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The Way We Were



Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

Thursday, July 15, 1926 The community of Roxana “is the prettiest location for a growing and thrifty city,” an anonymous citizen of the community writes to The Mountain Eagle. “The coal on these creeks and towering ridges is untouched and the equal of any, if not the best for miles around. A standard and narrow gauge railroad is being built now. These veins of industry and development coming into the place will make it a city. The man who opens his eyes can see a big business and commercial center spring up within 12 months on the big George Hogg farm. Rich river and creek bottoms lie all around it. Kingscreek and Linefork, the heaviest, biggest and best timber regions are in a loose proximity to it. … Keep your eye on Roxana.” The Hogg farm will be divided into 103 lots and sold at auction July 24.

. Arthur Bastin, prominent coal operator and businessman of Thornton and Kona, is seriously ill with typhoid in the hospital at Lexington.

. Two foreigners were caught under a dump of dirt and mud at Jenkins and buried several feet under them. After several hours of digging away the debris, one man was found still alive, an observer tells the Eagle, adding that the search is still on for the other man. According to the observer, “it was a rather pitiful picture to see the men, women and children gathered at the place doing all in their power to lift the loads of dirt from the bodies of the buried men.”

. Members of the Letcher Circuit Court jury traveled to Pikeville to hear the murder conspiracy trial of Joe Jack Jr. The jury found him guilty and sentenced him to life. “If Pike County wants to curtail its criminal record and bring more sunshine into its homes it would do well to get more of its juries from Letcher County,” the Eagle says.

. The First National Bank of Whitesburg is the largest of ve Letcher County banks that published legally required statements of condition in this week’s edition of The Mountain Eagle. First National’s assets of $978,750 outdistances the First National Bank of Jenkins’s $744,773 in assets. First National Bank of Fleming has assets totaling $544,286. Letcher State Bank of Whitesburg has $246,139 in assets, while Blackey State Bank reports total assets of $118,863.

Thursday, July 18, 1946 Lakeside Dairy Farm, located on Little Elkhorn in Jenkins, is rapidly being converted into one of the most beautiful country clubs in eastern Kentucky. The Elkhorn Country Club, which opened July 4, had its beginning only two months ago when a group of interested citizens and organized to build the club, tennis courts and golf course. The club now boasts a new membership of more than 182 and a working capital of more than $10,000.

. One of the largest — and most interesting — land sales in the history of Letcher County took place today when the entire estate of the late James H. Frazier was sold to the highest bidders. The sale netted a total of $104,310 as bidders bought 18 lots and buildings in downtown Whitesburg, Vicco, and Haymond.

. For the first time in its history, the Kentucky State Fair will conduct a beauty contest. The winner will be offi cially crowned Miss Kentucky and will compete for the title of Miss America in the national finals of the pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Each Kentucky county plans to hold a beauty contest, with winners going to the Miss Kentucky pageant.

. Miss Joy Frazier has returned to her home in Letcher County after attending the State Teachers College.

Thursday, July 12, 1956 Two of four prisoners who used hacksaw blades to break out of the Letcher County Jail are back behind bars today after less than 24 hours of freedom. Jailor Johnny Fulton identified the captured prisoners as Edgar Johnson of Whitesburg and Junior Cook of Millstone, both about 22. They were captured at a restaurant on Pine Mountain operated by Whitesburg Police Judge John Gose. Still at large are Cook’s brother, Ellis, about 28, and L.C. Moberly, 30, of Neon. Jail officials are at a loss to explain how the men got the saw blades.

. The City of Whitesburg has approved an ordinance annexing the land now owned and occupied by the Miners Memorial Hospital. The annexation becomes official after the ordinance is published three consecutive times in The Mountain Eagle.

. The Bank of Whitesburg reports total assets of 5,557,090 in its annual report of condition.

. Booker Thomas, a 19-year-old graduate of Dunham High School, received a Master’s Degree in Physics at Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio. Thomas, son of Mr. and Mrs. James Thomas of McRoberts, was president of the German Society, Vice-President of the Senior Class, and a member of the varsity basketball team. An “A” student at Dunham, Thomas received a scholarship to attend Wilberforce

. Owen Wayne Wright, Dudley Webb, Charles Roe Frazier, and Henry Gerald Frazier are among a group of Letcher County youth at Cumberland Lake for a weeklong learning-by-doing program at the Kentucky Junior Conservation Club’s Camp Wallace.

. All Letcher County schools will open Monday, August 27, Letcher Schools Supt. W.B. Hall says.

. Ground beef is on sale for 35 cents a pound at the A&P Store in Whitesburg and Neon.

