Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907
THURSDAY, AUGUST 16, 1928 The town of McRoberts is now a part of the town of Jenkins. The merging of the two towns, announced by Consolidation Coal Company, is to reduce operating expenses. There will be no changes to the names of the railroad stations or post offi ces that serve each town.
. A citizens’ protest over the state’s refusal to widen the Ermine-to-Marlowe road has resulted in a promise that State Highway Engineer J.S. Watkins will travel to Letcher County from Frankfort in the next few days to look at the road, after which he is expected to recommend its widening.
. A number of Letcher County parents were fined $14.20 this week for refusing to send their children to school. Under Kentucky state law, children between the ages of 7 and 16 are required to attend school.
. Mrs. Herman Crase was bitten three times in the foot by a copperhead snake Monday night in the yard of her home in the Collins-Harvie [Upper Bottom] addition to Whitesburg. The snake was lying by the front gatepost when it struck Mrs. Crase, who quickly treated by Dr. J.M. Bentley. Neighboring men who rushed to the scene to assist killed the two-foot long snake. Mrs. Crase is suffering much, but is expected to recover.
. How fast is Air Mail? B.F. Breeding of Sand Springs, Oklahoma was missing Letcher County badly when on the afternoon of August 10 he Air Mailed a letter containing payment for a new subscription to The Mountain Eagle. The letter arrived in Whitesburg on the night train from Lexington the very next day.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 11, 1938 Watson G. Webb, who took over the helm as Letcher County’s superintendent of schools August 1, is gradually getting accustomed to the job. “He is not afraid of hard work and can be seen in his offi ce early and late,” The Mountain Eagle reports.
. Alben W. Barkley has defeated Kentucky Gov. A.B. “Happy” Chandler in the bitterly contested Democratic Party primary election for U.S. Senator. Barkley defeated Chandler 3,120 votes to 999 votes in Letcher County on his way to winning by a statewide margin of 71,242 votes.
. “Someday and not so long away the remotest part of Letcher County will be within a 30-minute drive of the county seat,” The Mountain Eagle observes, pointing out that roads “are rapidly being pushed up most of the creeks and to outlying sections of the county.” The Eagle asks its readers, “Have you driven over the road up Thornton, the Cumberland River road toward Virginia? Or what about down the river toward Cowan, and have you noticed the bridge across the Kentucky River at Ulvah? Lately the road down Smoot Creek has been put in good shape and is now within one-fifth of a mile up the road from Roxana up Kingscreek.”
. The Jenkins Drum and Bugle Corps will attend the American Legion National Convention in Los Angeles September 18. The corps is considered one of the best in Kentucky.
. Members of the Whitesburg First Baptist Church are rejoicing to see their new annex and apartment rapidly being finished.
. The WPA Packhorse Library has been moved from Whitco to Whitesburg, where it is now housed in the lower floor of the county health building. The library now contains more than 1,600 books and 1,000 magazines, some of which are distributed to all parts of the county by seven women on horseback. The library is under the supervision of Mrs. Lillian R. Webb.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 12, 1948 Letcher County residents were saddened this week to learn of the death of Letcher Circuit Judge R. Monroe Fields, who died of an apparent heart attack at his home in Whitesburg Tuesday morning. He was 67. Judge Fields had presided over the 35th Judicial Circuit, which includes Letcher and Pike Counties, for the past 24 years, but had told friends and family he would resign the position before having to move to Pike County, which is set to become the sole county in the 35th Circuit next year while Letcher County court system will be merged with Perry County’s. “He told his wife on Monday that he believed he would resign and practice law here in Letcher County the rest of his life,” The Mountain Eagle reports. Fields entered the practice of law here in 1904 after graduating from the Louisville Law School. At the time he suffered the heart attack Tuesday morning on the front porch of his home, Judge Fields had just returned to the house from taking a visiting granddaughter to the bus station for her return trip home after a two-week visit.
. A slate fall at the nearby Scuddy Coal Company in Perry County has claimed the lives of two coal miners and injured three others. The mine employs about 50 men.
. Letcher County Jailer John Gose has resigned his post after 2-1/2 years, citing his failing health as the reason. County Judge Arthur Dixon appointed Deputy Jailer John M. Adams to replace Gose.
Carl D. Perkins won the Democratic Party’s nomination of U.S. Representative in the 7th Congressional District in Saturday’s August primary election while the Republican’s nominated W. Howes Meade.
. Letcher County Constable Hardy Kilburn was charged with murder Sunday after the shooting death of Curt Bowling, a young man who lived near Blackey on Elk Creek. Citizens who witnessed the shooting said Kilburn, about 60, shot young Bowling after Bowling attempted to run after being accused of stealing a bicycle. Bowling died at the scene.
. The City of Whitesburg has agreed to purchase Mountain Water Company Inc., the waterworks system that now serves the city. The city also announced it is hiring the Lexington firm Howard K. Bell Consulting Engineers to help with the purchase and the necessary improvements to the system.
. August 30 is the first day of school in the Letcher County School System, Superintendent Martha Jane Potter announced this week.
