Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907
Thursday, April 26, 1928 A flu epidemic has broken out in Jenkins and surrounding areas. The situation is so severe that all publics event have been stopped for the time being. There is no school, no entertainment shows, and no church meetings this week. Only one death has been reported so far, but the number of cases is large.
. The weekend auction of lots at Whitaker, near Neon, was hugely successful, reports the Norman Realty Auction Company. The crowd of potential buyers was estimated at 3,000, and total sales amounted to $23,000. Lee Webb Jr. of Bottom Fork won the new Ford sedan given away in a drawing. The Whitesburg Women’s Club earned nearly $100 from sandwich sales.
. Blackey citizens donated to a fund and built a temporary bridge across the North Fork of the Kentucky. The bridge is made of wood, but is substantial enough to handle traffic until a steel bridge can be constructed.
. South-East Coal Company miners at Millstone have organized a “safety court.” Similar to a court of law, a miner who sees another miner violating safety laws he can swear out a warrant for that violation. If convicted at “trial,” the violator must pay a fine of not less than one cent or more than 50 cents. Proceeds from the fines are kept for three months, after which new “officers of the court” are elected and the money is spent on “a big feast and smokes.” As a result of the safety court, the Millstone mine has not recorded an accident in 156 days. A safety court is also being established at South-East Coal’s Seco mine.
. Whitesburg High School seniors gave Black Kat business manager Karl E. Day a surprise birthday party April 17. The Black Kat is the school’s newspaper.
. The Cumberland Falls Preservation Association has been formed to preserve Cumberland Falls for state park purposes only and from being spoiled by electrical power interests.
. One brown mare mule, about age 9 and known as the Steven Adams Mule, and one black horse mule known as the Bill Able Mule will be sold at auction at the door of the Letcher County Courthouse on May 7. The sheriff ’s sale is authorized by the Letcher County Quarterly Court to settle a debt of $71.10 owed to Steven Adams by Bill Able. Both mules are now in the custody of Elijah Ison.
. One hundred building lots will be sold at auction May 12 in the Collins-Harvie Addition to the City of Whitesburg. Located on the east end of the city and overlooking the Kentucky River, the property is considered among the best Whitesburg has to offer. A new 1928 Pontiac Six automobileis among the prizes to be given away to potential buyers attending the auction.
Thursday, April 21, 1938 The Men’s and Women’s Glee Clubs of Eastern State Teachers College in Richmond will perform in concert April 27 at Jenkins High School and at Whitesburg High School.
. The national Air Mail Poster and Essay Contest is open to any grade school or high school student in Letcher County, says Whitesburg postmaster W.G. Holbrook. The contest is being held to help celebrate National Air Mail Week, which will be observed May 15 to May 21.
. Dorothy Jean Chewning, 13-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. S.J. Chewning of Jenkins, won the “excellent” rating in piano in the musical tournament held in Hazard April 9.
. Jesse Holbrook Jr., a sophomore at the University of Kentucky in Lexington and son of Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Holbrook Sr. of Millstone, has been initiated into Sigma Nu Fraternity.
Thursday, April 22, 1948 A federal judge has ordered the United Mine Workers of America to pay a $1.4 million fine and its president, John L. Lewis, to pay a $20,000 fine as punishment for criminal actions by certain union members during the nationwide coal strike that ended earlier this month.
. Jenkins Police Chief R.L. “Bob” Lester died of an apparent heart attack at his home in Dunham Tuesday morning. He was 53 years old. Considered to be one of the largest men in Letcher County, Chief Lester was known for his always being jovial and pleasant as he patrolled the streets of Jenkins. A native of Salem, Virginia, he will be buried in Logan, West Virginia.
. The C&O Railway during 1947 spent $23.89 million on the construction of two rail extensions into Letcher County. The Elkhorn and Beaver Valley Subdivision has been extended 23 miles from Wayland in Floyd County to Deane in Letcher County, opening an area believed to contain 200 million tons of recoverable coal. A 14-mile extension along the Kentucky- Virginia border includes a tunnel through Pine Mountain at Jenkins.
. The Bolton Leather Company of Knoxville, Tennessee this week opened a branch office in Whitesburg in the basement
of the Daniel Boone Hotel. McKinley Day is in charge of the new office, which will deal only in wholesale leather goods to merchants.
. Sixty-seven Whitesburg High School seniors have returned home after a sightseeing tour to Washington, D.C. The group traveled by chartered bus.
