In Years Past

In 1914, physicians and attendants at the State Hospital at Gowanda testified at the investigation being conducted into the affairs of the institution by John H. DeLaney, state commissioner of charities and corrections, that the reputation of Dr. Daniel Arthur, superintendent, had been that of a periodical drinker. Numerous occasions on which the superintendent was alleged to have been intoxicated were testified to. A story was told of an occasion when he had a closet in the pharmacist’s office broken into that he might procure whiskey. Other testimony was to times that he was absent from the institution on account of drink. He was confined at Dr. McMichael’s sanitarium in Buffalo and at the Dansville sanitarium, witnesses said.

Accompanied by an excessively high humidity, the heat in Pittsburgh the previous day reached 72 degrees at 1 p.m., which was one of the highest marks ever reached during January in the history of the weather bureau in the city. People sweltered all day long under the blanket of heat which overcast the city. Samford H. Forree, aged 79 years, of Coropolis, was unable to stand the excessive heat and died the previous afternoon. Working men in the mills suffered severely.According to the weather bureau, a freezing temperature would arrive this day bringing a drop of over 40 degrees in the mercury.

In 1939, Sergeant C.E. Cobb of the State Police said he had dispatched four troopers with flares and emergency equipment to a point near Pavilion, nine miles southeast of Batavia, where he said an airplane had been circling over the district “for about two hours.” Cobb said residents of the vicinity reported at noon that the plane apparently was at high altitude but that they could hear its motor plainly. He said he believed the pilot had become lost in a wind-driven snowstorm. Troopers had been instructed to recruit truck drivers and any additional help they could find in their attempt to aid the plane. It was also theorized that the sound heard might be “something on the ground,” such as a heavy snowplow or a large truck that had lost traction on a hill.

Lakewood bladesters captured the major share of honors in the Chautauqua Lake Skating Association’s first meet of the season held under ideal weather conditions at Lakewood rink Saturday afternoon. With six firsts in the 13 events, four by Joe Freed of the well-known ice skating family, Lakewood representatives outclassed skaters from Salamanca, Fluvanna and Jamestown in that order. Although the ice was in good condition, no records were broken.

In 1964, Alan Ladd, who realized a dream of driving a limousine through the same studio gate where he once had to punch a time clock, was dead at age 50. The 5-foot-6 star, who walked tall as a movie hero for 23 years, was found dead in the master bedroom of his home in Palm Springs, Calif. A servant who had become alarmed when the actor failed to wake up from a nap found the body. A doctor said that Ladd died of natural causes, presumably a heart attack. At the height of his popularity at Paramount, Ladd received 20,000 fan letters a month. He employed eight secretaries to answer them.

An adventure in “togetherness” unique in local annals ended at noon the previous day when 24 area residents, toting blanket rolls, sleeping bags and other paraphernalia, emerged from a basement room at the State Armory on Porter Avenue in Jamestown and made a bee-line for a coffee bar across the hall. For 24 hours the group, two women and 22 men, shared the “protection of a 215-square foot fallout shelter under conditions simulating a nuclear emergency, their only sustenance, cracker-like “survival” biscuits, water and an impromptu “dessert” consisting of one tangerine segment apiece. The exercise was part of a course for future instructors in civil defense shelter management.

In 1989, people were literally lined up around the block in downtown Jamestown Saturday for gamma globulin inoculations being given by the Chautauqua County Health Department in connection with an outbreak of hepatitis in the county. Additional immunization clinics were held this day and were scheduled for the following day in both Jamestown and Mayville.

Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa was warmly greeted by large crowds during two appearances Sunday in Buffalo. The 1984 Nobel Peace Prize winner spoke first to a full house at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral at Main Street and Cathedral Park. The archbishop of Cape Town and of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa, then appeared before the largest crowd ever for such an event at the Alumni Arena on the Amherst campus of the State University at Buffalo.