Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were



Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

Thursday, October 6, 1926 The entire town of Whitco — which consists of at least 50 lots, 36 homes, one store building and boarding house, and 275 acres of mineral — will be sold at auction on Friday, October 15.

. More than 350 people arrived in Letcher County by train Wednesday night to attend the annual meeting of the Upper Kentucky River Educational Association (UKREA), being held in Whitesburg this year. The three-day meeting is headquartered at the Daniel Boone Hotel on Main Street, with actual sessions taking place at Whitesburg High School. Many of the 350 visitors arrived from Breathitt, Knott and Perry counties. Letcher County is represented by a delegation of 150. The guests, nearly all of whom will be driven to the top of Pine Mountain, are being greeted with weather that is cool and clear with bright sunshine.

. Among what The Mountain Eagle terms “big men” who traveled to Letcher County for this week’s annual meeting of the Upper Kentucky River Educational Association are Kentucky state school superintendent McHenry Rhoades, R.T. Whittinghill, the superintendent of the Hazard Schools, W.I. Jayne of Morehead Normal School, R.E. Jaggers of the Eastern Normal School, J.E. Adams of the University of Kentucky, and Charles T. Morgan of Berea College.

. Karl E. Davis is the new editor-manager of The Mountain Eagle. J.P. “Parnell” Johnson has been promoted to solicitor. In an editorial message to readers, Davis, a Bowling Green native who has worked at the Eagle for a number of years, says the Eagle “is a people’s paper, and the people should more or less run it and dictate its policies. There are enough braining men and women in Letcher County to edit a Britannica, much less a small paper like ours. … I shall not play politics or religion, and have no axes to grind.” Davis replaces the Eagle’s founding editor and publisher, Nehemiah M. Webb.

. “Letcher County is ‘under laid’ with the highest grades of coal found in Kentucky,” The Mountain Eagle reports in a special edition geared to visitors of the Upper Cumberland River Educational Association. The reports says that in addition to the Elkhorn No. 3 seam, which The Eagle calls the county’s best, are the Hazard No. 4, Whitesburg and Amburgey seams, as well as the Elkhorn C seam in the Cumberland River area. “At the present rate of production, there yet remains about 100 years of mining in the Elkhorn 3 seam,” the Eagle says. “In the Linefork section there is a vast undeveloped territory which has been prospected and proved its coals of very high quality. The same is true of the Upper Cumberland River. The Whitesburg seam is being mined at present only in limited qualities, but underlies a large portion of the county and is good steam and domestic coal. The Hazard No. 4 coal, which is being extensively mined in this county, is one of the best steam and domestic coals found in eastern Kentucky, as it mines in large blocks free from impurities. The Amburgey seam, like the Whitesburg seam, has not yet been very extensively developed.”

. An advertisement in The Mountain Eagle encourages Letcher County citizens to support a controversial plan to construct a large hydroelectric power plant on the Cumberland River, near Cumberland Falls. “Kentucky would get free a 50-acre park surrounding Cumberland Falls and a lake of many square miles for recreational purposes — fishing, boating, swimming, camping — would be created near the park,” the ad says. “The truth is that that the state would not only continue to have Cumberland Falls unimpaired in beauty, it would also have in that vicinity a beautiful state park with a lake nearby.” The proposal calls for a 40,000-horsepower hydroelectric generating plant to be built on the Cumberland River in Whitley and McCreary counties. The estimated cost of the project is $6.6 million.

. Jim Smith, a Garrard County native of about 30, was found dead on the railroad track at Elsiecoal Friday night. Smith, who had been employed at the Elsiecoal mines for a number of years, was hit by a train.

. “You will have the finest stores in Kentucky when we complete the improvements in our Elkhorn Division,” Consolidation Coal Company says of plans to remodel its company stores in Burdine, Jenkins, Dunham and McRoberts. “Better yet, we are getting the best merchandise we can buy for you. The dry goods, notions, jewelry, ladies’ ready-to-wear are the same that are being shown on Broadway and Fifth Avenue in New York.”

. Rockhouse School defeated Millstone, 23-16, in a basketball game held earlier this week.

. Students at Whitesburg High School and Whitesburg Grade School donated a total of $14.11 to the Red Cross to help in the relief effort after the severe storm damage in the Miami, Florida area. Local citizens added enough to the collection to send a total of $50 to the Red Cross.

