Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were



Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

Thursday, December 2, 1926 The school bond election last Saturday resulted about as expected, The Mountain Eagle reports, with a large and almost unanimous vote in favor of the bonds. More than 200 votes were cast for the bonds and only 15 against them. The bonds will permit an up-to-date graded school building to be erected in Whitesburg. The bonds have already been sold to Magnus and Company of Cincinnati, with $27,000 being issued to the board.

. Elk Horn Coal Corporation officials Thomas Haymond quite ill at his home in Fleming.

. The road over Jenkins Mountain is almost impassable at this time.

. Letcher State Bank of Whitesburg ($25,000 in capital); First National Bank of Fleming ($25,000 in capital), and First National Bank of Jenkins $75,000 in capital) are advertising their services in this week’s edition of The Mountain Eagle.

. Standard Oil Company of Kentucky is advertising its Crown brand of gasoline in this week’s edition of The Eagle along with Polarine “F” Oil made especially to lubricate the Ford brand of automobile.

Thursday, December 5, 1946 Election returns from 26 of 27 precincts showed that “dries” won Wednesday’s alcohol referendum in neighboring Wise County, Virginia. There were two issues in the election: On the selling of beer and wine, the vote “for” was 1,937 and the vote “against” was 2,494. On the selling of whiskey, which means the establishment of state liquor stores, the vote was 2,111 “for” and 2,229 against. However, while Wise County has voted “dry,” the Wise County towns of Norton, Appalachia, Pound, and Big Stone Gap will vote independently on the same issues, beginning next Tuesday and ending December 17.

. Letcher County businesses reported sales decreases of 75 percent as the national coal strike entered its third week with no encouragement of a settlement soon. In court this week in Washington, United Mine Workers President John L. Lewis was fined $10,000 on contempt of court charges while the UMW was fined $3,500 for the same charges.

. At least 3,000 railroad workers were idle in Kentucky this week as a result of the current coal strike. The C&O Railroad announced the layoffs of 500 workers while the L&N Railroad says it has laid off 1,000 employees.

. The University of Cincinnati has been sending motorcades of students into Kentucky’s mountain region to study the rock formations, living conditions and habits of the native eastern Kentuckians. Professors accompanying the students stated the rocks on Pine Mountain were unusually interesting since they were many thousands of years older than ordinary rock and had been brought to the surface through some type of upheaval. Professors also said they thought the mountain scenery is superb and that the region should be a great tourist attraction if better facilities were provided and the world was told of the wonderful views, cool streams, and other natural beauty attractions.

. Chicago Cubs baseball scout Bill Yates stopped by The Mountain Eagle this week to tell us that he has signed young Ralph Dotson of Pound, Virginia, for the Cubs team. Dotson has been assigned to the Cubs’ Shelby, North Carolina farm team.

. Mr. and Mrs. Nat Craft have opened a new hardware store next door to Dawahare’s in downtown Neon.

. The Jenkins Athletic Association this week purchased the necessary equipment to install floodlights over the Jenkins Ball Park. The Mountain Eagle has been informed that the lights will be installed by May 1947, with night baseball planned for the month of June.

. Enrollment at Kingdom Come High School at Linefork has increased from three students in the 1943-44 to 82 pupils in 1946-47.

Thursday, November 29, 1956 A special election will be held on Saturday, December 1, in each voting precinct within the Jenkins Independent School District on the question of whether to approve the levying of a school tax “not exceeding 50 cents on each $100 of property.” The tax would be “in addition to the maximum rate of $1.50 provided for” under state law. The proceeds from new tax could be “used for general school purposes.” Jenkins school officials say the extra revenue is needed to keep the district in compliance with the state’s “minimum foundation” requirements for school improvements.

. Alvin Holbook, defeated by only eight votes in the election for Letcher County Board of Education member in District 3, has filed a lawsuit contesting the apparent victory by Wallace Kincer. A special judge will be appointed to hear the case after the withdrawal of Letcher Circuit Judge Courtney Wells. Attorneys for Holbrook are Harry M. Caudill and Bert T. Combs. F. Byrd Hogg is representing Kincer.

. Funeral services were held at Craft Funeral Home in Whitesburg Tuesday for a Bottom Fork woman said to have been the oldest resident of Letcher County at the time of her death. Aunt Mary E. Craft, 95, died at her home on November 25. She was bon July 11, 1861.

