In Years Past

In 1913, Jamestown again was facing flood conditions in midwinter. City Engineer Jones, who was making measurements of the rising waters of the Chadakoin River, stated to The Journal that a reading at the boatlanding bridge in the morning showed an elevation of 1,311.48 feet. This was only 11 inches below the high-water mark of the past spring and this high water mark had been the highest known in this generation. Jones hazarded the prediction that if the rain continued throughout the day at the rate it fell in the forenoon, the coming morning would see the flood at the high water mark and this would mean much inconvenience to manufacturers, trolley men and others.

The somewhat indefinite rumors regarding a trolley line from Jamestown to Buffalo through Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties, were gradually crystallizing into substantial facts. The Journal was able to give interesting details regarding the project. The new line would connect with the Jamestown Street Railway Company’s line at Falconer and the B. & L.E. traction line at Hamburg. There would be about 45 miles of track which would run through a populous farming region in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties, a region which heretofore had not had trolley service.

In 1938, nearly 2,000 Jamestown men and women listed themselves as totally unemployed the past November when the national government undertook its voluntary unemployment census. The exact figure, 1,978, was made public by John D. Biggers, administrator of the census in a report on the various cities and towns of the state. Jamestown unemployment was probably below the national average based on the Biggers figures. The count in the census for the nation meant that about 6 percent of the national population was unemployed. The Jamestown percentage of unemployed to population would be slightly more than 4 percent with the city’s population at 47,000.

Aged farmer Anson Newton, 65 years of age, was seriously injured about 5 o’clock Monday evening when he was struck by an automobile near his farm, about 3 miles west of Cherry Creek. He was taken to WCA Hospital at Jamestown where X-ray pictures revealed seven fractured ribs and a punctured lung. According to authorities, Mr. Newton was walking along the Farrington Hollow Road when he was struck by an automobile driven by Millard Crandall, Randolph. Crandall was questioned by authorities but later released.

In 1963, ice remained jammed along a 13-mile stretch of the lower Niagara River despite a slight thaw. The Coast Guard said that, as the temperature climbed toward 40 in mid-afternoon, some pieces of ice slipped from the jam and floated into Lake Ontario, where the river emptied. The ice, which had already caused thousands of dollars of damage to boating facilities and shore property, was solid between the U.S. and Canadian shores. Some cakes were piled as high as 30 feet.

Babies with bank accounts would have to stop sucking their thumbs long enough to get a Social Security number and become law abiding citizens. This was the word from the Internal Revenue Service which, up to the present, had been more concerned with daddy’s finances. The new law required banks and other financial institutions this year to furnish the Internal Revenue Service with records of interest and dividend payments to all depositors. The law applied to everyone with a bank account, regardless of age.

In 1988, formidable opposition was forming against Gov. Mario Cuomo’s proposal to raise New York state’s minimum wage for the first time in seven years. Two statewide lobbying groups had come out against the proposal to hike the hourly minimum wage from $3.35 to $3.75 and the Republican-controlled state Senate appeared to be receptive to their complaints. “We are opposed on the grounds it will actually depress employment,” said Christine McKnight, a spokeswoman for the most influential state industry lobbying group, the Business Council.

An effort would be made by Chautauqua County Public Works Director George W. Riedesel to gain a higher state Department of Transportation priority for replacement of the Tiffany Avenue bridge between Jamestown and Falconer. Riedesel said that when a large hole developed in the deck of the bridge and other deficiencies were noted, it was felt in the best interests of all concerned to close it. The bridge was closed for inspection Dec. 29 and never reopened.