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The Way We Were

Ford Mustang debuts in ’64 The Ford Mustang automobile was officially unveiled by Henry Ford II on April 17, 1964 at the World’s Fair in New York, the same day it hit showrooms nationwide. The 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback Model is shown in this photo taken in September 1964. (AP Photo)

Ford Mustang debuts in ’64 The Ford Mustang automobile was officially unveiled by Henry Ford II on April 17, 1964 at the World’s Fair in New York, the same day it hit showrooms nationwide. The 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback Model is shown in this photo taken in September 1964. (AP Photo)

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

THURSDAY, APRIL 22, 1909

Letcher County Sheriff C.C. Crawford has summoned a jury from Ball’s Fork in Knott County to hear testimony in the case of Floyd Frazier, who is charged with the murder of Mrs. Ellen Flanery. Sheriff Crawford has been directed to summon 60 men from Knott County, from which a jury is to be selected. Frazier has twice stood trial for the crime with which he is charged, the first ending in a hung jury and the second before a jury brought from Floyd County resulting in the death penalty.

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W.H. Blair, an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican Party’s nomination for county judge in last Friday’s primary election, writes that he is now out of the Bull Hole, the location near the top of Pine Mountain where defeated Letcher County candidates go to suffer defeat, and is ready to forgive those citizens who voted against him. “I have just returned from the Bull Hole, and what I saw and heard there is almost beyond description,” writes Blair, who was defeated by H.R. Yonts, 730 votes to 392 votes. “We all got to the Hole about 8 o’clock Saturday morning and, after prayer (if poor defeated candidates can pray) we decided that the men who spent the most money should go down first [and] that the ones who did the most swapping should go down next. The it was decided that the man who received the smallest vote should go last, and after footing up all the totals it was readily seen that I should land on top.” Adds Blair, “To the people who voted against me, I hold no ill will (except in very few instances), as I believe they were honestly deceived, and I feel sure before the November election they will have learned that I was in the right.”

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This week’s edition of The Mountain Eagle was late hitting the streets after the arrest of print shop foreman and typographer Thomas M. Barron. “The arrest was made on a telegram from Georgetown charging [Barron] with a felony,” writes Eagle editor and publisher Nehemiah M. Webb. “Mr. Barron seems to know nothing whatsoever of the charge. He will await in jail here until the arrival of officers from Georgetown.”

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Former Mountain Eagle print shop foreman and typographer Karl E. Davis writes from his new home in Bowling Green that he already misses Letcher County. “All that I am now and all that I hope to be I owe to Whitesburg and Letcher County,” writes Davis. The letter from Davis and the arrest of his replacement on a felony charge from Georgetown has generated the following reply from Eagle editor and publisher Nehemiah M. Webb: “With one of our printers married and gone, another looking for a more congenial place in Louisville, and the other one in jail, it looks like one might as throw up the sponge. If we ever get another, he shall not be arrested by male or by female.”

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John Adkins made his return from the Louisville College of Dentistry a few days ago and is now practicing his profession in Whitesburg.

THURSDAY, APRIL 18, 1929

A gun battle raged for several minutes near Eolia on Sunday morning, resulting in the wounding of both duelists. So far, neither of two, whose names have not been released, has been arrested.

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Hopes are running high in the coalfields in the upper end of Letcher County as word has gotten out that contracts have been reached that will bring at least a year’s regular work in the Elkhorn Corporation’s mines while Consolidation Coal Company’s mines are back to running every day.

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Jimmy Kassem, long one of Letcher County’s leading merchants, is opening a big new dry goods store in Neon.

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Twenty-five seniors will graduate when Whitesburg High School closes for the summer on May 17.

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Unusually cool days and nights have been hard on the early-growing gardens in Letcher County. Another heavy frost is expected tonight.

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Professor Cyrus W. Collins, who taught school for many years at Mayking and Blackey, is the new superintendent of the Falmouth schools, having been selected over 37 other applicants. He was most recently a school principal in Walton, Kentucky.

