In Years Past

In 1913, at the east end of the iron bridge over the Conewango in Frewsburg, an auto struck a wagon. The horses ran and soon freed themselves from the front wheels. The team was stopped by August Johnson on Main Street above his store. The horses were cut some about the heels. The team belonged to Mr. Price of Fentonville and was driven by Gust Nelson. The number of the auto was not learned.

Two auto accidents in two days was rather more than the average in the village of Frewsburg. Thursday afternoon an auto containing two gentlemen, two ladies and a child were near the D.A.V.& P. track, running east when they saw a locomotive on the main track and the trainman motioned them to stop. The emergency brake was applied and the motor car brought to a stop on the switch. A cattle car which had been shunted onto the switch bore down on them, knocking the auto to one side with such force the wheels on one side were broken and the occupants thrown out. No one was injured but all were very much frightened. The auto was from Jamestown. Amil Johnson was in charge and it was said it was a new car, a recent birthday present to one of the ladies.

In 1938, housewives in New York state would pay a dime instead of 11 cents for an 18-ounce loaf of bread. The decrease was ordered by representatives of major baking companies after a conference with William Fellowes Morgan Jr., commissioner of markets. Morgan said the reduction would save New York consumers $5,500,000 annually. He said he would confer with the baking company representatives again in an attempt to lower the price to nine cents. Upstate bakers quickly swung into line with price reductions.

Blonde Lucille Ball, Jamestown’s contribution to Hollywood, had won her first starring role in the movies after a long succession of stage and picture performances. After a career of modeling in New York, disappointing attempts to earn a living on the stage and finally attracting attention as a model, she went through the difficult path leading to stardom in Hollywood. She was to share top billing with Jack Oakie in “The Affairs of Annabel.” Prior to this film, she appeared in more than a dozen pictures, playing parts of varied importance. She scored her biggest hit as a comedienne in “Stage Door,” the production which prompted RKO Radio officials to cast her with Ginger Rogers and Douglas Fairbanks Jr., in “Having a Wonderful Time” and in a feminine lead with Joe Penner in “Go Chase Yourself.”

In 1963, police continued an investigation of a taxi-convertible car accident in which eight persons, including both drivers, were injured. The accident occurred at 11:40 p.m. the previous evening in front of Hollenbeck’s Service Station, Route 17, just as a thunderstorm swept across the area. Jamestown ambulance service used all its equipment and the Jamestown Fire Department ambulance was also pressed into service to remove the injured to Jamestown General Hospital where the emergency room was taxed to capacity. The driver of the convertible was alone in the vehicle. The occupants of the taxi had come to Jamestown to attend the State Highway Department convention. Two passengers in the taxi told investigators the convertible crossed the center line of the highway causing a head on collision.

A youngster’s cry for a glass of water in the middle of the night prevented what could have been a more serious fire at Unger’s Wholesale Foods warehouse and garage, 21 E. James St., Falconer. Fire Chief Frank Waddington said the boy’s cry for a glass of water awakened his father, Deloise James, who lived next door to the warehouse and garage shortly before 4 a.m. James, an employee of Unger’s Wholesale Foods, smelled smoke and notified the Falconer Fire Department. Thirty-eight volunteers responded to the pre-dawn alarm, including Theodore H. Burns. Burns, James and Hervey W. Unger, owner of the business, managed to pull an expensive late model car out of the burning building without it being damaged. There was no estimate of fire damage but a truck load of potato chips and pretzels were destroyed in the blaze.

In 1988, passers-by might feel a twinge of sadness as they spotted the “Ferry Closed” sign and realized that scenic trips across Chautauqua Lake on the popular Bemus Point-Stow ferry were over for another season. But they could take heart in the fact that the venerable ferry had remained a part of Chautauqua’s heritage after the construction of the bridge across the lake and that it would again be offering leisurely rides come spring.

Area police were continuing their search for an inmate who broke out of the Cattaraugus County Jail Saturday night. Sheriff Jerry E. Burrell identified the escapee as Patrick Henry Prial, 43, of Goose Neck Road, West Valley. Burrell said Prial apparently escaped through a delivery door in the rear of the jail after using a kitchen knife to remove screws of another door in a storage room which gave him access to a key for the outside door. Prial had been in the county jail since December 30.