In Years Past

In 1914, Charles Buckley, an employee of the Pennsylvania Gas Company in Jamestown, lay in a semi-unconscious condition at his home on Prendergast Avenue this day as the result of falling down the flight of stairs leading to the toilet room in the Hub on West Third Street the past Monday evening. He suffered a bad scalp wound causing concussion of the brain. Dr. J.J. Mahoney, the physician attending him, stated that until this morning Buckley had been totally unconscious but that he had partially regained consciousness. He stated that it was impossible to say whether Buckley slipped or suffered a stroke.

There was great interest in the announcement made on this morning at the local Salvation Army headquarters that the distinguished Salvation Army leader, Commander Eva Booth, daughter of the world renowned founder of this great religious movement, would be in Jamestown and would lecture here on the evening of Monday next. Booth would deliver her great address, “My Father.” It was illustrated by more than 100 stereopticon views and by more than 3,000 feet of motion picture film, making in all an entertainment of the highest class.

In 1939, declaring he encountered a case of “no nickel, no police” when he tried to telephone police after his gas station was robbed, Chauncy Pontius of Lancaster was asking the village board to investigate. Robbers held up Pontius’ service station taking every cent he had. As the bandit car disappeared down the highway, he dashed across the road to a pay telephone. Pontius said the operator demanded he deposit a nickel before connecting him with police. Pontius argued. The operator was unimpressed. Pontius despaired. Finally, someone produced the needed nickel. Pontius got the police but the bandits were miles away. Mayor Ralph Young appointed a committee to investigate the telephone company’s action.

Submitting his annual report to Chairman Fred E. Bigelow and members of the Jamestown Convention and Visitors Bureau Advisory Committee, Manager Charles Laycock reported 5,270 delegates attended 16 conventions held in the city during the year 1938. Outstanding from an attendance standpoint were the Knights of Columbus convention, the New York Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution and the New York State Grange. The money left in this city by conventions in 1938 was an amount exceeding $125,000.

In 1964, a fierce windwhipped snowstorm crippled northern Chautauqua County, practically paralyzing highway travel and closing at least 16 schools. While Jamestown had sunshine, gales up to 50 miles an hour sent a solid curtain of snow across highways beyond the so-called snow ridge, reducing visibility to zero. By afternoon, snow squalls began buffeting the Jamestown area, blotting out the sun. Traffic on the New York State Thruway was closed shortly before noon between Lackawanna and the Pennsylvania state line. Travel west of the Thruway at the Pennsylvania state line was halted about 8 a.m. after a pileup of tractor trailer trucks at Interstate 90 and Route 20 near North East. One person was killed.

Favored by nearly ideal weather, the 1963-64 program of winter sports sponsored by the Jamestown City Recreation Department promised to be an outstanding success according to reports received at a meeting of the Recreation Commission. Wally Carlson, who was in charge of skating at Allen Park, reported that during 17 days since the rink opened on Dec. 17, there had been 26 skating sessions which had attracted a total attendance of 6,937 participants. Revenue for the period was reported at $2,049.

In 1989, whatever couldn’t be cut from this year’s budget or generated with new revenues should be borrowed so New York wouldn’t finish the fiscal year with a deficit, Gov. Mario Cuomo said. Cuomo said that “a couple of hundred million dollars” might be needed to close the gap, which stood at about $1 billion. Cuomo late last year had raised the possibility of taking out short-term loans to pay off the deficit but his aides had said that it was only one of several options at the state’s disposal to close the deficit.

Jamestown City Schools’ mathematics department was doing well, according to a view from the trenches. Department chairman Kenneth Sohmer attended Monday’s school board meeting to talk about his department. True to his profession, Sohmer brought statistics. Those statistics said the department was succeeding. The statistics showed that 32.7 percent of the class of 1988 finished school prepared to take a college-level mathematics course. That compared with 15 percent nationwide, Sohmer said.