Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1908

Thursday, April 16, 1925 Miss Amanda Gibson, a stenographer for Whitesburg attorney Stephen Combs Jr., is a candidate for the Republican nomination for Letcher County Clerk. “Is it not right and proper that the women of this county should be represented among our county officers?” she asks. “There are eight elective county offices to fill, and the superintended is appointed by the Board of Education. The county clerk’s office is an office particularly suitable and adaptable to the modest, graceful, attentive instinct of a woman. I believe the men and women of this county will say that at least we should let the women have one out of the nine offices.”

. Charges against John Tyree, of Dry Fork, who was charged with killing Conley Rash a few weeks ago, were dismissed after an examining hearing before Judge Fitzpatrick.

. A dozen or so autos carrying people from Jenkins and up the line were visitors at Sandlick Gap on Sunday, where they spread their lunches and enjoyed the Easter sunshine. Hundreds of cars were out on the highways kicking up dust.

. It is “strongly intimated that J.D.W. Collins, popular prohibition enforcement officer, is getting in tune to declare as an aspirant” for the office of Letcher County Attorney.

. A day of field and track events will be held next Saturday at Seco. All high schools in the county and immediate area are eligible and invited to participate. There will be running, jumping, vaulting and other events.

. “Floyd Collins and the Sand Cave Tragedy,” with lecture by A.B. Marshall, was shown at the local theater Tuesday to a capacity audience.

. Fleming, Jackhorn, Seco, and the coalfields on Boone Fork are aflame with hopes now on account of the improved coal situation.

. Deputy Sheriff Boaz Adkins and assistants have cleaned up Neon, where bootlegging is almost a thing of the past.

. Engineers are surveying the state road from Eolia to the Harlan County line, a part of the Mayo Trail. Six miles of the route, from Poor Fork [now Cumberland] to the Letcher County line has already been surveyed.

. “Somebody said that church reformers were coming up this way to evangelize the mountains this summer,” writes editor and publisher Webb. “Look at the daily newspapers and see the conditions that exist in the cities and ask yourself why they do not first evangelize at home. The religion of the hills … is gloriously honoring to its Author. Old-time Christian religion may not be fashionable, but let any of those who believe this go out in the country along the vales and often on the hillsides on Saturdays and Sundays and hear the heavenly inspired sermons, the songs of Zion the shouts of the mothers of Israel, and the same bolt that Paul hit on his way to Damascus might descend.”

. Andrew J. Adams of Fleming had his right eye removed Saturday and was able to return to work on Monday. The eye had been useless for years, and by its removal he hopes to save his other eye.

Thursday, April 19, 1945 Harry S. Truman has been sworn in as the 31st President of the United States. Truman took the oath of office just hours after President Franklin Delano Roosevelt died of a cerebral hemorrhage at 4:35 p.m. last Thursday (April 12) in Warm Springs, Georgia, while resting in preparation for the Peace Session set for April 25. Mr. Roosevelt had gone to Warm Springs for one of his periodic visits to seek rest and to bask in the sun. He had planned to stay there through this week, then return to Washington before leaving for a cross-country trip to San Francisco to open the World Security Conference on April 25. President Roosevelt was buried Sunday in Hyde Park, New York. Truman is from Missouri.

. Two Letcher County men were killed by a passenger train Sunday evening. Bill Polly and his father-in-law, Johnnie Halcomb, both of Pert Creek, died about 8:30 p.m. when they were hit by the L&N train while the two men were resting on the railroad track near Ermine. Bill Polly was employed by C.D. Lynch Coal Company of Mayking. He is survived by his wife and four children. Halcomb is survived by his wife and 10 children.

. Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent Ernie Pyle was killed Wednesday by Japanese machine gun fire in the South Pacific.

. Ira C. Craft of Millstone, a member of the Medical Detachment, 134th Infantry, is the recipient of the Bronze Star medal for heroic service in connection with military operations in the vicinity of Pain-de-Sucre Mountain in the Caribbean last September 19 and 20. “During the period, Company ‘K’ launched an attack against Pain-de- Sucre, resulting in its members being subjected to heavy concentrations of artillery, mortar and small arms fire in an effort to retake the high ground,” the citation says. “Private Craft, an aid man, with utter disregard for his personal safety, knowing that he was the only medical aid man remaining in the organization, continuously moved from platoon to platoon in adherence to duty, personally supervising the evacuation of all the wounded.”

. Sergeant Carl R. Vertuca of Fleming was awarded the Purple Heart medal by Brigadier General Gordon P. Saville during a recently ceremony. Vertuca received the award for wounds sustained in action at Casablanca, Morocco on December 30, 1942. He is a member of the XII Tactical Air Command, composed of P-47 Thunderbolt groups, dive-bombing and strafing enemy targets in advance of the Sixth Army Group on the Western front.

. Mrs. Coleman Winsted received a telegram this week stating that her son, Private Paul Winsted, had been slightly wounded somewhere in Germany.

. The wonderful news in Upper Cowan this week is that Roy Fields, son of Mr. and Mrs. Steve Fields, is alive and well in a German prison camp after being listed as missing in action since November 14.

. Mrs. Edna Cook of Jenkins received a letter from her husband, Private Arlie Cook, last week stating that Arlie is in a German prison camp. The War Department had previously notified her that her husband had been missing in action since January 9. He was in Camp Bad Orb [Stalag IX-B, Wegscheide], which was liberated April 3.