. Jenkins City Police were instrumental in the April 16 recovery of $42,794 taken during a noon-hour holdup of the Peoples Bank of Pound, Virginia. Two men from Wheelwright, Kentucky and one from Pound were captured in Kentucky by Jenkins police and Virginia State Police. The three now face federal bank robbery charges.
. Bert Lancaster and Lizabeth Scott star in the film “I Walk Alone,” showing the week of April 25 through May 1 at the Kentucky Theatre in Whitesburg.
. A landslide coming from directly below the rock quarry on Pine Mountain has caused several thousands of dollars in damages to the new C&O Railroad tracks leading to the new tunnel near Jenkins.
Thursday, April 24, 1958 County Judge Arthur Dixon and the Letcher Fiscal Court voted unanimously this week to purchase voting machines for use in all of the county’s 52 precincts in the November general election.
. The possibility of developing a state roadside park on Pine Mountain near Whitesburg will be discussed at a meeting at the Letcher County Courthouse Friday at 7 p.m. The meeting was called after Governor A.B. Chandler told local state road chief Hassel Stamper that he is interested in a park in this area.
. The Whitesburg City Council has approved an ordinance to make the city limits reach roughly from the junction of KY 15 and US 119 east of Whitesburg to Graveyard Hollow on KY 15 west of Whitesburg. The annexation will include Graveyard Hollow and Tunnel Hill, but does not reach far on either side of the highways.
. The winter’s freezes and thaws have left the road up Thornton Creek badly damaged. Residents say they are waiting patiently while hoping some work can be done on the road before it become impassable.
. Tommy Stansberry has been selected to run the First Baptist Church in Whitesburg for one week, beginning Sunday and continuing through May 4 as part of Youth Week. Church officers said young Stansberry, who has been a member of the church since August 3, 1952, was chosen because he has been very active in all department of church life.
. Actor John Wayne stars with Natalie Wood and others in the film “The Searchers,” showing April 24-26 at the Alene Theatre in Whitesburg. If you’re a John Wayne fan and can’t make it to see him in “The Searchers,” he will quickly return to the Alene Theatre screen with Sophia Loren in “Legend of the Lost,” showing April 27-28.
. Letcher County Sheriff Johnny Fulton and five deputies report they raided a 350-gallon capacity still on the head of the Cumberland River yesterday and seized five gallons of moonshine whiskey and 1,500 gallons of beer. No arrests were made.
. University of Kentucky head football coach Blanton Collier will be in Letcher County for a series of talks next week. Collier will speak at the Neon Grade School building at 8 p.m. next Wednesday and address the Jenkins Kiwanis Club at 4 p.m. next Thursday.
. Dedication services for the First Christian Church in Jenkins will be held Sunday.
. Ed Diddle, coach of the Western Kentucky State College Hilltoppers basketball team, will be the featured speaker at the annual Whitesburg Athletics Association banquet Monday night. The nationally known Diddle has become the only coach ever to win more than 600 games while coaching at the same school. His teams have won 677 games and lost 235 since he took over at Western in 1922.
Thursday, April 18, 1968 Elmore Grimm director of the state Division of Reclamation, has agreed to remain in his job. Grimm’s division is responsible for control of strip mining in the state. Gov. Louie B. Nunn said he told Grimm to enforce the state’s strip mining regulation strictly.
. Letcher County native Riley Back is missing and presumed drowned after falling from a boat at Lake Cumberland. A companion, Charles Black, also is missing and presumed drowned. Back and Black had gone fishing near Dog Slaughter at Lake Cumberland and were taking pictures when they fell from the boat.
. Airman First Class H.J. Standifer, son of Mr. and Mrs. Hobert Standifer of Whitesburg, has been recognized for helping his unit earn the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award. The unit was cited for efforts to provide assistance to the people of Fairbanks, Alaska and surrounding communities during floods in that area last August. Standifer is a 1965 graduate of Whitesburg High School.
. Candace Honeycutt, daughter of Mrs. Nora Honeycutt, was crowned Miss Letcher County of 1968. Runners-up were
Leigh Lewis and Clayshan Caudill.
Thursday, April 13, 1978 The Blue Diamond Coal Co. has filed a claim with the U.S. Department of the Interior asking for $9,327,160 in damages resulting from the second of two explosions at the company’s Scotia Mine in Letcher County on March 11, 1976. Blue Diamond is contending that “negligent acts and/ or omissions” from the Interior and Mine Enforcement and Safety Administration employees “caused” the March 11 explosion which killed eight miners and three federal inspectors.
