Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were

Plane carrying Lynyrd Skynyrd crashes in ’77 This Oct. 20, 1977 photo shows the wreckage of a plane in a wooded area near McComb, Miss., where six people were killed, including three members of the music group Lynyrd Skynyrd. Among those killed were frontman Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, and his sister, backup singer Cassie Gaines. Last week — on October 7 — a New York federal appeals court says a new Lynyrd Skynyrd film, “Street Survivors: The True Story of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash,” can be released despite a dispute over the band’s intentions. A lower court judge decided previously that the film violated a “blood oath” made by band members not to exploit the group’s name after the crash. (AP Photo)

Plane carrying Lynyrd Skynyrd crashes in ’77 This Oct. 20, 1977 photo shows the wreckage of a plane in a wooded area near McComb, Miss., where six people were killed, including three members of the music group Lynyrd Skynyrd. Among those killed were frontman Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, and his sister, backup singer Cassie Gaines. Last week — on October 7 — a New York federal appeals court says a new Lynyrd Skynyrd film, “Street Survivors: The True Story of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash,” can be released despite a dispute over the band’s intentions. A lower court judge decided previously that the film violated a “blood oath” made by band members not to exploit the group’s name after the crash. (AP Photo)

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 25, 1928 Reports say a Letcher County man known as “the worst man in all these hills” has been killed by Perry County sheriff ’s deputies. Joe Davidson, who has lived on the head of Linefork Creek for many years, was gunned down by deputies last Friday evening on the head of Leatherwood Creek, just beyond the Letcher County line. “For years, it is said, he had defied arrest and not one believed he would surrender alive,” The Mountain Eagle reports. “About a month ago, Letcher County Deputy Sheriff Jonah Cornett entered the house of the bad man and was shot dead in the house. … Last Wednesday, Sheriff (Morgan) Reynolds and a posse of men left Whitesburg and went in the direction of the head of Leatherwood, a section adjacent to the head of Linefork, where they understood Davidson was operating a moonshine still. According to to reports, this was true but Davidson was out. Soon, accompanied by another man, he approached the still house and was ordered to surrender. He refused to do so as expected, at the same time presenting his steel ball gun. A fusillade of shots from the officers laid him upon the ground a dead man.”

. An auction sale will be held in Neon on Saturday, November 3. To be auctioned are 100 business and residential building lots in the Bentley and Deal addition.

. Longtime Millstone postmaster Joe Hall, about 60 years of age, has died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot. An occasional minister of the Old Regular Baptist Church over the past 40 years, Hall had been married some six times, with three of those wives still living. It is said that worrying and broken health led to his taking his own life.

. Cullen Williams, a resident of Breedings Creek in Knott County, is accused of shooting his wife to death after coming home late from work one evening last week and becoming angry after finding that Mrs. Williams did not have dinner prepared for him. Mr. Williams is now in jail in Hindman, where he is awaiting trial.

. The Elks’ Jenkins-McRoberts football team motored to Hazard Saturday and played Hazard High School. Hazard won the game, six to zero.

. John H. Craft of Mayking survived without being bitten after falling into a den of rattlesnakes near his home on Pine Creek. Craft says he has no idea how many “big yellows” there were in the nest, but that he was able to kill one despite all the danger and excitement he was experiencing. He believes that about five snake got away.

. A reader has responded to a comment in a recent edition of The Mountain Eagle from a man who said there had not been a baby named after the current president. In a letter to the editor, Hewey E. Smith of Whitco said he is the father of a baby named Herbert Hoover, “after who I think will be our next president of the United States.” Adds Smith, “He was born January 15, 1928.”

. The Kingdom Come School at Linefork in Letcher County has three students who walk nine miles each day to and from school, and five students who walk seven miles each day to and from school.

. A nurse from the Letcher County Health Department in Whitesburg visited the Hurricane Gap School last week to inoculate pupils for typhoid and diphtheria.

. Miss Cora Reynolds is the teacher at the Whitco School.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 1938 U.S. Senator Alben W. Barkley has pledged his support for the proposed new dam on the Poor Fork of the Cumberland River in Letcher County. Barkley made the pledge during a well-attended event Sunday at the Letcher County Golf Course and Clubhouse at Mayking.

. The John P. Gorman Coal Company mines at Hot Spot have reopened after being idle for several months. A longidled mine at Hemphill is also expected to reopen soon.

. The City of Whitesburg was born 96 years ago. “It was wrapped in swaddling clothes for a year or more when the first courthouse was built and residences began to be constructed along what is now Main Street,” The Mountain Eagle reports on its front page.

. E.C. Segar, the creator of “Popeye” the sailor and other well-known comics has died at 44 years of age. After rising from a house painter to one for the world’s most celebrated cartoonists, he leaves behind an estate worth millions of dollars. Segar also created several other comics including “Bringing Up Father,” “Moon Mullins,” and “The Gumps.”

