Whitesburg KY

The Way We Were



Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

Thursday, October 18, 1945 Every coal mine in Letcher County — even small truck mines — are idle this week after a strike that has now lasted three weeks. Latest reports say all mines will resume operations next week.

. The City of Whitesburg has sold its entire waterworks company to Pine Mountain Water Company, the firm that lately bought the water franchise from the city. G.D. Polly, owner of Pine Mountain Water, said the city’s new water supply will come from Pert Creek from a location already purchased. The sale comes after controversy over the sanitary condition of the city’s present supply. At a recent hearing before the Public Service Commission, it was stated the present water system is defective and has been retarding the growth of Whitesburg. Some even told the PSC they hate the taste of Whitesburg’s water so badly they won’t visit again until it is changed.

. In a news release officially marked as “delayed,” the U.S. Navy says Gary J. Price, gunner’s mate third class, U.S. Navy, won the Silver Star Medal for heroic work last February during the assault and capture of Iwo Jima. He is the son of Melvin Price of Jenkins. “No duty in this war required more personal courage than that of the underwater reconnaissance and demolition teams, which performed in advance of our ambitious attack, and no group contributed more in proportion to its numbers to the successful conclusion of the war,” Price’s citation says. Team No. 13, comprised of six officers and 26 enlisted men, suffered no casualties throughout their operations, although harassed constantly by heavy enemy fire.

. Twenty-eight United States sailors lost their lives October 9 during Typhoon Louise, which whipped across the West Pacific. Also killed were seven Japanese prisoners of war on Okinawa and 184 persons in western Japan. Meanwhile, fleet headquarters at Pearl Harbor said six enlisted Navy men were killed and 23 injured in an unexplained explosion at a Navy receiving station on Okinawa on October 15.

. The marriage of Miss June Frazier and Mr. Bradley Breeding of Isom was solemnized at the Baptist Church in Hazard on September 29.

. Everybody in Democrat is very happy this week after welcoming back home Herman Hall, who was held prisoner by the Japanese for the past three years.

. Organizers say the box supper at the Indian Creek School was a huge success, as $38.37 was collected, an amount they say is surprisingly large for such a small school.

. U.S. Army Private Richard R. Watts of Hallie is receiving treatment at an Army hospital in Martinsburg, West Virginia. Watts served overseas nine months in Africa and Italy and wears the European Theater of Operations Ribbon with battle star, the Purple Heart, the Good Conduct Medal and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge.

. Robert Campbell, 20, signalman third class of Ulvah, and Conrad Brummett, machinist’s mate second class of Fleming, served with an Underwater Demolition Team in World War II — the Navy’s famed group of expert swimmers who paved the way for invasions of enemy-held beaches. The two served at Normandy, southern France, Saipan, Tinian, Peleliu, Anguar, Iwo Jima, Lingayen, Zambales, Okinawa, Tsugen Shima, Kerama Retto, and in the occupation of Japan.

Thursday, October 13, 1955 This week marked the 23rd anniversary of The Bank of Whitesburg, which is now Whitesburg’s only bank. Whitesburg had been without a bank for about four months when the bank opened October 10, 1932. Its deposits have grown from $13,382.04 on that first day to $4.947 million today. The original directors of the bank were M.K. Marlowe, Dr. B.C. Bach, Stephen Combs Jr., Dr. R.D. Collins, W.L. Cooper, John D. Sergent and Dr. Thomas Jennings, who was replaced by Herman Hale in January 1934.

. Former Whitesburg mayor and Letcher county attorney Astor Hogg is a candidate for election as judge on the Kentucky Court of Appeals for the Seventh Appellate District. Judge Hogg was appointed to fill an unexpired term on the Appeals Court on February 1. Before then, he was serving as Harlan Circuit judge. A University of Kentucky College of Law graduate, Judge Lewis is a former trial attorney for the Federal Trade Commission and a special assistant to the Attorney General of the United States.

. A Fleming-Neon PTA meeting drew 64 of its 91 members this week, many of whom began arguing over whether bingo and other games of chance should be included in a Carnival to be held at Fleming-Neon Elementary School on the night of October 28. “Each parent and teacher had a chance to express their own opinion,” a front-page account of the meeting says. “Some were bitterly opposed to the games of chance, such as bingo, fortune telling and selling chances on cakes and hams. After about one hour of hot discussion of pros and cons it was put to a vote … and the majority was against having bingo.”

. Marilyn Monroe stars in “The Seven Year Itch” showing Sunday and Monday at Isaac’s Alene Theatre in Whitesburg.

. Mrs. Troy Stallard has hit the jackpot again. Just two weeks after winning a new push button Hotpoint electric range, the Standard Laboratories co-owner was informed by the Knoxville News Sentinel that she had won a Monarch sewing machine awarded as the top prize in a puzzle contest the newspaper was sponsoring.

. Because an arson suspect has been missing since shortly after the Pioneer Club House burned last December, charges against the club’s owner have been dismissed. But Circuit Judge Courtney C. Wells said arson charges against Hassell Bentley may be reinstated if the missing man, 30-year-old, Joe Bates turns up. Bentley, Bates and two other men were charged with setting fire to the club located near Whitesburg. The other men, Gerald Stamper, 28, and Dan Berry, 21, got five-year prison terms last January after admitting to starting the fire.

. The Club Estella on the Cumberland-Whitesburg road has reopened under new owners Mr. and Mrs. Billy Gene Maggard. The Club Estella was once Cumberland’s most popular and roomy eatery, and the Maggards say they

will strive to regain that place in the community.

