Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since 1907.


AUGUST 19, 1921

A Letcher Circuit Court Jury has sentenced Jonathan Frazier, about 25, to 10 years in prison after finding him guilty of murdering his 40-year-old brother, Henry Frazier, last October at Smoot Creek. The two men are sons of Uncle James Frazier of Smoot Creek. According to testimony at the trial, family disagreements between the two brothers ended in the killing.

A tragic accident has claimed the life of one Upper Cumberland River area’s best citizens. Henry Smith, 45, was crossing Black Mountain, between Smiths Branch and Pardee, when a raging storm hit and he and two other men, Ernest Rogers and Fred Arnold, took shelter in a small shack. While inside, a tree fell on the shelter, killing Smith and badly injuring Rogers and Arnold.

In Blackey, Willie Caudill and two other men captured a big moonshine still on Bull Creek, along enough beer to fatten a dozen swine.

The Whitesburg Lodge of the Loyal Order of Moose meets every Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the Junior’s Hall, say Dictator H.L. Wisehart and Secretary A.V. Sergent.

The Rev. Ben F. Caudill, son of late Colonel Ben Caudill, will preach at the Sandlick Baptist Church on Saturday and Sunday.

Company E is the new Letcher County company of the State Guard recently organized here.


AUGUST 20, 1931

Thousands of milk cows are being tested in Letcher County for tubercular germs, and so far, only a few have been found infected. The government is doing the inspecting, and when a cow is found to be infected, she is killed at once.

“We understand that the dangerous curve on the state highway on the head of Sandlick — the deathtrap mentioned in last week’s edition of The Eagle — is being posted and strung with guide cables. It is late to do so, but better now than never,” editor Nehemiah M. Webb writes the week after a wreck there killed a 60-year-old mother of 10.

The Ideal Furniture Company of Letcher County is now offering embalming services and flower arrangements for all occasions. Willard Williams is the embalmer. Undertakers are W.E. Mattingly and R.O. Davis.

Kyva Motor Company of Whitesburg is selling Oakland Motor Company’s newest model of its eight-cylinder Oakland Eight sedan for $1.019. Oakland says the car “has the speed to create a 70- mile breeze on a still day.”

Classes are scheduled to begin at Eolia High School and Eolia Grade School on August 23.

An extra room for science and experiments has been added to the Kingdom Come School.

What is considered the best “business corner” in downtown Whitesburg, the James Combs property on Railroad Street, is being sold at auction on August 12. Combs says he needs the money the sale will bring. The property, where Charlie Back laid a stone foundation for a fine residence years ago, fronts 100 feet on the street and more than 200 feet on the bank of the North Fork of the Kentucky River.

Sam Stamp has moved his dry-cleaning shop from Blackey to Whitesburg, on Railroad Street across from Home Lumber Company.

A big steam shovel is on its way to Roxana, and as soon as it arrives and can be put into position, work of grading on the state highway up Kingscreek will begin.


AUGUST 21, 1941

Clyde Scott, an employee of Consolidation Coal, was injured seriously Monday evening and was rushed to the Jenkins hospital.

Mr. Chester Hogg and Arthur Dixon, desiring to do a good deed and help their country train young marksmen, took young Dr. Lee Moore up on Pine Mountain and tutored the doctor a while in the art of shooting. According to Chester and Dixon, their faces were really red when they came back to town and related how Dr. Moore beat them both in the contest. A Works Progress Administration survey showed unemployment declined 300,000 in July to 5,600,000 — nearly 4,000,000 less than last July. The Bureau of Employment Security reported job placements of persons under 21 years increased 78 percent in the past year. The Bureau also reported that placements of Negroes are 47 percent higher than six months ago.

“The health of this community is pretty good, except for a few cases of measles,” reports The Mountain Eagle’s Linefork correspondent. “Bertha Ingram and children have been down with measles about two weeks. Rev. Geo. B. Ison’s daughter, Bertie, is very sick.”

