In Years Past

100 Years Ago

In 1913, the February meeting of the Interstate Furniture Manufacturers’ Association was held at Salamanca Saturday afternoon, the Dudley House being the scene of the gathering and a dinner being served there at the conclusion of the business session. About 20 manufacturers, representing 10 different establishments engaged in the manufacture of case goods were present and among other matters, the annual meeting of the National Furniture Manufacturers’ Association to be held in Jamestown in June, was discussed. This meeting of the national association was to be a big affair, with furniture manufacturers from all parts of the country in attendance.

An accident to one of the powerful turbines in the power plant of the Jamestown Street Railway and Chautauqua Traction line Saturday afternoon completely tied up traffic on the traction line for about six hours and severely crippled the service on the city and suburban lines. Had it not been for the auxiliary plant, consisting of the old engines formerly used for operating the city lines, the service would have been completely stopped. As it was, the auxiliary plant could not carry the complete load and until a part could be brought to the barns even the city and suburban service was uncertain. The accident could not have happened at a more unfortunate time for one of the great turbines was already out of commission and could not be used. Parts ordered for the second turbine would arrive in a few days and would be installed as promptly as possible.

75 Years Ago

In 1938, apparently the victim of a sudden heart attack, Joseph Murgatroyd, 65, of Prendergast Avenue, Jamestown, night watchman of the Jamestown Wood Finishing Company, was found dead at the Blackstone Avenue plant when workmen arrived in the morning. Death was believed to have occurred between 2 and 3 a.m. as Murgatroyd had punched the time clock for the last time at 2 a.m. He was found lying on his back on the elevator at the first floor and discovered by Frank Cullenne. The electric lantern the watchman carried on his rounds was still burning beside him. Murgatroyd had been employed at the east end factory for six years. He had been born in Yorkshire, England, in 1872 and came to Jamestown from Toronto in 1928.

Jamestown’s Robert H. Jackson was “political dynamite” in the opinion of a writer of a sympathetic article in the current issue of Fortune magazine. Accompanied by a splendid full-page color picture of Jackson, the article gave the author’s impression of Jackson’s political philosophy and briefly referred to his life and activities in this community. In the opening paragraph the article said: “When Robert Houghwot Jackson talks of his life in Jamestown, N.Y., his usually unemotional voice grows warm. ‘I can never make anybody believe me,’ he says, ‘when I say that I want to go back to Jamestown, but that’s what I want to do. It’s a delightful place to live. I have a farm, I have a bunch of horses, the people know me. There are hard winters and delightful summers.”

25 Years Ago

In 1988, a program that could expand recreation opportunities to 8,326 elderly people in 24 Chautauqua County municipalities at a total cost to them of $4,136 had been backed by the County Legislature’s Human Services Committee. Members agreed to request the state Legislature to amend the executive law to provide equal opportunity for all municipalities to take part in the Recreation for the Elderly Program. Francis “Mac” McCoy, director of the county’s Office for the Aging, explained the program was voluntary and there also was no indication how many local municipalities would choose to participate.

Concerns for the health of “mom and pop” beer distributors kept the Senate from approving an amendment to allow beer price advertising in Pennsylvania. Senators defeated the amendment 29-18 after arguing over what was more important: consumers knowing the lowest beer prices or small beer distributors surviving the onslaught of discount beer moguls. “This situation is intolerable,” said Sen. Anthony “Buzz” Andrezeski, D-Erie, who proposed the amendment. “We owe the consumers in this commonwealth a little bit more in terms of finding out what the price is.” Senators took turns defending small beer distributors on the one hand and railing against unbridled drinking on the other.