In Years Past

In 1913, Ralph Case and his sister, Mrs. Annie Boltz of Portland, Chautauqua County, were at the hospital in Dunkirk, seriously ill of typhoid fever. Their grandmother, Mrs. Pulaski Case, was ill of the same disease at the family home in Portland and Miss Elsie Storms, who resided with her parents on the second floor of the Case residence, also had the fever. Ransford Case, a brother of Ralph Case and Mrs. Boltz, died of the disease on February 13. Polluted water was believed to be the cause of the epidemic.

Leo F. McNally, a member of Company I, Third infantry, N.G.N.Y. of Olean, during his spare time from his regular employment over the winter, had about completed the building of an aeroplane of original design at the local armory. McNally had previously been associated with Aviators Calvin P. Rodgers and Weldon B. Cook and was employed in the plant of the National Aeroplane Company of Chicago. With the installation of the engine, the machine, which had the propeller and engine in front of the driver, would be completed. It was designed to carry one passenger.

In 1938, sale of alcoholic beverages to a person under 21 years of age, instead of 18, would be prohibited under a bill in New York’s legislature. The measure was proposed by Assemblyman Fred S. Hollowell, Yates Republican with another measure which would make it a misdemeanor for a minor to give his age as 21 years in an effort to purchase or receive alcoholic beverages as a gift.

A large delegation of Western New Yorkers, including more than 30 from Jamestown and Chautauqua County, left the Hotel Commodore ballroom in New York, firm in the conviction that their favorite New Deal son, Robert H. Jackson, had entrenched his position as an administration leader and greatly enhanced his prestige. Mr. Jackson was given a splendid ovation by the 1,500 dinner guests. There could be no doubt, following the dinner given in his honor by the New York City Young Democratic Club, that his strength as a potential candidate for governor was greatly increased.

In 1963, a dare was a dare, particularly if you were a 5-year-old boy, as Jamestown police and fire officials discovered Sunday afternoon. Within a few moments after firemen were summoned to South Main and Barker Streets at 1:27 p.m., a group of youngsters were rounded up. A 5-year-old boy readily admitted that he pulled the fire alarm box lever – because a playmate dared him, Officer Lydell Gay reported.

Frigid air and blizzard conditions again failed to prevent walkers from rising to President Kennedy’s challenge during the weekend, as four teen-agers circumnavigated the lake and two members of Jamestown’s Parks Department trudged 50 weary miles to Sheridan, by way of Westfield. The 50-milers, Herbert Anderson and Rudy Ahlgren, were the survivors of a group of six Parks Department employees who left the Town Hall Restaurant in Brooklyn Square at 7 p.m. Saturday for the long trek. Anderson reported blizzard conditions prevailed from Chautauqua all the way to Sheridan during the chilly night. He and Ahlgren arrived at their goal, a mile east of Sheridan, at 11 a.m. this day.

In 1988, a Titusville boy was fighting for his life in an Erie hospital after being rescued from a vehicle that plunged into the icy waters of Pine Valley Creek near Bear lake in Warren County the previous afternoon. The boy’s grandmother drowned in the mishap, which saw a dramatic rescue effort undertaken by police and volunteer firefighters in an effort to save the child and woman. Daniel Drake, 4, was listed in critical condition at St. Vincent’s Health Center where he was taken by Lifestar helicopter. The boy was trapped inside a Jeep Wagoneer along with his grandmother, Marva S. Burt, 62, also of Titusville, who could not be saved after being submerged for about an hour in the 10-foot-deep creek. As many as 50 people aided in the rescue, mostly volunteer firefighters from Bear Lake, Wrightsville, Sugar Grove, Corry, Columbus, Beaver Dam and Panama, along with State Police and Corry police.

The rocky condition of Route 62, whose narrow shoulders could make tough going for Amish buggies, was a concern that Leon leaders were carrying to the state level. Leon Town Supervisor David Snyder told The Post-Journal, “If you travel from the Leon town line on to Conewango Valley, you will probably see the worst section of Route 62.” Snyder pointed out the road was narrow in sections, lacked proper road shoulders and was pitted with potholes making travel difficult.