Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were



Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

Thursday, December 3, 1925 Clark S. Day of Whitesburg has been appointed district prohibition officer.

. John W. Adams, who shot and killed his nephew, Sylvan Little, near his home on Elkhorn last week still has not been brought to Whitesburg. It is said he will surrender. Adams’s 15-year-sold daughter is reported to have died early in the week at a hospital in Pikeville.

. Whitesburg High School’s boys’ basketball team defeated Hardburley, 38-7. However, the Harburley girls won over Whitesburg’s girls, 11-10.

. Confederate Army Captain O.G. Holcomb of Linefork now 87. The way to the county seat from there is so rough he has not been here for years.

. A large crowd was present at the Doty School Friday evening to watch students debate the subject, “Resolved, that Colonial life was more enjoyable than life today.” The “affirmative team” of Kelly Hampton, Willie Adams, and Dawson Back won over the “negative team” of Floyd Ison, Shade Combs, and Howard Caudill.

. Newt Lewis of Sandlick had his left hand badly crushed while helping load hogs at his home yesterday. Dr. Bach says it is probable that Mr. Lewis, head of the Whitesburg firm Lewis & Son, will lose most of the fingers on that hand.

. A revolt is now underway against French rule in Syria.

. A celebration was held in Appalachia, Virginia, marking the completion of the bridge across the Clinch River and the opening of the new highway to Lynch, Kentucky.

Thursday, December 6, 1945 Two Letcher County men were killed November 29 in a mine explosion on Craft’s Colly at S.N.A. Coal Company. Millard Adams, 42, was a drill and shot foreman. Kelly Oliver Taylor, 20, came to Letcher County from McCreary County to work in the mines in September 1944. Full details of why the tragic accident occurred are not known at this time.

. The heaviest snowfall of the season came Tuesday night, dumping six or seven inches of snow on many parts of Letcher County.

. South East Coal Company official Virgil D. Picklesimer predicts that present coal operations will continue for at least 10 more years, while new operations coming after that will still be active 30 to 40 years from now. Picklesimer, considered one of the best authorities on coal in eastern Kentucky, also told the Whitesburg Rotary Club that oil and natural gas are the greatest competitors to coal.

. Staff Sergeant Beryl C. Franklin of Whitesburg has been awarded the Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster. He was wounded in March and in April in front line action in Germany.

. Stephen J. Toth, ship’s serviceman second class of Dunham, is being processed at Pearl Harbor for transportation to a separation center in the United States and honorable discharge from the Navy. Corporal Kenneth A. Conley, son of Mr. and Mrs. Greene W. Conley of Jenkins, has been honorably discharged from the Army Air Forces.

Thursday, December 1, 1955 The historic boyhood home of Dr. T.R. Collier of Whitesburg is being razed in Hampton, Virginia to create more space for Langley Air Force Base. Named Cloverdale, the home is the last historic building in the Langley area. It was bought from the Collier family (Howard Collier Jr.) in 1944 for the purpose of building an activities center. The house is made up of several distinct periods of architecture including French Provincial, English Gambriel and Early American. All floors were hand hewn and made smooth by dragging stones over the planks after they had been nailed into place.

. Whitesburg’s three ministers are being called upon to accept the thankless task of being the city’s new water commissioners. The three are Rev. E. Hampton Barnette, the Rev. Clel B. Rodgers, and the Rev. C.A. Lingle.

. The Regular Baptist Orphanage at Smoot Creek is badly in need of four coal-heating stoves.

. Burl Combs has been appointed the acting police chief of Whitesburg after the resignation of Oda Amburgey, who left the city to accept a position with a coal company. In announcing the resignation of Amburgey and appointment of Combs, Whitesburg Mayor Arthur Banks said Amburgey had some faults, but that he believes Amburgey’s qualities far outweighed them.

. Ronald Polly of McRoberts, a student at Jenkins High School, is the winner of the “Voice of Democracy” contest sponsored by the Whitesburg Jaycees. Other school winners were Don Webb of Whitesburg, Sue Holbrook of Fleming-Neon, Wayne Blair of Stuart Robinson, and Delores Eastman of Jenkins Colored School. Polly advances to state competition in Louisville on December 7.

. Siblings Barbara Holstein and Coy Holstein Jr. have recuperated nicely since both underwent tonsillectomies at the Mount Mary Hospital in Hazard on November 23.

. Ernie Trosper kicked off his coaching career Tuesday night in a basketball game that saw his Whitesburg Yellowjackets defeat Stuart Robinson, 72-49. Rex Polly led WHS with 20 points.

Thursday, December 2, 1965

A editorial in The Mountain Eagle says, “Thanks to the bravery of an elderly Knott County widow, the foolishness of some strip coal operators and local law enforcement officials, and the exercise of concerned conscience by the governor of Kentucky, one of the heaviest of all burdens may be about to lift from the backs of eastern Kentuckians, who had begun to wonder if there is any justice left in this world. . . . Gov. Edward T. Breathitt ordered into immediate effect new state regulations on strip mining designed to prohibit stripping on the steepest mountain slopes, and to strengthen reclamation practices.”

