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Therefore, we memorialize and petition the Congress for its prompt approval by necessary legislation.
· PRESTONSBURG LIONS CLUB,
By THOMAS HEREFORD, President. Attest:
WOODROW ALLEN, Secretary. Individual members: Tilden B. Friend, 0. D. Nesler, Fred Cottrell,
Eugene Hagen, Paul Francis, Clifford E. Wright, T. D. Fitzpatrick, Jr., William 0. Allen, Marshall Davidson, William B. Guy, John D. Collins, Tracy Jones, Robert H. Hughes, H. B. Stinson, Alex L. Davidson, Frank H. Layne, Wayne Bradley, J. D. Harbin, Jr., Norman T. Allen, R. V. May, Walter S. Hurking, Burl Spurlock, R. T. Archer, W. C. Rimmer, Jarvis Allen, Wesley Campbell, J. M. Cyrus, Jas. R. Hunt, W. A. Dingus, Clah Bingham, H. B.
Patrick, Thomas B. Thompson. ORDERS, PIKE COUNTY FISCAL COURT, FEBRUARY TERM, 3D DAY OF FEBRUARY, 1949
IN RE RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF CANALIZATION We, the members of the fiscal court of Pike County, in regular session this the 3d day of February 1949, hereby request and implore Hon. Alben W. Barkley, Vice President of the United States, he being the favorite son of this grand State of Kentucky, and to all the Members of the Senate and Members of Congress that vur honorable Vice President, in conjunction with our Senators and Representatives, use all their effort and influence for the canalization of the Big Sandy River and the Tug Fork of same, for the benefit of their many people living thereon and for the benefit and welfare of the whole of this Nation.
We further wish to remind our honorable Vice President and our Senators and Representatives, that we, as a group, represent approximately 90,000 people in Pike County alone, and that the livelihood of these people is almost entirely dependent upon the coal business, and that, at the present time, there are more than 8,000 miners out of employment in our county, which is due entirely to the differential in freight rates from our mines to the market in comparison with all other fieldis engaged in the mining of coal. Further wish to inform you that we have a better quality of coal than can be found anywhere in the world for byproduct purposes, yet there is such a difference in the rates from our field and that of other fields that purchasers are willing and do surchase inferior grades of coal, for the savings which they make. It is further our contention that 90 percent of the people of our county are in favor of canalization of these rivers. We wish also to inform you that in our positions as magistrates of our various districts, that we are in close touch with our people and wish to say that there are many, many people who are now suffering, due to the closing down of more than 500 of our smaller mines in this county and the curtailment of production in our larger mines. We know of many people who are unable to send their children to school because they are unable to furnish them with sufficient clothes to wear and sufficient food for them to eat.
Our honorable Vice President will recall a speech that he once made on the back of a truck in the courthouse of Pikeville, when he said, "I remember every one of you and you know why? Because you have on the same clothes that you had 4 years ago, when I was here." Mr. Vice President, you will be able to say that again, should you come here again 3 years hence, unless something is done to lift us from the mire in which we are fast sinking.
Mr. Vice President, our Senators and Representatives, we have the utmost confidence in your abilities to do this job for us, and with the greatest hopes that you will exercise yourselves to the fullest. We thank you for what you will do
Members of Fiscal Court, Pike County : County Judge, Ervin S. Pruitt;
County Attorney, F. P. Keesee; County Clerk of Fiscal Court,
Ferrell; Magistrate, District 8: W. R. Belcher.
BESSIE R. ARNOLD, Clerk.
STONE, Ky., July 19, 1949 Hon. VIRGIL CHAPMAN,
Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR CHAPMAN: As you know, I am a physician and practice medicine in Kentucky and West Virginia. As you also probably know, I am engaged in several mining operations. In addition I am a large stockholder in the ScottNickels Bus Co. of Wililamson, W. Va.
It is my purpose in writing you now to inform you that I am anxious for the canalization of the Big Sandy River and its two main forks, the Tug and Levisa. to be authorized by the Congress.
It is my belief that the project is sound and will be beneficial to the coal industry here. It is my belief further that the project will be used by the coal industry if and when it is completed.
I am convinced that the vast majority of the people of this Kentucky and West Virginia area are in favor of this project and are hoping that it will be authorized.
I am sending you an extra copy of this letter in order that you may file it with the chairman of the Public Works Committee of the House of Representatives. With best personal regards, I am, Sincerely,
JOSEPH E. JOHNSON
BARTLEY, BLEVINS AND CLARK,
Hellier, Ky., June 3, 1949. Senator VIRGIL CHAPMAN,
Washington, D. O. DEAR SENATOR CHAPMAN: We are well pleased and happy with the fight you are making in our interest by supporting vigorously the project of canalizing the Big Sandy River. We know you understand our situation and our problems as a whole.
