In Years Past

100 Years Ago

In 1913, the annual junior midwinter party was held in the Jamestown YWCA assembly hall Saturday afternoon with about 150 young girls present. The affair was in the nature of a St. Valentine’s party and the children all seemed to have a very delightful time. The program included vocal selections by Miss Hazel Shaffer and Miss Myra Devoe; recitations by Miss Twila Kitch and Miss Signe Swensson and a story told by Mrs. Mabel E. Parks. There was a big valentine box from which nearly 1,000 valentines were distributed. Refreshments were served.

While at work preparing dinner on Sunday, shortly before noon, Mrs. Andrew Jensen of Camp Street in Jamestown suddenly dropped dead. She was walking from one room to another when she suddenly staggered and fell. Relatives present hastened to her assistance and a physician was summoned but she lived only a few minutes in spite of every effort. She never regained consciousness and was dead when the physician arrived. The cause of death was given as acute heart disease. Jensen was survived by her husband, who had been ill himself several weeks, having undergone an operation. Needless to say, the shock was to him very great. She was also survived by a daughter, Mrs. Sanfrid Peterson of Frewsburg. It was a remarkable fact that Jensen’s heart beat but 32 times per minute when the usual normal pulse beat of a person was 72 times per minute. This low heart beat was unusual and it was hoped that Jensen would go before the medical society that her case might be studied.

75 Years Ago

In 1938, Walter T. Jones, 33, who said he had rented a room at 8 South Main St. in Jamestown but whose home was in Buffalo, was being questioned carefully as police sought to determine why he impersonated a state bus inspector and spread false statements about the equipment of the local bus company the previous day. Jones was arrested after he had stopped two buses during the day. On both occasions he made the bus drivers test their brakes and other safety equipment, throwing the buses several minutes off schedule. Jones told police a weird story to explain his unusual conduct. When first brought into headquarters he insisted he was acting with authority. When police became too inquisitive, Jones finally admitted that he had pretended to be a “bus inspector” to make his wife believe he had a job. It was possible that Jones would be subjected to a mental examination.

Only the presence of mind and quick action of Ralph Schroeder saved the large barn, one of the best and largest in Charlotte Center, owned by A. J. Rood of Sinclairville. There were 60 head of cattle in the structure and large quantities of hay and grain in proportion to their needs. As Schroeder was coming down the stairs in the barn his lantern bumped against his knee and before he could retrieve it, the lantern crashed to the floor and exploded. Schroeder was quick to action and saved the barn with only a small loss to its owner. The barn had not yet been wired for electricity which had just recently become available to the neighborhood.

25 Years Ago

In 1988, control of the beaver population in the wetlands between Jamestown’s Jones and Gifford Avenue and the Chautauqua Lake outlet (the Chadakoin River) was a problem to be solved by land owners and the city. This was the conclusion voiced by Legislator Thomas Erlandson, D-Lakewood, at a meeting of Chautauqua County Legislature’s Environmental Committee. It came near the end of a lengthy discussion regarding the extensive nuisance problems caused by the energetic, chisel-toothed fur-bearers. Richard Sturges, civil engineer with the county’s Department of Public Works said he felt it was a matter of having to learn to co-exist with the problem. The engineer said that if an area constituted prime beaver habitat, the big broad-tailed rodents would be back. Sturges said he felt it was not the county Highway Department’s responsibility to destroy the beavers and their dams.

The state Legislature’s top Republican had endorsed the design, if not the details, of Gov. Mario Cuomo’s plan to increase New York state’s minimum wage, workers’ compensation payments and unemployment insurance benefits. “I think that all three of those require some revisions but don’t pin me down to the amount,” said Senate Majority Leader Warren Anderson. Anderson said he would like to see hikes in all three areas worked out at the same time in negotiations involving the Legislature, governor and representatives of labor groups and businesses of the state. Hikes in all three areas had to be approved by the Legislature.