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The Way We Were

WHEN ‘KING CREOLE,’the 1958 movie starring Elvis Presley, came to the Alene Theatre in Whitesburg on October 2, 1958, Presley was back serving his tour of duty in the U.S. Army after being granted a 60-day deferment from January until March of 1958 to record the box-office smash that was released. Presley would later say that his character in the movie, Danny Fisher, was his all-time favorite role. The film was released on July 2, 1958, three months before it came to Letcher County. (AP Photo)

WHEN ‘KING CREOLE,’the 1958 movie starring Elvis Presley, came to the Alene Theatre in Whitesburg on October 2, 1958, Presley was back serving his tour of duty in the U.S. Army after being granted a 60-day deferment from January until March of 1958 to record the box-office smash that was released. Presley would later say that his character in the movie, Danny Fisher, was his all-time favorite role. The film was released on July 2, 1958, three months before it came to Letcher County. (AP Photo)

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 1928 The old Dan Fields homestead, located within walking distance of Main Street in Whitesburg, just across the North Fork of the Kentucky River, is being divided into 40 lots that will be sold at auction October 12. The property is connected to the business section of Whitesburg by a steel bridge.

. J.L. Crawford, editor of The Mountain Eagle for the past two years, has resigned his position and purchased an interest in the Corbin Times-Tribune with two other men. Named to replace Crawford at The Eagle is the paper’s founding publisher and editor, N.M. Webb of Whitesburg.

. The room to the right of the entrance to the Daniel Boone Hotel in Whitesburg is now home to the Letcher County Health Unit and Dr. May.

. Creed Polly, 18, of Cornettsville, was killed in a slate fall Saturday at the Rockhouse Coal Company mine in Blackey. He was a member of the Odd Fellows Lodge No. 42, which had charge of his burial.

. This week is “Canned Foods Week” at The A&P grocery. Three No. 2 cans of corn, peas, green beans and tomatoes are on sale for 25 cents.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 1938 Arrest warrants have been issued for Letcher County sheriff ’s deputies Ted Coyer and Henry Mayhan in connection with the death of Will Cable at Shelby Gap 10 days ago. Cable died in the hospital in Pikeville a few hours after a posse of officers attempting to arrest him shot him. Roe Sowards, a Pike County deputy constable, was also shot during the encounter and faces a charge of murder as well.

. Thirty-six mine rescue teams are entered in the annual Mine Rescue at First Aid Contests to be held at Pikeville College October 7. The event, sponsored by the Big Sandy-Elkhorn Coal Mining Institute, has attracted several teams from Letcher County, including those from Consolidation Coal Company, South-East Coal Company, and the Elk Horn Coal Corporation.

. The L&N Railroad is offering a special passenger train fare for Letcher County residents interested in traveling to Cincinnati to see the Reds play the Pittsburgh Pirates in a Major League Baseball game at Crosley Field on Sunday, October 2. Tickets cost only $2 for the train that will leave Whitesburg at 11:40 p.m. Saturday and return at 8 p.m. Sunday.

. Residents of the City of Whitesburg will vote November 8 on whether to approve a $20,000 bond issue that would be used to help finance public improvements with the help of the Works Progress Administration.

. Jody Adams of Whitesburg is in the starting lineup for the Morehead College Eagles. The senior tips the scales at 170 pounds and is considered one of the best linemen in the Morehead team.

. Neighbors of Wiley C. Webb at Thornton were amazed to see the word “war” written in the middle of a large spider web that Mrs. Webb spotted while she was going to milk a cow. The spider was peculiar in that it was small and almost yellow with long legs. The word “war” appeared to be of a different color than the rest of the web and could be read easily.

. A four-year-old Millstone girl, Louise Waddell, has died of diphtheria. She was a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Pinas Waddell.

. The Reverend and Mrs. L.O. Griffith have moved into the new apartment just completed over the annex to the Baptist Church in Whitesburg.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 1948 Young businessmen Ray Collins and Bradley Bentley have purchased the Sol Potter property above Ermine and have started work on building a new and modern R.C. Cola bottling plant.

. The new Letcher-Perry circuit court will begin its first term here Monday under the direction of Circuit Judge Sam Ward of Hazard. The new circuit was established during the re-districting of several Kentucky counties by the state legislature earlier this year.

. The town of Jenkins hosted some 100 members of the Chicago Coal Merchants Association who visited the town’s mining operations as guests of the C&O Railroad.

. Minnesota Governor Harold E. Stassen will visit Letcher County October 4. Stassen, a rising star in the Republican Party, is expected to arrive in Whitesburg at 6 p.m. Monday in a motorcade that organizers say will be five miles long.

. The West Virginia Supreme Court has been asked to determine control of the Elk Horn Coal Corporation, which owns 200,000 acres of coal lands in eastern Kentucky but has been in the hands of receivers since 1940. The company built the Letcher County coal camps of Fleming, Hemphill, and Haymond.

