In Years Past

100 Years Ago

In 1913, John Mulraney was put to death by electrocution in Sing Sing prison early this day. “Happy Jack” as he was known to his comrades, wore to the last the smile that had won his nickname and called back to the other inmates of the death cells a cheerful “good-bye.” Charles Becker, the former New York police lieutenant, and the gunman involved with him in the Rosenthal murder, were among the 14 who answered. Mulraney, just as he was placed in the chair, turned to the witnesses and said, “Tell them I wasn’t afraid.” The murder of which Happy Jack was convicted was that of Patrick McBreen, known as “Paddy the Priest,” a New York saloonkeeper who was shot while standing behind his bar on the night of Oct. 3, 1911.

Soon after returning from Sunday school Sunday afternoon, Marion Booth, the 12-year-old daughter of E.C. Booth, traction agent at Mayville, went out into an orchard near her home to pick violets. She saw a man’s coat in the grass and nearby discovered a man who was hanging from a wire fence by his suspenders. At first she thought it was a scarecrow for some plowing had lately been done in a field over the fence from where she was. She was badly frightened and ran to her house. Undertaker M.A. Porter was notified and the body was removed to his undertaking rooms. The man was not known in the area but it was learned that he had been working for a short time for Mrs. W.E. Smith on her farm on the Portage Road.

75 Years Ago

In 1938, Jamestown took special pride in the observance of Air Mail week as the first official flight from the municipal airport got underway at 12:50 p.m. with the destination as Buffalo. The cabin plane, loaded with its huge burden of mail was piloted by Kenneth Schroeder, who was given a special honorary air mail pilot’s commission for the day. Post office officials delivered the pouches of mail to the pilot. Marshall C. Davis of Lafayette Street, Jamestown, dean of the post office employees, had the honor of sealing the last pouch of air mail at the post office.

A committee of five citizens set out to increase to $5,000, the reward for the return of Marjory West, four-year-old daughter of an oil field worker, who disappeared May 8 while picking violets in the woods. The goal was set at a meeting of 25 citizens of Bradford, Pa., with Mayor Hugh J. Ryan. The city of Bradford had previously offered $1,000, the American Legion $250 and the Bradford Era, a newspaper, $250. Mayor Ryan disclosed state police had narrowed their search for the girl to attempts to identify two automobiles reported in the area about the time the girl wandered from a family picnic.

25 Years Ago

In 1988, Chrysler Corp. had become the first U.S. automaker to make air bags standard equipment on some models, installing the safety devices on six 1988 models to meet federal regulations requiring increased use of passive restraints. Chrysler said it began installing driver’s-side air bags on Dodge Daytona, Chrysler LeBaron coupe and LeBaron convertible models after May 1 and on Chrysler Fifth Avenue, Dodge Diplomat and Plymouth Gran Fury models beginning May 21. The company said it would tout the airbag-equipped models in a two-page advertisement featuring Chrysler Chairman Lee Iacocca and a drawing showing how the device worked.

Jamestown students would probably not do as well on some of their standardized test this year. They would not necessarily have learned less. They would have taken a new and supposedly harder test. “When you change from any test the scores are always lower the first year,” said Lew Turnbull, the man in charge of administering the exams. Jamestown, like all schools, was required to give one of a number of independent, standardized tests.