Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since 1907.


NOVEMBER 18, 1921

The Blackey Post Office has become Letcher County’s fourth third-class post office. An examination for a new postmaster there has been ordered.

Ground beef is on sale for 10 cents to 12 cents a pound at many locations.

People fought and bled and died because of the November election in Breathitt County, Middlesboro, and Louisville, but in Letcher County there was not a shot fired.

The Whitesburg Lumber & Supply Company is a new business being started here by A.C. Brown and John Salyer. It will be located just below the L&N Depot.

The new bridge across the North Fork of the Kentucky River connecting the Lewis Addition with Main Street in the east end of Whitesburg will be open to traffic by the end of this week.

The removal of the old building on the Carter Collins lot on Main Street will leave Whitesburg with only one building built before the Civil War. That is the old Brashears house on the opposite side of the same street.

The sale of beer for medical purposes is now legal in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where 10 druggists have been selected to sell a maximum of 100 beers to a patient every 90 days.

Bayer aspirin is in its 21st year of business.


NOVEMBER 19, 1931

A 50-year-old former Dry Fork man is accused of shooting and killing Stewart Taylor of Cincinnati after Taylor accused Brown, a grocery proprietor in Cincinnati, of being overly friendly with Taylor’s wife. Police say Brown, a son of John C. Brown of Dry Fork, suffered two scalp wounds inflicted with a hammer. The two men had been friends for several years.

A 19-year-old man convicted of murdering another man outside a Jenkins restaurant has been sentenced to 15 years in the Kentucky State Reformatory. Roy Jenkins stabbed Bill Cammack with a knife after the two got into an altercation at the restaurant.

Forest ranger Chap King and a small army of men have been working day and night to control a forest fire on Pine Mountain.

Seventeen boys and girls from the Marlowe School went to Seco last Tuesday for a special “tonsil clinic” made possible by Dr. Wright and three other physicians with money provided by the M.K. Marlowe family, which owns mines at Marlowe and Belcraft.

Jenkins physician Dr. T.M. Perry was called home after the unexpected death of his father.

The greatest attraction to appear on the streets of Whitesburg in some time was the new 1932 Buick, at $935, on display Saturday in front of the Daniel Boone Hotel.


NOVEMBER 20, 1941

John L. Lewis informed President Roosevelt by letter that the United Mine Workers had refused to accept an open shop agreement in captive coal mines because it would “invalidate” other agreements in operation throughout the soft coal industry. The union shop is the sole issue in the dispute which culminated in a work stoppage in captive mines.

Letcher County miners are out on a strike in sympathy with the captive mine workers who are fighting for a closed shop agreement. Most of the mines in this area are at present out on this strike.

In the Food for Freedom campaign, Letcher County farmers are asked to increase their production of milk by 14 percent, eggs by 9 percent, pigs by 10 percent, cattle and veal by 3 percent, and increase their gardens to feed the family.

“The Bride Came C.O.D.” starring James Cagney and Bette Davis will be shown this week at Isaac’s Kentucky Theatre in Whitesburg.

From The Eagle’s sister publication The Neon News:


NOVEMBER 21, 1941

Five industrial wage orders directly increasing the wage rates of thousands of workers in Tennessee and Kentucky went into effect November 3. These wage orders, issued by General Philip B. Fleming, Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division, require payment of at least 40 cents per hour in the shoe, furniture, jewelry and gray iron foundry industries, and at least 35 cents an hour in the lumber and timber products industry.

Pvt. Van Breeding of Randolph Field, Texas, will enter the mechanical school at Chanute Field, Illinois, with the next class from Randolph. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. John D. Breeding of Isom. Pvt. Breeding is a graduate of Whitesburg High School and attended Georgetown College.

“The Road to Zanzibar” starring Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour will be shown this week at Isaac’s Kentucky Theatre in Whitesburg.

Mrs. Fred McCray had a quilting last week. Those who attended were Mrs. Mattie Day, Mattie Thomas, Jane Jenkins and Mary McCray.


