In Years Past

In 1913, the partial derailment of train No. 16 on the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern railroad, east of Cleveland, shortly before midnight of Dec. 12, was the result of a deliberate attempt at train wrecking. This was the belief expressed by Lake Shore officials early the previous day. They asserted that spikes had been removed from the rails and the road was offering a reward of $1,000 for the arrest of the person tampering with the roadbed. Attached to train No. 16 was the private car of the newly elected president of the New York Central, Alfred Smith. The private car was not derailed.

From her cell in the Little Valley jail, Cynthia Buffum, indicted for the murder of her husband, Willis Buffum, accused Ernest Frahm, her alleged lover, who was also under indictment, charged with first-degree murder, of being the cause of her misfortunes. “I am not guilty,” she said. “I had a happy home, a kind husband and lovable children. I cared for them with all my heart, until I met Ernest Frahm,” she said. Five of her seven children were found to be suffering from arsenic poisoning. One of these, a five-year-old boy, died in April. His father died in July. Three brothers had recovered while a 10-year-old sister, Laura, was still making a fight for life against the ravages of the deadly poison.

In 1938, Fro-Joy ice cream puddings were a holiday special being featured at the Five Point Coffee Shop on North Main Street in Jamestown. These delicious frozen fruit desserts served four persons. Frank Muisner and Roger Kaadtman, partners in the business, advised their patrons to place their orders for Christmas puddings which would be delivered at one’s home by telephoning or leaving orders at the popular northside shop. Christmas box and hard candy was also another popular item during the pre-holiday season at the North Side Coffee Shop, which served a large glass of steaming hot chocolate for a nickel.

William A. Rogers, 43, of 10th Street, a member of the Jamestown Fire Department for more than 16 years, was found dead at the wheel of his automobile at Dusquesne and Smith streets, Celoron, at 5:20 p.m. the previous evening, a victim of a heart attack. He had apparently been dead since early in the morning. Alva Smith, who resided at the corner where Rogers’ car was found, discovered the fact of Rogers’ death. Smith said he had noticed the car early in the morning but had paid no special attention to it at that time.

In 1963, Hil C. Olney, president of the S.M. Flickinger Co. Buffalo and spokesman for the Lakewood and Fluvanna Super Dupers announced that these stores would be closed on Sunday and would remain closed on Sundays until further notice. Olney said that the action was a result of the controversy in Chautauqua County relative to New York state regulations on Sunday grocery sales. Meanwhile, it was learned that at least three other major stores in the Jamestown area, affected by the more than 50-year-old so-called “blue law,” planned to remain open on Sunday. Two fell into the category of supermarkets. The other was a large drugstore.

A move to provide needed office space and future parking area was taken by Chautauqua County Board of Supervisors with purchase of 1.15 acres of land and the former Peacock Inn carriage barn. Members agreed without dissent to pay $18,200 for the building and land at the rear of the Peacock Inn and the Courthouse parking lot. The county’s new holding once served as the carriage barn for the Peacock Inn. The basement contained the stables, the first floor was being used as offices but once housed the carriages and the second floor was the hay loft.

In 1988, there was another impasse at the New York state Capitol over how to deal with the state’s fiscal problems. Progress towards cutting the state’s budget deficit broke down as Republicans who controlled the state Senate rejected Democratic proposals for tax increases and spending cuts. State Senate Majority Leader Warren Anderson delivered the bad news to Gov. Mario Cuomo and Democrats who controlled the state Assembly as he left a meeting of his Republican colleagues and said the Democratic proposal for hiking tobacco and alcoholic beverage taxes was dead for now.

Oil and gas production was down in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties – and across the state – in 1987. This was one of the facts contained in “New York State Oil and Gas Drilling and Production – 1987,” a report published recently by the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Declining oil and gas production in New York state paralleled the nation-wide trend of oil and gas prices that were too low to stimulate additional drilling. Unless prices rose and sustained themselves at a predictable level, domestic gas and oil industries would not justify exploration for new reserves.