Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since 1907.

FRIDAY MAY 27, 1921 Fatal shootings and other violent episodes resulting from labor issues involving coal miners and coal companies are drawing attention across our nation. “We do not know who is to blame for the state of warfare now and for some months existing along the Kentucky- West Virginia border, but we do know there is something vitally wrong somewhere,” Mountain Eagle editor Nehemiah M. Webb writes. “The strong arm of the law, if there be such, ought to reach out, get at the heart of such conditions and correct them.”

s The Bank of McRoberts is expected to soon change its name to the First National Bank of Fleming. Members of the bank’s board or directors will meet June 15 at the bank building in Fleming to take action to formally approve a request for the name change and to convert the bank into a national banking association. Meanwhile, the Bank of McRoberts reports assets of about $465,500.

s May’s cold weather means there will not be enough fruit grown in Whitesburg to bake a single summer pie.

s A big lot sale at Vicco in Perry County will be one of the last opportunities to secure property in one of the mountains’ best business centers. Vicco is the terminus of the new railroad line up Carr Fork.

s The Letcher Fiscal Court has voted to donate the proceeds of $250,000 of its road bonds to the state highway commission for the construction of primary roads leading from one county seat to another. The state will also kick in $250,000. The fiscal court also directed that the funds be used to build roads from Whitesburg to Hazard, from Whitesburg to Pikeville, and from Whitesburg to Hindman. A good solid roadway from McRoberts to Whitesburg and on to the Perry County line will set the wheels of progress to turning. Branch roads tied to the main line are but a few years off.

s Luckily, no person was injured when a boiler used by the Coca-Cola Bottling Company plant exploded Saturday morning. Witness who saw the blast from Main Street, just above the railroad depot, sent the boiler to a height of at least 150 feet off the ground before it landed on a spot about 500 feet from where it originally sat.

THURSDAY MAY 28, 1931 Before a packed crowd packed crowd in the Letcher Circuit Courtroom, a jury announced Wednesday night that it has reached a verdict of not guilty in the murder trial of Fred Blair, who was charged with shooting Isaac Maggard to death as Maggard walked in downtown Whitesburg, just in front of the Mullins Department Store. The “unwritten rule” is being cited as the reason for the jury’s verdict, as the two men had long been in a domestic dispute involving Maggard’s affair with Blair’s wife.

s Approximately 4,000 people now live in the Elkhorn Coal Corporation towns of Haymond, Hemphill and Fleming. Elkhorn Coal officials include George W. Fleming of New York City, who is the president of the firm. Harry B. Crane, who lives in Fleming, manages the company’s Haymond, Hemphill and Fleming branches. Thomas Haymond of Fleming is the consulting engineer for the entire division. C.T. Reasor operates the Fleming store and R.T. Reasor runs the Haymond store. S.N. Hall is in charge of the Hemphill store. R.H. Welch is the payroll clerk. Dr. H.R. Skaggs is chief surgeon at the company’s hospital in Fleming.

s South-East Coal Company began its operations in Letcher County in 1914. The company’s camps at Millstone and Seco, which is located on the farm of the late W.S. Wright, are considered among Letcher County’s best when it comes to adherence to law and order, good churches, good schools, a good hospital, and good living conditions. South-East now produces about 2,600 tons of coal per day.

s As The Mountain Eagle moves closer to the end of its 23rd year of operation, the Whitesburg newspaper is being featured in a news release from the Mergenthaler corporation.

Mergenthaler says that after founding editor Nehemiah Webb and staff spent the paper’s first eight years setting type by hand in a little one-room cabin, The Eagle is now located in a modern plant and setting type with Mergenthaler’s Model 8 Linotype. The Eagle is published each week by Webb, printer’s devil and all-around man J.P. Johnson, and Linotype operator F.S. Beverly.

s The Isaac family’s remodeling of the Kentucky Theatre it purchased recently is being seen a major milestone in the growth of the town of Whitesburg. The opening of the movie house marks the first time area citizens will have easy access to talking picture shows and an RCA sound system.

s In an advertisement for its theatres in Jenkins and McRoberts, Consolidation Coal Company points out they, too, have modern RCA sound equipment.

THURSDAY MAY 29, 1941 Heretofore the Letcher County health office has been giving three injections of typhoid vaccine to each person (a week apart) in order to establish immunity. Now word comes from the State Department of Health Office that if the person has been vaccinated within the past two years, now only one injection of the vaccine is necessary to establish that person’s immunity. This one injection should be done annually, however.

s Virgil B. Banks of Whitesburg has been promoted to the rank of corporal in his infantry regiment. Corporal Banks belongs to Headquarters Company of the Tenth Infantry, which left Fort Custer, Mich., on May 20 to accompany the Fifth Division to Camp Forrest, Tenn., where the maneuvers of the Second Army are being held.

s The Whitesburg High School Class of 1941, numbering 89, is the largest class in the history of the school. One of the unusual things about this class is that it includes three members of one family — Eva Dale, Cecil and W.L. Jr., the children of W.L. Stallard, who is one of the high school instructors.

s In the finals of the Letcher County Marble Tournament sponsored by the Kiwanis Club, Jimmy Dee “Sonny” Boyd, son of Mr. and Mrs. J.D. Boyd of Whitesburg, was the winner. Jimmy Dee will be sent to Huntington, W.Va. to compete with the marble champions from other counties. If he should be successful there, he will be sent to Atlantic City, N.J. to compete in the National Marble Tournament.