NOVEMBER 22, 1951

The final chapter to another great American success story was ended Monday when S.F. Dawahare, 63, well known Kentucky businessman, died at his Whitesburg home of a heart attack. Born in Syria, Mr. Dawahare set up a store in Jenkins in 1913, then moved his store to Neon. He opened a store in Whitesburg in 1935. After World War II, he opened new stores in Pikeville, Hazard and Cumberland.

Three Whitesburg area soldiers recently were awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge for excellence performance of duty in combat with the 7th Infantry Division. They are Pfc. Raymond Sturgill, son of Mr. and Mrs. M. Sturgill, Eolia; Pfc. Bill Pigman, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jasper Pigman, Whitesburg; and Pfc. Linuel E. Sumpter, son of Mr. and Mrs. D.W. Sumpter, Oven Fork. The Whiskered Wizards, a basketball team of former college and service players, will play a return engagement at Whitesburg tonight, when they meet the Independent Eagles.

A double feature will be shown this week at Isaac’s Alene Theatre. The films are “Angels in the Outfield” with Paul Douglas and Janet Leigh and “New Mexico” with Lew Ayres, Marilyn Maxwell and Andy Devine.


NOVEMBER 23, 1961

The proposal for a Letcher County health center was approved by the voters November 7 by a vote of 2,985 “yes” to 1,115 “no”. The tax to provide money for the center — 10 cents per $100 of assessed property valuation — will take effect for the fiscal year 1962- 1963. The average individual bill for the center will be about $1.50.

The Board of Directors of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad voted to spend $793,000 for track changes to improve its services in eastern Kentucky. The work will be done mainly on a 98-mile section of track between Hazard and Ravenna. Due to length of existing passing tracks in the area, the railroad has been forced to limit length of its freight trains to around 100 cars each.

Kentucky Highway Commissioner Henry Ward says the state is going to let a contract soon for a section of the eastern Kentucky turnpike between Hazard and Whitesburg “just to prove that we are going to build a highway all the way to Whitesburg.” The commissioner’s remarks came during a speech in Hazard sponsored by the Hazard Chamber of Commerce with Ward as a principal speaker.

Examinations for the Peace Corps will be held November 28 and 29 in Frankfort and Lexington. More information can be obtained through post offices.


DECEMBER 2, 1971

The Kentucky Department of Highways has submitted its design plan for the Whitesburg bypass to the Federal Highway Administration for approval. The engineering design submitted to the federal government is almost identical to the plan presented at a public hearing held in Whitesburg April 8. The only alteration is in the course of the 2.461-mile stretch of road behind Whitesburg Hospital. There an additional 50 to 100 feet has been allowed to the hospital to allow for possible expansion.

Two Letcher Countians who waited months for their chance to testify about strip-mining before the U.S. Congress have apparently missed their chance because the people in Washington never told them when, where or how their testimony was to be delivered. Katherine Haynes and Joe Begley, both of Blackey, had intended to appear before a House committee considering various strip-mine regulation bills in October. But those plans were altered when the hearings were cut back to just two days. Begley and Mrs. Haynes were never given another date to appear, although their names appeared on a release from the subcommittee on mines and mining giving the witness list for last Monday, November 29.

There will be a countywide garbage pick-up next week. It is part of the annual clean-up week in the county. All Letcher County residents wishing to have their garbage picked up should put it in bags or some other kind of container and place it beside the road.

Sixty-four units of public housing will open here in the spring of 1973. The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development has notified the Whitesburg Municipal Housing Authority it may proceed to obtain detailed design drawings and preliminary construction estimates for the new apartments.


NOVEMBER 26, 1981

Letcher Fiscal Court has agreed to pay more than $200,000 in coal and mineral severance tax money to help with construction costs of the proposed new Whitesburg High School. The court voted 4-2 Friday to give the Letcher School Board one-third of the total severance tax money the county will receive from the state during the remainder of the 1981-82 fiscal year.

