Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were

Rock singer died 48 years ago This October 1970 photo of Janis Joplin was taken just days before she died of a heroin overdose on October 4, 1970. Joplin’s star rose quickly during June 1967 with a performance with her San Francisco-based band Big Brother & The Holding Company at the Monterey Pop Festival in California. The Port Arthur, Texas native was found dead just three years later in her hotel room in Las Angeles, where she was putting the finishing touches on what would become her best-selling album, Pearl, which produced the hit song “Me and Bobby McGee.” She was 27 years old. (AP Photo)

Rock singer died 48 years ago This October 1970 photo of Janis Joplin was taken just days before she died of a heroin overdose on October 4, 1970. Joplin’s star rose quickly during June 1967 with a performance with her San Francisco-based band Big Brother & The Holding Company at the Monterey Pop Festival in California. The Port Arthur, Texas native was found dead just three years later in her hotel room in Las Angeles, where she was putting the finishing touches on what would become her best-selling album, Pearl, which produced the hit song “Me and Bobby McGee.” She was 27 years old. (AP Photo)

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 11, 1928 A well-attended dance at the Daniel Boone Hotel in Whitesburg on Saturday night was made even more enjoyable, The Mountain Eagle writes, because “the best of order prevailed.”

. The Mountain Eagle is seeking to hire a good Linotype operator or a good job printer and makeup man if wages are reasonable.”

. “Every foot of the right-of-way for the building of the state highway from Eolia to the Harlan County line has been secured,” The Mountain Eagle reports in a front-page story. “This particular stretch of the Mayo Trail is about 12 miles, and when completed will let the people into the Cumberland Valley over the most romantic section to be found in the entire Southeast.”

. A number of Letcher County Democrats will travel to Louisville by automobile next Saturday to hear New York Governor Alfred E. Smith deliver his first campaign speech in Kentucky. Smith is the Democratic Party nominee for president. Herbert Hoover is the Republican Party candidate. [Smith would go on to help found Empire State Inc., the company that built the 103-story Empire State Building, which opened May 1, 1931.]

. After a two-year absence, which he said left him “feeling like a fish on dry land,” The Mountain Eagle’s founding editor and publisher, Nehemiah M. Webb, is again editing and managing the paper, he founded in August 1907. “‘Just a little different’ has always been the motto of the Eagle and that shall be its motto still,” Webb writes in his first column since returning to his old job.

. “Work on the state highway at Ermine continues to move right along, and it looks like we will be out of the mud before the winter season comes. The hard surface will be a great improvement anyway,” notes the unnamed writer of the column “Ermine Dots and Dashes.”

. Applications must be submitted no later than November 2, 1928 from any person interested in taking the “open competitive examination” for the position of postmaster at Burdine.

. The Maytag company says its new “roller water remover” for wringer washing machines will not damage “buttons, snaps or ornaments” on clothing and will leave “no wet places to retard drying on the line.”

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6, 1938 The entry into the new annex and parsonage of the First Baptist Church of Whitesburg will be celebrated Sunday with an all-day homecoming service and open house. The church was organized March 31, 1909 with 49 members. Rev. G.F. Davidson was the first pastor, serving until August 29, 1911. A.S. Petrey then came to Whitesburg and served until November 7, 1913. A.C. Huston replaced him and manned the pulpit until 1917. Petrey then returned to the pulpit and served until 1921, after which A.M. Tate came to Whitesburg and preached until 1924. I.E. Enlow was called to Whitesburg on March 1, 1925 and served until December 2, 1936. The Rev. L.O. Griffith replaced Enlow and is still preaching here. During the church’s 29 years, there have been 603 members. The new building cost $11,000.

. Funeral services were held Monday for Bertha McCray, 23, who died Saturday of injuries she suffered the night before when she was hit by an L&N Railroad passenger train at a crossing near Whitco. The train stopped after the accident and the crew took Miss McCray to the Fleming hospital, where she died of internal injuries. A member of the Baptist Church, she was a seamstress with the federal National Youth Administration’s sewing project in Letcher County. Her mother, three sisters and five brothers survive her. Her father, Solomon McCray, died about a year ago.

. One of Whitesburg’s leading undertakers, George Stewart, gave a well-received lecture to the Whitesburg Rotary Club on September 30 entitled “International Trade and World Peace.” “It is regretted that every citizen in our county, as well as every Rotarian in our county, could not have heard that masterpiece,” The Mountain Eagle writes on its front page. Last Friday’s luncheon was held at the Daniel Boone Hotel on Main Street.

