Whitesburg KY

The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907


The first draft number to affect registration in Letcher County, that of 158, was held by Noll Davis, board 101, from Dunham, and Woodrow Slasher, on board 102, Whitesburg. s

Late Saturday, Will Jenkins and George Fields, each over 50 years of age, were found dead near the Maggard school house on the highway leading to Cumberland about 12 miles from the County Seat. The men were hit and killed by someone who was drinking or running at a rapid rate of speed. Apparently no one saw the men when they were struck. s

Mr. Ed Newsome will have to push Charles B. Bowen in a wheelbarrow from Millstone to Thornton if Roosevelt is elected. And if Wilkie wins, Mr. Bowen will push Newsome to Millstone from Thornton. s

Playing an inspired brand of football, the Whitesburg Yellowjackets struck swiftly in the first three minutes of the first quarter to score on the Fleming High School Pirates. The first half ended with Whitesburg leading 6-0. The game ended with Whitesburg ahead of the Pirates 18-7.


Attempts were made Nov. 1 to assassinate President Truman at his official home, Blair House, by two Puerto Rican revolutionaries. Killed in the attempt were one guard and one of the assassins. Injured were two other Presidential guards and one of the gunmen. The attack was considered to be in the interests of independence for Puerto Rico. s

Harold D. Adams, Isom, and Ben B. Taylor, Millstone, enlisted in the Regular Army last week in the grade of Recruit for a period of three years. Adams, son of Mr. and Mrs. John P. Adams, chose the Armor as his branch of service, and Taylor, son of Mr. and Mrs. Troy Taylor, chose the Airborne as his branch of service. s

Rebuilding of two stores in Neon is currently in progress, it was announced by store officials. Stores under construction are the Ford Furniture Co. and the H. and M. Grocery, owned by Lew Hall. Both stores, at present wooden structures, will be modernized throughout with brick and cement block replacing wood on all sides. s

Mother Craft reported today that she was still under treatment and that she did not know when she would start serving meals again. She is cooking at present only for the Rotary Club, she said


Whitesburg will have city mail delivery beginning January 7. Senators John Sherman Cooper and Thruston B. Morton have notified The Mountain Eagle of the Post Office Department’s decision to start home mail service here. Postmaster R.C. Day Jr. said he had not yet received word of the new service. s

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it has approved a $150,000 flood control project for the Fleming-Neon area. The project provides for widening, dredging and straightening some two miles of creek beds. It will include one mile of Boone Fork, eight-tenths of Right Fork, and fifteen-hundredths of a mile of Yonts Fork. s

Army Recruit Donald N. Smith, son of Mr. and Mrs. Reuben L. Smith of Cromona, recently was assigned to the 51st Artillery, a Nike-Hercules missile unit at Fort Barry, Calif. The 18-year-old soldier is a 1959 graduate of Fleming-Neon High School and attended Florence (Ala.) State College. s

Glenn Ihrig, a sophomore at Berea College, has been elected Men’s Social Chairman of his class. Ihrig, a 1959 graduate of Whitesburg High School, is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Ihrig of Whitesburg.


Dr. Elbert F. Osborn, sworn in Friday as the new Director of the U.S. Bureau of Mines, made a one-day tour of Bethlehem Steel Co. operations in the Letcher and Pike County area. It was the first leg of his nationwide field survey of the mining industry. Osborn said that the primary purpose of his visit was “to see how our mine safety inspectors work” and “to observe firsthand” some of the Coal Mine Health and Safety regulations. s

Letcher County Fiscal Court has approved the contract making Letcher County a participant in the proposed new eight-county garbage disposal system. Under the plan, Letcher County will be the site of one of three new sanitary landfills in the eight-county area. s

Margaret Day Evans, the first Whitesburg High School Homecoming Queen in 1955, rode on a float this year in the school’s homecoming parade. s

“We were all pleased that Marston Mitchell is back after serving one year in Vietnam,” writes Roxana correspondent Alma Whitaker. “I know Marston was glad to be back with his wife and little son, and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Mitchell.”