. Three-term Letcher County Judge Arthur Dixon died April 11 at the age of 81. Dixon had kept track of county tax receipts in the sheriff ’s office under three different sheriffs, and also worked in the county attorney’s office for a number of years. He was a well-known craftsman and produced replicas of the Kentucky Hog Rifle as well as dulcimers.
. Senior members of the NCAA champion University of Kentucky basketball team will play the Marathon Oilers in games this month in Jenkins and Harlan. Rick Robey, Mike Phillips, Jack “Goose” Givens and James Lee will participate in the game against the Oilers, an AAU team made up of former Kentucky collegiate greats.
. The horror film “The Town That Dreaded Sundown” is showing this week at the Alene Theatre in Whitesburg.
Wednesday, April 20, 1988 Federal prosecutor Charles Gail says “citizen unrest” prompted a hearing on the Fleming-Neon Baseball Park, which the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement contends became an illegal stripmine. The hearing is to determine whether a cessation order served by OSM is valid and to determine who is responsible for reclaiming the site. CH&G Construction was contracted by the City of Fleming-Neon to clear the site and was allowed to remove all the coal uncovered during the project. When a coal-auguring machine was taken onto the site, OSM said the work became an illegal stripmining operation.
. Floods that have ravaged eastern Kentucky are the subject of an article in The Mountain Eagle by attorney and author Harry M. Caudill. “One factor that has not changed with the decades is danger from calamitous, periodic flooding,” he writes. “From the first settlement years the Cumberland, the Kentucky and the Big Sandy watersheds have lived under the threat of sudden, vicious cloudbursts that destroy property and take lives, and do so with such speed that flight to safety is impossible.”
. Kentucky’s wild turkey season starts today and hunters from all over the state are expected to answer the call over the next month. A good many Letcher Countians are expected to flock to the woods here in hopes of bagging a bird.
. William Reed Hall and Terry Taylor, both of Isom, won their matches in an International Practical Shooters Confederation competition. Hall won the Tactical Class and Taylor won the steel-and-paper side shoot.
Wednesday, April 15, 1998 At a meeting about coal mining damage to household water, state and federal officials listen to complaints of damage to water supplies resulting from underground mining activities of Golden Oak Mining Co. in the Camp Branch and Stinking Branch communities and other nearby areas. Mark Thompson, director of field services for the Kentucky Department for Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, said engineers and hydrologists for his department and for the Office of Surface Mining will have to watch the area for 12 months before they can decide whether corrective action taken by Golden Oak has been sufficient to give homeowners acceptable replacement water supplies.
. Opening ceremonies are scheduled May 9 for the new David A. Zegeer Coal Railroad Museum in Jenkins. Zegeer, former superintendent of mines in the Jenkins area for Bethlehem Steel Corp. and Beth-Elkhorn Mining Co., donated most of the items which are now on display at the museum.
. Street signs for the new E-911 system in Letcher County are being posted throughout the county. Residents who have not already done so should post house numbers on their homes or at the mouth of the driveway if the numbers would not be visible from the road.
. Whitesburg’s Caleb Brock has been named to the Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association pre-season All-State baseball team. Fleming-Neon’s David Short was named to the honorable mention All-State squad.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008 John W. Pigg Jr., 37, is accused of beating 70-year-old Ralph Marcum to death with a hammer at Marcum’s home in Jenkins Sunday morning and then dumping Marcum’s body over an embankment in Pike County. John Pigg’s cousin, Lloyd Pigg, and Christina Collins are charged with helping him hide Marcum’s body. The alleged murder occurred in a small shed in which Marcum, a Vietnam War veteran, was living beside his elderly mother on B&O Hill.
. Federal mine officials have cited the Blue Ridge Surface Mine operated by Cumberland River Coal in the January death of Roy D. Sturgill, 29, of Big Cowan. Sturgill died after his truck backed over a dumping point and continued to go down the slope. The Mine Safety and Health Administration says the mine should have had an adequate berm in place that would help drivers know when they back up near an edge.
. “We’ve had a couple of beautiful, warm, spring days which have made the redbud trees pop open with their pink blooms,” writes Jeremiah correspondent Delana Banks. “We must be having redbud winter since it has been cool the last couple of days.”
. The Letcher County Central Cougars baseball team won three more games last week to improve its record to 10-2. In girls’ fast-pitch softball, the Jenkins Lady Cavaliers showed why they are a team to be reckoned with in the 14th Region All ‘A’ Tournament with a 25-0 pasting of Riverside Christian of Breathitt County.