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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907
This August 25, 1910 edition of The Mountain Eagle, published 110 years ago this week, celebrated the newspaper’s third birthday.

This August 25, 1910 edition of The Mountain Eagle, published 110 years ago this week, celebrated the newspaper’s third birthday.

THURSDAY AUGUST 29, 1910 

The general counsel for the Lexington & Eastern Railway Company, E.S. Jouett of Winchester, arrived here Tuesday and is putting men up and down the North Fork of the Kentucky River taking contracts for rights-of-ways for a railroad that will be constructed from Jackson via Hazard, through Whitesburg and on to some point in Virginia. s

The first jail ever erected in Letcher County, a log structure built about 65 years ago, is being razed and will be sawed up into stove wood. s

“Without the toot of a single horn The Eagle enters upon its fourth year,” an editor’s note says in recognition of The Mountain Eagle’s third birthday. “It has done its duty as well as it could in the past and it will do the same in the future. From the tip of its tail to the end of its beak its readers know it.” Subscriptions are available for $1 per year. s

The Mountain Eagle wants it “distinctly and positively understood that The Eagle is for neither Caleb Powers or for Don C. Edwards in their race for the Republican nomination for U.S. Congress in this district.” s

What is believed to be the biggest crowd to ever attend a political gathering in Whitesburg heard U.S. Congressional candidate Caleb Powers speak at the Letcher County Courthouse on Saturday. s

Wiley Webb of Mayking is the owner of about 25 rare and valuable coins, one of them a Spanish coin dating back to 1709. Several of the coins have come down from the Revolutionary period, including one that was paid to James Webb, the grandfather of Wiley Webb, for his service to the government.

THURSDAY AUGUST 21, 1930

The Rex Theatre in Whitesburg is undergoing a complete remodeling, after which an all-electric “talkie” will be installed. The building is to be made larger, equipped with new and comfortable seats, and a new heating system. Our city deserves this great asset, and we sincerely trust that it will be the best with only high-class pictures. s

The First National Bank of Whitesburg has merged with Letcher State Bank. Good rains have been falling here for several days, hopefully ending the great drought of 1930. s

Drilling for oil and gas in the Kingscreek and Roxana sections of Letcher County has been halted for the last two weeks because of a lack of water in the creeks. s

Captain V.G. Millikin’s famous bloodhounds are being credited for the arrest of a 43-year-old man charged with trying to burn the Carcassonne School at Bull Creek for a second time. The dogs led authorities to the home of William Jones, who lives less than a mile away from the school. Jones, the father of eight children, was brought to Whitesburg Sunday morning and placed in jail, after which federal authorities charged him with several whiskey-related crimes. His wife, who has become an invalid, is a daughter of the late Elias Jent. s

The Mountain Eagle will celebrate its 23rd year of publication on August 29. s

A number of large rattlesnakes have been killed across Letcher County during the past few days. Persons who venture into the hills will do well to keep a sharp eye out for these venomous reptiles.

THURSDAY AUGUST 29, 1940

Mrs. Charles Adams of Mayking says she thinks she was doing her bit for Uncle Sam 23 years ago when she gave up her husband to go to France and fight in the World War. She stayed home and worried and struggled two years of lonely hours waiting for his return and they have lived happily since his return on June 24, 1918. She has now given her two sons, J.B., 19, and Charles Jr., 17, to serve three years in the Army. She says it is very lonely without the boys. s

Warrants charging violation of the state anti-snake-handling law were sworn out Tuesday against nine persons by Fred Cochran, brother of Jim Cochran, 39, mechanic, who died Monday from snake bites inflicted at a Holiness Church meeting in Duane. s

Fourteen hundred pounds of new textbooks were delivered to Principal Orell Fields at Whitesburg High School Monday. This is only part of the books ordered for this fall, delivery on the remainder being expected within the next few days. s

On Tuesday of this week we received the following notice: “On August 21 Messrs. Howard N. Eavenson and W.W. Goldsmith were appointed primary receivers of The Elk Horn Coal Corporation in the Circuit Court of Kanawha County, West Virginia. On August 22, Messrs. Howard N. Eavenson, W.W. Goldsmith and J.J. Moore were appointed ancillary receivers in the Letcher County Kentucky Circuit Court.” The book value of assets exceeds $9,300,000. The total amount of indebtedness does not exceed $3,500,000. The receivers and the corporation’s officers will make very effort to avoid liquidation and to resume operation of the mines at the earliest date.

