Part Two: A Look At Hazard, Perry County, 1920-1940
Railroad Opened Up The Kentucky River Valley
And Its Coalfields

This hand-drawn map of Hazard businesses is based upon the recollection of the author. Numbered locations correspond to the numbered entries in his story.

By Bill Manning - 2000

Editor's Note: We continue Bill Manning's look at businesses in downtown Hazard, Kentucky, during a 20-year period between 1920-1940. Part One appeared in last month's issue. No doubtthe names of these firms of long ago bring back memories to many of our Perry County readers.

28. "Ma" Combs Restaurant on the bridge. The best food in town.

29. The Western Union Telegraph Company. Mr. Bailey was the manager/operator.

28. A business on the street floor of the Hibler Hotel.

29. Another business on the street floor of the Hibler Hotel.

30. Joe Jones Restaurant. On the railroad side of the bridge.

31. The Stevens Second Furniture Store.

32. The Railway Express Company. They delivered parcels by railroad that UPS now delivers by truck. Mr. C. W. Schutte was the company agent.

33. The Powell-Hackney Wholesale Grocery Company. They sold groceries and produce to merchants up and down the river. I think they were the first firm to sell and deliver to rural merchants.

34. The L. and N. Railroad Depot, consisting of a ticket office, a large waiting room, and a long freight shed and platform for receiving local outgoing and incoming freight for Hazard and the surrounding area.

35. The Home Lumber Company. The oldest business in Hazard. It was established in 1914 by George M. Wolf and J. L. Johnson. It, I imagine, was the first chain store business in Southeastern Kentucky; with sales outlets at six different locations at Whitesburg, Hazard, Irvine, Mt. Sterling, Winchester, and Versailles. The business was started in Hazard as the Hazard Lumber Company. It was later renamed Home Lumber Company. The business now belongs to the Morton family.

36. The Central Hotel, Restaurant, and Barbershop. Owned and operated by Dick Poulis. I remember Si Wright, one of the barbers; and the shoeshine boy, Henry Walker. Henry worked for my dad on a coal cutting machine at the Sapphire Coal Company mine, until he lost a leg ca. 1928, and he had to quit the mine.

37. The old Perry County Jail. Built ca. 1912, when the courthouse was built. The first jail was in the courthouse built in the early 1800s. When it became overcrowded, a brick jail was built on the courthouse lot. It was torn down after the courthouse burned to make way for the courthouse built in 1912. The Citizens Bank now occupies the old jail site.

38. The Baker Feed Store. Owned and operated by Rachel Tye Baker.

39. The Baker Boardinghouse. Owned and operated by Rachel Baker.

40. A small Greek restaurant. I remember this gentleman, but don't recall his name. He had worked for "Tommy the Greek," across the street. He remodeled two car storage rental garages. He put his restaurant in them. The Combs family, who lived on the back of the lot on which the post office building now stands, owned four or five rental garages on that corner. They had a garden on the front of this lot the first time I remember seeing it. It is where the post office is now.

41. The Family Theatre. Owned and operated by a Mr. Wright, who lived over on First Creek. He was injured in the mines and used the compensation he received to start the theatre. He later sold out to Tony Cassinelli.

42. A dry goods store. I don't remember who operated it. Ed Dawahare started his Tots and Teens store here.

43. The Beaumont Hotel. Later the Hurst Hotel and Hurst-Snyder Hospital. Dr. Taylor Hurst purchased the building, and he and his partner, Dr. C. Dana Snyder, added another story to it, and put their hospital in it. It is now the radio building housing the radio station WKIC and WSGS. I think WKIC was the first station in Southeastern Kentucky. It was first located in Walkertown on the Pole Napier property, where the Kentucky State Police Post is now.

44. The Perry County Courthouse. To the author's knowledge, there have been three courthouses at this location. The first was a wood-frame building, built sometime in the early 1800s. It burned down ca. 1911. It was replaced in 1912 by a concrete and plaster building. This building was torn down and replaced with the present building in the 1960s.

45. The D. Y. Combs General Merchandise Store, on the corner of Fleet Street (now Lovern Street) and Main Street, where the Federal Savings and Loan building now stands.

46. The Karl Davis Store. I think it was a hardware store. His sons, Bill and Roscoe, operated a store here for years that was mostly hardware.

47. The Stiles Jewelry Store. Owned and operated by L. H. Stiles, this store was established soon after the railroad came to Hazard.

48. A restaurant. I don't remember the early operator. Mrs. Floyd Gross operated the restaurant for several years.

After the coal boom hit Hazard and Perry County, streets were paved and an abundance of automobiles became evident, as seen in this photo from around 1928.

49. The "Sweet Shop," operated for years by Dewey Combs, in conjunction with his job with the "Virginia Theatre" that was next door.

50. The Virginia Theatre. Owned and operator by L. O. Lawrence Davis, son of R. O. Davis. Lawrence was very civic-minded. He spearheaded a drive to raise money to build the "Memorial Gym," and then supervised its construction. He also built the first public library in Hazard, along with a small park. This was in honor of his son, Bobby, who was killed in WWII. He later donated the park and library to the city of Hazard. The library now serves Hazard as a museum.

