Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were




A legend left us four years ago Legendary country music singer George Jones, known for hits including “White Lightning” and “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” died April 26, 2013 after a career of nearly 60 years. Known for his hard-drinking and tumultuous marriage to singer Tammy Wynette, Jones had more than 140 Top 40 hits before he died at age 81 in Nashville. This photo was taken in June 1977. (AP Photo)

A legend left us four years ago Legendary country music singer George Jones, known for hits including “White Lightning” and “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” died April 26, 2013 after a career of nearly 60 years. Known for his hard-drinking and tumultuous marriage to singer Tammy Wynette, Jones had more than 140 Top 40 hits before he died at age 81 in Nashville. This photo was taken in June 1977. (AP Photo)

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

Thursday, April 28, 1927 Work has begun on a new modern brick building to house the Blackey State Bank in Blackey. The 26 feet by 50 feet structure, the first business house built of brick in Blackey, will consist of one story and basement and will include a modern safe and safe-deposit boxes. The Blackey bank was organized about five years ago.

. Contracts to paint houses in the Haymond, Hemphill, Jenkins, Fleming, and McRoberts coal camps have been awarded to contractor Dan Moran. Several men are already busy with brushes on company buildings. Moran had similar contracts four years ago.

. The steady booming of light artillery was heard Friday and Saturday afternoons by Whitesburg residents as the bombardment of clay pigeons started in the Lewis bottom. The trapshooting, Whitesburg’s first, is sponsored by the Letcher Fish, Game and Gun Club. “It must be admitted the little black and white saucers came out victorious in this first encounter, for more than half of them continued to sail unbroken after being fired upon,” The Mountain Eagle reports.

. Twenty pupils were graduated from the eighth grade during commencement exercises at Fleming Tuesday night. Among the speakers was Professor R. Dean Squires, a teacher at the Eastern Normal Teachers College in Richmond who is expected to be the next superintendent of the Whitesburg City Schools.

. The Whitesburg School Board has pledged to have a new gymnasium built by next fall.

. Joe Reynolds and Loren Bentley were among a group of school students accompanying Professor Glenn on the season’s first pilgrimage to High Rock atop Pine Mountain.

. The Thursday night train from Lexington to Whitesburg was 19 hours late because of a series of slides near Jackson. The Monday morning train from Lexington was seven hours late after five coal cars left the track when a rail broke at the tunnel near Chavies in Perry County.

Thursday, April 29, 1937 A fire that struck with sudden fury Sunday morning destroyed a home and business building in downtown Whitesburg. Many of the town’s citizens were in church when a passerby saw smoke coming from the windows of the Passmore home. Churches were dismissed and bucket brigades were formed to try to control the flames, but it was to no avail. Work then began on trying to save other buildings on nearby Main Street. Telephone operator Mrs. Ed Holback was able to place calls for help from fire departments in Jenkins and Cumberland. After Whitesburg’s water system failed, the departments were able to pump water from the North Fork of the Kentucky River and save all but one building, the Hayes Building, which housed the city police courtroom, the law offices of J.L. Hays, and the office of the Letcher County Leader. Because the City of Whitesburg has no firefighting equipment, the town would have been ashes if not for the help of the Cumberland and Jenkins departments, said Whitesburg Mayor H.H. Harris. “But for their timely help, instead of two (structures), the number might have been 20 or more,” he said.

. “The purchase and use of real up-todate fire fighting apparatus at this time would be one of the best investments the city could make to insure its future,” The Mountain Eagle says in an editorial after fire threatened the city over the weekend.

. The latest business to settle within the City of Whitesburg is the Miner’s Store, part of a chain that has been in existence in Kentucky for more than 25 years. The first store was opened in London. The store will open with an entirely new and complete line of men’s, ladies’ and children’s clothing and a tremendous stock of dry goods and furnishings.

. In its weekly feature “It Is So,” The Mountain Eagle reports on Beaver Dam Creek. The four-mile long stream that flows into Rockhouse Creek got its name because of a large number of dams beavers built across it. The first settlers there and in nearby areas in Knott and Floyd counties found beavers plentiful.

. Sunday, April 18 marked the second day of a drive by members of the United Mine Worker or America on the unorganized mines in Harlan County. Benham and Lynch were the objectives of a group of men who came through Letcher County on their way to the Harlan fields. District 30 officials had designated the Letcher- Harlan line as the meeting place for the caravan of organizers. “At the appointed time, somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 cars, loaded down with union miners, were at the appointed place,” The Eagle reports. “As the long line of cars filed through Cumberland, people began yelling and waving at the cavalcade, crowds appeared on doorsteps and people could be seen peering out of windows.”

. The Tillie-Elsiecoal Road, which has been partly constructed, will have contracts let for the completion in the very near future.

. The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Whitesburg is the local distributor for

Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer in bottles and Pabst Expo Beers in cans. [In 1935, Pabst became one of the first companies to introduce its beer in cans.]

