In Years Past

In 1913, John Kendrick Bangs, author, editor and writer for some of our most popular magazines, gave the second of a series of addresses arranged by the First M.E. brotherhood, to an assemblage that completely filled the auditorium of the First Methodist Episcopal church in Jamestown. The speaker was introduced by L.J. Davey who, among other things, stated that Bangs was once Democratic candidate for mayor of Gompers but in the language of that gentleman, “was returned, by a large majority, to the bosom of his family.” Bangs opened his address with the remark that the introduction was one of the most attractive obituary notices of himself that he had ever listened to.

Because of their many vicious pranks, William Coddington and Clarence Williams, each about 13 years old, were sentenced by Recorder Charles to be publicly whipped by their parents at the police station at Hornell. The sentence of the court was most cheerfully carried out by the mother of each boy in the presence of the mayor and the recorder. The wails of anguish which the lads emitted as the lash, which was wielded with a will, fell on some exposed portion of their bodies, was in itself evidence that the sentence was being executed to the letter. Complaints had been made that the lads had stretched a rope across narrow portions of the highway in order that bicycle riders might be swept from their seats as they ran against it.

In 1938, the Jamestown board of education heard complaints of early morning noises in the rear of the industrial arts building adjacent to the high school from two residents of Foote Avenue, Thomas Meredith and Edith Meredith Cole. Cole said her room was in the rear of the house and near the industrial arts building and that she was awakened between 4 and 5 a.m. Tuesday morning as well as at the same time other mornings when large doors were opened and slammed and men talked in loud tones. She also complained that the vacuum cleaning system was used late at night and made a lot of noise.

Thirty women were injured, two seriously, when the bus in which they were riding to work at a Kane, Pa., shirt company hit a deer on a hill at Saybrook. John Farr, the driver, said the animal’s carcass became wedged under the wheels and caused the bus to plunge into a ditch and overturn.

In 1963, asking God’s help, Lyndon B. Johnson gathered up the monumental problems of the presidency today as the world, the nation and his family mourned John F. Kennedy, dead by an assassin’s bullets. “I will do my best – that’s all I can do. I ask for your help and God’s,” said the new President, numbed and haggard, after accompanying the slain chief executive’s body back to Washington from Dallas. A few hours after the slaying, Dallas police charged a 24-year-old man who professed love for Russia, with murder and said he was the assassin. He was identified as Lee Harvey Oswald.

The Chautauqua County area joined the rest of the nation in mourning the death of President Kennedy, killed by a sniper’s bullet the previous afternoon in Dallas, Texas. Flags flew at half staff, many public functions were called off and people gathered in silent groups, stunned beyond belief, to discuss in hushed tones the gigantic tragedy which had struck. Area public figures and political leaders of both major parties paid tribute to the young World War II navy hero, whose boyish grin became an appealing trademark throughout the world after he became President of the United States. Mayor William D. Whitehead had proclaimed Monday, Nov. 25, a day of mourning in Jamestown and had ordered all city offices closed for the day.

In 1988, the Cattaraugus County Jail had once again opened its doors to house prisoners from other counties using them as a source of revenue. The jail had six male prisoners from Dutchess County and two females from Allegany County. Sheriff Jerry E. Burrell said the county was receiving $55 per day, per inmate, with an agreement that if cells were needed for local prisoners, out-of-county prisoners must be taken back by their home county.

Westfield residents would be able to decide in March whether to allow games of chance in the village, according to Robert A. Pauley, village clerk. He said representatives from several clubs spoke on the games of chance issue at the recent Village Board meeting. The village would work with the town in designing the legislation to be placed on the coming spring’s ballot.