In Years Past

100 Years Ago

In 1913, “Everybody tear down unsightly signs. You do not have to be a policeman or a sheriff or a deputy to do it.” That was the gist of a statewide appeal sent out this day by the New York Highway Protective Society. For months past, agents of the society had been removing glaring placards and the like, erected contrary to law. Finding it impossible to cover all roads, the general public was requested to assist. A New York state law passed in 1911, classed as a misdemeanor, “the painting or affixing of advertisements on property bordering the public highways without the written consent of the owner, or within the limits of a public highway.” It was pointed out that by devoting a single day to the work any auto could clean up a good many miles of road.

Merle Benton and Eugene Sprague, both young men of Jamestown, had a miraculous escape from death early in the afternoon when the motorcycle owned by Benton, on which both were riding, crashed into a northside streetcar at the corner of East Fifth Street and Prendergast Avenue. Both were hustled to the Jones General Hospital where it was found that both had suffered severe bruises about the head and body but that no bones had been broken. As far as could be ascertained they had received no further injures. It was claimed that the motorcycle was coming over East Fifth Street at a high rate of speed and that they had no time to slow down and avert the accident, striking the side of the car with great force. The motorcycle was practically ruined.

75 Years Ago

In 1938, a milk price war threatened New York’s second largest city of Buffalo this day as one large milk distributor slashed the retail price to 9 cents a quart. The slash represented a 2-cent cut. Several large distributors called a conference to discuss similar action. John H. Drought, division representative of the Dairymen’s league, asserted the continuance of the low price would result in a reduction in wholesale prices and eventually cause a revenue loss of $100,000 to farmers.

The Jamestown High School band of 90 pieces, directed by Arthur R. Goranson, received the highest possible rating – superior plus – in the Class A contest in the high school auditorium to become the second local group to qualify for the national regional contest to be held in Albany in two weeks. The high school a capella choir, directed by Ebba Goranson, was given a rank of superior. The streets of Jamestown acquired considerable color despite the somewhat dismal and threatening weather as the members of about 25 bands strode about, clad in their uniforms ranging in tone from one extreme to the other.

50 Years Ago

In 1963, Jamestown Municipal Stadium was renamed “College Stadium” by the trustees of Jamestown Community College at its meeting the previous afternoon. The change was intended to identify the stadium as the property of the college. It was part of the property transferred to the school by Jamestown in 1959 as a site for JCC’s new campus. The trustees also authorized the buildings and grounds committee to prepare a new sign for the main entrance to the stadium. It would bear the words “College Stadium” flanked by enlarged replicas of JCC’s official seal.

The Jamestown Police Department’s participation in the successful search for two missing boys Saturday night drew a commendation from Anthony Damond, chairman of City Council’s Public Safety Committee. The two youngsters, Jay Palmer, 3, of 509 Norton Ave., and Billie R. Ware, 4, of 603 Norton Ave., were found unharmed early Sunday after more than 400 searchers combed a mile-square area along the western edge of the city. Damond singled out for special praise off-duty police and fire department personnel, other city employees and members of the Police Reserve who participated in the search voluntarily.

25 Years Ago

In 1988, with less than a year’s experience as a state legislator, Assemblywoman Patricia K. McGee, R-Franklinville, headed across the 149th Assembly District touting accomplishments and announcing she wanted to continue her job for two more years. Seeking support for election to a full term and accompanied by her husband, Maurice, she made campaign stops in Olean, Salamanca, Randolph, Falconer and Silver Creek, greeted by supporters and media at each stop.

Rambo, Crocodile Dundee and a dwarf named Willow would begin the summer movie season with a blast that industry analysts expected to help propel the nation’s theaters to a record year. “It looks like another record,” said Art Murphy, financial writer for the entertainment trade paper Variety. “Crocodile Dundee 2” and “Rambo 3” would open May 27, while the George Lucas epic, “Willow,” was moved ahead to May 20 in an apparent attempt by MGM-UA to beat the crowd. Other movies to be featured over the summer included “Big,” “A Fish Called Wanda,” “Bull Durham” and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.”