Whitesburg KY

The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since 1907.


APRIL 22, 1921

The minutes of the Indian Bottom Association of the Indian Bottom Association of the Old Regular Baptists are now on the press at The Mountain Eagle and will be ready for delivery in a few days. s

The Letcher County Grand Jury has already reported 193 indictments and is still investigating. s

Former Letcher County Sheriff Louis Cook said he will soon announce his candidacy for the office once again. s

A Mountain Eagle editorial praises the fact that women are now serving on court juries in Letcher County. Writes editor Nehemiah M. Webb: “For the first time in our history, the ability of some of our good mothers is being tested in the most — or almost the most — sacred positions that come to Americans, that of sitting in judgment of offenders or alleged offenders of the law. Women, in our opinion, are as keen-sighted and as forethought-ed, as a rule, as men. They may not be able to dissect or peer into the minutia of things or as able to separate truth from error or lay bare facts as sifted from a preponderance of evidence as men are from lack of experience, but to make up for this possibility they possess a mentality of reasoning, a peculiar instinct of what is reasonable at the moment of action, that is not surpassed by men.” s

Three married ladies — Dianah Day, Mary Collins, and Martha Combs — served on the Letcher Circuit Court jury this week that found Frank Sain guilty of murder and sentenced him to a life term in the penitentiary. Two of the ladies voted for the death sentence. Sain was on trial for the murder of a Mr. Crabtree in Jenkins about six years ago. He was able to avoid arrest until eight months ago. The murdered man’s wife is also indicted in the case but remains at large. s

Four Letcher County banks are seeking business through advertisements in this week’s edition of The Mountain Eagle from the Blackey State Bank, the Bank of McRoberts at Fleming, the First National Bank of Jenkins, and the First National Bank of Whitesburg.


APRIL 23, 1931

C.S. Wilson, 37, manager of Consolidation Coal Company’s Burdine Recreation Building, was killed in a car crash in the upper end of Haymond last Sunday evening. Wilson was returning home from a visit to Dr. Bentley’s in Neon when the car he was driving went out of control and hit a small concrete trestle. s

With car sales picking up, Kyva Motor Company of Millstone says it is now able to sell used cars at prices ranging from $45 for a 1925 Buick Master Six Coupe to $795 for 1931 Pontiac Custom Sedan. s

Letcher County Sanitation Officer B.E. Boggs is calling on citizens to begin cleaning up their properties and using better waste and sewage disposal now to guard against another typhoid outbreak this coming summer. Boggs points out that open-surface privies are ideal places for the breeding of flies that carry typhoid. s

With temperatures cold enough for snow, it is worth remembering that the heaviest snow ever known in this county fell once on May 19, and it didn’t hurt a thing except some timber in the mountains. s

It is reported that the depression has also struck the moonshine business. Bootleggers, it is said, can hardly sell their product at any price and topers can hardly stand it or keep it down when it goes down. s

The survival without serious injury of a couple whose car was hit by a truck and knocked over a steep embankment at Sandlick is renewing calls for the “dangerous curve” there to be “railed” to “avoid the future dangers and deaths are sure to occur there.” s

The town of Pound, Virginia is growing so fast that Chant Branham is erecting a building to be used as a hardware store. Piggly Wiggly is also back in Pound, now located next door to the Moonlight Cafe.


APRIL 24, 1941

Sunday, May 4, 1941 is a longawaited day for the Whitesburg Methodist Church for on that day the beautiful new sanctuary will be thrown open to public worship. For over two years the congregation has been worshipping in the basement of the Daniel Boone Hotel, carrying on a full program of church work and not having missed a Sunday service since the fire on January 15, 1939. Loyalty and consecration to the task have made this possible. s

In orders recently issued by Colonel O.H. Saunders, Commanding Officer, 12th Infantry, stationed at Arlington Cantonment, Va., Private John Cornett, son of Mr. Luther Cornett, Kingscreek, was appointed corporal upon the recommendation of his company commander. Corporal Cornett was promoted because of his attention to duty and soldierly qualities. s

Several Whitesburg folk taking advantage of the pretty weather over last weekend went fishing in various sections of the state, among them Mr. and Mrs. Herman Combs and family who motored to Herrington Lake where, according to the Combses, they really caught the fish. s

Many members of the Craft, Adams and Webb families and hundreds of others from this section and outlying states will gather again, if Providence will permit, on the old campground at Mayking on the second Sunday in July. This will be the sixth reunion.

