In Years Past

  • In 1913, Ralph Butler, employed on track construction work on the Erie Railroad, was killed in a fight in a boxcar at Redhouse about three miles from Salamanca. Butler was beaten over the head with a shovel by Edward Nelson, another workman. Sam Smith, who claimed to have seen the fight, also charged Nelson with the crime. According to Smith’s story, he was sick and Butler offered to make some lemonade for him. Butler was busy with the preparations when Nelson came forward and tried to take the lemonade from him. In the fight which followed, Nelson beat Butler over the head with the shovel, Smith alleged. Nelson was arrested at Seneca Junction. The prisoner admitted that he quarreled with Butler but he denied using the shovel on him.
  • A double-headed freight train crashed into the rear of another freight train standing in the Pennsylvania yards at Mayville several evenings ago, smashing the caboose to kindling wood and scalding E.W. Johnson, an engineer, who resided in Oil City. The accident occurred a few yards beyond the station near the overhead crossing of the Chautauqua Traction Company. The head locomotive of the double-header rolled over on its side and the wreckage caught fire. The Mayville Fire Department was called to extinguish the blaze but only a few firemen reached the place. The wreckage smoldered all night. A wrecking crew came from Corry and cleared the tracks.
  • In 1938, “I’m not lost and I don’t look like Dorothy Lamour,” said a dark-haired girl of 19 as she walked into a Buffalo police station. “I am Marian Rettig of Conewango Valley and all this fuss my father has been making about hunting for his lost daughter is silly. I have written twice a week to my mother since I came to Buffalo and found work several weeks ago but she doesn’t live with my father, so of course, he wouldn’t know.” The previous day her father, Robert B. Rettig came to Buffalo and reported to the police that his daughter was missing. He carried a newspaper picture of Dorothy Lamour and told police his daughter looked like the picture. He had also visited a number of boarding houses in Buffalo in his search.
  • Mrs. Cora Feldt, about 45 years old, was seriously injured in the afternoon when she fell on a buzzsaw at her home near Blockville. Meager details reveled that her arm was badly cut and an ambulance was bringing the injured woman to a Jamestown hospital. A telephone call to the Feldt home was answered by Miss Shirley Feldt, daughter of the injured woman, who was alone with her mother at the time. The girl was nearly hysterical and could give no details of the accident.
  • In 1963, 20 persons, the majority of them bedridden, were evacuated without incident from Hillside Nursing Home, 348 Foote Ave., Jamestown, early this day after the building was set on fire by an overheated clothes dryer. Thirteen of the patients were removed to Jamestown General Hospital where they were handled in accordance with a prearranged disaster plan. Due to the large number of persons in the hospital at the time of the blaze, it was necessary to place all but one of the unexpected arrivals in hallways. The remaining seven patients were taken to WCA Hospital. When firemen arrived, the dryer and the basement ceiling were in flames and flames also had broken through the partition on the first floor. Fire stops prevented the blaze from extending to the second floor.
  • Cowboy “Chico” rode high in the saddle as he supervised roundup of three beef cattle that wandered into Jamestown after escaping from their pasture near the office of Daniel S. Dracup, 42 N. Chicago Ave., West Ellicott. Officer Armand “Chico” Daversa drew the assignment of rounding up the strays after they were reported meandering in the Lovall Avenue section of Jamestown about 8:15 a.m. He found it necessary to recruit volunteer assistance to drive the animals back to the safe confines of their “corral.”
  • In 1988, members of Chautauqua County Legislature were to vote on a proposal backed by two legislative committees to put American Locker Group of Jamestown into a building at the county airport. The resolution called for granting the company a lease/purchase option on the old Duramold hanger being used to house about 20 small airplanes after Bush Industries stopped using it as a warehouse in February.
  • The new computer system purchased by the Warren County commissioners was expected to speed up countywide revaluation of real estate holdings. Mark Silbert, the county’s chief tax assessor, said the computer package was just what his tax assessment office staff needed to enter the information collected on all 26,000 properties and compare them with real estate sales to arrive at new property valuations. Silbert said the system would enable his office to have 1989 tax bills prepared and mailed on time by July.