The new Whitesburg High School building is $1.5 million closer to construction this week as the state School Board Authority announced the allocation of $1 million to go toward construction of the proposed $5 million plant. s

Four federal agencies launched two housing development plans which could have a major effect on Central Appalachian communities. The first plan — a joint venture of the Appalachian Regional Commission, Tennessee Valley Authority and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farmers Home Administration — would seek to prove that abandoned strip mines are the answer to the region’s housing problems. The second plan, the result of a three-year study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, would, if approved by Congress, remove families from the floodprone areas of the Tug Fork River basin to “flood-safe” housing on abandoned strip mine sites. s

Three miners died as a result of a dynamite explosion at a small, illegal underground mine in Whitley County outside Corbin. Two died in the explosion of a blasting cap ignited by a flame rather than by an electrical device set off by a battery, and the third apparently died of asphyxiation when he went to investigate without using a breathing device to filter poisonous gases. s

U.S. Highway 23 continues to be Kentucky’s busiest coal-haul road. Coal-haul tonnage hauled by trucks on Kentucky roads noted 1.15 billion ton-miles during 1979, according to a state report. (One ton of coal hauled one mile is a ton-mile.)


Cram Creek residents have won the first round of their courtroom fight with Equitable Resources Explorations of Kingsport, Tenn. Both sides are scheduled to return to court next week. The residents scored the win when Judge F. Byrd Hall refused to add the names of three property owners to an earlier court order which stopped other Cram Creek residents from interfering with a well drilling operation by the company. s

The Letcher County Fiscal Court has moved to block oil and gas drilling on Cram Creek by placing a weight limit on the county-owned portion of the road. Magistrate Homer Rose made the motion to add the 10-ton limit after a three-week battle between residents and Equitable Resources Exploration. s

Mountain Comprehensive Health Corp. has offered one of its clinics for use as a veterans’ outreach clinic. Congressman Chris Perkins announced last week that Congress has appropriated $500,000 to establish a veterans’ outreach clinic in eastern Kentucky. MCHC Executive Director Lois A. Baker said she contacted Perkins the next day to tell him that the corporation would be willing to lease the McRoberts Clinic to the government for $1 a year, or to operate the clinic for the Veterans Administration. s

Army Pfc. Willie Rittenhouse left Tuesday for Frankfurt, Germany. He is a son of Mr. and Mrs. Allen Rittenhouse of Jeremiah.


Police are treating the death of Jackie R. Blair, of McRoberts, as a murder. A defendant in a cocaine conspiracy case, his body was found last week in his overturned vehicle on Pine Mountain. Sources say battery jumper cables were wrapped several times around Blair’s body. s

At least one coal sludge pond in Letcher County is listed as a high risk for failing by the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration. The pond listed as high risk is at Clay Hollow, near the Golden Oak Mining Company’s Sapphire preparation plant. MSHA did not indicate whether plant is owned by Golden Oak. s

Police were still searching Monday for a man who robbed the Isom branch of the Bank of Whitesburg with an assault rifle on Friday. The man came out of the woods and took an elderly man hostage in Knott County the night before, then stole the hostage’s truck and used it in the robbery. He disappeared back into the hills afterward. s

Students at Arlie Boggs Elementary School were sent home early Friday after the fluorescent light ballast in the kitchen overheated, leading an employee to activate the fire suppression system. The incident happened at lunchtime, and the powder sprayed over the kitchen by the fire suppression system made it impossible to feed students, said Superintendent William Kinzer. Kinzer said there was no fire, but the ballast smoked and created a flash when it burned through its outer coating.


The Letcher County Water and Sewer District has approved contracts for three major projects to provide treated water to rural Letcher County residents. The board voted to approve a contract with Ronnie Mullins and Sons for Phase I of the Thornton Water Project, a contract with Stott’s Construction for Premium Phase I, and a contract with Cumberland Pipeline for the Red Star/Ulvah water Project. s

Gary Bentley, 53, of Payne Gap, had cut down a large tree on his property when a limb swung back and hit him in the chest. He was pronounced dead at the Whitesburg hospital. Bentley, an employee of Kentucky Power Co. for more than 30 years, was known in the community as a man people could count on to help fix problems when electricity went out. s

Letcher County Judge/Executive Jim Ward has declared a burning ban. Ward said because of current and predicted weather conditions and the extreme danger of forest fires in Letcher County, he issued an executive order prohibiting all outdoor burning. s

Another pest may be on its way to Letcher County, Extension Agent Shad Baker warns. The brown marmorated stinkbug could become a much worse pest than the ladybug beetles, he said. Baker said the bug has not yet been sighted in Letcher County, but he said they could be in abundance in the county in a couple of years.

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