THURSDAY AUGUST 31, 1950

In a shooting affray at East Jenkins, three people were hospitalized and one bound over to the Letcher County Grand Jury. Jenkins Policemen were looking for three brothers, Raymond, Herbert and Randolph Tackett with a warrant and learned they were at T.C. Whitaker’s store in Jenkins and were intoxicated. Marvin Rife was placing handcuffs on Raymond when Randolph knocked Rife unconscious. Herbert grabbed Rife’s gun and shot Charlie Cline in the leg. Orville Anderson and Raymond were also shot. s

The annual Championship Golf Tournament got underway at Elkhorn Country Club on August 5 and ran through August 20. The coming of Jimmy Mills, golf pro from Middlesboro, should mean that golfing at the country club should constantly be improving. Mickey Prunty won First Medalist honors for the tournament, and also won the championship flight. s

Mrs. Bascom McIntyre took her son, Bucky, to Lexington for a check-up this week. He is recovering from a serious case of polio. s

Tex Ritter and his horse White Flash star in “Roll Wagons Roll” at Isaac’s Kentucky Theatre this week.

THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 1, 1960

Petitions are being circulated in Letcher County asking Gov. Bert Combs to call the Kentucky legislature into special session to prohibit strip coal mining in the Kentucky mountains. Raymond Rash, of Cromona, a retired coal miner who owns a 38-acre farm threatened by strip mining, has taken the lead in efforts to see that something is done before his and other property is damaged or destroyed. Rash said he had obtained 150 signatures on a petition and plans to continue circulating the paper. s

Sharon Heights Hospital, Jenkins, announced it has again been accredited for a further three-year period by the Joint Commissioner on Accreditation of Hospitals of the United States. s

A natural amphitheatre on Pine Mountain is being proposed as the setting for a dramatization of “The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come.” s

Lance Cpl. David R. Kinneer, son of Mr. and Mrs. Paul W. Kinneer of Blackey, was chosen “Marine of the Month” at Great Lakes Naval Training Center, Illinois, where he is assigned to duty personnel.

THURSDAY AUGUST 27, 1970

The Mountain Eagle regained its status as the newspaper qualified to publish legal notices for the county Tuesday. Fiscal Court voted unanimously to rescind an order of last May which had designated the Letcher County Community Press as the “official” county paper. The court acted after Eagle Editor Tom Gish filed a formal statement to the effect that the Eagle meets all the requirements of Kentucky law regarding legal notices, and that its circulation is the largest in the county. s

Kentucky Attorney General John B. Breckinridge says county fiscal courts may regulate strip mining by zoning but may not ban it as a public nuisance. Breckinridge gave his opinion in a request stemming from Knott County, where the fiscal court voted on June 6 to ban any further strip mining in the county. s

Whitesburg residents were faced with piles of trash this week as the result of a breakdown of the city’s garbage truck. The truck, which quit working last week, has been in the garage awaiting arrival of a part. At midweek the city borrowed a truck from Hoover Dawahare and put it, along with the old garbage truck the city still has, on the garbage route in an attempt to remove the backlog of trash. City officials say they hope to have all the trash picked up by late today. s

Army Staff Sgt. Tressie Caudill, son of James R. Caudill of Premium, recently was assigned to the Americal Division near Chu Lai, Vietnam, as a communications chief.

THURSDAY AUGUST 28, 1980

The sound of the locomotive whistle blowing down the track will be a thing of the past soon for residents of Millstone, Kona, Neon and Fleming. The four communities came into existence along with the railroad in the second decade of this century. The Louisville & Nashville Railroad announced it will ask the Interstate Commerce Commission for permission to abandon its tracks from Bastin, just above Thornton, through Fleming. The railroad said the line doesn’t generate enough business to pay the maintenance cost of the track. s

Letcher County and 12 other eastern Kentucky counties will come under close weather watch by the U.S. Weather Service beginning in October. Work is now underway in Breathitt County to set up a 24-hour-a-day weather station to be staffed by six meteorologists and an electronics technician. The weather station will be tied in with the Kentucky Early Warning System set up after the 1977 flooding in eastern Kentucky. s

Jenkins High students in journalism 2 and 3 will produce a weekly radio program over Station WREM, Jenkins, during the current school year. The students will write most of the radio copy and will produce the entire broadcast. s

Kentucky Power Co. says it has mailed refund checks averaging $21.41 to its customers. The refund, for the period of December 1, 1979 to June 27, 1980, is for the difference in rates charged by the company during that period and rates approved by the Kentucky Energy Regulatory Commission on June 27.

