This week in local history

Published 6:10 am Monday, September 24, 2018

The following events occurred during the week of Sept. 23-29 in Bell County:

1889: The First Baptist Church was organized in the office of Judge J. R. Sampson in Middlesboro.

1891: East Tennessee Telephone Company had almost all its poles up and already had 60 subscribers to the phone service.

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1904: The Al G. Field Greater Minstrel Company was playing at the Princess Theatre.

1914: Bell County voted itself “dry.” The vote in Middlesboro was 639 for staying “wet” and 461 for going “dry.”

1918: The Cumberland Cigar Company opened at 216 Lothbury in Middlesboro. The manager, H. I. Griggs, had three experienced cigar makers in addition to himself. The firm planned to specialize in 5 cent cigars with the brand names “Kentucky Colts” and “Sweet Kiss.”

1922: The Citizens Bank and trust Company opened a night school for those who were illiterate.

1928: Construction began on the Skyland Highway to the Pinnacle.

1934: The Middlesboro-Bell County Airport was dedicated. Members of the Kentucky Airport Board and 19 airplanes on a goodwill tour participated, and the city declared a two hour holiday for the dedication. Robert Kincaide was the chairman of the local airport committee.

1947: Bell County was moved into the Eastern Time Zone.

1965: The $1,100,000 Excello Shirt Factory was dedicated by Governor Edward Breathitt.

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.