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Interviews:
Lester Abel

This webpage reproduces a section of
The History of Jenkins, Kentucky

published by The Jenkins Area Jaycees
Jenkins, Kentucky 1973

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


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Section I
This site is not affiliated with the US Military Academy.

H‑1 History of the Jenkins Public Library

By Mary Jo Wolfe

The words of a once popular song tell us that if we wish long enough and strong enough our dreams will come true. But it also takes hard work and perseverance. The Jenkins Public Library is an outstanding example of this.

In 1946 the Woman's Civic Club appointed a committee to formulate a plan for community betterment. Committee members were Clara Shaw, Elsie Johnson, Grace Lyons, and Rose DeSimone. After much study they decided that a public library would greatly help the educational and cultural development of the town. The Woman's Civic Club agreed to undertake the public library as a new project.

Used books were solicited in a door-to‑door canvas with the aid of the Girl Scouts. New books were purchased with the funds from club-sponsored projects. Club members worked long hours to have the books ready for circulation. The library was open one night a week and on the opening night fifty books were loaned.

Success was short-lived. The owners of the building decided they did not wish it to be used for a library and moved the books out. The books were transferred to several other places before being stored until a suitable building could be found. For almost five years the library was again a dream instead of reality.

In 1951 Mr. Samuel M. Cassidy of the Consolidation Coal Company moved the company offices from the old office building to a new building. Two members of the original committee were still in Jenkins — Clara Shaw and Elsie Johnson. With the aid of Mrs. Cassidy they approached Mr. Cassidy about space for the library in the old office building. Not only was this request granted, but Consolidation Coal Company also renovated the room.

Again disappointment came on the heels of success when it was discovered that the four hundred books in storage had gotten wet and were completely ruined. Once again the club members concentrated their efforts on obtaining books for the library. More used books were collected. New ones were purchased with funds raised from such projects as bake sales, tag days, bridge parties, style shows and carnivals. Another obstacle that might have deterred less determined and dedicated women was that not a single member of the club had any library training. With the help of the high school librarian and one from Pikeville, they learned to select books for ordering, catalog and process them for circulation, and to repair them.

With almost eight hundred books, the Jenkins Public Library opened on April 1, 1951. Five club members worked as volunteers to check out books to the 100 who came in. It was quite fitting that the first book checked out was John Fox, Jr.'s Trail of the Lonesome Pine.a

H‑2 For the next three years the club continued to operate the library on a strictly volunteer basis. A schedule was posted each month listing the days each member was to work as librarian. Repairing and ordering books was done at night. Of course this system had its flaws, as there were times when one of the volunteers would forget the schedule.

The Women's Civic Club decided to be responsible for paying a librarian. The library was open two hours a day and the salary was one dollar a day! The library continued to be financed with an annual fund drive conducted by the club members. It included a street carnival, letters to library friends, and a door-to‑door campaign. Many volunteers hours were still spent in doing all the work necessary to keep the books in condition to circulate as well as the janitor work.

For three years this was the only library in Letcher County. When the General Assembly began discussion on the possibility of giving aid to rural libraries, the club members went to bat again. They wrote letters, made telephone calls, and sent delegates to Frankfort. The results were gratifying and the state aid was of considerable help.

The Kentucky Library Extension Division was taking notice of the Jenkins Public Library, and in 1961 it was one of ten libraries to be commended by the Governor for the observance of National Library Week. For this achievement the library received fifty new books and a large picture.

During 1961 the Kentucky Library Extension Division advised the Jenkins Public Library of plans being developed to establish a regional library in this area with headquarters in Pikeville. To be eligible to participate in this program the Jenkins Public Library had to become a part of the Letcher County Library. This was done by a vote of the board of directors of the Women's Civic Club who served as library board members. Miss Clara Shaw then became a member of the Letcher County Library Board. Plans for the regional library came to a sudden halt when Pikeville decided not to participate.

