Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were



Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

Thursday, March 24, 1927 The Jenkins High School Debate Team defeated Hazard Friday night to qualify for the state meet in Lexington.

. Prohibition Officer Clark Day and Letcher County Sheriff Morgan T. Reynolds say raids on illegal liquor operations have “been disastrous to moonshine” makers. The two report that along with sheriff ’s deputies Mack Yonts, N.B. Hall, J.D. Blair and Kermit Blair they destroyed 13 stills, 25 gallons of liquor, and about 5,000 gallons of beer, mash and other materials during the last 10 days. Day and Morgan noted that it looks summer will be dry in Letcher County.

. Membership in the new Letcher Fish, Game and Gun Club has grown to 112. A gun trap for club members who like to shoot has been ordered along with 2,270 clay pigeons. The trap will be set up in the James Lewis Bottom in Whitesburg.

. Manager Olney Hammons of the Superior Motor Company of Whitesburg reports the sale of eight Chevrolet automobiles last week.

. Kyva Motor Company reports the sale of 10 Pontiacs, three Oaklands, and two used cars within the last 20 days.

. A motorman and his helper were killed Tuesday in a slate fall at the Blackey mine of the Consolidated Fuel Company.

. An 11-year-old Blackey boy died suddenly March 22 while playing with friends in the street. Doctors say the boy, Verlin Cornett, died of heart disease about 3:30 p.m.

. Letcher School Superintendent Arlie Boggs has been authorized by the county school board to solicit bids for the construction on new school buildings in Blackey and Fleming.

Thursday, March 25, 1937 S.F. Dawahare, prominent Letcher County merchant, has returned to his home in Whitesburg after touring the Caribbean Islands. Mr. Dawahare had not visited with his brother in Santa Domingo, the capital city of the Dominican Republic, for several years but took this occasion to visit with him for several days.

. Whitesburg is looking for a new assistant postmaster since Ballard Webb resigned the post to move to Louisville, where he will start working with Commercial Credit Company.

. Joe Tolliver of Whitesburg is one of nine members of Kentucky Wesleyan College’s freshman basketball team to receive a sweater. Tolliver, a former star for the Whitesburg High School Yellowjackets, played center for the Wesleyan Greenies this season. He amassed a team-leading 150 points to help the Greenies to a record of nine wins and three losses.

. In its weekly feature “It Is So,” The Mountain Eagle reports that Letcher County has had two courthouses and four jails since its founding. The first courthouse was built in 1842 and 1843 by Ephraim Hammons and John A. Caudill and cost about $1,000. It consisted of a courtroom downstairs with two rooms in the front — one on each side of the entrance — for the sheriff and county clerk, with three rooms upstairs for the jury and a consultation room. The last and present courthouse building was completed in 1898 and cost $12,000. The first jail was built by Ned Polly out of logs and cost $100. The second jail consisted of two log buildings, one around the other with rocks between, and then another building erected out of heavy board timber, about 2×8, laid on each other and spiked together. The fourth jail is the present stone structure.

. Writing in a letter to the editor, Lida B. Jenkins talks about her trip south to Florida, which she calls the land of “wonderful possibilities.” Ms. Jenkins says Letcher County people could prosper if they could move to the Okeechobee region of Florida, which she describes as a “rich valley with soil as black as coal.” She writes, “My heart goes out to our many good, earnest, honest, hardworking people (in Letcher County) who are striving day in and day out from morning until night, trying to live and barely existing. How I wish these fathers and mothers could gather those almost-barefoot boys and girls together and fly to some fertile spot like the Sugar Bowl of Okeechobee.”

Thursday, March 27, 1947 A Letcher County physician, the county’s jailer, and several police officers played a large role in capturing three Fort Knox soldiers, including a Letcher County man, charged with murdering a 26-yearold former paratrooper from Louisville who was reported missing March 14. [Related story appears elsewhere on this page.]

. The names of 149 Letcher County soldiers killed in World War II will be among more than 9,000 names of the war dead from Kentucky to be placed on a large roster of names in the University of Kentucky’s new Memorial Coliseum.

. The “Fuzzy Duck” is the name of a small new restaurant in the community of Whitaker, near Neon Junction. Selling sandwiches and soft drinks, it is owned by Dishman Collins.

. A Thornton man was killed in a slate fall during his first day of working for the Big Three Coal Mine [location not given]. The victim, J.W. “Sam” Castle, who was killed earlier today, leaves behind a wife and three children. He was the brotherin law of well-known Neon photographer D.P. Short. The owners of Big Three — Howard Adams, Orville Hughes, and Curt Giles — say the fatality is the first during the mine’s 13 months of operation.

. Bert Doyle, a well-known and wellliked employee of the Elkhorn Junior Coal Company of Kona, was killed while working in the Mine March 20. Doyle was 44.

. Woodrow Crum, Johnny Blake, and Jimmy Mullins led the Jenkins Cavaliers to a season record of 21 wins against only six losses.

. Humphrey Bogart and Elizabeth Scott star in the movie “Dead Reckoning,” showing March 30-31 at the King Coal Theatre in Jenkins.

. Joe Reynolds is the manager of the new Reynolds & Jones Furniture store of Neon.

Thursday, March 28, 1957 Mrs. Virginia Combs has been awarded a life membership in the Parent-Teacher Association. The daughter of the late H.H. Harris and Allie Sanders Harris, wellknown educators in eastern Kentucky, Mrs. Combs teaches English and Journalism at Whitesburg High School. She is a charter member and past president of the Whitesburg Woman’s Club.

. The Brownie Scouts of the Lone Troop of Whitesburg were presented with a new silk American flag from the women of the VFW Auxiliary of Post 5829 in Whitesburg.

