In Years Past

100 Years Ago

In 1913, John Woods of Monroe Street, Jamestown, an employee of the Art Metal Construction Company, Jones & Gifford Avenue, died in the WCA Hospital early the previous afternoon as the result of injuries received in the factory about 3 p.m. Woods received his injuries in one of the freight elevators. It was said that he walked onto the trap doors in the floor which, in such elevators, closed down after the elevator goes through and just as he walked on, the elevator came up through the opening before he could get out of danger. He was hurried to the hospital but failed gradually until his death. His age was 80 years.

The bravery of Fred Larabee saved the life of Henry Layman, a farmer, when in trying to pass each other on a narrow road overlooking the Susquehanna River near Towanda, Pa., Layman’s horse took fright and plunged over the precipice with wagon and driver, into the river. The deep water saved man and horse from instant death, but they were drowning, both being held fast by the wagon. Larabee plunged into the current and, after a hard swim and much effort, succeeded in freeing the horse. Then, with Layman half unconscious and in the floating wagon, he swam to shore, shoving the wagon in front of him.

75 Years Ago

In 1938, the Easter parade in Jamestown, which began at the first peep of dawn on Sunday as hundreds of persons made their way to sunrise services or early Mass, and continued through the day in spite of rain, was one of the most brilliantly colorful to be seen here in many years, matched only by the splendor of the brightly shining rainbow that spread itself over the city and dipped into Lake Chautauqua in the late afternoon. It was the first time in a few years that the sun had shown so warmly over Jamestown on an Easter morning, even glittering through the rain.

Two of the four “killer” dogs that had terrorized the town of Busti for weeks and were believed to have killed many animals, would kill no more. They were shot when found attacking sheep on Alva J. Tibbett’s farm, Sugar Grove-Sherman’s Bay Road. Just how many sheep had been injured had not yet been determined as the animals were so frightened that all had not yet been rounded up. Tibbetts tried to capture the dogs alive but being unable to get them, shot them as they ran away. One of the dogs was a large hound and the other was a large police dog. Both wore tags and the owners, it was reported, would be prosecuted.

50 Years Ago

In 1963, Yetta Grotofent, 42, of the famed circus aerialist family, the Wallendas, died in a 50-foot fall from her slender gray pole at a Shrine Circus performance the previous evening in Omaha, Neb. She had reached the climax of her solo act and was swaying back and forth in a wide arc when, as the pole was on a back swing, Yetta suddenly tumbled backward and plummeted to her death as 4,666 spectators watched in awed silence. She was the third member of the troupe to die in a fall in the last 16 months.

Eight feet of curbing on Barrows Street between Sciota and Allen streets in Jamestown caved in to a depth of about five feet about noon this day, requiring emergency repairs. The street was closed to traffic and a Department of Public Works crew was dispatched to the scene. Extent of the damage could not be immediately determined. Police said a resident of the area called headquarters to report the cave-in which included two four-foot sections of curbing which dropped about five feet. Workers from the DPW were also attempting to determine the cause of the freak accident.

25 Years Ago

In 1988, after a campaign described by Jesse Jackson as “so divisive and so violent,” New Yorkers were voting this day in a presidential primary that could anoint Michael Dukakis as the clear front-runner Democrats had sought for so many months. The New York vote also could spell the end for Sen. Albert Gore’s presidential candidacy. Already deeply in debt, the Tennessee senator needed to show surprising strength to regain credibility as a candidate.

Chautauqua County Legislature’s Public Works Committee had decided that “yawning crevices, gaping holes and eroded shoulders” had no place in a motion calling for proceeding with reconstruction of a portion of Route 394. Legislator Charles Porpiglia, D-Dunkirk, minority leader, took strong exception to part of the wording of the originally proposed resolution that included the “yawning crevices, gaping holes” description. The motion went on to call for the state Department of Transportation and residents of West Ellicott to resolve their differences over the proposed roadway construction so the project could get underway.