The Mountain Eagle
Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

Thursday, May 17, 1928 Old Tobe, the old mule that has pulled more feet of lumber than any other mule in Letcher County, is being sent to the barn by the folks at the Whitesburg location of Hazard Lumber and Supply Company. Like so many of Old Tobe’s fellow mules, he and the wagon he pulled to deliver lumber are being replaced by a shiny new truck. Old Tobe’s retirement comes after 10 years on the job.

. A 25-year-old Ice man died earlier this week, apparently after drinking two ounces of carbolic acid. The body of Fred Brown was discovered about 8 a.m. Tuesday in a deserted house near the railroad track at Ice. Brown, whose death has been ruled a suicide, was pronounced dead by Dr. B.C. Bach. Brown’s death occurred on the same day he was to have appeared in court to answer charges of breaking into the Ice post office and store. Brown had already served one prison term for an unrelated theft charge and vowed he would never serve another day in prison. He was able to purchase the carbolic acid at Hogg Drug Store in Whitesburg after saying he would use it as an antiseptic wash.

. The 12-year-old son of Wash Webb of Mayking held the lucky card among 2,316 submitted in the drawing of new twodoor Pontiac sedan given away as part of the Collins-Harvie lot sale in Whitesburg Saturday.

. A stray bullet hit schoolgirl Jessie Clay last Wednesday afternoon as she walked down the school steps in Whitesburg. The bullet .22-caliber bullet entered her left side and was later removed by Dr. Bentley.

. Shortly after A.C. Craft Sr. of Craftsville entered the office of The Mountain Eagle for a visit Monday, the conversation turned to discussion of large families in Letcher County. Mr. and Mrs. Craft are the parents of 17 children, nine boys and eight girls. Twelve of their children are still living.

Thursday, May 12, 1938 Letcher County’s new “Pack Horse Library” will open Monday morning in the Works Progress Administration (WPA) Building at Whitco. Visitors are welcome to visit and check out books. The following women will distribute books all over the county on horseback: Sarah Sturgill, Mrs. Eliza Bentley, Mrs. Euthie Bentley, Lilly Holbrook, Mrs. Susie Jane Fields, Delilah Wright, Mrs. Emma Sizemore, Mrs. Emma Hogg, Vera Holcomb, and Peggy Dixon.

. Whitesburg Police Judge LeRoy Fields officiated his first wedding ceremony Thursday morning after noticing a number of people were gathered in front of the Letcher County Courthouse. The group was there to support a young couple, Allen Cantrell and Easter Potter of Jenkins, who were getting their marriage license. The couple eventually convinced Fields to officiate the ceremony in his nearby office.

. Seven Letcher County businesses or individuals have filed for licenses to sell whiskey. They are the Whitesburg Dispensary, located on Webb Street in Whitesburg; S. Goldstein’s East Jenkins Liquor Store on Main Street in Jenkins; Lee Campbell of Ulvah; Henry Holcomb, one mile west of Whitesburg on KY 15; Sid Hayes and John Lee Hunter of Cromona, and Jesse Bates of Jenkins.

. The Courier-Journal of Louisville will devote the full first page of its magazine section on Sunday to the first real life color photograph ever taken of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Experts say the reproduction of the photo, taken by Courier Journal photographer Harold Davis, is the finest natural color photograph ever made.

Thursday, May 13, 1948 T4/Sgt. Roland Ison was returned home from France for reburial in the family cemetery at Premium last week. He entered the U.S. Army in January 1943 and was killed while on active duty on July 7, 1944. A son of Sherman and Arminta Ison of Premium, he was 22 years old.

. Private Emmitt J. Reed, deceased World War II veteran, was returned home to Colson recently for reburial. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in November 1943 and was killed in action on September 6, 1944.

. The United Auto Workers are demanding a 30-cent hourly wage increase for the 105,000 employees of Ford Motor Company, plus fringe benefits such as health insurance and a three-week vacation with pay.

. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-0 last week that courts cannot enforce real estate agreements which bar Negroes from all-white neighborhoods.

. Coca-Cola Bottling Works of Whitesburg is advertising six-bottle cartons of Coke for 25 cents.