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The word “acme” kept young Denver Adams, Letcher County’s champion speller, from an opportunity to win Kentucky’s top spelling prize in Louisville. The state championship instead went to Miss Anna Catherine, 14, of Paducah.

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Two male hogs, one red with black spots and one black with white spots, are being held in the City of Whitesburg’s “Stray Pen.” The owner of the two hogs can retrieve them by paying for the cost of this notice and their upkeep to Chief of Police I.E. Kemp.

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Sixty-five house lots will be sold at auction April 27 at Potters Fork, located between Haymond and Jenkins on the Kentucky-Virginia highway. Norman Realty Auction Company of Whitesburg is handling the sale.

THURSDAY, APRIL 21, 1949

The Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad, which operates only one passenger and express train a day between Jenkins and Shelby Junction, is considering the discontinuance of the 28-mile run. The move comes just six weeks after the L&N Railroad cut its passenger service from Whitesburg to just one train per day.

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Murder charges against 17-year-old Charley Fields, who was charged with his parents and another man in the shooting deaths of two Letcher County sheriff ’s deputies, have been dismissed. The charges were dropped after his mother, Mrs. Lona Fields, was found not guilty of murdering Willard Hall and Dave Galloway. The case was heard by a jury of men brought in from Harlan County to hear the evidence. Galloway and Hall were killed at the Fields home on Cumberland River on the night of December 20, 1947. Mrs. Fields admitted shooting the two men but claimed she was acting in self-defense. Two others in addition to Mrs. Fields and her son were charged in connection with the case. Leonard Fields was convicted and sentenced to two 21-year prison terms by a Pike County jury. Willard Collins died before his trial date. The defense argued that Mrs. Fields did the shooting to protect her home and children after the two officers arrived to collect protection money. The defense said Mrs. Fields had been selling whiskey and paid the officers $50 a month not to molest her. A petition for rehearing has been filed on behalf of Mr. Fields.

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James H. Page, 40, of Bottom Fork, was convicted Tuesday of willful murder in connection with the March 6 slaying of Elbert Kincer. Page was sentenced to life in prison. Authorities said Page killed Kincer, of Haymond, and wounded his stepson-in-law, Eugene Johnson, during a shooting spree that occurred over Page’s resentment of his stepdaughter’s marriage to Johnson two weeks before. The shooting took place at the home of Page’s neighbor, A.J. Arrington. Also wounded was Page’s young son.

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Four Letcher County men are reopening the limestone quarry on Pine Mountain. The new business will be called the Letcher Stone and Sand Company. The new owners are Dr. B.F. Wright of Seco, Cro Caudill of Whitesburg, and Robert B. Collins and Steve Ison, both of Isom. The same group will open a sand quarry on top of Pine Mountain.

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Former Letcher County Sheriff J. Mart Potter has died at his home at Isom. He was 74.

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The Jenkins Methodist Church Choir made its first appearance last Sunday in the new robes recently purchased for the 26 members in preparation for Easter services. Meanwhile, the choir is still looking for two more tenor singers.

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The trial of Jasper McFall, a 45-year-old coal miner charged with murdering his wife on Dry Fork in February by beating her with a broken shotgun, is scheduled to begin Friday in Letcher Circuit Court.

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The trial of Ted Meade, charged in the murder of his brother-in-law, Ballard Bentley, began today in Letcher Circuit Court. Meade claims he shot the 26-yearold Bentley after mistaking him for a prowler trying to break into the Bentley home at Bark Camp, McRoberts.

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The Whitesburg Jaycees are working to raise money for a concrete memorial for Letcher County’s World War II dead. The memorial will be erected on the lawn of the Letcher County Courthouse.

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The Blackey Bridge was cleaned and painted “battleship gray” over the weekend.

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The remains of Pfc. John S. Lewis, who was killed in action in Germany during World War II, were returned home to Carbon Glow for reburial. He was 22 years old when he was killed on Christmas Day 1944.

