Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were

Kingdom Come High seniors return from class trip The front page of the May 29, 1959 edition of The Mountain Eagle carried this photograph of seniors from Kingdom Come High School at Linefork. The photo was taken during a class visit to Lookout Mountain, Tennessee.

Kingdom Come High seniors return from class trip The front page of the May 29, 1959 edition of The Mountain Eagle carried this photograph of seniors from Kingdom Come High School at Linefork. The photo was taken during a class visit to Lookout Mountain, Tennessee.

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

THURSDAY, MAY 27, 1909

“The hometown newspaper is one of the most telling and forceful advertisements of a home institution. It speaks for the enterprise of the place, and to strangers it illustrates the spirit and integrity possessed by the people.” — Page One commentary.

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“Some time ago, five of my hogs strayed from my place and have not been seen since,” writes Willie Caudill of Smoot Creek. “… I will pay one dollar for information that leads to their recovery.”

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“Corn hoeing is in full blast,” writes The Mountain Eagle’s Mayking correspondent, who writes anonymously. And, the correspondent adds, “Archie Craft went down to ‘the ‘Burg’ Saturday.”

THURSDAY, MAY 23, 1929

The coal mining operations at Burdine have slowed down to two or three days a week, but regular work is expected to return in a few days.

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John Lucas, charged in the killing of Joe Bates, was sentenced to two years in state prison after being found guilty this week in Letcher Circuit Court.

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Willie Wright was found not guilty of murdering John D. Blair after a short trial in Letcher Circuit Court on Monday.

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Martin Craft was found not guilty Tuesday morning in the murder several months ago of Letcher County Deputy Sheriff W.H. Carter. There were no eyewitnesses to the shooting, which occurred in downtown Whitesburg.

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Coy Smith, 21, was shot and killed Monday evening at the home of Willard Collier, near Eolia. Police officers were unable to arrest Collier despite an extensive search. It is said that Collier was having trouble with members of his family when young Smith interfered and was shot as a result. Collier later surrendered to Prohibition Officer Clark Day.

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Carcassonne High School is now a fully accredited four-year senior high school, according to the State College Association.

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Kentucky River Coal Corporation is the new owner of Consolidated Fuel Corporation of Elsiecoal, which sold for $25,000 yesterday at a court-ordered auction in Whitesburg. Consolidated Fuel’s coal holdings were estimated to be worth at least $1 million.

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The Roxana Coal Company has nearly finished building a railroad to its big cannel coalfield at the head of Kingscreek.

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What is believed to be the largest crowd ever assembled at a “lot sale” in Letcher County was present on Rockhouse last Saturday for the sale of 97 parcels at the Grant Ison place there. The lots, sold by Norman Realty Auction Company of Whitesburg, brought a little more than $4,000.

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Miss Grace Hilsenback has been chosen valedictorian of her class at Jenkins High School and has been awarded a free scholarship to the Chillicothe Business College in Chillicothe, Missouri. She can choose to study shorthand, bookkeeping or telegraphy.

THURSDAY, MAY 26, 1949

The Whitesburg telephone service converted to the dial system Saturday at midnight, and the town now has a telephone service as modern as can be found anywhere. After celebratory “changeover” dinner at the Pine Mountain Resort Hotel, public officials and community leaders toured the new telephone exchange building on Webb Avenue. Mayor Ed Williams then made the first call after the changeover, ringing the town’s former mayor, Emory L. Frazier in Washington, D.C. Frazier now serves as chief clerk of the U.S. Senate.

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High winds Saturday night blew down the Middle Cowan School building. The one-room, wood frame building was constructed about 40 years ago.

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Memorial services were held Sunday in Camden for U.S. Army Private Glenn Mullins, who was killed while on active duty in Normandy, France on February 3, 1945.

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All 40 clerks employed in the four stores operated by the Elkhorn Coal Company returned to work after being on strike since April 1. The were granted an eight-cent hourly wage increase, after which they returned to work at the stores in Fleming, Hemphill, Garrett, and Wayland.

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The marriage of Miss Anita Richardson and Mr. Audra Pigman will take place in Pikeville on Thursday.

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N. Wise’s new department store opened Wednesday on Railroad Street in Neon. Wise, who is one of the oldest dry goods merchants in Neon, came to the town and opened a store in 1914.

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Plans are underway for the construction of a new, modern business building on the vacant site between the Whitesburg Post Office and the Bank of Whitesburg. This property, long an eyesore, is the L.W. Fields property, better known locally as the Frog Pond.

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The Winters mine at Farraday [Thornton] is being commended by the U.S. Bureau of Mines for making several safety improvements. The mine, operated by Consolidation Coal Company, employs 175 men who produce an average of 920 tons of coal per day.

