In Years Past

In 1913, Cynthia Buffum, widow of Willis E. Buffum, had been indicted by the grand jury of Cattaraugus County for first-degree murder. She was charged with causing the death of her husband by the administration of arsenic. No one was surprised, for this result of the investigation had been accurately forecast for some time past by the newspaper men in attendance at the inquiry. It was forecast in great detail by the Buffalo newspapers which had been following very closely the woman’s journey to Niagara Falls and Buffalo in company with detectives in the employ of the district attorney department. The newspapers told how she was induced to make some kind of a statement while on this trip and it was announced that she would be returned to Little Valley this day and arrested on a bench warrant as soon as she arrived there.

The second annual apple show, the first held by the Chautauqua County Apple Growers’ Association, was started this day in the second floor lobby of Jamestown City Hall. The show, which might be expected from the fact that the past season had not been very satisfactory from the apple raisers’ point of view, was not a very large one. What there was of it was very interesting and much of the fruit shown was of a very high character. The public was invited to attend and look over the exhibits, which included a large variety of fruit shown on plates and a small number of commercially packed apples in barrels and boxes. The exhibit was entirely free to the public and designed as a matter of publicity for the apple business of the county which was gradually coming back to its proper place after a half-century of neglect.

In 1938, Evan Zenner, 24, of Bradford, Pa., who admitted stealing automobiles in Jamestown and Randolph Friday evening, was sentenced to serve 60 days in the Cattaraugus County jail at Little Valley when he pleaded guilty to a charge of drunken driving in city court at Salamanca. In addition to the two-month jail term, Zenner was fined $50 and warrants for both grand and petit larceny were being forwarded from Jamestown and Randolph, to be served on the Pennsylvania motorist at Little Valley. William McChesney of Falconer reported his automobile had been stolen in Jamestown. Later, a West Sixth Street gas station attendant said a man drove up in the stolen car, got six gallons of gasoline and drove off without paying for it. When arrested later at Salamanca, Zenner told the police there that he wrecked McChesney’s car near the Red House bridge where he abandoned it and went to Randolph, where he stole another car.

Word had been received of the approval of redesign for the foundation of Chautauqua County’s new jail which had been under construction in Mayville for the past five weeks. Work was slowed up considerably two weeks ago when a strata of quicksand, completely underlying the site of the new building, was discovered. A.E. Sankey, formerly of Jamestown, PWA resident engineer inspector, explained that tests revealed a strata of quicksand averaging from four to seven feet in depth. He said the new plans called for spreading footings which would continue below the quicksand level to hard foundation. Concrete piers would make up the difference from the new footings to the original foundation.

In 1963, an outstanding performance was achieved by Jamestown High School students in the State Regents examinations the past June, according to an analysis of test results presented to the Board of Education. The report showed that in 16 of 20 subjects covered by the exams, the percentages of JHS students who received passing grades were substantially higher than the averages for the entire state. A “perfect” record was made by JHS students in two of the Regents exams Bookkeeping 2 and Shorthand 2. All students who took these courses at Jamestown High School passed the Regents exams.

Books and art were combining for a more than half-million-dollar show of community culture at the recently expanded James Prendergast Free Library. The art exhibition, valued at upwards of $200,000, was opened Sunday as a special backdrop for a weeklong open house program showing off the library’s expanded facilities built at the cost of $315,000. In addition to the art exhibit, there was on view a display of antique French furniture, arranged by Albert Wellman, Jamestown interior decorator and furniture dealer in memory of his mother, Ada O. Wellman. The art exhibit contained the works of many of the old masters, including Vlaminck, Roualt, Bracque, Klee, Mondrian, Gris and Utrillo.