When space for the regional library was offered in Jenkins, the state library officials advised that it could be done if the Letcher County Fiscal Court would appropriate eight hundred dollars for this project. Members of the library board consulted with the county judge and attorney and traveled over the county to persuade the eight members of the court to approve the appropriation. This they did by an unanimous vote. However, state funds were curtailed and the project had to be delayed. The state library officials did give Jenkins Library several hundred books which helped tremendously.

Knowing how hard the Jenkins people had worked, Miss Margaret Willis, Director of Library Extension Division, sent a form from the H‑3Book-of-the‑Month Club to Miss Shaw in October, 1961. She asked if Jenkins would be interested in entering the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Library Contest. The first prize would be five thousand dollars to be used to purchase new books.

Miss Shaw spent hours getting together the information to complete the form and to write a resume of past accomplishments and future plans. The report was mailed in late October. Anxious weeks passed. Hope faded. Then on December 29 Miss Shaw was notified that Jenkins Public Library had been awarded first prize for being the best small library in the United States.

The next three months were crowded with activity to prepare for the official day of presentation — April 8, 1962. The biggest achievement was new quarters for the library. Miss Shaw conferred with the officials of the Bethlehem Mines Corporation (now Beth-Elkhorn Corporation) who had purchased the Consolidation Coal Company properties. They agreed to furnish space in their new building for the library. The floor space was more than three times as large as the old quarters. The company redecorated the room, women volunteers put new jackets on the old books, and school children helped move them from the old library. The Library Extension Division volunteered to purchase and catalog the new books and let the library pay for them after the award money was received. They did this, and the new books were ready for the presentation ceremony.

The Book-of-the‑Month Club sent seven members to Jenkins including Chairman Harry Scherman. They were guests of honor at a luncheon for one hundred fifty library friends. Mr. Archie Craft of Whitesburg and Lexington was master of ceremonies. The principal speaker was John Mason Brown, noted Kentucky author. Other speakers included Lt. Gov. Wilson Wyatt and Miss Margaret Willis. Mr. Scherman presented the check for five thousand dollars to Miss Clara Shaw, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Jenkins Public Library. Immediately following the program open house was observed at the new library headquarters. Among the distinguished guests were Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Cassidy, Senator Thurston B. Morton, Janice Holt Giles, and Chloe Gifford.

In late 1962 plans for a regional library were revived and carried out. Jenkins became the headquarters for the Pine Mountain Regional Library and Mr. Don Amburgey, the Regional Librarian. This brought much needed professional help to the Jenkins library as well as the other libraries in the region. Mr. Amburgey is still the Regional Librarian but now has his headquarters in Whitesburg.

Eventually a bookmobile was added. This provided library service for those living in outlying areas of the county for whom travel was difficult as well as to shut‑ins and the elderly. It began with a three-day work schedule.

The last major step was to secure a library tax for the county H‑4in order to continue the regional library and receive state aid. Self-help is a requirement for these benefits. Once again the people of Jenkins rose to the occasion. In accordance with Kentucky law the Letcher Countians circulated a petition for the tax to present to the Letcher County Fiscal Court. Many hours and many miles were required to get the necessary number of signatures for the .05% county library tax. The tax is a very small portion of the tax bill, but the advantages have been tremendous to the libraries and bookmobiles of Letcher County.

Many changes and improvements have come to the library over the years. The library is now open fifty hours each week and the bookmobile operates five days each week. There is a staff of four: Flora Mullins, circulation librarian; Mary Jo Wolfe, assistant librarian; Hylma Haynes, maintenance custodian; Claudia Anderson, bookmobile librarian. Additional shelving has been added twice. One wall section is covered with framed Audubon prints. New furniture has added to the appearance and comfort of the library. Audio-visual equipment includes a microfilm reader, copying machine, phonograph, movie projector, film strip projector, recordings, films, and film strips. Paintings, newspapers, and magazines are also available as well as over 28,000 books. Special programs sponsored by the library from time to time have included adult study groups, children's story hours, exhibits of local artists' works, antique collectors shows, depression glass shows, ceramic displays, essay and poster contests and the annual open house during National Library Week. Perhaps the outstanding attraction is the Kentucky collection. Here, in the most attractive section of the library, are grouped books about Kentucky or by Kentucky authors. Included are a number of items on local history.