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Mitchell Lou Ladd, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. Mitchell Ladd of Jenkins, is the valedictorian for the 1949 graduating class of Jenkins High School. The salutatorian is Glen Bolling, son of Mr. and Mrs. O.M. Bolling of Dunham.

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Deputy Letcher County Constables Benny Collins, Bradey Collins, and Gene Adkins say they confiscated 93 half-pint bottles of whiskey and 150 cans of beer during a raid on the Tolliver Hardware Store at Neon Junction. The store is operated by George Tolliver, whose trial is set for Saturday in Magistrate J.C. Day’s District Number One Court. Astor Hogg of Harlan represents Mr. Tolliver. The search warrant was issued by Magistrate Day, who also says six men were found gambling in the back of the store.

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Frank Sinatra and Kathryn Grayson star in “The Kissing Bandit,” showing Thursday for one day only at the Kentucky Theatre in Whitesburg.

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Roy Breeding is in the Letcher County Jail after being charged with malicious shooting in the wounding of Ralph Collins at Sawdust Junction, Isom, over the weekend. Collins is being treated at the Seco Hospital. Breeding surrendered to authorities.

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Consolidation Coal Company is planning to open a new coal mine on Rockhouse Creek near Deane. The new mine, set to open in September, will be known as The Hendrix Mine, named in honor or Arthur Ray Hendrix, who was the first Consol employee killed in battle in World War II. The C&O and L&N railroads have completed tracks to the mine opening.

THURSDAY, MAY 28, 1959

Bert Combs carried Letcher County by 264 votes over Lt. Gov. Harry Lee Waterfield in the race for the Democratic nomination for governor. The official count here showed 2,064 votes for Combs to 1,820 for Waterfield. John Robsion Jr. won the statewide election for the Republican nomination for governor, easily winning Letcher County over challenger J. Hamlin, 453 to 84 votes.

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Two Letcher County men who were candidates for statewide offices in the Tuesday primary — Astor Hogg and C.V. Snapp — both were defeated, although each ran strong races here. Hogg, a candidate for attorney general, was defeated by John B. Breckinridge of Lexington. Snapp, a candidate for superintendent of public instruction, was beaten by Douglas F. Miller of Irvine.

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Mrs. J. Huston Westover is the new president of the Whitesburg Woman’s Club.

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Kentucky motorists whose last names begin with letters L through Z must renew their driver’s licenses in June or July.

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The nation’s oldest chain retailer, the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, known to most Americans as A&P, is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. The company now has two stores in Letcher County, in Neon and in Whitesburg, and more than 4,000 stores nationwide.

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Army Private George A. Holloway, 17, son of Mr. and Mrs. William M. Holloway of Turkey Creek, Linefork, obtained a perfect score in a recent proficiency test conducted at Fort Hood, Texas while undergoing basic training. He is the first trainee to record a perfect score on the test since it was initiated 18 months ago.

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Camp Begomi will open for its 19th summer on June 6. The camp, which is operated by the Beefhide Gospel Mission, is located at the head of the left fork of Marshall’s Branch near Burdine.

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Cary Grant and Sophia Loren star in “Houseboat,” showing May 31 and June 1 at Isaac’s Alene Theatre in Whitesburg. The Alene is now equipped with a 50-ton refrigeration system, installed at the cost of $30,000.

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Mr. and Mrs. Owen Wright and young daughter, Myra Alice, have returned to Whitesburg from Charlotte, North Carolina, where they bought Christmas merchandise for the Western Auto store they own and operate on Main Street.

THURSDAY, MAY 22, 1969

Letcher Manufacturing Co. announced it will build a new factory in Letcher County, creating about 100 new jobs. Lois Baker, president of the firm, said a contract has been awarded for construction of a new 40,000-square-foot building. Mrs. Baker said all the furniture production work done by the firm for the federal government will be concentrated in the new structure.

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The Kentucky Water Pollution Control Commission has ordered the City of Whitesburg to make immediate improvements in its sewer system to stop polluting the North Fork of the Kentucky River. The city has until June 1 — less than 10 days — to stop discharging untreated sewage into the river.

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One hundred seventy-four seniors at Whitesburg High School will receive diplomas at commencement exercises on Friday, May 30. Linda Ison is the valedictorian of the class, and Danny Mohn is the salutatorian.

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Photographs in The Mountain Eagle show the launch of rockets built by Roy Crawford Jr. and Ben Gish. Rockets launched in Whitesburg have reached heights of 1,100 feet, coming back down under parachutes that pop open sometimes. The ground crew, members of whom also built rockets that aren’t pictured, includes Robbie Crawford, T. Lee Pigman, Rodney Blanton, Emil Bowen, Ricky Coldiron, John Honeycutt, Fran Newell, and Eddie Adams.