. Three Letcher County boys — Otis Collins, Lauville Gibson, and Ted Niece — were acquitted of murder by a Letcher Circuit Court jury in connection with the shooting death of another boy, Sylvan Taylor. The trial lasted about a day. The killing took place July 15 at Colson, where a local show was being held. After trouble began, a half-dozen or more shots were fired — one of them striking Taylor — but the jury was unable to determine if any of the three charged

actually fired the fatal shot.

. The Fleming Pirates defeated the Van Lear Bank Mules, 20 to 6, in a football game played Saturday.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 21, 1948 Miles Hollan, 28, of Camp Branch, died Saturday in the Hazard hospital, where he was rushed for treatment after being shot by his wife, Ollie Slone Hollan, during a family quarrel in the couple’s home. Miles Hollan was able to speak with police officers before he died. He told them his wife was upset because he would not give her more money than the sizeable sum of $80 he put into her bank account during a shopping trip to Whitesburg earlier Saturday. He said that after he and his wife returned home, she began quarreling at him before pointing a shotgun at him and saying, “give me that pocketbook.” Said Mr. Hollan, “I threw the billfold but she shot me anyhow.” Mr. Hollan, who was in the logging business, leaves behind two young children. As part of his dying statement, he asked that the children be raised by his father and not his wife.

. At about 1 a.m. Sunday the Oldsmobile car belonging to S.J. “Sam” Bates was destroyed by a dynamite blast that also badly damaged his home at Graveyard Hollow, located just below Whitesburg. Windows in the homes of nearby neighbors were also broken out or cracked. Bates and a number of his friends had just returned to Whitesburg from a political meeting in Prestonsburg when the explosion occurred. Luckily, Bates did not approach his vehicle after returning home. Wanted for questioning in connection with the blast are brothers Ed and John Combs, who had been operating a roadhouse for Bates in the Isom area and were said to be angry because they were arrested recently on bootlegging charges and believe Bates did not try hard enough to get them out of jail.

. The marquee for the new Bentley Theatre in Neon is being put in place this week. The new theatre on Main Street is being built by the Virginia Amusement Company.

. Harry M. Caudill of Whitesburg has passed the Kentucky State Bar Examination held in Frankfort in September and is now one of Whitesburg’s promising young attorneys. Caudill has purchased the law library of L.E. Harvie, which is considered one of the best in the region.

. The 1949 Frazer Manhattan automobile is now on sale at Robinson Motor Sales at Potter’s Fork, between Neon and Jenkins.

. Work is progressing nicely on the new Neon Baptist Church, which is being constructed under the supervision of contractor Wesley Yonts. Work is also coming along well on the new office building for Dr. Sam Quillen.

. Mrs. J. Wash Adams, 82, says the parking meters in downtown Whitesburg are a great help to her — she can hold on to them and rest while walking on Main Street.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 23, 1958 Dr. B.C. Bach of Whitesburg has been honored for his long service to the Presbyterian Church in eastern Kentucky. Dr. Bach recently resigned from the Home Mission Committee of the Guerrant Presbytery after serving for more than 15 years with the group.

. The Mountain Haven Children’s Home at Van is calling on Letcher County residents to donate several hundred feet of lead-in antenna wire for its television set. The home says it has the proper antenna, but no wire.

Bethlehem Mine Corporation’s Mine 21 rescue team of Jenkins finished in second place at a statewide first aid and mine rescue competition in Lexington. The Bethlehem teams finished behind the team from Wisconsin Coal Company at Benham and ahead of the Republic Steel Corporation team from Elkhorn City.

. Bobby Kincer, a 175-pound halfback out of Whitesburg High School, is the leading ground gainer for Morehead State College’s football team. Kincer’s family lives at Mayking.

. Miss Janet Dotson, a junior at Jenkins High School, was chosen by the student body there as homecoming queen for the year 1958-59. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Eskie Dotson.

. Hollie Craft was sentenced this week to five-year term in the state penitentiary on a charge of voluntary manslaughter in the death last summer of Mrs. Cinda Caudill. Craft was the driver of a car that struck and killed Mrs. Caudill as she walked along the highway at Ermine.

. Elizabeth Wassum of Jenkins writes a letter to the editor in this week’s edition of The Mountain Eagle explaining why she is canceling her subscription. “I was very dissatisfied with the paper while I received it,” she said. “I was away in school and I was primarily interested in Jenkins news and not Whitesburg news.”

. Too much news about Jenkins and not enough about Whitesburg is the complaint Mrs. Lenette Syle writes about in a letter to the editor in this week’s edition of The Mountain Eagle. “For the past five or six months the paper has been of little interest to any of us because we are not familiar with the residents of Jenkins,” Mrs. Syle writes from Anderson Air Base in Guam, where her husband is now stationed. “It is suggested you print more Whitesburg news or move your newspaper to Jenkins, the community you love to publicize,” Mrs. Syle concludes.

. Morehead State College’s largest enrollment in the history of the school — 1,811 students — includes 63 students from Letcher County, says the school’s president, Adron Doran.

