In Years Past

100 Years Ago

In 1913, investigations were under way this day to ascertain the cause and fix the blame for the disastrous explosion of more than 300 tons of dynamite in the hold of the British tramp steamer Alum Chine, lying at anchor in the lower harbor of Baltimore, which killed more than 40 persons and seriously injured 60 more and caused property loss of more than $250,000. Immediately after the accident the federal authorities at Washington were apprised of the serious damage to the new collier, Jason, which was near the anchorage of the ill-fated Alum Chine. Word had been received that the Department of the Navy would inquire into the disaster.

One of the best and most profitable meetings in the history of the Schoolmasters’ Club of Western New York was held in the Hotel Samuels, Jamestown, Friday evening. Many prominent educators from surrounding towns and cities were present and enjoyed an evening of good fellowship and discussion. At the close of the banquet, which was served in a manner most acceptable to the school men, the president of the club, Prin. George R. Raynor of Falconer, introduced Prof. George M. Forbes of the University of Rochester, who delivered an illuminating and thought-compelling address on The Education of the Will.

75 Years Ago

In 1938, more than 22,000 women and children employed in laundries came under a New York state provision intended to provide them with a minimum guaranteed weekly wage. Industrial Commissioner Elmer F. Andrews announced a directory order determining minimum rates of pay for 20,000 employees of power laundries and 2,200 in-hand laundries after March 14. Some laundries in the metropolitan area had increased prices from 10 to 15 percent but their operators said the increases were due to higher operating costs rather than the minimum wage order.

President Roosevelt had announced approval of a $131,464 WPA allocation for removal of street car rails and the resurfacing of several miles of Jamestown streets from which rails were to be removed. Local city officials expressed delight at the speed with which the rail removal and street resurfacing project had received federal approval. Next to the North Main Street extension airport project, it would be the largest single WPA job yet undertaken here. The arrival of dependable weather and formal receipt of the federal allocation were all that stood in the way of opening the rail removing and street resurfacing job, said Director of Public Works Leland L. Graham.

50 Years Ago

In 1963, a sheriff’s deputy escaped injury the previous day when the police cruiser he was driving skidded into the accident he was on his way to investigate. Deputy Lee Kellogg was dispatched to the scene of a car-truck accident in the village of Clymer. Because of icy road conditions, the officer’s car skidded against the truck, causing only slight damage. The two vehicles originally involved in the accident were driven by Wilfred L. Damcott, 36, of Clymer and Ronny E. Doncavage, 22, of Sherman. They collided as Doncavage was making a left turn into a driveway with his car.

Preparation of a special exhibit for use in Jamestown’s fight to prevent the loss of local service by Mohawk Airlines was in its final stages, Theodore A. Peck, chairman of the City Airport Commission, announced. The exhibit, which consisted of approximately 60 pages of information, statistical data and charts on why Mohawk should continue to serve Jamestown, was put in final form by the city’s special airport counsel and consultant and Peck during a six-hour session in Washington on March 6.

25 Years Ago

In 1988, these were trying times for accountants, struggling to cope with the intricacies of the new “simplified” tax laws. John B. Lloyd, managing partner with the Jamestown office of Seidman & Seidman/BDO, said the nearly 3,000 changes in the tax law made filing under the Tax Reform Act of 1986 a challenge for the people preparing their own returns. But, he said, despite this, it need not be as terrifying as might be thought, noting, “The IRS wants more detailed information from you – not necessarily more money.”

The village of Little Valley’s plans for a new skating rink and recreational center didn’t “slide” by state Park and Recreation officials. During a Little Valley Village Board meeting, Michael Kelley, Allegany Parks Regional Project specialist, told the mayor and trustees that the blueprints did not meet state specifications and could not be endorsed by an engineer.