This week in local history

Published 10:10 am Monday, February 18, 2019

The following events occurred during the week of Feb. 17-23 in Bell County:

1890: The First Presbyterian Church was dedicated.

1891: The Electric Light Company was enlarging its capacity with a new dynamo that had the capacity for 1300 incandescent lights.

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1897: The Clyde Miller residence, formerly the offices of the Middlesborough Town and Lands Company, was sold to the Elks. (The Elks would later sell it to the King’s Daughters for a hospital and they in turn would sell it the First Baptist Church. The church would demolish it and build the current annex.)

1898: Dr. McCormick, secretary of the State Board of Health, was in Middlesboro to investigate the smallpox epidemic. The post office, all schools, churches, saloons and other public places were closed by order of the City Council. The Council also passed a compulsory vaccination order and every doctor in town was working 16-18 hours a day giving vaccinations. There had been 24 cases so far and one death from the epidemic.

1905 Judge Bosworth caused consternation in local saloons by ordering that all gambling machines must be eliminated and that any person found throwing dice, either for drinks or anything else, was to be arrested.

1924: Most mines in Bell County were operating and the coal business was reported to be good.

1944: Flash flood in Middlesboro. A 6-year-old girl drowned when she stepped off into four feet of water while wading the crossing at Exeter and 24th on her way home from school.

1952: Cardwell & Son was offering a seven-piece bedroom suite for $89.50, a five-piece dinette set for $69.50 and platform rockers for $19.50.

1957: Frank White hit a shot with just 5 seconds left in the game to give Middlesboro a 67-65 win over Corbin. White was the high scorer for the Jackets, with Harvey Yeary (later to achieve fame as movie and TV star Lee Majors) and Tommy Stapleton next highest scorers.

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.