In Years Past

100 Years Ago

In 1913, an early morning fire the previous day at Dunkirk ruined the large two-story frame building on Lion Street owned by Stephen Schweda, threatened for a time to wipe out an entire block of business buildings, caused injury to three firemen and nearly resulted in the death of an entire family. The ground floor of the building was divided into three stores, while the upper floor was given over to dwelling purposes. The middle store, occupied by Mrs. Emma Wright, who conducted a confectionery and tobacco business was where the fire originated. Mrs. Adam Schweda and her six children were asleep on the second floor when the fire broke out but Mr. Schweda was out of the city on a business trip. Mrs. Schweda and the children hurried out, attired only in their night clothes.

Al Aldrich, a brakeman employed by the Nickle Plate Railroad, had his leg broken late Tuesday night when he jumped from an eastbound freight three miles west of Westfield. Aldrich thought that the train was not going to stop in time to avoid crashing into another eastbound freight which was stalled on the same track. When the engine was within a few yards of the train ahead Aldrich jumped. The train on which he was riding came to a stop within a few feet of the head freight. He was taken to Westfield and attended to by Doctors Hunter and Foster. They found he suffered from a broken leg and a severe shaking. On this morning he was taken to his home in Conneaut, Ohio.

75 Years Ago

In 1938, four juveniles, three of whom were only 11 years old and the fourth of whom was 14, had been arrested by Jamestown police for the theft of about $15 worth of candy and $2.50 in change from the automobile of Robert Rice, 211 Broadhead Ave., a candy salesman. With arrest of the boys, police announced most of the candy and a bushel basket full of cigars was recovered from underneath the porch of one of their homes. The money stolen from the Rice automobile was divided among the boys and had already been spent, police were informed. Police learned that the cigars were stolen from the automobile of a salesman for Tinkham Brothers.

Mrs. Percy V. Pennybacker, internationally known woman leader, died at her home in Austin, Texas, on Friday. She was 76 years old. She had long been in failing health. Mrs. Pennybacker was a former president of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, a leader in the women’s suffrage movement and at the time of her death was president of the Chautauqua Woman’s Club of Chautauqua Institution. A close friend of Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Mrs. Pennybacker was often a guest at the White House.

50 Years Ago

In 1963, fire of undetermined origin in Cassadaga resulted in extensive damage to a garage owned by Robert Tyler of Maple Avenue. Thirty-four firemen were called out at 8:45 p.m. Mrs. Tyler called in the alarm when she glanced out the window to see the garage in flames. Mr. Tyler hurried to the 20-by-40-foot garage, which was about 35 feet from the house and tried to save a 1960 pickup truck but was unable to because of the intense flames. He was able to save a tractor-plow combination. Machinery destroyed included two bulldozers, the pickup truck, two new chain saws, one arc welder, an acetylene torch and an air compressor. The second floor had been stocked with tires and valuable parts for maintenance of heavy equipment. Neighbors served coffee to water-soaked firemen in below freezing temperatures.

When the 26 men and women of the Warner Home family moved into their new residence on West Third in Jamestown on Saturday morning, they would find beautiful quarters waiting to welcome them. The crowd that went through the home at open house the previous evening was thrilled with what they saw. They found the Tudor style brick house, known through the years as the Freeburg Apts., spacious and cheerful and comfortably furnished. The richness of the beamed ceilings complemented with the warm wall colorings. The current Warner Home, the charming and gracious old house at 58 Forest Ave., a prominent landmark, would be torn down to make way for the approach to the new Washington Street Bridge.

25 Years Ago

In 1988, Dunkirk Dave, the Southern Tier’s groundhog who earlier in the week failed to see his shadow, signaling an early spring, might want to crawl back out of his burrow and check again for his shadow. Biting cold weather with weekend overnight temperatures predicted to hover around the near-zero mark, had area residents bundling up once again and most likely grumbling about battling blowing, drifting snow on the roads. “There’s a lot of foul weather out there,” said Trooper William Keane at the Fredonia state police barracks.

Gov. Mario Cuomo said he threatened to veto the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s budget for 1989 if the authority didn’t freeze the salaries of its top executives, which went as high as $170,000. Cuomo also said that the top authority salaries were “a joke” because they had built-in 5 percent raises like those included in the civil service contracts of Port Authority employees. “This is a joke,” Cuomo told The Associated Press in an interview. “This means that after 20 years, I get 100 percent more salary just because I’m there?”