All these achievements have come about through far-sighted dreams, careful planning, and countless hours of hard work. Since 1946 so many individuals have contributed so much to make the library possible that it would be impossible to name all of them, but one person should be given credit. Miss Clara Shaw. She was there when the dream was born. She guided the work through the early years. When problems threatened the library, she found a way to overcome them. She was the first chairman of the library board and held that position until she retired. Whatever the library is today, it must be said, "She led the way."

H‑5 Fish Pond Lake

By Ernie Bentley

In 1961 county officials approached Beth-Elkhorn to donate a part of Fish Pond Creek to be developed into a recreation lake. 860 acres were donated. 35 acres were privately owned at the headwater. To buy the 35 acres, organizations bought the land for $3500. This 895 acres was deeded to the county. The state contracted with Adams Construction who built the dam. The state did not give the deed back to the county. Some fifteen acres around the dam belongs to the state.

There would be 45 acres of water. Picnic tables built through the efforts of different organizations.

The county is responsible for the upkeep of the lake. The county didn't keep the lake up because of the deed. It became a local hangout for people who wanted to destroy.

In August 1971, the Jaycees became involved. They went to the county officials in trying to obtain a long-time lease, but county could not release the lake. The deed came back to the Fiscal Court of Letcher County on September 30, 1971. Now the county owns the lake.

An agreement was reached between the Jaycees and the Fiscal Court. The Jaycees received a lease from the county for the lake. It was leased until the state or Jefferson National Park can take over the lakes. The Jaycees are to keep the lake clean and properly policed and attractive. In the deed from the state, the Jaycees cannot charge for anyone going into the lake. This has hurt with the upkeep of the lake. However, donations can be requested.

The Jaycees have tried to get Jefferson National Forest to take over the operation of the park.

John Billiter was the first chairman of the Board of Governors of Fish Pond Lake, and they made decisions for the lake. John started in October 1971 and he served until January 15, 1972 when he was transferred. Ernie Bentley took over January 15 as chairman of the Board of Governors and has served until present. The Board of Governors has been increased to 11 for political reasons.

Six Jaycees left on February 7 to Washington, D.C. to have a meeting to present the Fish Pond Lake to the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation and A.R.C. Also Congressman Perkins and other officials made an effort to promote the Fish Pond Lake.

The future of the Fish Pond Lake is for the Jaycees to develop the lake according to Jefferson National Forest plan and Fish Pond Lake plans. These plans call for:

  1. family camp sites
  2. 10family group camp sites
  3. Transit family camp sites for people passing through Jenkins
  4. beach; day use for 350 swimmers and onlookers.
  5. 10‑family H‑6picnic sites.
  6. group picnic facility for 200 people.
  7. Exhibit center which will accommodate around 250 people.

One mile west of Payne Gap, Kentucky, near scenic Pine Mountain, the north-south highway will go by the lake. U. S. 58 will also offer access to Fish Pond Lake. The New U. S. 119 will come within 100 yards of Fish Pond Lake. Fish Pond Lake is a result of a strip mine reclamation project. There are points wide enough to accommodate the development of different projects. There is to be 20 years of development.

There is to be an observation tower, family and group picnic areas, places for nature study. There will be a separation of the different areas.

The beach area will be in back of the lake. The slate dump area is to be leveled in the area behind the beach.

The information center will be where the mine fire has burned. The primary purpose is to welcome the visitors with pamphlets and information concerning near‑by services in Neon and Jenkins. There will be a public telephone for overnight guests of Fish Pond Lake.

The Exhibit center and Observation tower. There are many possibilities for the use of the exhibit center, such as information about coal and forest industries. The visitors will have tours showing strip mines. There will be a building that could have 250 visitors. The tower could be used to show about conservation of the area.

