Whitesburg KY

The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

Thursday, August 26, 1926 A Letcher County brother and sister, ages five and seven, tragically lost their lives in an automobile accident near Coeburn, Virginia. They are the children of Jesse Green of Haymond, and were killed after the car driven by their uncle was wrecked.

. The Jenkins Graded Common School District will sell several properties at auction for delinquent taxes on September 6. Bidding for one 200-acre tract will start at $33.06, the amount owed in past-due taxes. The starting bidding for two oneacre tracts on Cane Branch is $7.81 and $6.34.

. “It will be less than seven weeks till frost now,” writes Mountain Eagle editor and publisher Nehemiah M. Webb. “The katydids are making this announcement every week. Hear them just as Morpheus comes over the world. In the meantime, ’possums, pumpkins, ‘perturnips,’ ‘pertaters,’ and paw paws will be getting ripe, and the dear old sow and her little pigs will trot into the forest to catch the first acorn that comes sailing through the air.”

. The Ideal Furniture Company has added a new service — directing funerals. “We are ready day and night to serve the public,” an advertisement for the store says. “We also make special orders for funeral flowers.” Store manager Jas. Lykins is the licensed funeral director and undertaker.

. Consolidation Coal Company stores in Burdine, Dunham, Jenkins and McRoberts “bringing New York to Kentucky.” The company says in an advertisement that its buyers are back from New York City “full of enthusiasm of the wonderful things that are being shown in the shops on Fifth Avenue and Broadway. … New York and Paris may be far away, but we are bringing them to Kentucky.” Silk-backed dresses, men’s ties, men’s hats, sport coats, Florsheim shoes, Gotham Gild-Stripe hosiery, draperies, sheets and pillowcases are just a few of the items from New York City that are now for sale here.

. Early trains brought many people to Whitesburg to attend the opening of Letcher Circuit Court. With farm work generally over for the season, more people attended the court’s opening than usual.

. Local Prohibition Enforcement Officer Clark S. Day has been called to the southern and western sections of the United States to assist in special prohibition enforcement work. It is not known when he will return to Letcher County.

. A well-known conductor on L&N trains between Lexington and McRoberts has died. R.M. Short, 48, died at his home in Lexington after a lingering illness.

. The L&N Railroad says it loses money on every meal served in its dining cars.

Thursday, August 29, 1946 Mary Madonna Smith of Jenkins was selected for the title of Miss Kentucky at the State Fair in Louisville Monday night. Competing as Miss Letcher County, Smith was chosen from among 50 contestants at the pageant attended by a crowd estimated at 20,000. The lovely brunette with olive skin is a graduate of Jenkins High School. She will now represent the Commonwealth of Kentucky at the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City September 2-9.

. Mr. and Mrs. Bill Tucker opened their new modern café in downtown Neon Sunday. It is located in their new building adjoining the Bentley Theatre.

. The Charles and John D. Lincoln Theater Corporation of Marion, Virginia, has started construction on a $300,000 building in downtown Jenkins that will be one of the largest in eastern Kentucky. The new building will house a new theater, bank, drug store, dime store and other establishments.

. A former Hazard police chief and Perry County magistrate was shot about 3 a.m. on August 23 and died about 24 hours later in the Hazard hospital. Authorities say Shiloh Sally was shot at his home in the Walkertown section by his son, 30-year-old Oscar Sally. The younger Sally surrendered Wednesday to the Perry County sheriff ’s office.

. A pie supper will be held at the Bear Branch School at Linefork on September 7. Money raised will be used for the school’s sports programs. If any is left it will be donated for the Linefork Road.

Thursday, August 23, 1956 Letcher County will get a new radio station next week. WNKY of Neon is scheduled to officially go on the air a 1450 on the AM dial next Wednesday. Test programs are now being run on the frequency.

. Jack Burkich has resigned as principal at Stuart Robinson High School at Blackey and has accepted the position as principal of Bardstown High School in Bardstown, Kentucky. Burkich is leaving Stuart Robinson after two years there. He is a past president of the Whitesburg Rotary Club and has been active in work at the Graham Memorial Presbyterian Church in Whitesburg. Burkich’s wife, Ruby, will teach in the Bardstown Grade School.