. Local Board No. 58 of Whitesburg is searching for four Letcher County men who have failed to register for the military draft.

. Coal mines in Marlowe are working only three days a week, as coal orders are “slack” during the period between winter trade and Great Lakes orders.

. Aboard the U.S.S. Glacier, the Navy’s most powerful icebreaker, is James E. Cornett, quartermaster seaman-apprentice of Kingscreek. The icebreaker left Port Lyttleton, New Zealand on March 10 after five months in the Antarctic and is scheduled to arrive in Boston April 19.

. Members of the Jenkins High School senior class of 1947 will leave March 31 for a tour of Washington, D.C., and New York City.

Thursday, March 23, 1967 The largest expenditures of state tax money in Letcher County in 1966 were for education and roads, according to the Kentucky Department of Public Information.

. Despite three weeks of highway department repair work, the soil under U.S. 119 is still shifting. A major washout took out the outer lane of the highway, and traffic now has to move one way at a time through the repair area. Possibility of further washouts or slides threatens the men making the repairs and makes driving hazardous in the area.

. Kentucky State Police speed traps and roadblocks in and near Isom are being used unfairly by the police, according to several Letcher County residents who have run afoul of the traps. State troopers have been stopping motorists in the area on recent weekends, ostensibly to check licenses and vehicle safety. In once case, however, a local government worker was struck by a trooper and arrested for disturbing the peace after he had asked the officer to explain the purpose of the roadblock. Last weekend a Blackey resident was stopped by a trooper after she had passed two cars which had slowed to a crawl in Isom. The occupants of the cars were looking at merchandise displays, according to the arrested driver, who said that the state policeman ignored her when she attempted to point this out. She was charged with “passing too fast for road conditions.”

. A special meeting will be held Friday, March 31, to organize a Mental Health Association for Letcher County.

. Semi-boneless hams are on sale for 69 cents a pound at the A&P food store.

Thursday, March 24, 1977 The Carter Administration has come out against automatic benefits for coal miners who have worked in the mines a certain number of years. Assistant Secretary of Labor Donald Elisburg said that while the Department of Labor opposed automatic payments based on years of service in the mines, President Carter had not decided if he would veto legislation providing such benefits.

. Massive pollution of both the Kentucky and Cumberland Rivers by the Blue Diamond Coal Company recently forced both the City of Cumberland and the City of Hazard to close down their city water plants while the heavily polluted waters moved through the system.

. Kermit Combs, 72, a Letcher County merchant for many years died in Naples, Florida after suffering a heart attack. For many years Combs and his wife, Tootsie, operated Kermit’s Market on Main Street in Whitesburg. In the 1960s they retired and moved to a farm in western Kentucky but returned to Letcher County after a few years and opened the Foodtown Supermarket

in Whitesburg in 1966. Last year they opened another supermarket, Superior Market, in a new shopping center in Whitesburg. A few weeks ago Combs sold Superior Market, citing health reasons and returned to operate the Foodtown store.

Wednesday, March 25, 1987 Commonwealth’s Attorney James Wiley Craft said he will ask a Letcher County grand jury to investigate the running of raw sewage into streams and illegal garbage dumps in the county.

. The Jenkins City Council has awarded bid for garbage service in the city’s new mandatory pick-up system. C & L Sanitation of Jenkins offered the lower of the two bids the city received.

. If you have been a litterbug don’t be

surprised if your child gives you a severe tongue-lashing one day soon. Schoolaged children will be the focus of this year’s “Litter Awareness Week” in Letcher County which is set to begin March 30 and end April 3. The Letcher County Clean Community Program says Litter Awareness Week is designed “to create a greater awareness of the littering and illegal dumping problems, and to recognize the need for change.”

Wednesday, March 26, 1997 The Letcher Fiscal Court is scheduled to consider once again whether the county should participate in the National Flood Insurance Program. A previous vote on whether to join the program ended in a tie last week, leaving Letcher County as the only county in the eastern Kentucky coalfi elds not covered by a flood-insurance

ordinance. Magistrates Delbert Anderson, Homer Caudill and Larry Tolliver each voted against the measure last Tuesday despite warnings that the county must belong to the flood insurance program to qualify for federal grants necessary to pay for a countywide water and sewer system.

. For several years now Tom Hansel, of Whitesburg, has celebrated the coming of spring by jumping into the cold, old Pine Mountain Resort Lake atop Pine Mountain on US 119.

. Letcher County Ranger Technician Bruce Hill presented white pine, yellow poplar, and red and white oak trees to fourth-grade students in every school in the county in celebration of Arbor Day.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007 Letcher County’s government will be operating on a tight budget until the current fiscal year ends June 30, the Letcher Fiscal Court was warned this week. County Treasurer Phillip Hampton reminded the court a payment of more than $90,000 for the courthouse construction is due in May and must come out of the general fund. Judge/Executive Jim Ward also told the court that all money borrowed from the road and bridge fund and put into the general fund will have to be put back to keep in compliance with a measure passed at last month’s meeting.

. The Letcher County Health Department reported 85 cases of the flu in March, up from 41 cases in February and 25 in January. Last week, 28 cases of the flu were reported to the health department.

. A Letcher County grand jury says a 30-year-old Jenkins woman obtained pain pills for her own use for seven weeks last fall by telephoning prescriptions into a pharmacy and saying they were ordered by a veterinarian treating a sick dog.

. Mountain Comprehensive Care Corporation presents pictures of 65 of the 498 babies delivered by MCHC staff in 2006. There were eight sets of twins among the 259 baby boys and 239 baby girls.



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