Family Camping Areas. The largest development area is near the west end of the dam. The spillway will divide this area from the Exhibition site. 30 families can be accommodated. There will be two areas with showers and a play area for the children. Foot trails will tie the lake together. There will be a road across the spillway with a bridge.

Group Camping Area. This is to be located on the west shore of the lake. It is planned to accommodate groups like Boy Scouts. Rest rooms, group tables, 10car parking space with tent and camping sites. This site is in the lower half of the lake.

Transit Camping sites. Just north of the lake a group of camp sites will serve people who want an overnight place for camping. This area can accommodate 20 campers.

Beach and Day use area. The beach is located on the upper end of the lake. There will be a concession stand and bath house. There will be a large play and sun bathing area. Parking for this area is on either side of the beach and behind the beach. Concessions will serve sandwiches, cold drinks, as well as selling fishing supplies. There will also be a Bike rental service. The beach will be in easy walking distance to the picnic area north and south of the beach. The beach will be roped off for small children and life guards will be on duty.

H‑7 Look Down the Cumberland to Jenkins, Kentucky in 1927

By: Nora Figger

Dear friends and gentle people, I would like for you to see Jenkins as I saw the town in April, 1927. Our family of ten was driven from Tom's Creek, Virginia in a Ford car to the top of the Cumberland mountains, at Pound Gap. This was as far as the car could come. Dad and mother took us by the hand and told us that we must walk down the mountain to a friend's home. These were the Sextons in the Mudtown division.

The first sight we saw was the beautiful lake which seemed to be away down the mountain. I have never seen a more lovely scene than the beautiful verdant mountains and the seemingly row after row of colorful homes. It seemed a far distance to Charlie Sexton's home where we were to stay until our furniture arrived from Virginia.

We were taken down to Jenkins depot and boarded a train for Burdine. The train station is down town now, but it was a little yellow and white station near a carpenter shop. When we got off the train Dad pointed to a huge hill and said that this was to be our new home. Just a short distance down the road was the recreation building, called the "Y", and the giant company store.

We journeyed up the mountain to No. 2 Hill. It seemed we would never make it to the top. It was a five-room house with a pump in the yard. We had a coal cook stove and fireplace to heat the house. Now, imagine, ten people to each side or twenty people to a house. We lived together and became the best of friends. There were the Haleys, Baldwins, Andersons, Bryants, Mullins, Galoways,º Shorts, Bakers, Dyes, Stallards, Johnsons, Olivers, Grymes, and many more to come and go in the next few years.

The Fleming family expected another addition to the big family in November. The last of the family was born, November 14, 1927, Harless Emory Fleming.

It seemed we never got to see our father until Sunday morning. It was quite a day to look forward to having Sunday school and church in the homes of our neighbors. There was no church on the hill but so many people from Virginia had moved on the hill and they were of our faith so we just got together and had services in the homes. We'd take a whole house for Sunday school rooms. People of those days shared the good and the bad times with each other. They were more closely intertwined than the family clans of today.

The miners didn't make a big wage and when someone had a large hospital bill to pay the men got together and took a paper through the mines and the bill was paid. When sickness kept the bread-winner from work they got together and paid the amount that was needed. When mother was paralyzed three months and couldn't get out of bed, the neighbors kept the house clean, cooked, and took care of the new baby. The money was little but oh for the love those people had for H‑8one another.

It came our first Christmas in Kentucky and the Consolidation Coal Company was wonderful to the big families. Mr. Wonecot was over the Burdine Store. I remember the dray men bringing a wagon load of toys and food to the families of No. 2 Hill. Children were grateful for one toy in those days, and had twice the fun pretending with little homemade games. We had Christ in Christmas and love in our hearts. We celebrated Christmas with a program and sang Joy to the World with true meaning. We had peace on earth.

