Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were



Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

Thursday, January 7, 1926

The Kentucky River Mining Institute was organized on the night of December 30 and is made up of coal industry men from Letcher and Perry counties. More than 100 of the coal men attended the meeting held at Combs Hotel in Hazard. Henry Pfeining Jr. of South-East Coal Company at Seco was elected vice president in charge of Letcher County.

. Willie Tolliver is putting in a new grocery and feed store between Neon and Hemphill.

. New Letcher County Sheriff Morgan Reynolds swore in 17 new deputies this week after requiring each to take an oath that they would not drink intoxicating liquor of any kind or sympathize, encourage or countenance those who do.

. “If it were possible for you to come back to Letcher County 10 years from today you would not know it was the same county,” predicts Mountain Eagle editor and publisher Nehemiah M. Webb. “Some of us have forgotten [already] where the old K-Y Hotel stood.”

. Mr. and Mrs. Bennett Adams are temporarily in charge of the Daniel Boone Hotel in Whitesburg, where 10 men are registered to stay this week.

. Ford Motor Company’s “National Show Week” is set for January 9-16.

. Coal loaders are needed to work everyday at Consolidated Fuel Company at Elsiecoal.

Thursday, January 10, 1946 At the close of the year 1945, there had been registered with the Letcher County Health Department 1,084 live births, 27 stillbirths, and 243 deaths. Dr. T.R. Collier of Whitesburg delivered more babies than anyone else, with 225. Dr. D.V. Bentley of Neon delivered 182 babies, and Dr. T.M. Perry of Jenkins delivered 98 babies. Midwife Siller Adams of Whitesburg delivered 40 babies.

. “Butch,” the only military K-9 from Letcher County, has died of heat stroke while serving his country as a sentry dog at Fort Meyer, Virginia. Butch’s owners, Mr. and Mrs. Bill Blair, learned recently that the dog died July 10, 1945, only a couple of months after returning to the U.S. from England, where he served with the 703rd Military Police Battalion. Had he lived until August 27, 1945, Butch, a Great Dane who was once familiar on the streets of Whitesburg, would have been five years old.

. Staff Sergeant Jack Cox has returned to Whitesburg and assumed management of the Hobbs Five and Ten Cent Store. Cox served in the European Theater for 25 months with the First Army, participating in five campaigns.

. Letcher Commonwealth’s Attorney J.A. Runyon, County Judge Arthur Dixon, Sheriff Herman C. Combs and County Attorney Burley Hale have promised to join forces “to eliminate” the “bootlegging of beer or whiskey or the maintaining of houses of ill fame or gambling devices of any nature.”

. Near-record flooding which came Monday night damaged homes and property up and down the Kentucky River.

. “I am going to fine the drunks that lay around our town and cause nothing but trouble, and if they do not have any money to pay their fines, then the working statute will be applied.” Those were the words of new Whitesburg Police Judge Clark Day after taking office on Monday. Meanwhile, the Whitesburg City Council met Monday night and hired Herman Campbell as day policeman and George Cook as night policeman.

. Captain Mansfield Dixon, son of Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Dixon of Blackey, has arrived back in the U.S. after spending 17 months in Europe. He holds the Silver Star Medal as well as the Purple Heart and several battle stars.

. Staff Sergeant Beryl Franklin, son of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Franklin of Whitesburg, has received his discharge from the Army, where he was awarded the Purple Heart with Cluster for wounds. He wears three battle stars and was in the Ardennes, Rhineland, and Central Europe battles. He has entered Kentucky Wesleyan College, where he is taking pre-med courses.

Thursday, January 5, 1956 Oil production in eastern Kentucky reached a new peak of 2,300 barrels a day in 1955, most of it produced from wells drilled by Ashland Oil.

. For the first time since 1947, the bituminous coal industry made gains in production and profitability in 1955. The gain is soft coal consumption, plus exports, was about 60 million tons, or 15 percent higher than1954 consumption, which was a postwar low. There was also a general increase in utility dependence on coal in 1955, as well as a boom in steelmaking.

. Both male and female applicants for practical nursing positions will be conducted in Whitesburg next week by officials with the new Miners Memorial Hospital due to open soon.

. A household shower was held recently for Letcher County Clerk Charlie Wright and his wife. The Wrights lost their home and all their belongings recently to fire. The shower was held recently in the recreation room of the First Baptist Church, Whitesburg.

