Whitesburg KY

The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

Thursday, August 12, 1926 A new overalls factory is now running at full speed in Neon. The old-time Bull Dog overalls are being turned out daily by the hundreds. Henry Daas, formerly of Norton, Virginia, heads the factory.

. Captain Henry Holbrook and his soldier boys are scheduled to leave Sunday for Camp Knox, where they will be in training for two weeks.

. Four coal miners who were trapped underground in western Kentucky for six days were rescued Thursday morning. All are well, but were thirsty and hungry.

. Since Letcher County Tax Commissioner H.E. Yonts has to work six months before he realizes the first penny for his labor, he is asking the taxpayers to file with him at once a list of all their property.

. I.M. Pitman is leaving his job at Whitco and is relocating to Thornton, where he has accepted a mine foreman’s place.

. Attendance in the county’s rural schools is said to be ne so far this year despite the extremely hot weather since classes began early in July.

. Verlon P. Rogers, a popular L&N Railroad employee at Whitesburg, has been promoted to the job of assistant superintendent of the Neon yards.

. Two Floyd County men were killed and two others, including the widow of one of the victims, were wounded in a gun battle Sunday on the campus of the Prestonsburg Institute. Dead are brothers “Little” Beverly Mellon, 40, and Jim Mellon, 35. Doll Mellon, widow of Jim Mellon, was wounded in the arm, Ben Layne, 40, was critically wounded and is near death. The killings were the result over an argument over the primary election held Saturday and began after a police officer identified only as Mr. Banks arrested “Old” Beverly Mellon. At that point, “Little” Beverly Mellon, along with “Old” Beverly Mellon’s brothers Henry and Jim, took “Old” Beverly away from Officer Banks. With Officer Banks now on the ground, “Old” Beverly sat on Banks while the others beat him on the head. During the melee, Jim Mellon drew his pistol to fire at Banks, but the bullet killed “Old” Beverly Mellon instead. Henry Mellon, the brother of “Old” Bev, and “Little” Bev then drew their pistols, resulting in Jim being shot five times.

. The City of Prestonsburg, where two men were shot and killed and a third man lies near death, wasn’t the only place where violence broke out after last Saturday’s primary elections. At Pineville, Ky., two men were shot and one of them is expected to die. Over in neighboring Virginia, the sheriff of Dickenson County was killed after he got into an argument with a Prohibition officer who had accused him of taking it easy on that county’s criminals. As for the primary election held here, “Old Letcher stayed on the law and order side without as much as a drunk reported for a single spat,” The Mountain Eagle reported.

Thursday, August 15, 1946

Several hundred employees remain on strike at the Hemphill, Fleming and Haymond mines operated by the Elk Horn Coal Corporation. The strike began about 10 days ago after workers began demanding the removal of Deputy Sheriff Jim Short, who miners charged with mistreating Elk Horn employee George Thomas.

. Among the new buildings being constructed in Blackey and elsewhere in the lower end of Letcher County are a new theater in Blackey, a new addition to Curtis Asher’s Store near Stuart Robinson School, and a new $80,000 building that will house the Wardrup Provision Company at Letcher.

. Many Letcher County citizens were pleased to learn this week that the L&N Railroad Company is surveying the Rockhouse section with the intention of extending the line up Rockhouse Creek for miles. The new line will service companies mining coal from reserves controlled by South-East Coal Company and Consolidation Coal Company.

. Time Finance Company, Kentucky’s first licensed personal loan institution, announced the opening of its new branch office in Neon this week. Time Finance operates in accord with the provisions of the new Kentucky Small Loan Law.

. The Whitesburg Lions Club has contributed $500 toward the construction of a new City Hall, Fire Department and Police Headquarters for Whitesburg.

. The federal government has approved price markups for all new cars sold in the United States. For example, a new Plymouth Deluxe costs $1,174 instead of $1,000. A mid-size Buick now costs about $110 more, while the price for a medium-sized Cadillac has gone up by $150.

Thursday, August 9, 1956

The racetrack at Allen in Floyd County will the site of the big Labor Day celebration held annually by the local unions of UMWA District 30.

. Mr. and Mrs. Henry Moore of Whitesburg won the doubles division of the weekly shuffleboard tournament at the Sarasota Terrace Club in Florida, where the couple is visiting.

. Squirrel hunting season in Letcher County opens August 15 and runs through October 15. A limit of six squirrels per day has been set.

. The Public Square Service Station located in downtown Whitesburg has been rebuilt and is reopening under the continued ownership of James Collins, who has operated the station for many years. Standard Oil gas products, Atlas tires, Uniflow oil, and Esso Extra are among the products sold at Public Square, which is located across Main Street from the Letcher County Courthouse.

. The U.S. Navy destroyer escort replica “Musical Ship on Wheels” will be on display in Jenkins next Monday, Navy recruiters say. The replica measures 44 feet long and is mounted on a truck chassis and is equipped with a loudspeaker system and the latest hit tunes for the enjoyment of the public.

