In Years Past

In 1913, police this day were seeking an unknown rider of a motorcycle who fled through Lancaster and Williamstown, Pa., late the previous night, discharging a revolver widely among Halloween crowds and who was believed to have been responsible for the killing of two persons. One of the victims was 16-year-old Ivan Graves, who was with a group of other boys at Williamstown when the rider passed the group and without any provocation, fired three shots from the revolver. One bullet struck Graves in the temple and he died in a few minutes. The other victim was M. Collata, itinerant fruit merchant.

Halloween was certainly well observed in Jamestown Friday evening not so much in smart pranks as in parties. As one person aptly expressed it there was a party in pretty nearly every hall and every other home. During the early part of the evening many persons were on the streets in costume hurrying to some of the numerous parties. Chief of Police Frank A. Johnson said there was little disturbance on the street. The only devilment worthy of note was the placement of old board boxes and the like on the tracks of the Jamestown Street Railway Company in East Jamestown near Hopkins Avenue.

In 1938, Mark Barker and his wife, Ruth Cheesborough Sherman Barker, 52, were found dead in the kitchen of their home on East Third Street in Lakewood at about 7 p.m. Monday, victims of poisonous carbon monoxide fumes. Irene Barker Zupp, daughter of the Barkers, and her husband, J. Melvin Zupp, of Jamestown, discovered the double fatality when they went to the Barker home to leave their pet dog. Both Barkers were found lying on the floor of the kitchen. A partially finished letter on the kitchen table indicated that Mark Barker, who ran a radio repair service, had been writing to a supply firm for radio parts when he first noticed the effects of the fumes. The position of the bodies indicated that Ruth Barker was overcome first and that her husband collapsed as he went to the aid of his wife.

Frewsburg Postmaster Austin W. Stitt opened the local office on this morning and began to scour the soap off the windows, left by Halloween pranksters the night before. While he was busy cleaning the soap marks, a passerby stopped and inquired “When are you going to buy the old gray mare, Austin? I see you have the buggy.” When asked what the man meant, he replied, “Look up on your roof.” Reposing on the roof, the front wheels hanging over the edge, was a large old-fashioned buggy. In the seat of the buggy there rested two garbage cans. Over the chimney of the building was a large wheelbarrow.

In 1963, Halloween vandals were blamed for a fire the previous night which destroyed a vacant house; for damage to a vacant Dutch Hollow home and for the cutting of pasture fences which allowed livestock to roam. Police officials in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties, augmented by special deputies, raced hither and yon in the rain trying to protect property. Stories of destructive pranks were received from many quarters. No arrests had been made in Jamestown but police were busy in some residential areas where children, in groups ranging from 10 to 30, raced around, throwing tomatoes or pumpkins against homes or on porches.

A family of eight, including six children, ranging in age from 3 to 13, was made homeless in a rainstorm the past night as a fire of mysterious origin destroyed their two-story frame house. The fire, which was in Ellington’s Fire District, was battled for more than three hours, despite the rain, by volunteer firemen from Ellington, Kennedy and Gerry. Discovered at about 8 p.m., while the family, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Foster and their children, were on a trick or treat tour, the fire was investigated by Criminal Deputy William Peters. Situated on the Hansen Road, the property was the former Harry Walker farm.

In 1988, Halloween was traditionally a night of pranks and good-natured fun but it often included serious vandalism and crime. This year was more subdued than expected. In fact, it was very quiet compared to the previous year, according to several local law enforcement agencies. In Jamestown it was a quiet Halloween night. Captain Lawrence Wallace credited a number of factors with the mostly uneventful evening. “We had no major problems, no rash of vandalism,” he said. Wallace said one reason this year was quiet compared to the past year was because the 1987 observance fell on a weekend and this year it was on a school night.

Dorothy Yucha, a member of the Unitess States Disabled Ski team, had an Olympic goal. Yucha lived in Erie, Pa., but was raised in Youngsville, where her family resided. She had been skiing cross country for the past 14 years although she was legally blind. Being a member of the national disabled ski team meant that she was among the nation’s best in her field. Many of the techniques she used in racing competitions were ones she learned through her affiliation with another organization called Ski For Light, an organization to which she had belonged since 1963. She represented this group in 1986 as its American ambassador to Norway.