Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907
Did hogs really kill ‘Uncle’ Frank Caudill? Seen above is a story that originally appeared on the front page of the August 22, 1929 edition of The Mountain Eagle. The story, which appears in its entirety on the column at left, indicates that ‘Uncle’ Frank Caudill, a native of Frank’s Creek at Eolia, died after being attacked by a passel of domesticated hogs on a Lynchburg, Virginia farm belonging to his son.

Did hogs really kill ‘Uncle’ Frank Caudill? Seen above is a story that originally appeared on the front page of the August 22, 1929 edition of The Mountain Eagle. The story, which appears in its entirety on the column at left, indicates that ‘Uncle’ Frank Caudill, a native of Frank’s Creek at Eolia, died after being attacked by a passel of domesticated hogs on a Lynchburg, Virginia farm belonging to his son.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 26, 1909

“According to the latest dispatches, there seems to be no doubt that Harlan County will have a railroad in the course of a year of so,” The Mountain Eagle reports this week. “Prospects are also bright for a railroad through the southern part of Letcher County to connect with the Harlan” tracks.

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Predicting that a railroad will be built in Letcher County within “a few years,” a Mountain Eagle editorial calls on young Letcher County men to “be ready for the advent. When the development once comes to the mountains, the wealth here will demand educated brains and willing hands.”

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Fritzi Scheff, the newly wedded wife of author John Fox Jr. of Big Stone Gap, Va., has just closed a contract for a 30-week stage engagement, which will require her to travel from coast to coast.

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A 17-pound catfish was caught on the Poor Fork of the Cumberland River in Letcher County last week. C.D. Wax of Norton, Virginia, landed the whopper.

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Karl E. Davis, who has been employed by The Mountain Eagle for much of its two years of life, has purchased a one-half interest in the paper. He is now listed as publisher. The paper’s founder, Nehemiah M. Webb, remains the editor.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 22, 1929

The body of “Uncle” Frank Caudill, 75, who lived for many years at the head of Frank’s Creek at Eolia, was discovered last Tuesday morning in a pigpen at the Lynchburg, Virginia farm belonging to his son, Luther Caudill. Mr. Caudill was last seen taking a pail of feed to a lot containing 10 large hogs. After he failed to return in a timely manner, family members went looking for him. “Upon reaching the lot, he was found to be dead [with] the hogs making deep inroads into his body — eyes, nose, ears, lips and one hand were gone …,” The Mountain Eagle reports. “Just why the hogs attacked the old man remains a mystery, as it is said the bucket of feed was still untouched. It is also said the doctors gave out a statement that his blood was in excellent condition, and that no trace of fainting or heart failure could be found. Hence, a pure and simple murder by the hogs.”

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Celebration of the opening of the new state road between Pound Gap in Letcher County and Lexington in Fayette County will be held at Hazard on Saturday, August 24. Governor Sampson of Kentucky and Governor Byrd of Virginia will speak at what is expected to be the largest gathering ever assembled in eastern Kentucky.

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Stuart Robinson School, Blackey, opened for its 17th year on August 20.

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The Mountain Eagle has learned of new way to get rid of cabbageworms, which usually infest plants at this time of year. “In the evening, before the dew falls, sprinkle each cabbage head plentifully with wheat flour,” the newspaper advises. “Falling dew makes dough that the worms get on their feet. Then, when the sun comes out the next morning, the dough is baked and there lies Mr. Worm, neatly pasted up and completely done for … with no poison involved.”

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With new miners coming to Elsiecoal each day, it appears the school will soon grow from its current enrollment of 197 students to the 250 mark in the near future.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 24, 1949

A Veterans of Foreign Wars post is being established in Whitesburg. Those veterans who have served overseas and wish to become a charter member of the new VFW post may do so by bringing their discharges and the necessary dues to the post’s next meeting Monday night at 7 p.m. at the Coca-Cola Bottling Plant in Whitesburg.

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American Legion Post 104, Neon, has received a special service certificate from FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, praising the post for its outstanding service to the FBI during World War II.

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Seventeen county schools, including high schools and Fleming and Whitesburg, will open this coming Monday, August 29. Kingdom Come High School opened July 11. The independent Jenkins High School will open in September.

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A new highway postal service will begin September 1 to replace the discontinuance of the Lexington and Fleming trains No. 1 and No. 2, reports Bernard L. Banks, acting postmaster at the Whitesburg Post Office. The highway post office is expected to reach Whitesburg at 5:25 p.m. on the first trip of its run.