This valley and most of eastern Kentucky depends entirely upon the one industry-coal. When the coal business is good we have a boom, when it is fair to normal, our livlihood is the same, when it is poor to bad, we go on relief or starve.
The irony of the situation is that in other than boom periods, the coal business in our territory is bad. We are unable to get our part of existing business because we are handicapped with high rail freight rates, and we cannot compete with the territories who have water transportation like Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. The rivers in these States have been canalized. Our money through taxation helped to canalize their rivers, now we want ours canalized so we can compete with them.
We and our people are watching this fight in detail with great interest, we knos that as this is a single industry territory this project means the difference between bankruptcy and relief rolls or a fair livelihood. We have come to know that your support means so much to us, and that you can be relied upon to fight it out to the finish. We appreciate it very, very much, and will not forget. Thanks again. Yours very truly,
BARTLEY, BLEVINS AND CLAES,
BRUSH CREEK COAL Co.,
Prestonburg, Ky, May 30, 1949 Hon. VIRGIL CHAPMAN, United States Senator,
Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR: I am vitally interested in the resolution now pending before the Rivers and Harbors Committee of the House of Representatives, authorizing the canalization of the Big Sandy River. The Big Sandy River extends from Cat. lettsburg to the State of Virginia, and is over 100 miles long. At Louisia, the river forks, and the West Virginia side of the river is known as Tug Fork, and the
Kentucky side as Levisa Fork. The headwaters of the Tug Fork of Big Sandy River is in the State of Virginia.
During the past 20 years, there has been great industrial developments on both forks of the river, largely brought about by coal production. There is, in this valley, valuable coal deposits, but the development of the coal has been deterred by a freight differential of about $1 or more. During the war, this freight differential could be absorbed due to the high demand for coal, but since the war, this condition no longer exists, and as result, a large number of coal mines have been required to suspend operations, because they could not operate the mines at a profit.
The Kanawba River has been canalized, and this has resulted in a large portion of the coal in that valley being transported by water to Cincinnati and other markets. This situation has caused the coal operators on Big Sandy to be placed at a tremendous disadvantage.
In order to prevent a serious economic set-back in the Big Sandy Valley, the canalization of the Big Sandy River is absolutely essential. Unless it is done, the people of this valley face the same situation with which they were presented during the depression. I am convinced that, if this project is carried out, it will result in great industrial developments to the same extent as the canalization of the Kanawha River has brought about. I will appreciate your help in connection with this resolution, Yours very respectfully,
W. W. COOLEY.
JENNY'S CREEK COAL Co.,
Paintsville, Ky., July 9, 1949. Hon. VIRGIL CHAPMAN,
United States Senator, Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: I understand that the question of locking and damming the Big Sandy River will come up in the Senate within the next few days.
A strong effort is being made by the people of Big Sandy to get the proposition acted on by the Senate. The locking and damming of the river has been fought for a good many years by people who were interested in operating coal mines as well as those desiring to dig coal.
The population of the Big Sandy Valley has increased several fold within the last 20 years, and this means unless our coal mines operate there is no other means of support for this vast population. At the present time if the river was canalized coal could be shipped out of this valley to users in the North and Northwest that cannot now be reached on account of the high freight rates on coal. This high freight rate gives the operators of coal mines in West Virginia and Pennsylvania a decided advantage over the operators of coal mines in the Big Sandy field.
The canalization of the Big Sandy River is being fought by the leaders of the United Mine Workers, but does not express the sentiment of the vast majority of the miners and people of this valley.
Canalization of the river would control floods and would furnish full-time employment to thousands of citizens who are now employed only part time.
We find that in trying to operate our own mines that we cannot compete with West Virginia and Pennsylvania coal which we would be able to do if the river was canalized. If present conditions continue and we are deprived of the canalization of the river, most of the mines in this valley will be closed because they cannot compete with the other coals due to the higher freight rate.
We will appreciate it very much if you can see your way to make a fight for this bill. Very truly yours,
JENNY'S CREEK COAL Co., By J. N. MELK.
PORTER ELKHORN Coal Co.,
Allen, Ky., July 8, 1949. Hon. VIRGIL ('HAPMAN,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR CHAPMAN: We understand that the Senate Public Works Com. mittee will be asked to consider giving aid to the Big Sandy Valley by locking and datoming the Levisa and Tug Rivers of the Big Sandy River.
We feel that the improvement would enable the coal mines of the Big Sandy Valley to produce their coal and ship by water to markets so as to compete with other fields that are now afforded water transportation. Also induce industry to locate in our valley and thereby providing employment for our people.
