This week in local history

Published 6:10 am Monday, November 5, 2018

The following events occurred during the week of Nov. 4-10 in Bell County:

1890: The Middlesborough (hotel) purchased its own firefighting equipment—a chemical engine, hose carriage and hook and ladder wagon which were housed in a two story stone building on Edgewood opposite Dorchester.

1890: An Elks Lodge was organized. Alexander Arthur and Mayor John Brooks were initiated as members.

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1902: H.E. Ball became Chief of Police. His brother S. A. and John R. had held the position before him.

1905: The “New York Times” headline read, “Kentucky Outlaws Defeat State Guard.” The story reported on the fight between Frank Ball, along with his family, and a company of Kentucky State Guards.

1921: Two women were elected to office in Middlesboro—Mrs. Rosemary Perceful to the City Council and Mrs. Ray Moss to the School Board. They were the first women to serve in elective positions in Middlesboro.

1921: A shootout on 19th Street resulted in the death of Doyle Colson and the wounding of George Colson and Ira Ball. This was to be the first of four deaths in what was known as the Ball-Colson feud.

1924: The City of Middlesboro entered a suit against Kentucky Utilities claiming excessive water rates and asking a reduction to rates based on an average of those charged in Lexington, Chattanooga and Knoxville, as provided in the original charter.

1927: Big football game with Louisville Male High. Middlesboro lost, but Pete Johnson, the sports editor for the “Louisville Times,” reported that the Yellow Jackets, “won a moral victory” when they held the big Male team to a 13-6 score. 1800 people turned out to see the game. Johnson went on to report that the Jackets were “unselfishly great in their hospitality and sportsmanship” and that he had never seen “an exhibition of such town spirit in my life.”

1931: Theodore Dreiser, author of “An American Tragedy” and other well-known books, was indicted by the Bell County Grand Jury for misconduct in a Pineville Hotel.

1945: Mr. and Mrs. J.M. Rogan held an open house for Maj. and Mrs. Dave Rogan. Over 100 guests welcomed home Maj. Rogan, who served in both the European and Pacific theaters of the war.

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.