. Whitesburg restaurateur Mother Craft has given Mountain Eagle columnist Mrs. Cecil Webb her recipe for making her delicious apple butter. Mother Craft said she uses eight cups of cooked apples that have been run through a colander, six cups of sugar, and one 10-cent package of cinnamon drops. She cooks the ingredients for 25 minutes and seals it in sterilized jars.

. Flora Vance Snyder, 55, formerly of the Thornton-Sergent area, was killed late Saturday night in Los Angeles, California, after being hit by a car while crossing a street. She is the former wife of Floyd Vance, an employee with L&N Railroad. She will be buried in Los Angeles.

. Whitesburg resident Kermit Boatright died August 16 at St. Joseph Hospital in Lexington after a major heart operation. He was 47 years old. Boatright was a well-known and highly respected teacher in Letcher County for the past 14 years. He was married to Gertha Addington Boatright, who survives him. [Mrs. Boatright taught kindergarten students in Whitesburg for many years after her husband’s death.]

The Whitesburg Youth Administration says it is still active and still trying to find a suitable location for its proposed youth center. The group now hopes use the basement of the new Whitesburg City Hall after it is completed.

. In a “guest editorial,” Whitesburg Mayor Arthur Banks said the city has no chance to be successful unless it annexes new territory. “Whitesburg must expand,” writes Banks. “The town has outgrown itself. The few available building spaces are rapidly being filled. … The outside world considers our population of 1,390 people as a crossroads village until they visit us and see just how modern we are.”

. The City of Norton, Virginia is inviting Letcher County residents to travel there to shop during the fourth annual Black Diamond Days citywide shopping event set for August 23-25.

. A reporter for the New York Herald Tribune newspaper was injured Tuesday morning when his late model Buick collided with a coal truck on Kentucky Highway 15 in the Knott County community of Cody, near the Letcher County line. Newton Fullbright, 46, of New York City

suffered leg and facial injuries. Fullbright said he had been vacationing in Texas and was returning home via eastern Kentucky. “I was going to New York by way of Washington, D.C., and I wanted to see the coalfields, so I came this way,” he said. “I believe now that I would have been better off if I had taken another route.”

. The six-millionth Pontiac automobile, a 1956 Catalina coupe, came off the assembly line August 23. The first Pontiac, a 1926 model, was produced in December 1925.

. Actors Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift, stars of the motion picture “Raintree Country,” were named Kentucky Colonels by acting Governor Harry Lee Waterfield. Filming of the movie, which stars the two actors, will begin soon in Danville.

Thursday, September 1, 1966 Today is opening day for the new Foodtown supermarket in Whitesburg. The store is located in the former Letcher Lanes bowling alley building just behind the courthouse.

. Fifty-five residents of Jackhorn have asked the Kentucky Strip Mining and Reclamation Commission to withdraw a permit issued to Greer Ellison Coal Company to strip mine land within their community. They contend that the strip mining will destroy their water supply, which comes from the worked-out and abandoned mine of Elkhorn Coal Corporation, once the owner and supporter of the town, a former coal camp.

. School enrollment figures for the new school year indicated today that Letcher County residents are continuing to move out of the mountains in great numbers. The county school system had a total enrollment of 6,591 pupils at the end of the first month of school last year. By the end of the first week of school this year the enrollment figure had dropped to 6,239 pupils — a loss of 352 students.

. The new Calvary College at Blackey announced it would enroll more than 100 students for its first freshman class on September 5.

. Army Private First Class Wendell Boggs, 25, son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Boggs of Kingscreek, was assigned August 22 to the 25th Infantry Division in Cu Chi, Vietnam. A 1960 graduate of Kingdom Come High School, PFC Boggs has been assigned as a radio operator in Headquarters Detachment of the division’s 125th Signal Battalion.

Thursday, September 2, 1976 A Letcher County Coroner’s jury has ruled by a vote of 4-2 that the shooting of James Layne of Fleming by Police Chief William Hodges was “unjustified.” Layne, 26, of Burdine was shot August 21. He died last week in the Whitesburg hospital. The shooting occurred after Hodges attempted to question Layne after the chief saw him carrying a brown paper sack in his hand in Fleming. Hodges testified that after Layne ran and hid behind a coal truck he thought he saw Layne brandish a large handgun. Hodges said Layne refused to his order to come out from behind the truck with his hands up in the air. Hodges said that he shot Layne three times with a .45 automatic after the suspect eventually came out of hiding still holding the gun in his lowered hand. The case is now subject to review by the Letcher Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.

