The 1920

The Era of Auto Transportation

 The 1920's brought with it many new changes especially in the auto industry. Women gained much more independence and the economy was at a post war boom. With cars came accidents and drivers who just should have stayed home.

Hupmobile in the 1920's

    Sales were peaking in 1923, with 38,000 cars finding homes. Aluminum pistons were added in 1924, followed in 1925 by balloon tires. Hupmobile's first straight-eight appeared in 1925. Hupmobile competed in the mid-range price field until its demise in 1941

Buick had a car that was price in 1926 at $1,800 dollars. This is the Buick Model 50



New additions in Blue near bottom

Ashland Child is Auto Victim           

Ashland Ky March 24, Mary Virginia Craycraft 6 year old daughter of Mr. And Mrs. Clarence Craycraft of this city was killed by an automobile driven by Henry Schmauch shortly afternoon today. The driver stated the little girl darted out from the curb directly in front of his car. A fractured skull was the cause of death.

The Paintsville Herald


April 1, 1926

Four accidents since Sunday; Boy of 9 is Dead

Glen VanHoose Crushed beneath Automobile which goes over bank.

Sunday Unlucky

                Each week newspapers throughout Eastern Kentucky are being called upon to record some automobile accident in which lives are lost, limbs broken or otherwise maimed It seems that the highways in Eastern Ky., are having more than their share of these accidents of more or less of serious consequence. Especially is this true of the area along the Garrett Highway between Paintsville and the Salyersville and the Mayo Trail between Paintsville and Ashland. These highways have been the scene of many disastrous spills which have taken a toll on several lives.

                Three accidents have happened since Sunday in which two Johnson County People have lost their lives and other lives seriously injured and horribly mangled at the Paintsville Hospital with slight chances for recovery.

                It is a strange coincident, but never the less true, that the greater the number of accidents have taken place on Sunday. It seems that the Sabbath is an unlucky day for motorists in this section.



                Glen Van Hoose, nine year old son of Mrs. Grace Vanhoose of the Toms Creek section was killed on the Mayo Trail late Sunday afternoon, at the mouth of Rush Fork. According to our information the unfortunate boy was riding on the running board of the car which was owned and being driven Brown VanHoose, also of Tom's Creel Section. Fearing for the boys safety the driver momentarily turned his eyes backwards t see if the boy was safe on the running board and in an instant lost control of the car, which plunged over the embankment to the creek below, pinning the boy beneath the car. The victim of the accident was quickly rushed to the Paintsville Hospital  where an operation took place in the hope of saving his life, but in vain, as the little fellow succumbed to his injuries twenty minutes after the operation. He suffered a broken Collar bone, a broken Jaw and his skull was crushed. The boy's mother and three other children were also occupants of the car. The mother of the boy also received injuries which necessitated her entering the hospital, but her injuries are not serious.

                Rev H B Conley of Paintsville was called to conduct the funeral service which took place Monday afternoon on Tom's creek/

                The unfortunate lad was a son of the late Burns (Schorcher) VanHoose who died in Thealka a few years ago and has many relatives in the county.

Car Plunges Over Cliff

                A serious automobile accident occurred at the mouth of Oil Branch on little Paint Creek Tueday when the car driven by Holly Lemaster plunged over a forty foot cliff. In the car a t the time was Hastin Lemaster, a brother of Holly, both sons of James Lemaster

                Holly Lemaster had purchased the car about twenty minutes before the car ran over a cliff. He was an inexperienced driver and just before the reaching the point where the car left the road it is said he attempted to place his foot on the brake but instead stepped on the gas and the car shot like a dart over the precipice. In going over the cliff the car hit a projecting rock and the momentary halt of the car going at a terrific speed catapulted the driver through the top of the car his body landing on the top of a tree and from there falling to the hard creek bed below horribly broken and mangled. Hastin Lemaster went over the hill with the car but was not as badly injured as his brother Holly. The boys had not driven the car for more than two hundred yards before the accident happened.

                The ambulance of the Painstville Furniture Company brought the injured ........(paper damaged and missing)

July 8 1926 Thursday

The Paintsville Herald

Killed in Virginia Visit

                Mrs. Sarah Allen age 76 years, mother of Mrs. Wm. Walters who resides at the mouth of Paint Creek, was killed in an automobile accident at Long Island, Va., last week. Mrs. Allen makes her home here with her daughter. A few weeks ago she went to Long Island to visit her daughter Mrs. Dolly Clay and while riding in the car was killed when a wreck occurred.

                Mrs. Walters attended the funeral and burial which were held in Long Island last week.

The Paintsville Herald

June 10, 1926 Thursday


Man Riding Truck Lost His Balance And Was Crushed To Death Beneath Wheels

                Losing his balance while attempting to get off a moving truck Will Rice was run over and instantly killed at Cats Creek, near Vessie Post Office, this county, late yesterday according to work received here.

                The truck it was reported, belonged to James Wood and was driven by Robert Ward. It was said that rice was riding in the seat of the truck with Ward, who was hauling a load of claves,

                According to the story told by ward, Rice asked him to stop the machine so he could look about the calves and attempted to alight from the machine before it came to a dead stop. He slipped, Ward said, and fell, the wheels passing over his body.

