Whitesburg KY

The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907


A shooting affray on Bull Creek in this county sent Henry Fields, 16, son of John Fields of Bull Creek, to the Hazard Hospital in critical condition and R.C. Wells to the county jail. According to Sheriff Doyle Hogg, Mr. Wells came in and gave himself up, stating that he had shot several men who he said had tried to break in on him at his home. s

The State Public Service Commission announced the Kentucky & West Virginia Power Company of Ashland has agreed to the reduction in electric rates which would mean a saving to customers of approximately $87,900. Secretary Charles White said $4,000 would be saved in street lighting expenses and that commercial users would save $48,200. Among the larger municipalities in the area are Ashland, Pikeville, Hazard, Paintsville, Prestonsburg, Whitesburg and Jackson. s

The management of the Daniel Boone Hotel has announced a dance to be held Dec. 21 in the large dining room of the hotel. Music will be furnished by Bill “Grumpy” Takacs and his Grumblers beginning at 9:00. Tariff will be $1.50 per couple. s

“The Sea Hawk” starring Errol Flynn and “Untamed” with Ray Milland and Patricia Marrion will play this week at the Kentucky Theatre.


A Letcher County driver was none the worse after his car turned over three times into the riverbed at Thornton. Jack Able, Mayking, stepped from his car uninjured after the accident. Able’s car skidded from the road and came to halt in water one and one-half feet deep. s

Otis Rose, seaman recruit U.S. Navy, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ed Rose of Payne Gap, is undergoing recruit training at the world’s largest Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, Ill. s

Mr. Woodie Crum, son of Mr. and Mrs. Woodson Crum, Jenkins, was elected by the student body of Union College as Mr. Union for the college year 1950-1951. Mr. Crum, a senior, is a physical education major and plans to coach after graduation. s

Johnny Weissmuller stars as Jungle Jim in “Pygmy Island” playing this week at Isaac’s Alene Theatre in Whitesburg. Also showing this week is “The West Point Story” with James Cagney, Virginia Mayo and Doris Day.


Many Letcher County homes will miss a visit from Santa this year, unless some of Santa’s helpers get to work immediately. Some may even do without food on Christmas Day. Whitesburg ministers and other workers who deal with problems of destitute families say their lists this year are longer than usual, and they are confident many more families who really need help have not asked for it. A ministerial association committee came up with a list of 150 families in the Whitesburg area which it termed cases of most desperate need. Christmas baskets of food will be distributed this week and only a few toys will be included as the need for food is greater. s

A Mountain Eagle editorial contains “a special plea to all readers of The Mountain Eagle to rush whatever help you can find in your hearts to provide for the hundreds of Letcher County men and women, boys and girls who face an empty, hungry, cold Christmas. … This newspaper urges each of its subscribers not to buy that last minute gift that might be bought for a distant relative or friend. Instead, send the money to the ministerial association at Whitesburg. The need is real, and the money will not be wasted.” s

The home and all contents of Junior Hatton burned to the ground about midnight Saturday. They only saved the clothes they had on. The Whitesburg Fire Department came and was able to save the house next door. s

“Jingle Bells” — in a be-bop version — was the specialty of the eighth grade at the Fleming-Neon PTA Talent Show. The pupils sang, then danced to the tune.


Miners and widows applying for black lung benefits under the 1969 Coal Mine Health and Safety Act are not getting the runaround, Edward L. Binder, a Social Security official said. Answering charges by miners’ groups that SSA has been holding back on many claims from Kentucky and other states, Binder said his office was given less than two weeks’ notice to prepare for a flood of claims before President Nixon signed the coal mine bill last December. Talk is mounting in some Congressional offices that an investigation into SSA’s handling of the black lung program will be forthcoming early next year. s

Elbert and Maggie Blair were held in the Letcher County Jail this week in the fatal shooting of J.L. Webb, 23, of Crown. Webb died of injuries received in a shotgun blast as he drove past the Blair residence on Dry Fork.

Two Fleming-Neon football players have been selected for the All-Conference team of the Eastern Kentucky Mountain Conference. Rick Combs, a senior, was picked for offensive tackle. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Combs of Neon. Craig Reynolds, also a senior, was selected for defensive end. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Morgan Reynolds of Millstone.

Seaman George Robinson is serving on board the U.S.S. Piedmont in the Philippines as ship’s barber. Robinson is the son of Mrs. Lois Robinson of Cowan, and the grandson of The Mountain Eagle’s Ice correspondent, Mrs. Siller Brown.


