In Years Past

In 1913, Stephen Reed, probably the oldest man in Jamestown, passed quietly away at the home of his daughter, E.E. Whitehead, 8 Livingston Avenue, the previous morning, aged 96 years, 4 months and 5 days. He never had a serious illness in his life and died after a gradual failure being practically confined to his bed for the last few days. During the past spring and, in fact, up to within a very few days of his death, he was remarkably strong and vigorous, considering his advanced age. During most of the spring and summer, he passed the time on his son’s farm about a mile from Kennedy and there assisted in planting and later in the care of the crops. Practically alone, he planted a half acre of potatoes and an acre of corn and later helped hoe both those crops.

At a meeting of the Soldiers’ Monument fund committee the past Tuesday evening in Sherman, it was reported that $1,065 had been collected which, together with the $600 contributed by a friend, assured the erection of the monument. The chairman, C.E. Sheldon, was instructed to close a contract for the 18-foot monument, a photograph of which had been on exhibition at the post office in Sherman for some time. The monument was to be erected the following month at a cost of $1,500. The monument was to be placed in the public park in front of the Presbyterian Church on Union Street. It would not be dedicated, however, until next spring, on account of the uncertainty of the weather this time of the year.

In 1938, relief from practically incessant rainfall arrived this day with the official opening of the autumn season in Jamestown and the Chautauqua region, as clear, bright skies dispelled the gloom of the past week when a total precipitation of two inches was reported at the city hall weather bureau. The already drenching downpour continued overnight there being a rainfall of .65 inch from yesterday to today, bringing the total thus far for the month up to 9.15 inches, as compared with a normal September precipitation of 3.58 inches. No flood damage was reported in this locality, although the lake and stream levels were high, some of the latter overflowing their banks.

Charles Anderson, 72, of North Main Street, Jamestown, the victim of a savage attack by Patrick Martino, 22, of Hazzard Street, while the two were engaged in controversy over a minor traffic accident early the previous afternoon, was still in a critical condition at Jamestown General Hospital and still had not regained consciousness. Martino was still locked up at police headquarters on an open charge, pending determination of the outcome of the aged Anderson’s injuries. According to police, Martino, a former amateur boxer, had served one jail term for burglary.

In 1963, three mysterious fires within five days, the last of which caused an estimated $40,000 loss in the gutting of the 60-year-old stone Educational Building of the Federated Church of Randolph Saturday night, had given local residents strong presumptive reasons for believing a “firebug” might be loose in their midst. The latest fire within a short two-block distance from the others, burned out the building of the former Edwards Memorial Church from the first floor upward and was discovered by a neighbor, Robert McLarney, of Church Street. He saw the glow of “what appeared to be a fire” in the west side windows of the stone structure.

What started out as an illicit joy ride in an automobile “borrowed” from a Jamestown church parking lot had a swift and unhappy ending Sunday morning for two juveniles. Minutes after removing the car from a parking area on Holmes St., used by members of St. James Catholic Church, the boys, age 14 and 15, were observed by Patrolman Gunnard Kindberg driving down Benedict Ave. Because they appeared to be too young to be operating a vehicle alone, Patrolman Kindberg’s suspicions were aroused. Circling the area, he found the same car abandoned with the front wheels over the sidewalk in front of the Proto Tool Company plant on Allen Street. Passersby saw the boys leap from the car and provided the officer with a description. Shortly afterwards, the two were apprehended and taken to the police station where they admitted the auto theft. Owner of the car, Joseph Terrano, was notified in church of the recovery of his car before he was aware that it had been stolen.

In 1988, Chautauqua County was to spearhead a statewide effort to change a state reimbursement formula to enable public nursing homes to continue operating. The announcement was made by County Executive John A. Glenzer at a meeting of the County Legislature’s County Home Subcommittee headed by Jackie L. Jackson, R- Kiantone. The meeting was attended by nearly 50 employees and residents of the county home, along with county Social Services Commissioner Charles A. Ferraro, and James R. Smith, new president of the Civil Services Employees Association unit representing county workers. Glenzer said, “Our goal in this effort is to keep the Chautauqua County Home as a county-operated facility.”

A Yugoslavian dissident who was either a hero or a terrorist, depending on whom you talked to, would remain in a Buffalo jail until federal officials could resolve his citizenship status, a federal judge had ruled. Immigration Judge Thomas Ragno put off a determination in deportation case of Frane Pesut, while federal officials reviewed the case. Pesut, along with four other Croatian nationalists, hijacked an airliner over Buffalo in 1976. The incident commanded worldwide attention as the hijackers, armed with fake sticks of dynamite, diverted the plane to Montreal, then Newfoundland and Paris, where they finally surrendered.