In Years Past

100 Years Ago

In 1913, the new local union of the Amalgamated Association of Street and Electric Railway Employees of America, at a meeting Wednesday night declared by a unanimous vote to declare a strike against the Jamestown Street Railway Company and the Chautauqua Traction Company taking the stand that all honorable means of bringing about a peaceable settlement of the differences between members of the union and the two companies had been exhausted and a strike was therefore the only thing to do. There had been no violence thus far but the police department was taking no chances and several special policemen were sworn in this morning. The deputy sheriffs in the city were also on the job in order to prevent trouble.

Henry B. Wilhelm dropped dead at the corner of Fifth Street and Prendergast Avenue in Jamestown about 10 a.m. Wilhelm resided at 46 Grant St. and for over 10 years had been in the employ of the George Irish Paper Company. He was on his way from his home to the city when he was taken suddenly ill and died before anyone could reach him. Wilhelm was exceptionally well-known not only in Jamestown but throughout Western New York and Pennsylvania, where he had traveled for many years. He was a veteran of the Civil War, having served in a Pennsylvania regiment.

75 Years Ago

In 1938, maintaining that widespread publicity in the press had created a strong sentiment in Arkwright Township against them, four Dunkirk and Fredonia youths charged with malicious mischief for the alleged damage to gravestones in Cassadaga Cemetery, applied to County Judge Lee L. Ottaway to have their cases certified to the grand jury. The lawyers asked that the case be sent to the grand jury instead of having Justice of the Peace A.J. Black, Arkwright, dispose of the case, claiming that the youths could not secure a fair and impartial trial there because of the sentiment created by publication of their alleged acts. Thirty-three monuments and grave markers were recently toppled from their base in Christian Cemetery, Cassadaga. Authorities later arrested the four youths.

Falconer police were investigating the breaking of a window and the theft of two bottles of cheap whiskey at the Falconer Liquor store, West Main Street, sometime early Saturday morning. The display window was discovered broken by one of the store employees when he opened up Saturday morning. The store was owned by Walter Fuller, who told police that the thief or thieves missed getting a much better grade of liquor by breaking the wrong window. The other display window contained a higher priced variety. Police were of the opinion that the act was one of “a pair of booze fighters.”

50 Years Ago

In 1963, it was a poor pun – but one might say “it’s snow time for May.” Especially when compared with May Day 1962 when residents basked in shirt sleeves, light summer dresses and a temperature of 80. Temperatures dropped to 26 degrees in Jamestown the previous night and were hovering near the 30-degree mark this day. On the same day in 1962 a warming sun moved the mercury up to 82 degrees and the overnight low was 57. This year, snow and rain accounted for precipitation totaling .023 inch in Jamestown. County temperatures ranged between 25 and 30 degrees. Up to 2 inches of snow fell in some sections.

Jamestown, for the first time in 36 years, would select its city officials under the party system of elections as a result of the previous day’s referendum. The referendum, marked by a light vote turnout, saw the so-called nonpartisan system rejected, giving the party system advocates a victory margin of 787. The proposition was carried in all of the voting districts except the fourth and fifth districts of the Fifth Ward where it lost out by slender margins. The nonpartisan system had been in effect here since a 1923 city charter change. Under the nonpartisan system, candidates put themselves on the ballot by petitions and formed parties which often cut across party lines. It was not uncommon to have Republicans and Democrats running on the same ticket.