In Years Past

In 1913, passengers on the Warren and Jamestown Street Railway unknowingly risked injury Saturday evening. It was noticed early in the evening that each time the heavy cars thundered over the bridge across Jackson Run at Venturetown there was a pronounced sag and spring in their smooth locomotion. Curiosity was expressed but it was not until early Sunday morning that it was found that one of the steel girders supporting the bridge from underneath had been broken in two. Had not the rails and other parts of the structure possessed sufficient strength to carry the ponderous cars over the bridge, the passengers would doubtless have been precipitated into the icy waters of the creek beneath, which at this time of the year was running full.

Dunkirk patrolman Charles F. Vetter went violently insane the previous day. He was at the police station in a straight jacket and would probably be taken to the Gowanda State Hospital this day. Vetter’s insanity was attributed to long brooding over his suspension several months ago by the police commissioners on account of charges of false arrest and abusive conduct preferred against him by Dr. Algernon S. Crapsey the past July. Vetter was taken to police headquarters on the pretext that they wanted to consult him on a police case. There he became violent and he was placed in a straight jacket by five officers.

In 1938, pounding piles of ice, reaching a height of 90 feet or more, finally won their battle with steel as they tore down the historic Falls View Bridge at Niagara Falls the previous afternoon, toppling the steel edifice, known to honeymooners all over the country, after a battle that lasted for days. Slowly buckling, the bridge finally collapsed into the river of ice below it. The International Railway company, owners of the fallen span, announced that architects would be asked at once to design a new and finer span. With a roar that drowned the cataract’s thunder, the towering structure succumbed to a 30-hour battering by the worst Niagara River ice jam in 30 years. An international crowd of several thousand lined the banks of the Niagara gorge for a glimpse of twisted steel and concrete on the icy carpet far below.

Almost on the eve of the deadline for purchase of the 1938 automobile license plates, a city court judge had ruled that advertising on them was unconstitutional. At Hornell, City Judge Acton M. Hill ruled the New York legislature had no power to add the words, “New York World’s Fair, 1939,” to the plates. The time limit for their purchase would expire on Jan. 31. Motor Vehicle Department workers throughout the state were preparing for the annual last minute rush of motorists to purchase the 1938 plates.

In 1963, speculative odds on the appointment of Mrs. Lucile M. Wright to the Airport Commission indicated only a slim chance of majority city council approval this night, city hall sources said. Mrs. Wright, a controversial figure in plans for municipal airport improvements, was nominated for the post the past weekend by Mayor Whitehead. The mayor’s nominees for five other appointments on official city bodies were expected to be approved by council, it was reported.

Fire, discovered between the partitions of the Alfred Anthony residence on Indian Camp Run Road, near Youngsville, Pa., destroyed the two-story, seven room brick structure Sunday afternoon. A wood and coal furnace was the apparent cause of the blaze which was discovered by the family. Smoke fumes were visible for some time before investigation revealed the location of the fire in a partition behind an electric kitchen range. The loss of the house was attributed to snow-drifted road conditions, lack of water and freezing temperatures. Drifted snow halted fire trucks for one hour until assistance was given by a Brokenstraw Township road grader and bulldozer which pulled the fire trucks to the scene.

In 1988, expanded business had resulted in plans by a Jamestown Company to move to new, larger quarters locally from the location it had occupied since 1974. Plans to relocate its 25 workers from 402 Chandler Street to the third and fourth floors of the Empire State Building at 315 N. Main Street in Jamestown had been announced by MRC Bearings Services. The firm was to occupy 7,358 square feet of floor space at the new location, doubling its previous operating space. The facilities at the planned new location were to include an extensive computerized communications network.

No decision was reached by Cattaraugus County legislators who were seeking a solution to overcrowding offices in Olean. Legislators heard from several developers offering space in Olean, but after meeting for more than six hours, Acting County Chairman Don B. Winship, R-South Dayton, sent legislators home at 9:30 p.m. “I don’t think anything further can be accomplished here this evening. Our heads are full of everything we’ve heard today,” said Winship.