THURSDAY, MAY 17, 1979

The trial of Letcher County Sheriff Vernon Hall, Deputy Oscar Hamm, former State Trooper B.J. Stephens, former Whitesburg City Policeman Bill Jones and Ronald Short continued in Pike Circuit Court. The five are charged with the alleged beating of James Keel. Hall testified that the assault charges were trumped up by the Robert Collins faction of the Democratic Party in Letcher County. The charges, the defense implied, are another chapter in the continuing drama of Letcher County politics, aimed at ousting Hall and replacing him with Neon Chief of Police Carlus Slone, the key eyewitness in the alleged beating of Keel.

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Neon Police Chief Carlus Slone was arrested on the charge of receiving stolen property for allegedly possessing a car stolen in Michigan last spring and licensed April 12 to Slone. State Detective Frank Fleming said Slone had falsified documents when applying for a title for the car. Neon Mayor James Seals said the charge against Slone was trumped up in a program of harassment against the mayor, Slone and Neon Policeman Roe Wright. Slone and Wright are key witnesses for the prosecution in Letcher County Sheriff Vernon’s assault trial.

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Sgt. First Class Arthur Seals recently was assigned as an operations sergeant with the 44th Air Defense Artillery in Korea. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Luther Seals of Mallie.

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Mr. and Mrs. Teddie Dotson of Cromona celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary Sunday at their home. Their five daughters and six sons were present at the family party marking the anniversary, along with 38 grandchildren.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 24, 1989

County Judge/Executive Ruben Watts, Sheriff Ben B. Taylor and County Clerk Charlie Wright won in the Democratic primary election. The Republican candidate for judge is Elbert Lee, and the candidate for sheriff is Steve Banks. Wright will be unopposed in November.

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Fayette Circuit Judge Charles Tackett says he made errors in his ruling ordering South East Coal Co. to pay Kentucky Utilities Co. as much as $60 million for overcharges, and the errors could mean a reduction of at least $6 million. Tackett had ordered South East, one of KU’s major coal suppliers and Letcher County’s largest coal producer, to reduce the price KU pays for coal by nearly $20 a ton, retroactive to 1984.

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In a photograph on the front page of The Mountain Eagle, Fat Monroe, also known as actor Ned Beatty, waits while the film crew rigs a pickup truck for shooting. Beatty, a Kentucky native, is in Whitesburg for the filming of Fat Monroe, an Appalshop film based on a story by Gurney Norman. Beatty’s co-star is 10-year-old William Johnson of Carbon Glow.

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Country music singer Patty Loveless will appear in Whitesburg this September as part of the Mountain Heritage Festival.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 19, 1999

Letcher County may be able to call back laid-off workers by the first of June. The fiscal court laid off county road and bridge department workers on April 21 because money wasn’t available to pay their salaries and to pay bills. Money expected from the state did not arrive on time. Judge/Executive Carroll Smith said the figures show the county probably has enough money to last until the end of this budget year, June 30, but he still plans to be cautious.

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A $72,000 grant to the City of Jenkins will be used to build a bridge and walking trail to Raven Rock, located high on Pine Mountain above Jenkins. The grant from the state will also finance a rock wall and an area where handicapped persons can view the mountain scenery.

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Whitesburg Police will crack down beginning Monday on drivers who don’t buckle their children into child safety restraints. Kentucky’s seat belt law does not allow police to pull over motorists for not having their seat belts fastened, but it does allow them to pull over motorists for not having children buckled up.

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“She’s All That” will play this weekend at the Jeremiah Drive-In. “The Mummy” and “Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace” can be seen at Whitesburg Cinema.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 20, 2009

Arch Coal Inc. said layoffs affecting 85 hourly and salaried miners at its Letcher County operations are the result of the “global economic crisis.” On May 14, the St. Louis-based company gave letters to 66 hourly and 15 salaried employees at its Cumberland River Coal Co. operations here telling them their jobs would end immediately. Arch also said it would no longer reimburse any of its remaining employees in the eastern United States for their health care contributions.

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Police officers, firefighters and other emergency workers are encouraging Letcher County residents to put their street addresses in a visible location so their homes can be found quickly when needed. “People just don’t understand how important it is for emergency personnel to know where people live,” said Tony Watts with Kentucky State Police Post 13 in Hazard. “Seconds turn into minutes and minutes into hours. It could be a matter of life or death.”

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Six-time Grammy winner John Mc- Cutcheon will headline the Seedtime on the Cumberland festival on June 13. The festival is presented by Appalshop.

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The Jenkins High School Lady Cavs softball team finished out the regular season with wins over Letcher County Central High School, Sheldon Clark High School and Pikeville High School.

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