Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

Thursday, December 17, 1925 In what is being called a revenge killing for a death at Potters Fork last summer, Elijah Fleming shot and killed Ben Bentley last week on Long Fork in Pike County. Bentley was the driver of an automobile that wrecked on Potter Fork last summer and killed Sol Fleming, father of Elijah Fleming. The men were cousins and both well known.

. In letters to Santa published by The Mountain Eagle, four-year-old Dave Moss Collins of Tillie asks for a “real pony, a billy goat, and a jump-up rabbit.” Little Florence Bentley of Democrat tells Santa she knows a little girl at Democrat who lives at the same address she does. She said the little girl “washes behind her ears, is prompt at school, and helps dry dishes and put them away.” She said the girl “would like to have some roller skates, a laundry set and other things.”

. Sandlick native Peter Caudill, a Democrat, has been elected county judge of Rockcastle County. Caudill is a brother-in-law to former Letcher County resident, I.N. Lewis, who moved to Rockcastle several years ago.

. The position of postmaster at Blackey is now open and pays about $1,700 a year. A civil service examination will be held at Hazard to applicants interested in the job.

. With 63 known dead, entombed in the Overton Mine No. about 11 miles south of Birmingham, Alabama, workers were searching vainly for any living being who may have survived the gigantic underground coal mine explosion. More than 20 bodies have been taken out. Seventeen severely injured survivors were rescued after a crew had broken through the wall of dirt and rock that fell within the single entrance to the slope mine. “I saw 21 dead men down there,” one rescue worker said after coming out of the mine. “Their clothes — they were literally burned off their bodies.”

. Grim tragedy stalked in Louisville when three boys played “cowboys and Indians.” As a result, Benjamin Robinson, 8, lies critically wounded in Norton Infirmary with a bullet lodged near his brain. He was shot with an “unloaded pistol” by Francis Woodruff, 11. The boys had been playing their favorite game with Samuel Atherton, 12. He obtained the gun — a family relic.

Thursday, December 20, 1945 Letcher County has been shivering for several days in frigid weather. Temperatures generally were below normal elsewhere in the U.S., with freezing temperatures reported as far south as the northern end of the Florida peninsula and along the Gulf to Southern Mississippi.

. The Wright building in downtown Whitesburg caught fire Tuesday morning. Despite cold weather and the city’s poor water supply, firefighters from Whitesburg and Fleming were able to put the fire out fairly quickly and limit damages to only about $5,000. The fire started in the Yellowjacket CafĂ©, where most of the damage was done.

. Public health experts say a nationwide flu epidemic is now in its early stages. Authorities stress there is no danger of a repetition of the devastating epidemic of 1918.

. Monroe Hogg, son of Mr. and Mrs. Burnett Hogg of Whitesburg, has been promoted to the grade of Technician Grade Five with the Eighth Army’s First Cavalry Division occupation forces in Tokyo. Hogg is a truck driver for the Eight Engineering Squad. He is entitled to wear the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre Ribbon, the Philippine Liberation Ribbon, and the World War II Victory Ribbon. Hogg was a coal miner before entering the Army. He plans to operate a grocery store after he is released from service. His wife, Mrs. Eula Mae Hogg, lives in Whitesburg.

Thursday, December 15, 1955 Funeral services were held in Oscaloosa on Friday for Sergeant Eli D. Ison, who was killed in Korea. Details concerning Ison’s death were not available, but it was thought he was killed when a landmine exploded. He had served in the military for eight years. He was a son of Mr. and Mrs. George Ison of Premium.

. The Sharon Heights Hospital of Jenkins has received an 18,300 grant from the Ford Foundation of New York City. The money being given to Sharon Heights comes from a half-billion dollar gift program from the Ford Foundation and must be used for “expansion and modernization.”

. A former Kona man has died in an automobile accident near Cincinnati. Clinton “Cat” Smith, of Sandusky, Ohio, was killed when the car he was driving went over a high embankment Sunday night. Esther Smith, his wife, was critically injured in the wreck.

. Ray Collins and Bradley Bentley are adding yet another attractive addition to the RC Bottling Company at Ermine. The new addition will house two modern offices. Oh yes, on top of the RC building at this time you will notice a beautiful Christmas scene — eight beautiful reindeer drawing a sleigh with Santa and a giant bottle of RC.

. The Whitesburg Jaycees are now selling Christmas trees for $1.50 each. Only 100 trees were ordered so you better get one fast, said Hoover Dawahare, chairman in charge of the Christmas tree project. Proceeds will help the local county orphanage.

