In Years Past

In 1914, Cynthia Buffum was found guilty of murder, first degree, with a recommendation for leniency the past evening. This recommendation was, of course, a useless suggestion, for the court had no discretion in capital cases. There was only one sentence that could be pronounced – death. Justice Brown pronounced this sentence immediately after the verdict was rendered. He fixed the week of April 5 as the date for execution. This, however, was a mere formality. Buffum would not be executed at that time or for many months, for her attorney would take an appeal and the appeal operated automatically as a stay of sentence until passed upon by the court of appeals.

Home seekers and those who were looking for good business investments in Jamestown would find something of interest for them in the new Spring Catalogue just issued by L.C. Strong. The catalogue which was in booklet form, contained a complete list of city houses and the lots, lake property, farms and business property for which Strong had the handling. There were eight pages of city houses, two-and-a-half pages of city lots, 21 pages of farm property, more than two pages of lake properties and two pages of business properties. The list was varied enough to suit the pocketbook of all and there were houses in every section of the city.

In 1939, New York World’s Fair officials, who hoped to show the “world of tomorrow” to 50 million customers, pondered whether to establish a Sally Rand nude ranch among the wonders of Flushing Meadows. Rand was confident she could put more “oomph” in the fair than any number of metal trylons and perispheres but only if she was given free rein. Rand, who waved her way to fortune with ostrich fans at the Chicago Fair in 1933, also thrived financially with a nude ranch at the Fort Worth, Texas exposition. Rand said a “sea bottom revue,” featuring nude nymphs capering in a sea made with mirrors, also was considered during her conference yesterday.

Amendment of the zoning ordinance to permit the establishment of undertaking parlors in the residential areas of Jamestown was effected by city council after a public hearing. The hearing resulted from the denial by the Board of Appeals of a petition by Ernest J. Youngberg for permission to establish a funeral parlor at 329 E. Fourth St. Youngberg was the only person appearing at the hearing in favor of the proposed change. Walter L. Miller warned members of the council that once the law was changed, any one of them was inviting the establishment of a funeral parlor next door to his home.

In 1964, what may have been a record no-fires period in Jamestown was broken the previous day by a false alarm which sent Post Office and Federal Building employees scurrying out into chilly weather. An engine and ladder company from City Hall answered an alarm from the building at 3:47 p.m. Authorities said they believed children activated an alarm box inside the building at East Third Street and Prendergast Avenue. It was the first fire call in seven days, since the past Thursday when city firemen answered a call from a motorist whose burning carburetor was out on arrival. Fire Chief Virgil Eggleston said the seven “fireless” days could be a record for this time of the year, or at least unusual.

A group of 29 municipal and township clerks and custodians from Macomb County, Mich., attended a training school this week at the Automatic Voting Machine Company of Jamestown as guests of the company and its Michigan representative, the Doubleday Brothers and Co. of Kalamazoo. The group arrived by chartered bus for the three-day session which ended this day. The sessions included inspection of the local plant and its service facilities. Problems in connection with the forthcoming elections in Michigan prompted the training session.

In 1989, people who headed local school boards disagreed with a study released that accused them of not representing their public. he survey of school board presidents across the country was done by the private National Center for Education Information. “These people really do start out being representative of the public,” said center director Emily Feistritzer. “But the longer people have been on school boards, the more co-opted they are by the system and the more resistant to any changes in it.” A handful of longtime board members, contacted by The Post-Journal said that they had not been “co-opted” by the system.

Gov. Mario Cuomo’s plan to charge sales tax on bowling had all the attractiveness of a 7-10 split, according to a group of bowling alley owners. Not only was the New York State Bowling Proprietors Association against Cuomo’s idea, but it had prepared a 15-page position paper to explain why the plan should be thrown in the gutter. “People need to be able to have fun in their lives and they need to be able to afford to have that fun,” said the group in a paper sent to all 211 state legislators.