In Years Past

100 Years Ago

In 1913, the many friends of Harry J. Fellows, formerly of Jamestown but residing in Buffalo, would learn with keen regret that he succumbed to heart disease at Dayton, Ohio, while on a tour with his musical organization known as the Fellows Grand Opera Quartet. He was found dead on this morning in his room at the Algonquin Hotel. It was learned that after the concert which his organization gave at Dayton Friday evening, he retired apparently in his usual health. He was 47 years, 6 months and 27 days of age and was survived by a wife and two daughters. During his residence in Jamestown, Fellows was employed in the Western Union Telegraph office. He was an expert telegrapher. He was a genial and companionable man and those who knew him during his residence in this city would regret to learn of his untimely death.

Every effort of Coroner O.S. Martin and the Salamanca police to establish the identity of the unknown man who was killed in a fall from a window of the city building several days previously had thus far proved fruitless. Any number of clues had been worked out but as yet nothing had been determined. The following notice was being sent to the different places in this locality by Coroner Martin: “Wanted – information of a man aged from 45 to 50; 5-feet-8 or 9 inches in height; weighed from 170 to 180 pounds; light brown mustache, quite long; sandy hair, slightly gray and curly; no teeth. Name said to be J. or F. Crowley.”

75 Years Ago

In 1938, Jamestown stood 16th in the number of motor vehicle accidents and 24th in the number of deaths among the 66 cities of the state the past year, according to the record for 1937 announced by Charles A. Hartnett, Albany, commissioner of the state bureau of motor vehicles. This city was tied with Corning, Freeport, Gloversville, Kingston, New Rochelle, Oswego and Saratoga Springs in the number of fatalities. According to the statistics furnished by the state bureau, there were 217 automobile accidents in Jamestown the past year with 266 persons injured and five killed. The state was divided into three groups, Greater New York, the 65 cities and villages of 10,000 or more population and the remainder of the state consisting of rural sections.

The Jamestown High School a cappella choir would present a concert in the high school auditorium Tuesday, March 22, in an effort to raise a portion – a large one, it was hoped – of the $1,500 estimated to be needed for the group’s trip to the national choral competition in St. Louis, March 31 and April 1. Arrangements for the huge affair expected to feature other divisions of the school music department. The choristers would be the lone representatives of New York state being selected on the basis of their standing as Class A champions of the state, an honor acquired at Elmira the past year.

50 Years Ago

In 1963, bitter cold hit Chautauqua County leaving in its trail at least four serious fires. One in Jamestown was a grim echo of a blaze the past week in Ellington which took the lives of three small children. Jamestown firemen from four companies battled a blaze at 219 Allen St., started in an attempt to thaw a frozen water pipe. Among the occupants of the Allen Street home was Mrs. James Kitchell, grandmother of the three children who died Jan. 29 when fire swept the home of their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Albert L. Hitchcock Jr., of Bentley Hill Road, Ellington. The five-room, second-floor apartment at the Allen Street address was occupied by Mrs. Kitchell, her husband, their son, Wesley Hallowell, 21, his wife, Josephine, 18, their daughter, Betty Jean, 6 weeks old and two other Kitchell children, Barbara, 13 and Martin, 11. Mrs. Kitchell’s daughter, Mrs. Marguerite Hitchcock, 23, burned in the Ellington fire, remained in critical condition at Jamestown General Hospital.

Two persons were injured slightly and a third person was hospitalized because of a heart condition as fires in three communities in the area caused extensive damage the previous day and this morning. At Leon, an unidentified teenage boy was injured when he jumped through a first-floor window after a living room oil stove exploded. At Findley Lake, flames from the explosion of a soft coal furnace ignited the clothing of Maynard Duink, 35, in his home on the Marks-Ottaway Road. At Fredonia, Andrew Kolb, who had a heart condition, was hospitalized after he became upset as flames destroyed a barn filled with valuable merchandise. A dog in the barn died of smoke inhalation.

25 Years Ago

In 1988, the past week’s springlike weather was gone with the wind and people reveled in a winter wonderland during one-horse open sleigh rides at the ninth annual horseman’s sleigh rally at Chautauqua Institution on Sunday. Bundled up to ward off the cold, Ray Stevens of Orchard Park drove a 6-year-old Belgian horse through the snow. Rally events included a pleasure drive and Courier & Ives, timed and obstacle classes.

At last, Steven Spielberg’s movie, “E.T., The Extra-Terrestrial” would be released worldwide as a videocassette in time for Christmas, then withdrawn from the market, MCA Home Entertainment Group announced. The movie, which grossed a record $700 million at the box office after it premiered in June 1982, was re-released in the summer of 1985 but had not been available to the public since that time. The videocassette price had not been announced.