. The presence of “fee grabbers” along the highways of Whitley County, Kentucky is stirring up anger in that region of eastern Kentucky and east Tennessee. Business clubs in Jellico and LaFollette in Tennessee and Corbin and Williamsburg in Kentucky have called on Governor A.B. “Happy” Chandler to address the situation. In addition, the Cincinnati Automobile Club has written business leaders in the region asking them to take action against the fee grabbing “or traffic to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and Norris Dam will be routed over a different highway.”

. Watching the demolition of an old concrete bench in front of the Letcher County Courthouse in Whitesburg the other day brought a tear to the eye of Mountain Eagle editor Nehemiah Webb. Writes Webb: “I thought a tear felt ready to start when the WPA workers began to lambast

and abolish the old ‘county seat’ that for 24 years has imposed itself in front of the courthouse. I could not keep from recalling the pleasure and sometimes displeasure that I have had in serving the thousands of Letcher County citizens, many of them gone over life’s river. … By the way, I think this contrivance for the use of the public was built when the late Dr. John D. Fitzpatrick was county judge and the late Robert Blair was county attorney.”

. Brice Cundiff of the Daniel Boone Hotel in Whitesburg spent a few days with his brother Bruce Cundiff in the Linefork section of the county.

. The Pepper Service Station will celebrate its grand opening in downtown Whitesburg, across from the Letcher County Courthouse on Saturday, October 8. The new service station is owned and operated by Lee Adams and will feature a complete line of Pepper gasoline and oils, including Benzol, which is made from coal. The new building is the first of its kind in the region and features a front of “sheer white enamel with green and silver trim” with a 14-foot neon sign rising from its center with the word Pepper displayed in red neon letters.

. The appearance of two newly constructed hog pens in downtown Whitesburg has drawn the ire of local physician Owen Pigman, who points out that the hog pens are located near the new Madison Street Bridge recently constructed by the WPA. “Since the building of this bridge there has gone up on the south side property owner’s land a large hog pen — yes, a hog pen in the heart of the county seat,” Dr. Pigman writes in a letter to the editor of The Mountain Eagle. “Also, just east of this beautiful bridge on Madison Avenue — one of the most traveled streets of Whitesburg — and right up against the sidewalk is another hog pen. Everyone knows that a hog pen is one of the most unsanitary things and one of the worst nuisances that can exist and must be isolated outside an incorporated town.”

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 7, 1948 Carlis Smith, 26, the subject of a widespread search since the September 19 slaying of Constable Matthew Collins at an Isom roadhouse, surrendered this week on a murder charge to authorities in Pikeville. Hassell Smith, 24, is also charged with murdering Collins and moved to Pikeville for safekeeping while Carlis Smith remained at large. Letcher County Sheriff Herman Combs said Carlis will now remain in Pikeville until after the Letcher County Grand Jury acts on his case.

. Mrs. Lena Bell, about 42, was found murdered on Acme Hill in Neon early Monday morning. According to Letcher County Coroner Archie Craft, neighbor’s found the body of Mrs. Bell about 4:30 a.m. She had been stabbed in the stomach about four or five hours earlier, apparently during a robbery. Authorities say Mrs. Bell worked for Service Dry Cleaners in Neon and was believed to have been carrying about $100 in her purse on the night she was killed. The purse was found empty a short distance away from her body. A daughter in Alabama and several other relatives in the Neon area survive her.

. The Kentucky Court of Appeals has rejected the request of Daniel T. McPeak that it reconsider its June 1 approval of the death sentence he received in Louisville. The court’s rejection automatically fixes McPeak’s execution date for November 5 in the electric chair at the Eddyville prison. McPeak was one of a trio given death sentences for the armed robbery of Vernon L. Hodge near Louisville. One of the trio, Jasper Nease of McRoberts, was executed April 3.

. The pastor of the Whitesburg Methodist Church, the Rev. Paul Stewart, wishes to inform local citizens that the church’s musical chimes will resume playing each day at noon after they are repaired.

. The Whitesburg Gas Company has moved its operations from downtown Whitesburg to West Whitesburg in the building formerly known as the block factory.

. Ovie Stapleton scored all of his team’s touchdowns in the Fleming-Neon Pirates’ 21 to 0 win over the Jenkins Cavaliers before a capacity crowd at Jenkins last Friday night.

. The Whitesburg Yellowjackets defeated the Cumberland Redskins, 26 to 13.

. The Manies Studio is now open for photography in downtown Neon. Mr. and Mrs. John E. Manies operate it.