. Gardner Bates Jr. of Whitesburg is a member of Army’s Fort Sam Houston Comets football team. Bates participated in the Texas team’s 41-14 win over the Dallas Hornets last week. The Army newspaper reports that Bates is “a great defensive guard” who “isn’t too big for a lineman, weighing only 195, but what he lacks in this department he makes up for in all the others.” Bates is a graduate of Whitesburg High School and a 1953 graduate of Morehead College, where he also starred in football.

. John Hall of Whitesburg continues to star on the Virginia Tech football team, earning selection as the team’s top lineman again this week. A center by trade, Hall was moved to guard after the team suffered a series of injuries. He also played linebacker and was the chief obstacle as William & Mary gained only 30 yards rushing in a loss to the Gobblers. In addition, Hall did Tech’s kicking off and starred offensively, opening the gaps for Tech’s most effective play, the quarterback sneak. Hall, 20, is a junior.

. Letcher County residents drew $53,000 in September in public assistance payments under the old age assistance, aid to dependent children and aid to needy blind programs.

Thursday, October 14, 1965

The October Letcher County Grand Jury wants something done immediately to stop the overcrowding of Letcher County School buses. The jury notes that 37 of 39 buses it considered are daily carrying more students than their rated capacity. Some buses having a capacity of 60 children are carrying as many as 115, the jury said.

. The Letcher County Economic Opportunity Committee will meet in special session Monday night to consider proposed bylaws which would guarantee the poor a voice in the War on Poverty.

. Congressman Carl D. Perkins informed Letcher County officials that the Appalachian Regional Commission is scheduled to give formal approval during its sessions this week to Letcher County’s application for a $400,000 vocational training center. The school will be operated by the county school board. No site has been selected as of yet.

. The Whitesburg City Council approved a new zoning ordinance Tuesday after no one appeared to protest at a hearing. The principal change in the new ordinance is rezoning of the lower end of Main Street from Bentley Avenue to the Kentucky River from residential to commercial.

. Marine Private First Class Paul A. Pondish, son of Mrs. Lucy Pondish of Jenkins, is serving in the Da Nang sector of Vietnam with the 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division. The battalion makes patrols in the sector in carrying out its mission of defending the Da Nang airbase.

. Mrs. Hettie Cornett Caudill, 85, liked what she saw when she took her first airplane at the Whitesburg airport on Sunday. After pilot Bud Igo took Mrs. Caudill for a look over her hometown of Blackey, she said, “It sure looks better from ay up yonder than it does from right around here on the ground. From here, you see too many people and too many problems.” Her first flight led her to tell onlookers about the first time she saw the circus as a child: “We went up Kingscreek and then crossed Pine Mountain. Then we went up Frank’s Creek and crossed Black Mountain, coming out at Stonega, Virginia. From there we went to Big Stone Gap and saw the show. Going and coming we stayed all night with Frank Caudill (for whom Frank’s Creek was named).”

Former Gov. Bert Combs will speak at a Democratic fundraising dinner Saturday night at the VFW clubhouse in Whitesburg.

. Alice Lloyd College, founded as Caney Creek School in 1916, marks its 49th anniversary Oct. 16–17 with a Founder’s Day Homecoming weekend on the campus at Pippa Passes.

Thursday, October 16, 1975

The Letcher County Board of Education approved a site for a new administration building this week after a lengthy discussion in which board member Edwin Holbrook first opposed the proposed location because it was outside his district but later made the motion to approve the site adjacent to Whitesburg Elementary School.

. Coal-laden trucks running on the winding mountain highway between Roxana and Letcher are frustrating the attempts of state highway maintenance crews to repair the road already badly damaged by overweight coal carriers.

. Influenza vaccine is now available in limited supply at the Letcher County Health Center.

. Eagle correspondent Mabel Kiser asks readers if they have been in Whitesburg lately. “Then you can take it from me — you’d better go early and maybe you can find a parking place in time to eat lunch. It is getting to be so crowded.”

Wednesday, October 23, 1985

Twenty county residents have been ordered to appear in Letcher District Court Friday to answer criminal littering charges. The cases are the first of what is expected to be many brought about as the result of a countywide crackdown on littering.

. Letcher County residents could use $10,000,000 worth of housing loans if they were available, according to administrator of a new housing loan program in eastern Kentucky.

. Heavy rainfall earlier this week caused tempers to rise in a Mayking community which is left stranded every time the waters of the Kentucky River swell slightly. Residents at the Heritage Trailer Park had difficulty getting to work Monday morning even though they were still able to travel their usual route — through the Kentucky River.

Wednesday, October 18, 1995

On November 2, 1993, four out of every five voters in the Linefork area voted against Carroll Smith in his bid to become Letcher County judge/executive. Nearly two years later, many of those who voted against Smith are now singing his praises.

. A special fund to provide loans to Letcher County businesses may be developed by combining coal severance tax money and a federal grant from the Community Development Financial Institution Fund.

. Disturbed by the alarming number of young people killed on the highways, the Kentucky State Police and the Transportation Cabinet will push for a major overhaul of the state’s 40-year-old driver licensing system. The proposal covers everything from age to alcohol limits from curfews to classes.

. Governor Brereton C. Jones has strongly reiterated his support for the Transportation Cabinet’s decision to move forward on road projects in eastern Kentucky.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Letcher County Fiscal Court was treated to a presentation by anti-smoking activists associated with the University of Kentucky Department of Nursing and heard pro and con opinions about a proposed smoking ban.

. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has finished work on a $500,000 project to apply a thick layer of gravel and fix the drainage along the 14-mile stretch of Little Shepherd Road from the top of Pine Mountain near Whitesburg to Kingdom Come State Park. Most of the trail leading through the park also received new blacktop.

. Some Letcher County natives who graduated from Whitesburg High School in the 1950s are raising money to purchase a concert grand piano for the new auditorium at Letcher County Central High School.

. Sherd and Alma Martin celebrate their 77th wedding anniversary this month.

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