From The Eagle’s sister publication The Neon News:


AUGUST 22, 1941

“Miss Clara Shaw recently became the leader of the Jenkins Girl Scouts, which continues to grow in interest and importance,” writes Jenkins correspondent Burdine Webb. “The membership grows right along.”

“ The old Dixie Diamond Coal Company, which has been closed for the past several years, re-opened last week under the management of Dick Mandt and George Watts of Alphoretta,” says the Blackey correspondent. “Repairs have already been made on the store and groceries bought. The new company is the Jean Francis Coal Company.”

People generally in Letcher County do not realize the high prices that are coming in canned goods this fall and winter. The U.S. Army is taking millions of cases of canned goods off the market — peaches, peas, beans, almost everything. And millions of cases of tomatoes and other canned products are going to England. Every person here should take advantage of the fruits and vegetables this summer and fall to can and preserve all the food they are able to.

The squirrel hunting season opened August 15. A county hunting license costs $1 and a statewide license is $3.


AUGUST 23, 1951

Mary Peake Davis, of Hazard, and Buford E. Kiser, of Whitesburg, have pleaded guilty to charges of receiving unemployment pay fraudulently while being employed. She was fined $10 and costs and he was fined $50 and costs.

Two men from Letcher County, Denny R. Smith of Whitesburg, and John C. Franklin of Ermine, have enlisted in the U.S. Air Force for a period of four years and have been assigned to Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas, for training

The Kentucky quail and rabbit season will open November 20 and continue through January 10. The daily limit for rabbits is eight, and for quails is 10.

“Smuggler’s Island” with Jeff Chandler and Evelyn Keyes and “The Texas Rangers” with George Montgomery and Gayle Storm are playing at Isaac’s Alene Theatre in Whitesburg.


AUGUST 24, 1961

Funeral services were held for Shirley Ann Kincer, 22, who was died of injuries received in an automobile accident. She, her fiancé Norman Holbrook, and his brother Bobby Holbrook were returning to jobs in Louisville and Indiana after vacations with their families in Letcher County. The accident occurred in Breathitt County.

State Sen. Archie Craft of Whitesburg has been nominated by President Kennedy to be the United States Marshal for the Eastern District of Kentucky. Craft has not yet said whether he will accept the nomination, which is subject to confirmation in the U.S. Senate.

Remodeling work now in progress at the Whitesburg Bargain Store will double the space of the bargain basement department, according to Hoover Dawahare, operator of the store. Workmen are digging out basement space in the front of the present basement area in a space formerly occupied by the store’s heating plant.

The Whitesburg Veterans of Foreign Wars Post Fire Department and Rescue Squad is planning a Labor Day celebration in Whitesburg. The event will include live pony rides, games with prizes, greasy pole contest, greasy pig contest, water fight, sack race, and other games and contests.


AUGUST 26, 1971

A group of coal miners has filed suit against the federal Social Security Administration, claiming that the miners have been illegally denied black lung benefits. If the federal District Court in Washington, where the case will be heard, upholds the miners, some 63,000 miners through the coalfields might receive their benefits despite the fact they have already been turned down.

Katherine Haynes and her nephew Joe Haynes have answered a restraining order issued against them by Pioneer Coal Co. by filing a counterclaim, including a basic assault on the legal standing of the broadform deed. The Hayneses had been ordered by Circuit Court Judge Stephen Combs to halt their resistance to Pioneer’s strip- and augur-mining activities on the land owned by the Hayneses on Bull Creek. The order was the latest in a controversy which has seen Joe Haynes hold off a bulldozer operator with a shotgun, claiming that the strippers had no permission to be on his land.

Letcher County school enrollment held steady this year, with a total of 5,658 signed into school this week. Last year’s total at the beginning of the school year was two less — 5,656.

“Where did August go?” asks Millstone correspondent Mabel Kiser. “Here it is going well onto September and many of the leaves are still lush and green. The time of death for summer is drawing nigh, though, as it must for all things. But if autumn is as beautiful as summer has been, it will be a sight to behold.”