Letcher County’s population increased 30.6 percent from 1970 to 1980, according to preliminary census figures. The 1980 census shows Letcher with 30,253 residents, up 7,088 from the 1970 count. s

A meeting called to organize a committee to plan a “spring cleanup” in Letcher County was held Tuesday, and if attendance at the meeting is any indication it looks like the county will remain as littered in the spring as it is now. The meeting was called by the Kentucky River Development District, and of the seven people who did show up, two were reporters. s

The Letcher County Board of Education might soon look into the possibility of districting the county’s elementary schools. The board said it may have to designate school districts and require children living inside the districts to attend the elementary schools there as a means of coping with rising transportation costs. s

A criminal complaint has been filed against Jenkins Mayor James F. “Chum” Tackett by three members of the Jenkins City Council who claim the mayor spent more than $600 of city money without proper authorization. Tackett is charged with theft by unlawful taking. The complaint was filed by city councilmen Doc Adkins, Robert Harris Jr. and Ray Banks. They accuse Tackett of purchasing 60 turkeys in the financially strapped city’s name for more than $600 without first seeking the council’s authorization. The turkeys reportedly were given to 48 city employees and other “friends” of the city.

“Flash Gordon” is playing at Isaac’s Alene Theatre in Whitesburg this week.


Local and federal officials from southern and eastern Kentucky are expected to gather in Hazard today to show their support for a proposed interstate highway that would connect Letcher County with Paducah. Hazard Mayor William D. Gorman says the meeting is being held to generate support for locating the proposed new I-66 on a southernly course through Pikeville, Whitesburg, Hazard and on to Paducah. s

Letcher County Schools have gained $2.7 million in state money over last year, but the system is still operating under a tight budget that leaves little room for extras. Daryl Boggs, assistant superintendent for finance, said the Board of Education might have to eliminate some unnecessary positions. The amount of money the board spends for instruction, which includes teacher salaries and other items related directly to the classroom, is expect to increase more than $2 million this year. s

The names of 1,597 needy Letcher County children were placed on the “Tree of Hope” this year and gifts have been purchased for every child. The “Tree” is an annual project sponsored by the Letcher Chamber of Commerce. s

The Whitesburg High School boys’ and girls’ basketball teams both won their most recent games. The boys’ team defeated June Buchanan 82-57, while the girls’ team won against Tennessee High 79-22.


Letcher County Judge/Executive Carroll Smith and Letcher County Attorney Harold Bolling are considering copying Lee County in creating an administrative court to make residents pay pastdue garbage bills. The Letcher Fiscal Court is facing mounting deficits in its sanitation department, mostly due to unpaid garbage bills. At the end of November, the county had spent $141,000 more for sanitation service than it had taken in. s

The U.S. Postal Service has offered the old Whitesburg Post Office to the Letcher County Fiscal Court for $155,000. The fiscal court made no decision Monday about whether to buy the building, but Judge/Executive Carroll Smith said he will look into the possibilities further. s

The Kentucky State Medical Examiner has ruled that Jackie Blair, whose body was found on Pine Mountain in October, was the victim of a homicide. Kentucky State Police confirmed that Blair did not die an accidental death when his car plunged over Pine Mountain and overturned 250 feet below the roadway. s

Police have charged Kenny Fisher, 27, with crawling through a hole in the wall of U-Save Tobacco and stealing thousands of dollars’ worth of cigarettes and other products. Fisher was arrested after police searched a car parked at Dairy Queen and found 52 cartons of cigarettes in the trunk.


A helicopter was surveying power transmission lines for a Metinvest United Coal Company when it ran into a Kentucky Power Company “static wire”, broke its windshield, and was forced into an emergency landing near Isom. The pilot suffered a cut to his face and two passengers escaped injury. s

Most customers of the Letcher County Water and Sewer District and the Fleming-Neon Water Company should have water service once again, according to county and city officials. However, the “boil water advisory” remains in effect. About 3,000 customers were without water for various amounts of time from Friday to Tuesday. s

“I hope the weather doesn’t get as bad as it’s predicted,” writes Whitesburg correspondent Oma Hatton. “We still have eight inches in my yard and we are promised three to five more over the next few days. Kevin Day, can’t you change the forecast?” s

Fleming-Neon Elementary School students wrote letters to Santa Claus. Among the gifts they are asking for are a helicopter, a remote control truck, a telephone, a dragon, roller skates, a princess doll and a baby cat. They all promised they had been good and that they would leave treats for Santa under the tree.

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