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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

THURSDAY, MARCH 18, 1909

This edition of The Mountain Eagle could not be located.

THURSDAY, MARCH 13, 1919

This edition of The Mountain Eagle could not be located.

THURSDAY, MARCH 14, 1929

This edition of The Mountain Eagle could not be located.

THURSDAY, MARCH 26, 1939

This edition of The Mountain Eagle could not be located.

THURSDAY, MARCH 17, 1949

Accused murderer James Page, about 40, was found hiding at his father’s home on the Kentucky River [Kona-Payne Gap] and was formally charged and arrested in the March 6 shooting death of Elbert Kincer of Haymond and the wounding of Page’s nine-year-old son. The arrest took place last Friday after Page’s father, Emment Page, told local and state police officers that if they would withdraw from the section between Bottom Fork and Payne Gap he would see to it that his son surrendered. Deputy Sheriff Jim Short arrested Page after the other officers withdrew from the scene. Page is now being held in the Pike County Jail.

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The First Baptist Church celebrated its 40th year in Whitesburg on Sunday. The church was organized with 48 charter members and now has more than 500 members. The church has had eight pastors during the 40 years.

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More than 4,000 coal miners in Letcher County and 400,000 miners elsewhere east of the Mississippi River walked off their jobs this week in protest of President Harry S. Truman’s appointing Dr. James Boyd as director of the U.S. Bureau of Mines.

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For the second time in eight days fire has caused considerable damage in Whitesburg. The latest blaze destroyed the building housing the Whitesburg Gas Company, which was located on the Whitesburg to Hazard Road. The Whitesburg Fire Department answered the alarm promptly but went to owner Gilbert Polly’s house instead. After driving back across town the Whitesburg volunteers found they had no hose long enough to reach the North Fork of the Kentucky River. The Neon Fire Department arrived 24 minutes after being called, but firefighters were unable to save the building.

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Homeless after fire destroyed the Hogg Building in Whitesburg on March 7, the R.H. Hobbs and Company 5 & 10 cents store has reopened in the basement of the Daniel Boone Hotel.

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Members of the Whitesburg Lions Club have voted to donate $500 to the City of Whitesburg toward the purchase of a new fire truck.’’

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Authorities in five states are searching for a self-styled “census taker” who is wanted for questioning in the murder of a 19-year-old woman from Robinson Creek in Pike County. Her husband found the body of the victim, Mrs. Lois Collins, in her home when he returned from work in Friday. She suffered a fractured skull and had been strangled and “criminally assaulted.” Pike County Sheriff D.C. Moore said he has “no doubt” the killer is a man who posed as a census taker and stayed for several days in the home of a neighbor to the Collins’s.

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Consolidation Coal Company official G.O. Tarleton of Jenkins is scheduled to address the 1949 Coal Convention and Exposition of the American Mining Congress in Cleveland May 9-12. Tarleton will describe the use of tractors and trailers for coal haulage. More than 10,000 coal men are expected to attend the event.

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“Those who think coal is an ‘old-fashioned’ fuel, which will be used less and less as the years go on, are badly mistaken if a Coal Age forecast turns out to be right,” a Mountain Eagle editorial says. “This forecast (that by 1960 the demand for soft coal along may approach the unheard-of total of 900,000,000 tons of coal a year) is backed up by some hard facts. First of all, the rate of expansion of the electric industry will increase its use of coal by more than 4,000,000 tons a year for the next 12 years. … Finally, our coal reserves are enormous and will be the bases for producing the synthetic fuels which are now in the experimental stage.”

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The body of William Clyde Creech, son of the Reverend and Mrs. Caleb Creech of Cumberland, arrived home for burial in Cumberland on March 13. William Creech was killed while serving in the U.S. Army during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

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Federal inspectors recommend better ventilation, better blasting safeguards, rock dusting and improved timbering at two Letcher County coal mines they inspected recently — Brown Coal Company’s No. 1 Mine near Kona and the Helen Coal Company’s No. 2 Mine near Millstone.

