The following article was taken from the Louisville Sunday Courier Journal, December 4, 1955.
The women's civic club was organized in 1936 and federated in 1937 and right away went into action, spreading drives for community welfare, donating equipment for the school and helping the hospital. We want to keep Jenkins a model town said the club president, Miss Clare Shaw, and we are willing to put up the work and the money.
Miss Shaw thinks the club's most outstanding achievement is the free public library it established in 1945. The library was opened with a stock of books donated by members. Members believe their library is probably the most used in the county. It was first housed at the women's club meeting place in the Methodist church basement, then at the town's Boy Scout cottage. There was no heat in the cottage and the books were moved. The coal company then stepped in and offered part of the downtown office building to the club.
In 1951 the club set up a permanent library. The three large rooms housed a kitchen and lodge and served as a club house. The 56 members held their meetings there. The club paid the librarian, Mrs. Sam Holbrook, who keeps shop from 3:30 to 4:30 Monday through Friday. On the shelves are 4000 books.
To raise money to maintain the library and other club activities members have an all-day street carnival each August. There are booths, games, a country store, a variety show and clowns. The members don grease paint and baggy pants to entertain circus style. This year's cut-ups were Mrs. Louis Quick and Mrs. Joe Eversole. Miss Shaw noticed that her cooking and some of her baking earned club funds at the carnival. This year she baked a real good Jam cake for sale. "I took it down and was about to tell them what to charge for it and a tourist stopped to buy a cake and I sold it to her for $2.00. She ate it right there and after it was eaten, I realized that I had put $2.60 worth of ingredients into it." Miss Shaw's baking, other activities plus the entertainment raised $1200 for the treasury this year.
For the room at Sharon Heights Hospital the club gave $500. Member donations have helped the Band Boosters Club at Jenkins High School. A loving cup goes each year to the most courteous driver in the driver training class at the high school and the club gives a $50.00 annual scholarship to an outstanding student at Jenkins High School.
This year the club adopted 20 children at the Old Baptist Orphanage near Jenkins. Two members are foster mothers to one child. The children received clothing and other gifts. All members are planning a Christmas party that will be given at the library club house on December 20 for the children.
F‑2 Miss Shaw, a native of Carlisle, came to Jenkins in 1937 after teaching at Van Lear for two years. In 1947 the company owned buildings and houses were sold to individuals. The town's population was about 4500. She is a Property Records clerk for the coal company, but she says that the title doesn't really tell what she does. She is a secretary and also is in charge of the land records and property tax. Almost every day on her lunch hour, she goes to the library to water the flowers or go over a book list or scrub the floor.
Miss Shaw has been club president and before she served a term in the 40's she was District Governess for three years and State Treasurer for four years and is now State Chairman of Constitution of By-Laws Revision.
Between now and Christmas our club members will set up a tree on Main Street, deliver baskets of food to the needy, send cigarettes to the Veterans Hospital and stage an annual holiday home decoration contest.
The first meeting was held in East Jenkins Hollow in June of 1933. It was held by Sam Caddy. Sam Pascoe and Bill Stapleton were the speakers. They used county judge Sandy Adams' flatbed truck for a speakers platform. The meeting was attended by miners from all over several counties, including Perry, Pike, Floyd, Knott, and Letcher. More than 2000 people were present.
They were told that if we would join the union that time would come when we would get $5.00 per day and get an 8‑hour day. When the first meeting after that was held on Potters Fork, the first Charter was #5741 issued to the employees of Number 4 Mine. Logan Fugate was the first president and Butler Fleming was the recording secretary. Then local Union 5786 was issued to the employees of Number 5 and 6 to John Stines as the first president and I. M. Bolling as the first treasurer and Jim Lunder as the first financial secretary. Then local #5787 was issued to the employees of Number 7 mine to R. D. Powers as president, O. M. Bolling as recording secretary. Then we had some trouble at McRoberts and both mines were shut down at the time we were organized, but that local number was and still is #6281. Ruby Baker was president and Clarence Baker, better known as "Flats", was the recording secretary.
Plaque in front of UMW Local #5741 in Jenkins:
Local Union 5741
was the first local union on the Big Sandy field and was chartered June 21, 1933. The first officers were Butler Fleming, President, and Logan Fugate, Recording Secretary.
This plaque is respectfully dedicated to the memory of the charter members.
June 7, 1958
The first agreement went into effect the day after Labor Day, 1933, with motormen, timbermen, and trackmen wages at $4.00 per day. Brakemen, track helpers and timbermen helpers rates were $3.60 for 8 hours work. Machine men were paid by the ton for cutting coal for 10 or 12 years, then after World War II, the machine and joy operators were paid by the day. I believe the first day rates were $17.50 per day. Now the miners are making more per hour than we were making per day and are making more per day than we could make in two weeks, if we worked every day.