Poppa and brother Royal rose at four o'clock in the morning to go to the mines. I can just hear Dad call, "Rise! Rise! Catch your four o'clock coffee!" Mommie and Joyce would get up and build the fires and cook breakfast and pack buckets while Dad and Royal would get dressed to go to the No. 1 mines on the opposite side of the mountain from No. 2 Hill. Dad laid tracks and brother drove a motor. I'd not get to see Dad sometimes until Sunday morning because it was too late at night when they got in and too early when they went to work.

Down in the bottom was a nice company store and "Y". The "Y" had a soda fountain, pool room, barber shop, and upstairs was a theater. The surroundings of the "Y" was beautiful with roses and all kinds of flowers and trees. Up behind the train station was a beautiful park with swings and merry-go‑rounds and the like.

There was No. 1 Bottom and No. 2 Bottom and then the school. Beside the school the company built a community church which is now the Freewill Baptist. The first school was in the home which is now owned by Leonard Vicars. Then they built one section and in 1928 the company added the other building, a cafeteria. We thought it was the finest of its time. We had a school doctor and a nurse and a dentist to take care of the children's health. They were good and very aware of the needs of the children. It cost only fifty cents to get a tooth pulled and filled. We got a physical each year and celebrated May Day and it wasn't a day for the Communists. The Superintendent was C. V. Snapp. He was a man of outstanding qualities and I was always proud to say when I went to UK or Morehead that I was from Jenkins, Kentucky.

It was a good many years before I knew much about the rest of Jenkins for it was a far walk uptown and we didn't go except by train and that cost ten cents and money was hard to come by.b

Jenkins was carved out of a wilderness by the Consolidation Coal Company and was a model coal mining town. Jenkins was much more beautiful then, than now. In front of the power house was a beautiful park that was attended by a gardener, Mr. Braddock. Along the streets on each side were beautiful maple trees that lined the streets.

We had so many buildings that are now torn down. We had a self-sufficient H‑9town. We had a bakery, and ice cream plant, and ice plant, a pop plant, a white and colored "Y", a meat market, a tearoom, soda fountain and a nice theater and hotel. At one time the service station sold more gas than any for miles around. The company had its own garages to service what few cars that were individually owned. The company had buses to take the men to their mines which went clear to McRoberts.

The Jenkins Independent School System was the best in the state. We had a triple A rating with the Southern Association. The people kept coming to Jenkins in such increasing numbers that another building was built in 1932. The company supported the schools and each man was cut over the payroll to help defray expenses. The company wanted the best it could afford for the school. It is through their effort that we had the best teachers that now teach in universities and colleges. They were interested in the food and environment of the children.

The health system was the best. The communities were visited by a nurse and doctor and when they found things undesirable you were notified by your policeman to clean up or get out. If you were of questionable character you were asked to leave town. It had a say about everything that pertained to Burdine, Jenkins, Dunham and McRoberts.

The rent was about nine dollars a month, water was a dollar, and power was a couple of dollars and the coal was hauled, all we used for heat and cooking, for two dollars plus seventy-five cents for the hauling. The company painted and repaired our homes at request. These are some of the nice things I remember.

The churches and civic organizations were few but they soon grew better as more good people came to Jenkins. The company built the Methodist and Baptist and Catholic Church and gave to them places for the ministers to live. To build good schools and churches was a must for the town to grow. The first of the civic organizations that I remember was the Masons and the Eastern Star, and next was the Woman's Club, and then the Girl and Boy Scouts of America. Great strides were made by the company to build cabins for the boys and they gave houses for the girls to meet in.

There was the American Legion that did great things for our boys and girls. They started boxing that became known for miles around. They also inspired love of country and patriotism in the hearts of Jenkins.

The people who came to Jenkins always seemed to find what they were looking for in schools, civic work and began building churches of all denominations and building a good place to live. I have never found a better place to live no matter how rich the place was, and Jenkins is a good place to live to find peace of mind and contentment of my heart.

