2015-11-25 / Columns

The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

Thursday, November 26, 1925 Featured on the front page of The Mountain Eagle this week is a photograph of the beautiful new First Baptist Church [located on the Main Street site now occupied by Bella’s Home Furnishings].

. Sam Pack, 35, a West Virginia native who had been living here a number of years, was crushed to death in a slate fall at the Whitco Mine on Saturday. He was married to a daughter of Johnny Day of Cowan.

. The Letcher Coal Mining Company, which has been closed for some time, has been purchased by Consolidated Fuel Company of Elsiecoal and is resuming operations.

. Eden Coal Company at Elsiecoal reports it is now operating and shipping an average of five cars of coal a week to a ready market.

. Seven men were trapped more than 200 feet below the ground in a mine explosion at Finley Coal Company near Madisonville, Ky. The bodies of four of the men have been recovered, the fate of one was unknown, and two others climbed a 280-foot ladder to safety. A “windy or delayed shot” is being blamed for the blast.

Thursday, November 29, 1945 Two lawsuits challenging the outcome of the recent general election have been filed in Letcher Circuit Court. The first suit was filed by S.M. Banks, contesting the election of Herman C. Combs for sheriff. The second complaint was filed by S. Martin Wright, challenging the election of Zach Bentley to the office of police judge in the City of Neon.

. The Navy has announced that a general court martial has been ordered for Captain Charles B. McVay III, the commanding officer of the cruiser Indianapolis, which was sunk on July 10. No official cause has been given for the loss of the vessel, which was one of the Navy’s greatest losses since the entire crew of nearly 2,000 men were either killed or wounded.

. A banquet was held November 16 in the basement of the Jenkins United Methodist Church in honor of the Consolidation Coal Company Mine Rescue Team for its excellent performance in the District and State First Aid Meets.

. In two stunning events Wednesday, Army General George C. Marshall was appointed special envoy to China after the U.S. Ambassador, Major General Patrick J. Hurley, resigned on the same day with a bitter denunciation of career diplomats and a warned that a third world war “was in the making.”

. Sergeant James Otis Mohn of Whitesburg was presented with his honorable discharge certificate at the Army Air Forces separation station in Tampa, Florida earlier this week after serving 44 months as a flight engineer on a B-17 bomber.

. The Blue Front Mercantile Company in Neon says it has “toys for all” in an advertisement. The store is located across the street from Dawahare’s Department Store.

. Mr. and Mrs. Rolan P. Price and Mr. and Mrs. Gordon R. Lewis are leaving this week for Philadelphia where they will attend the Army-Navy football game at Municipal Stadium. An expected crowd of 100,000, including President Truman, will attend the game.

. At least 32 Letcher County residents were in Lexington over the Thanksgiving weekend to shop and also to see the Kentucky vs. Tennessee football game.

. Buick’s first post-war cars, the new models for 1946, are now being placed on exhibition by Kyva Motor Company in Whitesburg. Three lines of eight-cylinder cars are being introduced — the Series 50 Super, the Series 70 Roadmaster, and the Series 40 Special.

Thursday, November 24, 1955 An explosion caused by gas leaking from a tank has resulted in two Letcher County men being injured in the shop at the Lawrence Waltz Mine on Franks Creek near Eolia. Sherman Barker was taken to Notre Dame Hospital at Lynch where one of his hands had to be amputated. He is also being treated for head injuries. Wendell Parson received less serious injuries in the blast, but is also being treated.

. A 16-year-old former Letcher County boy was critically injured November 10 in a car wreck near Indianapolis. Douglas Polly, son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Polly of Indianapolis, formerly of Whitesburg, was riding with two other high school students when their car hit an Indiana Highway Department dump truck that had stopped to let our a crew for work.

. The first meeting for laying the groundwork toward organizing an Army Reserve Unit for Letcher County was held at Neon City Hall on November 16 with 20 men present. One of the leading organizers is Neon Mayor Bill Tucker, who contacted Second Army Headquarters and asked that Neon be made headquarters for the Letcher County organization. First Lieutenant Jess Holbrook is the commanding officer of the newly organized unit.

. Mr. and Mrs. Bob Stansberry and sons, Tommy, Bobby, and Jerry, have left Letcher County to spend the Thanksgiving weekend with relatives in Detroit.

. Geraldine Struve of Blackey and Elizabeth Combs of Letcher are two of 56 young ladies now enrolled in the Good Samaritan Hospital’s School of Nursing freshman class in Lexington.

. The new Kona school is progressing nicely, writes correspondent Donice Ann Kiser, who adds that the school is “so glad to have the Fish Pond boys and girls.”

. At least 72 Whitesburg residents traveled to Lexington Saturday to watch the University of Kentucky Wildcats defeat the Tennessee Volunteers, 23-0. Writes Whitesburg correspondent Mrs. Cecil Webb, “Despite the extremely cold weather, the fans really had a good time and felt this was one of the best games they had ever attended. One fan reported that blankets and bed clothing from the local hotels were borrowed to ward off the cold wind to help keep them comfortable while Kentucky rolled up the score.”

Thursday, November 25, 1965 A new home demonstration agent and a returned county agricultural agent are now at work in Letcher County on programs of agricultural extension sponsored by the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture and Home Economics Extension Service. The new home agent is Marilyn Haddock and the county agent is Robert Fike.