. The Dodge Brothers are advertising a special touring car” for $940.

. Nehemiah M. Webb, the founding editor and publisher of The Mountain Eagle who “surrendered” ownership of

the paper last week, still believes in the Eagle’s ability to reach the most customers in Letcher County. Webb is using the paper to advertise his new job as salesman for the Commonwealth Life Insurance Company.

. The Wright Motor Company of Fleming is going out of business.

Thursday, October 10, 1946 A tobacco stripping and grading demonstration will be held at the Isom Stockyards on Tuesday, October 22 at 10 a.m. Teaching at the event will be Letcher County Extension Agent Corbett Lovely and a representative of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

. The Whitesburg Lions Club will sponsor a kindergarten class, beginning Monday, October 14 for children ages four to six. The club is donating $400 to start the program.

. Mr. and Mrs. Bob Williams are the new proprietors of the Riverside Restaurant, located nest door to Bentley’s Grocery. For several years this was one of the most popular places to eat in Whitesburg.

. Eight Letcher County men charged with sedition are set to stand trial in Letcher Circuit Court during the current term that opened this week.

. A parade of bands led by the Jenkins High School Marching Band opened the Letcher County 4-H Club and School Fair held in Whitesburg on Friday, October 4. Approximately 1,600 students participated in the event, sponsored by the county’s civic clubs. It was the Jenkins Band’s first time to march in a parade.

. The Jenkins Cavaliers opened the 1946 season on October 5 with their first victory over Fleming High School in many years. The Cavs’ 21-7 win was made even more special by a street performance by the marching band.

. Mrs. Al Major of Hazard, formerly of Whitesburg, sold their apartment house in Whitesburg to Mr. S.J. Bates, making him the biggest holder of property in Whitesburg.

. Ten houses built above Whitesburg by A.B. Francis will be sold at auction Saturday, along with 100 lots. The houses and lots are located three-fourths of a mile above town off KY 15.

Thursday, October 11, 1956 Approximately 2,000 guests signed the registration form at the grand opening of Harlow Motor Company on Madison Street in Whitesburg October 3. Two Ford Fairlane 500’s were sold along one fourdoor sedan. They will be replaced soon in the showroom with other 1957 Fords.

. Whitesburg Mayor A.T. Banks has proclaimed Sunday, October 14 as “Ike Day” in Whitesburg in honor of the birthday of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

. The Whitesburg High School Yellowjackets won their homecoming game against Lynch, 42-14. A homecoming dance was held after the game in the new Harlow Motor Company building.

. The Fleming-Neon High School Pirates won their homecoming game against Leslie County on Saturday night, 46-6.

. The Letcher County Health Department delivered 18,766 immunizations against Polio, Diphtheria, Whooping Cough, Tetanus, Smallpox and Typhoid during the last year to school students in Letcher County.

. The Kentucky Water Company has asked the state government to allow it to raise its rates to customers in Jenkins, Burdine, Dunham, Fleming, McRoberts and Neon. In addition to a $3.75 basic minimum charge each month, the company asks that each customer be charged an additional .25 per kitchen sink, .35 per bathtub, .35 per shower, .35 per water closet with flush tank, .25 for three laundry trays, $1 to $5 for each aquarium, .50 for each hose connection, $1 for each automatic clothes washer, and $1 for each automatic dishwasher.

Thursday, October 6, 1966 Kentucky Power Company has announced plans to build a new $120,000 building in Whitesburg on the former Virgil D. Picklesimer property adjacent to the Blair Funeral home on West Main Street.

. Mr. J.T. Todd, who came to Letcher County in 1912 from Windsor, North Carolina — “seeking money like the rest of them,” he said — left this week to make his home in Frenchburg. He is 82. Todd started a small grocery store there first, and then ran a wholesale confectionary business at Lothair in Perry County for about six years. He invested in coal mines and truck mines and in 1917 moved back to Letcher County. Still not satisfied, he moved to Prestonsburg, where he set up a restaurant and ran it for two years. After seven more years in Floyd County he returned to Letcher County.

. Congress this week removed the threat that over a million dollars’ worth of antipoverty projects in Letcher County would die of financial starvation. The United States Senate gave its approval of the antipoverty legislation that had been hanging fire in Congress since last June.

