Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were



Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

Thursday, September 16, 1926 Letcher Circuit Judge Childers ordered this week that all prisoners being held in the Letcher County Jail be taken to the Perry County Jail at Hazard. Sheriff Reynolds and deputies took the first 25 prisoners on the evening train on Monday. The order comes after seven prisoners escaped from the jail here by sawing out iron bars from an upper window. The prisoners, including one being held for rape and one for manslaughter, then lowered themselves the 20 feet to the ground by tying blankets together. The prisoners weren’t missed for some time.

. “Some people commend Judge Childers for emptying the jail, some condemn him and some make no comment,” writes Mountain Eagle editor Nehemiah M. Webb. “The Eagle ventures no opinion, believing everything will turn out for the best in some way.”

. Roy Craft, 18, charged with complicity in the killing of an elderly black man in the head of the river section of the county, was sentenced to five years in prison. His uncle, Columbus Craft, was given two years in connection with the same crime.

. One of the oldest and best-known homesteads in Letcher County, the home if the lat Joe Craft at Thornton, burned last week. It was the home of Arch C. Craft Jr. The loss on the uninsured home was estimated at about $5,000.

. Students used brooms, shovels, dust cloths, soap and water to get things looking better at Middle Colly School.

. Nearly all the coal mines in Letcher County are running every day as the price of coal is way higher than normal at this time.

. One hundred percent of Letcher County’s schoolteachers subscribe to The Mountain Eagle, editor Webb says.

. A bushel of Roman Beauty apples grown in Letcher County is fetching $1, as the area is so full of fine apples that hundreds of bushels are going to waste.

Thursday, September 19, 1946 A McRoberts man died of injuries he suffered in a fall while squirrel hunting in Coeburn, Virginia. Richard D. Yonts of McRoberts died Sunday night at the Coeburn hospital about eight hours after he lost his balance and fell over a 15-foot cliff while taking aim at a squirrel. Yonts, 52, was the construction foreman for Consolidation Coal Company.

. A 54-year-old Kona man died of a heart attack last Friday night while fishing at Cherokee Lake in Tennessee. John M. Gunning, a mine foreman with Elkhorn Coal Company, is believed to have died before he fell into the lake. He came to Letcher County from New Orleans about 25 years ago.

. The City of Neon is advertising for bids from companies interested in “the right, privilege and franchise to construct, operate and maintain” a waterworks plant in the city.

. A.L.P. Corder of Eolia is subdividing his 120-acre farm at Eolia, near the foot of Pine Mountain on the head of the Cumberland River. The property, which already has three good houses, one good barn and other necessary outbuildings, has plenty of good bottomland and grazing land. The lots will be sold at auction on Saturday, September 28. Sam Collins Land Auction Company will oversee the auction.

. The Rev. Paul M. Stewart is the new pastor at the Methodist Church in Whitesburg. A graduate of Asbury College and Asbury Theological Seminary, he comes to Letcher County from Harlan to replace the Rev. K.E. Hill, who was transferred recently to Jackson.

. The Hazard-Jenkins Bus Line has resumed operations after the settlement of a seven-day strike by 25 drivers and mechanics. Union officials say the employees agreed to return to work after receiving a “satisfactory” wage increase.

. Ben Landrum was hired as the new police chief in the City of Cumberland September 11 after former chief Hugh Miles was fired by the city council. Miles was fired during a meeting of the city council Tuesday night, during which Miles drew a pistol on Mayor Fred Buell. The motion to fire Miles was introduced by Councilman H.L. Russell after Miles was fined $500 after being convicted on a charge of transporting liquor illegally.

. “The Virginian,” starring Joel McCrea, Sonny Tufts, and Brian Donlevy, is showing Sunday and Monday at the Kentucky Theatre in Whitesburg.

. Waiters, bellhops, bootblacks, barbers and other service workers who rely largely on tips for income say the postwar public is tighter fisted with its handouts. One bootblack in New York City noted that tips which averaged $3 to $4 daily in wartime had declined to $1 to $2. A bellhop referred to today’s tippers “as a parade of dimes.”

Thursday, September 13, 1956 Letcher County residents were shocked and saddened Saturday when word began to spread that Neon Mayor Bill Tucker had

died after suffering a heart attack while working in his yard. Tucker was taken to the Fleming hospital for treatment of what was believed to have been a seizure. He had been at the hospital for about an hour and had just told his family and friends he would be all right when a second and fatal attack occurred. A native of Wise County, Virginia, Mayor Tucker had been in business in Neon since the early 1930s.

