2016-04-06 / Features

The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

Thursday, April 8, 1926 The Letcher County Board of Education met Saturday in Whitesburg, where they unanimously elected Professor Arlie Boggs as the new superintendent of the county school system. Boggs, about 30, has been teaching in Hazard. He is a son of Joel Boggs of the Eolia section.

. All telephones in the Whitesburg area were disconnected this week after a controversy between the Whitesburg City Council and Mrs. Starkey, owner of the Whitesburg Telephone Company. The phones were disconnected after Mrs. Starkey came to Whitesburg from her home in Pikeville to protest the city council’s vote to sell a telephone franchise in the city.

. A young Craft’s Colly man was shot in the foot while running from Whitesburg police officers down Railroad Street late Monday night. Winston Morgan was taken to Seco hospital for treatment on Tuesday. Morgan is charged with being drunk and with running from police.

. The Appalachian Way Convention held in Lexington last week ended with the members voting unanimously to route the proposed national highway from Chicago to Jacksonville, Florida via the Kentucky River counties including Letcher.

. Wallen Brothers of Fleming have already started their bus service for the season between Jenkins and Fleming. The route will be extended to Whitesburg as soon as the roads get in better condition. The company has purchased 15-passenger Studebaker Bus from Miners Motor Company to better serve the public. The new bus cost $4,400.

. With roads improving this spring, Letcher County residents are beginning to venture out in their automobiles. Meanwhile, two train-carloads of Dodge Brothers automobiles have arrived at Wright Motor Company in Fleming, where a “Roadster” can be purchased for $895.

. Fifty-three guests are registered to stay at the Daniel Boone Hotel in Whitesburg.

. Curry & Hush Department Store has moved its stock of goods to the Dr. D.V. Bentley Building on Main Street in Neon.

Thursday, April 11, 1946 The foreman of the present Letcher County Grand Jury was taken to the Fleming hospital for treatment after being attacked by two Neon youths who are now being held in the Letcher County Jail. The two youths attacked jury foreman Willard Sergent of Democrat after the grand jury indicted the two on property destruction charges. Sergent suffered an injury to his ear. The two youths now face the added charges of banding and confederating. They are being held on $5,000 peace bonds.

. The strike of 400,000 United Mine Workers in 25 soft coal producing states has moved into its second week, bringing with it deep cuts in U.S. steel production.

. State education officials were in Letcher County this week looking over the proposed building sites for the Whitesburg Gymnasium and for new school buildings at Hemphill, Fleming-Neon and Cowan. Letcher Schools Supt. Martha Jane Potter and County Building Supervisor Henry Deal accompanied the state officials.

. A 25-year-old Letcher County man was sentenced to life in prison after he was found guilty of storehouse breaking by a circuit court jury this week. Judge R. Monroe Fields handed the sentence down to Eugene Phillips after declaring that Phillips was a habitual criminal, having been convicted of storehouse breaking twice before. Recently, Phillips and two other men escaped from the Letcher County Jail in Whitesburg, but Phillips was found at his home 48 hours later. The other two men returned to jail voluntarily.

. Jenkins Police officer Hibbert Elkins was acquitted of a murder charge Saturday by a Letcher Circuit Court jury. The jury found no evidence that Elkins intentionally killed Turner Mullins, whom Elkins shot during a disturbance at the Mullins home on December 23, 1945. The shooting occurred after Elkins was called to the home after Mullins allegedly stabbed a friend while Mullins was in a jealous, drunken rage. After being ordered to surrender, Mullins drew his gun on Elkins, who beat him to the draw and fired first.

Thursday, April 5, 1956 New Whitesburg Fire Chief Harold Day, his wife and their two young children have moved into the upstairs living area of Whitesburg City Hall. Mr. Day is a cousin to Remous Day, who resigned as fire chief recently to accept a position with KYVA Motor Company. Harold Day returns to Letcher County after having been trained in fire prevention and fire fighting while working as a guard at a DuPont manufacturing plant in Charlestown, Indiana.

. Monday was a holiday known as “Contract Day” for thousands of miners in Letcher County.

. The Bank of Neon has moved into its new quarters facing Main Street in Neon, next door to Wright Jewelry Company. Dr. D.V. Bentley built the new brick building. He is also the bank’s president.

. Whitesburg High School basketball coach Ernie Trosper has been invited to Peoria, Illinois to look over a position with the Caterpillar manufacturing company and to play basketball as a member of the Peoria Caterpillars, an AAU squad. Trosper, a Harlan County native, finished his college basketball career at Union College in Barbourville in 1955. His first WHS team finished runner-up in the 14th Region to current state champion Carr Creek.

. The first baby has arrived at the new Whitesburg Memorial Hospital, a little girl born to Mr. and Mrs. Joe Varson of McRoberts. She arrived at 8:50 p.m. on Monday, April 2, weighing seven pounds, one ounce. Dr. Ralph Gambrel was the attending physician. The UMWA-owned hospital will be formally dedicated during a ceremony on June 2. Dr. Houston Westover is the hospital’s chief of staff.

. The National Coal Association has put the nation’s atomic energy industry on notice that coal is here to stay as the nation’s best energy source.

