THURSDAY, DECEMBER 4, 1930
Three Craft boys — Corbin, Quillen and Tilden — say they know nothing about who killed their brother and cousin, John Craft, or in what way the killing was done. At an examining trial held in Whitesburg Monday, Judge Sergent released Corbin Craft, a cousin to John Craft, but ordered Quillen Craft, John’s brother, and Tilden Craft, another cousin, held under $2,500 bond pending action by the Letcher County Grand Jury. The bullet-ridden body of John Craft, 26, was found in the head of Stamper’s Branch, Rockhouse, the morning after Quillen Craft said he last saw his brother just before they entered the woods to go opossum hunting. Quillen Craft, who reported the shooting death, claims that blood found on his clothes got there while he was searching his brother’s body for items he knew he was carrying — a watch, a pair of gloves, and a pack of cigarettes. Quillen said he took the items for fear someone else would take them if he didn’t.
The Kentucky Theatre of Whitesburg has undergone some changes that add greatly to the comfort and convenience of its patrons. A new heating system, lighting system, and projection system are now in place.
The Jenkins Elks closed their 1930 football season with a 6-0 victory on the Van Lear Bank Mules on Thanksgiving Day. Although the Jenkins field was covered with ice and snow, it didn’t stop the annual game from attracting one of the largest crowds ever to witness a football game in Letcher County. Jenkins scored the winning touchdown in the fourth quarter on a pass from quarterback Looney to Bob Barker.
The Whitesburg High School girls’ basketball team will play their first game of the season this Friday when they host Buckhorn. Coach Savage’s girls are starting the season with new uniforms, some new players, and a load of enthusiasm and school spirit.
The community of Caudill, located in the western suburbs of Whitesburg, was the scene of a shooting Sunday night involving two young men from Long’s Branch. Curtis Adams was last seen running toward Long’s Branch after shot Oscar Stallard in the leg after the two were arguing. While Adams remains at large, Stallard remains in serious condition at the Seco Hospital.
THURSDAY DECEMBER 5, 1940
One of the largest and most important timber deals in years was closed some days ago by the M.E. Crisp Lumber Co. of Welch, W.Va. Joe Hackney of Grundy, Va., assisted in arranging the deal. The purchase was made from Consolidation Coal Co. here and covers a large area on the Rockhouse headwaters, including Mill Creek and the head of Millstone. The consideration was not stated, but was in excess of $60,000 according to reports.
Overseas exports of U.S. bituminous coal during the first nine months of 1940 were at the rate of five for one compared with 1939. U.S. coal to South America accounted for the lion’s share of the increase.
Jerry Montgomery is featured in a photograph that appeared in the Louisville Courier-Journal recently. Jerry was formerly connected with Whitesburg High School and really put the Future Farmers Club here on the map.
“Sandy Gets Her Man” and “Youth Will Be Served” are playing this week at the Jenkins Theatre.
THURSDAY DECEMBER 7, 1950
James E. Maggard, a mechanic for Harlow Motor Company, Neon, received second-degree burns late Saturday afternoon when the garage’s oil stove exploded. He was reported in good condition Wednesday by the Fleming Hospital. The accident resulted from oil gushing into the stove’s burning compartment at too rapid a pace.
Whitesburg’s new A&P supermarket opened this morning at 8 a.m. Located on Main Street in a new ultra-modern structure, the new store features larger and increased facilities in all departments besides many new departments.
Authorization of a re-location of the Whitesburg taxi stand for a 90-day trial period was given Tuesday at a meeting of the city council. The taxi stand, at present located across from the courthouse, will be on both sides of the Main Street bridge and on the west side of Main Street to the railroad tracks.
“Rio Grande” starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara is playing at the Isaac’s Alene Theatre in Whitesburg.
THURSDAY DECEMBER 8, 1960
The trial of three United Mine Workers members accused of murder in the shooting death of a non-union coal-mine guard was postponed Tuesday because a witness failed to appear. Democrat Holliman, Harrison Stidham and Verlin King, all of Letcher County, were scheduled to be tried in the death of James Otis Anderson at the Little Shepherd Coal Mine in Letcher County.
Four new classrooms will be added to the campus of Whitesburg High School and Whitesburg Grade School next summer. The rooms will be in a second-floor addition to be constructed on top of the cement block classroom building behind the present high school building.
Representatives of Whitesburg civic clubs and interested citizens were being asked today to attend a special meeting at City Hall Tuesday to set up a permanent community development association. Arrangements for the meeting were made by Kermit Combs, Stanley Hogg and Sander Collins. They were previously named at a community-wide meeting to look into the proposed community development and recommend whether Whitesburg should participate.
Sgt. James M. Tolliver, son of Mrs. Myrtle Tolliver, Neon, recently was graduated from the Seventh U.S. Army Non-Commissioned Officer Academy at Bad Tolz, Germany. Tolliver enter the Army in 1945, arrived overseas on this tour of duty in September 1958 and is regularly assigned as a tank commander in Troop A of the 8th Division’s 8th Cavalry in Sandhofen. He attended Fleming High School.
THURSDAY DECEMBER 3, 1970
An organization calling itself “Citizens’ League to Protect Surface Rights” was formed at a meeting Monday at the Blackey Community Center. The purpose of the new group is to assure individual landowners that their surface rights should be protected, and that this citizens’ organization will offer whatever assistance it can to see those rights guaranteed.