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Construction is underway on a new $300,000 business building in Jenkins that will house a new movie theater and the offices of Consolidation Coal Company. The building, 109 feet by 144 feet, is owned by Allied Investment Corporation.

THURSDAY, APRIL 23, 1959

Representatives of the United Mine Workers of America and truck coal mine operators announced this afternoon that they are hopelessly deadlocked in their discussions after meeting for three hours in the office of Gov. A.B. “Happy” Chandler in Frankfort.

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Three members of the United Mine Workers union have been arrested in connection with the killing of James Otis Adams, 41, who was shot at the Little Shepherd Coal Company ramp in Letcher County last Thursday night. Adams was shot when he drove a loaded coal truck to the ramp, police said. Letcher County Sheriff Johnny Fulton said he doesn’t know who fired the first shot. Gov. A.B. “Happy” Chandler mobilized the National Guard in the strike area, but then ordered them to return to their homes.

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Four of eight men who escaped from the Letcher County Jail on Monday were still at large today.

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Rufus Holbrook of Colson recently finished setting 12,000 trees in conjunction with a plan established by the Soil Conservation office.

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Members of the Jenkins High School senior class left by Greyhound Bus on Sunday for their trip to New York City and Washington, D.C.

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Fain and Johnson Inc. of Lexington submitted the winning bid of $476,000 this week for construction of the University of Kentucky’s extension college at Cumberland. The two-year college will accommodate about 400 students when completed.

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The Rambler American automobile is now on sale for $1,835 at Cook Motor Company in Neon.

THURSDAY, APRIL 17, 1969

“During the past month, The Mountain Eagle’s news columns have reported the deaths in Vietnam of five Letcher County soldiers,” says a Mountain Eagle editorial. “This is a staggering, overwhelming toll — for the families of the soldiers, for other families with men serving in Vietnam, and for the county as a whole. And it is especially distressing because this is a war so old, a war so bitterly yet inconclusively fought, and a war so near its end, according to the reassurances of our government. We would like to believe the five soldiers who died on one month’s combat died for a reason; otherwise the tragedy is unspeakable. But it is terribly hard, listening to our diplomats and our President, to believe that the fighting in Vietnam proves anything now — if it ever did.”

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State Attorney General John B. Breckinridge has ordered 19 coal operators who have failed to comply with workman’s compensation law to cease operations and provide protection for their miners within 10 days. Breckinridge said Monday he had received the names of 22 additional operators who will also be sent “cease and desist” orders by his office. Among the operators are several in Letcher County. They include: William H. Blair, Dan Mining Co., Whitesburg; Lloyd Brown, Pole Coal Co., Mines 4 and 5, Crown; Willard Collins, C&C Coal Co., Isom; Milford Craft, M&P Coal Co., Mines 6 and 7, Jenkins; Quinton Ison, Linefork Coal Co., Linefork; Logan Collins, Rickey Coal Co., Mines 6 and 8, Colson; and Robert Brown, B&A Coal Co., Whitesburg.

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The Daniel Boone Hotel is expected to be ready for reopening sometime this week. The hotel has been extensively remodeled during the past year. It will have 40 rooms for rent.

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An unidentified man posing as a “Social Security doctor” is apparently making a tidy profit in eastern Kentucky by going door to door in various communities and selling medicines to elderly people who believe he represents the government.

THURSDAY, APRIL 12, 1979

A sizeable area of land encircling Whitesburg is included in a proposed annexation description approved by the city council. The planned redrawn city limits will run south of the bypass, along the ridge top following the North Fork of the Kentucky River. The proposed limits will also include Pine Mountain Junction and Tunnel Hill on the east side of town, the upper end of Solomon Branch to the north and Caudilltown on the west.

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Beth-Elkhorn Coal’s Mine No. 22 will probably be in operation again by next month, Superintendent of Industrial Relations Ray Mullins said. About 45 workers should be back on the job there by the end of April, Mullins said. The mine, located at Deane, has been shut down since the first of the year. At that time, more than 230 employees were laid off.

