Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907
Thursday, March 10, 1927 Jenkins Police Chief S.H. Privitt is denying a rumor he says “is going about over this county and town that I, as chief of police of the town of Jenkins, have instructed the men who are working under me to kill certain men if they are caught in town selling whiskey.” Continues Privitt in a letter to the editor: “I take this method of informing the public that this is a grand mistake, and false propaganda that is spread to poison the minds of the people of this county against the police force of Jenkins.”
. The trial of two coal company officials charged in the shooting death of John J. Wright in Jenkins last week was held before Letcher County Judge Noah Bentley Saturday and ended with both men being exonerated. Judge Bentley ruled there was no evidence that Jerry Sanders was ever at the scene of the shooting. He also ruled that C.A. Larson fired his gun in selfdefense. Both defendants are sworn police officers in Jenkins.
. The Hazard High School Bulldogs defeated the Whitesburg Yellowjackets, 24-18, to claim the regional basketball championship.
. The South Chicago Coal and Dock Company has leased Dudley Coal Company on Caudill’s Branch in what is said to be the largest transaction involving a coal property in eastern Kentucky in the past 12 months. The Chicago firm said it will start building 100 new company houses immediately as it plans to double productions. The property involved consists of 4,000 acres of high-grade coal property. “It is estimated there is enough coal under the lease to keep the operation going at full capacity for more than a hundred years,” The Mountain Eagle reports.
. The Childers Drug Company of Whitesburg has moved from its former location in the front of the Daniel Boone Hotel to the Holbrook Building on Main Street, which affords the business more space.
. “Since leaving home I have been in the Ozark Mountains, the Rocky Mountains, the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and the mountains of the Hawaiian Islands, and the scenes of the Cumberland mountains are as beautiful as any I have ever seen,” Mountain Eagle subscriber J.W. Boggs writes from Blackville, South Carolina. “I am positive that I have never seen a more picturesque view than that from the top of Pine Mountain overlooking the Cumberland Valley.”
. Letcher Motors of Whitesburg is selling the Studebaker sedan for $1,335. Studebaker reported March 1 that demands for its products resulted in its factory in South Bend, Indiana establishing a new record for single-day shipments of its Studebaker (752) and Erskine (896) cars for a total of 1,648 on February 28.
Thursday, March 11, 1937 Eighteen-year-old Clara Engle was shot to death at the beer dispensary on top of Tunnel Hill in Whitesburg Saturday night as she attempted break up an argument between Wes Brown and Beecham Sizemore. Brown is said to have drawn his pistol as Miss Engle stepped between the two men just in time to receive the bullet, which was fired at close range, penetrating her abdomen and lodging in her back. Brown is being held in the Letcher County Jail pending action by the grand jury.
. Jealousy is said to be the cause of the shooting death of Mannel Wallis by Otis South in the Tom Biggs section of McRoberts on Saturday night. Police continue to search for South. Thornton Upchurch, who was arrested and is being held in the county jail in Whitesburg pending action by the grand jury, allegedly assisted the accused killer in his getaway.
. The Whitesburg City Council has approved an ordinance requiring that all new buildings erected within 150 feet of the center lines of Main Street, Bentley Avenue, Railroad Street and Madison Avenue (to the bridge over the North Fork of the Kentucky River) “be constructed of stone, brick, concrete or other fire-proof material.” The ordinance also applies to all remodeling and reconstruction projects for all buildings located on the four streets. “No frame building of any description shall be moved from without to within the city limits of Whitesburg, neither shall any frame building be moved from one place to another within said corporate limits,” says the ordinance, signed by Mayor H.H. Harris.
. The Nehi Bottling Company of Neon is putting a new drink on the market — a five-cent seller in 12-ounce bottles known as Royal Crown Cola. As part of the new drink’s introduction, the Nehi plant is offering a chance for boys and girls to receive a pair of Jack Dempsey boxing gloves for the small sum of $1.25 or 125 Royal Crown Cola bottle caps.
. James Robinette, 31, was fatally injured in a slate fall inside Mine No. 213 at McRoberts Friday morning. Robinette was just finishing his work on the night shift when the accident occurred. His brother, Ted Robinette, narrowly escaped injury from the same fall. James Robinette had purchased a farm near Kingsport, Tennessee recently, and had been making preparations to leave his mining job and move his family to the farm. The United Mine Workers of America had full charge
of burial arrangements near Gate City, Virginia.
. “In 1860, there were 13 families in the town of Whitesburg,” The Mountain Eagle reports in its weekly “It Is So” feature. “The census gave a population of 100 for the town. During the Civil War, the county seat was practically deserted and no courts were held and very little county business transacted. At the close of the Civil War, the governor of Kentucky appointed Wiley W. Webb, who lived at the mouth of Bottom Fork, as county judge to reorganize the county government. Webb appointed a sheriff, jailer, and clerk to hold office until the August 1865 election. At the close of the war, the courthouse was in such bad shape that court was held in a room at the home of D.I. Vermillion of Whitesburg until the courthouse was put in order.”
. Members of the United Mine Workers of America conducted funeral services Wednesday for Anthony Warsock, who was killed instantly when hit by a passing car near Seco on Friday night. Burial was in the Kona Cemetery.
