Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 1909

Letcher County Justice of the Peace Henry T. Day reports that he has just finished work on the roads across Pine Mountain and Black Mountain as he was directed by his fellow members of the Letcher Fiscal Court. “From what Mr. Day tells us and from what we have learned from others, those two roads are now in excellent condition,” The Mountain Eagle reports. Day says the cost of putting the two roads in good condition will be about $350.

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A leading candidate for the office of Letcher County Attorney isn’t limiting his campaigning to the men of the county who are eligible to vote. In addition to the men who can vote, R. Monroe Fields is also inviting women and other ineligible voters to hear him speak at the Letcher County Courthouse at 10 p.m. on September 13. “Not only do I want the voters to come and hear me, but the women and young men, also,” Fields tells The Mountain Eagle. “I have something to say to the good mothers of Letcher County — and to the young men — as well as to the voters.”

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S.E. Baker of Whitesburg is a candidate for the office of Circuit Judge in the 33rd Judicial Circuit, which is comprised of Letcher, Leslie, Owsley and Perry counties. The election will be held November 2.

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The wife of Henry Youtsey has filed for divorce. Youtsey is serving a life sentence in prison for complicity in the assassination of Kentucky Governor William J. Goebel, the Democrat who served as the state’s 34th governor before he was gunned down on February 3, 1900, after only four days in office.

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Engineers are surveying land near the mouth to Turkey Creek at Linefork, apparently an indication there is no foolishness in reports of a project to build a new railroad line up Linefork and into Harlan County.

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The cost of mailing a registered letter or package in the United States is expected to rise to 10 cents from the current rate of 8 cents, which has been in effect since 1893.

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Col. L.N.H. Salyer’s Kentucky Hotel in Whitesburg says it is paying “special attention to the traveling man.” The hotel’s rates are $1 per day.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 29, 1929

The Zimmerman-Marlowe Coal Company, owned by George H. Zimmerman and M.K. Marlowe, is selling 20 houses and 100 lots at Whitaker, a community located between Seco and Neon and “located in the heart of the greatest and best coalfields of the South (and) within sight of Seco, Neon, Haymond and 10 minutes’ drive to Jenkins, Fleming, and McRoberts.” The sale, set for Saturday, September 7, is being coordinated by the Norman Realty Auction Company of Whitesburg.

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Leonard Gilliam, the young man who has been on trial in Letcher Circuit Court this week in the killing of Tinsley Fields while the two were in a “drunken row” on Big Cowan last Christmas, was found guilty today and sentenced to two years in the state penitentiary.

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A Letcher Circuit Court jury deliberated evidence for 10 minutes Monday before finding Willard Collier guilty of murdering Coy Smith of Eolia about six months ago at Smith’s home. Collier, 38, also of Eolia, was sentenced to 15 years in the state penitentiary. Collier, the married father of several children, is well-connected across Letcher County.

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Nehemiah M. Webb, the founding editor and publisher of The Mountain Eagle, says the newspaper is officially 22 years old today, its first edition having been printed on August 29, 1907. Writes Webb: “Twenty-two years is no short stretch as measured in the lives of people. In that time infants grow into manhood and womanhood; young men become gray with age and the advanced in years pass off the stage and take their places with the innumerable host fated never to return.”

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A&P Food Store is selling three bottles of Canada Dry Ginger Ale for 50 cents. Sandwich bread is now on sale for 11 cents per loaf.

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The Stuart Robinson School is opening salesroom in the Presbyterian Church in Whitesburg. The store, which will specialized in clothing, will open on Wednesday, September 4 at 9 a.m.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 1949

Enrollment at Jenkins High School has grown to 283 this year, up from 250 last year. Superintendent C.V. Snapp also reports an increase in enrollment in the Jenkins school district’s Negro schools from 160 last year to 176 this year. Snapp says the district has hired 14 new teachers this year.

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The Whitesburg American Legion this week purchased property on Cowan Ridge of Pine Mountain. The land, which belonged to Ray Biggerstaff, will be the building site for the future home of Douglas Day Post 152, with construction of the new building expected to begin within 10 days. Until the clubhouse is built the post will continue to hold meetings at the Letcher County Courthouse.

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The Whitesburg Veterans of Foreign Wars post closed its charter this week after signing up 55 charter members. Kyle Campbell is the post commander. Post meetings will continue to be held in the Coca-Cola Bottling Company until land on which to build a clubhouse is found.

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Robert Fields has been fined $150 and sentenced to 60 days in jail for operating a roadhouse on Sandlick without a license.

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Work on Whitesburg’s new water system is rapidly going forward as all of the wooden lines have been removed and replaced by cast-iron pipes.

