In Years Past

100 Years Ago

In 1913, two special cars were chartered by the Jamestown friends of Sheriff Gust A. Anderson Monday night to take them to Mayville to join with others in the same class, in a surprise banquet in his honor at the Mayville House. Sheriff Anderson was the most surprised man in Chautauqua County when he and turnkey Gerry Colegove were summoned to the hotel to meet a “party that wanted to see them” and found the place filled with the sheriff’s friends and the banquet table ready for the spread which followed. After the banquet, Postmaster A.F. Allen of Jamestown took charge as toastmaster and introduced a number of speakers, including Supreme Court Justice Herbert P. Bissell and Jamestown Mayor Samuel A. Carlson.

The Sunday meetings of the Spiritualist Society of Jamestown was of an interesting nature. The afternoon thought exchange service was participated in by a goodly number. There was a large audience present at the evening meeting which was opened with a song service in which the audience heartily joined. The address by Frank T. Ripley, upon the familiar subject, “What Shall the Harvest Be?” was interestingly enlarged upon. One saying was: “A life well spent – a life of usefulness, of nobility, of character, of kindness, of good deeds, would reap the harvest of peace, of love, of rest, of joy, of happiness, of blessedness in this life and in the life to come regardless of creed or belief.” The speaker took occasion to utter his emphatic protest against the false and misleading charges preferred against Spiritualists by their bitter opponents but in a kindly and courteous manner, no slander nor abuse of those holding counterviews was indulged in.

75 Years Ago

In 1938, John Carlson of Newland Avenue, Jamestown, received one of the first local unemployment insurance benefit checks to be issued from the division of placement and unemployment insurance, Charles L. Finch, manager of the Jamestown office of the New York state Employment service announced. First checks were issued in the state Jan. 29. The checks were distributed to those unemployed persons who qualifyed under the unemployment insurance law. To qualify, they must be unemployed, fill out a blank including their name, address, name of last employer, the last day on which they worked for wages and one or two other details. After they received their benefit, effort was made by the state to help them secure employment. The state paid between $7 and $15 a week to jobless persons for a period of 16 weeks.

The New York Yankees were World Series champions but in the opinion of Ralph “Babe” Pinelli, better baseball was played in the National league than in the American league year in and year out. Pinelli, who umpired in the National league, said that fact did not influence his opinion. He had played in both leagues with the White Sox and Detroit of the American and Cincinnati of the senior circuit. As Pinelli saw it, the National loop played tighter ball; was superior defensively and had the better pitching. The American League provided more hitting and had more long distance swatsmiths, but eliminate the Yankees and he gave the edge to the National League.

25 Years Ago

In 1988, child star Heather O’Rourke, the angelic little blonde who was sucked into a swirling supernatural vacuum in the terrifying “Poltergeist” movies, died on the operating table during intestinal surgery. She was 12. The actress, who warned, “They’re heeeere!” in “Poltergeist” and “They’re baaaack!” in the spooky sequel, died shortly after arrival at Children’s Hospital of San Diego. The cause of death was septic shock due to congenital stenosis of the intestine. “I’m devastated by the news of Heather’s death,” said actor Craig T. Nelson, who portrayed her character’s father. “It’s very difficult when a member of your family dies so suddenly. I loved her very much.” “I’m deeply saddened and shocked by the news,” actress JoBeth Williams said. “Having played Heather’s mother twice, I grew to love her and respect her talent. My heart goes out to her mother and her family.”

Despite warm temperatures and rain received the past weekend, work was continuing on the Mayville ice castle. According to ice castle extravaganza committee member Robert Martin, a large canvas was used to protect the portion of the castle which was already completed to avoid excessive melting. Temperatures had since returned to normal and ice cutting would resume when the lake surface was frozen. Volunteers would be working long hours to ensure completion of the ice castle in time for the Feb. 12 kickoff of the winter festival at Lakeside Park which would run through Feb. 21.