In Years Past

100 Years Ago

In 1913, the meeting of the town superintendents of highways held at the Mayville Court House, was attended by the superintendents representing every town in the county except two. The meeting was a conference on the problem of building and maintaining dirt roads, the question of improving highways not being a part of the meeting. Louis McKinstry of Fredonia was called on, and after some preliminary remarks about his experience riding with various auto drivers whom he named, made a brief but well-received address along the line of the value of good road work. A. McKeever of Chautauqua then took up the work of “Standard Turnpiking.” He explained his methods, using a heavy grader and steam power, doing very early spring work on roads and, where it was necessary, getting rid of sods. He said that to keep a road free of sods it was necessary never to let a sod form. It was shown that of the 1,950 miles of dirt roads in Chautauqua County, 1,300 miles were standard turnpikes with straight ditches, properly crowned and free from sods and stones.

Local fishermen stated that all but 11 of the 900 locals of the General Fishermen’s Association along the south shores of Lake Erie, voted in favor of a strike for better working conditions, a continuance of the previous year’s share scale and other demands of lesser importance. The housemen, the poorest paid members of the association, were demanding a 10 percent wage increase. The members of Dunkirk local voted on the proposition and were unanimously in favor of striking. The matters at issue were discussed at the recent annual conference of representatives of the fisherman and fish companies of Cleveland. The dealers refused to grant the demands and the conference broke up without an agreement having been reached. Fishing was to start in mid-March but unless the differences were settled, there would be practically none on this side of the lake.

75 Years Ago

In 1938, wintry winds howled across New York state sending temperatures below zero in the wake of snowstorms that blanketed highways and impeded traffic. Accidents were numerous as swirling clouds of snow reduced visibility. Three persons were seriously injured when two automobiles collided in the blinding storm near Batavia. Six inches of snow fell in Jamestown, which reported a zero temperature. In the Rochester area, high winds drifted snow across highways as fast as plows could open them. Three hundred men and 35 trucks worked all night in a temperature of four degrees above zero in an effort to keep the city streets clear.

Jamestown’s part in a national drive to sweep the American automobile industry out of the current recession and stimulate the business of the country generally was launched by car dealers at the Hotel Jamestown when plans were mapped to participate in National Used Car Exchange week, March 5-12. Ralph W. Austin, president of the Jamestown Automobile Dealers Association, headed the local group which would carry out Jamestown’s program, which, in conjunction with the national movement, was the outgrowth of a recent White House conference between President Franklin D. Roosevelt and leaders of the American auto industry.

50 Years Ago

In 1963, the threat of double sessions in September for students of Southwestern Junior-Senior High School was removed by a decision of the board of education to provide needed additional classrooms in temporary facilities to be leased and erected on the school campus at Hunt and Townline Roads. The board members and school administrators had grappled with the problem of providing for a jump of 150 in student enrollment expected in the fall. Emergency measures by the board were made necessary following the defeat of a $676,000 bond issue for a building expansion program by district voters at a special election held Feb. 16. The same proposition had been rejected on Nov. 16 of the previous year.

Sixteen pupils from the Warren Area High School and Beaty Junior High School had been implicated in a shoplifting spree on various Warren merchants. Borough police said that six boys and 10 girls, aged 12 to 16, had admitted taking various items. James Loding, chief police clerk, and Officer James Tridico conducted the questioning with the cooperation of school officials and with a school representative being present. They said that most items taken included cosmetics, jewelry, transistor radios and clothing. Students admitted taking the stolen articles and dropping them into purses, bags and pockets. Only a small portion of the items were recovered.