Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were



Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

Thursday, December 16, 1926 Apples, oranges, candy and nuts are the most-requested gifts Santa Claus is being asked to bring to Letcher County children whose “Letters to Santa” are published in this week’s edition of The Mountain Eagle. “I am a little boy and I want a car, an apple, some candy, peanuts, and a little cap,” writes Watson G.C. Craft.

. Federal Prohibition Officer Clark Day has returned to Letcher County after conducting raids in Leslie, Breathitt, Knott and Perry counties. Days says the raids were highly successful, resulting in he and other members of his party destroying 27 stills and 13,000 gallons of beer. At least 20 moonshiners were captured, he said.

. The Blackey News Company newsstand at Blackey is stocked with the very finest candies, books, magazines, jewelry and Christmas goods of every description, The Mountain Eagle reports.

. “The world is not growing worse,” Mountain Eagle editor Karl E. Davis writes. “Students of history know that every age has experienced its peculiarities as well as its changes. The truth is, change is written upon every decade of the world’s history.”

. The City of Whitesburg is accepting sealed bids for the improvement of he intersection of Webb Avenue and Church Street. Bids will be accepted for the delivery of 1,000 yards of dirt, 70 yards of stone for a stone wall, and concrete for steps totaling 100 square feet of surface.

. The attendance rate at Kingdom Come School is 97 percent.

Thursday, December 19, 1946 John Lowe and his son Billy Lowe of Kingdom Come were killed in a slate fall in a mine owned by Darrell Gibson at Premium on December 13. John Lowe was 43. Billy Lowe, 18, was the only child born to John and Polly Vanover Lowe. The father had worked for Premium Coal Company, but gave that job up this fall and had been working at the Gibson Coal Company mine for only two days when he and his son were killed. Billy Lowe had worked in the mine since August 1.

. Frank Caudill, 41, was killed in a slate fall at the Slemp Holbrook mine at Farraday on December 17. Caudill, the shot foreman for the mine, had just returned to the location where he fired a shot when the slate came crushing down on him from above. His widow and seven children survive the Knott County man.

. Sixteen coal mining fatalities in Kentucky in October increased the year’s number of mining deaths to 91, 11 more than were recorded during the first 10 months of 1945. Letcher County had the most mining deaths in October with five.

. The City of Pineville in Bell County will remain dry, despite a recently ruling of the Kentucky Court of Appeals that says the county is generally in the wet bracket, announced Attorney General Eldon Dummit.

. The Consolidation Coal Company entertained all of its engineering personnel at Jenkins, Van Lear and Closplint with a dinner party at the Jenkins Clubhouse on December 10. The guest speaker was D.L. McElroy, chief engineer at Pittsburgh Consolidation.

. Whitesburg Mayor Ed Williams has resigned his job with the Kentucky & West Virginia Power Company, where he had been Letcher County foreman for the last several years of a 20-year career with the company. Williams will devote his time to an electrical appliance business he started recently with his son-in-law. Newt Collier will replace him.

Thursday, December 13, 1956 A new extendible belt conveyor that represents a major advance in continuous mining techniques by providing for an almost uninterrupted flow of coal from the working face in an underground coal mine has been introduced by Goodman Manufacturing Company in Chicago. The new conveyor can be extended while operating from a length of 75 feet to a length as great as 1,000 feet and is linked to the discharge end of a continuous mining machine.

. The outcome of the Letcher County Board of Education race between Wallace Kincer and Alvin Holbrook apparently hinges on whether 52 absentee ballots will be counted. If the ballots are counted, Kincer will be the winner. If they are not, Holbrook will win. Holbrook filed suit to block the counting of the ballots. Through attorneys Harry Caudill of Whitesburg and Bert T. Combs of Prestonsburg, Holbrook claimed the integrity of the ballots had not been maintained. Holbrook is a supporter of present county school Superintendent William B. Hall. Kincer has pledged to support Charles L. Kincer for superintendent to replace Hall. Hall and Kincer both live at Mayking. The winner will replace Ray Collins, who did not seek re-election.

. The Letcher County Board of Education has voted 3 to 2 to hire a certified public accountant from Pikeville to audit records of the county school system for the past two years. Board chairman Dr. B.F. Wright said the chief purpose of the audit would be to determine whether school funds could be spent more efficiently. County School Superintendent William B. Hall said his office had no objection to the audit “beyond the cost involved.” He said records in his office are audited once a year by the state education department.

. Whitesburg attorney F. Byrd Hogg said he plans to run for the Republican nomination for Letcher County Attorney.

. Whitesburg VFW Post 5829 will have its annual Christmas Treat for Children at the VFW Clubhouse this year. Santa will be on hand to give out treats to the children of VFW members from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. on December 24.

. Citizens Bank of Pikeville advertises that it has $9 million in resources and pays 2-1/2 percent interest on savings.

. The Fleming-Neon Pirates defeated Whitesburg on Tuesday night, 52-48.

