In Years Past

100 Years Ago

In 1913, the 13th Separate Company band had begun rehearsing for the first of a series of concerts which was to take place in Samuels Opera House on Sunday, March 9. Judging from the splendid work of these Jamestown musicians on the occasion of every appearance before the public, these concerts would afford an opportunity for the people of this city to hear some of the finest band music ever heard here. The band, which would consist of between 25 and 28 pieces for this concert, would be under the leadership of Prof. A.C. Bratt and this meant that wonderful results would be accomplished.

Returning to her home at 837 Prendergast Ave., Jamestown, Thursday afternoon, Dr. Emma L. Jordan was greeted by her brother, Judge H.A. Pierce of Los Angeles, Calif., who had found her door unlocked and had walked into the house. They had not seen each other in 24 years and Judge Pierce would spend a few days here, while on his way home from a journey around the world. In the past eight months he had traveled about 34,000 miles, visiting Japan, the Philippine Islands, China, Ceylon, India, Egypt, Palestine and many countries in Europe and showed little, if any, effects from the trip than he would were he much younger than the three score and 10 years to which he pled guilty.

75 Years Ago

In 1938, local police solved five recent automobile thefts and nipped three promising criminal careers in the bud with the arrest of three lads, aged 14, 15 and 16 years respectively, as the result of a stolen joyride. Police said the trio had confessed to the theft of five automobiles since the middle of January. The arrests and cleanup were brought about when the parents of one of the boys called police headquarters to report that their son had been away from home all night. Police were already investigating two automobile thefts and suspected there might be a connection between the boy’s absence and the car thefts.

Several rooms in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Frank G. Carlson, Ashville Bay, were damaged considerably Friday evening when a broken rear axle on a Jamestown-bound West Ridge Transportation Company motor bus snapped, sending a double wheel crashing into the dwelling some 500 feet from the lake shore highway. Mr. and Mrs. Carlson were playing cards with some friends when the wheel came hurtling through their dwelling with the din of a bomb. The wheel went through the wall, entering the bathroom where the plumbing fixtures were practically demolished. Plaster was torn from walls and ceilings in adjoining rooms as a result of the accident. The bus company estimated the damage to the house would not exceed $100.

50 Years Ago

In 1963, quick action by a young Corry man the previous afternoon possibly saved the life of his grandmother, Mrs. Violet Ferry, 83, as he carried her from their burning home to the safety of a neighbor’s residence. Peter Parker, 21, the son of Mrs. Lilah Parker, carried Mrs. Ferry to safety when he discovered a fire in the kitchen of her home. The fire started in the kitchen over the stove, causing extensive loss to that area of the house and smoke damage to the rest of the two-story frame home. The firemen had to use smoke masks because of the thick smoke.

The flu-like respiratory illness which had resulted in absenteeism of nearly 10 percent in Jamestown schools had hit other schools in the area with even more intensity. Dr. Lyle D. Franzen, NYS district health officer, termed the influenza-type disease as reaching near epidemic proportions but said it was of a mild variety, lasting between three or four days and accompanied by aches and fever. Frewsburg and Panama Schools had been hardest hit by the illnesses with the number of absentees reaching 16 percent of the student population.

25 Years Ago

In 1988, Jamestown’s Board of Public Utilities had agreed to supply water to two developments planned for West Ellicott but not to connect to any other customers there until receiving a signed contract with the town of Ellicott. It was explained that the PenNYline Group, Inc., planned to build a new Burger King restaurant adjacent to McDonalds’ Restaurant on Fairmount Avenue in West Ellicott. Also, Westbury Development proposed to build 11 new homes behind Bethel Baptist Church. It was noted that the BPU had supplied water to most of West Ellicott for more than 50 years, with about 780 customers in the water district.

Gov. Mario Cuomo said the number of New Yorkers living in poverty declined by almost half a million in 1986, the last year statistics were available. Charles Ferraro, Chautauqua County Social Services commissioner, said the numbers seemed to be declining in Chautauqua County as well. Ferraro said the number of county residents on welfare had dropped steadily each month since a peak in March 1985.