Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since 1907.


NOVEMBER 11, 1921

Dr. Fitzpatrick will be the new Letcher County Judge in January, after winning Tuesday’s election. Other winners this week are Joel Childers for circuit judge, Jim Combs for sheriff, Bill Reynolds for jailer, and Steve Combs for circuit court clerk.

Letcher County held a model election Tuesday, with practically no drunkenness and not a fight reported.

W.T. Fairchild, manager of the Pearl Theatre in Whitesburg, has been quite ill with tonsilitis.

W.H. “Henry” Sergent has been appointed temporary postmaster in Jenkins.

The nation’s leading railroad companies say they have proposal that would reduce wages and return the savings to customers. “At the moment, railroads in many cases are paying 46 cents an hour for unskilled labor when similar labor is working alongside the railroads and can easily be obtained by them at 20 cents an hour,” says a statement released by the Association oof Railway Executives.


NOVEMBER 12, 1931

In Knott County on Saturday, two married men agreed to trade wives. On Sunday, they carried out their agreement by securing marriage licenses and going to a minister and getting married.

The November term of Letcher Circuit Court opened Monday with only a small crowd of country citizens in the city.

Not in 50 years has Kentucky shown itself so overwhelmingly Democratic. Judge Ruby Laffoon won the governor’s race by 73,000 votes, and only two congressional districts — the 5th and the 11th — voted Republican.

H.C. Whitaker, owner of the orchards at Elsiecoal, brought a fine lot of sample winter apples to Whitesburg.

Benjamin Bentley, a young man of about 21 who was employed at the Marlowe coal mines on Sandlick, was killed in a slate fall on Monday. He was a brother to the late R.B. Bentley, former Letcher County court clerk.

Joel P. Boggs, well known and highly respected resident of Eolia and father of Letcher County Schools Superintendent Arlie Boggs, died unexpectedly Friday night at age 64

November 11 marked the 13th celebration of Armistice Day, the day fighting stopped on the battlefields of France and the Great War ended. “Like a dash of lightning, the news went around the world. Our boys, those yet alive, would soon be coming home to be embraced in mothers’ arms again,” a Mountain Eagle commentary says. “All day long the old courthouse bell sounded over the little valley, mingling with shouts and screams of mothers and sweethearts. …Our nation keeps the memory of Armistice Day still green. And may its sad memories bury forever even the possibility of another clash of arms that calls for the sacrifice of young blood and young hearts.”

An evenly-played first half turned into a rout as the visiting Wh i tesburg Yellowjackets defeated the Jenkins Cavaliers, 39-0. Jenkins, which came into the contest having lost only two games, was led by Malick and Howington. Whitesburg was led by Sam Potter and Broughman.

The new Carcassonne school building will be dedicated November 20.


NOVEMBER 13, 1941

After returning from his work as machine operator in No. 4 mine, Jim Gallion went into an old, abandoned mine on the creek bed near his home to get a little coal for the family’s use. After putting off a shot, Gallion is said to have gone back into the mine to see the result of the blast, when a heavy fall came and killed the valued employee of Consolidation Coal for more than 20 years.

J.E. Isaac, owner of the Kentucky Theatre of Whitesburg as well as the Novo Theatre, Cumberland, and the Benham Theatre, Benham, recently announced his affiliation with the Schine Circuit, which is the largest independent chain theatre circuit in the county and means another step forward in motion picture entertainment in Whitesburg.

“I have read that leaves should not be burned because their smoke is injurious to our nasal, throat and other organs of respiration,” writes H.H. Harris. “I believe I have read that epidemics of diphtheria have followed as a result of burning of leaves.”

The Senate voted 50 to 37 on November 8 to amend the Neutrality Act so that American ships may mount guns for their protection and sail through any seas and to any ports, including combat zones and the harbors of belligerent nations.

From The Eagle’s sister publication The Neon News:


NOVEMBER 14, 1941

The Neon Bowling Alley is open for business this week. Two new alleys have been installed, in addition to the two already in use. They are standard ABC regulation alleys. The Neon Bowlery is to be commended for investing much money in the interest of good recreation. It is something that Letcher County needs badly.

