This week in local history

The following events occurred during the week of Nov. 11-17 in Bell County:

1890: St. Mary’s Episcopal Church acquired property on Edgewood Road.

1896: The Cumberland Gap tunnel caved in again and all railroad traffic had to be suspended. Passengers and baggage were being transported over the mountain by wagon.

1897: A huge fire destroyed the Middlesborough Foundry and Machine Works (formerly the South Boston Iron Works) in the west end of town.

1897: The first case of smallpox was diagnosed in the Rhine area of Middlesboro. This would lead to a full blown epidemic in early 1898.

1904: The Jewish community in Bell County purchased property on Maxwelton Braes for a Hebrew Cemetery.

1905: Lieut. Julian M. Howard of the Kentucky State Guard accidently shot himself in the leg during a militia pistol practice. The wound proved fatal. This was the only casualty during the time the militia was activated to keep the peace in Middlesboro.

1915: The Bell County Equal Suffrage League held its regular meeting. The group is working to get women the right to vote.

1919: The cornerstone for the new courthouse in Pineville was laid.

1920: Citizens of Middlesboro, outraged at half a dozen murders in the past six months, formed a Law and Order League.

1928: Ex-service men met at the Coal House to organize a post of the American Legion. Clyde Lawson was chosen post commander.

1931: Headquarters for the Unemployment Relief Office opened at 22nd and Cumberland. City residents have pledged better than $15,000 for relief works. S. A. Mars was general chairman of the campaign.

1946: Charges of running a disorderly house were brought against The Bloody Bucket on the old Pineville Pike and The Spot.

1948: Indictments were returned against 38 persons for setting up and keeping gambling devices (slot machines). Some of the businesses named: the Canal Bar, the Hub Grill, Fad Pool Room, the Silver Slipper, Noetown Sports Center, the Manhattan Grill and Bar, Park Café, Three States Café, and the Colonel’s Grill.

1965: Several Middlesboro football players were named to the All-Southeastern Conference first team: Greg Page, Jim Lake, Doug Williams, George Cadle, Kermit Owens, Tommy Barton, and Hank Barnes. Middlesboro’s coach, Walt Green, was named Coach of the Year.

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.