This week in local history

Published 10:10 am Monday, July 2, 2018

The following events occurred during the week of July 1-7 in Bell County:

1871: Yellow Creek became a post office with John C. Colson, Jr. as the first postmaster.

1890: Two hundred Italians who would construct the Middlesboro canal and sewer system arrived in town.

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1891: A cow meandered into the Ashbury Hotel (southeast corner of 19th and Ashbury) barroom and then on into the poolroom. After being driven from there, she tried to enter Million O’Mallery’s Saloon across the street.

1911: The 4th of July celebration attracted 5000 people. The parade was one mile long with three bands, 14 business floats and many people riding horses or in decorated buggies. Other events included a baseball game, fireworks, balloon ascensions and, according to the newspaper, as a special attraction, an elephant that “walked a wire rope stretched from the top of the Opera House (on the north side of Cumberland Ave.) to A. D. Campbell’s.”

1921: Forty Middlesboro women met with an organizer from Louisville with the object of forming a non- artisan league for newly enfranchised women voters.

1932: Brownie Theatre reopened, having been closed for remodeling. It boosted “new talking equipment” so all picture shows would be “talkies.” Tickets were $.10 for children and $.20 for adults.

1946: The Middlesboro Gas Company was incorporated by Dr. C. B. Stacey, Floyd Ball and Ava Ball. Prior to this, no natural gas was available to Bell County residents.

1948: Gun battle at 8th and Avondale in Middlesboro resulted in the death of an escaped convict and that of Assistant Chief of Police Clyde Gulley.

1959: The dedication of Cumberland Gap National Historical Park was attended by Vice President Richard Nixon.

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.