Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

THURSDAY, APRIL 8, 1909

This edition of The Mountain Eagle could not be located.

THURSDAY, APRIL 3, 1919

This edition of The Mountain Eagle could not be located.

THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 1929

This edition of The Mountain Eagle could not be located.

THURSDAY, APRIL 6, 1939

This edition of The Mountain Eagle could not be located.

THURSDAY, APRIL 7, 1949

The April Letcher County Grand Jury has returned 49 indictments, including three for murder. J.M. Page Jr. and James Page, his son, are indicted on charges of willful murder and malicious shooting with the intent to kill in connection with the March 6 death of Elbert Kincer of Haymond. Mrs. Hattie Cook, Camp Branch, is indicted for willful murder in the February 26 death of her husband, Ed Cook, at their home. Jasper McFall is indicted for willful murder in the February 17 slaying of his wife.

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A Kingdom Come woman and three of her sons are being held in the Letcher County Jail in connection with the disappearance of the woman’s husband, Herman Ison. Sheriff Herman Combs said Mrs. Ison and her sons, Ruben, 18, Bruce, 16, and Luther, 14, were arrested Wednesday after a fourth son, 11-year-old Albert, told a schoolmate a tale of how his father had been killed and buried behind the family’s store. Combs said friends and family have been searching for Herman Ison, 50, since March 5.

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The site formerly occupied by the R.H. Hobbs Store and Quillen Drug Store on Main Street in Whitesburg has been purchased by R.H. Hobbs, who says he will build a new store at the location. The former Hobbs and Quillen Drug stores were destroyed when fire swept through the J.B. Dick building, which was built in 1929. Mr. Hobbs says the new store will be modern in every detail, including fluorescent lighting and air-conditioning.

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Letcher Circuit Judge Sam Ward this week ordered the destruction of four slot machines confiscated from a roadhouse at Thornton.

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Tepper’s Department Store on Main Street in Whitesburg has purchased a full-page ad in this week’s edition of The Mountain Eagle encouraging shoppers to come in and take advantage of a “fire sale,” which is being held even though the store’s management says the damage from the R.H. Hobbs fire is mostly due to smoke.

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A U.S. Coast Guard recruiter will visit Letcher County next week with the hope of persuading young men aged 17 to 25 to join that branch of the military. He is scheduled to make stops in Whitesburg, Seco, Neon, Fleming, McRoberts, Jenkins and Burdine.

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Dr. Boaz Adkins, retired dentist and Spanish American War veteran from Whitesburg, announces he will seek the Democratic nomination for the office of Letcher County Clerk.

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The remains of Private James M. Frazier, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Frazier of Premium, were returned to Letcher County for burial on Saturday, nearly five years after he was killed in action in France. Private Frazier, whose remains were laid to rest in the Frazier Cemetery at Premium, was 25-1/2 years old when he was killed in service of his country.

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The Jenkins High School Band received the rating of Superior in 10 or 12 events held in the regional band festival held at Harlan on April 2. “The best high school band I have heard in years!” exclaimed one of two judges who gave the JHS band a rating of Superior-Plus. The Jenkins band now moves on to the state contest in Lexington next month.

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The Whitesburg High School Band, under the baton of Hugh Adams, was rated “superior” in the regional band festival held at Harlan on April 2. The band is now eligible to participate in the state contest in Lexington on May 21.

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Marriage licenses recorded in the office of the Letcher County Clerk between March 31 and April 5 include one issued to Bill Combs, 25, of Ermine, and Betty Jo Picklesimer, 23, of Whitesburg.

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The Chili Bowl restaurant in Neon has been remodeled into a “semi-cafeteria.”

THURSDAY, APRIL 9, 1959

Explosions, apparently deliberately set, damaged equipment at two non-union coal company ramps in Letcher County this week. The latest blast, which destroyed a $15,000 shaker screen, occurred about 3:15 a.m. today at the Isom Coal Company Inc. ramp at Isom. Herman Combs Jr. of Whitesburg owns the firm. On Wednesday morning, a dynamite magazine at a ramp at Blackey operated by Roland Price was exploded, damaging a scale and scale house at the ramp.