The Jenkins Fire Department has been very instrumental in protecting the homes and lives of the people in Jenkins and the surrounding areas.
Damon Duncan was fire chief from 1935 to 1965. Kelly DeSimone was chief 1965 to 1970. Winfred Harris from 1970 to present. There are 21 active members in the department. The Jenkins Fire Department has three sections, one in Burdine, one in Dunham and one in Jenkins. The Jenkins Department has a 1000 GPM, 1966 American LaFrance pumper; Burdine has a 500 GPM, a 1948; Dunham has a 500 GPM, a 1936 Chevrolet. Since April, 1970, the men have been training weekly. They have been to Fire School each year with a 20‑hour course. In 1972, Jenkins had 14 firemen in the Kentucky State Fire School in Lexington, with more men than anyone in the state at that time. In 1971, we bought new clothing for the men in the department. We are in the process of installing a fire-alarm system which will work through the telephone system. Winfred Harris and the other firemen have spent many long hours getting the system of Jenkins down pat and getting out serving the people when there is a need.
Under the direction of three Jenkins Area Jaycees, Louis Figger, Larry Hurst, and Harry Combs, the Jenkins Area Jaycettes held its organizational meeting at the Elkhorn Country Club on February 14, 1972. The following officers were elected for the year: President, Mary "Charlie" Hurst; Vice President, Elizabeth Maynard; Secretary, Nancy Fleming; Treasurer, Pat Bradley. Shortly after the election, Mary and her family moved from Jenkins. Liz Maynard assumed the office of president. Darla Sexton relieved Nancy Fleming as secretary.
Although it was our first year, the Jaycettes were very active. Our activities included concessions at the Jaycees street dances, Drew Shows,a and horse show. Proceeds from these concessions were used to buy a band uniform for the Jenkins Band, pay six months rent for the Jenkins Mental Health Clinic, sponsor Miss Teresa Woodard in the Miss Teenage America Pageant, give clothing to two needy children, donate to the Heart Fund, March of Dimes and Cancer Fund and sponsor a community first-aid and safety class for women.
In February, 1973, new officers were elected. They are as follows: President, Shanna Yonts; Vice President, Betty Combs; Secretary, Darla Sexton; Treasurer, Lanna Dixon. JoAnn Combs has been club Chaplain for both years.
This year the Jaycette activities have included concessions at the Jaycees wrestling matches and the Drew Shows, contributions of F‑4$100 to the Jaycee swimming pool fund, $25 to the Jenkins High School Cheerleaders, and $50 to the Letcher County Crusade for Christ. The Jaycettes assisted the Jaycees when the regional meeting was held at the Elkhorn Country Club on April 1, 1973, and on Radio Day (the fund-raising campaign to revive the old swimming pool).
Next on the agenda for the Jaycettes is to assist the Jaycees at the 60th Anniversary Homecoming of Jenkins. Listed below are the charter members of the Jenkins Area Jaycettes:
The Jenkins Gamma Upsilon Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority began in April, 1972, as a friendly venture of Whitesburg Beta Kappa by Sandy Sabo.
The sorority began with 17 charter members. May 15 is the official anniversary of the chapter. When we began, we decided we would try to do something helpful for the community. We have helped by visiting the Golden Years Rest Home and donating some things for the people's benefit there. Also, we gave two $100 scholarships to two high school senior girls.
We are a young organization in Jenkins, but we hope to grow and through our growth help those around us. Listed below are the charter members of the club:
The charter night for the Kiwanis was in the Jenkins High School auditorium on March 23, 1939. The following clubs attended: Norton, Jackson, Hazard, Big Stone Gap, Prestonsburg, Pikeville, Salyersville, and Lexington. President of the club was Gilbert A. Johnson and Vice President was Dr. T. D. Boggs. The directors were W. R. Jordan, Harry L. Moore, Curtis J. Reed, Eugene B. Auxier, Archie F. Meredith and Carl Fitzpatrick.
In the Kiwanis Club in 1949, the officers were William Stapleton, President; Paul Lyons, First Vice President; Joe Asher, Second Vice President; Roger Wilson, Immediate Past President; E. H. Preston, Secretary-Treasurer. The directors were S. M. Cassidy, W. F. Pedis, S. J. Chewning, Carl Fitzpatrick, Johnny Pack, Henry Sewell, and B. H. Crase.
The officers for 1972‑73 are W. R. Wright, President; C. Stallard, Immediate Past President; A. J. Nash, President Elect; J. W. Harris, Vice President; J. R. Pack, Secretary; W. R. Mullins, Treasurer. The board of directors are E. P. Auxier, J. S. Hale, Dave Zegeer, Drexel Webb, Robert Collins, Glen Polly and Daniel Mullins.
a Drew shows are, as far as I can tell, something like a street fair or carnival, popular in Appalachia. If you have better or more detailed information, please drop me a line, of course!
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Page updated: 18 Dec 05