Thursday, March 13, 1947 Under the banner, all-caps headline “Contract Is Given,” The Mountain Eagle reports on two railroad construction contracts that will benefit Letcher County. The larger of the two is the $4.22 million contract awarded to Codell Construction Company for a 22.5-mile rail line that will run from Floyd County, through Knott County, and into the Rockhouse Creek area of Letcher County. The line will serve a 200-million ton coalfield that lies under parts of all three counties — a 58-square mile area with mineral rights controlled by Pittsburgh Consolidated Coal Company. The second contract was also awarded to Codell Construction, a $1.25-million package that will extend the L&N Railroad from Duo, near Blackey, to Deane on Rockhouse Creek. Both projects must be completed by September 1, 1948.
. A U.S. Navy chaplain has informed Mrs. Edith Arthur of Mayking that their son, Fred Arthur, has died of injuries he sustained in World War II while being returned to the United States across the Atlantic Ocean aboard the U.S.S. Refuge. “He had been very seriously wounded and was critically ill from the time he was brought aboard,” the chaplain said in a letter. “His injuries were of such a nature that there was very little, if any, chance of his recovery. … You can take comfort from the realization that Fred was a fine young man, that he gave his life for his country, and that he was full of the ‘never say die’ sort of courage to the very last.”
. Practically every family in Letcher County has one or more persons who are ill with influenza.
. Hobart Tucker has purchased the Jenkins Inn restaurant from James M. Caudill of Neon and has resigned from his job with Consolidation Coal Company to operate the business, which was started by the coal company.
. Kentucky’s county police system has been upheld by the state Court of Appeals. The 5 to 2 ruling was given in a test case from Harlan County. Immediately after the ruling was handed down March 7, the Harlan County Police resumed raids, seizing slot machines, contraband liquor and making arrests.
. Kentucky fishermen are being reminded that the practice of “jug fishing” is illegal on all of the state’s waterways.
Thursday, March 13, 1957 Work is set to begin later this year on the $250-million University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington. Present plans call for the first class of medical students to enter the UK College of Medicine in the fall of 1959.
. The Letcher County Health Department reports administering nearly 30,000 typhoid inoculations after the severe flooding here in late January. Dr. R. Dow Collins, county health officer, said the county has recovered well from the flooding so far.
. The Letcher County Health Department is planning a series of clinics across the county to give the third, or booster, polio shot.
. Funeral services were held Tuesday in Lexington for Arthur W. Bastin, 58, owner and operator of Elkhorn Coal Company of Kona. Mr. Bastin died Saturday afternoon at his home on Paris Pike in Lexington after suffering a heart attack.
. Four members of a former Thornton family and a fifth person miraculously survived after being overcome by natural gas fumes March 5 at their home in Detroit, Michigan. The victims were Elza Franklin, 53; his sons, Dale, 25, and Carl, 16; Dale’s wife Peggy, 19, and a friend, Lentena Wright, 17. The Franklins and Wright had returned to the Detroit home early Monday after visiting in Kentucky and had gone to sleep after driving all night. About an hour after they had gone to bed, at 8:15 a.m., the elder Franklin awakened Dale and told him something was wrong with Carl. Then the father collapsed. Dale went to check on Carl, who was barely conscious. Dale’s wife was also overcome, and Miss Wright was woozy. Dale managed to get to the phone and call police. He collapsed just as police and fire department rescue personnel arrived. Police said two clogged vents on two space heaters caused the fumes. All five victims were treated at Receiving Hospital in Detroit. Elza Franklin’s wife, Mrs.
Alpha Franklin, is a sister of Estill Blair of Whitesburg, and was visiting him and his mother’s relatives in Thornton when the accident occurred.
. Mr. and Mrs. Roy Raymond Crawford will soon make their home in Whitesburg, where Mr. Crawford has accepted a position with his father’s engineering company. They have been living in Dallas, Texas, where Mr. Crawford was employed by Temco Aircraft Corporation.
. Miss Anna Louise Daniel, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Daniel Jr., has been initiated into the Alpha Theta chapter of Delta Zeta sorority at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. She is a freshman majoring in medical technology.
Thursday, March 9, 1967 Floodwaters struck eastern Kentucky early Tuesday morning and left widespread damage, but recent dredging of the North Fork of the Kentucky River prevented a major disaster in Letcher County. Early reports indicated that many areas of the county suffered considerable property damage, but losses were minor compared to the catastrophic floods of 1957 and 1963.
. Billy Wayne Austin, 16, is in critical condition at the Whitesburg hospital after an accident on U.S. 119 Monday west of Thornton Hill. Austin, son of Ernest Austin of Haymond, was driving his father’s truck when the vehicle went out of control just west of Thornton Hill and plunged into the rain-swollen North Fork of the Kentucky River, which at that point is well below the highway. Young Austin was pulled from the wreckage by passer-by James Gross, who saw a group of about 15 persons looking at the truck lying on its side submerged in the swiftly flowing water. Upon finding that no one had attempted to rescue the driver, Gross plunged into the water and pulled the boy out of the truck.