Believing the resulting bench will provide homesites for people displaced by highway construction, Beth-Elkhorn Corp. has leased land above Jenkins to be stripped by River Coal Co. The new highway by-pass will in all likelihood be built right through the center of Jenkins, causing the loss of about 100 homes. Thus, “as a good civic gesture,” Beth-Elkhorn has begun stripping operations along the ridge above Mudtown in Jenkins.
The U.S. Labor Department has granted $1,160,000 for continued operation of Out-of-School Neighborhood Youth Corps and Mainstream work-training programs in the Letcher, Knott, Leslie and Perry County area. The largest project, Mainstream, will continue training and employment of unemployment persons at a cost of $1,222,000.
“How many of you old-timers remember a Thanksgiving that was not a white one?” writes Millstone correspondent Mabel Kiser. “The ground was all white with a clean look, with the fodder shocks sticking up through the snow, and our fathers would wade the snow to carry the fodder to the cows in the barn.”
THURSDAY DECEMBER 4, 1980
Letcher Circuit Judge F. Byrd Hogg refused Wednesday to order striking members of the Jenkins Independent Employees Union back to work. However, City of Jenkins employees who walked off their jobs to protest the firings of at least seven other city workers, including the top three union officers, agreed to return to work, and the remaining members of the union agreed to “pull back picket lines” temporarily. Members of the 13-member union went on strike to protest what they said were unfair labor practices on the part of Mayor James F. “Chum” Tackett. Since taking office a month ago, the mayor has fired or laid off seven longtime city employees.
U.S Rep. Carl D. Perkins has asked Congress to approve an amendment to the federal strip-mine control law which would allow surface-mined land to be reclaimed for use as pastures, tree farms, housing projects or other productive uses. The measure would remove the federal requirement that strip-mined land be returned to its original contours when the landowner wants it to be used instead for one of the purposes listed.
Private Archie L. Morgan, son of Margarette Morgan, Whitesburg, has arrive for duty at Hunter Army Airfield, Ga. Pvt. Morgan, a missile systems technician, was previously assigned to Fort Eustis, Va.
The Letcher Eagles and the Jenkins Cavaliers came away winners in high school boys’ basketball. In a double overtime, Letcher held on to top Cordia 88-80, while Wheelwright lost to Jenkins 49-45.
WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 5, 1990
Funeral services for Letcher County writer and lawyer Harry M. Caudill were held December 2. Author Wendell Berry delivered the principal eulogy at the service. He called Caudill “an unprecedented man” and said Caudill’s best-known book, Night Comes to the Cumberlands, “showed how to be a Kentuckian, how to be a citizen. For its readers, it set a new standard of citizens and patriotism.”
Since November 2, police have made an extra effort on Highway 7, citing more than 50 trucks, most on Highway 7. Charges include shifting and spilling contents, driving a commercial vehicle without a chauffeur’s license, driving without a license plate or a license receipt, driving without an operator’s license, and driving without proof of insurance. One was charged with driving with displaying improper license plates for having an expired license from a pickup truck on his coal truck.
The Jenkins Board of Education has gone on record as supporting a proposal to turn the old Jenkins High School into housing for the elderly, but only if the plan won’t affect the board’s lease for space in the building. The Letcher County Fiscal Court, which owns the building, has proposed turning part of it into apartments for the elderly.
Tracy Ison poured in 23 points and Denny Breeding added 20 to help the Whitesburg Lady Yellowjackets to an 87-42 win over the Jenkins Cavaliers.
WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 29, 2000
The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources will not allow Columbia Natural Resources Inc. to build a gas pipeline across the Pine Mountain Wildlife Management Area. In a letter to Columbia Natural Resources, state Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Tom Bennett said a “comprehensive review” of Columbia’s request is over.
The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to review murder convictions and two death sentences for the killer of an elderly Jackson County couple. Benny Lee Hodge has twice been convicted and condemned to die for the robbery and murder of Edwin and Bessie Morris of Gray Hawk in June 1985. Hodge is under a third death sentence in an unrelated crime — the slaying of Tammy Dee Acker in a robbery of her home in Fleming-Neon.
World War II veterans I.D. Back of Blackey and Bernie Reid reunited after 55 years in which neither man knew if the other was dead or alive.
“The most important keys to successful smallmouth fishing at this time of year include small lures; light, clear line; fishing the most productive area and depth; and, most importantly, fishing slow,” writes Fishing with Gabby columnist Greg Caudill.
WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 1, 2010
After several months of anticipation, a new industrial facility at Gateway Industrial Park in Jenkins has begun to take applications for 35-40 jobs that a company official described as mostly skilled labor. Joe Harris, regional Appalachian base manager for Ferus, Inc., said the company is looking to hire 18 truck drivers, three plant operators, two mechanics, three field supervisors, and three dispatchers.
The county’s new vocational school building won’t ready for occupancy before next October, members of the Letcher County Board of Education have learned. August 2011 was the original completion date for the Letcher County Area Technology Center before builders found an absence of solid rock at the back right corner of the construction site. The problem has been fixed with aggregate piers (also called stone columns), which cost the school district about $89,000 to install while also pushing the project back 55 days.
A Monday morning fire caused extensive damage to a brick home in Whitesburg and the state fire marshal is expected to determine the cause today. The house, which is on Ohio Street in Westwood, belongs to Byron and Amanda Thomas. The couple and their two children lived in the house until Thanksgiving Day, when they decided to stay with Amanda Thomas’s parents after it became difficult to live in the house during remodeling.
Bobby and Mary Burke of Pine Mountain celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on November 26. She is retired from the Veterans Center in Hazard, and he is a retired coal miner.