Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907
Thursday, January 20, 1927 The Hogg & Hatton passenger train No. 4 has been frozen stiff to the track for the last few days, writes Kingscreek resident Hiram Mitchell Sr.
. South-East Coal Company superintendent Henry Pfening of Seco was elected president of the Hazard Coal Operators Exchange at its annual banquet held in Lexington last Thursday.
. The D.E. Perkins Company of Harlan has been awarded contract to design an elementary school building in Whitesburg. The contract calls for the building plans and specifications to be ready by February 15, with construction set to begin March 1. The building is to be completed by September 1.
. Seven new rooms for Sunday school and young people’s societies have been built and furnished after excavation work in the basement of the First Baptist Church in Whitesburg.
. The Whitesburg Bakery of Neon reports that business is good. In addition to regular loaves of bread and rolls, the bakery produces all kinds of cakes, flavored rolls, sweetbreads, and specialty breads.
. The New York Bargain Store of Neon is holding its midwinter sale this week.
. The Whitesburg High School basketball team defeated McRoberts High School at the Armory on Saturday night, 13 to 2.
. The Letcher County Bar Associated voted unanimously to adopt a resolution supporting the creation of a U.S. Southern Judicial District for eastern Kentucky.
. Inspectors with the Bureau of Foods, Drugs and Hotels of the Kentucky Board of Health will be in Letcher County soon to begin its annual inspection of restaurants, hotels, cafeterias and boarding houses.
Thursday, January 22, 1937 “Did you know that the first court ever held in Letcher County assembled under a beech tree?” asks a front-page column in The Mountain Eagle entitled “It Is So.” “It was in 1842 and justices of the peace of the new county of Letcher, all of whom had held office in the counties from which Letcher was formed, met at the mouth of Pert Creek for the purpose of selecting the county seat. They met there several times, the first time or two the meeting was held under a beech tree near the home of Mose Adams. They later met in Adams’s house, which was built in 1812 and torn down about 10 years ago.
. Henry Blair has been sentenced to life in prison for murdering his wife, Minta Combs Blair, on the streets of Whitesburg on October 19. Blair’s defense attorney argued that Blair was temporarily insane at the time of the shooting because of jealously. The Letcher Circuit Courtroom was full of spectators throughout the trial, with many of them having to stand. The jury deliberated only 17 minutes before returning its verdict. Blair has been transported to the state penitentiary at Frankfort, where he will spend the rest of his natural life.
. The trial of Nath Engle, charged in the shooting death of Ed Gibson, is set to begin this week in Letcher Circuit Court. Engle is accused of shooting Gibson during an argument over a post stuck in the middle of a road. The trial will draw many spectators because of the close connections of the two families in Letcher County.
. The disease meningitis continues to take its toll here in Letcher County. “We dislike very much to report that two new cases have arisen since the New Year in the Isom- Sackett section of Rockhouse Creek,” the Letcher County Health Department says in a new release.
. Uncle Sam has begun storing his gold in the bombproof depository built at Fort Knox, Kentucky. The first train, heavily guarded, carried about $200,000 from the Philadelphia mint. It was received by the motorized Seventh Cavalry and put in the great vaults.
. Dr. B.F. Wright of Seco has returned from Frankfort, where he has been spending time in the interest of amending the workman’s compensation law to be of better benefit to labor.
. Mrs. Callie Wright shot Miss Betty Holt in the head at Fleming on Monday morning with a 30-30 rifle. Jealousy is said to be the cause of the shooting. Miss Holt is in serious condition in the Fleming hospital.
. A truce has been declared in the General Motors strike, leaving prospects for a peaceful settlement of the trouble bright. Under the truce, the United Auto Workers will at once withdraw the sit-down strikers from GM plants in Flint, Michigan and Anderson, Indiana. In return, GM will not remove from those plants any machinery and will not attempt to resume production in those plants for at least 15 days from the date of the start of contract negotiations.
