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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907
The October 1, 1959 edition of The Mountain Eagle, like most other newspapers across the nation, carried advertisements announcing the arrival the following week of two new models of automobiles that would become top sellers — the 1960 Dodge Dart, a model of which is pictured above, and the 1960 Ford Falcon. The Dart arrived in showrooms on October 9, 1959, one day after the Falcon debuted. The Dodge Dart seen in this photo is one of a total of 225 police cars ordered by the New York City Police Dept. It was parked in front of the United Nations building on Sept. 27, 1960, giving it a leg up on other new cars in terms of advertising. (AP Photo)

The October 1, 1959 edition of The Mountain Eagle, like most other newspapers across the nation, carried advertisements announcing the arrival the following week of two new models of automobiles that would become top sellers — the 1960 Dodge Dart, a model of which is pictured above, and the 1960 Ford Falcon. The Dart arrived in showrooms on October 9, 1959, one day after the Falcon debuted. The Dodge Dart seen in this photo is one of a total of 225 police cars ordered by the New York City Police Dept. It was parked in front of the United Nations building on Sept. 27, 1960, giving it a leg up on other new cars in terms of advertising. (AP Photo)

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 1909

“I have always been heard in defense of the citizens, preferring to stand by them for a fee that was a mere pittance rather than receive a fat salary working for the ‘land grabbers.’” Those are the words of Letcher County native S.E. Baker, a former War Department attorney who is now practicing law in Whitesburg and is announcing his candidacy for the office of Circuit Judge on the front page of this week’s edition of The Mountain Eagle. In addition to Letcher County, the 33rd Judicial District includes Owsley, Perry and Leslie counties.

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William Dixon killed a large rattlesnake at Grouse that measured three and a half feet in length. [Grouse is now known as Elk Creek.]

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 1929

Emory Taylor, who joined the Confederate Army as a boy in Scott County, Virginia and moved to Letcher County to farm shortly after the Civil War, was buried this week in the old cemetery at Camp Branch.

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A building boom in the community of Haymond and the mouth of Potters Fork is expected to continue with another large “lot sale” next Saturday. The Norman Realty Company of Whitesburg is selling the properties of Guy Holbrook and W.H. Carter to the highest bidders. The properties will be divided into 37 building lots.

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News that a thief was sentenced to a term in the state penitentiary on only “the third or fourth day after” after burglarizing Stiles Jewelry Shop in Hazard is drawing praise from The Mountain Eagle. “This is the sure way of stopping much of the crime … that is so common these days,” The Eagle says in a front-page commentary. “The idea of delaying trials until the track grows cold appeals to criminals and often defeats the very purpose and intent of the law.”

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Lee Hale brought what is believed to be the largest stalk of corn ever produced in Letcher County into the offices of The Mountain Eagle this week. The stalk measures exactly 16 feet and nine inches and has a large ear of corn on it that grew exactly 10 feet from the ground.

The Kingdom Come Settlement School’s girls’ and boys’ basketball teams have just received a new ball they will use on the outdoor court they play on.

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Myrtle Shepard, a junior at Kingdom Come Settlement School, is being treated in the Lynch Hospital after she broke her arm and dislocated her shoulder after being thrown from her horse on her way back to the school from Kingscreek.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 1949

Governor Earle C. Clements visited Letcher County this week, where Clements on Wednesday laid the cornerstone for the new home being constructed on Pine Mountain for the American Legion’s Douglas Day Post.

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Work was started this week in Whitesburg on the new Southern States Cooperative Store, which will be located in the alley beside the Letcher County Jail. The two-story building is expected to be managed by Clyde Frazier, who now runs the Southern States store on Main Street.

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The Fleming-Neon Pirates lost their first game of the season last Saturday night, falling at Lynch by the score of 14 to 7.

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Employees of Kentucky-Virginia Stages resumed bus service last week for Jenkins and other towns after a three-day strike.

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Robert Harris, 54, of Payne Gap is being held in the Letcher County Jail on a charge of murder in connection with Monday night’s fatal shooting of Columbus Reed, 32, at Payne Gap. This shooting is said to have occurred over a family dispute.