. Mr. and Mrs. Woodford Webb have announced the arrival of new daughter, Deborah Ann, who was born October 1 at Mount Mary Hospital in Hazard. Her birth gives the family another “D” — Dood, Dot, Don, Dud and Deb.

. Whitesburg High School has 64 members playing instruments in its marching band, directed by Hugh Adams. The “B” band is comprised of 29 additional members.

. J.R. Lusk of Linefork killed a large copperhead in his hayfield recently. The snake measured 37-1/2 inches long.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 9, 1958 Bids totaling $499,258.93 for construction of Fleming-Neon High School and Letcher Consolidated School were accepted this week by the Letcher Fiscal Court, which was acting on behalf of the Letcher County Board of Education. The

Letcher School will cost $312,416.25, while the Fleming-Neon School will cost $186,842.68. Because of legal technicalities, the school board will have to deed the property where the schools will be located to the county. The fiscal court will contract for construction, then rent the buildings to the school board with the rent paying off the construction bonds.

. The City of Whitesburg’s hopes for a new bridge and two new streets brightened considerably this week when David Bray, chief engineer for the state highway department, said he would recommend the project. The proposed bridge would cross the North Fork of the Kentucky River at the end of Broadway, also called Jail Street or Eagle Street. It would connect to a proposed new street that would run alongside the L&N Railroad tracks at the front of the depot. Broadway would also be lengthened in the western direction to run in front of Fields’ Farm Service Store and would extend across the back lots of the Johnson Funeral Home and V.D. Picklesimer property. A street would then be built roughly from Main Street in front of the Craft Funeral Home, cutting through by the Picklesimer property and connecting with the new section of Broadway. The project, championed by the Whitesburg Chamber of Commerce, would open up a considerable area downtown to future business development.

. Two miners were killed instantly by a slate fall in a coal mine near the foot of Pine Mountain last Friday. The victims were Elmer Richardson, 34, of Sandlick, and Riley Adams of Craft’s Colly.

. Letcher County’s government is out of any money to spend on roadwork until next July 1.

. Letcher County almost lost its new voting machines this week after the Letcher Fiscal Court voted four to three on Tuesday to send the machines back to the factory that manufactured them. The motion to return the machines was made by Magistrate Add Polly and seconded by Magistrate J.C. Day, who said they were acting on the grounds that the machines were purchased illegally without bids being taken and because there is great confusion and dissatisfaction over the consolidation of precincts made necessary by the use of the machines. After returning to the meeting from its lunch break, the court took a second vote on the issue at the suggestion of Whitesburg businessman Ray Collins. This time Magistrate Herbert Maggard, who had abstained from the first vote, voted with those who wanted to keep the machines, creating a four to four tie. County Judge Arthur Dixon broke the tie in favor of keeping the machines.

. Registration of 29 Letcher County students has helped swell enrollment at Lees Junior College in Jackson to a 10-year record of 266. It is also the largest number of Letcher County students in the 74-year history of Lees.

. Judge Lewis E. Harvie, a former Whitesburg attorney and businessman who was largely responsible for the development of the Collins-Harvie residential addition to the City of Whitesburg, is a patient at the Hilltop Nursing Home in his native Danville, Virginia. Judge Harvie came to Letcher County from Danville in 1906 and opened his law practice here in the days when horseback riding was the only means of transportation to and from the various courts in this section. One of the region’s pioneer negotiators

for coal and mineral rights, he was also instrumental in the establishment of the coal-mining town of Jenkins. He retired in 1948 and returned to his Virginia home, but continued to make frequent visits to Letcher County.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 3, 1968 Letcher County school enrollment at the end of the first month of classes was 5,866, a drop of 188 pupils from the figure for the same period last year. Five small elementary schools were closed at the end of last year. They were Pert Creek, Haymond, Coyle’s Branch, Hurricane Gap and Upper Kingscreek. In addition, Kingdom Come High School also was eliminated, although the school building still is being used by Kingdom Come Elementary School. Dorsey Crase, director of pupil personnel, said the school system’s enrollment had been dropping about 200 a year for the past few years, but said he had noticed a leveling-off trend over the past two years.

. Herbert H. Smith of Whitesburg is heading the campaign of Republican candidates Richard M. Nixon and Spiro Agnew for president and vice-president of the United States. Co-chairmen are Jay Combs of Jenkins, Manus Ison of Hallie and Sam Collins of Whitesburg.

