In Years Past

100 Years Ago

In 1913, as a result of police investigation in regard to several train robberies, evidence was brought to light the previous morning that indicated boys had been the culprits. Lucas Krystniak of Dunkirk, 12 years old, stated at headquarters he and three other boys stole at least 16 pairs of shoes from a Lake Shore freight train several weeks ago. Lucas said he picked out a pair of tan shoes that fitted him and hid them till his mother gave him $2.50 with which to buy a pair of shoes. He then wore the stolen shoes and spent the money. One of the other boys, Adam Krystniak, 10 years old, told of a theft in which they implicated themselves and also told upon oath they had seen Albert Wachowski with a revolver in his possession and that he was accustomed to fire at boxcars and other objects in the railroad yard. The boys were allowed to go home, but would be brought in again when the other members of the gang of boy thieves were rounded up.

John Gustafson, a man who had been employed at various times by local livery stables and at one time by the Witkop-Holmes Company as a driver, fell through a floor at the boarding stables of the Chautauqua Storage and Transfer Company, West Fourth Street, Jamestown, at an early hour in the morning and received injuries which resulted in his death a few minutes later. He was about 53 years old and came to this city from near Skandia, Pa., a few years previously. Little was known of how the accident occurred but the evidence seemed clear enough to convince Coroner B.F. Illston that death was purely an accident.

75 Years Ago

In 1938, four young men, three from Dunkirk and one from the town of Pomfret, none more than 21 years old, were being held in the county jail at Mayville to await arraignment before Justice of the Peace Rider at Cassadaga. They were charged with malicious mischief in connection with the overturning and damaging of 33 headstones in the Christian cemetery near Cassadaga on the night of April 11. According to Sheriff Roy L. Chadwick, all had admitted their part in the affair.

Glen T. Helgren was elected president of the Ellicott Drug Company, second largest independent cooperative wholesale drug concern in the world, at the meeting of the board of directors in Buffalo. Helgren was owner of the Helgren Drug Company and president of the Monitor Furniture Company in Jamestown. He served as vice president of the 36-year-old drug firm the past year. The concern, reported to be doing a several-million-dollar gross business annually, was cooperatively owned by some 500 Western New York retail drug stores, all being stockholders.

50 Years Ago

In 1963, the Fenton Historical Society of Jamestown was the name given temporarily to a new organization being formed to promote preservation of the Gov. Fenton Mansion and other historic places in Jamestown and the immediate area. The action was taken at a meeting in the mansion, presided over by Mrs. Calvin C. Torrance, temporary chairman. The new organization received historic documents and pictures presented by Rollin Cass and Ernest D. Leet to be placed in what was hoped would be a permanent historic museum to be established in the mansion.

“We already have partisan politics in everything but name and it’s time to stop kidding ourselves,” Optimist Club members were told at their meeting at the Hotel Jamestown. The speaker was Sherwood S. Cadwell, one of a three-member panel presenting the case for return to partisan politics in Jamestown. Cadwell, in calling for a return to the national two-party system, said “partisan politics have been present in every city election during the last 10 years and it’s time we realized this.”

25 Years Ago

In 1988, an oil spill that resulted when a 50-gallon drum containing 25-30 gallons of the liquid fell from a pickup and was struck by another vehicle was cleaned up by Ashville Fire Department members and the Chautauqua County Hazardous Materials Team. Ashville Fire Chief Ronald E. Saxton said the department was notified about 10:30 a.m. Sunday of the spill on Route 394 at Neits Crest. The State Department of Transportation was called to sand the affected section of roadway. No one was injured in the incident.

Area temperatures during the past week had been 5 to 10 degrees below normal for this time of the year but average readings to date through April were above those of past years. That was the word from Debbie Bauer, meteorologist with the Buffalo office of the National Weather Service, who pointed out that warm temperatures were recorded early in the month, with a high of 76 degrees reached on April 6, offsetting the colder readings recently experienced. She said April was often that way – unpredictable.