In Years Past

In 1914, the Buffalo passenger train on the Erie, due in Jamestown about 11 a.m., ran through an open switch at the Conewango Valley station this morning, ripping into the rear end of a freight train standing on the switch, badly wrecking both trains. In the wreck, Conductor Patrick W. Eagan of the passenger train was so badly injured that his recovery was considered in doubt. Eagan was rushed, in a special engine, to the WCA Hospital in Jamestown. The responsibility for the open switch had not been placed but Agent Batchelder of Jamestown came to Conewango Valley immediately upon hearing of the accident and was conducting a searching examination.

The Jamestown Fire Department answered a call the previous evening which proved to be in the kitchen cupboard of a house on North Main Street occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Young. The fire was first discovered by Napoleon Borg, the young son of Mr. and Mrs. C.A. Borg, who saw the smoke. The kitchen was in the basement and the fire, starting from this point, quickly made its way to the attic. The house was practically torn to pieces and rendered almost useless. The furniture in the house was pretty well damaged. The fire was thought to have been started through a combination of rats and matches. The Youngs were away from home at the time of the fire.

In 1939, Genevieve Marshall, comely 26-year-old girl night club entrepreneur, floor show hip-shaker and dance stylist extraordinary, was in the toils again. Genevieve, who had long been a feature attraction at various hot spots in the area and who was once arrested for doing a naughty dance, was again in wrong with the law. This time she was charged with selling liquor without a license in violation of the alcoholic beverage contract. The short word for it was “bootlegging.” Genevieve had been displaying her charms at the Hollywood Cafe with No. 1 billing. The cafe dispensed liquor under license. Not content with her earnings there, police alleged that she had been peddling intoxicants after hours at her home on Washington Street.

Milkborne diseases was the subject of a talk by Dr. Paul B. Brooks, deputy commissioner of the state department of health, at a dinner meeting of the Jamestown Milk Dealers Association. Mayor Erickson spoke and admitted that all he knew about milk was driving a cow to pasture as he had done in former years. He said, “The cost of inspection of milk here comes to less than half what some other cities spend. However, I think we have the finest, purest milk of any city and this is due to the cooperation of you dealers. We citizens take for granted that you will deliver a pure grade of milk and we believe in you.”

In 1964, a public information program designed to point out to residents the need for a Chautauqua County sales tax was in the offing. Town of Ellery Supervisor Richard O. Evans, Bemus Point, chairman of the board of supervisors, said he planned to appoint such a committee at the board’s next meeting. The committee’s job presumably would be to change or at least modify stormy public hostility demonstrated the past Friday afternoon when a sales tax proposal was presented and hastily tabled. More than 200 placard-carrying persons jammed the boardroom in Mayville, protesting the measure which would have gone into effect on June 1.

A public-opinion poll had indicated near-unanimous support of a movement in Warren to name the Allegheny River reservoir and dam the “Kinzua Dam.” A total of 1,191 out of 1,351 votes were cast in favor of the name, according to the Warren Junior Chamber of Commerce which conducted the poll. Released the previous day, the results included 40 votes to associate the name with the late President John F. Kennedy and 50 other various names.

In 1989, Erie County Sheriff’s Department deputies searched along the shore of the Niagara River about 10 miles from Niagara Falls. Authorities were searching for as many as three illegal aliens who might have drowned while trying to cross into the U.S. from Canada early Tuesday. The body of an Asian woman, a rubber raft and a purse with a passport belonging to a different woman, were found earlier by the U.S. Coast Guard. “These are tragic victims of an outrageous crime,” said Benedict Ferro, district director of the Immigration and Naturalization Service in Buffalo. “Anyone who would have put them into a dime store raft at night in that weather … was outrageous.” The woman was accompanied by another woman and two children, aged 13 and 7. They are all presumed to have drowned.

Sinclairville residents were questioning the removal of the Bloomer Street bridge. The Village Board said it had received a letter from the county Public Works Department office concerning the question. The village had previously abandoned the bridge because of the cost of repairs, which amounted to abut $15,000 to the village and $88,000 from the county. The bridge served three homes in the area.