. Pepsi-Cola has dropped its price for a carton of six bottled drinks from 30 cents to 25 cents.
. The Kentucky Court of Appeals has refused to grant a new trial to Letcher County Constable Jody P. Adams, who was sentenced to life in prison on July 17 after being convicted in the shooting death truck mine operator Howard Polly, 47, at Isom last March 28.
. The bodies of three Letcher County soldiers killed in action during World War II have been returned home from overseas. Corporal Roy Tubbs was buried August 4 in his family cemetery at Millstone; Private First Class Elmer Ray Holbrook was buried in the Holbrook Cemetery at Mayking on August 7, and Private First Class Arnold Noble was buried in Breathitt County August 7 after funeral services were held at Premium. Tubbs, 22, was killed in Normandy, France on September 22, 1944. Holbrook, 19, was killed on May 8, 1945, while serving on Luzon Island in the Philippines. Noble, 23, was killed on Luzon Island on January 28, 1945.
. Five boys from Burdine have stepped forward to volunteer their services with the U.S. Army. They are Johnnie Ray Lawson, Billie Crase, Johnnie Atkins, Ray Allen Slaughter, and Buford Gilliam.
. The King Coal Theatre in Jenkins has reopened after being dark for two months.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 14, 1958 Estimates are that only one-half of the children of Letcher County have been vaccinated against polio. Health officials say it is urgent that the remaining children and young adults be vaccinated in the county is to avoid a serious polio epidemic. Three more Letcher County children were diagnosed with polio this week.
. Letcher County Attorney F. Byrd Hogg was busy this week preparing a lawsuit to force the Letcher Fiscal Court to approve a county budget.
. Maxwell Oliver, 20, and Rayburn Hensley, 21, both of Isom, are charged in the August 8 murder of Conley Potter. According to Letcher County Sheriff Johnny Fulton, Potter, 41, of Jackhorn, was shot fatally after his cousin, Deputy Sheriff Curtis Potter, arrested Oliver and Geneva Burchum, 18, at Hemphill for disorderly conduct. Conley Potter had been riding with Curtis Potter, the sheriff said. After Oliver and Burchum were taken into custody, Deputy Potter agreed to stop by Miss Burchum’s home at Sergent so she could get her shoes. Fulton says that after arriving at the house in Sergent, Rayburn Hensley slipped a gun to Oliver. At Ermine, Oliver allegedly shot Conley Potter in the head and forced Deputy Potter from the car before shooting Conley Potter in the head again and then forcing Deputy Potter to drive away with the girl between them. After a struggle, Oliver escaped but was captured later on Thornton by Sheriff Fulton. Oliver was on parole at the time of the latest incident, having been convicted of shooting a police officer and four other persons in a crowd in Perry County. Oliver is charged with first-degree murder. Rayburn Hensley is charged aiding and abetting.
. The crew of the newly formed Neon Volunteer Fire Department has received high praise from Whitesburg Fire Chief Remious Day, who reports the Neon department has purchased $3,500 worth of new fire fighting equipment including hoses, nozzles, ladders and fire extinguishers. Maynard Hogg is Neon Fire Chief, while James Morris is the assistant chief and Durward Banks is the town’s fire commissioner. Day acted as instructor in a fire school recently completed in Neon under direction of the state government. Firemen earning certificates included Jimmie Webb, Johnny Wise, Bobby Hansel, Glenn Polly, Earl Maggard, Calvin Tackett, George Ables, Clyde Polly, Estill Bentley, Carl Fitch, Bill Preston, Curtis Bowling, Tommy Sheshee, Kenneth Holbrook and Morris Hogg.
. Half-day sessions will be in order again this year for students at Fleming-Neon High School and Fleming-Neon Elementary School when classes start August 25. The shortened sessions have been in place since the high school building burned last year.
. Plans of the Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company to close its
Whitesburg business office drew criticism this week from Mayor Arthur Banks and members of the city council.
. A Letcher County movement to form a new state — or go back to Virginia — unless eastern Kentucky gets better treatment from the rest of Kentucky appears to be gaining ground. Ray Collins, chairman of the group sparking the movement, said he has received much encouragement from Floyd, Knott, Perry, Harlan, Pike and other eastern Kentucky counties. It appeared an argument might develop between Hazard and Pikeville as to which should be the new state’s capital, and there were legal arguments raging all over the state as to whether, legally, a new state could be formed.
. Letcher County’s effort to form a new state unless the rest of Kentucky pays more attention to eastern Kentucky has attracted the attention of Wilson W. Wyatt, a Democratic candidate for governor. In a telegram sent to The Mountain Eagle, Wyatt said, “I salute the glorious spirit of independence which flourishes in the people of Letcher County, but I can assure you that when I am elected governor you will be proud of a partnership which will work toward the best for you county along with the rest of the state.” Wyatt also tells Mountain Eagle editor Tom Gish, “I enjoyed thoroughly the cordial reception you gave me when I visited with you on July 9. I do not think I have ever seen a more beautiful view than that from the top of Pine Mountain at sunset. As you know, I have already made a public statement that as governor it will be my purpose to advocate the development and building of a Skyline Drive from Pine Mountain to the Breaks of the Big Sandy.”
