Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were



Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

Thursday, October 13, 1910 One of the first attorneys to practice law in Letcher County has died at 90 years of age. Uncle Jim Sarver, a pioneer of Letcher County, died in Appalachia, Virginia.

. On Saturday (October 15), teachers in Letcher County and elsewhere in Kentucky will be paid the money owed them for their first two months’ of teaching this year. Over half a million dollars of the state’s treasury will be used to pay the salaries, which will leave the treasurer’s office nearly empty of funds.

. The formal contract for construction of the Lexington Eastern Railway from Breathitt County to the mouth of Craft’s Colly was let in Louisville yesterday at 2 p.m. The railroad will be let in six sections of 16 miles each. Work is expected to begin within 10 days and will bring “the biggest furor of activity ever known” in the mountains, The Eagle says.

. The Lexington & Eastern Railway Company wants to buy crossties delivered on its right of way along the North Fork of the Kentucky River in Letcher and Perry counties. A crosstie agent in now in Whitesburg and can offer more information, said J.E. Willoughby, the railroad’s chief engineer of construction.

Thursday, October 8, 1925 Coal operators tell The Mountain Eagle they are rushing to complete mine work daily but at the end of each month they find their balance sheet shows they have made no money. The say the men digging and loading the coal are just merely living, too.

. The many friends of Elijah Cook, 30, were shocked Sunday to learn that earlier that morning an L&N train hit him and left him critically injured. He is a son of Louis Cook and employed at the Groman-Pursiful coal camp. It is probable he had been drinking Saturday night and early Sunday returned to his father’s home in a sleepy condition and fallen asleep on the tracks. Dr. Bach, the local L&N physician, is treating Cook, who is unmarried.

. Professor Arlie Boggs and a college friend of his, Miss Kathleen Lawrence of Pendleton County, were married in Hazard over the weekend. Mr. Boggs is one of Letcher County’s most intelligent and best-liked young men. His bride is a graduate of the Teacher’s College at Richmond.

. Burnett Bentley, 21, son of Mr. and Mrs. Shade Bentley of Neon, was killed in a motorcycle wreck a few days ago in Washington State. The elder Mr. Bentley has gone to Washington to attend the funeral. The younger Bentley was married and was serving in the U.S. Army in the Northwest.

. The Whitesburg Businessmen’s Club has adopted a resolution honoring the L&N Railroad for establishing passenger service “between McRoberts and Hazard, running up Rockhouse to Caudill’s Branch and up Carr Fork to Sassafras, touching nearly all the coal operations in Letcher and Perry counties.” The club’s resolution also calls on the L&N to start building and complete “the railroad yards and shops above Whitesburg.”

. An engineer is believed to have been killed and six negroes are missing as the result of a cave-in of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad tunnel at Church Hill, Virginia, which trapped more than two score of men engaged in reinforcing its walls.

Thursday, October 11, 1945 There is a new post office at D.W. Sumpter’s Store House. The name of it is Oven Fork.

. Joe Eversole has resigned his position with Consolidation Coal Company and has purchased the East Jenkins Drug Store.

. The owner of a Jenkins dairy has lost its lawsuit against Consolidation Coal Company. Mrs. B.M. Childers had sued the coal company for $25,000, claiming it breached a contract when it refused to continue buying milk from her Lakeside Dairy, which in turn forced her to close her business.

. The North Carolina Utilities Commission and three railroads have asked the Interstate Commerce Commission to reconsider its order authorizing the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad to build a branch line to serve coal mines owned and operated by Clinchfield Coal Corporation. The protesting railroads are the Carolina, Clinchfield and Ohio, the Atlantic Coast Line, and the Louisville & Nashville. The 14-mile branch would be built in Letcher County and Wise County, Virginia.

. The community of Pound, Virginia is taking the legal steps necessary to incorporate as a small city in hopes of capitalizing on the “boom conditions” expected with the construction of two railroad lines. Pound already has a water system that produces about $4,500 in revenue each year compared to operating expenses of $1,800.