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Letcher and Harlan counties are within the 50-mile danger circle surrounding a power plant now under construction near Kingsport, Tenn., and a Kentucky agency said this week it is “preparing plans that will protect Kentuckians living in the path of radioactive fallout” from this and other plants near the state’s borders.

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The last day of school for students at Letcher Elementary School and Letcher High School has been rescheduled for June 1 by the Letcher County Board of Education. For all other schools in the county system, May 31 is the last day for classes. The originally planned closing date was May 14 but bad weather made it necessary to close schools.

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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 19, 1989

Eleven Kentucky coal companies have filed a class action lawsuit against the state Revenue Cabinet over the controversial unmined minerals tax. The lawsuit seeks to halt the state’s attempts to compile extensive information to collect the tax, which raised the levy for landowners who have unmined minerals, including coal, beneath their property.

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Jim Webb, who hosts a WMMT radio show called “Duck Soup” as “The Ducktor”, has footed the bill for duck-crossing signs to be placed where a street runs near the Kentucky River. The Ducktor raised $71.01 in small donations from his radio listeners to pay for the signs.

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The Letcher County Board of Education has cut the salaries of teachers in the special program for gifted and talented students and the program for homebound students. At the same meeting, the board voted to raise salaries of two football coaches.

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The Letcher County Clean Community Program has taken on the Little Shepherd Trail as a project, and will begin a cleanup of the trail. The organization also wants to refurbish the picnic area and overlooks on the trail.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 14, 1999

Judge/Executive Carroll Smith told the other five members of the fiscal court that the county may run out of operating money before the current fiscal year ends on June 30. Smith said state law requires the county to stop providing some services if the money does run out. Smith has warned past and present magistrates since late last year that they might be spending more money than was available to the county for the current fiscal year.

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A forest fire burned thousands of acres of woodlands on Pine Mountain and the surrounding area April 7 and 8, forest rangers said. Firefighters were called to the blaze at 2 p.m., April 7, and fought the fire until the next day. No homes were lost as a result of the fire.

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Letcher County libraries will get 14 computers for the public through a grant from the Gates Library Foundation. The grant for $46,677 will pay for two computers each at libraries in Whitesburg and Neon, and five computers each at libraries in Jenkins and Blackey.

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“Forces of Nature” and “The Out of Towners” are playing at Cinema I and II this week.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15, 2009

Kinzer Drilling Company of Floyd County has been sued for allegedly destroying a water well shared among six Little Cowan residents. The company is charged with being “grossly negligent, reckless and wanton when they drilled” a gas well near a “riparian” well. The suit says gas from Kinzer’s well has polluted “the water well to the point that you can hear (gas) hissing and bubbling in the water and at the bottom of the well.”

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For the first time in more than 40 years, Jenkins is being left without a hospital. Kingsport-based Wellmont Health System says it will no longer operate 25-bed Jenkins Community Hospital and will sell the facility’s real estate, equipment and fixed assets to Appalachian Regional Healthcare. ARH said it will continue to offer primary care physician services at Jenkins, but will use the 82-bed Whitesburg ARH for patients who need hospitalization.

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Whitesburg police are looking for information about three separate thefts that occurred in the last month. A trailer containing tools was taken from the Super 8 motel parking lot on March 17. The Tobacco Store owned by Jerry Nantz on River Road was broken into on April 4 and several cartons of cigarettes and other tobacco products worth between $2,500 and $3,500 were taken. About $5,600 worth of stereo equipment and commercial upholstery material was stolen from a unit of Childers’ Self Storage located near the Letcher County Vocational School on April 5.

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The 18th annual reunion of Pine Creek School students and teachers will be held May 22-23 behind the trailer at Fishpond Lake.

One response to “The Way We Were”

  1. Pam.shingler@gmail.com says:

    The item about Jim Webb raising money for duck signs brought a smile and tears.

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