Whitesburg KY
Mostly sunny
Mostly sunny

The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907


Among the sick of Letcher County this week are quite a few notable Republicans. Sam Collins, for instance, says he can only hold out to dig a bushel of potatoes a day, and if it were not for the potatoes to dig he just doesn’t know what he would do. s

Gov. Keen Johnson followed the lead of President Roosevelt and proclaimed Thanksgiving Day for Thursday, November 21. Johnson suggested to department heads that state employees be given a holiday from the end of work Wednesday, November 20, through Sunday, Nov. 24. s

Work on the new post office building in Jenkins moves along nicely with fair progress. It is said by early spring the people of the city will be going to the modern new building for their mail. s

Buddy Darnley has joined the advertising forces of the Proctor and Gamble Co. and is now working in the West Virginia coalfields. Friends are congratulating Buddy on his success in landing such a lucrative job.


William Fred Gibson, postmaster of the Whitesburg Post Office, has been called off reserve and back into service. Gibson had been the local postmaster since September. A non-commissioned officer in the last war, he left Wednesday to report to the Army Postal Service at Fort Meade, Md. s

After a temporary absence of one year, Caudill Lumber Co., Ermine, will again open this Saturday. The Caudill firm was wiped out by fire last December with an estimated loss of $45,000. Destroyed in the fire were all the company’s lumber plant and all building material. Owner of the company is Stephen Caudill, who will assist his son Herb in the operation of their new business. s

Condemnation proceedings again the Kentucky Water Co. were authorized last week in an ordinance passed by the Jenkins City Council. The purpose of the suit is to permit the City of Jenkins to buy and operate the water company. s

Mickey Rooney and Pat O’Brien star in “The Fireball”, which is playing at the Isaac’s Alene Theatre this week.


Strip mine operators who are not complying with regulations set by the 1960 Legislature face a crackdown December 5. State Conservation Commissioner J.O. Matlick announced that names of operators who have ignored two warnings will be turned over to the attorney general at the expiration of a December 4 deadline. s

Two Department of Highway employees were killed and another was seriously injured Monday when their truck left KY 588 between Roxana and Premium and plunged over an embankment. Dead are Hiram Caudill, Premium, and Vance Meade of Partridge. Jimmy Seals of Cromona was injured. Don Bates, driver of the vehicle, was thrown from the truck and not seriously injured. s

The Whitesburg High School Band, under the direction of Frank Bickel, won two trophies in a marching band competition held November 11 at the Big Sandy Bowl in Paintsville. s

“Repair work on the Indian Bottom Church is being completed, preparatory to celebrating the 150th anniversary of the church on Sunday, November 20,” writes Blackey correspondent R.B. Caudill.


At least 72 coal trucks have been stopped by state police in the past three weeks in Breathitt, Knott and Perry counties for being overweight. State Police Capt. Douglas Sword said that there have been no trucks cited for size violations in Letcher County “yet.” Sword said that since Alice Lloyd College professor William H. Cohen was arrested for blocking coal trucks he claimed were too big for use on state roads, “our troopers have been checking on the size of some of these vehicles.” s

The Leslie, Knott, Letcher, Perry Community Action Council announced plans this week for setting up a cannery within the area it serves. The location of the cannery has not been decided. The project is designed to provide a means for low-income families to preserve garden produce for later use. s

A group of Letcher County businessmen have gotten together in an effort to “keep some of the money at home” in the oil and gas boom developing in the area. Ivan “Red” Kimbrell, Neon, is emerging as a leading figure. Kimbrell has formed a company, the Kimbrell Gas and Oil Company, to get together oil and gas leases, drill wells and market the product. Roy Crawford, Whitesburg, and Comas Tyler, Whitesburg, both prominent engineers for the coal industry, are the vice president and secretary of the new Kimbrell firm. s

Army Specialist Four Jesse L. Miller, 22, son of Mr. and Mrs. Roy F. Miller of Jenkins, recently received the Bronze Star medal near Long Binh, Vietnam. He received the award while assigned as a driver in the 7th transportation battalion’s 47th transportation company.


