This week in local history

Published 10:10 am Monday, May 7, 2018

The following events occurred during the week of May 13-19:

1890: The new city of Middlesborough held its first elections. There were two tickets, one sponsored by the American Association and headed by John Brooks, and the other led by local resident David Colson, who was said to be the largest landholder in the Yellow Creek Valley.

1898: Middlesboro City Council passed an ordinance prohibiting women from going in and out of any building where there a saloon was located.

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1910: The Great Council of Kentucky Redmen held their meeting in Middlesboro. There were 450 delegates and 150 additional attendees.

1917: “The Birth of a Nation” was playing at the Manring. It was accompanied by a 25 piece orchestra.

1922: There was a shootout at the Bell County Courthouse between the Balls and the Colsons. George and Clay Colson were in the Circuit Clerk’s office, both awaiting trial for murder. One of the witnesses for the prosecution, Riley Ball, and Frank Ball entered the Clerk’s office. Accounts of shooting were conflicting as to who started shooting, but Riley was killed and Frank and Clay were wounded. The battle continued into the hall and a Colson cousin plus an innocent bystander were wounded.

1927: The Independent Order of Bnai Brith of Knoxville met in Middlesboro. Over 100 people were present and $3600 was raised for Jewish relief.

1932: The contracts sent out to the 69 teachers in the Middlesboro school system carried a reduction in salary of 16 to 30%.

1940: Blue Bell – Globe Overall plant was being dismantled and the machinery moved to Greensboro, North Carolina.

1965: State Highway Commissioner Henry Ward announced approval of a project to construct U.S. Highway 25E from Pineville to the Tennessee line.

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.