Whitesburg KY

The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907
Jackie Robinson, who has retired after a 10-year career, waves as he leaves the clubhouse after collecting his belongings at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, N.Y., on January 7, 1957. Robinson, 38, became the first black baseball player in the modern major leagues when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. (AP Photo/Jacob Harris)

Jackie Robinson, who has retired after a 10-year career, waves as he leaves the clubhouse after collecting his belongings at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, N.Y., on January 7, 1957. Robinson, 38, became the first black baseball player in the modern major leagues when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. (AP Photo/Jacob Harris)


Jenkins citizen E.E. Hollyfield and the town’s police chief, S.H. Privett, and Jenkins Police Officer Sam Yonts are being called heroes after they stopped thieves armed with a sawed-off shotgun from breaking into the Burdine Store. On Wednesday night, two men who gave their names as Burton Laughter and Hal Hamblin were caught by Officer Yonts as they were trying to enter the store. After Laughter attempted to shoot Yonts, the patrolman was able to hit him over the head and subdue him. Meanwhile, Hamblin ran from the scene, but was stopped in the lower end of Jenkins after Hollyfield stopped his car in the middle of the road, blocking Hamblin until he was able to be caught by Chief Privett. Hamblin was already wanted in connection with breaking in the Dunham Post Office some time ago.

The Letcher Fiscal Court this week voted to rescind its former order employing county patrolmen, though it voted to allow Patrolman S.J. Cornett to receive his salary for the month of January.

At its meeting this week, the Letcher Fiscal Court voted to employ Gray Williams to serve another year as farm agent. The county pays the sum of $900 on Mr. Williams’s salary. The Rockefeller Foundation pays the other half.

Both the boys’ and girls’ teams from Whitesburg defeated the Jenkins High School basketball teams by the scores of 48-6 and 13-7, respectively, at Jenkins last Friday. Jenkins entered the two games with wins over Virgie and Dorton.

The number of poll tax payers in Letcher County numbered 5,719 at the end of 1930. The year also saw 200 more automobiles listed. There were 2,968 dogs registered in the county at year’s end. The total value of the county’s livestock was $100,380. s

Letcher County’s three First National Banks — in Fleming, Jenkins and Whitesburg — each are publishing their annual “report of condition” in this week’s edition of The Mountain Eagle. The Fleming banks reports assets of $331,105.57 and liabilities of $331,105.57. The Jenkins bank reports assets of $717,391.49 and liabilities of $717,391.49. The Whitesburg bank reports assets of $1,001,975.02 and liabilities of $1,001,975.02. s

The dining room at the Daniel Boone Hotel in Whitesburg is now under the management of Speed Nicholson. Breakfast and lunch prices are now 50 cents. Dinner is 75 cents. Short orders are available between meals.

Men’s all-wool suits are on sale at Mullins Department Store in Whitesburg for $12.50. Ladies’ winter coats are on sale for $3.95.

Astor Hogg is the new manager of the Kentucky Theatre in downtown Whitesburg. The first feature film to be shown under Hogg’s reign is “Journey’s End,” a British-American war film set in the First World War and based on a play by R.C. Sherriff. The movie will show January 11 and 12.


Honoring a request by the Letcher County Board of Health, the Jenkins Independent School System has delayed the re-opening of all its schools while there are so many cases of influenza in the area.

A Tennessee native who came to Letcher County to work for the Elkhorn Coal Company has died in Fleming after poisoning himself by drinking Lysol. Shelby Emmerts, about 30, had been laid off from Elkhorn Coal, but had been employed by the federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) until recently. He was buried on Little Cowan.

Woodrow Dawahare and Bill Blair of Whitesburg traveled to Millersburg, Ky., earlier this week to enter Hoover and Martin Dawahare and Bill Blair Jr. into the Millersburg Military Institute.

Whitesburg High School’s boys’ basketball team defeated Hazard High on Saturday, 29 to 28.

People living in the community of Democrat still must use creeks as their roads.

From The Mountain Eagle’s sister publication, The Neon News:


Gilbert Polly is announcing himself as a candidate for the office of sheriff on the Republican ticket. Sandy Adams announces his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the office of county judge. s

Mr. Ralph Beverly, who has been in the U.S. Army at Camp Stewart, Savannah, Ga., is visiting his mother, Mrs. Jess Stephens, for several days. He will next enter an aviation school at Kansas City. s

Neon is expected to have a modern bowling alley in the near future. The new place of entertainment is under the management of Dr. Ernest Skaggs, Nile Skaggs and Tony Dann. This sport is a great game and can be played by both sexes.

Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur Kazee are the recent purchasers of Craft’s Cafe. Mrs. Kazee was the former Miss Lulu Hall and has been employed by the Sam Hush Store for a good number of years.


Fire last night caused an estimated $2,200 damage to the Whitesburg Main Street Service Station, operated by Otis Mohn and owned by the Gulf Refining Co. Origin of the fire has been traced to the coal furnace by Fire Chief Remus Day. Day said fire or heat from the furnace evidently caused dust to ignite.

Letcher County’s March of Dimes campaign — the anti-infantile paralysis (antipolio) drive — will get into full swing this Monday, according to Mrs. W.P. Nolan, campaign director.

Notice of the death of her son, Elmer Mullins, 23, while fighting in Korea, was received by Mrs. Alva Mullins of Dongola, from the U.S. government. A native of Letcher County, Mullins was killed December 1. He enlisted in the Army during World War II.

Living in Letcher County are two grandchildren of a Revolutionary War soldier, James Caudill. They are Mr. Hiram S. Caudill of Whitesburg, and his sister, Hannah Caudill Adams (born March 11, 1875). Their father was Isom Caudill, born in 1796; thus these two generations, father Isom and children Hiram and Hannah, have lived during the lives of every President of the United States. James Caudill was one of the earliest settlers of Letcher County and is buried near Blackey.


A move to new offices delayed publication of The Mountain Eagle a day this week. You will find us at 120 Main Street, in the old Cook building. Our old offices are occupied by Eagle Printing, now owned by Mr. and Mrs. W.P. Nolan.

A major political war seemed about to develop this week, but both sides retreated after the first skirmish. Irene Bates Smith announced she was considering running for county court clerk on the Democratic ticket. She is a cousin of Charlie Wright, who is seeking another term as clerk. Employees in the clerk’s office said that Mrs. Smith is a registered Republican and is thus unable to run on the Democratic ticket. Mrs. Smith said she had changed her registration to Democrat in order to vote for Wright in another election. She said she believes her registration records have been lost. Mrs. Smith said she has received encouragement to run as a candidate for the Republican nomination; a victory in that race would pit her against Wright in November.

Marine Pvt. Jerry D. Rains, son of Mr. and Mrs. Victor Rains of Fleming, completed recruit training December 21 at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C.

Cary Grant and Tony Curtis star in “Operation Petticoat” playing this week at Isaac’s Alene Theatre.


An all-day public hearing was held yesterday in Hyden as part of the continuing investigation by federal and state officials into circumstances surrounding the Finley mine disaster which took the lives of 38 miners last week in Wooton in Leslie County. The hearing limited itself to the actual explosion, much to the concern of many present who had hoped that broader questions involving inspection procedure and Coal Mine Health and Safety enforcement by the U.S. Bureau of Mines would be raised.

“There is widespread fear throughout the eastern Kentucky coal mining area that the Leslie County mining disaster will be used as an excuse to shut down totally the hundreds of small truck mines which operate in Kentucky, eastern Tennessee, western Virginia and West Virginia,” says a Mountain Eagle editorial written in the wake of the Hurricane Creek mining disaster in Hyden. “We are afraid that the fear may be justified. … Closing down the truck mines would bring total depression to the mountains. If it is hard for eastern Kentucky to live with these mines, it probably is true that the area couldn’t live without them. … If necessary, there should be a very liberal program of direct federal loans and grants to bring mines up to the highest degree of safety possible under technology available today. And if the federal treasury can bail out the Penn Central Railroad with loans and grants, can enrich giant oil firms and aerospace firms, why not help the coal industry?”

The Leslie, Knott, Letcher, Perry Community Action Council has transferred $19,980 from other LKLP programs to pay salaries and fringe benefits for employees of the Millstone Sewing Center from January 1 until June 30. The center, which has been in operation since 1966, remodels used clothing for poor families and makes new clothing and bed clothes for them.


The City of Jenkins has formed a new three-man water commission — the second within three years — so that the city could continue to receive money to buy gasoline to power two pumps which bring water from Fishpond Lake to Jenkins Lake, the city’s reservoir.

County Judge/Executive Robert Collins says he’ll be a candidate for a fourth term.

Hindman Democrat Bill Weinberg says he will not be a candidate for election as state representative from the 92nd District. Weinberg’s law partner, Chris Perkins, the son of U.S. Rep. Carl D. Perkins, says he will seek the state legislative office.

