Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

Thursday, January 6, 1927 A gunfight at Blackey Sunday ended in the death of 22-year-old Jake Noble of Breathitt County, who was shot and killed by Letcher County Deputy Sheriff M.F. Hall. Noble “had been drinking and was going about shooting and terrorizing the people of that section,” The Mountain Eagle reports. “Hall followed Noble up the railroad tracks a short distance and, when he got up close enough, called on him to surrender. Noble responded by firing his revolver at the officer, the bullet striking Hall in the leg. The officer fell, and while down drew his pistol and shot Noble through the heart, killing him instantly.” Hall’s wound is considered serious. Noble’s body was returned to Breathitt County for burial.

. In an open letter to the people of Letcher County, Sheriff Morgan Reynolds says he has “a certain antidote guaranteed to stop all trouble” in Letcher County. What is the antidote? “Leave off whiskey, quit carrying pistols and violating the law for 12 months and your troubles will be at an end,” writes Reynolds, who promises to pay $500 reward to the person “who tries the remedy and it fails to give the desired result.”

. The wage increase of 25 percent for miners, which went into effect some time ago, is being removed by most of the operators, who cite falling coal prices as the reason for the pay cuts.

. The Letcher County Court has passed an order requiring all able-bodied men between the ages of 18 and 50 to either put in six days of free labor on the county’s public roads or pay into the road fund 12 cents each. There will be no free labor on state-maintained roads, but those people living along those roads must work on or help pay for county roads. Free labor was discontinued seven years ago, and since that time the county’s roads have gotten into bad condition.

. The number of automobiles in Letcher County grew from 801 in 1925 to 967 in 1926, while the number of trucks went up from 25 to 28 during the same period, reports Letcher County Tax Commissioner H.R. Yonts, whose office raised the value on the vehicles from $246,244 to $336,385. The amount of property appraised during the one-year period increased from 187,517 acres to 213,156 acres. Coal properties increases from 63,466 in 1925 to 70,042 in 1926.

. J.L. Crawford, a graduate of the University of Kentucky School of Journalism, is the new business manager at The Mountain Eagle. Karl E. Davis remains as editor. Davis will continue to be assisted by Parnell Johnson.

. The Letcher County Court is now composed of an elected county judge and eight elected district supervisors.

Thursday, January 7, 1937 Henry Blair, the Letcher County man who stands indicted of killing his wife, Minta Combs Blair, on October 19, will be tried by a jury brought to Letcher County from Pike County. Letcher Circuit Judge Monroe Fields ordered the jury brought in from the neighboring county after overruling a defense motion seeking change of venue. Blair, whose case is set for January 14, has been in the Pike County Jail since being apprehended in Bardstown several weeks after escaping from the Letcher County Jail.

. A new sales pavilion is being erected in the community of Isom. F.J. Ison, manager of the new enterprise, said the first sale will be held February 6 at 1 p.m. The pavilion will handle sales of all kinds of livestock. “There is a place in Letcher County for a sales pavilion and the management of The Mountain Eagle hopes that the citizens of the county will take full advantage of the new enterprise,” says an editorial comment on the front page. Cattle will be sold at 50 cents per head, with milk cows going for $1 per head.

. Fire destroyed the Hilton Garage on Railroad Street in Whitesburg on Wednesday morning. The fire started when mechanics were working on a truck and a spark lit a pan of gasoline. The wood building was quickly engulfed in flames.

. The Douglas Day Post of the American Legion will hold a special-called meeting on January 8 at 7 p.m. Clyde Sanders, the district commander from Pikeville, will attend.

. Former Letcher County Clerk Cro Caudill announces that he will seek the Democrat nomination for that office later this year.

. Dr. B.F. Wright has announced the opening of a new gristmill near his home at Seco. Dr. Wright said he is a firm believer in the merits of fresh ground meal, which he calls the crucial ingredient in making a first-class dinner.

. Fifty years ago, in 1887, there were only eight voting precincts in Letcher County, where a total of 676 votes were cast for the governor’s race in a very heated contest between Simon B. Buckner and William O. Bradley. Today there are 52 voting precincts in the county, and the recent race between Gov. Happy Chandler and King Swope drew a total of 11,790 voters to the polls. It should be noted that women could not vote in the 1887 race.