A pie supper will be held at the Middle Millstone School November 22. A.C. Sergent and two teachers, Mrs. Roy Cornett and Ruth Edmiston, are urging the public to attend. Proceeds collected will go for books for the school library and the Christmas entertainment.

A six-year-old Chrysler Coupe is being advertised in the Neon News for the price of $225. The ad says the vehicle has good tires, a good motor, a radio, sealed beam lights and a new battery.

Writing about his salary as a teacher, H.H. Harris says, “I taught my first school at $13 and board per month. I saved all but about $5. My wages rose to $25.40, $100, $225, then dropped back down to $95. I taught one year in Virginia at $25 and 55 years in Kentucky.”


NOVEMBER 15, 1951

A work stoppage at two Consolidation Coal Company mines in the Jenkins area was discontinued Monday when 400 to 500 employees of the mines returned to work. The stoppage began Friday when a 12-man crew at No. 204 mine at Jenkins walked off the job, claiming their foreman had abused them.

S.J. “Sam” Bates, Whitesburg, was sentenced to serve two fiveyear terms in a federal penitentiary on two of four counts against him. The two five-year terms are to run consecutively. Bates was indicted on charges stemming from a raid on his home by federal agents when a machine gun and other automatic weapons were found in his possession.

Three Letcher County youths have enlisted in the Air Force. They are Neil Hampton, son of Mr. and Mrs. George Hampton of Jeremiah; Stephen M. Brown, son of Mr. and Mrs. J.T. Brown of Whitesburg; and George Potter, son of Mr. and Mrs. B.F. Potter of Democrat. s

Fire broke out in a clothes closet of the Charlie Craft home on Pine Creek Friday and cause around $600 damage before the neighbors got the blaze under control. The Whitesburg Fire Dept .received an alarm about 5:15 p.m. Fire Chief Remious Day said there was little for his department to do when they arrived on the scene because the neighbors of the Crafts had done a good job fighting the blaze.


NOVEMBER 16, 1961

Funeral services will be held at Jenkins Saturday for Millard Craft, Jr., 22, who was one of 74 Army recruits and three crew members killed in the crash near Richmond, Virginia, last week. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Millard Craft, Sr., and had moved to Baltimore, Maryland, with his parents in 1950. The four-engine propliner on which Craft was killed crashed after an engine failed while en route to Columbia, South Carolina after taking off from Baltimore. It orginated in Newark, New Jersey.

“ Ben Hur”, winner of 11 Academy Awards including Best Picture of the Year, will be shown this week at Isaac’s Alene Theatre in Whitesburg.

The Bias triplets from Fleming — Josephine, Ernestine and Florine — attracted lots of attention during a trip to Whitesburg. Their mother, Mrs. Alice Fay Tilley Bias, tells the triplets apart by using pink diaper pins for Ernestine, blue for Josephine and white for Florine.

The Whitesburg Yellowjackets will open their 1961-62 basketball season November 21 with Dunham. The Jackets will have six lettermen returning this year. They are Wilgus Sturgill, senior; Kyle Raleigh, senior; Jimmy Stamper, junior; Jerry Coots, junior; J.D. Jones, junior; and Kenneth Frazier, senior.


NOVEMBER 25, 1971

Explorations in Jeremiah by a team of anthropologists have established Black Bottom as the site of a prehistoric Native American village. Dr. Lathel Duffield, State Archeologist and head of the team, said, “This is the only known open village site of the Woodland culture anywhere in central or eastern Kentucky.” Begie Breeding, Jr., and his wife Judy, who own the Black Bottom land, have had to post the area to keep curio-seekers from digging and destroying the remains of the village.

The sanitary landfill in Millstone, which has been delayed for months for a variety of reasons, now appears ready to open. The operating permit has been granted and the facility will also serve part of Knott County.


NOVEMBER 19, 1981

A 21-year-old Letcher County man has been jailed on charges of extortion, wanton endangerment, and terroristic threatening. Tony L. Yonts allegedly threatened and tried to extort a large sum of money from D.B. “Doc” Franklin, an elderly Sergent storekeeper. According to state police, Yonts threatened to beat Franklin and burn his home and store if Franklin did not agree to pay the man $5,000.

