In Years Past

In 1914, Brig. Gen. George Rodney Smith, U.S.A., retired and his wife had returned from a trip abroad and were making an extended visit in Jamestown where they were guests of Smith’s sister, Mrs. M.M. Skiff and family of East Fourth Street. Smith had recently retired from active service having been stationed at Washington. It was somewhat unusual for two army officers of the high rank of brigadier general to be entertained in Jamestown at the same time but this was true. The other distinguished guest was Brig. Gen. Charles J. Bailey, who was the guest of his brothers, B.M. Bailey and William S. Bailey of Jamestown. Bailey was still on the active list.

The prospective caucus of the Progressive Party on this evening and of the Republican Party the following afternoon and the candidacy of Mayor Carlson for the mayoralty nomination in both were occupying the most thoughtful attention of the Progressive leaders of Jamestown. They suspected that the Republican organization was trying to swallow the Progressive Party by taking on their mayor as its own candidate. They did not wish to be swallowed. Late in the forenoon they were proceeding to take definite action in the matter.

In 1939, a nice, warm cell in the jail at police headquarters became such a desirable object in the mind of a 19-year-old youth that he smashed a large plate glass window at the East Third Street store of the Paquin-Snyder Company in Jamestown. Shortly before 1:30 p.m., police received a call from the store saying that a young man had deliberately thrown a paving brick through the large window on the alley side of the store, no more than 100 feet from police headquarters. When police responded, they found Harold Smith awaiting them. He said: “If you’re looking for the man who threw the brick, here I am.” Smith said he had no place to go. He added that he had planned to smash a window to insure his arrest. The particular window had been chosen carefully to “give everyone as little trouble as was necessary.”

With the plans for the new bridge at Niagara Falls nearing completion, the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission announced that the new structure was to be officially named the Rainbow Bridge. The name was both appropriate and significant. Because of the continuing spray and mist that hung gently over the Falls, a rainbow was an old and familiar sight to the thousands of yearly visitors to the Falls. The Rainbow Bridge would replace the old Falls View Bridge or “Honeymoon” Bridge, which collapsed in January of 1938.

In 1964, the task of cleaning up and making repairs in the wake of the previous day’s windstorm and flooding was being continued throughout the entire area. An overnight drop in temperatures checked rising waters in most areas, but a major flood threat still existed in the vicinity of Warren, Pa. The windstorm brought havoc to the entire area, knocking down trees and tearing loose electric wires. Workmen with the Jamestown Department of Public Works were continuing to remove tree limbs from city streets. Winds, estimated at 80 mph, ripped through the city, smashing display windows, ripping out traffic signs and tearing down wiring.

Chautauqua Central School was closed early this day because minor respiratory ailments caused by the absence of seven teachers, 20 percent of the faculty staff. The illness also had caused much absence in the student body, school officials said. The school would open again on Monday. The basketball game with North Collins scheduled for Saturday evening, however, would be played.

In 1989, a plane believed involved in the grisly death of a suspected drug dealer at the Olean Airport had been impounded by police in the central Ontario city of Orillia. The airplane was seized in connection with the continuing investigation into the death of Jorge Luis Paredes, 41, of Toronto, who was found dead on a runway at the Olean airport. It appeared as if the back of his head had been hit by an airplane propeller. A small plane was reportedly seen taking off moments before Paredes was found, police said. Royal Canadian Mounted Police impounded a Grumman Cheetah plane at Orillia’s Lake St. John airport. “There’s a big chunk out of the propeller and there’s blood down the side,” the source said. The plane was under police guard and the owner was under investigation.

Maple syrup producers should be busy stoking their evaporators later in the week if the extended weather forecast held up. Radar Technician Chuck Tingley at the Buffalo office of the National Weather Service said a warming trend was expected to begin in two days and would bring gradually warming temperatures toward the weekend. The temperatures were expected to produce the freezing nights and thawing days that bring heavy flows of sap from sugar maples.