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Martin Dawahare, comptroller of Dawahare’s Inc. of Whitesburg, will head the Whitesburg Junior Chamber of Commerce for the coming year.

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William Reed Hall, son of Ivan and Shirley Hall, recently celebrated his third birthday with a group of little friends at the Whitesburg Presbyterian Church,

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Lloyd Hodge, star football player at the University of Kentucky, was a guest of his family at Mayking last weekend.

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Fleming-Neon High School Principal Roy T. Reasor will speak about county schools over radio stations WTCW of Whitesburg and WNKY of Neon on Sunday, April 12, at 2:45 p.m. and 4:45 p.m., respectively.

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A $195,000 school revenue bond issue to finance construction of the Fleming- Neon High School was sold here this week for 4.89 percent interest. The low bidder was Charles H. Hinch Company Incorporated of Cincinnati. Other bidders were James M. Caudill, Neon, who bid 5 percent, and F.L. Dupree and Company of Harlan, who bid 5.3596 percent. The bids were lower than had been expected.

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Pigman Brothers Cleaners have completed a new vault for storage of woolens and furs. The vault, located behind the firm’s cleaning plant in Whitesburg, is of fireproof construction with a two-hour fireproof door. Previously, Whitesburg had no storage vault.

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Four Letcher County high school basketball players have been named to the All-Eastern Kentucky Mountain Conference Team. They are Charles Hall, Whitesburg; Clarence Baker, Fleming; and Nicky Dann and Ross Chaney, Jenkins.

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The Kentucky Court of Appeals has set a $15,000 judgment in the death of a Letcher County man aside. The court reversed a decision by a Letcher Circuit Court jury, which had decided the L&N Railroad must pay the money to the estate of John A. Hall, who was struck and killed by an L&N train as he was digging between the rails. The court ruled that Hall “could have extricated himself from the danger at any moment until he was struck.”

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Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman and Burl Ives star in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” showing April 12-15 at Isaac’s Alene Theatre in Whitesburg.

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Dorothy Malone and Errol Flynn star in “Too Much, Too Soon,” showing Saturday at the Elinda Ann Drive-In in Whitesburg. The film is based on the autobiography of actress Diana Barrymore and author Gerold Frank.

THURSDAY, APRIL 3, 1969

On Friday, Letcher County buried its second victim of the war in Vietnam within a two-week period. Funeral services were held for SP4 Delmer Virgil Ashbrook, who was killed near Saigon on March 18, the eve of his 21st birthday. He was a radio operator with the 39th Infantry of the 9th Infantry Division. Funeral services were held March 25 for SP 4 Donnie Wayne Caudill, 21, who was killed in Vietnam on March 13.

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Letcher County may set up a countywide garbage collection and disposal system within the next few months. County Judge James M. Caudill confirmed reports he has been negotiating with representatives of the state health department, the Kentucky Program Development Office, the Department of Economic Security, and the mayors of Whitesburg, Jenkins and Neon concerning the proposed development.

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“Mrs. Ben Franklin, who is in her 80’s, has her fourth quilt of this winter in her hoop quilting frames,” writes Millstone correspondent Mabel Kiser. “She amazes me, for with all the work she has to do, caring for her husband who is sick, doing her own housework, she still finds time to make quilts. And as for all of you who have made quilts, you know that this is much easier said than done.”

THURSDAY, MARCH 29, 1979

Unemployment in Letcher County skyrocketed to a whopping 16.2 percent in January, making it the highest unemployment figure for any January since the Department for Human Resources began tracking unemployment by county in 1971. The figure is almost 50 percent higher than the January 1978 rate of 11.4 percent.

