Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since 1907.


NOVEMBER 4, 1921

Letcher County Deputy Sheriff Doak Hall was shot at Mayking Sunday night and died Tuesday night in the Jenkins Hospital. Hall was shot in the stomach by an undetermined assailant after he broke up a “falling out” between Bill Craft and another man by striking Craft over the head with his pistol. As Dr. Bach, who happened to be in the area, was attending to Craft’s wound, someone came up and reported that another man had been shot and was down. It turned out to be Hall, who was able to report that someone flashed a light in his eyes before shooting him. Craft is recovering from his head wound in the Jenkins Hospital.

Short Motor Company of Fleming is advertising new Ford Sedans for as little as $660.

Whitesburg High School defeated Mayking High School in a basketball game, 37 to 4.

Two fine cows belonging to M.D. Lewis were struck by an L&N Railroad train and were injured so badly they had to be killed.


NOVEMBER 5, 1931

Democrats, including state representative candidate Dr. B.F. Wright of Seco and gubernatorial candidate Judge Ruby Laffoon of far western Kentucky, swept to victory across Kentucky in Tuesday’s general election. A.B. Chandler of Versailles, also a Democrat, was elected to the office of lieutenant governor.

Hazard High School scored the first touchdown of the season against the defense of the Whitesburg Yellowjackets at Hazard Friday, but it wasn’t enough to keep WHS from getting the 13-6 victory.

“The person who said, ‘Don’t let your politics run away with your business unless your business is politics’ spoke wisely,” Mountain Eagle editor Nehemiah Webb notes after Tuesday’s general election.

A new sink was donated to the Marlowe School by the Marlowe Coal Company.


NOVEMBER 6, 1941

Letcher County people seemed to all be very well contented tonight as the final vote was counted. Dr. B.F. Wright, well known Letcher County doctor, who was only defeated by a small margin in the last election, won for County Judge by a nice margin. Cossie Quillen, the well-known blind clerk, who ran to succeed himself, was reelected by a small margin. When the last precinct was brought in he was in the lead by 26 votes. At the final count, he had tabulated enough votes to win by the small number of 36 votes.

On Wednesday morning, Dr. B.C. Bach was called to Carbon Glow to care for Johnny Turner, a colored man who was critically injured in a slate fall while at work in the Carbon Glow mines. After Dr. Bach was unable to save him, Turner’s body was brought to Johnson Funeral Home in Whitesburg and prepared for burial and will be taken to his home in Augusta, Georgia for interment.

Bill Blair, one of Whitesburg’s youngest businessmen, has recently purchased from Dr. S.M. Childers the building which now houses Mother Craft’s Restaurant. Bill plans to move into the new restaurant, and Mother Craft’s will probably occupy the building next door.

“Dive Bomber” starring Errol Flynn and Fred MacMurray will play this week at the Kentucky Theatre in Whitesburg.

From The Eagle’s sister publication The Neon News:


NOVEMBER 7, 1941

Frank Hall, CIO representative, reports that the Wm. Ritter Lumber Company, the biggest lumber company in the southeastern part of the United States, located on Big Leatherwood in Perry County, has signed the Closed Shop Agreement with Union Construction Workers Organizing Committee. This will mean, according to Mr. Hall, a substantial increase in employees’ wages.

The town of Jenkins, which is Letcher County’s largest city, reelected Judge John H. Abbot, who has held the Police Judge office for 12 years. The town board that has served very efficiently for the past two years was re-elected by a good margin, carrying the votes by two to one.

A check for $80.75 was sent to Letcher County to be divided among 4-H Club members who won prizes at the Fair at Quicksand. A total of 33 blue ribbons and 15 red ribbons were won.

On October 26, the Fleming High School Pirates trampled on the Whitesburg Yellowjackets for a score of 12-7. The touchdowns were made by Ralph Richardson and Tony Vertucca.


NOVEMBER 8, 1951

Thirty-eight absentee ballots were counted this afternoon to settle the close County Judge’s race between Robert Collins, Democrat, and Stephen P. Adams, Republican. At the end of the tabulation, Collins led Adams for a 34-vote majority. Adams polled 20 of the absentee ballots to Collins’s 18 and Collins won by a final majority of 32 votes.