. Sergeant James P. Collins of Ermine was sentenced to 18 to 20 years in a North Carolina prison in connection with the February 14 slaying of a motor-court operator in Fayetteville. It took a jury 2-1/2 hours to find Collins guilty of manslaughter in the shooting of Richard Earl Sanford, 26. Sanford was shot four times inside the office of Siesta Motor Court. Authorities say Collins, who was attached to an airborne unit at nearby Fort Bragg, also robbed Sanford. Collins admitted to the shooting, but said he acted in self-defense when Sanford came at him

with a chair.

. Letcher County Forest Ranger Joe Boggs now has a telephone. His number is Roxana 6.

Thursday, April 7, 1966 Three Whitesburg High School students have won three straight weeks on the “Classroom Quiz” program telecast by a Bristol, Va., station. The students are James Kenneth Caudill, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Caudill; Kyleen Campbell, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kyle Campbell; and Charles Ward, son of Mr. and Mrs. J.T. Ward. The students represent the Beta Club honor society at the school.

. University of Kentucky officials are expected to decide by the middle May where they will locate a new community college for the “Blackey-Hazard area.” At one time, UK trustees voted to put the college on the old Stuart Robinson School campus at Blackey but later changed their minds after UK faculty representatives charged “politics” was involved in the location. Since then, Whitesburg citizens have worked to convince UK that Whitesburg would be a good site for the school. Hazard is offering a site located on a former strip mine.

. Mr. and Mrs. Harry Lucas have sold the Melody Mart television and record shop in Whitesburg to Clyde Lucas, a brother of Harry Lucas. The Harry Lucases have moved with their daughters, Harrie Lynn and Ramona, to Louisville, where Mr. Lucas is employed by Sears Roebuck.

. The Whitesburg Appalachian Regional Hospital has moved its pediatrics unit to the third floor of the hospital building.

. A seven-week old baby has died of spinal meningitis at the Whitesburg Appalachian Regional Hospital. The baby, from Knott County, was taken first to the Jenkins Clinic, which sent her immediately to the Whitesburg hospital, where she died only minutes after arriving.

. Final approval is expected soon from the state Department of Education on the Letcher County school system’s application for funds to construct a new library and cafeteria at the Whitesburg High School. Citing the need for the $223,000 project, Letcher school officials say Whitesburg High’s enrollment includes more students from low-income families than the total of students from all income levels enrolled at any one of the other three county-operated high schools. Officials say 460 of Whitesburg High’s 869 students are from the low-income group.

Thursday, April 15, 1976 Letcher County Judge/Executive Estill Blair wants to appoint 200 auxiliary county patrolmen to find and arrest those illegally dumping trash in the county. Blair promised stiff fines for those captured by his troops.

. Thelma Stovall, Kentucky’s lieutenant governor, attended a benefit basketball game in Jenkins Friday night to help raise funds for the families of the men killed in the Scotia mine disaster.

. The April Letcher County Grand Jury, which ended its deliberations this week, apparently has failed to follow

up on an investigation by the January grand jury into “alleged illegal conduct of public officials and employees.”

Wednesday, April 16, 1986 Helped by the sudden discovery of 2,000 additional people with jobs, unemployment in Letcher County has fallen to its lowest percentage in years. The county’s jobless rate for February was 17.2 percent, the second-best ranking in the eight-county Kentucky River Area Development District behind Perry County’s 15.3 percent.

. Choosing the best man for the job — not politics — was the factor behind a decision to change school superintendents, the chairman of the Letcher County Board of Education said this week. The school board voted 4-1 last week not to renew the four-year contract of Supt. Jack M. Burkich. The board hired Assistant Superintendent Bernard Watts to a two-year contract as superintendent.

. Negotiations began this week to resolve the strike against Appalachian Regional Hospitals, but local employees Monday night said there was no indication how the talks were going.

Wednesday, April 17, 1996 Letcher County will be included in a regional crackdown on illegal garbage dumping, health officials say. John Summers, environmental director for the Kentucky River District Health Department, said health officials “intend to get into” the litter problem in Letcher and the six other counties which make up the health district.

. New concerns over mud and dust created by mining and logging are spreading across Letcher County. Coal companies mining inside the Jenkins city limits will appear before the Jenkins City Council next month to explain how they plan to control a mud and dust problem their operations are causing.

. The driving habits of Letcher County residents of all ages leave something to be desired, according to a survey by driver education students at Whitesburg High School.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006 Smoking in public buildings in Letcher County will no longer be permitted after July 1. At its April meeting, the Letcher Fiscal Court voted four to two in favor of the second and final reading of an ordinance that curbs smoking in public.

. Whitesburg-based Enterprise Coal Company will assume operations of four mines and other properties in Letcher and Knott counties now owned by North Carolina based Progress Energy. Alpha Natural Resources, Inc., a leading Appalachian coal producer which owns Enterprise Coal, agreed last week to buy the properties from Progress Fuels Corp., a subsidiary of Progress Energy.

. Two workers were killed in separate accidents at underground coal mines in West Virginia on April 7, raising the state’s mining death toll to 18, the highest level in 15 years.

. The Whitesburg Middle School boys’ basketball team is the champion of the Letcher County Elementary Athletic Association Tournament for the third year in a row.

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