. A much-discussed bill to repeal the measure consolidating the offices of sheriff and jailer is well on its way to a vote in the Kentucky General Assembly. The consolidation of the two offices has caused consternation throughout the state and the repeal of the measure is expected to be met with widespread approval.

. The Alcohol Tax Unit dealt heavy blows to Kentucky’s moonshining industry in 1936, seizing 665 illegal stills, an average of about 55 stills a month.

. Residents of the City of Whitesburg are encouraged to step up and donate their share of money to the effort to have many of the town’s streets paved with concrete. The payments by property owners — some are paying 75 cents for a “front foot” — are combined with funds from the federal Works Progress Administration. The city has already bought and paid for two lots, one of which will be the site of a WPA-built post office. The other lot will be used as a site for City Hall.

. J. Crook is the editor of The Mountain Eagle as the paper enters its 27th year of publication. W.W. Vogel is the business manager.

. The community of Ermine consists of two dwellings and two stores, one of which includes the post office.

. Mae West stars in the movie “Go West Young Man,” showing January 12-13 at the Kentucky Theatre in Whitesburg.

Thursday, January 9, 1947 Byrd Hogg, son of Mrs. Cynthia Hogg Banks, has at last been dismissed from Army hospitals, where he underwent operations and plastic surgery for the past three years after being seriously wounded while serving with a bomb disposal outfit in Belgium.

. Whitesburg residents were shocked Monday to hear that popular barber Milburn Polly had to be rushed to the Jenkins hospital for medical care after suffering a hemorrhage of the head.

. Charles Summer Woolworth, founder of the Woolworth 5- and 10-cent store chain 65 years ago, died January 7 at his home in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He was 90.

. Letcher Circuit Clerk W.L. Stallard Jr., amputee veteran of World War II, was presented with a new Pontiac automobile as a gift from the Veterans Administration. The automobile, purchased by the VA from Kyva Motor Company in Whitesburg, was gifted to Stallard in conjunction with legislation passed by the 70th U.S. Congress giving the VA authority to give a new car to each World War II vet who lost or lost the use of one or both legs.

. Forty of 65 restaurants inspected by the Letcher County Health Department’s food sanitation officers received a rating of Grade C, which “indicates that there are serious defects of sanitation and definite or potential danger to the public health exists.” Only three restaurants obtained Grade A ratings — Dipsy Doodle in East Jenkins, Jenkins Recreation Fountain in Jenkins, and Quillen Drug Fountain in Whitesburg. Nine of Neon’s 10 restaurants had Grade C ratings. The lone exception was Tucker’s Café, which earned a Grade B.

. The Jenkins Cavaliers remain undefeated in district play after scoring an 80-51 win of Dilce Combs High School of Perry County. Team members include Woodrow Crum, John Blake, Jimmy Mullins, Jack Brummett, Gregory Bates, John Ed Sergent, Ray Burgess, Donn Croley, Arville Goff, and George Pendleton. Team managers are Paul Varson and Jimmy Blankenship. The coach is Chester Saylor.

. Ray Pigman, a recent graduate of the University of Kentucky, has accepted a position as instructor at Whitesburg High School.

Thursday, January 5, 1967 Funeral services were held in Neon over the weekend for Staff Sergeant Brownie Hall, 38, who was killed in action in Vietnam on December 23. Sgt. Hall, a paratrooper with the 112th Battalion of the First Cavalry, joined the Army 19 years ago, when he was 18 years old, and planned to retire next month. A son of Mr. and Mrs. Clifton Hall of Deane, he had served in Germany, Korea, England, Iceland, France, Japan, the Philippines, North Africa, the Aleutian Islands, and finally Vietnam. He was not married.

. The late Private First Class John E. Hampton was awarded the Purple Heart Medal during a special ceremony at the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Irvin Hampton of Route 588. PFC Hampton, 23, was one of three members of C Troop, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry who were wounded fatally on June 23, 1966 while serving with the U.S. Army in Vietnam.

. The City of Jenkins will open sealed bids January 30 for construction of a municipal building. The proposed municipal building shall be constructed of concrete block, brick, and steel construction to as to render the structure fireproof.

. Strip mine operators are liable for damage they cause to the surface of land they mine and for improvements on the surface, even if they hold mineral rights under the “broad form” deed, Knott Circuit Judge John Chris Cornett ruled this week.

