In Years Past

  • In 1913, a demonstration which might have culminated in serious disorder was promptly suppressed by a squad of policemen at the Jamestown Shale Brick Company shortly before 7 a.m. Chief Johnson, accompanied by five officers, started for that place. On arriving there the police found about 50 employees of the brick company standing on the north side of the Erie tracks near the approach to the stone quarries and an equally large sized group of men on the south side. The situation was simply that the stone quarry employees wished to go to work and the men grouped on the opposite side of the tracks would not permit them to do so. The police jumped into the crowd with orders for it to disperse. These orders were enforced with much vigor. Several of the men were jolted about with considerable abruptness. There was no organized resistance.
  • Unusual interest was manifested in the annual school meeting held at Chautauqua the previous evening. There had been advocacy of manual training by some, while others said that the time had not yet come for the establishment of such instruction. Recently a teacher from the Dunkirk schools spoke at the school house upon the subject. The place of the school meeting was filled by interested persons, more than one hundred voters being present. One old lady was present who, although she had been a resident of the district for more than half a century, had never attended a school meeting before. The voters, by a show of hands, declared themselves against the adoption of manual training for the coming year.
  • In 1938, Major Albert W. Stevens, famed U.S. army stratosphere balloonist, believed an air raid could not be stopped by airplanes. “For large cities,” he said in a lecture in Rochester the previous night, “it is popularly presumed that the best defense is a ring of anti-aircraft rifles – but they are not particularly effective either.” Speedy attacking planes, he said, could change their flying course quick enough to escape bursting anti-aircraft shells. He offered no solution to the problem.
  • Principal Peterson of the Ashville School announced that the school, closed since the previous Monday morning because of the growing measles epidemic, would open on this morning. The epidemic, which had spread like wild fire through the village and had reached serious proportions, claimed a list of 59 pupils of the total registration of 119 last Monday morning when, on the advice of Dr. L. C. Green, health officer and Mrs. Emmeline Meyer, board of education head, the school was shut down. According to Mr. Peterson, the epidemic was the first to hit the village in the past 10 years, this being the reason it was so prevalent.
  • In 1963, the Rev. Marshall L. Smith, the Presbyterian minister who officiated at the wedding of Gov. Rockefeller and the former Mrs. Margaretta Fitler Murphy, faced disciplinary action for his part in the ceremony. Mr. Smith, a graduate of Jamestown High School in 1938 and the son of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Smith of Lakeview Avenue, Jamestown, was accused by Hudson River Presbytery, of failing to obtain the required permission to marry a person divorced less than one year. Rockefeller’s bride obtained a divorce from Dr. James S. Murphy on April 1. Rockefeller was divorced 14 months ago from the former Mary Todhunter Clark.
  • Sherman Brothers Co., local upholstered furniture manufacturers since 1880, had been declared bankrupt and assets would be sold at public auction. The decision meant the company’s doors were closed for the first time in its 83 year history; the loss of more than 125 production jobs and other jobs, which included office help and salesmen. A court appointed general manager, John G. Catranis of Derby, N.Y., reported he was unable to raise sufficient funds to keep the firm in business.
  • In 1988, plans for the five-lane section of Route 394 in West Ellicott were progressing at the Buffalo regional office of the state Department of Transportation according to William Christen, project engineer. “We’re still designing the five-lane section,” he told The Post-Journal, adding, “I haven’t seen a response from Mr. Lundine’s office so I don’t’ know if he’s responded.” Lundine met with representatives of the Committee for the Preservation of Route 394, who were opposing a five-lane segment and state and area officials in March. Christen said plans called for putting the project to bid early in 1989, with construction also proposed to begin next year.
  • The painting of bridges had been banned throughout New York state until Department of Transportation officials could determine the extent of possible health hazards from lead-based paint, DOT Regional Director Robert Russell said. Lead-based paint had long been known to cause serious problems when it gets into the human body. During the process of repainting a bridge, the old lead-based paint was sandblasted off the steel and became an airborne dust. People then breathed in this dust. Several downstate environmental groups had complained about the situation, causing the DOT to order the work stoppage.