In Years Past

  • In 1913, James W. Osborne’s promise to devote his personal time and money to securing penal reform in the state of New York and his description of the horrors of Sing Sing prison, brought an endorsement from District Attorney Francis A. Winslow of Westchester County who, with Mr. Osborne, had been conducting the grand jury investigation that had led to the indictment of ex-Warden John S. Kennedy of Sing Sing. Eugene Smith, head of the Prison Association of New York, the biggest, richest and most powerful organization of its kind in the world, pledged the association’s help to Mr. Osborne in a campaign for prison betterment. President Smith said that he was glad that the dreadful state of affairs at Sing Sing had so stirred Mr. Osborne. He thought that the description given by the noted lawyer would do much to arouse the public to the need to punish men differently. “Sing Sing prison has got to be wiped out,” said Mr. Smith. “A new site must be found as soon as possible.”
  • James Ward, the man who terrorized Lottsville the forepart of the week by running wild through its streets, brandishing a club in his hand, presented an enigma to the county commissioners. Since his incarceration in the Warren County jail he had given no end of trouble to the jail officials. During the day he was as well mannered a prisoner as could be desired, sleeping the greater part of the daylight hours. At night he awoke like an owl and went on a general rampage. His greatest hallucination was that someone was pursuing him with a gun. At other times his enemy had a knife and he even at time carried a tomahawk. The long nights through, Ward wrestled with his malignant and imaginary foe. He was so tired at daybreak that he went to bed, remaining there until nightfall.
  • In 1938, the body of Milton Sour, 26, of Niobe, drowned Wednesday evening while swimming in Brokenstraw Creek near his home, was recovered this morning after searching had continued throughout the night. Coroner William B. Crandall, Westfield, was called and pronounced the death due to accidental causes. He believed death to have been caused by cramps. Following a day of outdoor work and then supper, Milton went to the swimming hole in Brokenstraw Creek on the Cross Farm between Niobe and Lottsville, Pa. With him went Richard Cross, 21, son of the owner of the farm, but who, because of a recent hospital operation, did not go into the water, which at this place was about nine feet deep. Cross said that Sour swam 15 or 20 yards and then sank.
  • It was discovered through diligent police work that the man in the Warren Hospital claiming amnesia was James Deary, 32, of Thayer Street, Jamestown, who operated a bakery at East Second and Thayer streets. He had voluntarily walked into the institution as a victim. Deary had left the bakery Wednesday morning to collect a bill. A little more than an hour later he went to a residence on the south side of Warren and asked permission to lie down on the porch, complaining of pains in the back of his head and neck. He was directed to the hospital where he could not give his name or address.
  • In 1988, Jamestown police were still investigating the disappearance of Kathy Wilson, 33, of Jamestown, who had been missing since May 18. Police said that the death of Sally Weiner, 37, of Corry, Pa., was remotely related. There were similarities but no concrete evidence was available. The Corry woman was abducted by David C. Copenhefer from a shopping plaza June 17. She was found shot to death June 19. Copenhefer, 41, surrendered June 20. Mrs. Weiner was kidnapped after apparently being lured to the shopping plaza by a person who claimed a civic tribute was being planned for her husband. Meanwhile, Jamestown police were still looking for Mrs. Wilson.
  • The recent hot and dry weather was not all that new to this area and while it was being called a “moderate drought” it could be worse. It could be 1963. On July 14, 25 years ago, Jamestown was restricting water use because of the lack of rain and the demand on water supplies. The area went several weeks without precipitation in the summer of 1963 and may do so again this year. Paul Lazarus, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Buffalo, said the drought in the Midwest had brought more attention to the weather than usual but weather conditions locally were actually about normal for the month of July.