. Letcher County Sheriff Maynard Hogg is being praised for putting together an instant communications system that served efficiently through Monday night as the county was in flood trouble. Hogg, stationed near his home in Neon where the most severe flooding occurred, hastily assembled a network of police radios after telephone communications in the county broke down. With the help of a dispatcher in the sheriff ’s office in Whitesburg and a radio-equipped police cruiser parked outside radio station WTCW in Mayking, Hogg was able to deliver accurate flood reports and emergency messages through the radio station.
. Army Specialist Fifth Class Johnny L. Wright, son of Mr. and Mrs. Arlin Wright of Jenkins, has arrived in Vietnam. Wright is with the 9th Infantry Division, serving as a cook.
. James Asher of Whitesburg, freshman English major at Southeast Community College in Cumberland, has had his first poem accepted for publication. Asher’s poem, “Dreamer,” will appear in Cyclo- Flame, a Texas poetry magazine. Asher is a graduate of Whitesburg High School, where he was active on the yearbook staff.
. Holstein Hardware is now a dealer for Mobylette mopeds manufactured by the French company Motobécane. Eight models are available at the Whitesburg store, ranging from the $169.95 Mobybike, which gets 200 miles to the gallon of gas, to the $354.95 Speciale-50, which can reach the speed of 50 miles per hour while going 400 miles between gas refills.
. A five-pound box of chicken livers is on sale at the Whitesburg A&P for $1.79.
Thursday, March 10, 1977 While bodies were being recovered from the latest mining disaster at the Cocher Coal Co. in eastern Pennsylvania, the last section of the fatal Scotia mine in Letcher County was unsealed. Federal officials said that the last 900-foot portion of the 2-Southeast Main section of the Scotia Mine was ventilated Monday. The area will be investigated after a memorial period for the 26 men who died in two explosions last March.
. Since 1956, the Kentucky Court of Appeals has interpreted the failure of broadform deeds to mention the strip-mining of coal as the legal basis upon which to permit strip mining to be practiced. On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court, by refusing to hear a 1976 decision by the Kentucky Supreme Court, delivered what some legal observers believe may be a crippling blow to that interpretation. In May 1976, by a unanimous decision, the state’s high court uphold a Muhlenberg County circuit judge who found that three mineral deeds obtained in Muhlenberg in 1906 did not give the Island Creek Coal Co. and the Badgett Mine Stripping Co. “the right to destroy the surface.” Judge Arthur T. Iler said in his ruling that strip mining was unknown and not “contemplated” at the time the deeds were signed.
. The Fleming-Neon Pirates defeated the Letcher Eagles 59-52 in district tournament action Saturday.
Wednesday, March 11, 1987 Two eastern Kentucky coal towns will soon be included among historical sites designated by Kentucky Historical Highway Markers. They are Jenkins in Letcher County and Lynch in Harlan County. Both were built in the early part of the 20th century. The markers were suggested by historian Harry M. Caudill of Letcher County, whose books have chronicled the development of the towns.
. Food prices in Whitesburg were among the highest in Kentucky during February, according to a monthly survey by the Kentucky Farm Bureau. The bureau said its “market basket” — a group of family groceries ranging from hamburger to canned tomatoes to potato chips — cost $64.59 in Whitesburg last month.
. Sale of Bethlehem Steel Corporation’s coal mining properties is “getting close,” a company spokesman said this week. The properties include large amounts of equipment and large tracts of land in Jenkins as well as in nearby Pike County. The mining division of Bethlehem Steel is known as BethEnergy.
Wednesday, March 12, 1997 Ninety-eight Letcher County residents face the loss or suspension of their Kentucky driver’s licenses if they don’t make arrangements to pay a total of more than three quarters of a million dollars in past-due child support. The Division of Child Support Enforcement of the state Department for Social Insurance said this week that it will focus on “delinquent parents who meet the criteria for denial or suspension of driver’s licenses” in its efforts to obtain back support payments the drivers owe their children. These are parents who do not have custody of their children and who have accrued a year or more of past-due payments since January 1, 1994.
. Reconstruction of U.S. Highway 23 progresses between Pound Gap and the Pike-Letcher county line. A bridge is being erected over Route 805 east of downtown Jenkins.
. Representatives from the office of Kentucky Gov. Paul Patton will be in Whitesburg Thursday afternoon to answer questions raised by local citizens at a forum on the new Welfare Reform laws. The forum, which will be held at the Appalshop auditorium, is sponsored by the Letcher County Chamber of Commerce.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007 Acid mine water was carried into the North Fork of the Kentucky River on Monday through the Dry Fork tributary. The acid water has been draining into Little Dry Fork for about a year, but the flow picked up last week and is killing aquatic life along the way. The water is coming from abandoned mine works near Parkway Motel.
. The dream of turning the old Jenkins High School into a self-sufficient office complex with a restaurant, classrooms, and arts and crafts spaces moved one step closer to reality March 9 when the Letcher Fiscal Court voted unanimously to authorize the use of $251,487 for projects to make the building handicap accessible and to begin preparing an office site on the second floor for the Jenkins Independent Board of Education.