Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were



Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

Thursday, February 14, 1926 In honor of President Abraham Lincoln on the 115th anniversary of his birth, the front page of The Mountain Eagle carries photographs of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., a national monument dedicated in 1922.

. The Gorman Pursifull Coal Company sold its holdings on Sandlick to Elkhorn-Jellico Coal. The two camps will be operated as separate concerns. The Gorman Pursifull plant will be known as the Sandlick Coal Company.

. Leonard Lewis of Whitesburg has resigned as assistant cashier at First National Bank to accept a position with Sandlick Coal Company. Kenton Fairchild replaces Lewis at the bank.

. Dr. A.F. Sanders and Dr. F.M. Elliott have announced the opening of new dental office at Millstone, where they will see patients every Thursday. The Neon office will also remain open as well. Sanders and Elliott tout their use of the “conductive method” of anesthesia, which uses injections of Novocain to make dental work “painless.”

. The Blair and Combs Barber Shop has relocated to the new George Hogg Building in downtown Whitesburg.

. A sure sign that spring is just around the corner? Letcher Motor Company reports that it sold four Ford automobiles lately.

. The Ermine School closed recently after teacher Charlie Hall left for Richmond, Kentucky, where he will be in school himself until May.

. The home of Letcher County barber Harlan Cook, of the Caudill section of Whitesburg, was destroyed by fire Sunday morning. The loss is estimated at $1,500.

. Republicans and Democrats in Frankfort appear to have been involved in some heavy logrolling, as a bill to add five-cents onto each gallon of gasoline sold is sailing through the General Assembly while bills permitting pari-mutuel betting and the establishment of a coal tax are said to be doomed.

Thursday, February 14, 1946 The Elk Horn Coal Corporation has sold the town of Haymond to Dr. B.F. Wright, Harry Howard, and Redwine Hollan. The purchase, which occurred Saturday, consists of some 65 houses including the town’s big store building with all its equipment, the recreation building and all its equipment, and the meat market and it equipment. Twenty of the houses are double-unit sized. The purchase price was said to be $95,000. Wright, Howard and Hollan will sell or rent the units to individuals. Elk Horn Coal offi cials say they made the sale because the Haymond coal seam has been nearly mined out. However, it is believed that for many years the camp will be a valuable site for people to live and motor to other sections of the county for employment.

. The L&N passenger train headed toward Whitesburg on Wednesday morning was delayed for several hours because of a wreck that took place on the rail line at Barwick in Breathitt County, between Altro and Krypton in Perry County. The wreck, caused by a huge slide on the tracks, killed two L&N crewmembers, the fireman and brakeman. The engineer was severely burned.

. Letcher County Coroner Archie Craft and Dr. B.F. Wright say a physician found dead in his bed at the Seco hospital appears to have died of an overdose of sleeping powders. Dr. John L. Wells Jr., who had asked for the privilege of staying overnight at the hospital, was found dead there on Tuesday morning. He had arrived in Letcher County only recently, apparently moving here from Clearwater, Florida. Dr. Wells, about 40, had worked for a short time at the Fleming hospital but was discharged after he was found to be working while intoxicated.

. A coal miner confined to his bed since 1942 because of a fractured spine he suffered in a slate fall died at his home in Dongola [Cowan] this week. John H.. Elkins, 32, had been injured in an Elk Horn Coal Company mine. His wife and two children survive him, along with many other family members.

. The new word “mass-portation” will have more meaning in five years, aviation experts predict. The experts said this week that giant airliners will carry more than 100 passengers and travel at speeds of up to 600 miles per hour, a speed now approached only by fighter planes especially constructed for speed tests. This future for commercial aviation was predicted by Dr. Clifford C. Furnas, director of the Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory in Buffalo, New York.

. A tax on coal has been suggested as one means of nancing a policing of the Kentucky coal industry. The proposal comes from Democratic State Representative John Y. Brown, member of the state House committee investigating the Pineville mine disaster and poor safety conditions generally in state mines. The one-half cent per ton tax would provide funds for operating the state Department of Mine and Minerals, Brown said. Meanwhile, families of the 24 miners killed in the December 26 Bell County mine explosion will share in approximately $135,000 raised through special fund campaigns.

. The United Nations has drawn a big circle on the map of New York and Connecticut. In the circle are Westchester County of New York and Fairfield County of Connecticut. Somewhere within these two border counties, the permanent headquarters of the UN will be located.

. Striking auto workers in Detroit say they won’t accept anything less than the 19-1/2 cent an hour pay increase recommended by the government’s fact-finding panel before they agree to return to work.

Thursday, February 9, 1956 A Letcher County soldier stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina has been charged with murdering a 26-year-old motor court manager. Sergeant James P. Collins, a paratrooper from Ermine, is accused of gunning down Richard Earl Sanford during a robbery at Sanford’s Siesta Motor Court near Fayetteville, N.C.

. Lieutenant Colonel Lee J. Merkel, nephew and frequent visitor of former Whitesburg physician Dr. C.G. Passmore, was killed January 31 when his Kentucky Air National Guard F-51 Mustang plane crashed during a

test flight near Bedford, Indiana. Merkel, 35, a Kentucky Guard detachment commander, was considered one of the National Guard’s top pilots while fighting in the European Theater during World War II. He was awarded the Air Medal with five clusters, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and two Presidential Unit Citations while taking part in 143 missions and being shot down behind enemy lines in Italy.

