Vol. 113 No. 4
Thursday, October 11, 2001
By GARY STEWART
Editor of The Herald
The City of Kings Mountain
will re-dedicate the Jake Early
Sports Complex and cut the
ribbon to officially open the
new kids playground on
Cleveland Avenue Srtminy at
The former Jake Early Park,
named for the late Washington
Senators baseball player, was
recently turned into a new
playground and T-ball field.
That field was dedicated in
. memory of Early in 1992.
This time, the city has cho-
sen to name the entire sports
complex which includes the
Community Center (Kings
Mountain YMCA), pool and all
baseball fields in memory of
Signage will be placed on
the side of the Community
Center building, and will be
unveiled at Saturday’s ceremo-
ny. Mayor Rick Murphrey will .
speak about some of Early’s
contributions to baseball and
read a proclamation.
Early was a baseball and
football star at Kings Mountain
High School in the 1930s. In
1935 he was the star pitcher
and catcher on the
Mountaineer team that won
the school’s first-ever Western
The following spring he
signed a pro contract with the
Washington Senators. From
1936-38, he played on numer-
ous Washington farm teams
See Dedication Page 3A
By BEN LEDBETTER
Several years of insufficient rainfall has created
a serious water problem in Cleveland County.
Many of the county’s residents get their water
from dug wells which are going dry.
The dry wells have put well drillers in constant
“We've got a serious water bien Arnold
Philbeck said. “Our water table’s fell eight feet in
the past two years. That's not enough water to
operate off of.” Philbeck is the owner of Amold S
See Drought Page 3A
Battle celebration held Sunday
By BEN LEDBETTER
While America started its current fight for
freedom and security, people gathered at
Kings Mountain National Park to remember
a past one.
What ushered in the beginning of the cer-
emony on the 221st anniversary of the battle
was a group of the Overmountain Men, a
militia group that included people from
Wilkes and Surry Counties in the Northwest
Piedmont of North Carolina.
The group annually traces the events that
led to the defeat of Major Patrick Ferguson
at the Battle of Kings Mountain.
The Battle of Kings Mountain has been
known by historians as the turning point in
the Revolutionary War, that gave the
momentum back to the American Patriots:
Speaker for Sunday’s ceremony was
North Carolina native David Lee Russell
who has written a book on the American
FIRST NATIONAL BANK
Celebrating 127 Years
GARY STEWART / THE HERALD
Wendy (left) and Branigan Wheeler play in a small town at the new Kings
Mountain playground. The playground will be officially opened with a ribbon cutting
Saturday at 2 p.m.
Drought taking toll
on hand-dug wells
ee Page 2B
play at Crest
By BEN LEDBETTER
On Sunday the United States, sup-
ported by Great Britain, started bombing
The announcement was made over
area radio and television stations, and at
some sporting events on Sunday. At
sports venues, the announcement was
put over the scoreboard.
Since there is no direct threat to the
City of Kings Mountain, city officials
said emergency plans had not been
Frank Burns, Chief of the Kings
Mountain Fire Department, said most
fire departments operate as one unit and
usually assist one another during a cri-
Burns said if Charlotte had a big cri-
sis, it would assist them if needed.
“In the event they had a catastrophe
on a large scale, we would be on stand-
by,” Burns said.
He said the department has similar
mutual aid agreements with Gaston and
City of Kings Mountain Police Chief
Houston Corn would only say, “there
are things that are always put in place.”
According to a release from the
Cleveland County Sheriff's Department,
it put off its search of N.C. 18 North for
Asha Degree until October 24. The
Sheriff's office said one of the reasons
the search was postponed was because
of the war, and with law enforcement
personnel being put on alert.
BEN LEDBETTER/THE HERALD
Workers with Roger's Well Drilling of Kings Mountain put in a well at a residence near
One of Russell's themes was the Sight
cance of the battle and its role in the war.
“For me Kings Mountain was a special
landmark in my own backyard,” Russell -
- said. He had spent some of his youth in
Charlotte and Gastonia. “The Battle of
Kings Mountain was fought by brave men
on both sides,” he said.
Russell highlighted a couple of the key
figures on the Patriot side, including two
that were the names of a North Carolina
county and city. -
Colonel Issac Shelby was born in
Maryland, and was 29 years old around the
time of the battle.
Colonel Benjamin Cleveland, born in
‘Prince William County, Virginia was 42
years old and was, “known for gambling
and horse racing...” Russell said. Col.
Cleveland was part of the Wilkes County
militia, Russel] said.
Cleveland County was named for Col.
Cleveland and the county's seat was named
for Col. Shelby.
During the battle, which lasted approxi-
mately 50 minutes, Russell said Ferguson
died from seven rifle balls that went
through him from about 50 Patriot rifles
that were aimed at the British officer.
Russell said the victory was uncharacter-
istic for the Patriots. -
“To the frontier Patriots, it was a rare and
complete victory,” Russell said.
What is now a national park open for vis-
_itors was once a battlefield.
“It is hard to imagine 400 men were killed
in these peaceful woods,” Russell said.
After Russell's speech, the service shifted
to the monument on the Battlefield trail for
a wreath laying ceremony to honor the
Patriots killed in the battle.
Charlotte has banned parking uptown
indefinitely as it did after the attacks on
Various municipal governments in the
area also closed early after the attacks
With increased security at many ven-
ues, military personnel have been used
to augment security forces already at
most airports across the country.
Twelve of North Carolina's commer-
cial airports have National Guard
Troops, but an official with the 505th
Engineering Battalion Company in
Kings Mountain said no troops trom tne
Phifer Road Armory were part of the
security detail at Charlotte /Douglas
The attacks on Afghanistan were
announced during many Sunday morn-
ing church services.
East Gold Street Wesleyan Pastor
Eddie Gray said he learned of the
attacks after his church’s morning serv-
He said the actions by the United
States were appropriate based on what
happened on September 11. Gray said
he also liked the food and medicine
drops the U.S. performed.
“I am proud of that show of compas-
sion to the people there,” Gray said.
What was a regularly scheduled
prayer meeting became a time to pray
for the nation and the world that night.
Gray said the church held a monthly
prayer meeting on Sunday night, and he
See Citizens Page 3A
lead again in
By BEN LEDBETTER
Several Kings Mountain Schools were honored
for their growth on the ABC scores Monday at the
Kings Mountain District Schools Board meeting.
The district had two schools, East and West
Elementary, that were schools of excellence with
more than 90 percent of students at or above
Kings Mountain District Schools Director of
Student Support Services Phil Weathers said
Grover Elementary tied with Cleveland County
See ABC Scores Page 3A
BEN LEDBETTER/THE HERALD
300 W. Mountain St.
* Wreaths, which ranged from ones with
just pine needles to ones decorated with
See Battle Page 3A
Members of the York (SC) Comprehensive High School JROTC,
and North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia color guards
lead a procession toward the monument on the battlefield trail
the Battle of Kings Mountain.
529 New Hope Road
106 S. Lafayette St.
- at Kings Mountain National Park for the 221st Anniversary of
1225 Gastonia Hwy.
Member FDIC :