In Years Past

100 Years Ago

In 1913, Mrs. Mary Merrell, recognized for several years as the oldest woman in Jamestown, died at the home of her granddaughter, Mrs. Lynn M. Goulding on West Third Street on this morning, aged 98 years, 2 months and 20 days. Until the past Friday, she was about the house as usual, through ever since her last birthday, Jan. 31, she had been failing somewhat. Her final illness was a bronchial trouble but her death was quiet and peaceful, just as her long life had been. Merrell was the mother of six children and survived all of them.

The A.C. Norquist Company, furniture manufacturers, Chandler Street, Jamestown, announced that they had purchased the plant of the Peerless Furniture Company, located on property adjoining the Norquist factory, and the two plants would hereafter be run under the same management. The relations between the two plants had been very close for some time. The Peerless Company had manufactured a strong line of dining room furniture, while the Norquist Company made a specialty of case goods. The Peerless plant would be used exclusively for case goods, it was stated, as soon as present orders were completed.

75 Years Ago

In 1938, plans for a third span across the Chadakoin valley, from the foot of Washington Street to a point near Barrett Avenue and Market Street, near the foot of hospital hill in Jamestown, were being prepared by Director of Public Works Leland L. Graham at the request of Mayor Harry C. Erickson. It was the mayor’s opinion that such a structure might well be built with a public works grant if Congress approved President Roosevelt’s proposed $1.45 billion pump-priming public works program. “Such a bridge will be built within 20 years anyway,” said the mayor, “and the city will probably never have a better opportunity to secure this desirable improvement at so little expense.”

For the first time in the history of the Dunkirk police department an arrest was made of a man on a charge of killing a dog by striking it with his automobile and failing to make a report of it. The defendant, Ralph Blodgett of Sheridan, was taken into custody by Chief John J. Warren, to be arraigned later. According to police, Blodgett’s car struck a dog owned by Alex Papierski, of East Doughty Street. The driver failed to stop and pedestrians noted the license number on the car and immediately reported it to police.

25 Years Ago

In 1988, in Rochester, authorities were trying to determine whether human bones discovered in a 19th-century house built by an immigrant butcher belonged to a man or a woman. The bones were found between the first-floor ceiling and second-story floorboards of the house, which was under repair. “It’s probably going to be one of the most interesting investigations we’ve conducted in a long, long time, ” said Police Maj. William D. Mayer. Jeff Abel, 31, an employee of E.J.M. Excavating, made the discovery of a leg bone while he and other workers were pulling down the first-floor ceiling. “I was just cleaning up and there it (the leg bone) was in a pile of debris. I just left the shovel right there and went to get my boss,” Abel said. Construction workers continued to rip up the floorboards and found more bones later in the day. The house, under renovation by a State University College at Brockport professor, was built by a German immigrant butcher some time between 1857 and 1875.

State legislators had tried to make the best of a bad situation for the State University of New York’s four-year colleges and institutions. Unfortunately, the community colleges were one of the sacrifices. “We basically added about $15 to $20 million to the governor’s budget,” Rep. William A. Parment, D- North Harmony, said. “That’s less than what the Legislature wanted and less than what the colleges wanted.” “It’s kind of a mixed bag,” legislative aide Tom Christy agreed. The news was not so good for community colleges. “I really don’t know what to do about it,” Jamestown Community College President Paul A. Benke said. “It means a program of austerity.”