. Dewey E. Lucas has been sentenced to 10 years in the state penitentiary for the slaying of Cas Goins of Thornton several weeks ago. Lucas’s partner in the crime, Floyd Bates, was previously sentenced to life in prison on the same murder charge. At the time of the murder, Lucas was a soldier here on furlough. Goins was a truck mine operator and was last seen with the two men before his body was found by the railroad tracks near his home. Goins’s empty billfold was found lying about 20 feet from his body.

. A 27-year-old Letcher County man was killed in a car wreck Saturday morning while returning home from a trip to Norton, Virginia with a friend. Police say Bruce Proffitt, an engineer with Consolidation Coal Company, was driving back to Letcher County when the lights on his car suddenly went out, resulting in the car plunging over a steep embankment. Proffitt was thrown from the vehicle and pinned under it. A former employee of Hopkins Grocery Store in Whitesburg, he was a son of Mrs. Larkin Brown, Whitco, and Joe Proffitt of Camp Branch.

. John Hardwick Jr. of Kona was arrested this week and tried and found guilty in Letcher Circuit Court for the theft of Dr. B.F. Wright’s Buick sedan, which was stolen from the doctor’s front yard. “The colored man was sentenced to four years in the state penitentiary,” says a front-page story in The Mountain Eagle.

. Sergeant Dan Webb, held prisoner by the Japanese for

more than three years, is now in Manila, Philippines and has cabled his mother at Mayking to tell her he is well and will be home shortly. “He was captured by the Japs at Corregidor in 1942,” a front-page story says. “The War Department had wired his mother the previous week, the first news of his release from the camp.”

. Ralph Adkins, son of Dr. and Mrs. Boaz Adkins, arrived in Whitesburg this week after being held prisoner of the Japanese for 2-1/2 years. Also arriving home was Bennie Holbrook of Millstone, who had been a prisoner of the Japanese since 14 days after Pearl Harbor.

. H.L. “Toad” Owens, of Jenkins, was elected commander of the Kentucky Legionnaires at the group’s annual convention last week at the Phoenix Hotel in Lexington. Owens, an employee of Consolidation Coal Company, is adjutant and commander-elect of his home post, Bradley Burkhart No. 66. He is also an Army veteran with overseas service in World War I.

Thursday, October 6, 1955 Charles of Holcomb of Linefork won his freedom Tuesday in Letcher Circuit Court, after all charges against him was dismissed by Circuit Judge Courtney Wells at the suggestion of Commonwealth’s Attorney Emmett G. Fields. In July 1954, Holcomb was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced in the January 1954 shooting death of his son-in-law, Ezekiel Holcomb. The Kentucky Court of Appeals threw out the conviction and sentence, resulting in dismissal of the charges.

. The Friendly Fountain, located at the corner of Main and Railroad streets in Whitesburg, was sold at auction Saturday by proprietors Taulby Barnett and Julia Holbrook to Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Hall, who now operate the Club Lunch on Main Street.

. A double funeral service was held for Mr. and Mrs. James Leslie Wilson, a former Letcher County couple killed last Wednesday when their automobile crashed down an embankment near Richmond, Indiana. The couple are former residents of Kona and Bellcraft, where Mr. Wilson was employed by the Sandlick Coal Company. Surviving are seven children, five of whom were still living at home.

. Mrs. Troy Stallard is the winner of a push-button range awarded during Hotpoint’s $2,000 Golden Anniversary national contest. Collins Electric Company of Whitesburg said official contest judges in Chicago selected Mrs. Stallard’s name as having the best dealer prize entry from this immediate area.

. The Letcher County Health Department has just received a new supply of polio vaccine that may be given to any child that is one year old and not more than 10 years old, and also any expectant mother. The supply is limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.”

. Football fans in Whitesburg were treated to two great games last week. On Saturday, the Fleming-Neon Pirates, led by backs Lawrence Kurl and Tyrone Bentley, defeated Paintsville 6-0 in a game that had to be played in Whitesburg because of muddy conditions at the Fleming field. On Friday, Whitesburg, led by Robert Meade and Lloyd Hodge, defeated Hazard, 40-12.