Fire destroyed the five-room dwelling house of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Day on Cowan. At the time of the fire, Mr. and Mrs. Day were in Whitesburg, attending a movie. The fire alarm sounded in Whitesburg about 6:20 p.m. The alarm was sounded too late however and since there was no water supply near the building, the Whitesburg Fire Department did not make a run. The building, owned by Mr. Dennis Tolliver, was covered by insurance, the amount given as $1,500.

Quarterback Jack Hall ended a brilliant high school football career Monday as he led his Fleming-Neon Pirates to a 19-7 victory over Evarts. The stellar quarterback became ineligible for further high school competition.

Miss Josephine Fugate, of Jenkins, has been chosen by her hall as a candidate for queen of the University of Kentucky yearbook. She is a sophomore in the College of Education at UK.


NOVEMBER 9, 1961

Democratic candidates won all but three major county offices in Tuesday’s election, but victory margins were smaller than they have been in many years. Former County Judge James M. Caudill was re-elected to that office over Republican Bill Adams.

Persons who would be interested in living in a new lowrent brick home in Whitesburg are asked to stop by City Hall Friday, Saturday or Monday to indicate their interest. The proposed housing, to be constructed with federal funds, would rent for from $28 to $65 per month, with an expected average of about $48 per unit per month. The rental price would include heats, lights, sewers, water, a stove, and a refrigerator. The annual income level for families should be $4,000 or less.

Pfc. Charles L. Adams, who is stationed at Fort Knox, has been transferred from Company B, where he was an instructor, to the 133 Army Band as a clarinetist.

Four Letcher County students are among 160 seniors performing student teaching at 30 elementary schools throughout Kentucky. They are Jimmie Allen Arthur, Letcher, who is teaching math in Breathitt County; Estill Darrell Banks, Whitesburg, commerce at Model, Richmond; Phyllis Ann Cain, Buckhorn, elementary education at Model, Richmond; and Melvin T. Fields, Kingscreek, math at Model.


NOVEMBER 18, 1971

United Mine Workers members in Letcher County have returned to their jobs after a new national contract between the union and the soft-coal operators was signed over the weekend. A spokesman at the Beth-Elkhorn Corp., the only unionized operation in the county, said that “the men began returning right at 12:01 a.m. Sunday.”

The U.S. Bureau of Mines has authorized the opening of a new coal mine on Leslie County’s Hurricane Creek, just several hundred yards away from the Finley Coal Co. 15-16 mine which exploded last December killing 38 men. Listed as president and vice president of the new firm, B.C. and D. Coal Co., are Clifford Finley and Dill Finley. Both are cousins of Charles and Stanley Finley who ran the mine which blew up December 30. That explosion was caused by the illegal use of non-permissible explosives underground.

Thieves looted the Holbrook Co. General Store at Millstone Friday and got away with merchandise valued at $1,500. Letcher County Sheriff Lewis Hall said the thieves entered the store through the front door.

Bulldozing for a housing site in Jeremiah has uncovered a number of remnants from the days when Native Americans camped in the mountains. Begie Breeding Jr., and his wife Judy discovered several patches of black dirt after a bulldozer had scraped off the surface on Black Bottom. While digging into the loose dirt they found flat rocks encircled by upright stones. Nearby they uncovered many arrowheads and other pieces of flint in the shape of knives and other instruments. The Breedings have halted bulldozer work until members of the Anthropology Department of the University of Kentucky arrive to investigate their find.


NOVEMBER 12, 1981

The Letcher Fiscal Court apparently will help finance construction of the proposed new Whitesburg High School — if it’s legal. At a public hearing Monday, the court indicated it would allocate a portion of the county’s coal severance tax money to help build the $5.5 million plant if the state attorney general’s office okays the action. “I know of no better thing the court could spend the money on,” County Judge/ Executive Robert Collins told a group of more than 75 teachers, parents and school administrators who appeared at the hearing.

Letcher Circuit Judge F. Byrd Hogg has disqualified himself from hearing the case of Jenkins Mayor James F. “Chum” Tackett on charges of obstructing governmental operations. Tackett faces charges of menacing, harassment, and terroristic threatening arising from an attempt by Alcoholic Beverage Control agents to pick up contraband liquor at Jenkins City Hall last August. Tackett is alleged to have obstructed ABC agents from executing a court order for the contraband liquor, and to have threatened to kill Letcher District Judge Randall Bentley.

