2013-09-25 / Columns

The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1908

September 23, 1943

Marion Combs, 49, was found dead near his home at Whitco on Wednesday morning. Mr. Combs died after being hit by a freight train.

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Citizens of Whitesburg were surprised Sunday when an Army caravan consisting of four or five large trucks and trailers came from Middlesboro and Harlan. The purpose of the surprise visit was to boost the sale of War Bonds by showing how some of the money is being used. Among the equipment on display were guns, gas masks, searchlights, and broadcasting equipment.

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WACS are now full-fledged soldiers in the U.S. Army, explained Lt. Gwen Weaver of Pikeville in advance of her recruiting trips to Whitesburg on October 5 and October 19. Originally the WACS were limited to clerical, communications, cooking and motor transport duties. They now are being assigned to more specialized tasks in more than 200 Army posts in this country and abroad.

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The Navy WAVES Cruiser will be in Whitesburg Friday morning to talk to women about joining the Women’s Reserve Branch of the U.S. Navy.

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Mr. and Mrs. James Adams of Jeremiah celebrated their golden wedding anniversary on September 12 with a dinner served in the open near the home in which they have spent the last 50 years. Immediately after their marriage in 1893, they built the home in which they still live after raising 12 children, 11 of whom are still living. Forty grandchildren attended the dinner.

September 26, 1963

The Letcher Fiscal Court will not have to provide extra funds for the Letcher County Public Library, Circuit Judge J.L. Hays ruled this week. The judge decided a suit brought by four Letcher County taxpayers who sought a court order directing the fiscal court to pay a sum equal to five cents on each $100 of assessed property valuation in the county for library services. The amount would have totaled more than $10,000 a year for library purposes. County officials said the $10,000-plus would bankrupt the county. Plaintiffs in the suit were County Commissioner Herman Fields, Jean C. Collins, Oliver Meade and Lloyd Day.

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The failure by members of the Neon and Fleming city councils to file for re-election before the filing deadline passed has created a week of legal conferences and telephone calls. Letcher County Clerk Charlie Wrights says it will probably be up to the county judge or the governor’s office to appoint council member for the two towns.

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The Veterans of Foreign Wars Fire Department, a non-profit volunteer group from Whitesburg, is $200 richer this week as the result of a run to Perry County last Sunday. Officials of Stewart Lumber Co., which suffered a fire at its Leatherwood plant Sunday, sent the VFW Fire Department $200 along with a thank-you note for the department’s answer to their call. VFW Fire Chief Philmore Bowen said his department saved the firm a $75,000 to $100,000 loss.

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Bids on construction of a new Letcher County Courthouse will be opened here on Monday.

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“Congratulations are in order at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Jess Day, Whitco Road,” writes columnist Mabel Kiser. “They celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary recently and had all their children and grandchildren home for the occasion. It was also Mr. Day’s 88th birthday.” Mrs. Kiser also points out that Day is a former Kentucky state legislator and served as justice of the peace in Whitesburg for 20 years. Sadly, the Days’ house, built in the early 1800’s, is being torn down to make way for the new road that will be built through Whitco. Mrs. Kiser said Mr. Day left Kentucky for a while in the 1890’s to work as a cowboy in Oklahoma. Although he had 160 acres of his own land there, he missed his mountain home too much and returned to Letcher County.

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Hoover Dawahare of Whitesburg and Charles and Bobbie Whitaker of Cromona are seeking to buy WNKYAM radio in Neon through their recently formed corporation Headwaters Broadcasting.

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Whitesburg’s six present city council members have filed for another two-year term and will have not opposition. The members who will be re-elected are Dr. Lee Moor, Bill Fields, Wesley Riley, Russell Price, Troy Stallard and Don Crosthwaite.

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The proposed merger of Neon and Fleming into one town will not be voted on this year. Originally, officials of the two towns had planned to put the question of merger on the ballot box this November. But, a Neon official says, the residents of Fleming are more behind in tax payments than the resident of Neon.

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The Whitesburg Athletics Association will sponsor a movie of the Kentucky-Tennessee football game of the 1962 season at Letcher Lanes on Tuesday. The movie will be in color and will be free.

September 27, 1973

MCHC is opening a new medical clinic to serve the residents of the Fleming-Neon and McRoberts area. The clinic is located in the Boone Fork Community Center at Fleming and will have a 16-person staff, including a doctor and a dentist.

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Twins Bertha Holbrook of Kona and Birdie Hall of Letcher are celebrating their 75th birthday. Their parents were the late Ben and Lucy Hopkins Hall.

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Whole pork loin is 99 cents a pound at the A&P food store. Baking potatoes are $1.69 for 20 pounds.

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Three hundred people attended a Republican fish fry at the head of Kingscreek.

September 21, 1983

A judge’s ruling has cleared the way for the Letcher County School Board to condemn the Whitesburg/ Letcher County Industrial Site for use as the location for the proposed new Whitesburg High School. Whitesburg Mayor Ferdinand Moore said the city will appeal the ruling.

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A study by the University of Louisville projects the Letcher County population will nearly double by 2020. The study says it expects the county’s population to reach 60,687 by 2020.

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The hot, dry days of September are causing many people to worry about their water supply, writes Ice correspondent Sara C. Ison. “We have had droughts before and survived them, and we hope to survive this one,” she says.

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The Fleming-Neon Pirates defeated the Elkhorn City Cougars 8-0. The game was played in the rain with muddy conditions on the field. Neither team completed a pass and the Pirates and Cougars combined for eight fumbles.

September 29, 1993

The Mountain Heritage Festival drew large crowds in spite of a heavy thunderstorm on Saturday morning, say festival officials. The most popular entertainment at the festival was an appearance by the Blair Brothers, a rhythm and blues band from Knoxville, Tenn.

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The Letcher Fiscal Court has voted to rescind an ordinance that created an industrial development authority to spend the county’s special coal severance tax fund, set aside for economic development. A portion of the ordinance, which was passed Sept. 2, giving the new development authority the power to condemn land was declared unconstitutional in 1978. The fiscal court authorized the county attorney to draft a new ordinance that complies with state law.

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Island Fork Construction Ltd. of Williamson, W.Va., has placed a help wanted advertisement in The Mountain Eagle seeking coal miners to replace United Mine Workers members who are on strike at an Eastern Associated Coal Corp. mine.

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The Jenkins Cavaliers are the surprise of the season with a 5-0 record, writes Eagle sportswriter Jerry Tolliver. The Cavaliers overcame Allen Central 81-0. Fleming-Neon also won, defeating South Floyd 30-6, while Whitesburg won over M.C. Napier 22-12.

October 1, 2003

Paul Young, the man credited with bringing the miniskirt to the United States, died Monday in his downtown Whitesburg apartment. Young, who was in his 70s, was a lay brother in the Carmelite Order of the Roman Catholic Church, and lived here to try to improve the economy of the area.

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Police say they are still mystified about what caused a Letcher man to shoot and kill two men, then seriously wound himself as police closed in. Robert B. Dixon, 67, is accused of killing Harry Smith, 73, of Letcher and Allen “Cat” Dixon, 49, of Jeremiah at Smith’s home.

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A call center to allow laid-off workers to file unemployment claims by telephone will open in the fall in Whitesburg. The state Department of Employment Services is taking applications to fill 20 positions at the center.

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