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Fifty more miners are out of work in Letcher County with the shutdown of Lake Coal Company March 14. Lake Coal Company’s general manager, Frank Delzer, said the lay-offs were the result of an inability to get large ton coal cars from L&N Railroad. Delzer said that while L&N can supply “plenty of smaller cars, there is a shortage of 100-ton hopper cars.”

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The Department of Transportation will let bids on the proposed Whitesburg bypass on April 20. Officials said the department plans to break ground on the project “as soon as possible.”

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“Harper Valley PTA” is playing Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Alene Theatre in Whitesburg.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 5, 1989

Writing the about economic development of wood products taking place in southwestern Virginia and eastern Tennessee, attorney and author Harry M. Caudill writes, “We should consider the wide range of jobs that will be created. There will have to be crews of loggers to cut down the trees and reduce them to logs. Roads will be built at many locations to bring logs to the highways. Truckers will haul them from the loading sites to sawmills … Next will come the high-skill process of joining the pieces together and painting or otherwise finishing their surfaces. Finally trucks and trains will haul the finished products to wholesalers.”

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The state Department of Local Government has approved a $7,250 grant to Fleming-Neon for its recreation park. The money will be used to build sidewalks and steps. The park is located along KY 343 in Fleming.

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The Letcher Grand Jury criticized the school system’s distribution of computers among schools in the county. Twenty IBM personal computers were allocated to Kingdom Come Elementary School after the students’ parents raised $5,000 to help pay for them. The remaining $15,000 was provided by the school board. The jury visited the school and found that of the 20 computers, 19 were not being used.

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Playing at Whitesburg I and II are “Rain Man” starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise and “Dream A Little Dream”.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 31, 1999

Veterans will be able to obtain Veteran Affairs medical services at Mountain Comprehensive Health Corp. under a demonstration project approved by the federal government. The program at MCHC will be one of two in the nation. There are nearly 2,239 veterans in Letcher County, according to Wid Page, Letcher County services officer for the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs. Those veterans now have to go to Lexington, Prestonsburg, Huntington, W.Va., Knoxville, Tenn., or Johnson City, Tenn., to obtain medical services from the VA.

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A broken pipeline spilled 2,100 gallons of crude oil at Taulbee Branch March 23. A Kentucky West Virginia Gas Co. employee reported the spill from an above-ground pipeline that delivers oil from a well to a storage tank. The well is owned by Equitable Resources Exploration.

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Be sure to set your clocks and watches ahead one hour at 2 a.m., Sunday, April 4, when Daylight Savings Time begins.

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The Jenkins Lady Cavaliers and the Whitesburg Lady ’Jackets wrapped up the opening week of the softball season with perfect records. The Fleming-Neon Lady Pirates split a pair of games last week, defeating visiting Hazard 8-5 and then losing 12-2 to Elkhorn City. The defending 52nd District champions, the Letcher Lady Eagles, had their two games postponed last week.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1, 2009

The Whitesburg City Council will decide later this month whether to allow the Letcher County Conservation District to demolish the old KYVA Motor Company building. The conservation district bought the 83-year-old building in 2006 for $85,000. Its board of directors decided it would be more feasible to knock down the downtown structure and build a smaller, simpler one. Whitesburg Mayor James W. Craft declared a moratorium on the demolition in May 2007, citing the building’s listing on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Whitesburg Historic District listing.

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The state Public Service Commission has agreed to allow East Kentucky Power Cooperative to raise its wholesale rates to increase annual revenue by $59.5 million. The increase will affect customers of Cumberland Valley Electric who live in the Cumberland River area of Letcher County. The rate increase will be about $5.60 a month for average residential customers.

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John Calipari has accepted the job of the University of Kentucky basketball coach. He will receive an eight-year, $31.65 million deal plus incentives.

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“If your budget is stretched thin, this may be the year that you need to give some thought to growing some of the stuff you eat,” writes Mountain Eagle columnist Ike Adams. “But don’t think very long. Just get off your lazy fat behind and do it.”

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