. Hudson Goins, 18, president of the Whitco 4-H Club last year in Letcher County, was named state home labor champion after working more than 1,417 hours, or more than 141 10-hour days. With her brother called to service,

Miss Goins helped paint the house, hoe corn, and harvest potatoes. She also helped her mother with the housework, cooking, canning, and sewing. She earned a total of $58 during vacation from school.

. Letcher County Jailer Jim Stamper was seriously injured in a car wreck last night (Wednesday) near Blackey. At this time he is a patient in the Jenkins Hospital, where it is believed physicians may have to amputate his crushed left leg.

. Two Neon men, “Shine” Sumlar and Carl Swanger, caught a 51-pound yellow catfish near Pineville, Ky., yesterday. The two brought the huge fish to The Mountain Eagle office and told how they caught it after placing liver on their hooks and leaving for a time. During the excitement of catching the fish, the 200-pound “Shine” fell into the stream and had to be pulled out “by the necktie” by Swanger.

Thursday, April 15, 1965 Isaac B. “Ike” Caudill, a former typing teacher at Kingdom Come School, has been hired to direct the proposed multi-million dollar War on Poverty and Appalachian Area development programs in Letcher County. Caudill will be paid $7,500 a year.

. Discussing incidents in which poor people have been excluded from planning the War on Poverty, a Mountain Eagle editorial says, “We are convinced that the War on Poverty will be lost unless it can involve the poor so deeply that just by that involvement they become convinced that there is some point in taking vocational training or going to school or cleaning up the yard or doing all the other things the poverty experts say must be done. There are only two choices. One course of action would be to force the poor to reform and become like the rest of us think we are. The other is to draw the poor into the programs in such a way that they will take an active, even a voluntary interest in them. The first choice is a War on the Poor. The second is a War on Poverty.”

. Fields Hardware and Furniture Center, formerly Whitesburg Farm Services, is holding a grand opening sale.

. Steve Frazier was named athlete of the year in both football and basketball at the annual athletics banquet at Whitesburg High School.

Thursday, April 17, 1975 County Judge Estill Blair has ordered Sheriff Ruben Watts not to publish the sheriff ’s annual notice of sale of delinquent tax bills in The Mountain Eagle. Blair had voiced objections to The Mountain Eagle’s coverage of fiscal court meetings and to a letter to the editor criticizing him.

. The Whitesburg City Council raised garage collection fees from $2 to $3. The council also ordered Police Chief Nathan Baker to begin towing cars parked on yellow curbs. The council said the illegally parked cars are contributing to congestion in Whitesburg.

. The home of Mr. and Mrs. George Nelson on Cowan Street in Whitesburg was destroyed by fire. Volunteer firemen could not get enough water pressure in their hoses to pump water to the top of the house where the fire began.

. The Letcher County Grand Jury noted a “serious drug problem” in the county in its report. The grand jury recommended that the fiscal court appropriate funds to hire personnel especially trained in the area of drug abuse.

Wednesday, April 24, 1985 The Letcher County Board of Education has voted to stick with its plan to ask the state to approve building the new Whitesburg High School on School Hill.

. Construction has begun on the Blackey Library. The library building will be connected to the Blackey Senior Citizens Center building by a ramp.

. A special district tax like that supporting the county’s library and health department will be necessary to keep the county’s extension service operating, said County Judge/Executive Ruben Watts. The county owes the University of Kentucky $55,000 for the county’s share of operating the service, a debt that has been growing for three years.

. Kingdom Come Settlement School led all county elementary schools in attendance for the sixth month of school with a percentage of 95.2. Letcher High School led the county’s three high schools with a 92 percent mark.

Wednesday, April 19, 1995 State tax receipts accounted for at least 65 percent of the total Letcher County school system budget for the fiscal year 1994-1995. Letcher County tax receipts accounted for only 16 percent of the budget.

. Arson is suspected as the cause of two separate fires at Lowe’s lumber and hardware store in Whitesburg.

. ”Did you ever see colors as beautiful before in the Kentucky mountains?” asks Jeremiah correspondent Hassie Breeding Helton. “And if your eyes ache from the beauty, roll your windows down a bit. The potpourri fragrance is fantastic. Combine redbud, dogwood, pear, crab apple, phlox, tulips and wild sweet william all. Nature’s best; it can’t be duplicated.”

Wednesday, April 20, 2005 The Letcher Fiscal Court voted unanimously to support a local group’s efforts to bring a federal prison to Letcher County.

. Appliances were delivered to the domestic abuse shelter in Whitesburg in preparation for an open house this week. Gov. Ernie Fletcher will be at the Esta Craft Conway Center on Friday along with State Rep. Howard Cornett, State Rep. Johnny Ray Turner and former first lady of Kentucky, Judy Patton.

. Bob Shepherd, marketing manager of the Burdine Quarry of Pine Mountain Stone, is the first recipient of the Patron of the Arts Award from Cumberland Mountain Arts and Crafts Council. Also receiving a Patron of the Arts Award for his work at The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come amphitheater site in Jenkins was Freddie Oaks of Dorton.

. A seal in an abandoned underground mine collapsed on Monday, sending water, mud and rocks across all four lanes of Kentucky 80 in Knott County, officials said.

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