Thursday, December 15, 1966 One of the main communication gaps in Letcher County will be closed January 15 when free dial telephone service starts between Jenkins and other communities in the county. J.M. Gipe, district manager of Southern Bell Telephone Co., said the extension of toll-free service from Jenkins to Neon and Whitesburg will mean that all of the major towns in Letcher County will be on a non-toll, local calling basis. The only section of the county that will not be included in the new system will be part of Kingscreek and Linefork, which are served

by the Cumberland Telephone Co.

. Progress is being made on the sewer problem which has delayed construction of the new Whitesburg Area Vocational School, according to County School Superintendent Kendall Boggs. Boggs said sufficient alternation in plans for the building have been made to free $49,000 to be used to construct a required sewer line.

. Roger Greer, a senior at Jenkins High School, has signed a letter-of-intent to play football with the University of Kentucky Wildcats next year. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Goffery Greer of Burdine.

. Marine Captain Bert R. Francis, son of Mrs. Sabina Francis of Whitesburg, is serving in the Phu Bai area of Vietnam as a members of the 155MM Gun Batter, 12th Marine Regiment, Third Marine Division.

. Army Private First Class Barthel Adkins, 21, son of Mr. and Mrs. Homer Adkins of Fleming, is participating in “Operation Attleboro” with the 25th Infantry in Vietnam.

. Bertus Tyree, son of Mrs. Edith Cornett, has been promosted to Army specialist fifth class in Vietnam, where he is serving with the 565th Transportation Company. For pay purposes, his new grade is equivalent to sergent.

. Former Kentucky governor Bert T. Combs has been elected chairman of the board of trustees of Appalachian Regional Hospitals.

Thursday, December 16, 1976 Jenkins Mayor Jesse Bates was re-elected chairman of the Letcher County Democratic Party during a rowdy meeting last Saturday at the county courthouse when opposition factions failed in an attempt to wrest control of the party from Bates and former County Judge Robert Collins.

. Kentucky Power Company charged its customers $4,585,252 for federal income taxes last year, but actually paid only $11,538 of that to the government in taxes, reported the Environmental Action Foundation and the National Consumer Information Center, two consumer groups. The action is permitted by accounting methods and tax advantages available under federal law.

. The Letcher Eagles knocked off the Whitesburg Yellowjackets 59-56. Letcher trailed only once in the game, when Whitesburg went on top 7-6 late in the first quarter. The Eagles quickly retook the lead and retained it throughout the game.

. Pork loin is 95 cents a pound at the A&P food store. Turkey is 55 cents a pound.

Wednesday, December 17, 1986 Letcher County will have to cut back on spending even more than expected this fiscal year, said Judge/Executive Ruben Watts. He said the state Department of Local Government overestimated the amount of money the

county would receive this year by as much as 40 percent in some areas.

. Police are trying to tie evidence to a shoe store burglary they think must have happened somewhere in the area. But they are at a loss to explain why the thief left his boots behind — all 45 of them. The mystery began Monday when a caller told Sheriff Ben B. Taylor he could find the boots on a dirt road off KY 160 at Roxana. Most of the boots are for the left foot only.

. Sherry Lorraine Hodge has pleaded guilty to conspiring to transport cash stolen from Dr. Roscoe J. Acker of Fleming-Neon. She is the wife of one of two men sentenced to death in the fatal stabbing of Dr. Acker’s daughter and the robbery of $1.9 million from his home safe in August 1985.

. The Whitesburg Lady Yellowjackets came out roaring against visiting M.C. Napier on Monday and defeated the Lady Navajos 67-58.

Wednesday, December 18, 1996 The Fleming-Neon Lady Pirates went into Jenkins with a record of 2-1 but could not hold a 12-point lead in the second half and lost 54-51 to a Jenkins team that is playing much better earlier in the season that most fans expected.

. There is enthusiasm for Gov. Paul Patton’s plan to attack poverty in eastern Kentucky one town at a time, but some fear that success in a few places would come at the expense of the rest of the region.

. The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration has unveiled new standards to protect the hearing of mine workers. Mine workers would have to reduce noise. Without new rules, 14 percent of miners — about 46,000 individuals — will suffer a serious hearing loss as a result of noise in the workplace.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006 Environmental impact studies are expected to begin by early summer on three potential prison sites in Letcher County. A site-selection team from the federal Bureau of Prisons, which is considering the county for a new medium-security prison, has viewed five potential sites during two visits here. Three of the sites will be selected for the environmental impact studies.

. Children attending the Tender Loving Daycare entertained people in downtown Whitesburg with Christmas carols.

. Letcher County will be getting state money for a new health department building. “The health department has been operating out of the same building since 1964. It’s time for a new building,” said State Senator Johnny Ray Turner, D-Drift.

. The Martha Jane Potter Elementary School Lady Cardinals are the Letcher middle school basketball champions for the second year in a row.



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