. John Hall of Whitesburg was named “lineman of the week” in Virginia after his standout play for Virginia Tech in the school’s 14-7 win over William and Mary last Saturday. Hall, a 205-pound junior, started the season as a reserve center, but switched to guard two weeks ago and saw action during Tech’s 33-0 win over the University of Pennsylvania. Virginia Tech Coach Frank Moseley said Hall would be in the starting lineup again on Saturday night when Tech takes on Florida State University in Tallahassee.

. Truck transportation of coal is rising. In 1935, truckhauled tonnage was six percent of the total. By 1950, it had reached 11.3 percent and is still growing.

Thursday, October 7, 1965 A Mountain Eagle editorial asks, “Is eastern Kentucky to benefit from the Appalachian Development Act? Is an effort to be made to build a new economy in the area, or are the people to be forced to move to Chicago, Detroit, and other metropolitan areas?”

. The new section of Kentucky 15 coming into Whitesburg is the talk of the town right now, principally because

of its apparent lack of safety.

. An ad in The Eagle tells readers to “bring back memories of the good old days” by growing chestnuts in their own backyards or farms. Five young Chinese chestnut trees cost $6.

. Appalachian Regional Hospitals, marking the completion of two years of operation, reports an increase of 29.8 percent in patients treated in its 10 non-profit community hospitals.

Thursday, October 9, 1975 Nancy Caudill, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Homer Caudill of Doty Creek, is pictured on the front page of The Mountain Eagle, holding a five-pound sweet potato raised by her father this summer. s State water quality regulations will prevent inclusion of a beach and swimming area in the $510,000 Fishpond Lake recreation project, a consulting engineer told a frustrated Letcher Fiscal Court this week.

. ”Too much has been said about the beauties of autumn for me to try to add anything. But I can, on my way from Millstone to Whitesburg, enjoy the bright, blue sky, the colorful hills and the cool autumn breeze,” writes Eagle correspondent Mabel Kiser.

Wednesday, October 16, 1985 Parents of Whitesburg High School girls’ basketball players left in the dark on the latest controversy involving the Lady Yellowjackets, finally got a glimmer of light on the subject Monday night when they were told why the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) said the penalty was imposed Sept. 24 because the school had used held off-season practices for the girls’ basketball team.

. State police have opened an investigation into the operation of the Letcher County Jail after learning of “escapes” which have taken place there the last several weeks. State Police Detective Frank Fleming said the investigation opened last week after authorities discovered several inmates had been letting themselves in and out of the jail, which is located on the third floor of the county courthouse.

. Nearly three-fourths of Letcher County residents rely on wells or other private water supplies for their drinking water, and nearly all of those private supplies are contaminated by bacteria, a new study shows.

. State and city police are still searching for three or more suspects in connection with the beating Sunday of Whitesburg City Patrolman James Sexton.

Wednesday, October 11, 1995 Charles Ed Wilson, 48, will become superintendent of Letcher County schools on Oct. 26.

. The $41.2 million bid by Bizzack Inc. on the Jenkins bypass construction project came during September, a month that saw the state Transportation Cabinet set a record for amount of road construction let for bids, about $130 million

. Despite objections from Utilities Commission members, the Neon City Council refused to amend the budget prepared by Mayor Arlie Hall for the Utilities Commission.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005 Silas Sturgill, Jr., 37, of Jenkins, was shot to death Sunday, after he charged toward two Jenkins City Police Officers while armed with a large hunting knife in each hand, police said.

. Chrystal Johnson, the second person to graduate from the adult drug court program in Letcher County, said drug court helped turn her life in a positive direction after her addiction to prescription narcotics turned her normal life into a chaotic mess.

. Premier Elkhorn Coal Company’s Mine Emergency Technician team won first place in the M.E.T. contest at the East Kentucky Holmes Safety Days contest.

. Three area hunters were chosen to receive licenses for the elk hunt in Kentucky. Charles Morris of Mayking, Samuel Paul Sparkman of Viper, and Tim Fields of Virgie, all harvested buck elks.



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