. Ronald Reagan and Eleanor Parker star in the movie “Voice of The Turtle,” showing next week at the Kentucky Theatre in Whitesburg.

. Thirty-one seniors will graduate during Fleming High School’s 20th annual commencement.

. Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Wright of Neon are receiving congratulations on the arrival of

an eight-pound boy. He has been named Jesse Derrel.

Thursday, May 15, 1958 Champion Stores Inc. announced this week that it plans to open “the largest and best supermarket in this area” at Jenkins the first weekend in June. A spokesman said the entire first floor of the Champion Store building at Jenkins is being converted and will be used for the self-service supermarket.

. The City of Whitesburg backed up this week and decided to take a new start on its efforts to annex a wide area outside city limits.

. The parent company of Kentucky Power Company, American Gas and Electric Company, has changed its name to American Electric Power Company Inc.

. County Judge Arthur Dixon says there will be no roadhouse permits will be issued in Letcher County. Dixon said he is of the opinion that roadhouses and bootlegging establishments are the source of 90 percent of all crime committed in the county.

. A spokesman for the federal low-rent housing agency told Whitesburg city offi- cials Wednesday night he thought the city would qualify for federal aid on housing and urban renewal. Gene Hines, regional representative for the Federal Housing and Home Finance Agency, said he thinks Whitesburg has four areas that could qualify for federal aid. They are the Tunnel Hill section the Graveyard Hollow section, the Pine Street area, and an area behind the courthouse adjacent to The Mountain Eagle.

. Fire early today caused more than 50,000 in damages to the Salyer Radio and Television Store in downtown Whitesburg. The blaze destroyed the second floor of the building, but bystanders were able to remove most of the merchandise from the sales area on the first floor and load it into trucks.

. “Big” Bill Elkins and Tommy Brush each homered to lead the Jenkins Cavaliers baseball team to its second straight district championship.

. The Eastern Kentucky Regional Planning Commission will open an office in Hazard about July 1. John D. Whisman, 37, of Lexington, will serve as executive director for the commission.

. Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra and Sophia Loren star in “The Pride and The Passion,” showing at Isaac’s Alene Theatre in Whitesburg May 18-19.

Thursday, May 9, 1968 David Frith, the young Canadian who spent the past week in the Letcher County Jail, has turned out to be not so Canadian after all. In fact, he is not David Frith. He is Bernard Charles Jillson, 20, a deserter from the U.S. Marine Corps. Jillson had been picked up and jailed on a charge of drunk driving. He has said he was an impoverished, aspiring writer from Canada who was hitchhiking across the United States. After being questioned by the Secret Service and immigration people, Jillson confessed he was not Canadian.

. A group of Letcher and Harlan Countians plan to go to Washington, D.C., to take part in the Poor People’s March on May 29. Clifton Johnson of Partridge, organizer of the group, said he was hopeful Letcher, Harlan and other mountain counties would send 30 or 40 persons to take part in the march.

. Army Sergeant Cossie O. Holmes, 21, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lonnie Holmes, McRoberts, has been assigned as a quarry foreman in the 169th Engineer Battalion near Long Binh, Vietnam, effective April 6.

. The State Board of Education has ordered the closing of Kingdom Come High School after the current school year. The board said the student body is not large enough to support an adequate high school system.

Thursday, May 4, 1978 Traveling carnivals using a site near Jenkins Lake are presenting a cleanup problem for the city, Water Commissioner Ted Bumgardner told the Jenkins City Council. “After the last one left town, the ditch near the carnival was full of boxes and other debris, and 26 piles of human excreta were counted,” Bumgardner said, and predicted the situation would “cast a reflection on the water department if they are allowed to keep using the lake site.” Jenkins Lake is the town’s water supply.

. Regional officials of the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development have asked for an investigation into the purchase of 1.72 acres for public housing in Neon. The late Jesse Meade, former Neon city council member and father-inlaw of former mayor Terry Sturgill, bought the land from L&N Railroad for $5,000 in 1976. Less than a year later, the city spent $55,000 in federal housing money to buy the land from Meade. Sturgill says the $55,000 purchase price was determined by an appraisal done by an independent realtor and that his administration has consulted a lawyer to avoid wrongdoing.