. Mrs. Kirby Caudill of Blackey is being treated at a Lexington hospital after being very badly injured when she got her hand caught in a washing machine wringer.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 17, 1968 The United Mine Workers of America and the Bituminous Coal Operators Association have agreed to a new three-year contract that includes a $7-a-day pay raise and more fringe benefits for miners. The contract affects 90,000 soft-coal miners, 10,000 of them in Kentucky.

. The October Letcher County Grand Jury commended Jailer Lewis Hall for his “efficiency” in keeping the county jail clean. The jury said it had made a tour of the entire courthouse and “found everything in an excellent state of cleanliness and being well maintained.” The grand jury reported, “We believe that law is being properly enforced and found no apparent increase of crime in the county. We feel that the officials of the county are doing their jobs well and should be commended.”

. Mr. and Mrs. Bill Caudill and their daughter Amy have moved back to Blackey from Fort Knox after his discharge for the Army. They plan to move to Harlan, where he will be employed.

. The cities of Neon and Fleming have established Letcher County Water District No. 1 to provide water and sewer service to both communities.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12, 1978 A group of Colson parents has asked the Letcher County Board of Education for help with a growing problem — vandalism in schools. Creeda Isaacs, representing the Colson Parent Teacher organization told the board that break-ins occur at the Colson School “at least once a week.”

. Three men and a juvenile who escaped from the Letcher County Jail last Monday are still at large following a manhunt on Pine Mountain. Police officers, using bloodhounds, found a campsite on Dinah Blair Branch believed to have been used by the escapees, according to Sheriff Vernon Hall. One of the men, Corbin Slone, was captured after breaking into a home on Dinah Blair Branch. The homeowner confronted the five men with a gun and was able to hold Slone until police arrived.

. Three employees of Beth-Elkhorn Corporation have been promoted. Mavis B. Morgan, of Jenkins, has been promoted from cashier to special assistant. Danny G. Mullins, of McRoberts, was promoted to plant foreman. Diana K. Baldwin, of Burdine, was named assistant mine inspector.

. “Jim Blair has been pruning trees, recently,” writes Jeremiah columnist Hassie Breeding. “Not unusual, is it? Except Jim will be 85 and still climbs trees.”

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 19, 1988 County Judge/Executive Ruben Watts said he has hired two officers to enforce the litter control ordinance, Al Henderson, who has been volunteering in the position, and Letcher Commonwealth’s Detective Bradley Jones. The litter control ordinance passed in March and authorizes Watts to hire up to five litter control officers, but until last week the officers had apparently not been hired.

. The Letcher County Board of Education has become the first in the state to pay the additional $9-a-month per person premium needed to provide its employees with a better insurance under a new state employees’ insurance plan.

. Johnny Douglas, of Tazewell, Tenn., has been charged with murder and drunken driving in connection with a wreck that caused the death of a former Isom resident, 12-year-old David Wayne Plymale. His mother, Carol Plymale, is listed in serious condition, suffering from multiple injuries sustained in the crash.

. Deborah Couch, of Letcher County, is one of 21 nursing students at the Hazard School of Practical Nursing who received caps in recent ceremonies.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 14, 1998 William Neil Hall, 34, of Deane, died in a surface mine accident October 5 at the Branham and Baker Coal Co. Inc.’s Petty Fork Mine in Pike County. Hall suffered fatal injuries while operating a highwall drill. A section of the highwall, approximately 60 feet above the drill, dislodged, striking the operator’s compartment and killing Hall.

. E-911 operators in Hazard continue to be plagued by “hang-up calls” from Letcher County. Between October 5 and October 12, dispatchers at the Kentucky State Police post in Hazard received 32 calls from Letcher County where callers disconnected before identifying themselves. The increase in the hang-up calls apparently resulted from school being out of session on Thursday and Friday for most county students.

. Longtime Letcher County educator Cora Reynolds Frazier, 94, died October 11 at her home in Whitesburg. Mrs. Frazier began her teaching career in Letcher County in 1923, and spent many

years teaching seventh grade at the old Whitesburg Grade School. In 1928, she was the teacher at the Whitco School. She continued teaching and worked as a substitute teacher until the late 1960s.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2008 Customers served by the Fleming-Neon Water Department are being asked to curtail their use of water as current drought conditions worsen. “We’re asking for citizens to conserve as much as possible,” said Water Department Superintendent Carlos

Phillips. “Don’t wash cars or wash down your house. Use what you need for daily living, but no frills.”

. During a special meeting of the Letcher Fiscal Court, the Whitesburg Campus of Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College accepted a check from the county government for $326,000 in payment for the old A&P building in Whitesburg. The site will be used for a recreation center.

. Alpha Natural Resources has completed the sale of approximately 17.6 million tons of underground

coal reserves in eastern Kentucky to a private coal producer for approximately $13 million in cash. Alpha’s Enterprise Mining Co., based in Letcher County, is completing infrastructure work and has begun initial production of coal from a 35 million-ton block of the reserves acquired from Progress Fuels Corp. in May 2006.

. Haunted hayrides will take place at Fishpond Lake from dusk until 10:30 p.m. on October 18, 19, 25 and 26. The event is sponsored by the Letcher County Fraternal Order of Police and the Jenkins Fire Department.

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