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The new building for the R.H. Hobbs 5 & 10 Cent Store will be soon be open on Main Street in Whitesburg, says store manager Jack Cox.

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As this weekend marks the 10th anniversary of the beginning of World War II and the fourth anniversary of the war’s ending, The Mountain Eagle lists the names of 149 Letcher County soldiers who were killed during the three and one-half years the United States was involved in the conflict that began with “Hitler’s hordes” marching into Poland on September 1, 1939, and ended with the surrender of Japan on September 2, 1945.

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Neon-Fleming High School Principal William B. Hall entertained the school’s faculty with a chicken dinner in the school’s newly-decorated lunchroom. The faculty of Fleming Grade School was also invited. Also present was Letcher Schools Superintended Martha Jane Potter.

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Henry Fonda, John Wayne and Shirley Temple star in director John Ford’s 1948 award-winning movie “Fort Apache,” showing Thursday and Friday at the Elinda Ann Drive-In Theatre in Whitesburg. Saturday’s move is “The Lady From Shanghai,” a 1947 crime drama starring Rita Hayworth and Orson Welles, who also directs.

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Cary Grant and Betsy Drake star in the 1948 film “Every Girl Should Be Married,” showing September 4-5 at Haymond Theatre in Cromona.

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Pepsi-Cola is now available in 12-ounce bottles.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 1959

The Whitesburg City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to protest Kentucky Power Company’s plans to change its rate schedule, including a proposed increase in the monthly minimum charge from $1 to $2.

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With the help of three young ministers, the Presbyterian churches in Letcher County are now thriving. Contributing to the success are Tom Bumpas at the Graham Memorial Presbyterian Church in Whitesburg, Pierre Burns at Isom and Sandlick, and Bob Bullard at Blackey.

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Most Letcher County residents won’t get to see Miss Kentucky Carol Brown perform in the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, but they can see the Whitesburg woman model the clothes she will wear in the pageant during a special showing here tonight (Thursday) in the chapel of Craft Funeral Home, Whitesburg. Admission is $1 per person, with all proceeds going to help defray the cost of Miss Brown’s trip to New Jersey for the pageant.

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More than 700 persons attended the annual Adams-Craft-Webb Reunion held Sunday at the Mayking Cemetery. The group included Bert T. Combs, Democratic candidate for Kentucky governor, and Pleas Mobley, the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor.

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Mountain Eagle Publisher Thomas E. Gish has accepted an appointment as director of public information for the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission in Frankfort. Gish will assist in the drafting, editing and publication of reports to the 1960 Kentucky General Assembly on research projects carried out by the Commission during the past two years. Chief of these will be a series of 26 reports covering a proposed new criminal code, which would guide court procedures in criminal cases. Gish’s wife, Pat, will remain in Whitesburg to operate the Eagle. There announcement was made in Frankfort, where Mr. and Mrs. Gish were overnight guests of Lt. Gov. Harry Lee Waterfield and Mrs. Waterfield at the Old Governor’s Mansion.

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State conservation officer Bill Long says the current squirrel hunting season in Letcher County is a good one, especially in the Blackey area.

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Mr. and Mrs. Jack Breeding of Isom announce the birth of a daughter, Sherie Marie, who was born August 2 at Whitesburg Memorial Hospital, weighing in a seven pounds and eight ounces.

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A Mountain Eagle editorial praises South-East Coal Company, which is developing two new rail mines in the Western end of Letcher County. The South-East Number Four mine, with its main portal on the head of Smoot Creek and rail loading point at Polly, is expected to employ about 300 men by late 1961. The South-East Number Five mine, which started development last month near Linefork, will also employ at least 300 men. South-East Coal has also purchased the hillside east of the drive-in theater in Whitesburg and is in the process of developing the property for as a housing subdivision. “The Mountain Eagle has always backed every effort to bring new industry to Letcher County. Let us not neglect and lose through default the only industry we now have,” the editorial says.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 28, 1969

Bethlehem Steel Corp. has announced plans to strip-mine parts of its vast holdings in eastern Kentucky. Within the next few years, the Elkhorn division, headquartered in Jenkins, will develop two new underground mines and begin strip-mining operations in Pike and Letcher counties.

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The old Sharon Heights Hospital property in Jenkins will become a 50- bed nursing home if a Letcher County group, Letcher County Golden Years Rest Home, is successful in its plans. The group has obtained a charter as a non-profit organization, and will ask the Kentucky River Development District for a grant of $116,000 to remodel the hospital property.

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U.S. Air Force Captain LeRoy Stallard, son of Mrs. Dona Adams of Whitesburg, has been decorated with the Air Medal for air action in Southeast Asia. Captain Stallard, a pilot, was cited for his outstanding airmanship and courage on successful and important missions completed under hazardous conditions. He is a graduate of Whitesburg High School.

