In Years Past

In 1914, with the resumption of the trail of Cynthia Buffum, the prosecution commenced the presentation of Chapter Two of the death of Willis Buffum. The past week was devoted to placing on the record the fact that Willis Buffum was killed by arsenic and that there was more than one administration of the poison. These facts were conclusively established. The next step in the proceeding was to show that Mrs. Buffum administered this poison. This was merely hinted at the past week when it was brought out that Mrs. Buffum, when told that her husband’s condition was due either to arsenic or alcohol poisoning, declared that he had been drinking large quantities of whiskey, when as a matter of fact, it was claimed he was a very moderate drinker. It was also indicated that Mrs. Buffum, as a rule, prepared the food for the family.

Harry Edwards, night cashier of an express company in Corning, was shot and killed early this day by David Dunn, a burglar. Dunn, who was only 19 years old, was captured and confessed to the crime. In a struggle with Edwards, he drew a revolver and shot the agent through the heart. After assuring himself that Edwards was dead, Dunn made two unsuccessful attempts to open the safe and get a shipment of $10,000 in currency which was to have gone west this day. He was interrupted in his work by two telephone calls from police, both of which he answered to allay suspicion. Finding he could not open the safe, Dunn escaped, leaving a trail of bloody footprints in the snow.

In 1939, Jamestown police were on the trail of an individualistic passer of bad checks. Several merchants reported that they had fallen victim to his ruse in varying amounts. The fugitive, who used the signature “John Benson” on his checks, ordered quantities of merchandise from downtown stores, had the merchandise delivered to an East Fifth Street address on a C.O.D. basis and in each instance gave a check to the delivery man. This morning the checks started coming back from the banks and those who had been defrauded started calling police headquarters. The police started an investigation which was still in progress.

Patsy Moynihan, retired veteran tavern keeper, old-time baseball player and all-around good fellow, was 84 years old on Feb. 22 and the date was marked with a family dinner party at his home on Lafayette Street in Jamestown. Moynihan was in excellent health and his memory served him well in recalling local happenings of the past 70 years, He still had a vivid memory picture of the arrival of the first railroad train in Jamestown, over the Atlantic & Great Western road, in 1860 and the departure of the 112th New York Volunteer infantry, known as the Chautauqua regiment, from Camp Brown on Sept. 12, 1862. Moynihan first went to school in what was then No. 1 school on the site of which the Love School now stood. His first teacher was Oscar Price who became the first mayor of Jamestown.

In 1989, the State College at Fredonia would drop a degree program if it didn’t get more money from the state or from students the following year, according to President Donald A. MacPhee. At a meeting with college trustees, MacPhee said the governor’s proposed budget would mean a 5 percent cut in Fredonia’s budget for 1990. And something drastic would have to be done. The drastic action, he said, would probably be the elimination of at least one degree program. “This isn’t scare tactics,” MacPhee told trustees, referring to the list of proposed cuts.

Four contracts for interior renovation at the Unigard Building in Jamestown were expected to be awarded as the result of bid openings set for March 1 in the Gerace Office Building. The Chautauqua County Legislature cleared the way for awarding of the contracts by approving an amended bonding resolution. The decision to approve the bonding resolution ended a long and controversial chapter in the county’s interest in the structure as a south county office building.