Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were



Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

Thursday, March 11, 1926 “Harther,” “Letcher,” “Duo,” “Felix,” and “Carbonglow” were the train stops Mountain Eagle editor Nehemiah M. Webb heard over the weekend while he was visiting Blackey and took a ride on the L&N Railroad’s “short dog” route. “The bell awakes the little echoes and we are back in Blackey,” Webb writes, adding: “You hear less whining and grunting in Blackey and thereabouts than in most places.” Webb also notes the community of Duo wants a post office and needs one badly.

. E.C. Bentley has opened a new watch and clock repair shop on Main Street in Whitesburg.

. D.L. Ison of Defeated Creek says he would like to trade 1920 Ford Model 5 passenger sedan for a good team of mules and a wagon.

. The Daniel Boone Hotel on Main Street in downtown Whitesburg rented 52 rooms during the three-day period beginning March 8.

. A record-number 164 three year-old horses have been nominated to run in the Kentucky Derby on May 15 at Churchill Downs in Louisville. Among those expected to run for the $50,000-added purse in the 52nd renewal of the Derby are top two-year old stakes race winners Pompey, Canter, Flight of Time and Bubbling Over.

Thursday, March 14, 1946 The Letcher County Fiscal Court has rescinded its recent vote to place the entire county in the Eastern Standard Time Zone. The court voted to return to the Central Time Zone effective March 17 after loud protests by citizens and the refusal of some county schools and the L&N Railroad Companies and bus lines to start observing Eastern.

. Letcher County will again start enforcing a state law that prohibits work on Sundays “for profit or amusement.” The law against “Sabbath-Breaking” is officially known as KRS 436.160. It was ignored for much of World War II, but Letcher County Judge Arthur Dixon, County Attorney Burley W. Hale, and Sheriff Herman C. Combs say it is time to again start punishing those who violate it. “It is our sworn duty to see that it is enforced the same as any other law,” the three officials say in a joint statement. “If it is an unfair law, then it should be repealed. We did not make the law, but so long as it is a law it should be enforced.”

. The L&N Railroad plans to extend a “double track” from Whitesburg to Mayking. The new track will be used for passenger service only.

. A 16-year-old McRoberts boy has been badly injured by the explosion of a blasting cap used in mining. Charles Elkins lost an eye and three fingers as a result of the blast. He is being treated at Jenkins Hospital.

. Jesse Wright, manager of Wright Motor Company at Neon Junction, has new Chrysler and Oldsmobile cars on display. The cars range in price from $1,400 to $1,500.

. Brothers Raymond Day and Remious Day, both recently discharged from the Army after serving two years in the European Theater, have leased the Texaco filling station on Main Street in Whitesburg. They are now painting it and brightening it up and are ready to serve customers.

Thursday, March 8, 1956 The new Whitesburg Memorial Hospital still isn’t ready to accept patients, but will hold an open house this Sunday afternoon, March 11, from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. The United Mine Workers union owns the new facility, which is being constructed with a large amount of copper.

. Whitesburg Fire Chief Renious Day has submitted a letter of resignation to the Whitesburg City Council. In the letter, Day said he has accepted a job with Kyva Motor Company that will pay him a larger salary with fewer hours.

. The Whitesburg City Council will meet in special session Friday night to vote on whether to move the taxi cab parking lot back to the bridge over the North Fork of the Kentucky River on Main Street, where it was formerly located.

. An amendment will be tacked onto Governor Albert B. Chandler’s reorganization bill in the Senate next week that would prevent gerrymandering of county school divisions just before elections for local school board members are held. The Letcher County Board of Education practiced some of the gerrymandering on March 1 when it voted, at the recommendation of Supt. W.B. Hall, to take the Upper Cumberland, Eolia and Lewis Creek precincts from District 3 and place them in District 5; move Marion, Carbon Glow, and Doty Creek from District 5 to District 4; move Fleming from District 2 to District 1, and move Payne Gap from District 1 to District 3. All board members voted in favor of the move except Kernie Day and Ray Collins.

. Quillen Drug Store on Main Street, Whitesburg, was burglarized Monday night resulting in the loss of $40 in cash and other items.

. Rex Polly scored 14 points as Coach Ernie Trosper’s Whitesburg Yellowjackets defeated the Fleming-Neon Pirates Saturday, 55-50, to capture the 53rd District championship.

. Mr. and Mrs. Ulis Hunsucker announce the birth of their third son, David Quentin, born at Notre Dame Hospital on Saturday, March 3.

. How’s this for a fish story? Two Letcher County couples, Mr. and Mrs. George Caudill and Mr. and Mrs. Bill Goins, were fishing recently in Eumatilla, Florida. Mr. Caudill was using a cane pole on a five-acre lake when he got a strike and let the fish take the line so far that it came loose from the pole. Later that same day, the two couples were fishing on the other side of the lake when Mr. Caudill got another good strike and hooked a 14-inch bass, this time using a rod and reel. As Mr. Caudill was reeling in the fish, he snared the line he had lost earlier — with a 12-inch bass attached to the hook.

Thursday, March 10, 1966 The highway distance between Whitesburg and Hazard will be reduced from 40 miles to about 30 miles when

new construction of KY 15 is completed from Quicksand in Breathitt County to Whitesburg. The new road will cut the traveling distance from Jackson to Hazard from 45 to 26 miles. A contract will be let this month for surfacing of the 6.6-mile section between Whitesburg and Hazard.

