In Years Past

100 Years Ago

In 1913, Edward Stuart, an employee of the Hamond Iron Works, lost his life at the Conewango Refining Plant late the previous afternoon when the base of a large tank upon which they were working, slipped from its supports and caught the young man’s head between the tank and a block. Death was instantaneous. Stuart was 19 years of age and for some time had been boarding at Smith’s in the West End. He had a brother employed at Jacobson’s Machine Shop and he was immediately summoned. He also had a sister in Warren.

C.J. Miles, the game protector, was on the Indian reservation near Salamanca recently and found that three Indians were spearing fish through the ice which covered that portion of the Allegany River. Mr. Miles had reported the matter to the state conservation commission and intended to make this a test case, if the state authorities approved of such action. It seemed that the Indians had claimed the right to fish, trap and hunt on their reservations regardless of the restrictions of the state game laws which they held did not apply to the reservations. They based their claims on their supposed treaty rights.

75 Years Ago

In 1938, the speed limit for passenger automobiles would be increased from 40 to 50 miles an hour on state highways under a bill before New York’s Legislature. The measure was one of a series of amendments to the motor vehicle law proposed by Assemblyman Herbert A. Rapp, Genesee Republican. He also recommended legislation which would revoke operator and registration license of a motorist convicted of criminal negligence resulting in death.

Turned down on five previous occasions, Theodore J. Wagner, proprietor of a restaurant at 2-4 East Main St., Ripley, proved his persistency when, at a hearing in the state building, he submitted a sixth request for a restaurant liquor license in a village where no restaurant ever had been legally licensed to sell liquor. Charles I. Martina, executive officer of the State Liquor Authority, reserved decision after listening to Wagner’s plea for a license, the issuance of which would create history in the village of Ripley, known more familiarly as the Gretna Green of New York state.

50 Years Ago

In 1963, a fast-burning fire fed by gallons of cooking grease destroyed or damaged thousand of dollars worth of restaurant equipment on this morning at the Colonial Whip, 239 Fluvanna Ave., Jamestown. The interior of the cinder block building was damaged by the flames which apparently started in a deep-fryer. Fire Chief Virgil Eggleston said the investigation would be continued in line with present indications showing that a thermostatic switch was not operating in a grease tank. Walls of the building did not collapse but were badly damaged and warped. The owner, N. David Goldstein, told fire officials he had just moved a quantity of equipment from another building at Big Tree near Ashville. No one was in the building when the fire broke out.

Frozen-fingered Chautauqua County residents could expect little respite from a relentless winter weather pattern. Most of the county huddled in sub-zero weather overnight and this night was expected to be just as cold. Frewsburg recorded 15 below zero and Sinclairville shivered at 10 below. All county roads were open and the previous day’s gusty winds, which created poor visibility for drivers, had just about subsided although some drifting was reported. Stillwater, in the Adirondacks reported 26 below, the lowest in the state.

25 Years Ago

In 1988, total costs of operating Chautauqua County Department of Social Services were up by $1.1 million in 1987 from 1986 but local expenses were reduced by $810,000, according to the annual report of Commissioner Charles A. Ferraro. He said of the result, “I’m very pleased with it. I’d be happy to have this kind of report every year.”

For the present, beaver in Jamestown’s wetland would apparently be left to do as they pleased in the wildlife area between Jones and Gifford Avenue and the Chadakoin River. Beaver dams combined with the fluctuating level of Chautauqua Lake had long been blamed for increased water levels in the area, resulting in drainage problems. Still, the city seemed willing to wait it out until spring, when it planned to check the dam buildup. Even then, city officials would look to the state for action, if necessary.