20 years ago
(August 12 and August 14, 1992)
Johnson County resident Wanda Couch, breathed a welcome sigh of relief, Saturday, as voters in McDowell’s John Ant No. 22 precinct declared by a narrow eight-vote margin that the sale of alcoholic beverages will continue to be permitted. Fewer than half of the precinct’s 546 registered voters cast their ballots in Saturday’s election, keeping the precinct wet by a vote of 130-122.
Quick thinking and quicker action narrowly averted tragedy, Tuesday afternoon, as a prisoner in the Floyd County Jail hanged himself in his cell. Deputy Jailer Duran Jarrell said, Tuesday, that John Fletcher, 27, attempted to take his own life by tying one end of a bedsheet around the top bar in his cell, and the other around his neck.
Funeral services were held Monday, August 10, for Barbara Allen Heinze, 64, former business manager, editor and publisher of the Floyd County Times. Mrs. Heinze was born February 3, 1928, in Prestonsburg, nearly a year after her father, the late Norman Allen, founded the Times. She became editor and publisher of the state’s most widely circulated non-daily newspaper upon her father’s death in 1986.
Prestonsburg firefighters for hours battled a blaze in West Prestonsburg that threatened neighboring homes early Thursday morning. Members of the Prestonsburg Fire Department quickly responded to an emergency call alerting them to the fire, shortly after midnight Thursday, but the fire had apparently begun much earlier. By the time they arrived at the scene, the uninhabited structure was nearly engulfed in flames.
Nerves of steel are always a plus when trying to get a driver’s license, but a Floyd County man and his license examiner found the going extra difficult, Wednesday, when a snake delayed the start of their road test. Chris Johnson of Weeksbury, and license examiner Ethel Sammons, were startled by a two-foot snake striking at the sidewalk before they got in the car.
Eight people were involved in a two-car collision on new U.S. 23, Wednesday afternoon, four of whom, were rushed to Highlands Regional Medical Center for emergency treatment. The accident occurred at approximately 2:30 p.m., Wednesday, at the entrance to Stephens Branch, when a 1983 Dodge, driven by a Lexington woman, collided with a 1988 Oldsmobile, driven by a McDowell man.
There died: Zetta Gibson Johnson, 70, of Martin, Sunday, at Highlands Regional Medical Center; Billy Jay Hall, 57, of Beaver, Thursday, at McDowell Appalachian Regional Hospital; Henry Chaffins Jr., 68, of Floyd County, Wednesday, at Riverview Manor Nursing Home; Georgia Young Little, 71, of Lowmansville, formerly of Huntington, West Virginia, Monday, at St. Mary’s Hospital, Huntington, West Virginia; Haley Hamilton, 101, of Betsy Layne, Monday, at Salyersville Health Care Center; Walter C. Spears, 79, of Leander, Saturday, at Riverview Manor Nursing Home, Prestonsburg; Barbara Allen Heinze, 64, of Spruce Pine, North Carolina, formerly of Prestonsburg, Friday, at Spruce Pine Community Hospital; Edgar Adams, 76, of Gaffney, South Carolina, Saturday, at Carolina Medical Center, Charlotte, North Carolina; Ralph Mullett, 39, of Wittensville, and a native of Floyd County, Monday, from injuries received in an automobile accident on Route 23 in Paintsville; Lola Thornsbeary, 67, of Mousie, Sunday, at the University of Kentucky Medical Center, Lexington; Franklin Delano Salisbury, 60, of Hunter, Sunday, at McDowell Appalachian Regional Hospital; Crawford Cline Jr., 73, of Blaine, Sunday, at Humana Hospital, Louisa; James Lee (Lee Bug) Boyd II, 4, son of James Lee Boyd and Randi Gail Crider Boyd, both of Prestonsburg, Friday, at Highlands Regional Medical Center; Edgar B. Newman, 41, of McDowell, Thursday, July 30, from injuries suffered in a mining accident; John Younce Jr., 68, of Offutt, formerly of West Prestonsburg, July 15, at his home; Burnis Newsome, 55, of Craynor, Wednesday, at McDowell Appalachian Regional Hospital; Willie Allen, 96, of Prestonsburg, August 4; Major Richard Castle, 63, of El Paso, Texas, native of Floyd County, Tuesday, at El Paso; Milt Hunt, 76, of Betsy Layne, Monday, at his residence; Randy Lee Crawford, 9, of Warsaw, Indiana, Saturday; Howard Ray Osborn, 71, former resident of Floyd County, Monday, at Humana Hospital in Florida; O.C. Howell, 66, of Allen, August 11, at his residence; Icie Prater Hampton, 63, of Prestonsburg, Wednesday, at her residence; Lula Inez “Dottie” Cornett Holbrook, 68, of Prestonsburg, Sunday, at her home; Arlit Little, 78, of Weeksbury, Tuesday, at McDowell Appalachian Regional Hospital; Bertha McKinney, 80, of Litt Carr, Thursday, at Our Lady of the Way Hospital.
