In Years Past

In 1913, the body of Oscar B. Gustafson, son of Mrs. A. J. Borst of Hanley Street, Jamestown, was brought home from Corry on Sunday morning. He was killed Saturday evening in Corry by being run over by an Erie freight train. The members of the family of young Gustafson all believed that he met his death from foul play and not from an ordinary accident such as the railroad officials and Corry police professed to believe. The foul play theory was supported by his well known careful habits and the unexplained disappearance of his money and a valuable gold watch which he was known to have had with him when he left the house.

The good people of the village of Gerry were somewhat interested, not to say excited, over the exploits of a man giving the name of Ned Walker, who spent the week in the village and who on last Saturday night gathered in, it was thought, about $150 selling medicine to a crowd in a hall he had rented. Walker was under arrest on a charge of assault third degree but it was not unlikely that an attempt would be made to fasten another charge on him. The Gerry authorities suspected that Walker was not his real name. They found an envelope in his possession addressed to Claude Boise, Salamanca. It was thought possible that his real name was Boise. That, however, was merely conjecture.

In 1938, musicians by the thousands invaded Jamestown this day to participate in the western state championship finals of the New York State School Music Association at the senior high school. Fully 3,000 students and their directors and other educators were expected to be here during the two-day festival competition. Band, orchestra and choir competitions were on the program. Jamestown High School’s a cappella choir, under direction of Miss Ebba H. Goranson, repeated its performance of the past year by achieving a rank of superior when it sang shortly after noon.

A proposed amendment to the state constitution which would empower the legislature to enact compulsory automobile insurance laws would be vigorously opposed by the Jamestown Bar Association. This decision was reached at a meeting of the association. The resolution which placed the bar association on record as against an authorization to the legislature to enact compulsory automobile insurance was on the grounds that such authorization would be inimical to the public welfare. “The system would be disruptive of our economy and tend to promote social unrest and dissatisfaction,” said the resolution, in part.

In 1963, Bomber, an 11-year-old gray and white coon hound, was a hero this day. It was Bomber’s barking that attracted the attention of a group of volunteers at 1 a.m. Sunday, at the climax of their long search for two youngsters in a wooded area of West Ellicott west of Howard Avenue. Rushing towards the baying sounds of the dog, the group found the boys – Jay Arthur Palmer, 3 1/2, of Norton Ave., and his playmate, Billie Reid Ware, 4 1/2, also of Norton Ave. – huddled together on the ground with Bomber sheltering them with his body. The air was damp and the temperature was in the 40s. The boys were playing within sight of their homes when they were discovered missing and their disappearance reported to police at 8:41 p.m. Saturday.

A garage housing ammunition, kegs of powder, gasoline and a drum of fuel oil, burned to the ground in Youngsville early in the morning. The garage, located on Route 62, three miles south of the Route 6 intersection at Irvine, was owned by Paul Smetanka. The fire was discovered at 3:05 a.m. by a passing motorist who awakened a neighbor and telephoned an alarm to the Youngsville Volunteer Fire Department. Approximately 3,000 rounds of loaded ammunition exploded and burned throwing containers and sparks of debris in various directions from the rapidly burning structure. Mr. Smetanka, who was employed by National Forge, loaded ammunition as a side-line occupation.

In 1988, a company seeking a location in the Eastern United States had taken an option on 60 acres in the North County Industrial Park near Dunkirk as the possible site for a more than $100 million facility. A decision on whether it would locate there was expected by mid June. The announcement was made by Chautauqua County Executive John A. Glenzer and Dunkirk Mayor Madylon Kubera. They said state and county representatives held meetings during the past two days with officials of the unidentified company who were very impressed by the reception given them. Glenzer commented, “While the company still wants to remain anonymous, officials have indicated their intention to break ground in July of this year and to construct and equip it with an investment in excess of $100 million if, of course, the final arrangements can be made.”

People should not expect any breaks if they were caught carrying drugs across the U.S. border from Canada. No matter how small the quantity, they would face criminal penalties and would also lose their car. Thousands had already forfeited their vehicles under the federal government’s “Zero Tolerance” program. “It doesn’t make people very happy,” Walter Lechowski of the U.S. Customs district office in Buffalo said. “But it sure gets the point across.”