a 15-year-old boy and giving him marijuana.

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The Letcher County school system has been told it cannot use funding from an anti-drug agency to pay part of a football coach’s salary. The agency, Operation UNITE, said the funding it distributes to 44 Appalachian school districts must be used to hire a substance abuse counselor.

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Whitesburg traveled to Fleming-Neon to take on the Pirates in their last regular season contest ever. Whitesburg won 65-43 to improve to 8-16.


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