. A new east-west highway proposed to stretch from Floyd County in eastern Kentucky to far western Kentucky would be marked KY 80 from the banks of the Big Sandy in Pike County to Edmonton

in Metcalf County; US 68 from Edmonton to the Marshall County town of Aurora, just west of the Tennessee River; and KY 98 from Aurora to Columbus in Hickman County.

. Fine new homes in Whitesburg are being built by Mr. and Mrs. Coy Holstein, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Cox, Mr. and Mrs. D.W. Little, Roland Price, and Bill Blair.

. Paul Kirkland has joined H.G. Reedy and George K. Reedy on the management team of Reedy’s Plumbing & Heating, located on Bentley Avenue in Whitesburg. The telephone number is 198.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 2, 1958 Letcher County residents may continue their widespread practice of buying whiskey in Pound, Virginia without fear of violating any Kentucky laws. Assistant Kentucky Attorney General William F. Simpson has advised Letcher County Sheriff Johnny Fulton that it is not a violation of state law for persons living in a dry county to cross the state line, purchase whiskey, and return it to Kentucky.

. Funeral services were held in Seco on September 29 for three Neon residents killed in a car wreck September 25 in Glasgow, Maryland. They were James Arthur Griffith, 32, and Burbich Griffith, 29, brothers, and Ruben Davis, 23. The VFW and American Legion conducted graveside services at the Whitaker Cemetery.

. Noting the absence of Letcher County’s elected officials at meetings of Letcher secessionists, an organizer of the group, Whitesburg businessman Ray Collins, said, “They’re scared to death to come to these meetings. They’re scared to death to ask the state officials for something. If the same type of men had been local officers when Great Britain had this land it would have taken something more powerful than Patrick Henry to stir them up.”

. The Jenkins Western Auto store is in its 12th year of operation. The store was opened by Artie Wilfong, who began his career with Consolidation Coal Company by working in the Jenkins Recreation Building. After moving on to become store manager for Consol’s Van Lear store for nine years, Wilfong returned to manage the company’s Jenkins store in 1945, but it took only one year for him to catch the independent fever and open the Western Auto store in 1946.

. A baby boy was born to Mr. and Mrs. Roy Goff of Jenkins. His name is Tracy.

. The 1958-59 senior class of Whitesburg High School has elected Miss Barbara Bach to reign as the homecoming queen. The royal attendants, elected by the football team, will be Misses Mary Rogers, Judy Adams, Sandy Gibson, Chesta Webb, Kaye Hale, Phyllis Tolliver, Patricia Stallard, and Sammie Adams.

. Letcher County had only 1.26 inches of rainfall in September as rain fell on only six days of the month. The high temperature was 89 degrees on September 1. The low was 42 on September 29.

. The state’s top school official, Superintendent of Public Instruction Robert R. Martin, says he did not tell Letcher Schools Superintendent W.B. Hall to fire Hemphill Grade School Principal John E. Holbrook, a veteran teacher with 32 years of experience. Martin made the denial in a letter to Jackhorn auto parts dealer Luther Hall, a cousin of W.B. Hall but a strong supporter of John Holbrook, who has accepted the job as principal at McRoberts Elementary School in the Jenkins Independent system. W.B. Hall said he had been advised by “a supervisor” from the state Department of Education, but refused to identify the official. Luther Hall said Hemphill parents wanted Holbrook to remain on the job because he “is one of the best men, one of the cleanest men in the county.”

. Virgil Blair, 37, of Doty, was killed in a slate fall at the Elkhorn Jellico Coal Company mine at Camp Branch on September 27. A son of Mr. and Mrs. Grant Blair of Carbon Glow, he was the father of four children — Ruth Ann, 10; Gerald, 9; Larry Wayne, 7, and Brenda Louise, 6.

. Elvis Presley stars in “King Creole,” showing at the Alene Theatre in Whitesburg on October 5, 6, 7 and 8.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 1968 The new Letcher County Vocational School reports an enrollment of 229 students. There are 65 in business and office education, 33 in building trades, 36 in auto mechanics, 25 in drafting, 36 in welding, and 34 in electricity. The school will operate year-round.

. Virginia Goodwin has been hired as district librarian for Letcher County. She had been assistant regional librarian for the state Department of Libraries in Frankfort.

. “It’s time to gather pumpkins, and if you don’t know where to store them, roll them under the bed,” advises Sandlick correspondent Daisy Halcomb.

