Whitesburg KY

The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years



July 17, 1958

The Whitesburg Development Association called today for a general cleanup in town which would feature the tearing down of shacks, garages, toilets, chicken coops or other buildings no longer in use.

Circuit Clerk W.L. Stallard Jr. asked Letcher County drivers this week to come to his office as soon as possible to obtain their driver’s licenses. Stallard said July 31 is the last day for getting new licenses.

Dr. B.F. Wright flatly denied today that he has delayed construction on a new school building in the lower end of Letcher County. The denial is contained in a statement issued by Wright, a member of the Letcher County School Board, in reply to comments last week by School Supt. W.B. Hall. Hall said the building would have been built by now if it wasn’t for Wright.

Sirloin steak is on sale at the A&P grocery for 89 cents a pound. Stewing hens are 45 cents a pound.

July 18, 1968

A record $358,511 was paid out in Social Security cash benefits to 5,554 residents of Letcher County for February, according to James F. Bowman, Hazard Social Security district manager, an increase of $60,545 over the amount paid out for December 1966.

Effective July 27, all Saturday window service at the post office in Whitesburg will be discontinued, except that a general delivery window will be open from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The modern, new Letcher County Vocational School will open August 26. Most of the equipment has already arrived and instructors are at work preparing for the fall school term.

Mike Reitz’s four-hit pitching, backed by the clutch hitting of Danny Day, carried Whitesburg to a 6-4 victory over Hazard. Day’s bases loaded single in the seventh inning with two out erased a 3-2 deficit to give Whitesburg a 4-3 edge.

July 20, 1978

A contract for construction of the 2.2 mile Whitesburg Bypass (KY 15) has been awarded by state Transportation Secretary Calvin Grayson, following the Bureau of Highways’ June 23 bid-letting. The contract was awarded to S.J. Groves & Sons of Minneapolis, Minn., on a bid of $13,370,766.

An official of Blue Diamond Coal Co. said this week that a shortage of coal cars has forced the firm to lay off “10 to 12 percent” of its workforce at Scotia Coal Co. and the Leatherwood Mine in Perry County, and to shorten work weeks recently. Around 123 Blue Diamond miners are off work now.

Striking Stearns miners celebrated the second anniversary of their drive to win United Mine Workers representation surrounded by support from steelworkers, autoworkers, and street theater actors at a rally held Saturday at Whitley City.

July 20, 1988

Three Letcher County schools will be renovated next year with money from a new state bond issue. The Letcher County Board of Education voted last week to begin work on Fleming-Neon High School, Arlie Boggs Elementary School and the classrooms in the Whitesburg High School gymnasium.

Jenkins city and Letcher County officials say it will be the fault of CSX Railroad if Number 2 Bottom at Burdine floods again. In repairing the railroad tracks through Burdine in Jenkins last week, CSX employees dumped dirt into Elkhorn Creek – four years after the county dredged the stream to prevent flooding.

Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated will close its Whitesburg operation by the end of July.

Though Mayor Robert Shubert said it is up to the Jenkins City Council to decide what will be done with a 67-year-old machine gun, he said the city will probably keep it. What to do with the 1921 model Thompson Sub-machine gun became an issue last week when the city council read a letter from the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice thanking police chief Bill Tackett for giving them the gun. Shubert said the department had apparently misunderstood an attempt to find out if the department would like to have the gun to put on display. The “Tommy Gun” was part of the equipment issued to guards for the Consolidation Coal Company, which founded the city of Jenkins.

July 22, 1998

Enrollment in the Letcher County school system has fallen 16 percent during the past eight years and the number of students in school each day has fallen 23 percent. The average number of students present each day dropped from 4,692.8 (95 percent of enrollment) in the 1990-91 school year to 3,613.8 (93.1 percent of enrollment) in the school year just ended.

Plans to create a high-tech computer services co-operative and new jobs in the wood industry will be the first focus of a group of volunteers trying to find some kind of private employment for 749 Letcher County residents who will lose their welfare payments in the year 2000.

Burdine Elementary School and McRoberts Elementary School have been consolidated into one school, Jenkins Elementary, with a Burdine campus and a McRoberts campus.

“Dr. Doolittle” and “Armageddon” are playing at Whitesburg Cinema. The Jeremiah Drive-In Theatre is showing “Toy Soldier” and “The Newton Boys”.

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