In Years Past

In 1913, a milk wagon delivering for W.L. Kent, and driven by his son, R.K. Kent, was hit by a traction car in front of the Acme Mills on Celoron Road and completely demolished, scattering milk and bottles over a wide area. Kent, who was seated on the wagon seat was thrown 20 feet into a ditch on the other side of the street and badly bruised about the head and hands with one shoulder being wrenched. Kent stated he was driving out of the driveway from the Acme Mills when the accident occurred. He did not see the car, which hit the rear wheels of his rig. He stated the car was going so fast that it went 120 feet before the motorman could stop it.

The appearance of Mrs. Fiske, America’s greatest artiste in motion pictures, marked an epoch in the history of film progress. Tess of the D’Ubervilles, Thomas Hardy’s inspiring story, made famous on the stage by Fiske’s glorious portrayal, was recently produced by the Famous Players Film Company in one of the greatest subjects ever introduced in motion pictures. This great picture would be offered in Jamestown at the Samuels Theater, Friday and Saturday, matinee and night.

In 1938, the Federal Communications Commission began an investigation of a dramatic radio broadcast which led some people to believe the past night that men from Mars had attacked the United States. FCC Chairman Frank McNinch asked the Columbia Broadcasting System to furnish the commission with an electrical transcription of the broadcast, a dramatized version of H. G. Wells’ imaginary story “War of the Worlds,” McNinch said. “Any broadcast that creates such general panic and fear as this one is reported to have done is, to say the least, regrettable.” Some women listeners to the broadcast fainted. Thousands believed the drama to be an authentic news report.

Mary Wroblewski of Dunkirk was alive this day because a man, who failed to disclose his identity, twice rescued her from the path of a train the past night at the risk of his own life. Wroblewski was crossing the tracks of the New York Central when she stumbled and fell. Her head struck a rail and she lost consciousness. A train was fast approaching. The man darted from the sidewalk, snatched up the woman and reached the next track just as the train went rushing by. A speeding train, bound in the opposite direction, was but a short distance away on the other track. The rescuer, with his helpless burden, again just managed to escape destruction.

In 1963, a parking lot argument at the Jamesway in Lakewood between two young motorists sent one of them to WCA Hospital for treatment for tear gas facial burns and the other to the Chautauqua County Jail where he was being held pending a grand jury action on a charge of second degree assault. Chief Anthony Caprino reported the argument occurred at the Jamesway parking lot, Route 17-J when the victim backed his car into the alleged assailant’s car, a yellow foreign car with a black top. The two young men swung at each other and then one fired the tear gas gun, spraying the other’s face with the fluid.

Juveniles and young adults kept police busy throughout the Jamestown area the past night as they carried out minor pre-Halloween pranks. Jamestown Police Department had its Police Reserve on duty. In Lakewood, Chief Anthony Caprino said the 25-man Police Reserve unit was in charge of Acting Capt. Wayne Rightmeyer. It was augmented by the village’s four-man police squad, headed by the chief and 12 cars, which carried police radios. The only serious incident reported was dumping of a farm wagon in the middle of Spencer Road, Kiantone, which Falconer state police patrol removed.

In 1988, icicles hung like stalactites on the sculpture at Tracy Plaza in front of Jamestown City Hall, giving the structure an eerie appearance that made it look as though it belonged in a cave. Barry Mason, night maintenance man at City Hall, observed nature’s handiwork, which was created the previous night when water from the fountain froze in temperatures that dipped into the teens.

This night was Halloween night, an evening when pranks, harmless and otherwise, were tradition. With that in mind, several local communities, in an effort to curb vandalism and property damage, were sponsoring parties and other activities and setting specific hours for the observance of trick-or-treat. According to several local police departments, these sponsored programs could be effective in helping eliminate vandalism if parents made sure their children attended them and returned straight home.