. At a symposium on black lung disease, Dr. Loren E. Kerr of the United Mine Workers union Welfare and Retirement Fund criticized doctors for failing to recognize the disease and demand adequate controls. He said the failure would one day be regarded as the “greatest disgrace to the history of American medicine.” Another physician, Dr. I.E. Buff of Charleston, W.Va., is continuing his attempts to stop the U.S. Office of Education from carrying out plans to train young men

for jobs in the coal mines. Buff termed black lung disease “the most debilitative degenerating industrial disease we know of.” Black lung is caused by exposure to fine particles of coal dust.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 1978 Two and a half years after two explosions ripped through the Scotia Mine, killing 26 men, Patrick Molloy, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, has written a letter to federal mine safety officials saying he and attorneys in his office have “just begun our own study” of the disaster for possible criminal violations of federal law.

. Ray M. Back, incumbent school board representative for Division 5 of the Letcher County School System, is unopposed in his bid for re-election to the board of education in November. The absence of competing candidates for the slot means Back will automatically win re-election. He is currently chairman of the board.

. There’s a 10 percent chance that some areas of Letcher County may have freezing temperatures between September 30 and October 15 and a 90 percent chance that the temperature will drop to freezing before October 30, according to the Kentucky Crop and Livestock Reporting Service.

. Police have identified the body of a man found floating in the Kentucky River near Chavies on September 8. Jimmy D. Coleman, 38, of Chicago, was found tied to the body of a woman with barbed wire. The bodies were weighted with a farm plow. Both persons had been shot. The woman is still unidentified.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28 1988 Mayor Jimmy Asher said the city will advertise next week for a consultant to prepare the city’s application for a $300,000 Community Development Block Grant to be used to construct a 150-foot by 89-foot building on a three-acre tract of the Whitesburg Industrial Site. The factory will produce custom cylinders used in rotogravure printing of packaging and wallpaper and will employ 30 to 40 persons when it is in full production. The proposed plant will be opened by Irotas Manufacturing Co. of Shelbyville, which is owned by William Harold Kiser of Millstone.

. Judging by the number of Kentucky cars in the parking lot of Pound Gap Market, many Letcher County residents and other eastern Kentuckians have been going across the border to play Virginia’s new lottery. The lottery opened last Tuesday and the first big winner was a Letcher Countian who won $1,000 by matching up the three numbers on a $1 scratch-off ticket.

. Judge/Executive Ruben Watts says he will seek federal grant money to remodel the Letcher County Courthouse and build a new Letcher County Jail. Watts said the move comes after a letter from Whitesburg architect Bill Richardson suggesting the county remodel the 24-year-old courthouse. Watts estimated the proposed project would cost $2 million to $3 million.

. The third annual Mountain Heritage Bowl, hosted this year by Fleming-Neon

High School, was delayed 55 minutes because of lightning and rain. However, neither rain nor gloom of night could stay the Pirates, who defeated Evarts 15-6.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 1998 Officials were expected to begin testing Letcher County’s new E-911 emergency dispatching system later this week. Kentucky State Police Captain Danny Webb said testing could begin today or tomorrow if the proper adjustments are made to computers and electronic equipment need to operate the system.

. Well-known Letcher County resident Alice Day Tolliver died Monday at her home on Cowan. She and her husband, the late Dennis Tolliver, a barber, were owners and operators for many years of Tolliver’s Barber and Beauty Shop in downtown Whitesburg. After his death, she continued to run the shop as both a barber and beauty shop.

. The City of Jenkins wants Letcher County officials to approve the use of $750,000 in coal severance tax funds for an access road to the proposed Child’s Branch industrial site just off new U.S. 23 above Jenkins. Members of the fiscal court heard the request at their September meeting and referred it to the county’s Economic Development Authority for consideration.

. Appearances by the Rev. Jesse Jackson in Letcher County this week were cancelled because of a scheduling error. Local supporters had expected Jackson to be here Monday. Jackson made stops in Pikeville, Mud Creek, Booneville and Berea but did not come to Jenkins or Whitesburg as had been announced.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2008 The Letcher County Fiscal Court has voted five-to-one to proceed with a loan agreement that would allow the county to borrow as much as $6 million from the Kentucky Association of Counties for construction of a county recreation center on the old A&P property in Whitesburg. District Five Magistrate Wayne Fleming cast the only no vote while cautioning the court about the possibility of having to raise property taxes to service the debt.

. Hospice of the Bluegrass – Mountain Community held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new Hospice Freestanding Inpatient Facility in Hazard on Sept. 17. The facility will be located on 3.8 acres of land on Miss Edna Lane. The facility will be the first of its kind for Hospice of the Bluegrass, and a first for southeastern Kentucky.

. Members of the Dawahare family will serve as co-grand marshals of the Mountain Heritage Festival parade on Saturday in downtown Whitesburg. A reception in the family’s honor will take place at the Methodist Church Fellowship Hall after the parade.

. Christian Griffith and Calleigh Dunbar have been named Little Mr. and Miss Neon. Christian is the three-year-old son of Misty and J.D. Griffith. Calleigh is the four-year-old daughter of Travis and Christy Dunbar. The two children are neighbors at Hemphill.

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