In Years Past

In 1914, the trial of Cynthia Buffum for the murder of her husband, Willis Buffum, was well underway. The examination of witnesses was begun. Several were sworn yesterday. More were sworn this day. Considerable damaging testimony had been given. Although Justice Brown was hurrying the trial along as rapidly as possible, it was safe to assume that it would not be finished before March 1. The prosecution had 40 witnesses under subpoena. Some of them were of little importance and their examination and cross examination would not require much time. Others were of great importance and their examination and cross examination would require considerable time.

On Wednesday evening at the First Congregational Church, the Bible school held its social which was well attended. An interesting program consisting of musical numbers rendered by Dr. Jane L. Greeley, Tirzah Hall and Lincoln Stearns was thoroughly appreciated by the audience. Wm.F. Schmidt, a special agent of the New York Telephone Company, was introduced by E.W. Spring. In introducing the speaker of the evening, Spring said: “Ladies and gentlemen, two years ago we listened to our friend Mr. Davey who told us the wonderful work that was being accomplished by the telephone. It was a real interesting talk. Through Mr. Davey’s kindness, we have with us Mr. Schmidt …who will tell us all he knows about the girl we all know -The Telephone Girl.”

In 1939, Jamestown High hoopsters kept their slate clean to remain in possession of the Lake Shore league leadership Friday night but only after the toughest kind of opposition from Falconer on the suburban court, where the Fighting Falcons went down 32-29 in one of the best games seen hereabouts this season. Falconer’s defeat and Silver Creek’s 43-34 triumph over Westfield, placed the suburbans and the Orange and Black cagers in a second place tie. The Dunkirk Maroons, who would play Jamestown next Tuesday, disposed of Fredonia in the other Class A County league engagement 44-23. An overflow crowd jammed the small, suburban school gym for the second game of the home and home series between the charges of Rolland H. Taft and Maben E. Cameron. In the first meeting at Falconer several weeks ago, the Red and Green chalked up a 39-26 victory.

Four persons indicted in an insurance murder plot would be brought to early trial in Philadelphia so that a life-termer could repeat testimony that he was offered a job as “chief poisoner” for a tri-state ring. A tailor, a spaghetti salesman and two women were indicted on 14 charges of murder, manslaughter, conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to cheat five insurance companies of approximately $20,000. The charges resulted from a five-month investigation during which five bodies were exhumed and poison found in four of them. The prisoner was John Cacopardo, on leave for 30 days from New York state’s Sing Sing prison where he was serving a 30-years-to-life sentence for murdering a Brooklyn woman. He charged his uncle, Paul Petrillo, stocky 45-year-old South Philadelphia tailor and one of those indicted, with being the “brains” of a poison-for-profit organization.

In 1964, one of the nation’s major manufacturers of men’s apparel was interested in locating in Jamestown and wanted to know how many women were available for work. The company had also expressed the same interest in Olean and Dunkirk and was expected to make its decision on the basis of a two-week labor survey to be conducted in each community. In the Feb. 20 edition of The Post-Journal, a questionnaire would be published. Women who felt they were eligible for work in the garment industry were asked to fill it out and mail it to the Jamestown Area Chamber of Commerce.

Pounding air hammers at West Third and Lafayette streets signaled the start of Jamestown’s new street lighting project which had a tentative completion date of July 15. The $204,151 program would replaced downtown street lights with modern mercury lights to produce near-daylight illumination. Merle W. Smedburg, superintendent of Public Utilities, said weather, as usual, would determine the completion date of the project. He commented that the new street lighting system would be a marked change from the old type because the 400-watt mercury bulbs would direct all illumination onto the street. The program called for replacement of all street lights in the downtown area, including Brooklyn Square.