A proposed “finish-up” plan recently released by the Appalachian Regional Commission would allocate some funds for two unfinished highway projects in eastern Kentucky: US 119 and US 23. But plans to build the approximately 25-mile section of 119 from Cumberland to Whitesburg are not funded in the proposed plan.

Fleming-Neon Mayor James Seals has been cited by federal officials for operating an illegal strip mine in Pike County. According to Bill Bradford, a spokesman for the U.S. Office of Surface Mining in Knoxville, a group of FBI agents and OSM inspectors from Floyd County went to an illegal mine site near Etty where they cited Seals for mining without a permit, not having siltation control at the mine site, and not having proper signs and markers at the mine site.

After almost a year’s interruption, the well-known square dances at the Carcassonne Community Center will resume the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Musicians will be Billy Hall and the Greenwood Mountain Boys including Lee Sexton, who has been featured at Carcassonne in past years.


NOVEMBER 20, 1991

Ernest Wilson, a Whitesburg builder, has filed suit against the Letcher County Fiscal Court and another contractor, saying he was illegally deprived of a contract to which he was entitled as the low bidder. The fiscal court voted 3-2 last month to award a bid on reflooring and upgrading the heating and cooling systems in the Boone Fork Senior Citizens Center building to Area Contracting Company of Colson. Wilson bid the job at $18,500, but his bid called for 3/8-inch plywood for flooring instead of the 3/4-inch plywood bid by Area. County Judge/Executive Ruben Watts told court members that 3/4-inch plywood was a requirement, and the court awarded the contract to Area Contracting on its bid of $24,350.

Letcher is one of 43 Kentucky counties which are receiving payments this season from permitting fees paid by coal companies to the state for surface mining permits. Letcher County will receive $27,280.03 which the county government can use as it sees fit.

There are no more World War I veterans living in Letcher County, according to a listing from the U.S. Department for Veteran Affairs. A news release from the department estimates that there are 348,300 veterans in Kentucky, 1,970 of whom live in Letcher County.


NOVEMBER 21, 2001

Letcher Fiscal Court turned down a request by Columbia Natural Resources to let it build a pipeline across the county road at Smith Creek. The court voted 4-2 to turn down the request. Several residents from the Blackey area were at the meeting to ask the court to reconsider an ordinance to regulate gas pipelines, which it rejected last week.

The City of Whitesburg has approved the basic design for a waterline extension that will serve an estimated 150 customers in the Mayking area. The city already has a $500,000 special appropriation from the Kentucky General Assembly to supply water to Mayking, which is just outside the city limits. The council voted November 13 to seek an additional $250,000 in grants and loans to extend the lines to homes and businesses on the northwest side of US 119.

Higher humidity was slowing down fires Monday, and firefighters got some much-needed relief in the form of rain. While that may help, it won’t stop the blazes already burning, said Cary Perkins, a spokesman for the Kentucky Division of Forestry. Visibility sank to zero around Isom Monday as cool morning temperatures pushed smoke from a 30-acre forest fire at Stampers Branch down to the ground. And at Thornton the choking haze from a 70- acre fire still blanketed the area a day after firefighters had the blaze under control.


NOVEMBER 23, 2011

Despi te complaints about the Obama administration’s “war on coal,” new government data shows employment in the Appalachian mining industry is at a 14-year high. The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration says the total number of coal jobs nationwide is at its highest level since 1996, with 90,354 in 2011.

The Letcher County Fiscal Court this week directed County Attorney Jamie Hatton to determine if there are any legal issues that would prevent the county-owned public access Channel 98 from covering meetings of the Letcher County Board of Education.

Alpha Natural Resources says it needs to hire as many as 50 new underground miners just to keep pace with the number of miners being lost to retirement.

The Jenkins Christmas Parade will begin at 6:30 p.m. on December 3. Lineup will be in front of the old school on Main Street. The event is sponsored by the Jenkins Homecoming Days Festival committee.

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