This week in local history

Published 10:10 am Monday, March 26, 2018

The following events occurred during the week of March 25-31 in Bell County.

1892: The Casino was destroyed by fire. It was built as an annex to the elegant hotel, The Middlesborough, but had not been completed when there was a severe economic depression and work was halted. It was located on Edgewood just east of the hotel and west of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church.

1893: A strike at the iron furnace caused 200 men to be out of work. The strike was over pay, the current rate being $1.15 a day.

1900: Middlesboro was reported to be in good economic condition with coal operations making good money, the brewery having a good season, the tannery having all it could do, and the iron furnace running at full capacity.

1911: The Middlesboro Flour Mill opened on 17th Street.

1918: The Girls Patriotic Club was formed to raise food on vacant lots due to the perceived danger of food shortages due to the War. The Boys Working Reserve for Bell County was organized for boys 16 and older to work in essential industries for war production—the mines, farms and on the railroads.

1921: An invitation was issued for white people to visit the Booker T. Washington Hospital located on 19th Street. Dr. T. H. Miller, the African-American physician in charge of the hospital, had his offices in the Ashbury Hotel (current location of Alexander’s Garage).

1924: Motch Motors was advertising Ford Touring Cars for $295 F.O.B. Detroit.

1932: A bus load of 40 students from Eastern colleges arrived in Bell County to make a study of sociological conditions. They were felt to be communists and were forced by gunpoint to City Hall where they were grilled by the County Attorney, Walter B. Smith, and then forcibly escorted to the state line and told not to return.

1944: The Middlesborough Garden Club was supporting the war effort by sponsoring Victory Gardens. Through the efforts of Mrs. Neil Barry, large posters were printed: “It’s the Patriotic Thing to Do—Plant a Victory Garden.”

1955: Floyd Ball was asking for the return of 89 slot machines that had been seized by the police on the grounds that they were not in use for gambling but were being stored to use for spare parts.

1965: Middlesboro High School was rated one of 36 best high schools in the state by Kentucky Department of Education.