In Years Past

  • In 1913, one was dead and three so badly injured that they were in the Dunkirk Hospital as the result of an automobile accident in Fredonia the past evening. A machine of joy riders went into a collision with a local trolley car on the D & F trolley line about 12:30. Dead was William Kapelinski. The injured were Anthony Suski, William Newman and Casimir Pohilski. The other two men in the car were also injured but not so seriously that they needed hospital attention and were taken to their homes. Stories differed as to how the accident happened, the only reasonable explanation being that the street was dark at that point, with a long distance between street lights and many shade trees on the street. The driver of the car became confused and did not keep a proper distance from the track. The man who was killed had just gotten possession of the auto the previous day and was taking his friends out to show off the new purchase.
  • The Journal was presenting a print of an architect’s sketch of a furniture exhibition building which would in all probability be constructed in Jamestown in the near future and which would provide a means for a permanent exhibition of Jamestown-made furniture. For that matter, it would provide exhibition for furniture made in other towns in Western New York and Pennsylvania. It was planned to have a furniture exposition the entire year and not merely certain weeks in the year as was the case elsewhere. The manufacturers would, for the first time, have space to adequately display their products. The building in question was to occupy a lot on Harrison Street with 180 feet frontage and extending back clear to Taylor Street.
  • In 1938, the problem of getting a pair of football pants to fit 303-pound Guard Mike Seider gave the semi-pro Troy Bearcats anxiety over the prospects of their opening game at Troy the following day against Hudson. A search of local stores failed to provide breeches in Seider’s size. But Seider said he had a pair made two years ago when he was “just a boy of 280 pounds,” playing with Vincentian Institute, Albany. He recalled they were “a little large then,” and might fit now if he could find them. The Bearcats went in for giant linemen. Their other guard was Casey Morawicz, a 285-pounder from Adams, Mass.
  • Tuesday night’s double drowning in the Chadakoin river became another closed chapter in the tragedy-dotted annals of the stream at 11:45 o’clock in the morning when city firemen recovered the body of Franklin A. Washburg, 30, of Chautauqua Avenue, Jamestown. The body of William Peterson, 25, of Fenton Place, Jamestown, who dove into the stream in an effort to save Washburg, after the latter had leaped from the rail of the Institute Street bridge in an alleged suicide attempt, was recovered Thursday morning. The Chadakoin finally yielded Washburg’s body to fire department grapplers at a point which had been covered by searchers many times. The body was located directly in back of the Crescent Tool Company’s plant and about 35 yards east of the Foote Avenue bridge.
  • In 1963, the fourth mysterious fire within two weeks was discovered at the Joseph Letro residence on Washington St. in Randolph. The fire was in a frame garage attached to the home. Neighbors said it started between 8:45 and 9 p.m. Smoke was seen billowing from the peak of the garage and because of the way the doors were burned it looked like they had been burning for some time. It was speculated that the fire started on the outside of the doors although, because of a six inch bulge at the top of the doors, it might have been possible for inflammatory material to be tossed in through that opening.
  • The students of Phenology – people who predicted weather by observing an animal’s fur, bug’s skin or the thickness of corn husks – had made a prediction that should strike fear into the hearts of all who remembered the weather in the past winter. Those blasted bugs, animals, backed up by vegetables, had passed judgment – they, with their furry hides and thick husks, said the coming winter would be a duplicate of the last. With the memory of last winter’s 30 below zero freezing temperatures and snow, till the very sight of it made one literally sick, the first impulse was to discard this prediction.
  • In 1988, Police officer Cindy Miller of the Jamestown Police Department was stabbed during an altercation on Thayer Street Thursday night. She was doing her job. Luckily, she survived and was recovering. But an incident like that could happen again someday … that stressful thought came with the territory. Studies showed that more police officers were physically harmed by stress than actual injuries suffered in the line of duty. “It’s part of the job,” Jamestown Police Chief Richard D. Ream told The Post-Journal. “You’re constantly dealing with stressful situations – family disputes, maybe a juvenile who has been molested. It’s very stressful work.”
  • The tentative 1989 budget of the town of Busti included a tax decrease in spite of obstacles that could be costly, according to Town Supervisor Dale Robbins. Tentative tax rates were $2.09 per $1,000 of assessed valuation for property in the village of Lakewood and $2.24 per $1,000 for property outside the village. Robbins said it could not be sure that it would receive the state aid on which it depended. “We can project a small increase in sales tax but cannot be sure that the economic conditions will remain strong enough to support the increase that might normally be anticipated,” he noted. The town would have to deal with solid waste disposal in some way and this would result in increased costs to town residents. Also, health insurance costs for town employees had gone up about 17 percent.