. Robert Brown, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jake Brown of Blackey, is one of 12 Kentucky college students selected as an intern in the state capital. He is assigned to the Kentucky Department of Commerce.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 1978 State Auditor George L. Adkins, a Democratic candidate for governor, accepted a campaign contribution from former Letcher County judge Estill Blair during the same time auditors from his office were investigating allegations of malfeasance in county finances. Auditors completed their fieldwork in April, but release of the audit was delayed throughout the summer while officials in Adkins’s office told The Eagle, in weekly conversations, that findings were being checked and an accompanying letter was redrafted several times.

. Water and sewer improvements to Tunnel Hill, Pine Mountain Junction, Caudilltown and Solomon will cost $1.4 million, the Whitesburg City Council has learned. “The city’s matching share will be $280,000,” Mayor Ferdinand Moore said. The city will apply to the Farmer’s Home Administration for 80 percent of the money, and must match it with 20 percent.

. Wild ginseng, considered a “potentially endangered” species, can be harvested and sold this year in Kentucky. The Division of Regulatory Services of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture will conduct a voluntary registration program and compile statistics on the purchase and sale of ginseng in the state.

. Bertha Turner Holbrook of McDowell, and Birdie Hall of Lexington, twin sisters, celebrated their 80th birthday with their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and other relatives at Jenny Wiley State Park on July 29. The sisters are the only surviving children of the late Ben and Lucy Hopkins Hall.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5, 1988 More than six months after passing a get-tough litter ordinance, Letcher County still has not hired officers to enforce the law. The ordinance, enacted by the

Letcher County Fiscal Court in March, drew statewide attention for its $250 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of litterers, and its $500 fine and jail sentences of up to one year for littering.

. The Letcher County Board of Education and the Letcher County Fiscal Court have set tax rates for 1988-89 — rates that are the same for unmined minerals as for other property. The fiscal court set county property taxes at the compensating rate of 12.4 cents per $100 of assessed value.

. Kentucky Fish and Wildlife officials are trying to trap a black bear they think mauled a pig at Kingdom Come. Letcher County Conservation Office Jerry Coots said the animal had been bayed several times by dogs Tuesday night, and it apparently climbed into a pig pen belonging to Clarence Huff to escape the dogs. Coots said the bear bit one hog in several places and slapped the pig on the side of its head with its paw.

. The state highway department has decided to abandon the Whitesburg airport road, and has asked Letcher County to take it over. A highway official said the road, KY 2547, “doesn’t really belong in the state system. As you know the airport is no longer used for an airport or anything else as fair as we can tell,” he said. “About a year ago, unbeknownst to us, somebody barricaded the road.”

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 1998 Letcher County is certain to attract scientists and students from all over the world who will study new rock outcrops at Pound Gap “to better piece together the history of the Earth,” said Donald C. Haney, Kentucky’s state geologist. He said new surface exposures created by road construction along Pine Mountain have “opened up a new page in the geological history of the Earth.”

. Kentucky’s top transportation official agrees the communities of McRoberts and Fleming should be served with an access road from new US 23, says Jenkins City Councilman Wayne Fleming. He said Transportation Cabinet Secretary James

C. Codell III indicated that he is willing to help residents with their efforts to get an access road.

. The new Enhanced-911 emergency dispatching system is now in service for all telephone exchanges in Letcher County. The service officially went online Sept. 23 during an informal ceremony at Kentucky State Police headquarters in Hazard, where the 911 dispatchers and the computer equipment they use are based.

. The Fleming-Neon Pirates defeated visiting district foe South Floyd 22-16.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2008 The Kentucky Court of Appeals has ruled that Jason Ray Ison, 24, was wrongly convicted of six criminal charges filed against him after his wife and two other passengers in his car were killed in a traffi c accident nearly three years ago. The appeal was filed on Ison’s behalf after he was sentenced to 18-1/2 years in prison. The Appeals Court ruling says the jury was not presented with enough evidence against Ison to support its “clearly unreasonable” finding that Ison was acting “with criminal conduct” when he lost control of the Ford Mustang he was driving on KY 15 near Van and crashed it into an oncoming vehicle driven by Tracy Craft.

. Kentucky Lottery players in Letcher County spent $2,514,869 for scratch-off tickets and other games during the fiscal year, which ended June 30, and were awarded $1,660,637 in estimated prizes during the same period.

. October is Roadside PRIDE Month and volunteers will be picking up trash along eastern and southern Kentucky roadways. PRIDE coordinators will provide the cleanup supplies and trash collection, and take care of disposal fees. Trophies will be given to the region’s cities and counties that do the best job.

. “A big change is underway on most lakes right now — water levels are being drawn down from summer pool to winter pool,” writes Greg “Gabby” Caudill in his Fishing Fever column. “Any time there is a major change to a lake in any form, the fishing will be directed affected.”

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