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Kirkwood Whitaker

Letcher County, Kentucky, USA
Death 24 Jul 1933 (aged 21)
Eolia, Letcher County, Kentucky, USA
Burial Letcher, Letcher County, Kentucky, USA
Memorial ID 100125456 · View Source
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Kirkwood Whitaker was the son of Fess and Samantha "Mantie" (Ison) Whitaker.

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The following article/obituary was published in the July 27, 1933, issue of The Mountain Eagle (page 1):


Young Kirkwood Whitaker and Lee Cole Meet Sudden Death at Eolia
When Motor of Plane Fails

Only a few times in years has Whitesburg been so shocked and saddened as it was Monday at the noon hour when the word reached here that young Kirkwood Whitaker, son of Mrs. Mantie Whitaker, had been killed in an aeroplane crash at the flying field near Eolia. In a few minutes after the sad news was received, dozens of cars and scores of people were at the scene of the crash, working manfully to extricate the bodies of the two young men from the tangled and twisted wreckage. Both young Whitaker and Lee Cole, another young man from Jackson, were found to be killed outright.

The pilot of the plane was another young man, Earl Bach, also of Jackson. It seems that the plane had taken off from the field with the two young men in it intending to fly to Jackson. It circled low for a few minutes in an effort to get above the surrounding hills and then over the Pine toward its destination, but being an old plane, it failed to work. When about half a mile above the field and 100 feet in the air, the motor showed signs of failing and then finally stopped. A nose dive followed and the crash came. The two young men were crushed horribly. Young Cole only breathed a few minutes after the crash. The driver, being a few feet back in the body of the plane, was badly shaken and injured, but was able to get out upon the ground. The plane reached ground across the creek in the small stretch of bottom almost opposite where Elder W. R. Boggs formerly resided. More than an hour elapsed before the bodies of the two young men could be extricated from the wreckage. They were crushed both in the lower limbs and bodies. The bodies were quickly brought to the city, where undertakers took charge. Younk Whitaker's remains were taken to the home of his mother while that of the other young man was dispatched to Jackson for burial.

Kirkwood Whitaker was in his 19th year and next to the youngest of a family of four brothers and one sister. No finer young man, more admired and loved, ever grew up in Whitesburg. He was the idol of his hundreds of school mates and those with whom he associated. He was a quiet, sober, genteel young man.

Funeral services were conducted at the Baptist church at 1:00 Tuesday by Revs. Enlow and Caudill, after which the remains were taken to the old family cemetery near mouth of Caudill's Branch on Rockhouse, for interment; where another beautiful service was conducted. The active pallbearers were young men who grew up with him from childhood. These were: Follace Fields, Woodford Webb, John Adkins, Olon Cook, Robert Bentley, James Reynolds, Clyde Collins, Blair Adkins, and Fred Day. Honorary: Orell Fields, Sam Potter, Wm. Vermillion, Tom Jennings, Lawrence Collins, James Bentley, Shy Isaacs, Archie Fields and Lexie Potter.

The services at the church were excellent. The music was exclusively by young lady friends of the deceased, all dressed in white. The profusion of flowers were exhaustless and the church was overcrowded, many being forced to stay on the out side. Probably a thousand people were in attendance at the cemetery.

The Eagle joins the hundreds of friends and relatives in this hour of their great loss and bereavement.

Family Members




  • Maintained by: Brian K. Caudill
  • Originally Created by: S PRICE Nance
  • Added: 4 Nov 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 100125456
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Kirkwood Whitaker (6 May 1912–24 Jul 1933), Find A Grave Memorial no. 100125456, citing Fess Whitaker Cemetery, Letcher, Letcher County, Kentucky, USA ; Maintained by Brian K. Caudill (contributor 48482664) .