. The Whitesburg City Council has voted to buy a new patrol car for city police from Harlow Motor Company for $1,971.
. Academy Award-winning actress Joanne Woodward stars in “The Three Faces of Eve,” showing August 14-16 at the Alene Theatre in Whitesburg. Beginning August 17 and continuing through August 20 is the showing of “Raintree County,” starring Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, and Eva Marie Saint.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 8, 1968 Despite new strip mining regulations, people are still having trouble with strip and auger mining in eastern Kentucky. A huge boulder from an auger mine rolled through the wall of a house in Carr Creek directly behind the Carr Creek Post Office. Julia Parks and her two children left the house early the same day because they were afraid of falling rocks, and one was in the home at the time the boulder struck. The auger had cut through the head of the hollow where the home is located during the past three weeks and rocks and debris have filled up the narrow creek bed in places. The coal is being hauled into Letcher County by J&C Elkhorn Coal Co., which has a permit to auger 58 acres of land in Knott County.
. Bill Adams of Jeremiah is one of the Kentucky delegates to the national convention of the Republican Party.
. Four 4-H members have been named winners of a county contest demonstrating the use of new and improved methods of gardening, such as the use of black plastic as mulch for tomatoes. The winners are Jeff Kiser of Colson, first place, and Jimmy Nichols of Tunnel Hill, Kathy Crawford of Eolia, and Phyllis Jent of Carcassonne, runners-up.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 3, 1978 Letcher County’s share of the state coal severance tax for the fiscal year, which began this month, is $244,081.57, the sixth largest among the 46 Kentucky coal-producing counties. The Kentucky Department for Local Government listed a total of $56 million in severance tax allocations to coal-producing counties.
Three Kingscreek men were hurt during a shooting incident Saturday, according to Letcher County Sheriff Vernon Hall. The three men were injured when someone fired a shotgun at them, Hall said.
Writing that she had heard the first katydid on July 24, Ice correspondent Sara Ison says, “When they start their ‘katydid’ and the night crickets and insects all blend together, it is a wonderful symphony to us country folks.”
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10, 1988 A front-page story in The Mountain Eagle details the story of S.F. Dawahare, the founder of Dawahare’s Inc. Born in Syria, he came to America in 1909 and then to Norton, Va., in 1911. He worked as a pack peddler and by 1917 had established his first store in Jenkins. From this spot, he sent out peddlers in all directions. In 1922 he and his family moved to Neon, and there the Dawahare’s chain of stores began.
. Letcher County’s unemployment rate rose nearly a full percent from May to June. June unemployment in the county was 13.4 percent, up from May’s 12.5 percent.
. Lightning knocked out telephones and household appliances along Bentley Avenue in Whitesburg when it struck the chimney of Kirkland’s Inc. Pascal Fields said the lightning strike sent bricks from Kirkland’s flying about 100 feet from the building’s chimney to the street in front of his gas station.
. The Whitesburg Senior Little League All- Stars defeated Leslie County 11-4 in opening round action of the regional baseball tournament before dropping a 13-4 decision to Wayne County the next day.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 5, 1998 Investigators are waiting for an autopsy before deciding if criminal charges are warranted in the death of a newborn girl whose body was found last week hidden in a small closet in Delania Hylton Fields’s mobile home. If the baby was still alive when she was put inside plastic garbage bags, her mother could be charged with murder.
. Letcher County’s E-911 emergency dispatching system is scheduled to be turned on in October and police say they will take a get-tough attitude with anyone caught stealing or destroying the new road signs that are necessary for the system to work. “Leave our signs up,” warned Captain Danny Webb, commander of the Kentucky State Police Post in Hazard, where the 911 system is based. Webb said state police hope to file felony charges of wanton endangerment against persons caught removing or damaging the signs.
. The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation containing a request by Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers to provide $2 million for sewer line extensions in the Kona, Cromona and Potters Fork areas of Letcher County. The extensions would serve 500 homes.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 6, 2008 Whitesburg City Police conducted traffi c checks Monday in an effort to identify city residents and workers with jobs in the city who are delinquent in purchasing their annual city vehicle stickers.
. The Letcher County Board of Education has approved increases in the price of school meals. The price of student breakfasts increased from $1 to $1.25, and the student elementary lunch price has been raised from $1.50 to $1.75. The high school lunch price is now $2 instead of $1.50.
. Jenkins High School and Letcher County Central High School have both failed to reach goals set under the No Child Left Behind Act, according to data released by the Kentucky Department of Education. This is the third year in a row that both high schools have not met Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in math. AYP is the term used to refer to the minimum improvement required of each school and district over the course of one year.
. ”Some bass anglers will tell you that they swear by a plastic worm to catch bass, myself included,” writes Greg “Gabby” Caudill. “When there is big money in a big bass tournament you can be sure that most of the anglers will have a plastic worm rigged on some of their rods.”