Major forest fires this week had hundreds of Letcher County families concerned over the safety of their homes, but the only damages reported were to vast acres of woodland and the wildlife which inhabits it. Three major forest fires — centered at Craft’s Colly, Jenkins and Linefork — burned area hillsides. s

Relations between Jenkins city employees and newly-elected Mayor James F. “Chum” Tackett took a turn for the worse this week when Tackett fired longtime Jenkins Police Chief Sam Wyatt. Tackett could not be reached for comment, but Wyatt said Tackett fired him for what the mayor said was “insubordination.” s

The Letcher County Board of Education has proposed a 24.5 cent property tax rate for fiscal year 1980-1981. The new tax rate is a move school officials say is necessary to keep the district eligible for funding from the state School Board Authority and to keep alive hopes for a new building to house Whitesburg High School. s

“Dressed to Kill” and “For God’s Sake, Get Out” are playing at the Cinema 7 Drive-In Theatre at Jeremiah this week.


More than 200 charges of unfair labor practice have been filed against South East Coal Co. Sherry Brashear, a lawyer with the United Mine Workers, said the allegations have been filed with the National Labor Relations Board on behalf of 241 miners in Letcher and Knott counties and 46 workers at South East’s coal preparation plant in Estill County. South East Coal Co. president Harry LaViers Jr. denies allegations that the layoffs of 287 miners listed with the complaints were because of their efforts to unionize. s

Voters have elected two new members to the Letcher County Board of Education. In Division Two, board chairman Richard Kincer of Neon lost his seat to Terry Sturgill of Hemphill, and in Division Five Rudell Blair defeated Ronald W. Back. s

Letcher Circuit Judge F. Byrd Hogg said he was “elated” to get the news that the state Supreme Court upheld the death sentences of Roger Dale Epperson and Benny Lee Hodge. The two men were convicted in 1986 of murder, attempted murder, robbery and burglary in the break-in of Dr. Roscoe Acker’s home in Letcher County. Acker’s 23-year-old daughter, Tammy, was stabbed to death and the then 78-year-old physician was choked into unconsciousness. s

Jeffrey W. Collier, 24, of Partridge, has been graduated from the Kentucky State Police Academy at Frankfort and has been assigned to the Hazard State Police Post. He was a member of the Cumberland police force before entering the state police cadet class.


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will provide $550,000 for two projects in Letcher County that are expected to connect more than 500 homes to sewer service. The projects are $250,000 to Fleming- Neon to extend sewer service to nearby communities, and $300,000 to the Letcher County Water and Sewer District to create a sewage treatment cluster system to serve one community somewhere in Isom or Jeremiah. s Rain Monday night quenched some of the forest fires across eastern Kentucky, but the blazes continued across the southern part of the region. No fires were burning in Letcher County on Monday night, and only one was left in the Kentucky River Forestry District, which includes an area from Letcher County to Estill County. s

Voter turnout was expected to be heavy yesterday, if absentee ballots can be considered an indication of voter interest. Absentee voters cast 355 ballots in the election. According to the records in the Letcher County Court Clerk’s office, you have to go back 15 years to find an election in which more absentee ballots were cast. s

Fleming-Neon jumped out to an early lead in a rematch with the Harlan Green Dragons in the opening round of the Class A, Region 4 playoffs, and won 35-7.


Joshua Randy Fields, 26, of Cowan, was killed in a tree cutting accident in Harlan County. He was an employee of Gibson Logging Enterprises of Whitesburg. Fields was doing some logging in a mountainous area on a 45-degree incline. s

Work on the Haymond Sewer Project is nearing completion, Fleming-Neon Water and Sewer Department Superintendent Carlos Phillips said. Phillips told the Fleming-Neon City Council that work is approximately 73 percent complete. The city has gained 228 new customers with more to come when the project is finalized. s

“There is good reason crappie are one of the most fished-for all year round,” writes Greg Caudill in Fishing with Gabby, “they are one of the most fun fish to try to catch and one of the best tasting also.”

Leave a Reply