. The Letcher County Board of Education has asked the state Department of Education to approve a $60,500 plan for reducing sizes of overcrowded classes in several

county schools. The proposal calls for purchase of five mobile classroom units and addition of 12 teachers.

. Egg production offers the chief hope for increasing farm income in Letcher County, in the opinion of the Governor’s Commission on Agriculture.

. The Letcher County Board of Education has taken an option on property owned by C.B. Clay at old Pine Mountain Junction as a site for the new county vocational high school. The purchase price will be $20,000. The site includes 3.2 acres of land, but board members said only about 1¾ acres will be usable.

. A special-called meeting of the Letcher County Economic Opportunity Committee could not be held last Friday night because not enough members appeared to make a quorum. Only 11 members showed up; a majority of the committee membership of 25 is required for a quorum.

Thursday, December 4, 1975

Investigations into the shockingly high number of fatal accidents that have occurred in Kentucky coal mines this year are beginning to show that a significant number of the fatalities resulted from unsafe coal company practices. An article published in the current issue of the United Mine Workers (UMW) Journal concludes on the basis of accident reports and interviews with miners in the western Kentucky coalfields that most of the accidents there this year were caused by corporate neglect of safety regulations.

. Letcher Fiscal Court this week refused to permit the use of coal severance tax money to improve the steadily worsening water supply at Jenkins, the largest coal mining center in the county.

. Letcher County residents who wish to complain to scal court must now submit their complaints in writing to County Judge Estill Blair 10 days prior to each court meeting if they expect to receive prompt action by the court.

. Bypasses are coming through, Whitesburg and Hazard townspeople have been told, and homes and businesses in the project paths of the new highways must be vacated as soon as possible.

Wednesday, December 11, 1985

The people at Van, a small community near Whitesburg, say they’ll miss their small post office, which the U.S. Postal Service closed last week. The 102 customers will be served instead by a highway contract route from the much larger Whitesburg Post Office.

. A Letcher County jury has recommended that South- East Coal Co. be required to pay $50,000 to a former employee who says he was wrongfully discharged by the company.

. Letcher County’s unemployment rate is continuing to inch back up to the 20 percent mark, the latest figures from the state Cabinet for Human Resources show.

. The county school system will begin work this month to develop a terraced parking lot in front of the Whitesburg High School gymnasium. The lot, which will have

three levels, will provide parking spaces for 175 cars. The present parking space in front of the gym holds 15 or 20 vehicles.

Wednesday, December 6, 1995

State Rep. Paul Mason of Letcher County is one of six Kentuckians to receive the Governor’s Distinguished Service Medallion from retiring Gov. Brereton Jones. The award was presented at a dinner for the honorees at the Executive Mansion in Frankfort.

. Jenkins youth will soon face a curfew if the Jenkins City Council votes to accept a second reading of the city’s new curfew ordinance in January. December 4, the council had the first reading of the ordinance, which would establish a curfew for children 15 years old and younger and penalize the parents of violators. The curfew would be in effect from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. on weeknights, and from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. on weekends.

. An all-Letcher County band will march in the inaugural parade in Frankfort December 12. Members of bands from all high schools have been practicing all week in preparation for the event. Kentuckians from all over the state will get to see the inauguration of Governor-Elect Paul Patton when Kentucky Educational Television broadcasts the day’s activities live from Frankfort.

. Police are hoping that a conversation overheard by an alert telephone operator will lead them to the person who phoned in a bomb threat to the Whitesburg hospital Sunday night. The caller told a Whitesburg city police and fire dispatcher around 11 p.m. Sunday that a bomb had been planted on the third floor of the hospital and would detonate within 45 minutes.

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Nurses who work at the Whitesburg hospital were expected to walk off their jobs on December 12 if a federal judge failed to rule in their favor yesterday (Tuesday). About 75 registered nurses at Whitesburg and 300 in Hazard are among 850 nurses who work for Appalachian Regional Healthcare who are scheduled to vote this week on whether to follow through on the threatened strike. However, the strike would not be necessary if a federal judge granted an injunction that temporarily bars hospital administrators from changing the weekly work schedules of the affected nurses.

. Letcher County remains in “persistent poverty,” but the poverty rate has decreased somewhat from where it was earlier this decade. According to new Census data, Letcher County’s median household income is $24,804, up from $23,003 in 2000.

. The number of candidates seeking their party’s nomination in the May primary election in Letcher County continues to grow. As of 4 p.m. Monday, 17 candidates had official filed the documents to have their name appear on the ballot here.

. Historic preservation will be the topic of a workshop presented in Whitesburg on December 13. The meeting is being held in conjunction with an ongoing project sponsored by the Letcher County Convention and Tourism Commission to identify historic architecture in Whitesburg and the nomination to the National Register of Historic Places of a historic district in the community.



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