In Years Past

100 Years Ago

In 1913, another strange and interesting incident in connection with the recent disastrous Shaw House fire at Sheffield had just come to light. As soon as the ruins were sufficiently cooled to permit entering the building, Mull Swanson, the “Bell Telephone man” of Warren went in to ascertain the damage done to the pay phone which the company had installed. To his surprise when he took off the cash box he found the contents with the exception of one nickel, a molten mass of metal. He took the five-cent piece out for a souvenir and laid the rest down outside and returned to finish taking the damaged instrument out. While he was doing that, someone came along and took the molten metal which was estimated to be worth near to $40.

A team of horses hitched to a hay rack became frightened at a train at the First Street crossing of the Pennsylvania railroad in Olean and started out on a dead run. When they reached the corner of First and Union streets, they turned toward the Erie depot. When they reached a point about halfway to the station, they suddenly made a turn to the left and ended up on the Erie tracks, continuing down the tracks. Upon reaching the Empire Mills, the wagon became entangled with a boxcar. The frenzied animals pulled and tugged until they had pulled the wagon to pieces and continued their mad rush. They passed over the railroad bridge, dragging what was left of the hay rack after them. How they ever passed over this bridge without entangling their feet in the ties was a mystery to those who witnessed it. They were finally stopped just before reaching Hinsdale and returned to their owner, a farmer from Cuba.

75 Years Ago

In 1938, Assistant Attorney General Robert H. Jackson called on “liberal lawyers” Sunday night to aid in advancing the “frontiers of justice under the law into economic affairs.” In an address prepared for delivery before the National Lawyers Guild, he declared: “Our generation is groping toward an economic bill of rights that will protect our people from irresponsible exercise of economic power, just as past generations worked toward the constitutional bill of rights which has long restrained the irresponsible exercise of political power.” The assistant attorney general, whose nomination by President Roosevelt to be solicitor general was pending before the Senate, and Sen. Robert M. LaFollette Jr. (Prog.-Wis.) were the principal speakers of a banquet of the guild.

Merchants who availed themselves of the opportunities afforded by newspaper advertising reported successful results from Saturday’s semi-annual Dollar Day sales, which attracted large crowds of shoppers to downtown Jamestown from the city and Chautauqua region throughout the day. Favored by mild weather, men, women and children thronged stores and shops from morning to night in response to the many seasonable values offered by the establishments cooperating in the event. Some merchants reported one of the most successful Dollar Days in their history.

50 Years Ago

In 1963, Jamestown General Hospital recorded the greatest number of patients in more than 10 years – 178 – and other hospitals about the county were at capacity peak. However, Cattaraugus County and Warren County, Pa., hospitals said the patient load was normal, indicating Chautauqua County had been hit harder by respiratory ailments than its neighbors. WCA Hospital in Jamestown reported its facilities taxed and a problem existed from illness to its employees. Mark W. Lyons told the General Hospital Board members that 178 patients included 13 babies. The superintendent emphasized that the hospital had refused no admissions but if a person had only a cold no effort should be made to be admitted.

Biting winds tore across New York state this day as highway crews cleared drifts that had stranded residents of some areas overnight. The weather bureau said temperatures would be generally around zero or below at night after daytime highs between 5 and 25 amid the stiff winds. Nearly 300 school children were unable to reach their homes the previous night in Western New York, after up to 6 inches of snow fell and gusts of more than 50 miles an hour turned the snow into blinding curtains. Attica Central School in Wyoming County dismissed its 1,660 pupils early because of the storm, but 182 whose homes were in rural areas were given places to stay in Attica overnight when school buses could not operate. The snow belts off the Great Lakes were the sections hardest hit. Highways leading to suburbs south of Buffalo were closed.