From The Mountain Eagle’s sister publication The Neon News: FRIDAY MAY 30, 1941 President Franklin D. Roosevelt has issued a presidential proclamation declaring an unlimited national emergency because of the outbreak of war in Europe. He wrote that objectives of the Axis belligerents in the war are not confined to those at its commencement, but include overthrowing throughout the world of existing democracy and a worldwide domination.

s Fred Day of Lynch, son of Clark Day, received serious injuries in the mines at Lynch early in the week, when the starter box on the motor on which he was working exploded.

s Ray Fields has been promoted to sergeant. He enlisted on May 29, 1940 and is now stationed at Holabird QM Depot in Baltimore, Md.

s The body of Private Melton Calton, of Kingscreek, has been recovered from the East River in New York, where he was drowned after a collision in an Army launch, and will be brought home for burial.

THURSDAY MAY 31, 1951 Mine employment in Kentucky continued to drop during the month of April. A 3.2 percent decrease from March to April was registered. Employment in the mines in March was 53,700, while 52,000 were working in April —a decrease of 1,700. April employment in the mines was the lowest since September of 1949 (excluding the months when strikes occurred) when only 51,200 were employed.

s Corporal Mack Bentley Jr., son of Mrs. Ada F. Bentley of Neon, has been awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious achievement in connection with military operations against Communists. Bentley came to Korea from Japan, where he was on occupation duty.

s Graveling of approaches to the Pine Mountain bridge to U.S. 119 will complete work on the bridge and highway. Traffic has been flowing over the new route for the past two weeks although the bridge is not officially completed. The bridge and approaches span the L&N railroad tracks and the Kentucky River.

THURSDAY JUNE 1, 1961 R.B. Caudill, Chairman of the Letcher County ASC Committee, said that 228 Letcher County farms participated in the 1960 Agricultural Conservation Program, and that the federal

government, through this program, paid back to them on a share-the-cost basis approximately $14,354. Farmers in the county planted 511 acres of trees and 121 acres were seeded to permanent vegetative cover. Farmers used 247 tons of agricultural limestone, as well as untold quantities of fertilizer for the seeding practices. Sixty-nine acres were seeded in winter cover crops under the ACP.

s Whitesburg’s municipal swimming pool will open for the season Saturday. The pool will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and holidays, and from 1 to 6 p.m. other days. Admission will be the same as last year — 50 cents for adults, 25 cents for children under 16 and 15 cents for those who are using the wading pool.

s “Pvt. Charles Holmes and Pvt. Mac Franklin are visiting their parents before going to new assignments,” reports correspondent Flora Scott. “They have completed their basic training at Fort Knox.”

s James Kendrick will come to Letcher County to become Letcher County Agricultural Agent. Kendrick will succeed Robert Fike, who will leave in June to work for the International Cooperation Administration, an agency of the federal government, in Sari, Iran, for the next two years.

THURSDAY JUNE 3, 1971 A Mountain Eagle editorial calls for building a walkway as construction begins on a new school for elementary classes in West Whitesburg. “With the next two years, traffic patterns in Whitesburg will have to change as both school buses and private cars take grade schoolers to the new building,” says the editorial. “Parents whose children will be attending the new school should make certain that the school board and other responsible parties get in motion whatever machinery may be needed to provide pupils a safe path to travel to and from school.”

s What was once a flurry of exploratory drillings has become a system of pipelines and expensive wells drawing and transporting oil, gas or both out of eastern Kentucky. An ever-increasing number of gas and oil companies have found in Appalachia a vast, and mostly untapped, fuel bonanza.

s The Kentucky State Highway Department has called for contractors’ bids for construction of the new road between Whitesburg and Jenkins. The project will be funded jointly by the State Highway Department and the Appalachian Regional Commission, with the ARC putting up 70 percent of the


s The U.S. Postal Service announced the appointment of Cuba C. Whitaker as postmaster at Eolia.