. Rumors are being circulated that the Carbon Glow Mine may be reopened soon. The Elk Creek Mine is still idle as well.

. Mr. Thomas Haymond is leaving Fleming after being appointed as one of the members of the Guffey Coal Commission, writes the Fleming news correspondent, adding, “employees of the Elkhorn Coal Corporation will be sorry to hear of his absence from this field. Mr. Haymond has been their friend and stood up for their rights of collective bargaining.”

. The new “Super Duty” Frigidaire refrigerator with “new instant cube-release in every ice tray” is on sale for $108 at Whitesburg Hardware and Furniture Company, Jackson House Furnishing Company at Neon Junction, and Pound Hardware and Furniture in Pound, Virginia.

Thursday, May 1, 1947 Thirty-five business lots will be sold at Isom on Saturday, May 3. To be subdivided into lots is the valuable property owned by Hobart C. Banks. The property is located on Highway 15 at the junction of Rockhouse Road and the mouth of Little Collie, through which will pass the new L&N Railroad spur leading to the largest undeveloped coalfield in Kentucky. Sam Collins Land Auction Company will oversee the event.

. A car stolen from O.O. Parks of Jenkins was returned to him after his son-in-law, J.L. Farinash Jr. saw the car pass his gas station above Whitesburg and followed it to Alvin Amburgey’s filling station, where the driver was getting gas. Farinash told the young driver to “reach for the sky” and held him until police arrived. The thief did not know the gun was actually a toy cap buster belonging to Farinash’s young son.

. Steve Frazier, one of Letcher County’s oldest and best-known merchants, has sold his entire stock of merchandise to young businessmen, David Roe Fields and Clyde Frazier. The new business will be known as Farmer’s Supply Inc. and will be open to customers on May 10.

. University of Kentucky basketball coach Adolph Rupp was the guest speaker Tuesday night at the Pikeville College and Academy Athletic Banquet.

. The Whitesburg Girls’ Glee Club won an “excellent” rating on Saturday at the All-State Festival held in the University of Kentucky’s Memorial Coliseum in Lexington. Thirty-one girls made the trip in a brand-new school bus.

. The remaining term of Letcher Circuit Court was adjourned after Judge R. Monroe Fields became ill suddenly.

. Mike Duff, son of Mr. and Mrs. Brown Duff of Letcher, has been elected president of the Poultry Club at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. He is a senior in the College of Agriculture.

. Plans are underway to resume high school classes at Carcassonne School this next school year.

. Letcher County Judge Arthur Dixon has promised that work will begin soon on repairing the Carcassonne road, which is one of the county’s most neglected.

. The marriage of Miss Joy Wray Frazier, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Troy Frazier of Whitesburg, and Van Breeding, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Breeding, was solemnized at the Hazard Baptist Church on April 25. Both bride and groom are graduates of Whitesburg High School. Mrs. Breeding is teaching school at Ermine this year. The couple will live in Whitesburg, where Mr. Breeding is engaged in the coal business.

. The Jenkins High School Senior Class left Sunday for a week in Washington, D.C., and New York City.

. Joan Fontaine and Lawrence Olivier star in Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller-mystery “Rebecca,” showing at the Kentucky Theatre in Whitesburg on May 1. The 1940 Academy Award-winning film for Best Picture is in theaters again. The Kentucky Theatre will show Roy Rogers and Dale Evans in “Apache Rose” on May 2 and 3.

. In a sign that some honest people still exist, a billfold containing $153 cash was returned to its owner, Mr. Lexie Potter of Whitesburg, by Mr. W.H. “Hop” Polly of Camp Branch. Potter, an insurance salesman and collector, lost the billfold and cash a few days ago.

Thursday, May 2, 1957 The Whitesburg Rotary Club voted this week to ask the Letcher Fiscal Court to adopt Eastern Time for the entire county, part of which is on Eastern Standard Time and part on Central Standard Time. The court said it would address the issue at its June meeting.

. The Kentucky State Highway Department has agreed to take over and maintain nearly 50 miles of rural highways in Letcher County at a cost of $48,557. Solomon Creek in Whitesburg is among the roads, as is Little Cowan Road, parts of which are still under construction. Portions of other roads include Linefork, Craft’s Colly, Bark Camp, Trace Fork, Mill Branch, Elk Creek, Right Fork of Millstone, Payne Gap, Spring Branch, Montgomery Creek, Doty Branch, Cram Creek, Dry Fork Branch, Pine Creek, Peaks Branch, Camp

Branch, Little Creek, Roberts Branch, Dry Fork Creek, Defeated Creek, and Right Fork of Trace.

. Ending a 30-year practice, the Letcher County Health Department will no longer be open on Saturdays, county health offi cer Dr. R. Dow Collins has announced. “We have recently found that the other 119 health units … haven’t been working Saturdays for the past three years,” Collins said.