. An advertisement in The Mountain Eagle from the National Worm Growers Association says “perhaps you can be a worm grower!” The advertisement offers professional guidance, exchange membership, marketing service and complete supplies.

. Julia Ann Perry, daughter of Mr. and

Mrs. Ralph Perry Jr. of Jenkins, was chosen Miss Letcher County at the annual pageant at Whitesburg Elementary School. She plans to attend Georgetown College in the fall.

Wednesday, May 11, 1988 An early-morning bomb threat sent Kentucky State Police to Beckham Bates Elementary School, but a search of the building turned up nothing. Letcher County Superintendent of Schools Bernard Watts reported the threat about 5:30 a.m., Monday, after an anonymous caller said a bomb had been planted in the school. Police said the caller told Watts the bomb was timed to go off at 7:45 a.m., just as classes were to begin.

. The Letcher County Board of Education was expected to vote this week to tell James E. Gose and Darrell Bell that they will be replaced as football and boys’ basketball coaches at Whitesburg High School. The board was also expected to accept the resignation of L. Brian May, who has served as the head coach of the Fleming-Neon High School football team.

. Melissa “Missy” Amburgey of Whitesburg, will serve an acting apprenticeship with the famous Barter Theater at Abingdon, Va. She auditioned for and won one of six apprenticeships award to aspiring theatrical performers from different regions of the United States. She is a senior at Whitesburg High School and plans to attend Morehead State University.

. Marshall’s Branch residents and others around Jenkins have contacted Washington in an effort to keep city water service. The residents contacted Congressman Carl D. Perkins soon after they learned that the city of Jenkins planned to discontinue service to the unincorporated areas east of the city as of Oct. 1. City officials

say the city pumps about 10 times as much water to the Marshall’s Branch area as is paid for because of leaks, costing the city about $6,000 a month.

Wednesday, May 6, 1998 When students arrived at Jenkins High School recently, they were greeted with a “crash scene” staged by students and local rescue and law-enforcement personnel. Football coach Keith Rose said he coordinated the mock crash the day before the school’s prom to “make the seniors aware of the dangers of drinking and driving.”

. Local schools appear to be adopting tough policy toward possible crises in school buildings. Representatives of the Letcher County and Jenkins school systems, county officials, and social workers, met at the request of the Letcher County school system to establish a “Safer Schools for Letcher County Committee.” The committee heard discussions of the need for measures intended to prevent a crisis in schools in Letcher County.

. Jeremiah correspondent Hassie Breeding Helton writes of her granddaughter, Julia, who called from Saudi Arabia saying she had met, shook hands and talked with Vice President Al Gore in a palace there.

. Fifteen-year-old Sean Hall of Isom, shot a 23-pound gobbler on opening day of the hunting season, April 13, at Isom. He is a son of Glenda and Danny Gibson.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008 Alpha Natural Resources has introduced an unprecedented, multi-year package of rewards and incentives to its employees in Letcher County and elsewhere. The package was presented at Alpha’s 58 mining sites, including the Enterprise and Paramount operations which

employ Letcher County miners. Employees were given ownership in the company in the form of a grant of 25 shares of company stock. Employees were also informed they no longer have to contribute to health, dental and vision insurance premiums. Michael Quillen, Alpha’s chairman and CEO, said, Alpha’s shareholders have benefited from the miners’ dedication and hard work, and “it’s time that we publicly acknowledge their efforts.”


Jenkins Utilities Chairman Ked Sanders told the council the water company has been losing money for several years and lost over $100,000 last year, mainly from leaks in old water lines. The city has embarked on an ambitious program to repair and replace old water lines to eliminate the leaks. Mayor Charles Dixon told the council that his goal was no leaks, although he admitted that is unlikely.


Nominations are being sought for the “Unsung Hero Award” given by the Letcher County Chamber of Commerce. The award recognizes outstanding achievement in the voluntary sector. The annual Outstanding Volunteers of the Year awards program salutes those whose caring and compassion for their community has enhanced the quality of life for others in Letcher County.


The Letcher County Central Cougars defeated June Buchanan 6-2 to improve their baseball record to 15-8 on the season. The Cougars are now in sixth place overall in the 14th Region.

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