. Some 400 representatives of the five railroad brotherhoods gathered in Chicago to discuss plans for obtaining wage increases.
. A lot of old stories are expected to be re-made in 1937. Ben Hur” is up for discussion — maybe with both Clark Gable and Robert Taylor in it.
Thursday, January 23, 1947 A 30-year-old Virginia man was found dead Sunday night at slate dump near Jenkins. Letcher County coroner Archie Craft said the death of James Edward Bentley of Esserville appears to be accidental. Craft said it appears that Bentley, a World War II veteran who had been visiting in Jenkins, was waiting for a ride back to Virginia when he became cold and went to the burning dump to find warmth and was overcome by poisonous gas fumes.
. A third boy has died as the result of a tragic car accident near Jenkins last week. Donald Gay Whitaker, the 12-yearold son of Carl and Mae Whitaker, died at the Jenkins hospital on Sunday, eight days after he and four of his friends wrecked as they were returning home from a Jenkins High School basketball game at Virgie in Pike County.
. A group of Letcher County citizens met with representatives of the United Mine Workers of America to discuss the possibility of building a hospital in Whitesburg. The meeting, held at the Daniel Boone Hotel, ended with all agreeing the town is a logical place for a hospital.
. The Bank of Whitesburg’s assets of $5.9 million and deposits of $5.7 million remain at a record high for Letcher County, reports bank cashier Herman Hale.
. The Anti-Saloon League of Kentucky reports that 295 saloons and roadhouses were put out of business last year
by local option elections. Of Kentucky’s 120 counties, 92 are entirely dry and 14 are totally wet.
. The Bottom Fork School now has a lunchroom.
. Roy Fleming, former member of the Jenkins police force, recently purchased the McRoberts Theatre and Recreation Building from Consolidation Coal Company.
. The Willie Quillen Building located at the mouth of Goose Creek just above Neon was badly damaged by fire Tuesday afternoon.
Thursday, January 17, 1957 Vernon Cornett and Charlie Adams will open a new barbershop in the Frazier Building in Whitesburg next Monday. The office was formerly occupied by the Letcher County Draft Board. Cornett and Adams are highly trained barbers.
. Andrew Gamble Jr. and Harrison Banks were killed in a slate fall at the Sapphire Mine at Marlowe last Thursday.
. Jefferson County’s Eastern High School Band and Rowan County’s Morehead High School Band have been selected to represent Kentucky in the inaugural parade for President Dwight D. Eisenhower in Washington January 21.
. On Saturday, the McClelland-Anderson Post 104 American Legion, Neon, will endeavor to increase its quota for the polio drive by setting up fundraising roadblocks in and around Neon.
. The Letcher County Board of Education has elected Daniel V. Johnson of Jackhorn as its new chairman, replacing Dr. B.F. Wright of Seco.
. The entire community of Whitesburg was saddened to learn of the death Wednesday afternoon of Mrs. R.R. Crawford at her home in the city. She is the wife of prominent coal operator R.R. Crawford, who survives her. Also surviving are son R.R. Crawford Jr., daughter Lucille Mulholland of Huntington, West Virginia, and seven grandchildren.
Thursday, January 19, 1967 Tourism is not the answer to eastern Kentucky’s economic problems, says a study conducted for the federal Appalachian Regional Commission. The study means that the Magic Mountain project in Hazard and the Cloud City project on Pine Mountain in Letcher County probably will never be financed — at least not with government money. Both proposals created significant interest in eastern Kentucky several years ago. Letcher County residents dropped the Cloud City idea after initial efforts were met with failure, but Perry County has still clung to the hope that Magic Mountain would one day become a reality.
. An effort to improve the Upper Cumberland School, an overcrowded, two-room, pot-belly-stove heated wooden frame structure considered one of the nation’s most deprived schools, met with failure this week when a state official told Letcher Schools Superintendent Kendall Boggs that he would not approve the usage of federal Title 1 money to fix the school. The official, Fred Williams of Frankfort, said the Upper Cumberland School should be consolidated with the Eolia School, located some half-dozen miles down the river. The state’s decision was met with outrage by a number of parents of Upper Cumberland students who attended this week’s meeting of the Letcher County Board of Education.