. Needy families who live in and around Whitesburg may qualify for the Whitesburg Ministerial Association’s Christmas basket program. Each family assisted must present in writing before December 18 information as to the number of people in the immediate family, the circumstances or conditions that are causing the need, and the approximate cash income of the family as a whole.

. A former Letcher County resident who was coming into his own as a standout high school football player in Indianapolis, Indiana has suffered an injury that will stop him from playing the game he loves. Douglas Polly, a son of former Whitesburg residents Mr. and Mrs. Henry Polly, brought with him for a visit to Letcher County over the weekend a copy of the student newspaper at Warren Central High School in Indianapolis. The paper says: “Last year, junior quarterback Doug Polly led the Warriors to a winning season. This year the stocky 160-pounder is watching the games from the sidelines — and hating every bit of it. Polly was injured in an automobile accident last winter and suffered a broken hip. The doctor said no more football for young Polly. Coach Vaughn Wood has encouraged Polly to attend practice sessions and help teach fundamentals to the players. Polly recently was honored by his fellow teammates, as they selected him captain for the homecoming game. He couldn’t play, but he sat with the team shouting encouragement and advice.”

. Several Letcher County residents traveled to Knoxville, Tennessee on Saturday to cheer for the University of Kentucky Wildcats in their annual battle against the University of Tennessee Volunteers. Jenkins-area residents who made the trip were able to cheer for two of their own on the gridiron — starting wide receiver Roger Pack and starting offensive lineman Robert “Bob” Collier. Both were standouts for the Jenkins Cavaliers. They are now coached by UK headman Blanton Collier, whose Wildcats fell to the No. 2- ranked Vols, 20-7, in the “Battle of the Barrel” played at Shields-Watkins Field.

. A copy of the November 15, 1956 issue of The Mountain Eagle was sealed inside the cornerstone of the new Maple Grove Baptist Church, being built at the head of Cumberland River. The cornerstone was laid during a special ceremony held Tuesday, November 20.

. Eight coal mining fatalities occurred in Kentucky during the month of October. Five of the fatalities occurred in the Kentucky River district, said the state Department of Mines and Minerals.

Thursday, December 1, 1966 Gov. Edward T. Breathitt has sounded a strong protest to what he fears may be a “drastic” cutback in the Jobless Fathers program in eastern Kentucky. At state is a threatened abrupt end to the program which provides jobs for 5,800 Kentucky mountain men and their families who are the victims of depression which still continues in eastern Kentucky. Locally, the program involves 304 men and their 1,400 dependents in Letcher County, and nearly 500 men and their dependents in Knott County.

. A 57-year-old Ohio woman was killed Friday night in an automobile accident near Pound Gap. Mrs. Elsie Henry, of Ballefontaine, died of injuries she received after the car in which she was riding ran off U.S. 23 and plunged 90 feet down an embankment on Pine Mountain, also referred to as Jenkins Mountain. The car was driven by Mrs. Henry’s husband, Alvin Lee Henry, who told police he was driving down the mountain in heavy fog when he was blinded by lights from an approaching car. Mr. Henry suffered only slight injuries.

. Ten Letcher County women are enrolled at Midway Junior College-Pinkerton High School at Midway in Woodford County. They are: Misses Walena, Aloda and Arizona Cornett, Edith Elswick, Peggy Webb, Sharon Strickland, Brenda Brown, Anna Sturgill, Slarisse Hall, and Sue Cvetnich. The 119-year-old school is associated with the Christian Church.

. Ninety-seven students made the Whitesburg High School honor roll.

The Jenkins Cavaliers opened their 1966-67 basketball season with a 95-53 win over Letcher High School. The game was the Cavaliers’ first with new head coach Dan Burton at the helm.

. University of Kentucky student Phil Greer, Morehead State University student Priscilla Toth, and Duke University student John D. Zegeer were among several Jenkins High School graduates who returned home to Letcher County to spend the Thanksgiving weekend with their families.

. The Carl Depriest family had a most enjoyable Thanksgiving in Jenkins last week as all the couple’s children were home together. Members of the “Depriest Clan” also surprised Carl with a special birthday party on Friday night. The children are John Depriest, Sammy Depriest, and Joe Depriest, all of Fort Wayne, Indiana; Jack Depriest of Bristol, Tennessee, and Mrs. Jimmy Stallard (Alice Depriest).