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A dispute over the operation of moonshine stills on Linefork has led to a fatal shooting. A murder charge against Leonard Cornett was referred to the Letcher County Grand Jury on Wednesday. Cornett is accused of killing Claude Holcomb at Hurricane Gap last Friday.

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A new business, the only of its kind in Letcher County, will open soon on Railroad Street in Whitesburg beside the Quillen Drug Company. The Whitesburg Pastry Shop will be owned and operated by Floyd Mercer of Whitesburg and J.T. Morgan of Louisville.

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The Whitesburg Yellowjackets football team defeated Pikeville High School last Friday night in Pikeville, 27 to 6, in a game referred to by a Mountain Eagle editorial as “an example of poor sportsmanship.” Writing that a “referee is supposed to see that each side displays fair play, good sportsmanship, and honesty,” The Eagle says the referee at Pikeville “showed none of these characteristics,” adding that “his actions in favor of Pikeville were plain for all to see.”

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Delmar Ison, son of Mr. and Mrs. Grant Ison and a student at the University of Kentucky College of Law, has been appointed to the staff of the Kentucky Law Journal by the College of Law faculty.

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A report from the U.S. Bureau of Mines says 423 men are now working at Elk Horn Coal Corporation’s No. 6 mine at Jackhorn, where 2,200 tons of coal is produced daily.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 1, 1959

Letcher County Sheriff Johnny Fulton said he is investigating the death of Raymond Hensley, 26, of Isom, whose body was found on top of a mountain at the rear of his home Wednesday afternoon.

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Whitesburg attorney F. Byrd Hogg was elected chairman of a county-wide organization to work for the election of John Robsion, the Republican Party nominee for governor of Kentucky.

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The Kentucky Attorney General’s Office has advised that Whitesburg banker Herman Hale cannot serve both as a member of the Whitesburg City Council and as treasurer of Letcher County. The opinion was written to Marvin Jarrett of Whitesburg. Hale has served as county treasurer for several years and currently is one of a group of candidates for the city council.

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An examination for Postmaster at Fleming will open for acceptance of applications until October 13, 1959, the Civil Service Commission has announced. The job pays a salary of $4,275 a year.

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A fishing party of Marlowe residents — John Stidham, Joe Tackett, Watson Thomas and Edwin Holbrooks — came back from Cherokee Lake in Tennessee on Sunday with more than 100 fish they caught there since arriving Friday night. Included in the catch was a 43-pound catfish caught by Tackett on a rod and reel. The four men had to use a net to land that fish.

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Dodge is introducing a new economy car on October 9. It will be called the Dodge Dart.

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A new full-sized Ford automobile will be in showrooms October 8. The new Ford Falcon will seat six and average up to 30 miles per gallon of gas.

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William Reid Hall, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ivan Hall of Whitesburg, is recovering from a tonsillectomy performed at Mount Mary Hospital in Hazard on Tuesday.

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Phil Greer led his team to a touchdown on the opening kickoff as Coach Joe Buckovich’s Little Leaguers defeated Clintwood, 6-2, in the preliminary game to the home-standing Jenkins Cavaliers’ two-touchdown win over Prestonsburg.

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At least 15 copperhead snakes have been killed on Blair Branch so far in 1959, with one person being bitten, reports Blair Branch correspondent Minnie Adams.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 1969

A page of the January 13, 1882 Pound Gap Enterprise was reprinted in The Mountain Eagle. The Enterprise was found by Cooley Campbell in an attic. The volume number indicates the newspaper was founded about April 1, 1881 and must be Letcher County’s first newspaper.

. “We are not jumping with enthusiasm over President Nixon’s announcement the federal government will spend nearly a billion dollars to develop a supersonic jet to hurtle passengers through the air at 1800 miles an hour,” says a Mountain Eagle editorial. “We don’t see why private industry can’t finance this development … And while we take note of this bit of socialism for the rich, we also note that various Nixon administration officials are beginning to insist that efforts to help the poor of the nation, and the black community, be self-help and self-financed. Socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor, seems to be the message.”