. The Letcher County Health Department advised adults and children to stay home from the regional basketball tournament at Jackson this weekend because of the danger of contracting meningitis. The advisement comes after five cases of a type of meningitis that is frequently fatal were reported in Perry County. Hazard is a participant in the regional tourney.

. The Kentucky legislature has passed a bill giving Kentucky school teachers raises, and Gov. Edward T. Breathitt has signed it into law. The bill calls for raises from $450 to $1,100 for teachers, depending on training and experience.

. The Whitesburg City Council has directed city attorney Leroy Fields to draw up an ordinance making all eating places in the city close at midnight. The council will act on the ordinance next month.

. Three members of the Whitesburg High School Beta Club will appear on “Classroom Quiz” over station WCYB-TV, Bristol, on March 21. Members of the Whitesburg team will be Kyleen Campbell, Charles Ward, and James Kenneth Caudill.

. An elderly Fleming woman, Mrs. Etta Wright, is being credited with saving the life of Jack Hounshell, an invalid whose house burned last Thursday afternoon. Mrs. Wright, a neighbor, ignored blinding smoke and was able to reach for Hounshell, who had been able to get into his wheelchair, after hearing the sound of his coughing and was able to pull him to the kitchen door, where others had arrived and were able to help her pull him to safety. A neighbor of Mrs. Wright said she “wasn’t going to let Jack burn up in there — she’d get him our or die trying.” The Hounshell home is located next to the old Fleming hospital.

Thursday, March 18, 1976 The bodies of 11 men killed March 11 in a second methane gas explosion at Scotia Coal Company’s bottom mine are being sealed within the mine, at the mouth of the dangerous 2-Southeast section where they were found. Kent Frizzell, U.S. Undersecretary of the Interior, announced Saturday that the “gassy” mine would be sealed for two or three months, or until it is considered safe. The 11 dead were part of a crew including some inspectors that had been sent two-and-a-half miles into the mine to start repairs on tunnel roofs damaged in a March 9 methane explosion that killed 15 miners in the 2-Southeast section.

. A Mountain Eagle editorial addressed the disasters that had occurred the week before. “We went to press last week reporting the worst coal mine disaster in Letcher County history. Fifteen miners were dead, victims of a violent explosion that rocked Scotia Coal Company’s Imboden Seam Mine at Oven Fork on the morning of March 9. At that time, it did not seem as though the news a week later could be worse. There would be private grief and public sorrow, funerals and press conferences, investigations and explanations, promises of aid and pledges that this must never happen again. But the news this week is worse. On the evening of March 11, only 42 hours after

rescue crews had brought the bodies from the mine, a second explosion erupted trapping a 13-man work crew nearly two-and-a-half miles inside the mine. Eleven — three federal mine inspectors and eight Scotia employees — died instantly. Two survived, stunned by the concussion of the explosion but otherwise unhurt.

Wednesday, March 19, 1986 The Letcher County Board of Education voted Monday to award contracts for construction of the new Whitesburg Middle School and an addition to and renovation of Whitesburg High School. The bids totaled $3,742,262.38. The middle school is expected to be ready for students 11 months from now, and the high school in 14 months.

. The House Appropriations Committee Monday passed the unmined minerals tax bill and recommended that it be considered by the full House. Rep. Hoover Dawahare (D-Whitesburg) cast the deciding vote.

. The Letcher County Board of Education will accept applications over the next two weeks for the position of county school superintendent. At its March meeting, the school board voted 4-1 to solicit applications for the job now held by Jack Burkich

Wednesday, March 20, 1996 Hager Trent, who operates the Day Rural Station Post Office out of his Trent’s Grocery Store at Big Cowan, was greeted by two men wearing stocking masks about 8:30 p.m. Friday when he opened the store’s front door to throw away two oranges that were rotting. After a short tussle, the two men fled after Trent threw an orange and struck one of the men in the face. Minutes later police arrested Keith Aaron Maschino, 20, of Whitesburg, and Earnest Ray Adams, 22, of Jeremiah.

. Members of the Neon City Council voted Monday to approve Mayor Arlie Hall’s hiring of Pikeville Attorney Rick King as the city’s attorney.

. Winners of the Letcher County elementary basketball title are the Jenkins Middle School Cavaliers coached by Robert Albright. The team includes eighth graders Lee Gibson, Terry Back, Josh Stanley, Devon Caudill and Brett Curry and seventh graders Brandon Stanley, Dustin Banks, Harold Davis, Jason Penell, Jordan Tackett, Chris Wright, Justin Duty and Josh Adams.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006 District Three Magistrate Trey Narramore has reversed his position on a smoking ban he voted against four months ago. He told the court he had a “change of heart” after visiting several restaurants and commercial establishments and seeing how much smoking affected the customers and staff.

. A resurgent half-court defense in the second half and 10-0 run to end the third quarter and begin the fourth quarter allowed the Letcher County Central High School Lady Cougars to pull away from a 36-36 tie and down Leslie County 54-44 in semifinal action of the girls’ 14th Region Tournament.

. Neon Postmaster Paul Stambaugh reminds people to check their mailboxes as part of their spring cleaning. Among his suggestions are to check the stability of mailboxes mounted on a post or pole, make sure your address appears on both sides of the mailbox, and check the door and hinges.



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