. Master Sergeant Maynard H. Prichard, a native of Whitesburg, recently received the Air Force Commendation Medal when he returned to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio after spending a year in Vietnam as a noncommissioned officer in charge of the Maintenance Support Division.
. Robert G. Minger will take over Monday as administrator of the Whitesburg Appalachian Regional Hospital. Minger succeeds Jack E. McVey, who has taken a hospital position in Baltimore, Md.
. Miss Shannon Hall, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clyde C. Hall of Fleming, will be married Saturday to Lloyd G. Mullins Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd G. Mullins of McRoberts.
. Palmer Scott was honored by the Beth-Elkhorn Corporation for working 19 years at Mine 22 without a lost-time
accident to men under his supervision. The award was among 67 safety awards presented during a banquet at the Wise Inn in Virginia. The next best record is held by Denver Plummer, also of Mine 22, with a 17-year record.
. Mailboxes are protected by federal law, and pranksters or vandals who damage or destroy the boxes and their contents may be in for a heavy fine or imprisonment, Whitesburg Postmaster R.C. Day warned this week.
Thursday, January 20, 1977 The wave of frigid Arctic air bringing the nation its coldest winter in decades it causing the coal industry here major problems. Beth-Elkhorn Coal Corp., which employs more than 1,000 people at four deep mines and a preparation plant near Jenkins, shut down Sunday at midnight. The company has 8,000 gons full of frozen coal sitting on rail spurs in New York, Maryland and Indiana. South East Coal Corp. has 500 cars of coal “immobilized” at its preparation plant at Irvine.
. Letcher County students may find themselves making up classes through the third week in June. Freezing weather and icy roads have kept schools closed 14 days since the school year began in August and “the extended forecast doesn’t look good at all,” said Kendall Boggs, school superintendent.
. For its grand opening, Casey’s IGA in Cumberland is offering boneless rump roast at $1.59 a pound and sirloin tip steak at $1.69 a pound.
Wednesday, January 21, 1987 Action by the Reagan administration will stop the distribution of surplus commodity foods to thousands of needy families in eastern Kentucky unless Congress reverses the administration’s decision. The Reagan administration has ordered a deferral on spending of $28 million which had been appropriated to pay for the cost of distributing surplus commodities stored by the Department of Agriculture. U.S. Rep. Carl D. Perkins called President Reagan’s action “heartless.”
. Wallace Wilkinson, a Democratic candidate for governor, says he has found more than $100 million in state money to finance needed programs if he is elected.
. Citing increased transportation costs and new state regulations governing classroom size, the Letcher County School Board says it plans to restrict attendance at county schools along district lines.
Wednesday, January 22, 1997 The City of Whitesburg plans to construct a new road to allow easier access to the Whitesburg Industrial Park in West Whitesburg and at the same time ease traffic congestion which is developing around the recent commercial growth near the industrial park.
. Construction on the $4.5 million renovation of the Letcher County Courthouse could start as early as next Tuesday. That’s the day after builders, architects, and government officials are scheduled to sign a contract that will allow the work to begin.
. Gov. Paul Patton has recommended that Letcher County receive a $77,000 grant to help get its proposed new recycling center up and running.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007 Letcher County Clerk Winston Meade said B& L Management Services, a Nebraska company, was back in the courthouse at the end of last week, looking at more delinquent tax bills. In November, the company paid $111,052 for 194 delinquent tax certificates in Letcher County.
. Citizens will no longer be allowed to speak at Letcher Fiscal Court meetings without signing their names and agreeing to keep their comments less than five minutes. Letcher Judge/Executive Jim Ward said the new guidelines are meant to shorten meetings and to help speakers made their point more quickly.
. Edith Isom of Isom will celebrate her 99th birthday January 27. She and her late husband, Corbin, taught school for 44 years.