2007-09-19 / Columns

The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years

September 19, 1957

The City of Whitesburg was still without any declared candidates for city council at press time today. Also, no one has announced for mayor of Whitesburg. The deadline for filing is midnight Friday.

Dr. Owen Pigman, 80, a Whitesburg physician who has practiced medicine since 1907, was honored today as the "1957 General Practitioner of the Year" by the Kentucky State Medical Society. The medical society paid tribute to Pigman for his longtime service to coal miners in Letcher and Knott counties, pointing out that he had served as a contract physician for coal companies from 1908 to 1952, taking care of miners and their families.

One or more hoodlums dynamited two outdoor toilets at the Middle Millstone grade school at 4 a.m. last Thursday apparently after a night-long drunken brawl. Sheriff Robert Collins's office said it had learned the vandalism had occurred after a drunken party involving some residents of the Millstone area and some persons from out of state. No arrests have yet been made, and investigations are continuing.

September 21, 1967

A prominent film producer from Canada was shot to death at Jeremiah Wednesday afternoon, and a prominent Letcher County landowner is being held without bond on a charge of murder in connection with the death.

The incident occurred on KY 15 near a group of five rental houses owned by Hobart Ison of Jeremiah. The producer, Hugh O'Connor, of Montreal, Canada, and a crew of four had been interviewing and making pictures of several families who occupied the houses owned by Ison. Members of the group said Ison drove up in his car and jumped out, brandishing his pistol, and shouting at them to get off his property.

Three former classmates from Whitesburg High School, Sp/4 Jackie Lee Sexton, Sp/4 Larry D. Maggard and Sp/4 Douglas P. Chandler, got together recently in Vietnam, where all are serving with the armed forces.

Pork loins are 49 cents a pound at the Whitesburg A&P. Honeydew melons are 59 cents each.

September 22, 1977 This issue of The Mountain Eagle could not be found.

September 23, 1987

A Letcher County man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for murdering an elderly Eolia man and attempting to murder his wife while burglarizing their home. Carson Webb, 37, was sentenced in Letcher Circuit Court last week after pleading guilty to murdering 66-year-old Denver Boggs and attempting to murder his wife Marie.

The mine rescue team representing Blue Diamond Mining Co.'s Scotia Mine at Ovenfork finished second last week in a national mine rescue contest held in Louisville. The team finished first in statewide competition held as part of the same event. Team members are trainer Ronnie Biggerstaff, Bob Childers, Mike Halcomb, Dale Jackson, Mike Pease, John Richardson, Mike Sparks, Randy Watts and Joey Yonts.

Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys will appear at the Mountain Heritage Festival on Sept. 25.

September 24, 1997

The Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission has rejected a request to use nature preserve land in Letcher County for a project to improve U.S. 119. Rep. Paul Mason, of Whitesburg, said the vote to deny use of the land locks Letcher County residents into an "economic prison."

The Neon Volunteer Fire Department will continue offering ambulance service to Jenkins residents even though another ambulance company has set up shop in the town. "For the past 20 years we have served the citizens of Jenkins and will continue to do so as requested," said Neon Fire Chief Carter Bevins. At a public meeting earlier this month, the Jenkins council cited Bevins's refusal to write a letter on behalf of the new Jenkins ambulance service as its reason not to give two old police cars to the Fleming-Neon Police Department.

Plans to move an old L&N Railroad caboose from Whitesburg to Jenkins have been derailed. Whitesburg Mayor Jack Howard and the Letcher County Chamber of Commerce agreed earlier this month to give the caboose to the Jenkins City Council for use with a new coal mining museum. However, when members of the Whitesburg City Council learned of the plan, some of them said the caboose could not be given away without their approval. The Chamber of Commerce believes it owns the caboose, while the city council believes the city is the owner.

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