Middlesboro Daily News
Contributed by: Mary Lou Hudson
Dec. 7, 1920
Reports Of Pitched Battle Between 'Shiners and Officers Exaggerated
Reports reaching here today from "South America" say the press stories of the battle at that point with thirty odd moonshiners against fourteen federal agents Saturday were greatly overdrawn.It appears that nine stills were destroyed Friday night within a radius of eight miles, and nine arrests followed Saturday.The moonshiners taken into custody surrendered to officers after a few shots had been exchanged between the raiders and distillers.The shooting wounded no one of either :army," according to the report.
The men taken prisoners were carried to Pineville and it is said the raiding party are on their way back to the scene of the Saturday skirmish and expect to make other arrests which it is claimed are extremely hazardous, the moonshiners having reorganized their forces while raiders were away to Pineville to prosecute.
The prisoners taken to Pineville were Henderson Gibson and his brother, John Gibson, Frank Hamilton and Byrd Powers.DeWitt Gibson was arrested,but escaped.Four others were released.
Deputy Winfrey, Steve Cornett, Joe M. Kavanaugh, M.K. Parson, Charles "Red" Steward were a part of the revenue force in action against the moonshiners, and they were aided by C.W. Renfro, sheriff of Whitley county. Henry Morgan, deputy sheriff, of Whitley, J. H. Hamlin and Levi Mason, deputy sheriffs of Bell county.
With the raiders on the way back to the battleground, news of another battle may break any hour.
Not dated - bet 1976-1978
Heads Or Tales by Gene Siler
King Mountain has been casting its benign shadow over Williamsburg since 1818,since Cox's Tavern and Cumberland River ferry were transformed to a sleepy country village called Whitley Courthouse.
As the pyramids of Egypt overshadow the desert, so does King Mountain overshadow the river, the town, the people down at the foot of its pinnacle. Some years ago there was a King Grist Mill and a King Mill Dam.But these have been swept away in the floodtides of progress.
I think it would be quite an honor to have a mountain or a mill or a dam named after your family.All three of these carry or once carried the name of this King family.So the Kings have a threefold honor.
Don Longworth, who is a half King, today brought me a picture of the wife and eight children of Dolphus King, his grandfather.These have now made their last journey across Cumberland River --all but Nan King Jones who still survives at Wofford.
In the picture you will see standing, left to right, George King,Frank King, Sid King, Nan Jones,Carrie Longworth, Ed King, and seated,Mary Tuggle, Margaret King, the mother, and Henry King with his fierce moustache.
And now I must tell you about Henry King, who ran the mill, who was an orchardist, who was a lawyer.
Well of course I did not say he looked like a lawyer-- certainly not.How can a man run a grist mill, take care of an orchard and still look like a lawyer. Can't be done.
But you know there are three kinds of lawyers -- the lubstery court-room lawyer--the bookish office lawyer -- the yarn-gallused lawyer,who communicates well with the people and spends much of his time on the streets.Henry King was a yarn-gallused lawyer. Henry Gillis was a bookish lawyer.R.L. Pope was a blustery lawyer.All of these Lawyers once practiced law here in Williamsburg.
If you can find some lawyer with all three of these traits -- blustery,bookish,yarn-gallused -- you are pretty apt to win your case. You will have a dangerous advocate in court.
My father was somewhat blustery, somewhat bookish and raised on Tackett Creek so as to enable him to communicate with the people.He was also an excellent business man and could scent a lawyer fee or a successful business enterprise like a hound scents a fox up on King Mountain.
Some days ago a man brought me several documents and asked me to unravel the situation and explain it to him.Then he remarked, "I never knowed anything about law - always worked for my living.
"It was quite a slur on lawyers, people who didn't work, but I ignored this and helped him unravel his ball of twine.
Some lawyers, like Henry King, did actually work for a living, like my client had in mind.
But mainly Henry left us King Mountain, King Mill, King Dam and so the King family has this threefold honor.
Ernest King was a famous US Admiral in World War II, Rufus King was a signer of the US Constitution, Starr King was a mighty preacher and orator, William R.King was a US Vice President and Dolphus King was the father of our Whitley County Kings.
Long live the Kings, especially our own Kings.
Thurs., Oct. 24, 1978
heads or tales/Gene Siler, Sr.
The gathering of the Moses clan
Tall, green mountains reach upwards toward the white cloud banks.
Shimmering fogs cluster and linger upon the hillsides as if reluctant to leave such a pretty valley.
Green pastures seem to tell us this is just where the Good Shepherd may have led his sheep.
A creek gurgles its song of happiness as it meanders towards the sea hundred of miles way out yonder somewhere.
Three quiet cemeteries continually mourn for dead folks and all of these cemeteries keep quiet vigil for some Moseses, Davenports, Ellisons,Lambdins, Coxes and Silers.
But by far both the living and dead in this valley are mainly Moses people.
You guessed it.This is Wolf Creek and the Moses Reunion is at hand.
The crowd gathers each year--the lame, the halt, the babies, the old men and women with walking sticks, the young frisky boys and charming girls.
Certainly they are all here. They came in singing their songs and picking guitars.At midday, they stop for pies, cakes, fried corn, chicken, meat loaf and cornbread.In fading afternoon they hug one another, shake hands and take their leave --200 of them -- going back to Cincinnati, Detroit, Florida, Arizona, and Chicago.
Once each year I tell them, "I am Gene Siler Moses" and they whoop and holler as I repeat this one-day title of mine.What a great people to take me into their clan in this manner.
God said to Moses, "The eternal God is thy refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms."
These Moses people seem to believe it.
Thursday, November 7, 1940
Ernest Smiddy Held In Jail For Shooting
Ernest Smiddy, 20-year-old Packard youth, was arrested Tuesday night by Deputy Sheriff LEWIS DOPLE, and is in the Whitley County jail on a charge of shooting with intent to kill.
Smiddy's arrest took place after Sam Petrey, about 65 years old, was shot once in the arm at his residence at Packard.The bullet entered the fleshy part of the arm and ranged into the shoulder.
When the shooting was reported to the county officers, Commonwealth's Attorney J.B. Johnson, Magistrate Sid Peavley and Jailer John Faulkner rushed to Packard where they joined Magistrate G.M. Castle and Constable E.L. Walker in an investigation of the case.Officials of the Mahan Jellico Coal Company telephoned to LaFollette for Herbert Williams and his bloodhounds, and the dogs took up the trail and proceeded straight to Smiddy, who denied any knowledge of the shooting.
Officers reported that the shooting took place when Petrey stepped out of his back porch and lifted up a dipper to take a drink of water.The bullet,fired from ambush, barely missed the dipper and struck the Packard man.
Petrey was rushed to a Knoxville hospital by Maurice Howard, where his condition is not regarded as serious.
Smiddy, according to the arresting officer, is a stepson of the injured man.The shooting, it is believed, was the outgrowth of a family quarrel.
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