In Years Past

In 1913, an electric storm accompanied by a wind which blew a gale did enormous damage in the vicinity of Corning the previous afternoon. Hundreds of shade trees were blown down, the electric light and power service of the city was cut off and the telephone service paralyzed. The wind’s power was such that it tore up huge trees by the roots and toppled them over against houses or into the streets. The house of Mrs. Lucy E. Wood of Pine Street was buried under a giant elm which tore up a concrete walk and curb as it fell and carried with it branches from another tree. More than 200 trees in the city were blown down. Hail, which accompanied the storm, broke scores of windows in the city and permitted the rain to pour into business places and houses.

A human interest story was told in police court when Samuel Comeratus of Harrison Street in Jamestown was brought in under arrest charged with violating the compulsory education law. He was charged with having sent his children, all of school age, to North Collins to work picking strawberries when the law said he should have had them in school. Upon investigation it was found that the man was working for $35 a month and supporting a sick wife and seven children. The eldest child was still two months from the age of 16. Comeratus was shown to be sober and the family to have existed without help from any source upon this scanty wage. He had the chance to get a few days’ employment for the children and he took it.

In 1938, death rode the highway again Monday evening and brought a sudden end to three well-known Jamestown young people. A fourth, miraculously escaped with only minor injuries in one of the most shocking tragedies to occur in this area in some time. The lives of two young women and a youth were instantly snuffed out when an auto in which they were returning from a Lake Erie outing turned over on the graveled Brocton-Hartfield Road about one mile northeast of Hartfield. Dead were Bert Henry Ruland, Jr., 20, Miss Margaret Louise Kleist, 20, and Miss Virginia Ruth Eberman, 18. The fourth member of the party was R. Arthur DeMeyers, 25, who was brought to Jamestown General Hospital with brush burns and a cut below the right eye. The accident came as a tragic climax to a picnic which the young people had enjoyed during the afternoon at a private beach near Brocton.

While walking along the state highway near his home on North Main Street Extention on his way to a nearby creek for a swim, Warren Smith, 16, son of Mr. and Mrs. Murray B. Smith, R.F.D. 1, Jamestown, was struck and critically injured by the hit and run driver of a Plymouth coupe at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. The accident occurred in front of the home of Anton Dahlgren, into which he was carried in an unconscious condition before being removed to General Hospital in the Henderson & Lincoln ambulance. Witnesses to the accident took after the hit-skip motorist but did not catch the vehicle.

In 1963, fluoridation of the Jamestown water supply became a reality the previous day when equipment was placed in full operation after final checks and adjustments were made. The action capped a unanimous City Council move Feb. 26, 1962, when fluoridation was approved as a dental health measure after a city-wide campaign on its behalf.

Summer was due to make its official arrival at 11:04 o’clock this night but people shouldn’t break out the suntan lotion just yet. In fact, it might be a good idea to keep that topcoat handy. The Weather Bureau said temperatures were expected to slump to the chilly 40s, repeating the past night’s lows which saw the mercury hitting unseasonable depths of 45 in Falconer and 44 at the other end of Chautauqua County in Mayville.

In 1988, several proposals to keep Jamestown General Hospital a separate acute care facility were presented to Jamestown City Council. WCA Hospital’s buyout proposal was also discussed. JGH had been running in the red for two decades and might be forced to close its doors if a solution to its financial problems was not found soon. The hospital’s current debt was more than $3 million and that debt grew larger with each passing month.

Chautauqua County Legislature’s Public Works Committee had backed a proposal that would permit Chautauqua Airlines to build a hangar addition at the county airport north of Jamestown to accommodate larger aircraft. The addition would include a 20 by 100 foot extension to the county-owned commuter hangar and would be financed by the airlines at no cost to the county. The addition would allow the airlines to house and maintain a new 34-passenger aircraft to be delivered in August.