. Claude Collins of Whitesburg was appointed this week to fill the office of jailer left vacant by the death of Ben A. Adams last month. The appointment was made by Letcher County Judge James M. Caudill. Collins was Adams’s opponent in the 1965 election for jailer.

. Dr. Frank G. Berry has joined the staff of the Daniel Boone Clinic in Whitesburg. The Henderson, Ky., native is a graduate of the University of Louisville.

. The Leslie, Knott, Letcher, Perry Community Action Council, which operates anti-poverty programs in Letcher County, has hired Bill Bates of Blackey as a community development aide.

. A move is underway to have the Kentucky coffee tree, the tree that is the biggest and possibly most beautiful

tree native to the Commonwealth, replace the tulip poplar as the official state tree. “It’s an unusually lovely thing,” says Dr. E.T. Browne, associate professor of botany at the University of Kentucky. Browne notes that the tree grows “from Fulton County in the west to Pike County in the east.”

. ”As we go into the new year, let us vow to be better men and women than in the past. And remember it is better not to vow than to vow and not keep it,” wrote Eagle correspondent Mabel Kiser.

Thursday, January 6, 1977 Between 20 and 30 residents of the Neon area picketed the office of Highlands Water Company in Neon Monday and Tuesday to protest the “horrible and deplorable” service they say they and approximately 700 other customers are receiving from the firm. Along with Neon city officials the protesters are refusing to pay their December water bills and have asked the State Public Service Commission (PSC) to fine Fulton Smith, co-owner of the company, $1,000 a day until service is restored. The company’s service area, extending from McRoberts through Fleming and Neon as far as Seco, has been plagued with problems for the past two years.

. The Jenkins City Council voted Monday night to ask the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for a $5,000 grant to be used for improvements to the city’s water system.

. Letcher County Tax Commissioner Sam Clinton Webb said this week that he is “seriously considering” running for county judge in the May 24 Democratic primary election. Former County Judge Robert B. Collins and Wilson Hall, president of the Kentucky Respiratory Disease Association, are the only announced Democrat candidates for the post. Republican Estill Blair has not yet announced whether he will run for re-election.

Wednesday, January 7, 1987 Former attorney Lester H. Burns Jr. of Pulaski County has repaid $175,000 to Fleming-Neon physician Roscoe J. Acker. The money was delivered to Whitesburg attorney James Wood, who represents Acker in a civil lawsuit the doctor filed against Burns and others accused of profiting from $1.9 million robbed from Acker’s bedside safe in August, 1985. Meanwhile, Letcher County Commonwealth’s Attorney James Wiley Craft said the investigation into the robbery, which resulted in the death of Acker’s 23-yearold daughter, Tammy, is continuing at both the local and federal level.

. Former Jenkins Mayor James F. “Chum” Tackett announced this week that he will run for the office of Kentucky Secretary of State.

. Whitesburg defeated the Sheldon Clark Lady Cardinals 62-31 in the second game of the Lady ‘Jacket Invitational round robin tournament on December 30.

Wednesday, January 8, 1997 More than 60 “active” illegal dumps can be found on hillsides, up hollows, on the riverbanks and roadsides in Letcher County.

. At its January meeting the Jenkins City Council authorized Mayor Robert E. “Pud” Schubert to sign a contract with Royalty Construction Company of Jenkins to begin work on the $213,965 project to restore the old C&O Railroad Depot on Main Street.

. The City of Whitesburg’s parking lot on Broadway is almost empty these days as employees of downtown businesses abandon parking in lots for spaces on Main Street. Business owners want to see Whitesburg officials start enforcing a city law that limits parking on Main Street to two hours during business hours. Some storeowners say the lack of parking for customers hurts business.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007 Postal service officials say the Millstone Post Office building will shut its doors on February 5. Mail service will be moved to the building next door to Sears at Mayking. The post office needs to be moved in order for the Kentucky Department of Transportation to widen the one-lane bridge near the post office.

. A 52.5-ton military tank now belongs to the Letcher County Veterans Memorial Museum. Buddy Grubb, who helped found the museum, said the tank could draw tourists to the county.

. The Lady Cougars fell to Shelby Valley 61-59, but then blasted East Ridge 50-33.

. Alta Mae and Eugene Hall of Ermine celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on January 5.

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