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Arrest warrants were issued this week for Letcher County Constable Jody P. Adams, Deputy Constable Brady Collins, and Deputy Constable Lawrence Hall in connection with the shooting and wounding of Joe Bates last Thursday night at Sawdust Junction, Isom. Bates, 55, was shot three times in the intestines while working at the roadhouse he owns and operates. He is being treated at the Fleming Hospital, where staff members say he has a 50-50 chance of recovering. Bates is an uncle of Bert “Sonny” Bates, who was murdered last week at Thornton.

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Funeral services for Bert “Sonny” Bates, 24, were held Saturday at the Whitesburg Presbyterian Church. Bates was killed last week at Thornton. Two brothers, Jesse Earls, 21, and James Earls, 23, both of Sergent, are charged with willful murder in the case. The Earls brothers were freed from jail Tuesday pending action by the Letcher County Grand Jury. Bates, a roadhouse operator, was shot to death on the Thornton bridge last Thursday. His brother, Herman Bates, was wounded in the leg and is being treated in the Fleming Hospital.

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Ruben V. Watts, son of Mr. and Mrs. John C. Watts of Hallie and a graduate of Stuart Robinson School, has been awarded his Bachelor of Science degree in business administration at the Bowling Green College of Commerce in Bowling Green, Ky.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 27, 1959

A Letcher County school bus driver was arrested on a charge of drunkenness during a session of the county board of education on Saturday. Paul Cornett, driver of a bus at Kingdom Come School, was fired immediately by the board, which has a rule that no one known to drink alcoholic beverages can hold a job as bus driver. Cornett, a spectator at the meeting, was picked up by Letcher County Sheriff ’s Deputies Boyd Caudill and Jim Short just after he left the meeting, which was held in the Whitesburg High School gymnasium. Deputy Caudill brought Cornett before the board, where Dr. B.F. Wright, board chairman, and Dr. Lundy Adams, a spectator, examined him. Each doctor looked Cornett over and smelled his breath. “I don’t know what you’ve been drinking, but it’s something sour,” Dr. Wright said. Dr. Adams also pronounced the man drunk, after which he was fired upon the recommendation of Superintendent W.B. Hall. Later, Cornett was fined $10 and costs on a charge of public drunkenness in the court of Magistrate Add Polly.

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First Lieutenant James M. Caudill Jr., of Neon, has been assigned to the Artillery Officers Advanced Course, Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. Caudill, 28, is a graduate of Fleming-Neon High School and Eastern Kentucky State College.

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Twelve new faces greeted the pupils of Jenkins Schools when classes began August 21. The new teachers and their school units are: James Wright and Robert C. Gish, Lower McRoberts; James C. Summers, Mrs. Elizabeth P. Jordan, Ruben Watts, Mrs. Evalyn Adams Smith, Mrs. Joann P. Knight, and Mrs. James C. Summers, Jenkins School; Mrs. Joyce Robinson Hall, Dunham; Mrs. Gwendolyn S. Stroud, Green K. Smith, and Clara M. Clements, Dunham High School. Mrs. Robert C. Gish, who was at Dunham School the first semester of last year, is back in the same position.

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Colonel Narce Whitaker, Roxana, has been assigned to the international headquarters of NATO’s 4th Allied Tactical Air Force. He will serve as Director of Logistics and Administration for the joint French, Canadian, German and United States unit. Prior to his new assignment at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Colonel Whitaker was Chief, Joint Projects Branch for Headquarters, United States European Command in Paris. He has been awarded the Silver Star with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Distinguished Flying Star with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Legion of Merit, Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Commendation Ribbon with one Oak Leaf Cluster. He is a son of Mr. and Mrs. Squire Whitaker, Roxana.

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Nearly 50 Whitesburg girls will lose the privilege of being members of Girl Scouts this year unless some new Scout leaders are found quickly. There are 12 Brownies and two troops of Girl Scouts — one with 20 members and one with 17 members — without leaders. Most of the girls have had previous experience in scouting.

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Four Whitesburg men are competing for the title of the city’s “Man of the Year” for 1959. Department store manager Martin Dawahare, radio broadcaster Don Crosthwaite, banker Herman Hale, and drug store owner Cossie Quillen are nominated for the award, which will be presented Monday night by the Whitesburg Chamber of Commerce.

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Millard “Bill” Baker of Millstone is the new manager of the Whitesburg A&P food store. He replaces Vernon Goff, who left Letcher County for another A&P job in Florida.