Thursday, January 4, 1966 Chicken pox has reached epidemic stage in Letcher County, health officials said today. Dr. Richard Keeler, county health officer, said he did not know exactly how many cases have occurred but officials have seen enough cases in a short period of time to indicate that an epidemic is under way.

. Gov. Edward T. Breathitt made the control of strip mining and the guaranteed civil rights to all citizens of Kentucky the number one business of the Kentucky General Assembly as the legislature opened its 1966 session at Frankfort this week

. Fire destroyed the J&L Market operated by Lester Riley at Ermine Monday night.

. Jimmy Caudill of Whitesburg has been named the new conservation officer for Letcher County under the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.

Thursday, January 8, 1976 Letcher County officials have illegally spent local, state, and federal revenue and have generally mismanaged that money to the point of losing vital documents, according to the most recent state audit of the county’s finances. And mismanagement of federal revenue sharing funds, in particular, has been so extensive that the outgoing state auditor thinks further revenue-sharing funds should be withheld until all irregularities are corrected. This audit period includes six months of the administration of the present county judge, Estill Blair.

. On the first Monday of the new year, January 5, newly elected or re-elected Letcher County officials were sworn into office by County Judge Estill Blair. Macie Warf started her first term as circuit court clerk as she was sworn in with her five deputy clerks. Her deputies are Cathy Cornett, Lisa Manning, Donna Mullins, Ann Estep and Nancy Manning. Harry M. Caudill, the new Letcher Commonwealth’s Attorney, also pledged to uphold the duties of the office, along with Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Forrest Cook. Re-elected Circuit Judge F. Byrd Hogg was also sworn in.

Wednesday, January 15, 1986 Residents of the Fleming-Neon area and Kentucky Power Company can’t agree on what caused sharp increases in electric bills to customers in the area. Residents say it’s the power company’s fault that some light bills jumped by as much as three times for the service period from Nov. 28 to Dec. 28. The power company, however, blames the increase on colder weather and customer waste.

. About 10 Jenkins office employees of BethEnergy Corp. will lose their job as the result of reorganization which will take effect February 1. BethEnergy’s Elkhorn division headquartered in Jenkins and West Virginia division headquartered in Charleston, W.Va., will be consolidated into a new Southern Division with headquarters in Charleston.

. The Letcher Fiscal Court has voted to hire two foremen to direct the county road department. The new bosses are Winston Meade, the former magistrate of District 3, and James Bates, a former Whitesburg city councilman.

. The Letcher County Board of Education was expected to vote last night (Tuesday) to formally accept architectural plans and advertise for bids for the construction of the new

Whitesburg Middle School and the renovation and addition to Whitesburg High School.

Wednesday, January 17, 1996 A House committee was scheduled to consider a bill this week that would “create a mechanism” to pay coal miners who lost their workers’ compensation benefits when South East Coal Co. went bankrupt in 1990. The bill, known as House Bill 287, was filed by Rep. Paul Mason (DWhitesburg), and is scheduled to be heard Thursday by the Labor and Industry Committee.

. A proposed Kentucky constitutional amendment to permit the reduction or elimination of the state’s unmined mineral tax was blocked in the Senate last week.

. Gov. Paul Patton has approved one redistricting plan that returns all of Letcher County to one House of Representatives district and another plan that moves the county from the 17th to the 31st State District. The House bill moves the Isom and Colson precincts from the 92nd House District, represented by Rep. Donnie Newsome of Knott County, to the 91st District, which is represented by Rep. Paul Mason of Whitesburg. The Senate bill moves Letcher County from the 17th Senate, represented by Sen. Charles W. Berger of Bell County, into the 31st Senate District, which is represented by Sen. Kelsey Friend of Pike County.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006 The Letcher County Fiscal Court defeated a living wage ordinance for the third time. Judge/Executive Carroll Smith, District Five Magistrate Wayne Fleming and District Two Magistrate Terry Adams voted in support of the ordinance, which would have set a minimum wage of $7.50 per hour for all workers in the county. District One Magistrate Jim Ward, District Four Magistrate Randall Caudill and District Three Magistrate Trey Narramore voted against the ordinance.

. Leslie A. Combs has announced her candidacy for Kentucky State Representative, 94th District.

. The jobless rate in Letcher County fell from 7.6 percent to 6.2 percent.

. Helen and Clabe Potter will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary January 14 at the Hemphill Community Center. The couple were married December 14, 1955.



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