In Years Past

In 1913, an endurance race that lived up to its name was conducted by the Buffalo Motorcycle Club Sunday. Twenty-six riders left Buffalo between 7:30 and 8 a.m. in the morning over a route that was to take them through Olean, Jamestown, Westfield and back over the lake road to the Bison City, making a run of 212.6 miles. The continued rains during the past week, however, had converted the roads into miniature lakes of mud and as result only two of the contenders reached Jamestown while only four more were reported to have gone through on Monday. The other 20 riders undoubtedly gave it up as a bad job and turned back. The first man to reach Jamestown was William E. Mevius. He was checked in at the corner of West Third and Cherry streets covered with mud and almost exhausted. He replenished the oil and gas supply of his machine and after drinking a cup of hot coffee, started on his journey again.

The Chautauqua Furniture Company incorporation papers were forwarded to Albany this day, the company having been organized to take over the plant of the bankrupt Sherman Chair Company in Sherman. The new owners planned to operate the same as a table and fancy furniture manufacturing plant. Two Jamestown men were interested, Clyde Emery and W.B. Conray. Emery stated that possession would be taken Nov. 1 and that the plant would be in full operation by Jan. 1. Emery was also connected with the Jamestown Table Company but was to resign immediately to become manager of the new company.

In 1938, Fred A. Victor, Yonkers, superintendent of the Anti-Saloon League of the State of New York for the past eight years and widely known temperance advocate, died on this morning at the WCA Hospital from a heart attack. He was 62 years old. At the first signs of the attack about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday night in his room at the Hotel Jamestown, a physician was summoned and Victor was moved to the hospital where efforts to revive him failed. Victor had been attending the 131st annual convention of the Baptist Missionary convention of the State of New York which was being held in Jamestown at the First Baptist Church.

According to figures compiled at the headquarters of the New York National Guard in New York City, Company E, the Jamestown unit of the 174th infantry, Captain Fred W. Ellis, commanding, ranked third among the 100 rifle companies in the state military forces in work with the rifle during the past year with a figure of merit of 89.3. Only two companies, and both of them in New York City, did better. Company G, 71st infantry took first place with a figure of merit of 91.8 and Company K of the same regiment ranking second with 90.7. The 100 rifle companies represented the 10 infantry regiments, two cavalry regiments and one regiment of engineers in the New York State National Guard.

In 1988, the longest held U.S. hostage in the Middle East, Terry Anderson, was being remembered this day with several observances of his 41st birthday. The chief Middle East correspondent for The Associated Press, Anderson was kidnapped March 16, 1985, in Beirut, Lebanon, by pro-Iranian extremists who had issued many threats against his life. “We aren’t forgetting him,” said Terri Fritz of radio station WBAT in Batavia, Anderson’s hometown.

Three Amish children had contracted whooping cough and others were showing signs of the potentially fatal disease, local health officials said. “It’s hard to say what will happen,” said Mary Anne Power of the Cattaraugus County Health Department. “We aren’t sure how the infection came into the area. It may have started outside the Amish community and exposed more people than we know about.” Power said it would take weeks to determine whether the outbreak was widespread. In 1982, 216 people contracted the disease in the same Conewango Valley community. The town was home to about 1,200 Amish. Whooping cough, or pertussis, was considered a rare disease because of the widespread use of the DTP vaccine in infancy. The Amish had tended to refuse the vaccine because it was not considered a natural way to treat the virus.