Thursday, December 16, 1965 Whitesburg Postmaster R. C. Day, Jr. will head a campaign to raise $9,321 in Letcher County for support for Whitesburg Appalachian Regional Hospital. Day is also president of the hospital’s advisory council.

. The Johnson Administration apparently is planning sharp cutbacks in some of the “Great Society” programs in order to provide more money for military spending in Vietnam. Mentioned in the cutback discussion are the two programs which held the most hope for economic recovery in eastern Kentucky — the Appalachian Development program and the Economic Development program.

. Members of the Whitesburg Parent-Teacher Association continued this week to express their plea for a new school building. Russell Price expressed concern for the safety of students attending Whitesburg High School. He urged board members to visit the school’s study hall sometime after regular school hours, and to feel the floor shake and give as they walk across it.

. The first crop of Christmas trees to be grown commercially in Letcher County is being marketed this year. They are pines grown by B.R. Adams of Mayking, who set a plot of

about an acre six years ago. Adams has pruned the trees to keep them shaped and this year they are ready for market.

. Water rates in Whitesburg have been increased by the city council to help make payments on the bonded indebtedness of the water and sewer system.

Thursday, December 18, 1975 A delegation of parents from Carcassonne told the Letcher County Board of Education this week that the narrow, winding and bumpy road that leads from Ky. 7 to their community is becoming virtually impassable.

. Kentucky’s first woman lieutenant governor, Thelma Stovall, was administered the oath of office by Calloway County Judge Robert O. Miller in ceremonies at the state capitol last week.

. A drug education services center has recently opened in Whitesburg on Main Street above Craft’s Department Store. The office’s staff will provide counseling and other services to people in the Letcher County area.

. Since the federal black lung benefits program was established in 1969, it has brought financial security to thousands of disabled coal miners and their families. At the same time, other thousands of miners have had their benefits claims rejected because of a conservative system of black lung diagnosis developed under the Social Security Administration.

Wednesday, December 25, 1985 Fire last week destroyed the Aunt Poppy Adams homeplace at Marlowe near Whitesburg, believed to be one of the oldest homes in eastern Kentucky. Letcher Volunteer Fire and Rescue Chief Gillis Colley said the fire, which occurred in the middle of a Friday afternoon snowstorm, apparently started in the center of the upstairs portion of the house. Colley said he doesn’t know what started the fire, but added that no one was living in the house and arson is not suspected. The house began as a log cabin and was later added onto.

. Christmas came on a Saturday in 1875 and it “went off ne” in Whitesburg with “all sober.” The weather was “exceedingly warm” on Christmas Day and on the day after Christmas at 1 p.m. it rained and the sun was shining and it was still “very warm.” That report on Christmas 110 years ago comes from Ezekiel Brashear, the first county court clerk in Letcher County, who kept something of a journal in with his official records. Some pages of Brashear’s records have survived the years, and Charlie Wright, the present county

clerk, has had them laminated so they will be preserved.

. When Whitesburg High School students return to classes after Christmas vacation, they will find a new traffic pattern around the school. The Whitesburg City Council is installing one-way signs along College Drive and Cowan Street.

Wednesday, December 27, 1995 The Letcher Fiscal Court is “closer than we’ve ever been” to getting the money necessary to begin remodeling the county courthouse, Judge/Executive Carroll Smith said.

. A proposal to limit public participation at meetings of the Letcher County Board of Education will come before the school board this week. According to the proposal, each speaker will be limited to talk for three minutes. People would need to register with the board secretary by the Thursday before the meeting. Supt. Charlie Wilson said that there had been so many people speaking at the meetings that he needed to set standards. “We want the public to be there, but we want the meetings to be orderly and organized,” said Wilson.

. The Letcher County school system expects to save more than $200,000 in transportation costs this school year over last year, says Lendell Smith, director of operations for Letcher County schools. Smith says route changes which took effect this year are saving 819.1 miles every day school is in session.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 The Whitesburg Fire Department will escort Santa Claus throughout the City of Whitesburg on Christmas Eve.

A federal investigation into the deaths of two underground coal miners in August has resulted in six citations being issued against Stillhouse Mining of Cumberland. Inspectors for the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration issued six citations to the Harlan County coal company in connection with the deaths of Russell Cole, 39, a section foreman from Letcher County, and Brandon Wilder, 23, a scoop operator from Harlan County.

. The Letcher Fiscal Court will begin a study on what to do to relieve overcrowding in the Letcher County Jail — including the possibility of building a new facility to replace the one that has been open just five years.

. Orlando and Jackie Collins of Payne Gap, will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary on December 24 with a family gathering.

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