WEDNESDAY AUGUST 29, 1990

Whitesburg officials are “not happy” when it comes to the renovation of the city’s sewer treatment plant. Officials told of sewage only partially treated that has been bypassing the plant for more than two months, garage doors that are too small for the city’s garbage trucks, sludge drying beds that have so far been left incomplete, and an electrical board designed to be too small to carry the load of the plant’s equipment. s

Despite a language barrier, elementary schools in Whitesburg and Tomiyamamura, Japan have become adoptive sisters. The schools are West Whitesburg Elementary School and Whitesburg Middle School and Tomiyama Junior High. In a ceremony at the James M. Caudill Community Room at First Security Bank, Yokio Abe, principal of the Japanese Saturday School in Lexington, said the program is meant to promote “friendship and mutual understanding between the people here and the people in Japan.” s

Whitesburg resident Eileen Adams was the first student to sign up for classes at the Whitesburg Campus of Southeast Community College on August 20. By Friday 375 students had registered, exceeding the school’s expectations. s

The Fleming-Neon Pirates jumped to a two-touchdown lead and then held on for a 13-6 victory in a crucial district matchup with the Jenkins Cavaliers. The Pirates evened their record at 1-1, but more importantly they are now 1-0 in district play.

WEDNESDAY AUGUST 23, 2000

The status of the Letcher Volunteer Fire Department is in doubt again. County 911 Coordinator Orell Fields told the fiscal court about complaints he had heard about the department and the court declined to pay the department until the issue was resolved. Now County Attorney Harold Bolling says the department doesn’t want the money. Bolling said Al Adams, chief of the Letcher Volunteer Fire Department, had told him he did not want the $1,760 the county pays the department each month to provide fire service. Bolling said members of the department now tell him the department is planning to disband. s

Scheduled local bus service will return to Letcher County next month for the first time in more than 30 years. The Leslie, Knott, Letcher, Perry Community Action Agency will begin in-county service on a regular schedule on September 5. The local service will cost $2 a ride. s

The Letcher Fiscal Court has confirmed its decision to make water lines from Jeremiah to Isom its top priority for coal severance tax money this year. s

The annual Jenkins Days celebration begins Thursday and lasts until a fireworks display ends about midnight Saturday. There will be food and craft booths, a variety of art, photo and crafts contests, karaoke and line dancing, local talent shows, cakewalks, a parade, gospel singing, a golf scramble, a walk/run race, a car show and rock music.

WEDNESDAY AUGUST 25, 2010

Ongoing issues with the City of Cumberland and Wise County, Va., continue to prevent the location of a water source for Letcher County citizens living in the Cumberland River area. Water District Superintendent Tim Reed told the Letcher County Water and Sewer District Board of Directors that the district’s request to speak to the Wise County Water District had not been placed on the Wise District’s agenda, and that the City of Cumberland is no closer to a solution either. s

Recent surprise inspections show that increased enforcement isn’t preventing U.S. coal mines from continuing to violate safety laws, the federal Mine Safety & Health Administration says. Serious violations turned up at two Kentucky mines, including an International Coal Group operation that was ordered to stop production last week until its ventilation plan was rewritten. s

Thelma Hidvegi Litts has been chosen Citizen of the Year and will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jenkins Homecoming Festival Committee and the City of Jenkins. Mrs. Litts was the only registered medical technologist in Letcher County for 10 years, working as part of a medical team at Sharon Heights Hospital. She was a founding member of the Jenkins Public Library and served on the library board in the 1950s. s

Army Reserve Pvt. Daniel Caudill has completed basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C. He is the son of David Caudill of Crases Branch and is a 2003 graduate of Letcher High School.

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