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The Way We Were



Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

Thursday, May 10, 1928 Former Letcher County Clerk and current Deputy U.S. Marshall Archie V. Sergent has been awarded the Army’s Citation Star [a 3/16-inch “Silver Star” later replaced by the Silver Star Medal in 1932] for “gallantry in action” near Fleville, France in October 1918 while serving with the 1st Division of the American Expeditionary Forces. The award is dated April 2, 1928, and signed by President Calvin Coolidge and Secretary of War Dwight L. Davis. Sergent received the award for cleaning out a machine gun nest while maintaining an observation post in full view of the enemy. The Citation/Silver Star is the Army’s third-highest personal decoration for valor in combat.

. Mr. and Mrs. M.K. Marlowe are the first Letcher County residents to take ownership of the newest Brunswick creation in “talking machines,” a combination phonograph-radio known as a Panatrope with Radiola. The Marlowes’ purchased the machine from Ideal Furniture in Whitesburg.

. L.H. Kemp began his duties Monday as a new full-time policeman for the City of Whitesburg. Kemp is married. He and his wife have five daughters and have been living on College Hill since they moved to Whitesburg from Indiana about two months ago. Kemp formerly served on the Newcastle, Indiana police force.

. Elected as new members of the Millstone-Seco Graded School Board of Education are A.J. Leach, W.H. Potter, and N.R. Craft.

. Victor Adams, well-known driver for White Star Transportation Company, suffered a broken arm Sunday afternoon while cranking a stubborn car.

Thursday, May 5, 1938 A bucket brigade was able to save the Roxana Post Office and a neighboring home from destruction by a Monday afternoon fire that did claim the store of Shade Frazier and two other buildings. The fire started in a house occupied by Buford Maynard and quickly spread to a vacant building owned by Vern Hogg.

. The First Baptist Church in Whitesburg is planning to build an annex and an apartment in addition to installing a modern heating plant. The present building is to be rearranged so the auditorium will seat about 600. The new addition will include 18 classrooms, a better reading room, a social room, banquet room, a modern kitchen, and a ladies’ lounge. The church is located at the foot of College Hill.

. A large delegation from Letcher, Pike and Floyd counties in Kentucky and Dickinson County in Virginia met in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday morning with senators and representatives of the two states for the purpose of obtaining $300,000 for the purchase of 100,000 acres along the Kentucky and Virginia border to add to the Jefferson National Forest.

. Attorneys for Dr. B.F. Wright say they will appeal Special Letcher Circuit Judge Chester A. Bach’s decision last week to dismiss a lawsuit in which Wright claims he was the rightful winner of the county judge’s race between himself and current County Judge James Crase. In his ruling, Judge Bach said he could not toss out “illegal ballots” found by attorneys for both sides that would have left Dr. Wright with a lead of five votes.

. Lieutenant Governor Keen Johnson will address the graduating seniors at Whitesburg High School during ceremonies set for May 20.

. Coal mining in Letcher County has reached “very low ebb,” with the county’s larger coal companies mining only one day per week. “Our suggestion would be that every available spot be tilled this year and every idle miner make drastic efforts to have a least a small garden plot,” writes the Sergent news correspondent.

Thursday, May 6, 1948 As the City of Whitesburg continues to fight a problem with rats, free rat bait will be distributed to businesses and homeowners in the city during a cleanup campaign set for May 10 through May 14. The cleanup week is being sponsored by civic organizations including the Junior Chamber of Commerce, which says its members will volunteer to tear down old unused structures in Whitesburg “that are nothing more than rat dens.”

. A petition containing the signatures of 2,500 registered Perry County voters was filed April 29 calling for a countywide “local option election” to be held on Saturday, July 3.

. A nationwide railroad strike has been called for May 11.

. Military leaders have unveiled a teen-age trainee program to put boys 18 through 19-1/2 into the regular armed forces. The Senate plan would draft 161,000 youths of this age bracket with older draftees for one year, then put them in reserve groups. The plan also calls for the drafting of men 19-1/2 through 25 for two years of service.

. Herbert Elkins is the new police chief in the town of Jenkins. He replaces the late Bob Lester.

. Members of the eighth grade class at Seco School toured the Bluegrass area of Kentucky for two days last week. The trip included stops at the University of Kentucky, Keeneland Racecourse, Bluegrass Airport, and the Capitol Building and other stops in Frankfort. After spending the night in a downtown Lexington hotel, the class returned after stops at Eastern Kentucky Teachers College, Berea College, and Cumberland Falls.

Thursday, May 8, 1958 About 100 Whitesburg area residents appeared before the Whitesburg City Council Tuesday night to say why they believe their homes and places of business should not be taken into the city’s limits. Among the protesters was Melvin Adams, part owner of Electric Machine and Supply Company, who said his firm does not want to be brought into the city.

. The Letcher County Board of Education apparently does not plan to ask taxpayers this year to vote a tax to improve schools in the county, including the construction of new high schools at Fleming and Letcher.

. Mrs. J.B. Tuggle gave a demonstration on picture framing when she hosted the Fleming Homemakers Club at her home in Seco on May 2.

. A Kona father and son, Lee and Lester Church, were arrested and charged with possessing moonshine whiskey two stills on the Kentucky River were raided Wednesday by Sheriff Johnny Fulton.

Thursday, May 2, 1968 Bill Caudill, 23, of Whitesburg, was shot to death after threatening to blow up Kentucky State Trooper Tom Wright with a hand grenade. Trooper Wright shot Caudill in self-defense after Caudill and two others had spent an afternoon of beer drinking and car racing. The incident occurred after Wright intercepted a car that had been racing with another car through Neon and Caudill got out of the vehicle with a grenade in his hands. Wright says Caudill threatened to “blow us all up,” and then pulled the pin on the grenade. Wright ducked behind a car door and shot Caudill.

