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The Way We Were



Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

Thursday, January 3, 1946 A Jenkins City Police officer is being held under $1,000 bond after he shot and killed a Jenkins coal miner at the miner’s home on December 23. Officer Hibbert Elkins will remain held under the bond until the case is considered by the Letcher County Grand Jury. The shooting occurred after Elkins was called to the home of the dead man, Turner Mullins, to arrest Mullins after he reportedly stabbed a friend in a jealous rage at a party being held at the Mullins home. Police were called to the home by Mullins’s wife, and upon their arrival ordered Mullins to give up. However, Mullins refused and instead drew for his gun, but was beaten to the draw by Officer Elkins. Acquaintances say Mullins was known to be a friendly man who was liked by his fellow workers.

. Selective Service has ordered local draft boards to no longer call fathers for induction into the armed services. Draft boards had previously been ordered to induct no fathers more than 26 years of age. Boards were also ordered not to accept as volunteers any father of three or more children.

. Preparations are being made to seal the flaming, gasfi lled, explosion-ridden Kentucky Straight Creek Coal Mine near Pineville where the bodies of 18 miners are entombed. Thirty-one miners were at work the day after Christmas when the explosion occurred in the two-mile long mine tunnel at 8:30 a.m. Nine were rescued the day after the blast, two of whom later died. Four bodies were removed from the mine on December 30. The decision to seal the mine was made by Kentucky State Mine Inspector Harry R. Thomas after he concluded that the 18 men entombed for a week must certainly be dead.

. The Neon City Council has found two new police offi cers in Norton, Virginia. The council this week hired as new city patrolmen Clarence H. Duncan and Ervin Miles. The two new officers have years of experience. Neon offi cials hope they can help stop the general disturbances and lawlessness that now trouble Neon so greatly.

. About 393,000 U.S. workers remained off the job this week because of continuing labor disputes.

. A&P Tea Company employees in Neon and Whitesburg will share in additional compensation totally approximately $1.5 million that is being distributed to employees.

. The nation continues to mourn the passing of General George S. Patton Jr., who was buried December 24 in Luxembourg after dying December 21 of injuries he suffered in an auto accident while en route to a pheasant-hunting trip in Speyer, Germany on December 9. Patton is best known for having led the U.S. Third Army in France and Germany after the Normandy invasion in June 1944.

. A new treatment for allergy ailments was announced earlier this month by the University of Illinois College of Medicine. The drug is called Benadryl.

Thursday, December 29, 1955 A Letcher County couple has been notified that their son was killed recently in a hunting accident. Mr. and Mrs. George D. Ison Jr. of Oscaloosa learned a few days ago that Sergeant Eli D. Ison Jr. was fatally wounded when he stepped on a mine while hunting on his Army base in Korea. The chaplain said Sergeant Ison was hunting alone, with permission, when the accident occurred on November 26.

. A 24-year-old Blackey man is among four Kentucky residents killed in automobile wrecks during the holiday weekend. Bobby Rex Cole was killed when an auto in which he was riding went out of control and hit a tree near Campton in Wolfe County. A companion, Glen W. Wilson, escaped serious injury. Wolfe County Sheriff G.G. Riddle said the two men were returning to Letcher County from Ohio when the wreck occurred. The sheriff said he didn’t know which of the two men was driving. Cole worked in Dayton.

. Seconds after declaring, “I’ve finished my Christmas shopping, now I want to get something to eat,” a 68-yearold Blackey dentist suffered a fatal heart attack in Hazard on Saturday afternoon. Witnesses say Dr. Robert F. Combs made the statement as he took a seat in the Gross Steak House. Members of the doctor’s family say he had suffered heart disease for some time. A native of Knott County, he practiced dentistry in Blackey for a number of years.

. A tragic accident last Thursday resulted in the death of young Darliss Caudill of UZ. Young Caudill was shot accidentally as he and a cousin were experimenting with an automatic rifle, which discharged as shells were being inserted. He was taken to the Fleming hospital, where he died on Sunday.

. Neon was “running over” for the weekend as many people returned home from their jobs and schools for the holiday.

. Times seem to be getting better in McRoberts, as Consolidation Coal Company has rehired several men back to their old jobs.

. A complete line of groceries and store fixtures will be sold at auction on December 29 in a bankruptcy auction at the Morgan Craft Store at Millstone.