51. A clothing store. I don't remember who operated it.

52. The Club Lunch Restaurant and Pool Room, operated by Fred Shepherd.

53. The Laslo Shoe Shop and Jewelry Store. Owned and operated by the Laslo family.

54. The City Lunch Restaurant. I don't remember who operated it.

55. The Luther Newberry Taxi Company. Luther had his taxi stand over on a vacant lot between the City Lunch and Fonts Drug Store. Lawrence Davis later constructed a building on this lot. He sold it to Shafter Combs. Shafter and his son, Gene, operated a store here for many years.

56. The Fouts Drug Store. Owned and operated by Bill Fouts. Bill later moved his store across Main Street (see #25-Part I). Dr. Steele and Dick Mandt operated a drug store at this location, after Fouts moved.

57. The Al Major Store. A clothing store, owned and operated by Al Major.

58. The Singer Sewing Company. Clarence Fallon was the manager.

59. The R. L. Goad Hardware Store. Owned and operated by R. L. Goad and son. The only store I remember which sold saddles, bridles, and harnesses.

60. The A. and P. Store #2. Both stores later consolidated and moved to a big bottom on East Main Street.

61. A shoe repair shop. Pearl Bowling was the operator. It was flooded by the 1927 flood. I don't remember who owned it. It didn't reopen after the flood.

62. A grocery store. I don't remember who owned it. It didn't reopen after the flood.

63. "Ma Dukes" Boardinghouse was upstairs. There was a business downstairs. I don't remember what kind or who operated it. The Noble Boardinghouse later occupied the same premises that Ma Duke had used. They catered to railroad employees, who lived out of town, but was scheduled to stay overnight in Hazard. The Wheel and Hub Nightclub, back then known as a beer joint or Jennie barn, occupied the ground floor, during Noble's operation of the hotel.

64. The Central Service Station. Owned by Judge Josh Smith and operated by Corb. Branson.

We now go to the north end of High Street.

65. The Star Furniture Store. Owned and operated by Albert Combs.

66. The Perry County Education Department building. Now the Hazard Police Department.

67. The Black Motor Company. A Pontiac and International truck dealership. Owned by Judge Black of Bell County, and managed by Sam Tate. I remember four salesmen who worked there. They were Drew Faulkner, John Matt, Wayne Davidson, and Charlie Kinner.

68. The S. S. Taulbee Apartment building. Owned and operated by Judge S. S. Taulbee.

69. The Methodist Church. Rev. King, pastor. Rev. King married me and my wife in June 1938.

70. The Hazard U. S. Post Office. I think Dewey Daniels was the postmaster.

71. A missionary second-hand clothing store.

72. The Baker Apartment building. Owned by Judge Billy Baker.

73.The Brock 5 and 10 Cent Variety Store. Hazard's first 10-cent store.

74. The Wells Paint and Paper Shop. Owned and operated by Mr. and Mrs. Courtney Wells.

75. The Commonwealth Insurance and Realty Agency. The first insurance and realty firm that I remember in early Hazard.

76. The Boggs Apartment building. Owned by Dr. Eli Boggs' parents. I don't remember their names. The Ashland Home Telephone Company occupied the ground floor. Ashland Home was later purchased by G. T. E. and moved to Memorial Drive.

77. An apartment building. I don't know who owned it. It was later purchased by Dr. C. Dana Snyder, who remodeled it, and moved the hospital from the Hurst Hotel after Dr. Hurst died. The building also housed the Hancock-Petrey Accounting Firm, and the T. D. Draughn Plumbing Company.

78. The Turner Photo Studio. Operated by Mrs. Kelly Turner.

79. The John Robinson Boardinghouse. This building collapsed during the construction of the present Federal Savings and Loan Building. Dr. Salyers bought the old D. Y. Combs Store property, removed the old building, and while excavating and leveling the lot, the boardinghouse collapsed onto Dr. Salyers' property. Construction was held up until litigation was completed.

80. The Hazard City Hall and Police Department.

81. The Hazard Hospital. Dr. Hagan, chief surgeon. Back in those days, an attack of appendicitis was usually fatal. Dr. Hagan's surgical skills changed this. A very low percentage of folks with the ailment, who came to the hospital, died. Those who died, mostly, came with ruptured appendix.

82. The Hazard Herald Publishing Company. Mr. Warren was the editor-publisher.

83. The Wilson Boardinghouse stood where Dawahares' parking lot is now.

84. Cheap John Perkins Grocery Store. Later moved across Main Street into one of the buildings that was torn down when the Main Street parking lot was built. He was flooded out in the 1927 flood. He moved his store to Walkertown. Bill and Ben Roll now have the store on the property where Mr. Perkins' store was.

Traffic coming from Walkertown had to enter Main Street by way of High Street. Main Street ended at the corner of Jail Street at the county jail (now Judy Street). Most traffic traveled Jail Street, although, at that time, High Street was two-way.

The following people contributed information to this article: Joe Eversole, Mrs. Paul Petrey, Bill Morton, Bill Gorman, and Frank "Judge" Miller.

Bill Manning, 7180 Ironworks Rd., Winchester, KY 40391, often shares his memories of living and working in Perry County, especially in the areas of First Creek and Blue Diamond. Most of the old firms are now long gone.

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