Our Home Town

Jenkins, Kentucky



Letcher County


This is

"Cavalier Country"!

(Cavalier copied from 1975 Jenkins High School Yearbook)

"On, on, Cavaliers"


Click here for link to

Jenkins High School Web Site



JHS "Fight"Song


"On, on, Cavaliers


We will fight for the right, never fear


Throw the ball and hit the line


Every Jenkins Star will shine


We will fight, fight, fight for the green and white


We will roll for the goal, Varsity


We will kick, pass and run


Till the battle is won


And bring home the V I C-T O-R Y!"





(If I didn't get all the lyrics right, please let me know so I can correct them.)


(Information is taken from “The History of Jenkins, Kentucky” compiled by Jenkins Area Jaycees in honor of the Sixtieth Anniversary Homecoming Celebration, 1913-1973).

 Jenkins, located at the foot of Pine Mountain in Letcher County, Kentucky, is unique in its development as compared to other small towns; because it didn’t come into existence by a small settlement over a period of years.  Jenkins was planned and built for men who came to mine its coal.  In the fall of 1911, the Consolidation Coal Company (“Consol”) purchased one hundred thousand acres of coal lands in Pike, Letcher and Floyd Counties.

 Plans were made for the extension of the Lexington and Eastern Railroad from Jackson to a point on the north fork of the Kentucky River selected as the sight of a town, named McRoberts in honor of Samuel McRoberts, director of Consol.  Plans were also made and a site selected for a town named Jenkins, in honor of George C. Jenkins, a director of Consol.

Trees on the company’s land were cut down to build the hundreds of homes and other structures needed for their employees and operation of the mines.  Nine saw mills and machinery for brickyards were brought in and installed, as were steam and electric outfits.  A railroad and wagon road were built across the mountain to Virginia to bring in the necessary equipment for mining and building, as well as food supplies for the town. Once everything was in place, Consol was ready for business and had an output of several thousand tons of coal per day for shipment.

 Consol began construction of the town of Jenkins  It is not clear if it were planned that way or just developed; but Jenkins was made up of four small towns, incorporated under one small township:  Dunham, Burdine, Jenkins and McRoberts.  When Jenkins was spoken of, it referred to all four townships; though each section was built separately.  McRoberts is no longer part of Jenkins.

 They paid transportation to any who would move to the area to work in the mines.  Housing furnished by the company was built from lumber and other resources already in the area.  Most of the houses were two-story two-family residences with eight to ten rooms.  Bosses houses were usually had one story with three to six rooms.  The houses had toilets (“outhouses”) and some had wash houses.  They were later equipped with electricity and water by hydrants in front of the house.  One hydrant would furnish water for several families.



View of Jenkins Lake currently

(Click on thumbnail for enlargement of Jenkins lake)

Note:  Jenkins Lake provided the source for the power plant.  The power plant that sat in front of the dam was later the local theater, but is now gone.  It provides a stopover place for migrating ducks and geese.  Some have decided to make it a permanent residence, nesting and raising their young, much to the delight of visitors to the lake.  They will come eagerly for bread crumbs when you walk toward the lake.  There's also good fishing from its banks.


 Miners were paid about 35 cents an hour which was sufficient since the company provided so many of their necessities.

 Consol built stores and hotels and provided a police force and jail.  Recreation centers were built in the townships as were churches.  The churches were deeded to the members for one dollar when the company began to sell its real estate.  Club houses were built in McRoberts and Jenkins for the men who could not find a house for their families.

In 1912, Jenkins Independent School System was organized.  Elementary schools were also built in each township. 

 At one time, Jenkins reached its peak in population with almost 10,000 people living within its city limits.

 When Jenkins was put on the market, it was a major change.  The wages were small, but there were benefits.  When one got a job with Consol, the company gave him a house rent free and paid no electric, water or sewer bills.  They got their fuel for small fee.  Part of their wages was paid in script.  Script was a type of money printed by the company and could only be spent in company-owned businesses.  The company owned the hospital, hired doctors and nurses and owned the only funeral home.  In 1956, Consol sold its interest in the area to Bethlehem Steel and named the company Beth-Elkhorn Corporation.

 Eventually all the houses, businesses, schools, etc., were bought by the citizens of Jenkins.  It was then that the City of Jenkins established city government. 

 Currently, the townships of Burdine, Dunham and Jenkins comprise the City of Jenkins.  When the mines worked out, the people began to leave to find jobs in other places.  The population of Jenkins is about 3,000 now.  Many of the structures built by Consol are still standing.  Some have been renovated; some declared historical buildings and most of the original structures of the homes have been remodeled many times over.

Today, Jenkins sits peacefully at the foot of the mountains with folks who know their neighbors and care for each other.



Our Town

Some historic buildings

Click on picture for larger view

The old Jenkins High School building is in the process of being restored and is looking for occupants.

Old Pictures of Jenkins

These (below) are just a sampling of a website that has a slideshow of over 800 pictures of early Jenkins and other surrounding coal mining camps and beautiful scenery shots.  You can visit there by clicking below.

Old Pictures

If you visit the slideshow, you will need to click your browser "Back" to return here.

Click on pictures below to enlarge and click "Back" on your browser to return to this page.





Click here to visit our "Kentucky" page. 

Though many of us have moved away from Kentucky, our roots remain there.  It is still considered our "Home State."  We are proud to be Kentuckians!




This recipe appeared in 

Letcher County Community News-Press.


Coal Miner's Cake

1box devil's food cake mix

1 can cherry pie filling

2 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

Mix well, and pour into 9x13 oiled and floured pan.  Bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees.  Cool.



Combine 1 c sugar, 4 Tbsp cocoa, dash salt, 1/2 c cream.  Cook in small sauce pan 4 minutes and add 1 tsp butter.  Stir while sauce pan is sitting in a pan of cool water until firm enough to spread.  

Add nuts to cake or frosting is desired.








Visit Delores' web sites


Copyright Kelsey Adams Family 2005

Hit Counter