In Years Past

  • In 1913, Coroner B.F. Illston spent the day Tuesday at Sinclairville in an effort to unravel the mystery surrounding the identity of the man whose body was found in the woods the night before. Upon his return to Jamestown, Coroner Illston stated that not a clue could be found which would lead to any identity. The clothing found was unusual for a tramp but other indications pointed to the stranger being a traveler, going on foot. The body had been in the woods for at least two months.
  • Identification was made the previous day of the headless body found by hunters in the woods north of Batavia. The body was that of David W. Chamberlain of Rochester, 45 years old. He worked on the Hawley stock farms in Batavia from Aug. 14-17 when he disappeared. His disappearance was reported at the time. Coroner Snow believed Chamberlain committed suicide by drinking poison and that dogs might have dragged his head away.
  • In 1938, on Monday the WPA would start the construction of a complete sanitary sewer system, together with house connections to street lines, in the village of Lakewood at a total cost of $359,298 under present estimates. Eighteen miles of new sewers would be laid. This task would require at least 18 months and provide employment for 249 relief workers. Completion of this undertaking, similar to the one in operation at Celoron, would mean the prevention of pollution of Lake Chautauqua in the future.
  • A possibility that woods might be closed because of danger from forest fires confronted hunters this day as the state’s 1938 deer season opened in 14 counties in or adjacent to the Adirondack mountains. Declaring that the woods were “tinder dry,” Conservation Commissioner Lithgow Osborne said that Governor Lehman would be asked to close the woods to hunters if fire hazards made it necessary. He asserted that “if hunters are extremely careful of their campfires and tourists are careful about not throwing lighted cigarettes and matches from automobiles, we may be able to get by without closing the woods.”
  • In 1963, the specter of worsening drought was added to the danger of forest fires in New York and Pennsylvania this day. Meanwhile, local and area residents received the strict warning that all outside fires, in cities and villages as well as open country, were prohibited. All outside burning of trash or leaves in rural and urban areas, including Jamestown, was forbidden under the provisions of a State Conservation Dept. proclamation. Water supplies throughout Chautauqua County continued to drop in the face of the long and severe dry spell.
  • Mrs. Della Lawrence, 41, of Crescent St., Jamestown, was admitted to WCA Hospital with multiple injuries received when she was struck by an automobile while attempting to cross E. Second Street at the corner of Buffalo Street at 8:15 a.m. Mrs. Lawrence, whose condition was not believed serious, suffered a dislocated shoulder, a deep laceration on the forehead and cuts and bruises on both legs and right foot. The accident was investigated by Sergeant James Bond and Patrolmen Richard Spetz and George Thompson. The driver of the auto which struck Mrs. Lawrence was cited for failure to yield the right of way to a pedestrian.
  • In 1988, the old Sixth Street Bridge in Jamestown was nothing but a memory and the new bridge was still on the drawing board. Contractor for the project was Herbert F. Darling of Williamsville. The bridge was scheduled for completion in August 1990.
  • It didn’t look like asbestos was going to be a problem for Chautauqua Central School District. According to Business Manager Douglas Hay, early reports from the asbestos inspection company looked good. “He (the inspector) just walked in the door with them (the reports),” Hay said as he talked with The Post-Journal. Hay said it would take an hour to look over the inspection report. The inspector said it should take 15 minutes. “It must be we’re in good shape,” Hay said. After further consultation, he reported that “all buildings are in pretty good shape.”