30 years ago
(August 18, 1982)
A grade school student may be levied as much as $12.65 for classroom supplies this year. A high school freshman may be required to pay $40 or $50 or more, depending on the subjects taken.
With about a quarter of the work completed, and the materials on hand to finish the job, a project designed to extend water lines on Spurlock, Bucks Branch, and the left fork of Middle Creek has become bogged down in a dispute over who should pay for it.
A U.S. District Court judge, last week, set a $75,000 surety bond for Sterling Hamilton, who was indicted, recently, on a charge of transporting stolen property, and fixed a September 27 trial date.
Following an agreement between prosecutor and defense council in the case, Eddie Slone Jr., recently found guilty of slaying Paul Douglas Stanley and Terry D. Johnson at Wheelwright, in January, was sentenced, Friday, to two 20-year pen terms, to be served concurrently.
There died: Lillian C. Osborne, 80, of Langley, last Wednesday at Mountain Manor Nursing Home of Pikeville; Haskel Frye Sr., former mayor of Martin, last Wednesday, at Our Lady of the Way Hospital; Ethie Bates, 62, of Wayland, August 6, at the Riverview Manor Nursing Home; Carl Jarrell, 78, of Tram, Tuesday, August 10, at Riverview Manor Nursing Home; Martha Wireman Hopkins, 89, of New Haven, West Virginia, formerly of Estill, August 4, in New Haven.
40 years ago
(August 16, 1972)
Total crime in Floyd County rose last year, above the number of offenses recorded in 1970, as did Kentucky as a whole, according to the Department of Public Safety’s recently released “Crime in Kentucky.”
George D. Barker became manager of Jenny Wiley State Park last Wednesday.
Bobby Watson, who repairs automobiles here, during working hours, and races them for sport, cash and fame, last Saturday, took over second place in the 1972 Automobile Racing Club of America standings with his victory at the Fairgrounds Motor Speedway’s 100-mile event at Louisville.
Working alone, State Trooper Gary Rose, last Thursday morning, confiscated one of the heaviest loads of intoxicants to be overtaken on their way to Floyd consumers, when he arrested two men and captured 450 cases of beer and seven cases of whiskey, on KY 122 at Minnie.
Barkley Sturgill, former Floyd County Attorney and a member of the state Public Service Commission, will be honored at the seventh annual Southeastern Kentucky Homecoming, to be held at Booneville, Sunday, September 17.
Miss Pamela Spradlin, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Roger Spradlin, of Prestonsburg, and Mr. John Paul Leslie, son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Leslie, of Emma, were united in marriage in a double-ring ceremony performed August 5, at the Community United Methodist Church here.
An injunction issued, last Thursday, by Fayette Circuit Judge L. T. Grant prohibits Dare To Be Great, a Florida-based self-improvement program, from further activities in Kentucky at this time.
Joint funeral rites were held, Saturday for a Middletown, O. couple who were found dead, August 8, of bullet wounds. The victims were Oscar Mills, 59, formerly of Auxier, and his wife, 56-year-old Jewel Reid Mills.
There died: Mrs. Bertha Thornsbury, 54, of Melvin, in an automobile accident, Sunday, in Lewisburg, Ohio; Jesse Elliott, 69, of Betsy Layne, who pioneered school band instruction in this county, last Wednesday, at a Pikeville hospital; Mrs. Rhoda T. Hamilton, 49, of Teaberry, last Tuesday, in a Pikeville nursing home; Mrs. Kathryn M. Grabner, 44, of Monroeville, Ind., formerly of Eastern, August 3, in Ft. Wayne, Ind.; Liberty Hayes, 80, of Columbus, Ind., formerly of Martin, August 6, in an Oklahoma hospital; Fred Music, 72, of East Point, last Sunday; Jarvey Caudill, 71, of Lackey, last Monday, at Prestonsburg General Hospital; William Paul Wilson, 45, of Las Vegas, Nev., formerly of Martin, Friday; Mrs. Lillie H. Sweet, 47, of Albion, Mich., formerly of Teaberry, Saturday, in Waverly, O.; Mrs. Elizabeth H. Burchett, 75, of Prestonsburg, Tuesday, at the Mountain Manor Nursing Home; Ellis Thornsbury, of Topmost, formerly of Wheelwright, August 5, at the McDowell Hospital; Elijah Hall, 72, of Galveston, last Wednesday, at his home; Fred Pelfrey, 63, of Huntington, W. Va., Wednesday night at his home; Fred Pelfrey, 63, of Huntington, W. Va., Wednesday night, at his home; Frank J. Childers, 59, of Hellier, native of this county, Sunday, in a Huntington Hospital; Saul Maggard, 89, August 4, at his home in Salyersville.