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The Whitesburg High School Yellowjackets will play their first home game of the season Labor Day at 8 p.m. against Wheelwright.

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The Jenkins Cavaliers open their season at home against the Elkhorn City Cougars on August 30.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 1979

The Letcher County Grand Jury probe into the Love’s Branch road project ended with indictments against County Judge/ Executive Robert Collins and Magistrates George Arthur Adams, Billy Keel and Lee Hogg. Collins was charged with furnishing explosive devices used on the road. He and the magistrates were charged with malfeasance of office by allowing the use of and approving the use of Letcher County employees and equipment to build a road on private property. Reconstruction of the road is being paid for by USACO, a German-owned corporation, which needs access to a site where the company plans to build a tipple, a coal washer and a coal gasification and liquefaction plant. Collins signed an agreement with USACO to rebuild the road at the company’s expense.

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Letcher County Sheriff Vernon Hall was arrested and charged with assault and terroristic threatening in connection with the beating of Bobby Hoover from Knott County. Hoover, a friend of Hall’s recently divorced wife, was stopped by the sheriff and three deputies at Millstone. Mrs. Hall was in Hoover’s car at the time. Hoover said Hall repeatedly struck him with a pistol, although he was not resisting arrest and that Hall threatened to kill him.

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Beth-Elkhorn Coal’s 1,500 to 1,600 employees remain out on strike as the result of a dispute at Mine 21. The strike began over the hiring of a non-union miner, and the placing of eight men on suspension and pending termination.

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Whitesburg native Lt. Colonel Bert R. Francis recently assumed command of the Second Battalion of the 10th Marine Regiment. The son of Sabina Francis of Whitesburg, Francis went to Vietnam in 1966 where he was promoted to captain and received the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V” and the Combat Action Ribbon. During a second Vietnam tour, he was awarded the Bronze Star with Combat “V”. He is married to the former Arlayne Collins of Whitesburg.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 30, 1989

Saying the county is running out of money, the Letcher Fiscal Court has suspended paying its bills. Judge/Executive Ruben Watts said the county hasn’t received its coal severance tax payments from the state since early this year. County officials say the state keeps telling them the check is in the mail, but so far nothing has arrived.

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Belinda Mason has been chosen to receive the Mountain Heritage Festival’s Humanitarian Award for 1989. She is the daughter of state Rep. Paul Mason of Whitesburg. In 1987, she received blood transfusions during the birth of her son and later learned the blood had been contaminated with the AIDS virus. She was elected president of the National Association of People with AIDS this year, and President Bush named Mason to the 14-member President’s Commission on AIDS last month.

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The Fleming-Neon Pirates defeated the Jenkins Cavaliers 28-0, as the Cavaliers fell to 1-1. The Pirates will travel to Pikeville Friday to meet the defending district and state champion Panthers.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 25, 1999

Wells from Jenkins to Blackey and many creeks in the county have gone dry from lack of rainfall. The City of Whitesburg is asking residents to conserve water voluntarily, and outdoor burning has been banned in the county until further notice.

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The school facilities plan for Letcher County will continue to call for two high schools, despite the recommendation of the local planning committee that the district build one central high school. The existing facilities plan envisions building one high school first, then a second two years later. School officials said the second high school would probably not be built unless enrollment increases enough to require it.

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Floyd Byrd Hogg, 77, who served as Letcher Circuit Judge for nearly 20 years, died August 21 at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Lexington. Among the cases Hogg presided over was one involving the Eastover Mine strike in Harlan County, and the case in which Benny Hodge and Roger Epperson were sentenced to death for the murder of Tammy Acker of Fleming- Neon in 1985.

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Retired teacher Josephine Vanover Sanders will be grand marshal of the Jenkins Day parade August 28. She will also receive a plaque recognizing her years as a teacher in the Jenkins schools.

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Whitesburg native Brian Moore is featured in an article in the Lexington Herald-Leader about his role in commercial jingles. He calls himself “King of the Jingle” and can be heard on Lexington radio stations singing many jingles.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 26, 2009

Classes at Cowan Elementary School have been cancelled for the remainder of the week after more than 60 students were absent on August 25, said Letcher County Schools Supt. Anna Craft. Craft said some students had flu-like symptoms and others may have a stomach virus. Classes were cancelled at Martha Jane Potter Elementary School Aug. 18 through Aug. 21 after a parent notified the school system that a child possible had the H1N1 flu, commonly referred to as swine flu. Two students at MJP tested positive for H1N1.

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Ralph Stanley II will perform at the Jenkins Homecoming Days Festival on Aug. 29. The headliner on Aug. 27 will be Tim Michaels and the Drillers, and on Aug. 28 it will be Marlow Tackett.

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