In Years Past

In 1913, the sensation of the day in the John Doe investigation of the mysterious death of Willis Buffum was the disappearance of Mrs. Cynthia Buffum. She went out for a sleigh ride with Miss Stone, the supposed detective nurse, Sunday evening and she did not return. Her present whereabouts were not known to newspaper reporters who were watching the case in Little Valley. A sensational rumor was sent over a press wire to the effect that Mrs. Buffum had been arrested at Niagara Falls. This rumor was not verified, although strenuous efforts had been made to verify it. District Attorney Cole and Sheriff Dempsey were not apparently at all disturbed over the departure of Mrs. Buffum. Their indifference was lending color to the theory that they knew where she was.

The membership supper in the Young Men’s Christian Association Monday evening at Jamestown was a very successful affair in every respect. There were 50 young men present and a thoroughly enjoyable as well as profitable evening was spent in the association dining room where at about 7:15 o’clock an excellent dinner in four courses was served by Mrs. M. J. Webber, matron of the building, assisted by Boys Secretary George S. Perry and a corps of waiters from his department. The table and the dining room were attractively decorated for the occasion with crepe paper and candles.

In 1938, thirteen new members were received at a meeting of the Willard District Men’s Club in Jamestown. J. H. Ecklund reported on contracts with the City Recreation committee in regard to a skating rink at Allen Park. The rink would be cared for by the city with the cooperation of the NYA. A group of interested persons had contracted the men’s club in regards to the supervision of this undertaking. In regard to the proposed swimming pool at the Gustavus Adolphus home it was reported that after conferring with R. D. Bates of Buffalo, the project had been abandoned as the cost would be prohibitive.

Tenants of the Dewey-Davis Company building at West Fourth and Washington streets in Jamestown were driven to the street shortly after 8:30 in the morning when fire broke out in the basement shop occupied by the Empire Awning Works. Damage from the blaze itself caused a loss estimated by fire department officials at a few hundred dollars. More extensive damage resulted throughout the structure from the clouds of dense smoke which seeped into every nook and corner of the building. The loss would be especially heavy, it was believed, in the large paper stock of the Dewey-Davis Printing Company on the main floor.

In 1963, the Chautauqua Fire Department was again to sponsor an ice rink on the lake for skaters of the community as soon as weather permitted. A firemen’s dance was announced for Friday, Dec. 27 in the Chautauqua School gym. Donation proceeds would be deposited to the snorkel truck fund. Robert Tanner, chief of civil defense in Chautauqua County said that, to date, 16 of 25 village shelters in the county were fully stocked for an emergency. The Federal Government had thus far delivered to Chautauqua County 60 tons of shelter equipment to provide for 24,000 people in public shelters outside of Jamestown.

A heavy snow squall off Lake Erie dumped about four inches of snow on the Buffalo area, slowing morning rush-hour traffic to a crawl. Plows and sanders were dispatched throughout the city. There were a number of minor accidents on the New York State Thruway. The storm was apparently local, with no reports of snow activity in areas outside Buffalo.

In 1988, ten elementary school students and their driver were injured on this morning when their school bus slid through an intersection and collided with a tank truck transporting 9,000 gallons of gasoline. Fredonia Police Chief Daniel Johnson said the tanker truck jackknifed and then burst into flames. Johnson said the school bus continued in a different direction and went into a ditch. A spokeswoman at Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk said one of the children suffered a broken wrist and another a fractured collarbone, with the rest of those brought to the hospital sustaining bumps and bruises. The driver of the truck was able to get out of his vehicle before it caught fire.

Area state legislators were reacting cautiously to the statement by Gov. Mario Cuomo that the state might have to raise taxes to reduce the state budget deficit. “I don’t think he was specifically talking about increasing income taxes or sales taxes,” Assemblyman William Parment, D-North Harmony, told The Post-Journal. “The governor does not want to delay the state income tax rate reduction.” Instead, the governor was talking about “closing loopholes and raising sin taxes,” Parment said.