“ Indian summer keeps hanging on with its beautiful clear blue skies, but cold nights,” writes Blackey correspondent Grace Caudill. “It can continue indefinitely as far as I am concerned. It seems good to see the blue sky because most all summer it stayed hazy; the sun couldn’t break through.”

“An American Werewolf in London” and “Night Hawks” will be shown at Cinema 7 Drive-In Theatre this weekend.


NOVEMBER 6, 1991

Funeral services were held Friday for John Emerson Spangler, 19, of Mayking, a volunteer firefighter killed when he was trapped by a forest fire. He was pronounced dead on October 30 on a hillside near Fleming- Neon where he and three other volunteers had attempted to build a firebreak. Trooper James Catron, spokesman for the state police in Hazard, said arson investigator James Burnett has opened an investigation into the fire.

Kentucky state attorneys and state police detectives have arrived here to begin their investigation of the Letcher County Fiscal Court. The attorney general’s office agreed in October to enter the investigation at the request of the Letcher County Grand Jury. The jury had already been investigating the fiscal court’s purchases after news accounts of the court’s bidding procedures and culvert purchases and after public disagreement among members of the court.

Jenkins officials have voted to advertise for an electric power franchise, after four years of feuding with Kentucky Power Company. The council and power company have been at odds over the length of a franchise and the amount of money the city would receive. The current ordinance calls for a 10-year franchise term with the city receiving a 25 percent rebate on its street light bill. s Many children in the United States need a shot in the arm — when it comes to protecting them from mea sl e s. Especially now that cases of measles have been popping up across the country. Nine years ago, health officials thought measles would be wiped out entirely. In 1983, there were only 1,497 measles cases in the United States. But just last year, 27,000 kids were struck by the virus. A lot of them have never had any measles shots because many parents thought measles wasn’t a problem anymore.


NOVEMBER 7, 2001

Da n ny We b b, o f Whitesburg, retired October 31 after 30 years in the Kentucky State Police, most of them in Letcher County. Most recently, Webb served as commander of KSP Post 13 in Hazard. A native of Millstone and a 1966 graduate of Whitesburg High School, Webb was hired by the state police July 12, 1971, after returning home from two years in Vietnam.

Letcher County Clerk Winston Meade says the county lost a bundle of money as the result of a four-day car sale here held by Toyota of Nicholasville. Meade made a visit to the sale site, and the lot manager assured him that the cars would be licensed in Letcher County, so the taxes would be paid to Letcher County. But as of Monday, Meade said only one has been licensed here.

A new, privately-owned radio tower may not seem important, but it could make a huge difference in the way Jenkins residents are connected to the rest of the world. Mega Communications of Dry Fork is expected to complete construction of a 400-foot tower on White House Road, just off Joes Branch this week. Cingular Wireless, formerly BellSouth Cellular, has purchased a five-year lease with options to renew it for up to 20 additional years to place a cellular antenna at the very top of the tower. Cingular technicians and Mega owner Randall Caudill said the tower should allow cellular signals to penetrate into much of downtown Jenkins, along with much of US 119 South and US 23 North into Pike County.

Eleven members of the Whitesburg High School Class of 1937 and guests assembled at Springs Inn in Lexington October 13 for a reunion.


NOVEMBER 9, 2011

Democratic candidates won the election in Letcher County Tuesday for every office. Unofficial election results from Letcher County show incumbent Steven L. Beshear won the governor’s race by a margin of 444 votes.

About 70 people marched down Main Street in Whitesburg to protest the possible closure of two elementary schools. The march was in response to a rumored redistricting plan under which the Letcher County Board of Education would close Arlie Boggs Elementary School and Beckham Bates Elementary School. The board has neither announced the schools will be closed nor voted on the matter.

Hospice of the Bluegrass will host Holiday Hope, an evening of support, memories, and discussion about dealing with grief during the holiday season.

All veterans from Letcher County are invited to attend a special Veterans Day program at Letcher County Cent ral High School on November 11. The day will begin with a complementary breakfast, followed by a program in the gymnasium.

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