. Letcher Circuit Court Judge F. Byrd Hogg has granted a temporary injunction against the Letcher County Teachers Organization (LCTO) Tuesday in an effort to get students and teachers back into schools. The injunction follows a restraining order issued earlier last week by Judge Hogg attempting to quell a widespread strike and picketing by teachers and parents who are unhappy with the Letcher County Board of Education’s refusal to negotiate a contract with the LCTO for this school year.

. The Letcher Fiscal Court met in secret this week to shore up county finances by borrowing $15,000 for the county’s General Fund and $5,000 for the Revenue Sharing fund. The secret meeting was held after the court’s regularly scheduled September meeting.

. The Letcher Fiscal Court heard allegations of overpricing and unfair labor practices on the part of the county ambulance service at the court’s monthly meeting Tuesday. The ambulance service, operated by Ben Johnson of Pike County, was established after a secret fiscal court meeting in July. Just before Tuesday’s meeting, Johnson fired four ambulance service drivers who had been picketing in front of the courthouse while carrying signs that said, “Unfair labor practices.” The four had been asking for overtime pay and were critical of the ambulance service’s high prices.

. Presuming that everything goes on schedule, it will be 1980 before underground miners nationwide are equipped with self-contained oxygen rescue devices, says Robert Barrett, administrator of the Mining Enforcement and Safety Administration (MESA).

. Construction on the new Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise in West Whitesburg is nearly complete, reports Sandlick correspondent Daisy Halcomb. A laundry mat is being built next door to the restaurant, Mrs. Halcomb adds.


Family practitioner Alfred E. Krake, pediatrician Kenneth Darcy, OB/GYN specialist Mina Hizona team with Dr. John W. Wheeler, internal medicine, to make up the staff of Hazard-based Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation’s Whitesburg Clinic when it opens September 30. The same physicians, with the addition of family practitioners Paul Cents and P.G. Raithatha, will also staff MCHC’s clinics at McRoberts and Leatherwood/Blackey. Dentists John T. Barker and George Davidson will staff the McRoberts Clinic, while A.B. Chumbley and Jack Fifield will be the dentists at Leatherwood/ Blackey.

Wednesday, September 3, 1986 Sheriff Ben B. Taylor is warning Letcher County businesses to be alert to possible robbery attempts after armed robbers struck for a third time in two weeks.

. Letcher County residents and others who travel in the area will have to wait a while longer for US. Highways 23 and 119 to be completed, according to U.S. Rep. Carl Chris Perkins and state Secretary of Transportation Les Dawson.

. Paul Underwood of Mayking sent in a photograph of a potato to The Mountain Eagle that his son, Tommy Underwood, harvested recently from his garden at his home in Winchester. The potato looks like a turkey.

Wednesday, September 4, 1996 The Fleming-Neon Pirates keel-hauled the host Indians of Whitewood, Va., to the tune of a 50-0 whitewashing last Saturday afternoon for their second consecutive victory, spread over two seasons.

. Letcher County’s unemployment rate fell 1.8 percent from June to July of this year and 2.5 percent from July of 1995 to July of 1996.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006 Homer and Diane Combs, who met 34 years ago while students at Whitesburg High School, were among the 49 people killed when a regional jetliner crashed in Lexington. The couple were on their way to Monterey, Calif., to

celebrate their 31st wedding anniversary.

. The Letcher County Fiscal Court was presented 2006 Rural Health Smokefree Pioneer Award in Hazard for making Letcher County smoke-free.

. The Fleming-Neon Police Department is investigating four breakins in the Neon area last week that have already led to an arrest in one case. Willard Hall, 24, of Jenkins, was arrested August 24 and was charged with seconddegree burglary and theft by unlawful taking. He is accused of taking two large-screen televisions from Neon Electric.

. Las Penas, a new Mexican restaurant in Whitesburg, opened for business on August 22.

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