We trust that you will give your aid before the committee in our behall.
PORTER ELKHORN COAL Co.,
BURNWELL COAL CO.,
Betsy Layne, Ky., July 9, 1949. Senator VIRGIL CHAPMAN,
Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR CHAPMAN: We wish to take this opportunity to express our gratitude for the excellent work which you have performed toward the Big Sandy River canalization project.
This section of our fine State depends almost entirely on coal mining. At the present rate which mines are going out of business, within a year it will be neces sary to have Federal aid in feeding the people, since about 70 percent depend entirely on the mines either directly or indirectly.
Thanking you again for your splendid work on this project, and hope you will continue with us on it, we remain, Very truly yours,
BURNWELL COAL CO., INC.,
MEN'S CLUB OF BETSY LAYNE,
Betsy Layne, Ky., March 15, 1919 Senator VIRGIL CHAPMAN,
Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. CHAPMAN: We of this section of Kentucky are now in the midst of a depression. Unemployment running very high.
All this due to production of our chief industry, which is coal miningOperations which have not ceased operation completely are only working part time. employees not being able to live within their income. This situation is brought about by our high freight rates. The only relief in sight would be the canaliz. tion of the Big Sandy River.
We have the finest byproduct coal in the country. With the canalization of the Big Sandy River, we would have not only the coal mines to look forward to but there are several other industries which would result from it, such as mining of iron ore and salt which cannot be done profitably without canalization.
We beg of you to give this project your full support when the appropriations come up this session of Congress. Yours truly,
MEN'S CLUB OF BETSY LAYNE,
THE Town of MARTIN,
Martin, Ky., July 8, 1949. Hon. VIRGIL CHAPMAN,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR CHAPMAN: We understand that the Senate Committee on Public Works will soon be asked to consider lock and damming the Big Sandy River's tributaries, the Levisa Fork and Tug River Fork.
The people of the town of Martin feel that the lock and damming of the Leriss Fork is necessary for our continued existence in production of coal, and als induce industry to locate in our valley, where abundance of natural resources are available if they had cheaper transportation for their products to markets Our neighbor State West Virginia enjoys good coal market in view of the fact that they have water transportation, while in the Big Sandy field we only have one means of transportation and penalized by freight differential orer other fields.
We trust that you will aid us in securing favorable consideration by the Public Works Committee. This section of Kentucky needs aid; and, heretofore, when some good "plums” have been taken from the tree we have come up with the culls. We feel justified and entitled to river improvements.
We will appreciate anything that you may do in behalf of the Big Sandy canalization project. Very truly yours,
LAWRENCE KEATHLEY, Chairman of Board of Trustees.
CITY OF PRESTONSBURG, Ky.,
July 7, 1949.
Hon. VIRGIL CHAPMAN,
United States Senator, Washington, D. C.
DEAR SENATOR: I am writing you regarding the pending proposal to canalize the Big Sandy River and to advise you that the people of this valley are united as one man behind this proposal. I have never known of any movement in the public interest of such universally popular appear, in the nearly 40 years that I have been a resident of this city. I have traveled throughout the valley, and it is the same story everywhere you go. The United States Engineers have strongly recommended the project, and I feel that they are the group that Congress should rely upon for all matters relating to costs and feasibility of the undertaking. I hove you can find it justified as a project and give it your enthusiastic support. Cordially yours,
EDWARD P. ARNOLD, Mayor, City of Prestonsburg.
KENTUCKY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE,
July 12, 1949. Hon. DENNIS CHAVEZ, Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Works,
Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR CHAVEZ: As chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Works, I thought you would be interested to know that the board of directors of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, at their quarterly board meeting on June 29, went on record as officially endorsing the Big Sandy River canalization project.
The business community of Kentucky is solidly behind this proposal and respectfully asks your serious consideration of a project which we are firmly convinced will add great impetus to the further industrialization of our State and bring untold benefits, directly and indirectly, to a large percentage of our citizens. Cordially yours,
J. STEPHEN WATKINS, President.
Pikeville, Ky., July 13, 1949. Hon. VIRGIL CHAPMAN,
United States Senator, Washington, D. C. DEAR VIRGIL: I understand that the Big Sandy canalization project will be before the Public Works Committee of the Senate on July 15 for a hearing. Your being a member of that committee, I hope that you will do everything possible to have the project approved and included in the bill before Congress. I believe that the development of the Big Sandy Valley will create an industrial situation in Kentucky that will benefit greatly the citizens of our State.
Your endeavors in behalf of this project will be appreciated by the citizens of the Big Sandy Valley. With kindest personal regards, I am Sincerely yours,
N. A. CHRISMAN.