In Years Past

In 1914, a charming presentation of Fi-Fi Of The Toy Shop, was given Monday evening at the Lyric Theater in Jamestown under the auspices of St. Luke’s legion. The story itself, and the manner in which it was staged, merited a greater attendance, although the theater was moderately well filled. Every member of the cast deserved to be commended on the excellent manner in which the play was carried out and for the alert attention and care which characterized their acting from start to finish. In the second act, the members of St. Luke’s legion made a decided hit when they drilled to the lively and inspiring strains of Yankee Doodle Boy, and they were forced to respond to a number of encores.

A fire which was supposed to have originated in the blacksmith shop owned by Martin Helgren, resulted in the complete destruction of four buildings at Sugar Grove. The Bell Telephone operator was notified of the conflagration within 40 feet of the telephone office by Mrs. John Younie, and an immediate alarm was sounded. The fire burned fiercely and nothing remained but a smoldering heap of ruins. The buildings destroyed were the printing office of S.S. Abbott, a warehouse owned by John Phelps in which farm machinery was stored, the blacksmith shop in which the fire started and an adjoining vacant house. These were all wooden structures and were consumed rapidly by the blaze. Practically everything was saved from the printing office with the exception of the bed upon which Mr. Abbott slept.

In 1939, proposed “freezing” of temporary gasoline taxes into the New York state tax structure was assailed by organized motorists as an attempt to “saddle permanently” on them “a disproportional share of the general tax load.” Truman H. Preston, president of the New York State Automobile Association, asserted at a public hearing on Gov. Lehman’s budget, that the spending program also “takes away so much money from highways that they are being starved to the point of disintegration.” Motorists were paying a 4-cents-a-gallon state tax on gasoline, two cents of which had been collected as a temporary levy.

“John Benson” alias “Harry Myers,” the sharp-shooting crook who swindled half a dozen local merchants by having merchandise delivered to a temporary address in East Fifth Street, Jamestown, on a C.O.D. basis and giving bad checks in return, was still at large this day. Police opined he was many miles away by this time. The trickster chose Washington’s Birthday, when the banks were closed, to issue his phony checks. The previous day they started bouncing back. Police said that seven checks had been rounded up for a grand total of approximately $100.

In 1964, Mr. and Mrs. Rex Nollinger of Hall Road, Kiantone, lost their home and all their possessions the previous night in a fire which started from an overheated wood stove. The couple, clad only in night clothes, was forced to run to the home of neighbors to turn in an alarm as there was no telephone in their house. The Nollinger’s, who were expecting their first child in about a month, were asleep when the fire started. They escaped through a window as the fire had gained enough headway before they wakened to cut off exit through the rear door. The front door had been sealed against winter weather. They were able to rescue their pet dog and cat.

In a ceremony held at Fort Myer, Virginia, Sgt. Gordon H. Johnson of Jamestown, received the Army Commendation Medal for his part in helping to arrange for the funeral of President John F. Kennedy. Sgt. Johnson was cited for his performance which included marking the position for all ceremonial participants at the White House, Capitol and the grave site. The 26-year-old sergeant also selected the location of the Honor Cordon, the caisson and the state and territorial flags along the driveway of the north portico of the White House.

In 1989, the Sears, Roebuck & Co. store in Chautauqua Mall, Lakewood, was among the giant retailer’s 825 stores nationally that would close for 42 hours the following week to roll back prices on more than 1.5 billion pieces of merchandise. The move was being made in an unusual bid by the store chain to regain market share. Edsel A. Deyo, manager of the Sears Chautauqua Mall store, said more than 200 employees there would be involved in the massive changeover. He said this would include inventory, repricing and setting up new displays and signs.

A 17-year-old Jamestown boy had confessed to a series of drive-by pellet gun shootings in which two people were injured and glass of a Lakewood van, downtown tavern and church were shattered. He had been booked on two charges of second degree assault by Jamestown police and Ellicott Town police and would be arraigned on both charges in Ellicott Town Court. The charge by Jamestown Police stemmed from an incident the past Friday at 11:17 p.m. in which the youth allegedly shot a 13-year-old boy who was walking with his father on the Foote Avenue arterial near Prather Avenue. The pellet passed through a jacket, a shirt and penetrated a half-inch deep in the boy’s arm.