In Years Past

100 Years Ago

In 1913, Laverne Engstrom, the 10-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. John P. Engstrom of Prospect Street, Jamestown, was the victim of an accidental shooting affair Friday afternoon when a 32-caliber rifle, carried by his 10-year-old companion, Rudolph Peterson, who lived on Park Street, was accidentally discharged and the bullet passed through both of his legs about eight inches above the knees. The accident happened just beyond the city line not far from Forest Avenue. A third boy, Kenneth Anderson, had brought along the gun and had handed it to the Peterson boy, when it was accidentally discharged. Dr. F.H. Nichols was called and found that the bullet had fortunately missed the bones. The lad did not lose consciousness and was doing well.

Corbin K. Willard was born in Jamestown April 16, 1829, and was the oldest living person who was born here. He had seen Jamestown grow from a mere hamlet with a population of less than 800 to a thriving city of 35,000. His father, Hermis Willard, came here from Vermont in 1820 and settled on land now occupied by the Jamestown Lounge Company. Willard Street was named in his honor. Corbin did not look a day more than 60 years of age and, although nearly 84, was well and strong, with sight and hearing almost as good as ever. He claimed never to have been ill in his life and attributed his long life to the fact that he had abstained from the use of liquor and tobacco.

75 Years Ago

In 1938, all of Jamestown’s fire apparatus was called out at 10:30 p.m. the past night when fire broke out in an apartment at 119 W. Third St. occupied by L.J. Rashid, Oriental rug dealer. Mrs. M.B. Shepard, landlady, discovered the blaze which started in a kitchenette in the third-floor apartment. The place was unoccupied at the time. It was believed the fire started in a suitcase which was found standing against a wall. The wall was ignited with resultant damage estimated at about $100.

The students of Russell School were making plans for the publication of “The Panther” of 1938. The students were working to make this book the best that had ever been published by Russell High School. In order to lessen the financial shortcomings created by this, the school recently served a penny supper at the church, making a profit of about $30. The Panther staff included editor-in-chief Ruth Amadon; assistant editor Margaret Lindquist and business manager Vivian Hale.

50 Years Ago

In 1963, Jamestown police were becoming increasingly concerned over rising incidence of arrests on charges of driving while intoxicated. Officers made eight such arrests the past month and Capt. Roy W. Peterson, traffic division head, said he could not recall a previous month when arrests on the serious driving charge had reached this figure. The captain commended patrolmen for their vigilance in effecting the arrests before any serious accidents resulted but at the same time called for increasing awareness on the part of motorists of the seriousness of the charge and possible disastrous consequences of such action.

Two 15-year-old Celoron boys who admitted having been involved in illicit joy rides in at least four vehicles the previous evening, were being detained for juvenile authorities at Jamestown Police station. One of the boys, driving a 1953 Mercury which had been reported stolen in Falconer earlier, was stopped by officers at Crane Street and Foote Avenue. When one of the officers ordered the boy out of the car, he climbed out of the window on the opposite side of the vehicle and ran. He succeeded in eluding the pursuing officers, disappearing into the darkness. The stolen vehicle continued to roll forward, grazing the front of the police cruiser and slamming into a cement wall. A 1958 Buick being driven by the other teenager had been following the Mercury. The boys were eventually apprehended when an acquaintance located them and persuaded them to accompany him to the police station.

25 Years Ago

In 1988, if nothing changed by the following year, Jamestown Community College students would be ineligible for guaranteed student loans. Under a proposal by Education Secretary William Bennett, the government-backed loan program would not fund any students at schools which did not bring their student default rate below 20 percent by 1989. If statistics did not change, that proposal would cut funding to one-quarter of the schools involved in the program. Jamestown Community College would be one of them.

A few onlookers watched the previous morning as an old apartment building was demolished on Chautauqua Avenue in Lakewood to eventually make room for a new post office. The U. S. Postal Service bought the property at the site the past December but construction of the new facility had been put on hold in the wake of federal budget cuts.