. Jon Henrikson, who teaches five grades in a one-room school at Carcassonne, has been named by the Whitesburg Jaycees as the outstanding young educator in Letcher County for 1968.

. The Jenkins Jaycees will sponsor “Donkey Ball”, billed as the “world’s craziest sport” tonight at the Jenkins Fieldhouse. Local riders play the game, using trained donkeys as mounts.

. Airman First Class James P. Miles, son of Mr. and Mrs. Pascal Miles of Day Rural Station, Whitesburg, has been assigned to duty at Nha Trang, Vietnam. Before his arrival in Vietnam, he was assigned to Robins Air Force Base, Ga. Miles is a graduate of Whitesburg High School.

Thursday, April 27, 1978 Threats of picketing by the Kentucky Black Lung Association caused cancellation of a U.S. Department of Labor meeting scheduled for Saturday in Whitesburg to explain provisions of the new federal Black Lung Reform Act. Spokesmen for the association said the department had broken promises by Secretary of Labor Ray Marshall to include representatives of the association in drafting regulations to implement the new law.

. Kentucky State Police have launched an investigation into the death of a 26-year-old Stearns miner, Donald “Buddy” Watson. State police believe Watson’s death is related to the 21-month United Mine Workers organizing strike at Stearns. It would be the first fatality since miners struck the Stearns Mining Co., owned by Blue Diamond Coal Co., in July 1976.

. Millstone-area residents have begun a month-long cleanup drive designed to rid their community of garbage and keep it clean. Magistrate Billy Keel of Millstone organized the cleanup project, which last week made use of three trucks, an endloader, a track loader and some 25 persons. The first cleanup effort resulted in more than 100 truckloads of garbage, picked up from three miles of roadside and numerous open dumps and hauled to the Millstone landfill.

. “Heroes” starring Henry Winkler and Sally Field will play this weekend at the Alene Theatre in Whitesburg.

Wednesday, May 2, 1988 The Letcher County school system may have another $1.6 million on tap for construction this year after allocations by the state School Facilities Construction Commission. Letcher County’s share of the state money will amount to $159,936 — enough to finance about $1.6 million in bonds.

. A scarf designed by Whitesburg native Candice Honeycutt Sturgill, daughter of Nora Honeycutt, has been chosen as the official scarf of the Kentucky Derby. The Italian-made silk scarf depicts the silks of every Kentucky Derby winner since the race began. Fewer than 500 of the $150 scarves were made this year and those have already sold out.

. Participation in last week’s countywide cleanup was so large that county and state maintenance crews were unable to collected all the discarded trash and appliances, officials say. Apparently fueled by the county’s tough new anti-litter law, Letcher County residents gathered

between 1,400 and 1,600 tons of garbage for state and county maintenance crews to pick up last week.

. The 1988 University of Kentucky Wildcats seniors will be in Letcher County one more time prior to graduation. Winston Bennett, Ed Davender, Richard Madison, Cedric Jenkins and Rob Lock will play a team of former UK players at Jenkins on May 13. The opposition will include Louie Dampier, Jack Givens, Dicky Beal, Jim Master and Roger Hardin.

Wednesday, April 29, 1998 The Kentucky General Assembly has passed a budget law authorizing the Letcher Fiscal Court to spend $500,000 on an athletics complex in Whitesburg, $500,000 for the welcome center on new US 23, and $1.5 million for renovation of the old Jenkins high school. The new law authorizes the fiscal court to pay for the projects with money from the county’s Economic Development Fund, which is fi- nanced from coal severance taxes. Judge/ Executive Carroll Smith said the county’s Economic Development Authority is now studying all three proposals and will make recommendations to the fiscal court in May.

. The United Mine Workers of America calling for improvements in working conditions following a Louisville Courier- Journal series on black lung disease. In addition to raising concerns about the black lung benefit law, the series found that dust-test fraud in underground coal mines is widespread and hundreds of miners nationwide are dying each year as a result.

. The International Bird Hunters Association has named Samuel Gilbert of Eolia the Sportsman of the Year. His Brittany male, Smokey, was also gun dog point

champion of 1997-1998.

. Four Letcher County high school juniors have been named Governor’s Scholars for the 1998 summer term. They are John Michael Hubbard, Fred Eugene Boggs, Sylvia Miranda Haynes and Paul Hayden Caudill. The students will attend sessions for six weeks this summer on college campuses in Kentucky.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 Testifying during the preliminary hearing for the three people charged with killing 70-year-old Ralph Marcum, Kentucky State Police Detective Clayton Stamper said one of the suspects, 31-yearold Christina Collins, told him that John W. Pigg Jr. hit Marcum in the head with a hammer because Marcum refused to drive Collins, John Pigg and Lloyd Pigg to a store to buy more beer.

. Letcher County’s unemployment rate fell slightly between February and March after 38 more residents found jobs. The additional jobs lowered the county’s unemployment rate from 7.6 percent in February to 7 percent in March.

. Appalshop’s Seedtime on the Cumberland festival will feature musicians Kathy Mattea, Darrell Scott and Wayne Scott, Jesse McReynolds and the Virginia Boys, Lee Sexton, Brett Ratliff and Clack Mountain String Band, Kentucky Wild Horse, and Rich and the Poor Folks.

. The Jenkins Lady Cavaliers’ remarkable 14-game win streak came to a close on April 25 with a 5-4 loss to the Shelby Valley Lady Wildcats in the opening round of the Lydell Potter Memorial Tournament in Pikeville. On April 26, the Lady Cavs played three more games, winning two of them.



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