. Muhlenberg County, Kentucky is the nation’s top coal-producing county. The U.S. Bureau of Mines said

this week that Muhlenberg County, located in far western Kentucky, led the nation in 1965 with 17,613,846 tons of coal produced. The county also led the nation in production in 1964 with 17.634 million tons.

. The Sherdy Martins and daughter Cynthia of Louisville have been in Millstone this week for a visit with his parents, the Sherd Martins, and her mother, Mrs. Cinda Cook.

Thursday, December 2, 1976 The Jenkins Board of Education announced it has received funding for three grant proposals. Money from the federal aid-to-education programs will buy a van for special education students, library books and audio-visual equipment, and Kentucky Education Television has given the Jenkins school district about $2,800 to buy TV sets for classrooms.

. Federal and state mining officials and representatives of the Blue Diamond Coal Co. met in Knoxville this week to make plans for reventilating the Scotia Mine. The bodies of 11 men killed in a March 11 methane gas explosion were recovered from the mine Nov. 19. The mine was sealed after the explosion to allow methane gas levels to stabilize; it was reopened in mid-July.

. The Tennessee Valley Authority has agreed to purchase more than 160,000 tons of western U.S. coal — much of it from operators pledged to breaking the United Mine Workers of America in the west to test for possible conversion of a giant western Kentucky steam plant to western coal.

. Three Letcher County high school football players were selected last week to The Courier-Journal & Times All State Football Teams. Offensive end Johnny Ison and defensive end Roger Yonts from Whitesburg High School were chosen for the Class AA All State Team. Johnny Kiser, captain of the Fleming-Neon Pirates, was elected to the Class A All State Team.

Wednesday, December 3, 1986 The City of Jenkins has passed the second reading of a mandatory garbage ordinance. When the ordinance has been published it will become law and the city will prepare to get the system going.

. Whitesburg will present itself to industry in the Kentucky Community Development Exposition ’86 in Louisville’s Commonwealth Convention Center. Whitesburg Mayor James Asher called the conference “a learning experience.” He said that even if the city is not selected as a site for new industry, it can learn how to approach the corporations from those cities that are selected.

. Lilley Cornett Woods in Letcher County had the nation’s second most acidic rain sample in 1984, exceeded only by a sample taken south of Boston, according to the National Clean Air Coalition. The environmental group said rain at the Kentucky site was 380 times more acidic than normal.

. Leroy Sexton of Pert Creek has found the remains of a balloon that was launched earlier this summer from Rising Sun, Ind. The balloon apparently was sent up in connection with the opening of Bible School at the Church of Christ in Rising Sun.

Wednesday, December 4, 1996 Thirty parents of members of the Whitesburg High School Lady Jackets basketball team complained to local and state school officials this week about what they call a lack of consideration for their daughters in the recent dismissal of the team’s coach, John High, who was also removed from his job as teacher.

. Letcher County officials are working this week to make changes that will permit the Kentucky Public Service

Commission to approve a countywide water and sewer district. PSC Chairman Don Mills returned the county’s application for creation of the district to Letcher County Judge/ Executive Carroll Smith Monday, citing a procedural problem which he said prevented the commission from approving the application.

. Three eastern Kentucky girls’ high school basketball teams, Hazard (ninth), Whitesburg (17th) and Clay County (20th) landed in the Lexington Herald- Leader’s top 20 poll based upon voting by the state’s coaches early this fall.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006 Kingdom Come Elementary School is expected to close before the start of the next school year. Sixty-eight students are currently enrolled at the school, and there are four teachers — two regular teachers, one Title I teacher and a special education teacher. The school was built in 1973 at a cost of about $1.1 million.

. Kyla Bellis, 22, who was charged with complicity to attempted murder, complicity to first-degree robbery and complicity to first-degree burglary, pleaded guilty to amended charges. Bellis helped her late boyfriend, 22-year old Simon Christopher Haynes, carry out a plan to murder his grandmother, Virginia Geraldine “Gerri” Haynes at Haynes’s Craft’s Colly home on December 30, 2004.

. Letcher County’s unemployment rate has fallen to 6.6 percent, the lowest level in at least 30 years and nearly a full percentage point lower than this time last year.

. An old-fashioned Christmas singing will be held at the Old Indian Bottom Church on December 13.



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