. The grand opening of Hoover’s Home Furnishings in Whitesburg is in progress now. The store, located in the corner of Main Street and College Drive on the site of the old Baptist Church, is owned by Hoover Dawahare and managed by Eddie Howard.

. Gov. Edward T. Breathitt asked strip mine operators this week to “desist from further insistence on their pound of flesh” until state courts decide the meaning and scope of broad-form mineral deeds.

. The federal Office of Economic Opportunity has approved a grant of $202,004 to finance a community action program at Blackey as part of the War on Poverty. The grant will be used to provide a multi-service center for some 3,300 people.

. Parents and teachers protested proposals for building a new grade school at Roxana at the meeting of the Letcher County Board of Education. The board directed its engineer to inspect sites proposed for the school and determine whether they would be above the level of a lake which would be created if the federal government builds a dam at Ulvah.

Thursday, November 27, 1975 Letcher County Magistrate James F. “Chum” Tackett barred a Mountain Eagle reporter from attending a briefing session conducted last Wednesday for the county’s magistrates by the state Office of Local Government. Tackett said the meeting was of no concern to the press or the public. The purpose of the meeting was to explain procedures for properly preparing and filing state records and financial reports.

. A 17-year-old Pert Creek youth was hospitalized for two and a half days last week after an off-duty Whitesburg city policeman allegedly knocked the boy to the ground and pounded his head onto the pavement of Joe Whitaker’s Chevron service station at Pine Mountain Junction.

. United Mine Workers of America President Arnold Miller has asked Kentucky Gov. Julian Carroll to “use his influence and authority” to halt “apparent efforts to intimidate and harass” The Mountain Eagle and its editor, Tom Gish. Miller, in a letter to Carroll, expressed “deep concern” about recent events involving The Eagle, including the transfer of legal advertising by the Letcher County Fiscal Court from The Eagle to a newspaper with less circulation and probation of a former police officer convicted in connection with the burning of The Eagle’s offices.

. Eagle photographer Charles Ann Mullis took a photo which appears on the front page of the newspaper of Mr. and Mrs. McCoy Ingram of Defeated Creek and their two oxen. The oxen were pulling a sled along the road and the Ingrams’ granddaughter Marcella was hitching a ride on the sled. The oxen are Buck and Berry.

Wednesday, December 4, 1985 The front page of The Mountain Eagle shows a collection of milk jugs and other plastic containers that were piled up in the Kentucky River at Thornton after last week’s heavy rains.

. The Letcher County Sheriff ’s Department will join Kentucky State Police in an effort to make Friday, December 13, a very unlucky day for drivers. For 13 hours, from 4 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Saturday, sheriff ’s deputies and state police will be out in numbers in hopes of catching motorists who dare to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

. Statistics indicate Kentucky’s 1982 child-restraint laws has saved lives and the state intends to expand its program of loaning restraint seats for use in cars and trucks, the Cabinet for Human Resources says. Since 1984, the Department for Health Services has spent nearly $300,000 on safety seats that can be loaned to parents and on educational materials.

Wednesday, November 29, 1995 At its November meeting last week, the Letcher Fiscal Court voted to purchase the old Carr Creek Fuels coal tipple at the mouth of Cowan and 65 acres of property that goes with it for $29,500. Letcher County Judge/Executive Carroll Smith said the county is purchasing the coal tipple from Enterprise Coal Corporation for use as a garbage recycling center.

. Letcher Fiscal Court is considering an ordinance which would govern on-site sewage disposal, such as home septic tanks, throughout the county.

. According to the Commission on Poverty in Kentucky there were 682,000 Kentuckians living in poverty in 1990, 19 percent of the population. Almost half of those in poverty were desperately poor, earning less than one-half of federal poverty guidelines. The greatest percentage of population of poor Kentuckians live in eastern Kentucky. The greatest numbers of poor Kentuckians live in Jefferson and Fayette counties. Western and south central Kentucky have relatively larger numbers of elderly poor.

. Mountain Eagle columnist Ike Adams writes that turkey has been on his menu for three meals and several snacks a day since Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 Four men were indicted by the Letcher Grand Jury on charges stemming from a break-in at West Whitesburg Middle School.

. Despite a presentation made by eighth-grade students, the Letcher County Board of Education refused to change its previous decision to restrict the locations of class trips. The students spoke to the board about their desire to take a class trip to New York City, which is no longer allowed until the board’s limited list of places designated for eighth-grade trips.

. Members of last year’s Jenkins and Whitesburg high schools girls’ softball teams participated in the making of a video produced by Arch Coal Inc., Alpha Natural Resources and other coal companies, as well as the Virginia Department of Mines and Minerals & Energy. The video centers around a fictional coal miner who is abusing prescription drugs and will be shown to coal miners and in schools and hospitals to raise awareness of drug abuse in the workplace.

. The Colson Volunteer Fire Department is receiving $133,950 grant through the federal Assistance for Fire Fighters Program to purchase a new firefighting vehicle.

. History was made this week as the Letcher County Central High School Cougars wrestling team took the mat for its debut. A huge crowd was on hand to show support.

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