From The Eagle’s sister publication The Neon News:


APRIL 25, 1941

Senate and House conferees agreed Tuesday on qualifications of federal mine inspectors who would annually visit every coal mine in the United States pending legislation. The agreement requires that inspectors should have a basic qualification of five years’ practical experience in mining. s

The big population of Jenkins, especially the working people, still “sit on their ears” hopeful that the contract will be arranged so that more than 3,000 of the Consolidation Coal Co. workers can return to their places of employment. It would now be the most logical idea, and certainly the sane thing to do, for the big powers in Washington, President Roosevelt if necessary, to give the word that mines resume operations immediately. s

John P. Fleenor, Jr., 19 a member of the First Evacuation Hospital at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, was sent on March 31 to the Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C., for a three-month course of training in the Pharmacy Technician Section of the Medical and Dental Professional Service Schools. His mother is Mrs. Pearlie Fleenor of Whitesburg. s

“Thief of Bagdad” and “Andy Hardy’s Private Secretary” will be presented this week at the Jenkins Theatre.


APRIL 26, 1951

Military funeral services for Virgil Wheatley, 38, of Blackey were held Tuesday. Wheatley was killed Saturday at the Jeanne Francis Coal Co., Carbon Glow. He was crushed by a motor he was operating when it hit a high joint and threw him into the machine’s path. He was a veteran of World War II. s

A tuberculosis field worker, sponsored by Christmas Seal Funds, has been stationed in Letcher County. Ellis Maggard, of Whitesburg, said he will coordinate tuberculosis work in the county. Maggard said he will periodically visit TB patients in the county and suspected cases of the disease. s

A $1,000 Carnegie Fellowship for graduate work in education has been granted to Letcher County native Robert Clayton Haynes, a Transylvania College senior. He is a married veteran of World War II and worked part-time all the way through school and majored in biology and physical education.


APRIL 27, 1961

The City of Whitesburg moved two steps closer to a low-rent housing project this week. The Federal Housing Authority recertified the city’s program for community improvement, thus keeping the city eligible for various types of federal assistance, including low-rent housing. The city’s Municipal Housing Commission hired architects for the first lowrent housing units here. s

Letcher and Fleming-Neon high schools this week received ratings from the State Board of Education. Both schools, which had rated as “provisional” last year, were raised to “standard.” Whitesburg and Jenkins high schools retained their “standard” ratings from last year. s

Army Pfc. Remus Hart, son of Mr. and Mrs. Malcolm Hart of Southdown, is a member of the honor guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C. Hart, a 1956 graduate of Whitesburg High School, has been in the Army since last April. He is home now visiting his family. s

Lovell Williams of Whitesburg received what is believed to be the first Kentucky Veteran’s Bonus check to be delivered in Letcher County. Williams got his check at the post office today. It was one of $28,000 worth mailed in ceremonies Wednesday in Frankfort.


APRIL 29, 1971

The Kentucky Division of Strip Mining and Reclamation announced plans to add 12 new inspectors in the field. Elmo Grim, division director, said 10 of the new inspectors will work in eastern Kentucky, and two in western Kentucky. The state currently has 40 inspectors, with 32 in the mountains and eight in western Kentucky. Grim said the new inspectors are needed to keep up with the rapidly increasing growth of the strip mining industry. He said 23,000 acres of land were disturbed by strip mining in 1970, compared with 13,000 acres in 1969. s

Some 50 residents of the Pine Mountain Junction-Solomon Road area turned out Tuesday night to tell members of the city council they don’t want anything Whitesburg has to offer. They argued they don’t need police or fire protection — the things the city could offer immediately. They said they could “throw a pumper in the river” and be fighting a fire before a city firetruck could reach the scene. s

Officers elected to serve for the year at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5829 are Ray Biggerstaff, Commander; Paul Underwood, Senior Vice Commander; Shade Frazier, Junior Vice Commander; Kermit Lucas, Quartermaster; and Chalmer Engle, Chaplain. s

A collection of antique dolls dressed by Mrs. Verna Holbrook is now being exhibited at the Letcher County Library in Whitesburg. Mrs. Holbrook used part of her own wedding dress to garb one of the dolls.