                The dead man was the son of Rev French Rice, for many years and itinerant preacher in this section of the Sandy Valley. He was well and favorably known and leaves a wife and nine children.

                Funeral services were held and internment was made in the family cemetery near Vessie post office.

The Paintsville Herald

August 5, 1926  Thursday



Held on the Charge of Manslaughter 

Dec 23, 1926


  J E Hayes who was the driver of the ill fated automobile which was stuck by a C & O passenger train was arrested last week and held on a manslaughter charge in connection with the accident in which one man was so badly injured that he died at the Paintsville Hospital the next day and the other occupant, Eugene Compton was badly bruised.   Pete Zenone, the accident victim. made a dying statement placing the blame for the accident which cost him his life on young Hayes, officials said. He is charged with operating a jitney without a license.  Zenone's body was shipped to his old home in Tennessee for burial. Gene Compton, the other injured man is improving, while Hayes, was only slightly injured

The Paintsville Herald


John Burke Killed in Ashland

                John Burke, 22, son of Mrs. Marcia Burke, was killed Saturday night in Ashland by Forest Darby. Both were driving late at night when their cars collided. In the fight that followed Darby cut Burke's throat with a knife.

                Mrs.. Burke is well known in Paintsville where she was employed as a nurse in the home of the late Jno. C C Mayo and later in the home of Mrs. T J Mayo.

                Burke was buried Monday and Darby is in n the Boyd County jail charged with murder.

Nov. 11, 1926  The Paintsville Herald

Party in Auto Accident on Paint Creek

                Shay Spradlin of Win, this county, Mrs. Josephine Blevins of Fort Gay, W. Va., and Mrs. Minnie Skeens were in an automobile accident at Paint Creek that came very near proving disastrous for the occupants of the car. The party were crossing the hill between Hargus and Pigeon when the axle broke sending the car over the steep hill for a distance of 150 - 200 feet. Mrs. Blevins received some bad bruises on the head rendering her unconscious. Mrs. Skeens received a sprained ankle and wrist.

                The injured was brought to the Golden Rule Hospital where they received medical attention. They were to return home this week.

The Paintsville Herald  Nov 11, 1926

Bus vs Car  Car Wins

                Lincoln Muncy and a companion named Davis were slightly injured Saturday afternoon in a collision with a bus of the Big Sandy Line on the Kinner hill, and both machines were badly damaged. Passengers aboard the bus escaped injury.  The heavy bus, with a motor driven back, a crushed fender and other damages, and was more badly damaged than the light Ford, it is said. A cut which barely pierced the skin of Davis might have proved fatal had it been an inch deeper. Muncy's injuries consisted mainly of bruises.

Oct 7 1926 The Paintsville Herald


                Pikeville- July 10- Mrs John Bassham, wife of the superintendent of the Sudduth Fuel Company at Huddy, Ky., twenty five miles from here was injured fatally when the automobile she was riding in with her husband left the road a short distance from huddy and dropped 60 feet into Pond Creek. Mrs Bassham died at the Pikeville Hospital. Mr Bassham suffered a broken leg and several ribs is in the hospital.
                The accident occurred at the Junction of the Pikeville-Williamson Highway and the Pond Creek Road. The junction is marked by a sharp curve. The Bassham motor was the third that had left the road there since Thursday. Mr and Mrs Bassham were returning from Pikeville at the time.
                Mrs Bassham was picked up in the creek, her body mangled. Besides her husband, she leaves three small children. Davy Bassham, James and Hazel Bassham/
The Paintsville Herald
July 14, 1927

Jimmie Kimbleton Fatally injured
Car takes plunge

                Several automobile mishaps occurred last Saturday and Sunday of a more or less serious nature.
                Jimmie Kimbleton of Staffordsville was so seriously injured that he died in the Paintsville Hospital Monday afternoon.
                The accident that proved fatal to Mr. Kimbleton took place at the mouth of Teeas Branch, one mile west of Paintsville. The occupants of the car which belonged to Kimbleton were Walter Jackson, Mr Kimbleton, Ollie Conley and Marion Hondle. Hondle was driving the car. They were coming down a slight incline just beyond the mouth of Teass Branch when the steering rod failed and in place od going over the fill across the branch the car missed the fill entirely and plunged over a twenty foot embankment to the branch bed below. None of the other occupants were seriously injured, but Mr. Kimbleton sustained serious internal injuries. One rib was broken and ran entirely through the lung,. the injured man was taken to the Paintsville Hospital where it was found that his injuries were fatal.
                Mr Kimbleton was well known in Paintsville where he had many friends. He was a member of the Paintsville Masonic Lodge and the burial took place at Staffordsville Wednesday in charge of the Masons. He was engaged in the insurance business and was a successful business man having been successful in the oil game. He carried a double indemnity insurance policy and his family will receive $20,000 as a result of the accident.
                Mr Kimbleton is survived by his wife and six children.
                Another accident which came near to proving fatal at the mouth of Sycamore on the Mayo trail Saturday, when a car driven by John Mahan left the road, turned over several times and demolished the car. Mr Mahan carried one passenger, Martin Meek of Catlettsburg, who was badlly injured but not seriously. Mr Meek was brought to the Paintsville Hospital for attention and is now improving at that institution and will soon get out. Other accidents occurred of less importance on the Garrett Highway Saturday and Sunday, particulars of which we are unable to get.
The Paintsville Herald
August 18, 1927