. In a lengthy statement before a Congressional subcommittee, U.S. Rep. Carl D. Perkins, who represents Letcher County, said he hopes the region’s coal industry hit bottom in 1954, but pointed out that new competitors such as fuel oil remain troublesome for the industry. Perkins also called on Congress to start an agency that would be in charge of conducting research for new ways in which to use coal.

The Ice Capades, a professional football game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Colts, the Gene-Autry-Annie Oakley Rodeo, the Big Top Circus and the World’s Greatest Horse Show are among the featured attractions at the Kentucky State Fair in Louisville September 7-15.

. In his weekly column “Letcher in Detroit,” the Rev. Byrd Adams writes that Bobby Pendleton of Whitesburg recently moved his wife and family into their new home on Detroit Street in Lincoln Park, Michigan, where Bobby is now employed at the Burroughs Company, the makers of calculating machines and cash registers.

Thursday, August 18, 1966

The Letcher County library reports it had a record circulation of 4,463 books during the month of June. The previous high circulation figure was 2,293 books in February of this year.

. “Have you noticed the extra-heavy foliage this summer? Old timers say this is a sign of a hard winter. If it is, we sure will have a rough time this winter,” writes Eagle correspondent Mabel Kiser.

. A fatal accident involving a small Letcher County School System bus has resulted in the cost of fleet insurance for the district’s 68 buses to rise from $5,000 annually to $19,000.

. “Living it Up” starring Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis is playing at the Alene Theater in Whitesburg.

. Actor Fess Parker, TV’s “Daniel Boone,” a football game between the City-County High School All-Stars, and the Olson Shows Midway are among the attractions at the Kentucky State Fair in Louisville, which takes place this year from August 18 to August 27. A free country music spectacular and free events for teens are also on tap.

. Letcher County Schools will open on August 23, as planned, according to Superintendent Kendall Boggs. The administration is not making any special efforts to line up replacements for those teachers who will be out on strike and the school board has not scheduled any special meetings, Boggs said.

. The Letcher County Attorney has sent a three-page memorandum to the Letcher County Judge, members of the fiscal court, the county treasurer and county court clerk outlining areas of county fiscal mismanagement and illegal spending of county funds, requesting that the fiscal court file suit to recover excess fees.

. Whitesburg High School Principal Jack Burkich announced the appointment of Arthur “Ozz” Jackson as Whitesburg High School head basketball coach. Coach Jackson replaces John Lyle Eads, who resigned after six years as head coach.

Wednesday, August 20, 1986

Eastern Kentuckians die younger than residents of other parts of the state. Before they die, they suffer more from a variety of physical and mental ailments that other Kentuckians, beginning at birth and continuing through old age.

Calling the evidence in the case “overwhelming as to the guilt of the defendants,” Letcher Circuit Judge F. Byrd Hogg this week overruled motions for a new trial for the two men convicted of murdering the daughter of Fleming Neon physician Roscoe J. Acker.

. The recent layoffs at the Jenkins Community Hospital were necessary to operate the hospital properly, interim administrator Gary Rollins said. After First Health Inc., from Batesville, Miss., bought the Jenkins hospital several weeks ago, a large number of nurses and other employees were laid off.

Wednesday, August 21, 1996

Beginning January 1, Letcher County will have a fulltime Commonwealth’s Attorney for the first time ever. Will Collins, who has been Commonwealth’s Attorney since 1994, has agreed to relinquish his private law practice. He and all previous Letcher Commonwealth’s Attorneys had continued to do work for private clients as well as prosecute criminal cases for the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

. Members of the Whitesburg City Council are still talking with Paul Nesbitt Engineering in Lexington and Hazard about what they should do about finishing the city water plant. The partly constructed plant is still sitting in tall grass and weeds near the Kentucky River just below the Whitesburg hospital. Construction stopped on it last year after the contractor who was building it quit.

. A former high school teacher who grew up in Letcher County told Letcher County school officials at a hearing August 15 that he believes the county would benefit more from the construction of one central high school than from the two which are called for in the school system’s new facilities plan. Carl Bennett Banks, an administrator at Mountain Comprehensive Health Cooperation who also puts together socio-economic data for MCHC grant proposals, said he believes Letcher County would be served better by one high school, “based on the population figures and everything I’ve read, the size of the county population will be in 10 years and the sociological and economic trends in the county.”

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Thornton Post Office will close August 25. Officials say the closing is due to a problem with mold and an unstable roof in the post office building.

. The Letcher County Fiscal Court voted twice not to give $750,000 in single-county coal severance tax funds to the Letcher County Board of Education. The money would have completed the funding package for a new vocational and technical school, but the coal severance tax funds had been allocated for county water and sewer projects nearly a year ago. The court did vote to seek multi-county severance funds for the school project.

. Don Mitchell, 68, traveled from Tiffin, Ohio, to Letcher County by bicycle— a distance of 400 miles — to attend the Mitchell/Ison family reunion.

. The Letcher County Central High School boys’ and girls’ soccer teams opened their seasons with district wins over Belfry. The LCCHS boys won with a score of 6-1 and the girls won 2-1.

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