This week in local history

Published 6:10 am Monday, January 7, 2019

The following events occurred during the week of Jan. 13-19 in Bell County:

1893: The official temperature reading was 19 below zero. The thermometer at the assay office showed -23 degrees while at the Middlesboro hotel it was -18 degrees.

1900: David Grant Colson, prominent Middlesboro attorney, ex-mayor of the city and former U. S. congressman, was involved in a shootout in the rotunda of the Capitol Hotel in Frankfort. Three men were killed and three wounded.

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1900: Capt. A.C.C. McMasters died. He was the son of a wealthy Englishman, had served as a captain in the Queen’s Army and took part in the Egypt campaign. He came to Middlesborough in 1889 as a “confidential agent” for Alexander Arthur.

1903: Laura Colson Herd was postmistress of Middlesborough.

1930: The police were “cleaning out” the gamblers in Middlesboro. Forty-three arrests were made in weekend raids and the Middlesboro jail was almost full.

1938: Middlesboro City Hall once more had electricity furnished by Kentucky Utilities. For three years, it had been serviced by a Delco plant and diesel generator due to a dispute with KU.

1940: H.C. Chappell, editor of The Three States, drove the first car across the bridge over Yellow Creek at the Tannery. The new road between Pineville and Middlesboro was expected to be completed in the near future.

1949: City officials were told that sewerage rates had to be increased to meet bond payments. Since the system went into operation in 1939, the interest had been underpaid due to lack of revenue and the city had made nothing on the principal.

1952: The Bell County Christian Association met with the purpose of combating the liquor traffic and crime by voting the county dry. Rev. W.B. Bingham spoke to the large crowd at the meeting on the subject, “If I Were the Devil.”

1954: For the first time in five years, all of the Shackleford boys — Gobel, Jesse, Dallas, Marshall and Leon — were together for a visit with their mother. Dallas was leaving soon for service in the Army.

1965: Middlesboro was recognized as Kentucky’s top city in community development for 1964 in the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Civic Pride Contest.

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.