50 years ago
(August 16, 1962)
What was once a hillside, dotted with sub-standard frame houses, at Martin, is being converted into a parking area and city beautification development through the community’s cooperation with the Urban Renewal Administration.
Two temporary elementary classrooms will be opened, Monday, and several changes in the pupil transportation schedule have been found necessary as a result of the recent collapse of the Knotley Hollow bridge and the state of disrepair of the Town Branch bridge here.
One of the most popular new features of Jenny Wiley State Park is the shelter house erected in the Stratton Branch recreation area, and it is possible that two others will be built to meet the demand for such structures there.
Floyd County’s population, which has been skidding consistently since the 1950 Census, is down to 38,900 persons as of July 1 this year, according to a recent study.
Born: to Mr. and Mrs. Kedrick Blevins, of Maytown, a son, Christopher O’Neal, July 28, at the Beaver Valley Hospital, Martin; to Mr. and Mrs. Tom Hewlett, of Maytown, a son, Mark Linus, Aug. 8, at Pikeville Memorial Hospital; to Mr. and Mrs. Scottie Layne, of Banner, a son, Richard Eugene, Aug. 9, at Our Lady of the Way Hospital, Martin; to Mr. and Mrs. John A. Gorrell, a daughter, Susan Renee, Aug. 9, at the Paintsville Hospital.
There died: Charles E. Shepherd, 39, of Martin, Friday, in the mines of the Stephens Elkhorn Coal Company; Mrs. Mary R. Reffett, 54, of Hueysville, last Wednesday, at Our Lady of the Way Hospital, Martin; Tom Bell, 78, of Allen, Tuesday, at the Beaver Valley Hospital, Martin; Melvin Kidd, 69, of Harold, Sunday, at Pikeville Memorial Hospital; Malcolm Hager, 75, of East Point, Friday, at Ashland; Farley Akers, 76, Tuesday, at his home at Dana.
60 years ago
(August 14, 1952)
The county purgation board estimated it will clear 3,500 names from the voter registration lists; says that in one precinct, Prestonsburg No. 1, names of 18 persons who are dead remain on the list.
The number of Floyd polio cases has risen to 12 within the week.
Two men arrested in Charleston, West Virginia, have confessed breaks into the Harold and Betsy Layne businesses of Magistrate Edgar Howell, Bill Hall and John Hall.
Ed Hicks, 44, Martin store owner, was shot and critically wounded, Tuesday evening.
The draft board here has called for the induction of 13 men.
There died: Oscar Pitts, 62, formerly of Middle Creek, Tuesday, at his farm near Kensington, Ohio; Mrs. Annie McKenzie, 48, of West Prestonsburg, August 6, at the hospital here; Sarah Bentley, 68, of Topmost, Tuesday, at a Martin hospital; Will Webb, 59, of Langley, Tuesday, at a Martin hospital.
70 years ago
(August 13, 1942)
Four-year-old Johnny Murphy was saved from drowning in swollen Right Beaver Creek at Glo last Friday, by his “big” brother, Don, 8.
Federal mine inspections were underway in the county last week.
Dr. Orris Gearheart, last week, became the first Floyd County physician to be sworn into the army during the present emergency.
The Rev. Campbell Jeffries resigned, last Wednesday evening, the pastorate of Irene Cole Memorial Baptist Church.
There died: William H. Herald, 56, of West Prestonsburg, August 10; Fannie Florence, 12-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Harris, August 6, at a Huntington hospital; Napoleon Jacobs, 42, at Lackey, of injuries suffered in a slatefall; Mrs. Maggie Bentley, 63, at her Dwale home, August 5.