Whitesburg KY
Mostly cloudy
Mostly cloudy

The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years



April 3, 1958

Letcher County Fiscal Court has repealed its rule on holding business portions of its monthly meetings in private. At a called meeting in January, the court voted not to let a representative of The Mountain Eagle take notes on the meeting.

Letcher County got a tax windfall from Pittsburgh Consolidation Coal Co. this week. The windfall amounts to $11,785.14. It represents county, state and school taxes against the firm’s Letcher County properties for 1956.

Letcher County’s eight magistrates voted Tuesday to pay themselves a salary of $200 a month each. The salaries are to begin April 1.

There are no locks on most cells in the Letcher County Jail and it appeared today that there won’t be any in the near future. County Jailer Robert Sexton appeared before the fiscal court Tuesday to request that new locks be purchased. The court refused to buy the locks on the grounds it has no money to spend.

April 4, 1968

Jenkins voters approved a 50-cent tax to finance three new school buildings at a special election Saturday. The margin of victory was 218 votes.

Dudley Webb, a senior at the University of Kentucky College of Law, has won top honors in the university’s 1968 Law Alumni Trials. Webb is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Woodford Webb of Premium.

Staff Sergeant Chester L. Hatton, son of Mrs. Mattie Hatton of Whitesburg, has been named Outstanding Crew Chief in his unit at Robins AFB, Ga. The sergeant is a graduate of Whitesburg High School.

Sirloin steak is 98 cents a pound this week at the A&P Food Store. Turkeys are 33 cents a pound.

April 6, 1978

Two Letcher County men were among five men killed Tuesday at Clinchfield Coal Co.’s McClure #2 Mine Willis Danis Ison, 45, and Richard Lawrence Shelby, 56, died while trying to rescue Clinchfield employees suffocating in black damp – a lethal mixture of oxygen-poor air created in the aftermath of a mine fire. The disaster is the nation’s worst since nine anthracite miners were killed last March 1 at Tower City, Penn.

The Jenkins City Council passed an ordinance annexing 993 acres of land, most of it owned by Beth-Elkhorn Coal Corp., at Monday’s meeting. Mayor Jesse Bates said the annexation, including Ben’s Branch and land surrounding the Elkhorn Country Club, will enable the city to strengthen its property tax base.

The Poverty House restaurant in Pound, Va., burned down this week. The restaurant, a popular watering spot for Letcher Countians, was completely destroyed. The cause of the fire is believed to be either faulty wiring or hot grease touching stove coils.

April 6, 1988

The Mountain Eagle got to be an even older bird this week. The issue is Number 1 of Volume 81. The “old buzzard” was founded in 1907 by Nehemiah Webb of Whitesburg.

American Health Development Corporation may sell its certificate of need for a nursing home in Whitesburg. At a meeting with city and county officials last week, Lois Baker, executive director of Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation, said the Nashville, Tenn., company has contacted her and expressed its interest in selling.

The City of Jenkins has completed it emergency water source project, and the city council has voted to draw down money to pay for it. The council voted to draw down the $77,500 in grant money to pay Pike-Letcher Coal Partners for pumping equipment in Mine 207 and the land surrounding the mine and to pay administrative costs to Kentucky River Area Development District for handling the grant money. The project will allow the city to pump water from the mine into the Jenkins Reservoir during droughts.

April 7, 1998

Letcher County and 20 other coal-producing counties in eastern Kentucky will share a total of $158,154,001 for special development projects in the new state budget approved in the closing hours of the 1998 Kentucky General Assembly. “For the first time in my political career – and perhaps in my lifetime – a state budget has been dubbed ‘an eastern Kentucky budget,'” said Rep. Paul Mason of Whitesburg.

Lack of guardrails on Sandlick Mountain in Letcher County has bothered may drivers for a long time, and State Senator Gary Johnson apparently is one of them. He has persuaded the Kentucky General Assembly to adopt language making guardrails mandatory on roads such as the one over Sandlick Mountain.

The Easter bunny will give out treats to children under age 12 Saturday at the Jenkins City Park. There will be a drawing and special prizes will be given out.

Leave a Reply