This week in local history
The following events occurred during the week of July 8-14 in Bell County:
1890: Sanitation officers were serving notices on businesses and residents to clean up their premises. Heavy fines were threatened if they did not comply.
1894: Under the headline “A Public Outrage,” the newspaper reported that a member of the police force assaulted an African-American man because the man had “talked back” to a white man. The paper called for the firing of the policeman in question and editorialized, “In the eyes of city government there should be no color line.”
1911: Middlesboro was enjoying its first house-to-house mail delivery.
1923: Improvements were being made to the Fern Lake pavilion which as popular as a summer resort and picnic grounds, drawing hundreds of visitors weekly.
1927: A raid on a building near the Middlesboro County Club yielded 100 gallons of alcohol. Two cars were found, each with large copper tanks concealed in back of the front and rear seats each of which was filled with liquor that could be siphoned off.
1930: The officially recorded temperature was 106 degrees.
1934: Jack Cloar, six years old, fell into the deep part of the pool at the Booneway Inn and would have drowned but for the quick action of Bert Paynter, son of Mr. and Mrs. W. P. Paynter, who dived in and rescued him. Bert was an eagle scout and a Junior Red Cross lifesaver.
1940: The city of Middlesboro was operating three playgrounds—at Bartlettt-Rhodes playground, in the West End and at Ford’s Woods. There was a trained leader at each playground to supervise activities and equipment available for softball, lawn tennis, paddle tennis, croquet, horseshoes and other games.
1943: A war bond rally sponsored by the Lions Club and the Elks brought in more than $100,000 in bond sales. A major attraction was the presence of Capt. Guy Iovine of Bell County who had flown 53 bombing missions and won a Presidential Citation, the Air Medal and the Silver Star.
1948: The Kentucky Veterans of the Spanish-American War concluded their three day convention in Bell County. Two hundred and fifty veterans attended.
1949: The city of Middlesboro bought 6 lots west of North Petersborough (at a total cost of $1050) to be used for a unit of the state militia. The property was once the location of the Black baseball park.
To learn more about local history, visit the Bell County Museum, located just north of the Middlesboro Post Office, Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.