H‑10 Swift's Silver Mine

It is stated that there is a silver mine in or around Jenkins and it is mentioned that for over 200 years people have been looking for this silver mine. No one has yet found it. This is an article taken from the Knoxville Journal. The man writing it says that the Shawnee Indians called the Pine Mountain near Pound Gap from Virginia to Kentucky "Hollow Mountain." They said a cave ran all the way through the mountain and that the cave was lined with silver.

John Swift who knew about the silver in about the year 1790 formed a party of men and some Shawnee Indians and began mining for silver. His eyesight began failing so he decided to stop up the entrance to the cave. After this was done Swift came to Bean Station, Tennessee to rest at the home of a friend. This friend was Mrs. Winters, whose husband had been killed by Indians. He soon became uneasy that his eyesight might fail completely, so he took four white men and two Indians and returned to "Hollow Mountain."

He had planned for each to carry a little silver on their pack horses, but instead the story goes that Swift had enough eyesight left that when he saw the silver he turned greedy and decided that inside "Hollow Mountain" would be his. One night when his companions were asleep, he grabbed a knife and killed all of them. Crazed by his crimes, he mounted his horse and rode back to Bean Station. When Mrs. Winters suspected something had gone amiss with him returning without his companions she asked him many questions and kept on questioning him until he told her that he had killed all of them so that he would have all the wealth for his own. She was so shocked that she demanded that he leave her home at once.

H‑11 The Legend of Devil John Wright

The following poem was written by Tom Chaffins, a native of Jenkins.

Gather around me people
Hear what I have to say.
I'll tell you the story of a mountain man
Whose legend lives today.

He was born in Eastern Kentucky,
Not far from the Virginia line.
He grew up fast and tall and strong,
Just like a mountain pine.

While roaming the hills of Kentucky,
Virginia and Tennessee, too
His name became a legend
And like a raging wildfire grew.

He joined the Confederate Army
And fought in the Civil War.
When all the battles were over,
He started to roam once more.

He finally joined a circus show
Just to visit foreign lands.
People say his skill with a horse and gun
Was unmatched by any man.

Nicknamed after Satan
So the story goes,
But just how mean this big man was
Nobody really knows.

It was said that seven men
Were felled by his deadly gun.
Being on the side of order and law,
He saw justice done.

Although this man was brave,
He didn't go looking to fight.
But bad men trembled at the very thought
Of facing down Devil John Wright.

Now Devil John is gone.
He finally passed away,
But he left behind a legend
That lives this very day.

H‑12 A Heritage of Pride

By Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Jim Chandler

Reflections on my boyhood years growing up in the Jenkins community bring back nostalgia, many happy memories and an awareness of the very special heritage belonging to the people of this area.

The high school years of 1946‑1950 were probably similar in many respects to high school experiences across the country. The furtive and spirited trips to the Pound for excitement and refreshments, the taste of victory and the humiliation of defeat during the football and basketball seasons, the delight of outwitting Coach Saylor's curfew and dating taboo, the excitement and intellectual awakening in the old high school classrooms — all blend together forming an unbreakable link to the past. Such memories grow dim as the years unfold, but with the perspective of time and after extensive travel within the United States, Europe, and the Orient, I have become aware of the unique heritage which we, the people of Jenkins, were given. During the early years, I was too young and too close to the people to perceive that gift. I believe that gift was pride! Not the vain posturing of the weak, but the steadfast perseverance in believing that we were as good or better than the people from the cities, or anyplace else.

The first shock I had that many Americans did not share our belief that we were inferior to no one, occurred shortly after I left Jenkins in 1950 to attend the Military Academy at West Point. I had expected the first year to be tough but was hardly prepared for presumptions on the part of some upperclassmen that because I was a "hillbilly" from Kentucky and spoke differently that I was unfit to be a West Pointer. Until this shock, I was homesick and was hardly trying. The day that upperclassman told me I didn't belong at West Point, since "hillbillies" were dumb and couldn't talk, was the turning point in my life. I am eternally grateful to this snobbish young man because he opened my eyes to our common heritage of pride. No longer was I considering the beckoning resort of quitting. Before this incident, I was barely passing the tough academic curriculum. Now, I had something to prove. Rather than slugging the upperclassman — as he richly deserved — I converted my anger into a concentrated work schedule like I had never done before. The habit of achievement and striving for excellence which I learned through the anger of injured pride has been with me since that day.

