In Years Past

100 Years Ago

In 1913, Superintendent Clayton O. Johnson of the municipal light plant in Jamestown would, at the monthly meeting of the lighting commission, call the attention of the commissioners to the needed improvements at the plant and the subject would no doubt be carefully considered. One of the most important matters for consideration was the desirability of purchasing a new steam turbine for use in emergency and perhaps to supplement the work of the machinery currently in use. Johnson would recommend the purchase of a machine which would more than double the present capacity of the machinery and which would cost approximately $20,000.

Announcement of the fact that the Johnson Ice and Coal Company’s office had been burglarized some time ago apparently did not frighten the burglar or burglars doing business in Jamestown for exactly nine days later the home of George Welshofer, 342 Crossman St., was entered and well ransacked and striped of portable valuables. No mention was made of the circumstance at the time in the newspapers because of the usual police theory that the burglars would not know anything about the burglary unless they read it in the newspapers.

75 Years Ago

In 1938, the Jamestown High School a cappella choir had received and excepted an invitation to sing over a nationwide hookup of the National Broadcasting Company on March 31 from St. Louis, Mo. The invitation was extended by the Chicago office of the company in a telegram to Ebba H. Goranson, director of the choir. The broadcast was scheduled for the 15-minute period from 11:30-11:45 a.m. The choir was New York state’s entry in the national choral contest being held in that city, March 30-April 1. The group was state champions in class A having won the title in the statewide competition at Elmira the past year. The choir and the high school orchestra were presenting a benefit concert in the high school auditorium March 22 to raise funds to send the choristers to the national affair. It was expected that fully 1,600 boys and girls representing every state in the U. S. would take part in the contest.

A criminal summons charging the Berkey Chair Company with issuing a fraudulent check in an amount slightly more than $28 was served on Don W. Price, 47 McDaniel Ave., general manager and vice president of the corporation. The case was unusual in that it involved the arrest of a corporation for an alleged criminal offense, probably the first time that such an arrest had been made in Jamestown. Unlike an individual defendant in a criminal action, who was arraigned immediately or on the day following his or her arrest, a corporation charged with a crime was given five days in which to answer the summons. In this instance the Berkey Chair Company was summoned to appear before City Judge Allen E. Barger the following Wednesday morning.

50 Years Ago

In 1963, an extensive quantity of new Kling Factories bedroom furniture was damaged when a 50-by-50-foot warehouse collapsed under weight of snow. No one was injured. The warehouse, a former bakery at the rear of the old theater building in the heart of Mayville, collapsed at 8:30 a.m. under the weight of heavy snow and the overnight downpour of rain. Three cement block walls of the building collapsed as the roof came down with a roar. Doors and windows of the remaining portion of the building were blown out by the force of the collapse. The building was being used by Kling to store finished furniture. It was hoped some of the furniture could be salvaged by removing the roof of the building, a portion of which was resting on the furniture, stored in boxes in the building.

President Kennedy said the economy would face “downturn and disaster” if Congress rejected proposed tax cuts, slashed the budget and put a tight lid on the national debt. In a significant attempt to broaden current debate over economic policy, Kennedy argued that tax cuts alone could not insure the success of his ideas for juicing up the economy. He said it also was important to avoid “an unrealistic debt ceiling or budget cut.” Wrong decisions in those three policy areas would, he said, “spell downturn and disaster for the American economy as a whole.” Kennedy said wrong decisions on all three points were made in 1957-60 by “a Republican administration and a Democratic Congress.” As a result, he contended, the nation had been paying a high price ever since by slogging along with a below-par economy.