THURSDAY JUNE 4, 1981 The Millstone voting machine and the building that housed it were destroyed by fire early Sunday. State arson investigators were called into the case. A recount is underway in the Democratic race for sheriff, and Jenkins Mayor James F. “Chum” Tackett and Robert V. Adams of Neon are challenging vote counts which show Tackett the loser in the race for mayor of Jenkins and Adams the loser in the race for the Democratic nomination for magistrate from District 5. Adams and Tackett charged that the Dunham precinct remained open 15 minutes beyond the official closing time. The 300 votes cast in Dunham could alter each race. In the race for the Democratic nomination for sheriff, L.P. Sumpter, who lost to Ben B. Taylor by 47 votes, has requested a recount.

s A planned housing project in Jenkins appears to be in trouble because of the failure of the City of Jenkins to provide water service to the area where the houses were to be located.

s Coal prices are expected to rise 10 percent if striking miners ratify a new contract.

s The Mine Health and Safety Administration has issued its annual report about accidents which are still occurring at abandoned surface and underground mines.

s An attorney for Billy K. Banks, a director of pupil personnel in the Letcher County School System, suggested that Banks’s opposition to the re-election of Letcher County School Board Member Bobby Ison in last November’s election had cost Banks his job. All members of the school board said the election had no bearing on their decision not to rehire Banks.

s Fleming-Neon is awaiting approval by Congress of a bill which would allow money from the federal Economic Development Administration to be appropriated for construction of a new $2.75 million water plant for Fleming-Neon.

WEDNESDAY MAY 29, 1991 Nearly half of Letcher County’s workforce is unemployed, a new study says. At least 6,508 persons in the county are without jobs, according to a study by the University of Kentucky Appalachian Center. That’s 44.9

percent of the workforce in 1989.

. Kathy Turnmyre, 35, of Clintwood, Va., shot and wounded her ex-husband outside his home in Jenkins, and then apparently turned the gun on herself, police said.The incident occurred about 1:30 p.m. at the home of her ex-husband, Danny Turnmyre, 39, on Brickyard Hill. Kentucky State Police in Hazard said Kathy Turnmyre shot Danny Turnmyre in the arm with a .38 caliber pistol, then shot herself in the head.

. The number of Letcher County families making at least a partial living from farming has dropped from more than 150 in 1972 to only six today, a University of Kentucky researcher said. Some of those six families will be part of a UK oral history of the family farm in Kentucky. Murray State University and Western Kentucky University are conducting similar projects in western Kentucky.

. The Letcher County School System will offer free breakfast and lunch this summer to any child under 19, whether the child is enrolled in summer school or not. All meals must be eaten at the school.

WEDNESDAY MAY 30, 2001 Letcher County could see itsfirst wet-dry election in decades this summer. Jackie Looney, owner of the Seco Company Store and Highland Winery at Seco, has turned in a petition to the Letcher County Clerk’s office seeking a local option election to allow him to sell only the wine he makes, Letcher County Judge/Executive Carroll Smith said. All alcohol sales have been prohibited in Letcher County since the early 1940s.

. Former Mountain Eagle racing writer Chris Blair will become the director of drag-racing operations at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Blair, 31, will begin his new duties in July. Blair has spent the past four years as director of the Northwest Division for the National Hot Rod Association. He has been responsible for the sanctioning of 19 NHRA tracks in four Western states and three Canadian provinces.

. A bridge on US 119 near the Mayking Mall has been named in honor of World War II veteran Arius Holbrook, Sr.The bridge is thefirst on that section of highway, called the Veterans Memorial Highway, to be named for an individual. Holbrook was born March 17, 1923 and died August 11, 1983.

. Appalshop’s Seedtime on the Cumberland Festival will celebrate its

15th anniversary with a parade down Main Street in Whitesburg.The festival will run from June 7 to June 10 on the Appalshop grounds in Whitesburg. The parade will be held on June 9.

WEDNESDAY JUNE 1, 2011 A public hearing is scheduled for this week to discuss a list of more than $27 million worth of renovation and construction projects for school facilities in the Letcher County Public School District.The board may choose projects at any time but must follow the order in which the projects are listed in the district improvement plan. Funding for these projects does not exist at this time. This will be thefirst district facilities plan since the construction of Letcher County Central High School and Letcher County Area Technology Center.

. The 40th anniversary celebration of Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation is set for 1 p.m. on Friday at its Whitesburg location. “Forty years is quite an accomplishment,” said L.M. “Mike” Caudill, who succeeded his mother, Lois A Baker, as chief executive officer of MCHC. Mrs. Baker died at the age of 79 last June after a long illness. She became CEO of the non-profit MCHC in 1971, at which time the company had been in operation a short time.ffe corporation started out as a part of the Leslie Knott Letcher Perry Community Action Council.

. The 10th annual Cowan Creek Mountain Music School will be held June 20-24.The school will offer courses in banjo,fiddle, beginning and lead guitar, mandolin, square dance calling, old-time string band and singing.

. Army National Guard Pvt. Brent Adams has completed basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C. He is the son of Keith Adams of Whitesburg and is a 2010 graduate of Letcher County Central High School.

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