. Most of the Whitesburg High School seniors “behaved as ladies and gentlemen” during the class trip to Washington, D.C., Principal Kendall Boggs said today. Boggs said reports that boys in the group had deliberately destroyed property at the motel where they stayed were “altogether false.” He said a wooden bed was broken, probably from boys wrestling on it. Ten or 12 boys were in a two rooms with a connecting bath and they paid $16 for repair of the bed, Boggs said, adding that when they were leaving Washington, the motel manager told him, “You have a fine group there, about the best we’ve ever had.”

. On Saturday, April 27, little Miss Kim Farley, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Farley of Jenkins, entertained a number of her little friends on her second birthday at the home of her grandmother, Mrs. W.H. Frye, on Oak Street.

. Jerald Forester Combs entertained on Saturday, April 27 in celebration of his eighth birthday at the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Forester Combs, Hazard Road. Among the guests attending were Doug and Wayne Benton, Barbara Poloskey, Johnny and Douglas Banks, and Douglas Frazier.

Thursday, April 27, 1967 Three students from Mrs. Carla Jean Slone’s third-grade class at Colson Consolidated School have been named to represent their class on WCYB-TV’s “Kiddie Kollege” program on May 3. They are Barbara Sturgill, Stephen Sanders and Jerry Richardson.

. A proposal for a project to show new methods of designing and constructing housing for low-income families was to be discussed tonight by the Leslie, Knott, Letcher, Perry Community Action Council. If the council approves the proposal, it will be submitted to the Office of Economic Opportunity in Washington with a request for a $75,000 grant to put it into operation.

. Semi-boneless hams are on sale for 69 cents a pound at the A&P food store in Whitesburg. Turkeys are 39 cents a pound.

. Mr. and Mrs. Herman Burchett of Camden in Jenkins celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on April 21.

. The new Model 535 color television set from Magnavox with a 23-inch screen is on sale at Baker Maytag & Furniture in Whitesburg for $498.50. With ABC, CBS, and NBC now airing full color primetime schedules for the first time, color TV’s are the top-selling consumer product in the United States today.

. Anna Laura Caudill of Neon has been named to the Honor Roll of Transylvania College for the winter quarter. A graduate of Fleming-Neon High School, Miss Caudill, daughter of Judge and Mrs. James M. Caudill, is a sophomore at Transy.

Thursday, April 28, 1977 All existing county high schools will be consolidated into one centrally located facility if the Letcher County Board of Education acts on recommendations made by the state Department of Education in its five-year Facilities Survey Report.

. Blue Diamond Coal Co. is facing more than $200,000 in fines following a move by the state Department of Natural Resources to recover damages caused by black water spills at the Leatherwood Mine in Perry County, one of which closed down the Hazard Water Plant for five and half hours several weeks ago.

. ”Last winter there were 18 snows here,” reports A.P. Williams, “this winter of 1976- 77 there fell 34 snows in Letcher County.”

. ”We had a rainy and cool weekend,” writes Blair Branch correspondent Callie Blair. “I guess it’s because of the Dogwood Winter that has set in.”

Wednesday, April 29, 1987 Whitesburg architect Bill Richardson will present final recommendations to the City of Whitesburg within two weeks for revitalization of the city’s downtown area. The $12,000 study, being prepared by Richardson Associates Architects, was commissioned by the City of Whitesburg in December 1986 and is aimed at giving the city a plan to prevent a mass exodus of shoppers and businesses from downtown. The recommendations are intended to make the area a more convenient and more pleasurable place to shop. In a meeting with downtown merchants held last week, Richardson presented several preliminary ides to store owners for the consideration and suggestions. The two items attracting the most attention were parking and traffic control. The majority of the merchants seemed to favor either the building of a bridge between Broadway and Railroad Street or a parking structure on Broadway.

. Dogwood trees came into full bloom last week and brought with them wet, cool weather known in these parts as “Dogwood Winter.”

Wednesday, April 30, 1997 William L. Kinzer of Shepherdsville will become superintendent of Letcher County Schools in July. For the past two years Kinzer has been assistant superintendent for finance in the Bullitt County School System. Kinzer’s contract with the Letcher County school system gives him a term of four years beginning July 1 and ending June 30, 2001. He will receive a salary of $75,000.

. Lina Tidal, director of Letcher County public libraries, has gone through long processes to acquire the equipment and training necessary to offer Internet service, telecourses, and access to the world’s largest computerized card catalog to the public, free of charge.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007 Officials are trying to determine the cause of an illness that led to the closing of Cowan Elementary School last week. More than 30 percent of the pupils were absent from the school on April 26.

. A second Whitesburg restaurant, Las Pena’s Mexican Restaurant, is giving notice to the public that it intends to apply for a limited restaurant alcoholic beverage by the drink license. Starlite Cafe gave similar notice April 25.

. Sixteen teachers learned this week that they may not have jobs in the Letcher County school system next year. Twentynine classified employees also received letters of non-renewal for the 2007-2008 school year.

. The Letcher County Coal Miners Memorial Committee has begun a new project to identify every mine fatality on the memorial rocks. The committee is asking for volunteers to write a short article about their family member.


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