. Highway safety officials are advocating that drivers stop on the highway for a soft drink as a preventive measure against traffic accidents.

. The Letcher County Health Department has just received another supply of 720 doses of the Polio Vaccine. The vaccine will be offered to any child or youth up to 20 years of age on a first come, first served basis.

Thursday, February 10, 1966 The State Department of Education at Frankfort has turned down a proposal from the Letcher County Board of Education for construction of 31-room consolidated grade school at Whitesburg with funds from the Federal Aid to Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The

department told a delegation of Whitesburg citizens and a school board representative that money appropriated under Title I of the act definitely cannot be used for construction of a new school building.

. ”Good-bye Charlie” starring Tony Curtis, Debbie Reynolds and Pat Boone is now playing at the Alene Theater in Whitesburg.

. The Letcher County Board of Education has named ve Whitesburg citizens to a committee to help it find ways to finance new school buildings in the county. Dr. B. F. Wright, board chairman, said the committee would be known as the “finance committee.” He designated as members Russell Price, automobile dealer; Gene Moore, insurance adjuster; Remious Day, Whitesburg fire chief; Mrs. Joe Newell, president of the Whitesburg Parent- Teacher Association; and Mrs. Tom Gish, newspaper reporter. All are parents of children attending school at Whitesburg, where several buildings have been termed fire hazards.

. The second safest year in history was recorded in 1965

for Kentucky’s coal mining industry. Twenty-nine miners lost their lives last year. The safest year on record was in 1963 when 33 fatalities were recorded.

Thursday, February 19, 1976 Five juveniles and one adult have been arrested this week in connection with a series of bomb threats that have been disrupting the schools in Letcher County for the past month. However, the threats that bombs will explode at one school or another have continued.

. Four Knott Countians were arrested and jailed for a night this week after they blocked four county trucks on Big Fork Mountain protesting that the road there needs immediate repair.

. The Letcher County Fiscal Court accepted a bid of some $176,000 from a Lexington construction company for road and drainage work to be done at the Fishpond Lake recreational project. The work is part of a half million-dollar project funded by some $400,000 of Appalachian Regional Commission money and coal severance tax funds. Plans call for a road to encircle the lake with accompanying boat docks and restrooms.

Wednesday, February 19, 1986 Judge/Executive Ruben Watts says he and other officials will not accept the state Public Service Commission’s finding that the unusually high bills received by many Letcher Countians in January were the result of higher-than-normal temperatures in December.

. Heavy rains and melting snow left many Letcher Countians with washed-out roads, swampy yards, and damp basements early this week, but the weather was expected to cause little other damage.

. Local school officials say they will increase their efforts to keep students from using smokeless tobacco at the county’s high and elementary schools. The use of snuff and chewing tobacco by students, like smoking cigarettes, is already prohibited in the Jenkins Independent and Letcher County school systems. But recent evidence linking dipping and chewing with mouth and throat cancer and cardiovascular problems has prompted officials to pay attention to the problem of smokeless tobacco.

Improved shopping conditions in Letcher County are among the major reasons cited for the closings of at least six retail stores in Pound, Virginia. Earl Jackson, an owner of Pound Hardware and Furniture Company, said business at the store began declining after the opening of Lowe’s and Wal-Mart in Whitesburg.

Wednesday, February 21, 1996 A judge has ordered State Education Commissioner Wilmer Cody and state manager of Letcher County Schools Michael King to appear in court March 1 and explain why they should not be held in contempt for their recent activities against the Letcher County School Board. The chairman of the Letcher board, Tommy Vanover, said he hopes Cody has to spend time in jail if he is held in contempt by Special Letcher Circuit Judge John David Caudill. Cody informed the board in a January 26 letter that he was assuming full control of the Letcher County district under a 1992 state law. Judge Caudill said Cody’s action was a “collateral attack” on a restraining order Caudill issued last June.

. The Jenkins City Council is delaying its plan to enact a curfew ordinance for juveniles while a bill to clear up legal questions about such curfews is being addressed by the Kentucky General Assembly.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006 Responding to rumors, the Letcher Fiscal Court assured citizens that Fishpond Lake will not be drained to make a site on which to build a proposed federal prison.

Three Letcher County soldiers, all members of the B Co 206th En Bn National Guard unit in Hazard, returned home recently from serving in Iraq. They are Jerry Fields Jr., son of Jerry and Nell Fields of Cowan; SPC Matthew Caudill, son of Michael and Marcia Caudill; and SPC Shaun Collier, son of Lewis and Bonita Collier of Millstone.

. The Jenkins Lady Cavs defeated the Ervington Lady Rebels 83-53. The Lady Cavs’ record is now 10-10.

. Former Letcher County resident Gladys Hogg, now of Frostproof, Fla., celebrated her 90th birthday February 11, writes Southern Ohio correspondent Rose Ballard Dunham. Mrs. Hogg and her husband, the late Steve Hogg, owned the grocery store in Roxana. She is also a retired teacher.



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