This week in local history
The following events occurred during the week of Oct. 7-13 in Bell County:
1773: Indians attack a party of pioneers on their way to Cumberland Gap. Daniel Boone’s eldest son James was killed along with four others. The party turned back.
1889: J. T. Nolan of Cincinnati announced that the electric plant was ready to start with 1200 incandescent and 100 arc lights. Forty of the arc lights were to be placed on Cumberland Avenue.
1891: An ordinance to establish a public school system in Middlesborough was passed.
1905: Bell County Sheriff Howard wired the governor of Kentucky that he could not “cope with the condition of affairs in Middlesborough” and asked that the state militia be sent in to keep order.
1911: The Amuzu Theatre opened on Cumberland Avenue between 19th and 20th. (It was later called the Brownie Theatre.) Price of admission was $.05 for children and $.10 for adults.
1914: Julium McKinney was buried at Glenwood Cemetery. He died at Camp Taylor of the flu. A veteran of the Spanish-American War and later a chauffeur for Ray Moss, he was well known in Bell County. His funeral was attended by a crowd of “Blacks and Whites united in doing honor to one who had given his life to his country.”
1918: All schools, churches, theatres and pools halls in Middlesboro were closed by the mayor due to the Spanish Influenza epidemic. However, a large and enthusiastic crowd gathered at Fountain Square to hear Kentucky Governor Stanby urge the support of the war effort through the purchase of Liberty Bonds.
1920: Thankful Baptist Church was organized.
1937: The newspaper reported that people were not paying their Middlesboro city taxes. Of the 2072 property owners in the city, 1650 were delinquent. Of the 914 persons with taxable personal property, 330 were delinquent.
1946: Over 100 delegates attended the fall meeting of the Garden Clubs of Kentucky. Pineville and Middlesboro clubs jointly hosted the convention.
1955: Bell County’s population was declining because of the decline in the coal industry. In the years between 1950 and 1955, Bell County lost 15,000 in population or a net change through migration of 20 percent.
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.