In Years Past

In 1913, little Laura Buffum had a better chance of recovery than at any time in the past few weeks, according to Dr. Hillsman, the physician who had attended her from the beginning. She was now able to eat some solid food. Hillsman said that if she continued to improve she would be able to be moved in a short time and could be taken to a Buffalo hospital. Buffalo physicians who held a consultation at the little girl’s bedside commenced a treatment of the little girl and that course of treatment would be continued. The girl’s mother was said to have murdered her husband and 5-year-old son and attempted to kill four others. Ernest Frahm, her lover, whom she claimed gave her husband linament containing arsenic was as cool as ever. He still sneered and said: “They’ve nothing on me.”

Elmer Near of Pittsfield, Pa., a huckster, who was frequently on the public market, came to Jamestown with a hunting story that he declared was absolutely true. Near said he was rabbit hunting in Pennsylvania recently and startled a rabbit. As he swung his gun over to shoot, a partridge raised just in time to catch a portion of the charge. Both rabbit and partridge were killed at a single shot. Realizing that this story was somewhat unusual, Near declared he had two eyewitnesses to prove that it was true.

In 1938, the Jamestown City Council took official action authorizing the city treasurer and the corporation counsel to sue property owners for taxes when the taxes were in arrears two years or more. The resolution authorizing civil suits against taxpayers provided that, in lieu of such suits, or in settlement of such suits, the treasurer may, in his discretion, accept quit claim deeds of the premises against which the taxes were assessed where good title could be transferred to the municipality.

The Jamestown post office was fully regimented for the annual Christmas rush with 40 extra carriers and 23 extra clerks augmenting the regular force of 41 regular carriers and 31 regular clerks, in handling the heavy volume of mails which were expected to reach peak the following two days. Letters continued to pour in at a rapid rate at the main office and Station A this day although postal authorities believed that package mailing had slackened somewhat from the previous day. Canceling machines were working at high speed and regular and extra clerks were easily keeping pace with the influx at the main office. The new system of sorting was expected to easily handle the volume.

In 1963, Western New Yorkers plowed out this day as a blinding snowstorm tapered off after creating treacherous driving conditions and forcing the closing of some schools. Temperatures overnight plummeted well below zero in many areas. Hard hit Chautauqua and southern Erie counties, south of Buffalo, reported only light snow falling after as much as 6 inches overnight. Driving was extremely hazardous as winds whipped fallen snow to hamper visibility. A 66-mile stretch of New York State Thruway from Lackawanna south of Buffalo to the Pennsylvania line was closed during the afternoon.

A 7-year-old Jamestown boy narrowly escaped serious injury at 6:50 p.m. the previous evening when he darted from between two parked cars into the path of an eastbound Terrace Avenue car in Lakewood. Officer Lee N. Kellogg said the boy, Todd Benson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Benson of Newland Avenue, ran from the cars parked adjacent to Benson’s Country House, which his parents operated, into the machine driven by John M. Traniello, 21, of Terrace Avenue, Lakewood. The boy was discharged from Jamestown General Hospital after treatment for multiple contusions.

In 1988, the Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. had agreed to cut its rates, at least temporarily, by $41 million over the next six months, state Attorney General Robert Abrams said. The money reflected the costs of replacing power needed because of an extended shutdown at the Nine Mile Point One Nuclear power plant, which had been out of service since Dec. 19, 1987. The proposed rate reduction would be applicable to every residential customer Niagara Mohawk had if the state Public Service Commission approved the reduction.

George Bush had been pegged as the man of the year by Washington Middle School students. This was the third time in as many years that students at the school tried to predict who Time magazine would pick as the person who most influenced the world in the past year. In 1987 they were on the money when 114 students picked Mikhail Gorbachev as the likely honoree. The previous year’s selection threw them for a bit of a loop. Only 14 picked Corizon Aquino in 1986.