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Whitesburg Mayor Ferdinand Moore and Jenkins Mayor R. Percy Elkins were assured of another term in office as the final filing date for candidates for city offices passed this week and no opposition to them appeared. The two will begin new terms in January, barring write-in elections, a rarity in Letcher County.

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Turkey hindquarters are 35 cents a pound at the A&P Food Store and bananas are 10 cents a pound.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 1979

Two brothers whose rampages of crime and violence have terrorized much of Letcher County in recent year, have been sentenced to prison by Circuit Judge S.B. Douglas of Harlan. Vernon Pack was sentenced to 110 years in prison, and his brother, Lonnie, to 10 years. Vernon Pack received 10 years on each of seven charges of rape and 20 years on each of two charges of sodomy. The judge directed that the terms be served consecutively.

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The northeast section of Letcher County — a heavily populated group of old coal company communities surrounding the city of Fleming-Neon — is scheduled for a facelift, according to an early draft of a grant application for $3 million from Housing and Urban Development. The application shows a plan to include new water and sewer services, and a renovation of almost half of the existing housing, the leveling of abandoned buildings, construction of 200 new housing units, street and drainage improvements and new recreation facilities.

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“Alien” is playing at the Alene Theatre in Whitesburg.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 1989

Lower Letcher County residents were without electricity or telephone services after a coal truck apparently severed lines in two locations. A Kentucky Power Company official said the truck was apparently driving with the bed raised when the bed caught telephone lines, breaking the poles that also carried the main electrical transmission lines for around 1,350 customers along Highway 7.

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A North Carolina developer wants to buy or lease the old Jenkins High School building and renovate it for housing for low-income families, but the Letcher County Fiscal Court has delayed action on the offer until it discusses the matter with the building’s current occupants. The Jenkins Board of Education leases part of the building for its central offices. The county also uses it for the Jenkins Senior Citizens Center.

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Hassie Breeding Helton of Jeremiah was named Letcher County Golden Girl in the Mountain Heritage Festival. Fleming-Neon resident Henry Hutton was crowned Letcher County Silver Fox.

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Grand opening ceremonies for the remodeled and enlarged First Security Bank are scheduled Saturday at the bank building on Main Street in Whitesburg. The bank building, which is triple the size of the original building, and new equipment represent an investment of about $3 million.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 1999

The impasse between Golden Oak Mining Co. and workers continued this week with most of the company’s employees seeking unemployment benefits or applying for other jobs. Employees refused to work beginning September 13 after the company announced it would cut all salaries by 10 percent.

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Trial is set to begin Monday for Delania Fields, 37, of Roxana, who is charged with killing her newborn daughter in July 1998 after giving birth to the child at home. Fields was indicted for murder after an autopsy indicated her daughter was born alive but asphyxiated inside several plastic garbage bags.

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The Fleming-Neon junior varsity football team defeated Whitesburg 36-0 for its 17th straight win. The JV Pirates posted perfect 8-0 records in both the 1997 and 1998 seasons.

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The schedule for the Mountain Heritage Festival this week includes a 5K race, a parade, a horseshoe tournament, a bike show, and Kids Day events.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2009

The financially troubled Letcher County Water and Sewer District has voted to let the City of Jenkins take over a project to build water lines to serve residents of Payne Gap, Kona and U.S. Highway 119. This should ensure that work on the new lines begins by July 2010.

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Halfway to Hazard will appear in concert in downtown Whitesburg on Saturday. A photograph in The Mountain Eagle shows David Tolliver, a native of Hindman and a member of the country-rock duo, performing as a child in a Mountain Heritage Festival talent contest more than 20 years ago when he was about 10 years old. He won the contest.

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“The Letcher County picnic was a really good one,” writes Northeast Ohio correspondent Emma Lou Engle. “If my count was right, there were 62 present.”

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James Grigsby, driver of the #42 car, finished in first place in the Open Wheel Modified feature at Mountain Motor Speedway. Josh McGuire was the winner of the fifth annual Iron Man Classic at the speedway.

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