AUGUST 27, 1981

The Letcher County Health Department received a new breath of life Friday when Letcher Fiscal Court voted 3-2 to rescind action taken at its June meeting which had apparently ended the county’s 2.9 percent health tax. State officials had told the county health board in July that without the tax the health department would fold because it would no longer be eligible for matching state and federal funds.

The first thin seam miner in eastern Kentucky was unveiled at a Letcher County mine last week. The new machine, which was built at a cost of $2.5 million, is said to be capable of auguring coal from rectangular holes up to 220 feet into hillside seams left by stripmining operations.

Letcher County Agricultural Agent Paul Morris has been named first-place winner in Kentucky in the search for professional excellence program in the 4-H and Youth Division.


AUGUST 21, 1991

County officials say they are getting tough on litter again. As part of the effort, County Judge/ Executive Ruben Watts introduced three new litter wardens last week, bringing the total to five. Each is assigned to a magisterial district. “We’re going to work it hard,” said Watts.

While raiding the homes and businesses of alleged bootleggers across Letcher County last week, Sheriff Steve Banks says he found one establishment that offered mixed drinks at $2 each, including a pina colada complete with a decorative umbrella. Banks said the establishment was “sophisticated,” and even had signs posted which warned patrons to keep their drinks off the pool tables.

Whitesburg-Letcher County Industrial Foundation members are still waiting to see what the city will do about a proposed land swap. The foundation has outlined a series of studies it wants the city to make before it even considers the proposal. City officials say they already planned to do the studies, however they declined to change their position on the swap after listening to opponents for nearly two hours.

Whitesburg may get a new kind of meal on wheels if a Kansas company gets the building permit it has applied for. Sonic, whose waitresses deliver food on rollerskates, has sent building plans to Whitesburg’s building inspector, Fire Chief Roy Benge.


AUGUST 22, 2001

President George W. Bush has declared Letcher County and four other eastern Kentucky counties a disaster area in the wake of flash flooding August 3 that caused more than $8 million in damages to the region. The declaration includes only assistance to repair public roads and bridges, meaning that individual residents who lost homes and other property will get no help from the government.

Cook and Sons Mining Co. wants to build an airport on property the City of Whitesburg obtained for that purpose more than 20 years ago. The council didn’t vote on the matter, but Councilman Gary Mullins and Mayor Nathan Baker both said during the meeting that they would probably be in favor of the idea if the airport were opened to the public.

The Jenkins Volunteer Fire Department has purchased an automatic defibrillator that can restart a person’s heart. The department doesn’t have an ambulance, but Chief Rick Corbett said he hopes the department can save lives by using the device while waiting for an ambulance to arrive.

The Fleming-Neon Pirates emerged from their first-half doldrums with a solid second-half performance in downing Evarts 25-6 in the opening game of the Letcher County Pine Mountain Bowl in Whitesburg Saturday.


AUGUST 24, 2011

Former Golden Years Rest Home administrator James F. “Chum” Tackett has asked the Kentucky Court of Appeals to stop the liquidation of the personal care home in Jenkins.

Black socks worn by high school football cheerleaders are drawing the attention of some members of the Jenkins Independent Schools Board of Education and other members of the community. School Board Vice Chairman Tracy Goff told the board he has received a number of phone calls and comments on the large amount of black on some uniforms and wanted to make it plain that the school colors for Jenkins are green and white.

The Jenkins Homecoming Days Festival will present Jenkins resident Bill Farley with a Lifetime Achievement Award during this year’s festival. Farley will also head the festival parade as grand marshal.

Nicholas Spaulding, son of Michael and Kim Spaulding of Lexington and grandson of William and Jolinda Wright of Whitesburg, competed in a Home Run Derby sponsored by the Atlanta Braves baseball team. Six-year-old Nicholas won first place by hitting three home runs out of five swings.

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