APRIL 30, 1981

County officials elected this year will receive substantial raises in salary over the pay of current officials. The new salaries were approved by Letcher Fiscal Court in time to comply with a state law which says raises must be set before candidates are nominated or elected. The highest salary to be paid is $26,058 to be paid to the county judge/executive, sheriff, jailer and county court clerk. s

United Mine Workers members picketing the Blue Diamond Coal Co.’s Scotia mine at Oven Fork charged that a Leatherwood man attempted to run over several UMW members as they picketed. There has been no other strike-related violence in eastern Kentucky this week, which is the fifth week of the UMW strike. s

McRoberts School Principal David Banks says he will resign at the end of this school year to become full-time pastor at the Premium Baptist Church.


APRIL 24, 1991

A ruling by the National Labor Relations Board has cleared the way for the United Mine Workers of America to begin negotiating a labor contract with South East Coal Co. In a ruling issued April 18, a three-member NLRB panel upheld a hearing officer’s findings that union supporters did not engage in misconduct that altered the outcome of the UMW’s 391-vote win in a 1990 certification election at South East. Union officials are expected to begin making preparations immediately for bargaining talks with South East. s

Letcher County Schools Supt. Jack Burkich is awaiting a report from Fleming-Neon High School Principal David Jones before deciding whether action should be taken against members of the school’s baseball team for their role in an altercation with members of a team from Floyd County. Allen Central High School coach Anthony Moore has charged that two of his players were injured after they were struck by glass from a bus window broken by a member of the Fleming-Neon team. He said they were cut by flying glass caused when two bottles struck the bus as it was crossing Rockhouse Mountain on its way back to Allen Central. s

Justice Charles Leibson on Monday refused to release $40 million that has been held up as part of the seven-year lawsuit between Kentucky Utilities Co. and South East Coal Corp. Attorneys for South East, which is also in federal bankruptcy proceedings, have warned the company is on financial ropes and needs the money to keep operating. s

“Class Action” and “Out For Justice” are playing this week at Whitesburg I and II.


APRIL 25, 2001

Letcher County had Kentucky’s seventh highest unemployment rate — 10.6 percent — for the year 2000, according to state government figures. All but one of the 10 counties which had the highest unemployment rates were in eastern Kentucky. s

The Letcher County Board of Education and a screening committee appointed last month will choose the district’s next superintendent from among 21 applicants for the job. The deadline for receiving applications was April 16, but candidates can submit additional information through Friday. The screening committee will meet for the first time on April 30. s

“I guess last week’s cold spell could have been redbud winter or dogwood winter since both trees were in bloom,” writes Jeremiah correspondent Delana Banks. “Hopefully, it was both, so we’ll only have blackberry winter left to deal with.”


APRIL 27, 2011

The Letcher County Board of Education is not happy with the current sound system in the Letcher County High School gymnasium and wants a new system before graduation day on June 3. Speakers have been replaced and control panels and microphones have been added, but those measures have not fixed the problem. The board approved the hiring of Adams Engineering of London to take down 14 existing speakers located above the perimeter of the gymnasium floor and install four speakers above the center of the gym. s

“Bluegill fishing is really starting to get good with water close to or at summer pool on most lakes,” writes fishing columnist Greg “Gabby” Caudill. “The surface temperatures are in the low 60 to 63 range and the lakes are starting to stabilize and clear some. All these things add up to one very good thing and that is the kickoff to some of the best bluegill fishing action of the year.” s

More than 500 people waited in line at the Whitesburg Wendy’s to meet University of Kentucky basketball player Josh Harrellson. The two-hour meet-and-greet session in Whitesburg is a part of Harrellson’s “Jorts Tour,” which is sponsored by Wendy’s, Coal Mining Our Future.Net and others.

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