. The Millstone Sewing Center, a community action project in the war on poverty in Letcher County, is featured in the current issue of “Communities in Action,” a magazine issued by the Federal Office of

Economic Opportunity.

. Kentucky Gov. Edward T. Breathitt is chairman of the new National Advisory Commission on Rural Poverty. He was named to the post by President Lyndon Johnson. The 26-member commission will assist the President’s Committee on Rural Poverty to raise the living standard of impoverished rural areas.

. Cadillac has 12 models for 1967, including the new front-wheel drive Fleetwood Eldorado.

Thursday, October 7, 1976 A failure of the county to pay its bills has resulted in the closing of the only legal landfill in Letcher County, according to officials of the Kentucky River Area Garbage and Refuse Disposal District. The dump, located at Millstone, was closed last Thursday, said District Manager Mike Cann. Cann said the district had kept the dump open for the past three months in hopes of receiving payment, but when no payment was made the dump was shut down.

. For the second time in three months, Neon area residents will travel to Frankfort and appear before the state Public Service Commission to testify about the inadequate service supplied to them by the Highlands Water Company.

. Lilley Cornett Woods, a tract of woodland located on Linefork, which contains the largest boundary of virgin forest in the Cumberland Mountains, will be administered by Eastern Kentucky University starting in January 1977.

. The majority of cases to be filed by families and widows of victims of the first of two coal mine explosions at the Scotia Mine will be coordinated by Gerald Stern, a Washington, D.C. lawyer. Stern said he would handle a majority of the cases for survivors on the 15 Scotia Coal Co. miners who were killed by a methane explosion March 9, 1976.

Wednesday, October 8, 1986 A federal prosecutor has recommended that Carol Ellis Epperson be sentenced to one year and one day in prison for helping dispose of some of the nearly $2 million stolen from Dr. Roscoe J. Acker. Roger Dale Epperson and Benny Lee Hodge in June were sentenced to death after being convicted in Letcher Circuit Court of murdering Dr. Acker’s 23-year-old daughter, Tammy, while robbing Acker’s Fleming- Neon home on August 8, 1985.

. A Lexington bank holding company has agreed to buy B/W Bancshares, Inc., which owns the Bank of Whitesburg, for $16,360,000 cash. The sale is subject to approval of government regulatory authorities and is expected to be completed by December 31.

. Exits from the Whitesburg bypass to the Appalachian Regional Hospital will

be built in the near future, according to Letcher County officials. County Judge/ Executive Ruben Watts said the access roads will be paid for by the Kentucky Department of Transportation, but will be maintained by the county.

Wednesday, October 2, 1996 Gene Smallwood quit his job as Whitesburg’s city attorney last week after the city hired Nesbitt Engineering Inc. to solve a million dollar problem the Lexington company has admitted to helping create in the first place.

. Under a Kentucky law that took effect Tuesday, there is a long list of new requirements for getting a learner’s permit to drive and some new rules that will apply to others already licensed who are still under the age of 21. The biggest change is the amount of time it will take from getting a permit to taking that dreaded road test to get a license. Instead of 30 days, the wait will now be 180 days.

. Members of the Kentucky Board of Education are deliberating this week on whether to continue state management of the Letcher County school district. The board is considering two sets of arguments from the Letcher County Board of Education, which wants to be changed from state-assisted district, and a report from the Kentucky Department of Education staff, which wants to continue state management through next July. The state has had managers in Letcher County since the summer of 1994, after a state audit found “gross mismanagement” of the county school system.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006 Letcher County’s unemployment rate fell to 7.5 percent in August, down from 8.5 percent the month before, according to the latest statistic released by state government.

. The Letcher Fiscal Court is closer to being able to help pay for a new vocational school without having to pass the $750,000 cost on to present and future water and sewer customers. At its October meeting, the Pike County Fiscal Court voted 6-0 to endorse the Letcher Fiscal Court’s proposal to use $800,000 in multi-county coal severance tax funds for two local projects — the help the Letcher County Board of Education build a new vocational school on the campus of Letcher County Central High School at Ermine, and to help pay the salary of a consultant working to bring a federal prison to Letcher County.

. Graham Memorial Presbyterian Church in Whitesburg will celebrate its 110th anniversary October 14-15. Joe Romeo was the general contractor and stonemason, and Hopp Gibson was the carpenter on the church.

. The Letcher County Central High School Cougars fell to Knox County Central 33-18.



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