I have often wondered about the significance of that experience. Talks with friends from the Jenkins area who have had similar experiences convince me that my experience was not isolated. The eager welcome nationwide of welfare handouts has been accepted here only as a last resort and with reluctance by most people. The friendly, good-natured way of people of our community conceals, I think, a tremendous reservoir of character and pride. The cause of this unique characteristic — which, believe me, is seldom found elsewhere — is probably a result of two factors. First, is the many generations H‑13of descendants of early American settlers who made their homes in these mountains. The characteristic of individualism has been handed down for generations. Secondly, the isolation caused by the mountain ranges has kept the proud and rugged individualism intact long after it became a myth across the country. Farming the poor mountain terrain and coal mining was no job for the weak!

It is this heritage of pride which I believe is the most vital gift we have. As we left our high school at Jenkins and ventured forth to college, we no doubt became aware that our schools lacked the modern physical plant and extensive curriculum of other schools. We were aware that our easy-going way and manner of speech was different. But our experience in the crucible of competition with our "more fortunate" contemporaries made us grateful for the priceless heritage of this mountain fastness.

It is always with pride and an unspoken challenge that I say in any company that I was born and raised in Jenkins, Kentucky.

. . . . . . . . . . . .

Jim Chandler has just completed his 19th year in the United States Army where he served in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. His next assignment takes him to the Army War College in Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania.

Jim was born in Jenkins, Kentucky, in 1932 and graduated from Jenkins High School in 1950. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, in 1954 and subsequently was awarded a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Texas A & M and a Master of Arts degree in International Relations from Boston University.

He is the son of Paul B. Chandler and Myrtle Blizzard Chandler. Colonel Chandler's father lost his life while serving the cause of freedom in World War II. Incidentally, Mrs. Chandler plans to live with her son and his family on a permanent basis in the near future.

Jim is married to the former Sue Carol Killen of Dunham, Kentucky. They have three children: Jim, Jr., 17; Sherry, 15½; and Jeffrey, who is 12.

H‑14 The Jenkins Kindergarten

By Kathy Hancock

Kindergarten work at Jenkins was first opened in September, 1914. The need for such work was keenly felt by Christian workers, and through the Pastor of the Methodist Church, application was made for a Kindergarten teacher to the Woman's Missionary Council of the Southern Methodist Church and a teacher was supplied.

The work also was presented before the Epworth Leagues of the Kentucky Conference, and this body of young people pledged themselves to provide the necessary equipment with the exception of a piano, which was given by the young people of Jenkins. The first year, seven nationalities were represented, the enrollment being above eighty, with an average attendance of between 25 and 30.

The need of another teacher was felt, and the second year opened with two teachers in charge. Many expressions of appreciation of the work were made and the need for such work in the adjoining towns was met the next year by the Consolidation Coal Company giving a month's demonstration in the towns of Dunham, Burdine and McRoberts. The work continued to grow in interest each year. The Consolidation Coal Company has provided an assistant and also carried on the work in other towns.

The preceding article was taken from the CCC Mutual Monthly Magazine, June, 1918 and submitted by Kathy Hancock.


Thayer's Notes:

a For this famous tale of Appalachia, the book, the movie, and its sources, see the section on John Wright and my note there.

[decorative delimiter]

b Up to now, what the author has been describing, the town she grew up in, is that part of Jenkins called Burdine. It includes the areas of #1 Hill, #1 Bottom, and #2 Hill — "named" for the nearby mines. Burdine is about four miles from downtown Jenkins, with mostly open countryside between.


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