Thursday, December 30, 1965 The City of Whitesburg found itself this week with about the fanciest water filtering plant in eastern Kentucky — but no water to filter through it. At about noon Monday, the two wells which have provided the town’s water supply went dry. The town was using water faster than the well could accumulate it.

. The U.S. Corps of Engineers told the Letcher County Board of Education this week there is no reason to delay planning for construction of a school in the Roxana area because of the possibility a dam might flood it out in a few years.

. The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees this week recommended establishment of new community colleges at Maysville and Louisville but did not make any mention of a site for the proposed Blackey-Hazard college.

. Funeral services for Dr. John Edison Crawford will

be conducted Friday at Moore and Craft Funeral Home. Dr. Crawford, a native of Colson, practiced medicine in Letcher County for 36 years.

. Thursday, January 1, 1976 At least five Letcher County homes were destroyed by res during December, while at least as many more were damaged by flames which broke out but were brought under control by the Neon, Jenkins and Whitesburg Fire Departments.

. ”As to the resolutions all of us will make, it is better to make one and keep it than make a hundred good ones and break them,” writes Eagle correspondent Mabel Kiser.

. The C.B. Caudill Store at Blackey advertised jackets of all kinds for men, women and children in denim, quilted nylon, or corduroy.

Wednesday, January 8, 1986 The Jenkins City Council has hired a new police force and city clerk, but will look at its “financial situation” before putting anyone else on the payroll. Bill Tackett Jr. is the police chief. The new patrolmen are Robert Evans and Dan Washington. Mary Johnson is the new city clerk.

. Carlos Phillips has been named the new police chief in the City of Fleming-Neon. A former coal miner and part-time patrolman, he replaces Bill Tackett, who left Fleming-Neon to become chief of police for the City of Jenkins.

. Unemployment rates increased in Letcher and 101 other Kentucky counties from October to November, the Cabinet for Human Resources has reported. Rates declined in 15 counties during the same period and were unchanged in three, the cabinet said.

. The City of Whitesburg says it will continue its new practice of providing fire protection outside city limits — but only if the county is willing to meet the cost.

Wednesday, January 10, 1996 A winter storm that dumped nearly two feet of snow on Letcher County over the weekend left hundreds of families without electrical power for several hours and held the county at a virtual standstill through Monday.

The county’s worst winter storm since March 1993 arrived Saturday morning and dumped about 20 inches of snow and ice on most of the county before leaving early Monday morning. Twenty-eight inches of snow was reported on top of Pine Mountain.

. A state investigation has concluded that a Letcher County pharmacy didn’t commit fraud when it billed Medicaid $1.1 million over two years for medicine delivered to one patient. The medication purchased from Shopwise at Fleming-Neon was an expensive clotting factor used to stop bleeding in hemophiliacs, whose blood does not clot properly. It has no medical value for people who do not have the condition.

. The Kentucky Public Service Commission has opened an investigation into the quality of electrical service in Letcher County. The commission acted after Letcher Commonwealth’s Attorney Will Collins sent PSC Chairperson Linda Breathitt a report from the Letcher County Grand Jury requesting the commission to conduct the investigation. The grand jury looked into a power outage which held up voting in three Letcher County precincts during the November 1995 gubernatorial election. The jury heard from precinct officers, a deputy county court clerk and a representative of Kentucky Power Company.

Wednesday, January 4, 2006 The number of candidates seeking their party’s nomination in the May primary election in Letcher County has grown to 32. The filing deadline is January 31.

. A methane explosion in a Tallsmansville, W.Va., coal mine trapped 13 coal miners 260 feet below ground and rescuers went in to find them after waiting 12 hours for dangerous gases to clear. Rescue workers had not reached the trapped miners by 11 p.m. Monday.

. An Appalshop film, “The Buffalo Creek Flood: An Act of Man” has been selected for inclusion in the National Film Registry. The film, directed by Mimi Pickering, tells of the 1972 Buffalo Creek Flood in which 125 West Virginians were killed and thousands left homeless.

. Isabella Chloe Nicole Thacker was born at 2:12 p.m. on January 1, making her the first baby born in Letcher County in 2006. She is the daughter of Emmitt and Leslie Thacker of Isom.



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