For the first time in American history, the ceremony inaugurating an American President will be held at the west front of the U.S. Capitol, with a panoramic view down the mile-long National Mall to the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Monument beyond. Previous inaugurations were on the east front of the Capitol, which faces a paved plaza and a loop of streets.


An oil company and the foreman of a drilling company are charged in an indictment handed down by the Letcher County Grand Jury. Newport Oil Company is charged with first-degree criminal mischief for “allowing its agents, acting in the scope of their employment to destroy/ damage public property,” in particular a bridge and road at Ingrams Creek on Linefork valued at more than $25,000. The company is also charged with first-degree wanton endangerment for damaging a bridge that a school bus travels across. Howard Starcher, 33, of Pathfork in Harlan County, is also charged in the indictment. Starcher is a foreman for Cumberland-Harlan Drilling Company, a sub-contractor for Newport Oil Company.

Renovations have been completed on Whitesburg’s sewage treatment plant. The $1 million renovation project began about a year ago to bring the plant up to federal standards that will take effect under the U.S. Clean Water Act.

The January meeting of the Jenkins City Council turned into a shouting match when two citizens called for a ban on strip mining and the council refused. Retired Beth-Elkhorn Coal Company engineer Louis Quick called for the ban, saying the watershed of Elkhorn Lake “needs to be protected beyond any doubts.”

“Kindergarten Cop” and “Home Alone” are playing this week at Whitesburg I & II.


Managers of plants in eastern Kentucky appear in a video produced by Gov. Paul Patton’s office, and the managers are full of praise for the workers in their businesses. Among those offering praise to east Kentucky workers are Durwood Brady of Trus Joist McMillan and Sykes Industries President John Sykes, who said his office in Pikeville which supplies telephone help for the Microsoft Network and other computer and software companies, had the highest customer satisfaction award in the company two months in a row.

Natural gas companies would no longer be allowed to exercise the right to eminent domain to place main transmission lines from wells to refineries if a bill sponsored by State Rep. Howard Cornett passes during this year’s Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly.

For the first time in many months, Letcher County is not among the top 10 Kentucky counties in terms of the percentage of its residents who are unemployed. State figures show only 616 members of the county’s 8,199 civilian labor force were unemployed. The rate of unemployment for November was 7.5 percent.

The Whitesburg Lady ’Jackets pulled off a 33-point turnaround in coming from behind to defeat visiting Jenkins 75-64. Hot-shooting Jenkins jumped to a 13-0 lead by the midpoint of the first quarter before Whitesburg came roaring back to tie the game 33-33 at the half.


As temperatures continue to drop, Letcher County residents continue to see their electricity bills go up. Bills for some homeowners have more than doubled from last month’s total. Kentucky Power Co.’s corperate communications manager, Ron Robinson, acknowledged the company has been received calls from customers complaining about higher bills. Robinson says the higher bills are a combination of a rate increase approved this summer and an increase in the amount of electricity being used during this unusually cold and snowy winter.

A hearing will be held in Frankfort to determine whether the City of Whitesburg will have a say in how state government must spend $240,000 in fines the city believed it would be getting. Whitesburg attorney Jimmy Asher filed the motion on the city’s behalf after learning that money the city thought it would have available for water and sewer projects was instead being spent on a similar project in Jenkins. The money in question is part of a $500,000 sum that Mountain Rail Properties, a sister corporation to Childers Oil Company of Whitesburg, agreed to pay to settle a lawsuit the state filed after the North Fork of the Kentucky River was contaminated by diesel fuel spills in late 2008 and early 2009. The money was to go to a “local government” to be used for “sanitary line extension and or rehabilitation projects.” An official with the Division of Water said that the agency holds the position that “local government” could mean any town or county in the region with a proper need for $240,000.

Letcher County received about eight inches of snow over the weekend and is expected to get at least two more inches of snow as this week continues. Jeff Carico of the National Weather Service said a Whitesburg weather observer recorded six inches of snowfall from Friday night to Saturday morning and another two inches of snow on Sunday. Carico predicted an inch to three inches of snow to accumulate on Tuesday night with another two to four inches of new snow today (Wednesday).

Good winter crappie fishing is available to fishermen who will brave the cold weather to go out on a lake, says Greg “Gabby” Caudill. “A live minnow fished on a floater is a very simple and effective way to fish for deep water crappie,” he writes.

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