Thursday, July 14, 1966 Letcher High School Principal Jeff Mayes and Whitesburg High School basketball coach Goebel Ritter have been employed as assistant superintendents of the Letcher County School System. Their salaries were set at $9,000 each. Mayes will be assistant superintendent in charge of instruction. Ritter will be in charge of transportation and buildings and grounds.

. The Letcher County Board of Education has instructed Supt. Kendall Boggs to investigate the possibility of consolidating the two one-room Dry Fork schools into one two-room school. Boggs said he believes the construction of new KY 15 could make the consolidation possible.

. The Letcher County Fiscal Court and Letcher County Board of Education are accepting bids for the construction of a T-shape, one-story masonry building to house the new Letcher County Vocational Extension Center. The building will contain approximately 26,316 square feet.

. The Letcher County Board of Health took the public position this week that fire hazards in public schools are

of no concern to health officials.

. The Millstone Council said this week that its new Goldenrod Picnic Grounds” are open to the public. The picnic spot is located on the left fork of Millstone on the grounds surrounding the former South-East Coal Co. bathhouse and shop.

. The federal Office of Economic Opportunity has approved a grant of $209,957 to the Leslie-Knott-Letcher- Perry Community Action Council to finance conduct and administration of the War on Poverty in the four counties for the next 12 months.

. Two high-rise dormitories of 22 floors each, eight three-story low rise dorms, and a three-floor central facility which houses a cafeteria, recreation rooms, lounges, a penthouse and mezzanine will use $22 million of $37.5 million allotted for capital construction program now underway at the University of Kentucky. Other new construction at UK will include a $10.2 million classroomoffi ce complex, consisting of a 19-story tower and threestory classroom building.

Thursday, July 22, 1976 A group of slightly shell-shocked Letcher County teachers met Monday night to discuss the Board of Education’s abrupt statement breaking off negotiations on next year’s contract. Work on the new contract had been progressing “smoothly” since April, according to Attwell Turner, president of the Letcher County Teachers Organization (LCTO). The school board unexpectedly issued a policy statement last week saying it had decided it “lacked the time and expertise” to negotiate a new contract with teachers.

. At an unannounced special meeting last Friday, the Letcher County Fiscal Court voted to spend $331,36528 and to borrow $40,000 for the Revenue Sharing Fund and $20,000 for the general fund. Kentucky law requires fiscal courts to provide written notification by mail or in person “to each local newspaper of general circulation . . . which has on file with the public agency a written request to be notified of special meetings.” The Mountain Eagle sent written requests to be notified of such meetings over a year ago, but received no written notification of Friday’s meeting.

. The Neon Volunteer Fire Department is asking for one of nine ambulances made available to Kentucky River Emergency Medical Service by Buckhorn Ambulances.

Wednesday, July 23, 1986 Citing a need for “flexibility”, Bethlehem Steel Corp. says it plans to sell all its mining operations and vast

reserves of bituminous coal in Letcher, Pike and Knott counties.

. Letcher Circuit Judge F. Byrd Hogg will hear arguments August 6 on motions asking that condemned killers Roger Dale Epperson and Benny Lee Hodge be granted new trials. Epperson and Hodge were convicted of the murder of college student Tammy Dee Acker of Fleming-Neon.

. The KY 113 bridge over the Kentucky River at Millstone passes the sufficiency rating test of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and therefore is not eligible for the state’s current Bridge Replacement Program.

Wednesday, July 24, 1996 The Letcher County Board of Education voted to employ Frank Hamilton, former superintendent of Johnson County schools, to run the school system until it finds a replacement for Charlie Wilson, who will leave at the end of this week.

. Claude Little, 29, of Whitesburg and Randy Combs, 24, of Isom, were graduated earlier this month from the 74th Kentucky State Police cadet class at Frankfort.

. There are confirmed high levels of fecal coliform bacteria in the rivers and streams in Letcher County, according to the Kentucky Environmental Quality Commission. This kind of bacteria indicates that human or animal waste is present in the rivers and streams.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006 Funeral services for Charlie Wright, 92, of Whitesburg, were held July 16. Wright served as Letcher County court clerk for 12 consecutive terms — 49 years. He was first elected to that office in 1949 and retired in 1998.

. The City of Blackey has a new mayor and several new council members. Mike Dixon was appointed mayor after the resignation of former Blackey Mayor Cathy Back. The Blackey City Council voted to appoint former Mayor Back, Betty Watts and Yvonne Hall to the council.

. Police are seeking information about copper thefts that took place in two Letcher County churches over the weekend. Copper tubing was removed from the Mayking Baptist Church and from a church at Thornton.

. Zachery Winstead, 5, of Nicholasville, is pictured on the front page of The Mountain Eagle with swimming instructor Tyrone Fields as Fields kept him afloat in the Whitesburg swimming pool and taught him to kick his legs. Zachery is spending the summer with his grandmother, Linda Stines of McRoberts.



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