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Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company is advertising the availability of “extension telephones in any room in your house.”

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A private in the U.S. Army now receives $80 per month in pay, plus food, clothing, shelter, a retirement plan and other benefits that make the equivalent of a civilian’s earnings of $3,500 annually.

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Abbott and Costello star in the film “Mexican Hayride,” showing Sunday and Monday at the Kentucky Theatre in Whitesburg.

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The Jenkins Kiwanis Club will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a special program on March 17.

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The Kentucky Senate adopted a resolution March 9 in which it asks the U.S. Congress to canalize the Big Sandy River so it can be used for coal transportation.

THURSDAY, MARCH 19, 1959

The United Mine Workers of America strike against mines that have not signed the new union contract entered its fourth day in Letcher County today, and things appeared quiet this morning. The only strike-related violence so far occurred Tuesday when four men were injured at the Colson ramp operated by Roland Price, one of the largest truck mine operators in the county. The four workers were injured when a group of men reportedly 1,500 strong visited the tipple. Price said his refusal to operate under a union contract has nothing to do with wages. “This is a fight by the big coal operators and the UMW to wipe out the small truck mine industry,” Price told The Associated Press.

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Wilson W. Wyatt, candidate for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor, said in Whitesburg last week that “it looks now as though there’s an excellent probability that all eight districts will go for the Combs-Wyatt ticket.” Wyatt is running on a ticket with Bert T. Combs as the candidate for governor. Wyatt spoke to an audience of some 175 persons in the Letcher County Courthouse. Among Letcher County political leaders at the Wyatt speaking were former County Judge James M. Caudill, who introduced Wyatt; Jess Bates, police judge at Jenkins; Sam Bates, Ralph Bates, former sheriff Robert B. Collins, Letcher Schools Supt. W.B. Hall, Roland Price, and Jailer Robert Sexton.

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“Judging from his statements and attitude, President Eisenhower does not have the slightest idea of the situation in (economically) depressed areas such as the eastern counties of Kentucky,” the Courier-Journal of Louisville says in an editorial reprinted in The Mountain Eagle.

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J.H. and Sallie Brown of Ulvah celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary on March 11.

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Cecil B. DeMille’s production of “The Ten Commandments,” staring Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, Anne Baxter and Edward G. Robinson, will show at Isaac’s Alene Theater in Whitesburg for five days, March 19-23.

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The Fleming-Neon Elementary School is experiencing a measles epidemic.

THURSDAY, MARCH 13, 1969

Under intense pressure from more than 45,000 striking coal miners, the West Virginia state legislature passed a blacklung compensation law, and the three doctors who spearheaded the legislation drive announced plans to carry their campaign into Kentucky.

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The firing of Edith Easterling, a key staff member in Pike County, touched off a nosy wrangle within the Appalachian Volunteers this week and left the future of the eastern Kentucky anti-poverty agency highly uncertain. The organization is already operating on a day-to-day basis because Office of Economic Opportunity funds have not been renewed.

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Jack D. Cornett, son of Mr. and Mrs. I.D. Cornett of Whitesburg, was promoted to sergeant first class at Long Binh, Vietnam. He has been in Vietnam since July. His wife, the former Ursula Gailer of Germany, and two children are making their home in Whitesburg while he is away.

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Contractor’s bids were sought today to prepare a 16-acre site in west Whitesburg for use by industry. The site work, chiefly leveling of a knoll and development of an access road, will be financed through a grant of $300,000 in Special Impact Funds from the Office of Economic Opportunity and the Farmers Home Administration.

THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 1979

Miners from Beth-Elkhorn Mines No. 25 and No. 26 have accused company officials of engineering the wildcat strike that closed the mines two days last week. “Beth-Elkhorn doesn’t need the coal right now. There are 70 or more empty railroad cars at mine 25 and a pile of coal on the ground. It is to their advantage if the men strike,” said a United Mine Workers Local Union 1468 official. A Beth-Elkhorn official said the charge of manipulating a strike “could not be farther from the truth.”