Ashland Child Killed by Auto

                Little Miss Betty Hager, the four year old daughter of Mr and Mrs John F Hager Jr of Ashland, was struck and killed instantly near her home in Ashland last Friday afternoon. The accident happened when the little one left her home on Grayson Road to visit the Children of a neighbor just across Thirteenth Street a short distance from the Hager home. The car which killed the little girl was owned by W A Stevens. The Stephens car contained Mr and Mrs Stevens, Miss Inez Dice and George McAllister. McAlister was driving when at the accident occurred. Both Stevens and McAllister were arrested and placed in the city jail.
                The little girl was a favorite with a large acquaintance in Ashland where the family is very prominent and her tragic end has caused universal sorrow throughout the city. The Hager family is well known in Johnson County also.
The Paintsville Herald
August 25, 1927

One Injured, One Dead in Pike Auto Accident

                Will Ratliff of Pikeville is in the Methodist Hospital of that city suffering from injuries sustained shortly before midnight last Saturday, when his automobile, a Ford Coupe left the road in the "Narrows" just above Pikeville and crashed on the railroad one hundred feet below. Lucian Tom Carrier, a roomer at the Ratliff home who was in the automobile at the time is dead.
                The crash of the machine was heard by a woman across the river nearly a quarter a mile away.
The Paintsville Herald
September 1, 1927

Passenger Killed

Lucian Carrier was killed and William Ratliff was seriously injured when the car they were driving plunged over a 100 ft. embankment and landed a complete wreck on the railroad tracks. Carrier who skull was fractured lived about 3 hours. Ratliff's left arm was broken in two places and all the ribs on the left side except one broken.
The Paintsville Herald
Sept 8, 1927 Thursday

Fess Whitaker Instantly killed when Machine Plunges over Embankment
2 Others May Die

Whitesburg - Sept. 18- Fess Whitaker, "Jailed Jailer of Letcher" was instantly killed about two miles from Whitesburg about 4 o'clock when the automobile in which he was a passenger crashed over an embankment,
                Mr and Mrs Monroe Sexton were in the car with Whitaker, Mrs. Sexton, driving. They were critically injured and are expected to die.
                The Sexton machine was bumped by another car while attempting to pass it. according to reports of the accident, forcing it over the embankment. Identity of the other driver was not learned.
                Whitaker, who has had a stormy career featured by his races for public offices in his home county, was about 45 years old. He came into state and National prominence about six years ago when he was placed in Jail for a violation of the law when he was Letcher Co. jailer.
                He made himself even more prominent throughout the country by cinducting a campaign for county judge while in jail. He was elected by a large majority. A few years ago he opposed Jno. W, Langley for Congress but was defeated.
                At the time of his death Whitaker was jailer of Letcher County, the most important office he has held. Whitaker was very popular in his home county and in other sections of the mountain district and whenever he ran for an office he was given an immense vote.
                The Paintsville Herald
                Sept. 22, 1927

Man Killed When Hit By Auto Sunday

Aged and Respected Citizen of County Succumbs to Injuries Received Sunday Afternoon


     A.J. Tackett, age about 70 years was struck by a automobile on the Garrett Highway, near the mouth of Barnetts Creek last Sunday afternoon and received injuries from which he died at the Golden Rule Hospital Monday morning.  The driver of the car which struck Mr. Tackett was Jesse Hare, Jr., who was driving a heavy Cadillac car.

     There are a number of versions as to how Mr. Tackett met death.  One report is to the effect that the car which struck him was going at the rate of 80 miles an hour.  Another says that young Hare applied the brakes and came to a dead stop and when he again started the car the aged man stepped directly in the path of the automobile.  Another car had just passed Mr. Tackett and the more likely story of the affair is that Mr. Tackett who is aged and totally became confused by the passing of the two cars and stepped in front of the car which hit him.  It is reported that Mr. Tackett's hearing is bad and that for the past several weeks he had been acting queerly as if mentally deranged.  His wife said that it was his habit to go to a spring each day to bath his face and hands and it is thought that he had been to the spring for this purpose when he was struck by the car.

     The fender of the car hit Mr. Tackett throwing him to the hard roadbed with such force as to fracture the skull.  His leg was also broken.  Mr. Hare picked the injured man up, placed him in his car and rushed him to the Golden Rule Hospital where an examination revealed that his skull was crushed.  An operation in an effort to save his life but his head was crushed in such a manner that he was beyond medical aid and he passed away at 3 a.m. Monday. 

      Funeral services were conducted Wednesday and burial followed at the family cemetery in Hargis.


*Paintsville Herald, Paintsville, KY--Thurs. April 25, 1929  Transcribed by Linda Tackett Blanken