“Our senior citizens were very upset last week when someone broke into the center and took nearly everything they had,” writes McRoberts correspondent Madelyn Combs. “Their TV, two typewriters, their silverware, their electric coffeepot and even their coffee and Coffee-Mate were stolen . . . . We hope the police can track down the clues and catch the guilty ones.”

U.S. Army Pfc. Wayne Watts, son of Glenn and Joy Watts of Premium, graduated recently from Fort Knox, where he received several honors including Soldier of the Cycle, the Ausa Patton Award (given to the most outstanding recruit), Platoon Leader, leader and member of the honor platoon, Defensive Driver Award, Armored Reconnaissance Specialist, and the ITV Gunner Award.

Youngsters in the kindergarten at Colson School had a chance for some firsthand conversation with a real turkey when aide Neva Fleming brought the bird to school for them to see. The turkey is one of a flock raised by Mrs. Fleming’s father.


NOVEMBER 13, 1991

Democrats swept the 1991 general election, with every party candidate carrying Letcher County. On the non-partisan judicial ticket, Letcher District Judge Larry Collins stunned observers by scoring a lopsided victory over 19-year incumbent Circuit Judge F. Byrd Hogg.

Nearly 200 additional eastern Kentucky miners will be out of work by December 20, when two southern Pike County coal mines are scheduled to close. The latest layoffs will bring to nearly 600 the number of eastern Kentucky workers who have lost their jobs to mine closing this fall. Trojan Mining and Processing Inc. mines No. 1 and No. 2, formerly known as Mine 25 and Mine 26 of Beth-Energy Corporation, are expected to close permanently by December 20.

The new quarters of the Kingscreek Volunteer Fi re Department may be one of a kind. More than just a firehouse, the metal building will also house a gymnasium/community center and a senior citizens center. The fire department received an $80,000 low-interest loan from the Farmers Home Administration and a $20,000 grant from the Area Development Fund at Kentucky River Area Development District to build the building. The rest of the money will come from donations to the fire department. When finished, the building will have cost between $150,000 and $170,000.

Letcher County’s personal per capita income of $9,446 places it 96th among Kentucky’s 120 counties, according to the Kentucky State Data Center.


NOVEMBER 14, 2001

A month after voting unanimously for an ordinance to regulate natural gas gathering lines, the Letcher Fiscal Court turned down the ordinance on a 2-3 vote. The vote followed intensive lobbying by the oil and gas industry. Representatives of several companies contacted magistrates before the meeting and brought more than a dozen company officials and contractors to the meeting Monday.

The Appalachian Regional Commission has approved a Kentucky Depa rtment o f Transportation plan to tunnel through Pine Mountain and build a new section of US 119. The 13-state federal commission on Friday voted unanimously to change its approved plan for US 119. The road between Whitesburg and the Harlan County line is one of three sections of Appalachian Development Highway remaining to be rebuilt in Kentucky.

Partners in a proposed $3 million office building to be built at Whitesburg Appalachian Regional Hospital broke ground on the building Monday. Doctors and hospital officials also announced an ambitious construction schedule that would have the building open to patrons by June 2002.

Mr. and Mrs. Sherd Martin celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary with an open house.


NOVEMBER 16, 2011

Jenkins police officers will be required to adhere to a policy of limiting their law enforcement activities to the city limits. The rule has been in existence since the administration of former mayor Robert “Pud” Shubert and was restated after a 2009 lawsuit that involved a Jenkins officer drawing a weapon on a suspect while answering a call in Haymond.

The grand opening of the Letcher County Recreation Center is set for November 19. Memberships will include access to the fitness area, walking track, basketball courts and indoor playground.

Award-winning and two-time Grammy nominee Blue Highway will perform November 17 at Bluegrass Express Live on WMMTFM. Since its debut in 1994, Blue Highway has become one of the most influential and respected bands in contemporary bluegrass.

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