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Circuit Judge F. Byrd Hogg has ordered a special grand jury to meet beginning March 14 to consider 11 cases presented to the February Grand Jury on which indictments were not returned. Courthouse sources said they could not recall another such jury being called.

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“It is great to see the snow and ice all gone, and be able to get out in your car not being scared to death of an accident,” writes McRoberts correspondent Madelyn Combs. “People were out like bees last Friday, enjoying the mild temperature.”

An article reprinted from the Corbin Tribune tells of former Whitesburg residents Jon Kevin Moore and his sister, Theresa Yates. Mrs. Yates had donated a kidney to her brother, who is recovering at the University of Kentucky Medical Center.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15, 1989

Fayette Circuit Court Judge Charles Tackett ordered South East Coal Co. to cut the price Kentucky Utilities pays for coal by nearly $20 a ton retroactive to 2014, totaling at least $24 million. Six hundred of the company’s employees work at the company’s underground mines in Letcher and Knott counties, and many Letcher residents are worried about the future of the company.

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Johnny Slone, 27, of Doty, was killed Thursday in an underground mining accident. He was electrocuted while working with a power distribution box at a Golden Oak Mining Company mine at Clay Hollow on Camp Branch. The incident was the first fatality this year at a mine in Letcher County, and apparently the first ever at a Golden Oak mine.

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Nineteen persons have been sentenced since November under the county’s antilitter ordinance. Letcher District Judge Larry Collins said those sentenced have received fines of $50 to $500 plus court costs of $57.50. He said people have also been sentenced to pick up 5 to 20 bags of garbage, depending on the severity of their violation.

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Five-year-old James Roger Reynolds of Whitesburg received his Certificate of Naturalization on March 11, and is now a United States citizen. He is an adopted son of James and Wanda Rogers Reynolds and was born in India.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 10, 1999

Blasting by Tampa Electric Company and related companies has damaged foundations, walls and roofs in McRoberts and Dunham, residents told the Letcher County Fiscal Court. Homeowners from both areas showed up at the fiscal court meeting to protest treatment by the coal companies. Residents also complained that their water had turned red after the blasting.

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Development specialists say Jenkins has opportunities and problems in developing economically. Flat land created by strip mining was named as one of the opportunities, says a Lexington landscape architect. He also said it is not known how much of the land is suitable for building.

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The Whitesburg Middle School Yellowjackets, the defending Letcher County Elementary Athletic Association champions, wrapped up an unbeaten regular season by defeating Cowan Elementary School.

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Three films — “Message in a Bottle”, “October Sky” and “Blast from the Past” will play at Whitesburg Cinema this week.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 11, 2009

Officials say they would have kept a large natural gas well from being located on a hill above Jenkins if they had known the well would be drilled beside a water tank that has been a subject for concern since it was built nearly 30 years ago. Contractors for EQT began drilling the well last week on top of a steep hill overlooking the west end of Main Street at Woodland Trail. The site is also home to a large water tank built to replace a similar tank that burst apart in July 1979 and caused the death of Dr. T.N. Perry, who had been sitting on the front porch of his home. The rush of water destroyed a large grocery store, a funeral home and several automobiles.

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After learning that approximately $60,000 in unpaid property taxes is on the books, the Fleming-Neon City Council says it will begin to sell the unpaid tax bills. Mayor Polis said she also will instruct city police to visit businesses to determine if they have purchased a business license and if not, they will be cited and fined.

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The Carcassonne Square Dance will be held Saturday, March 14, at the Carcassonne Community Center. The dance, which is in its 40th year, is the longest running community square dance in Kentucky.

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Sharaye Kincer became the first female player in the short history of Letcher County Central High School to reach the 1,000 point club. She achieved the milestone in a 55-34 win over Perry Central in the first round of the girls’ 14th Region tournament.

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