. A large fish fry is being held on Main Street in Neon tonight to raise money for much-needed repairs to the Neon fire truck. The price is $1 per plate. The Neon-Fleming Lions Club is sponsoring the event.

. A “Grandmas’ Pantry” emergency food kit is being featured by A&P Food Stores as a public service contribution to National Civil Defense Week. The package, developed by the U.S. Federal Civil Defense Administration, is on display this week at A&P stores in Whitesburg and Neon. The package would provide sufficient food to last one person for seven days in a Civil Defense emergency.

. Dave L. Craft of Mayking is the new principal at Jenkins High School.

. The Rev. Eugene Kenneth Meyers has been appointed as pastor of the Whitesburg Methodist Church. Married with three children, the Rev. Meyers will live at the Methodist Parsonage on Cornelia Avenue.

. More people are expected to see the 1956 World Series than another other in history. Why? More homes have television sets than ever before.

. Edward G. Robinson stars in “Nightmare,” showing tonight through Saturday at the Alene Theatre in Whitesburg.

Thursday, September 15, 1966 Letcher County school officials have state assurance today that the county will be able to build the new Whitesburg Area Vocational School. The assurance came from State Health Commissioner Dr. Russell Teague. It was Teague’s agency, the State Department of Health, which had halted construction because of a sewer problem.

. Should the Jenkins Independent School System merge with the larger Letcher County School System? Such a merger is suggested by The Committee for Economic Development, a national research and educational organization of 20 executives. The committee recommended that in order to offer a diversified curriculum every school district in the nation should enroll a bare minimum of 1,500 students.

. A crisis developed in a meeting of the Letcher County school board this week when bids were opened for construction of a new library and cafeteria to serve the Whitesburg high and elementary schools. The low bid of $434,850 was nearly twice the funds available to finance the structure. State and federal officials had approved use of $233,200 in federal Title I funds for the structure after present facilities were condemned as fire and health hazards.

Thursday, September 16, 1976 This issue of The Mountain Eagle could not be found.

Wednesday, September 10, 1986 “We have had a nice taste of fall. Maybe just a warming but it hurts to turn a little cool when we have had lots of hot, humid days. We have said good-bye to August and hello to September,” writes Eagle correspondent Sara C. Ison.

. Ten Letcher County residents will be installed in the Mountain Heritage Festival Hall of Fame at ceremonies on September 20 at the Elkhorn County Club. The men and women elected this year are: • The late Dr. D.V. Bentley, a longtime family physician and real estate developer in the Neon area. • Arlie Boggs, former superintendent of schools in Letcher County. • Harry M. Caudill, author, attorney and professor whose books have brought national attention to eastern Kentucky. • R. Percy Elkins, executive director of the Kentucky River Area Development District and former mayor of Jenkins. • Tom Gish, publisher of The Mountain Eagle for the past 30 years, and his wife, Pat, who is also active in operation of the newspaper.

• The late Cossie Quillen, former Letcher County Clerk and operator of Quillen Drug Company. • Clara Shaw, one of the founders of the Jenkins Public Library and active in a number of civic organizations. • Charlie Wright, who has served as Letcher County Court Clerk for 10 consecutive terms.

Wednesday, September 11, 1996 Letcher County Judge/Executive Carroll Smith ended the county’s long holdout on paying dues to the Kentucky River Area Development District earlier this week when he “reluctantly” mailed the planning agency a check for $23,163. Smith said that aside from its controversial purchase of a new Ford Bronco during the previous county administration, the agency has done virtually nothing to benefit the Letcher County government. “I don’t think the county’s getting its money’s worth,” Smith said.

. The Whitesburg Yellowjackets rebounded from their season-opening bashing at Corbin two weeks ago with a resounding 63-24 thumping of Shelby Valley last Friday night in Whitesburg.

. Gov. Paul Patton says most of Kentucky’s ills have a root cause: “One hundred years of neglect of education.”

Wednesday, September 20, 2006 The original Drifters, featuring Bill Pinkney who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, will perform at Mountain Heritage Village on September 23.

. Wings III, the new helicopter medivac service in Letcher County, has transported five patients since last Friday. Wings III transported its first patient on September 15 from Whitesburg Appalachian Regional Hospital to the Johnson City Medical Center in Tennessee, which took about 27 minutes.

. Hester Chapter #54, Order of the Eastern Star, will mark 100 years as a chartered chapter on October 16.

. The Jenkins Cavaliers picked up their rst win of the season 26-22 as they hosted the Phelps Hornets in a district game.



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