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In celebration of its first 50 years, the First Baptist Church of Whitesburg will hold special services this coming Sunday, August 30.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 21, 1969

An ordinance was passed by the Whitesburg City Council making Whitesburg’s new one-way street plan official. The plan designates Main Street as one way going east from the intersection of Bentley Ave. to the intersection of Webb Ave., Bentley Ave. as one way going south from Webb Ave. to Main St., and Webb Ave. as one way from Main St. north to Bentley Ave. Three businessmen, Otis Mohn, Paschal Fields and Paul Kirkland, objected strongly to the new system.

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Whitaker School will be closed this year, and pupils in the area will attend Campbell’s Branch School. Only three one-room schools will remain open in the county — Upper Colly, Carcassonne and Kingdom Come.

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U.S. Air Force Technical Sergeant Jack M. Fleming, son of Mrs. Lilly L. Fleming of Jenkins, has been recognized for helping his unit earn the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm. Sgt. Fleming is an electrical power technician with the 14th Civil Engineering Squadron at Nha Trang Air Base, Vietnam.

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Baking hens are 39 cents a pound at the A&P food store. Eight O’Clock Coffee is $1.68 for a three-pound bag.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 16, 1979

A $9 million to $11 million sewer and water system, serving almost 1,500 households in the upper end of the county, may become a reality within four years as a result of a federal grant program now being composed. The proposed water and sewer project would serve Haymond, Potter’s Fork, Hemphill, Fleming-Neon, McRoberts, Seco and Millstone. The project can be made possible through the combination of a $4.5 million Environmental Protection Agency grant, which the county already has, and a $3 million three-year grant from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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Gas prices in Letcher County have passed the dollar mark and the situation is taking its toll on the economy. Regular gas prices in the county range between 87.5 cents and one dollar a gallon, averaging 94.4 cents. The state average for regular gas is 95.7 cents. Unleaded gas prices are between 96.5 cents and $1.08 cents a gallon, with the county average being a half-cent over a dollar.

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South-East Coal Company laid off 65 more miners last week, according to reports from employees. The company had put nearly 100 of its 700 men out of work two and half months ago, blaming the layoff on a slump in the coal industry.

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“Quilting Women”, an Appalshop film featuring Letcher County quilters, will be shown on Kentucky Educational Television this week.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 23, 1989

Community leaders from Letcher and Harlan counties will meet to discuss U.S. 119, which is the main link between Whitesburg and Cumberland. The road has disappeared from the state’s six-year road plan, and the coalition of community leaders plans “to go and fight for 119,” said Lois Baker, president of the Letcher County group.

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Domestic coal production totaled 19.6 million short tons during the week ending August 12, up 8.2 percent from the short tons produced in the previous week. Domestic coal production so far this year is 582.4 million short tons, 3.1 percent above last year’s production at this point.

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The September issue of McCall’s magazine features a four-page article about Dr. Artie Ann Bates of Blackey. The article is titled “Coal Miner’s Doctor” and subheaded “While most rural communities are losing doctors, a small town in Kentucky gains one — a native daughter who’s come back to the mountains she loves.

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Twenty-five paintings by Cromona artist David Lucas will become a part of the permanent collection of the University of Kentucky Art Museum. The museum’s director, William Hennessey, bought the paintings of miners and mining scenes on a recent visit to Lucas’s home.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 18, 1999

Letcher County isn’t likely to get relief from drought conditions before next week — if then — according to weather forecasters. Eastern Kentucky is nearly 7 inches below normal rainfall. Combined with the 5 inches below normal rainfall in the last five months of last year, that has created a serious drought.

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Letcher and Fleming-Neon high schools have belowaverage dropout rates, the Kentucky Department of Education says. Letcher has the lower of the two — 1.71 percent. Fleming-Neon has a dropout rate of 3.67 and is sixth lowest in the state. The schools are among 16 “high poverty” high schools in the state with below average dropout rates.

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The Isom Days festival will be held Sept. 2-5 at the Isom Fairgrounds and will feature the eighth annual Mountain Heritage Rodeo.

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“Deep Blue Sea”, “Mystery Man” and “Blair Witch Project” are playing this weekend at the Jeremiah Drive- In Theatre.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 19, 2009

Classes remained canceled today at Martha Jane Potter Elementary School as health and school officials wait to learn the test results of a student who may have contracted the H1N1 flu, commonly referred to as swine flu.

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A memorial was unveiled containing the names of 22 miners who were killed in underground mining accidents or who died of black lung. The monument is located near the entrance to the Cumberland Campus of Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College. Funds for it were raised in a year-long effort by Stella Morris, whose husband, David “Bud” Morris, bled to death after he was hit by a piece of mining equipment on Dec. 30, 2005.

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Chuck Johnson and Friends will perform at the Jenkins Homecoming Days Festival.

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