In Years Past

In 1914, Capt. Peter Grace, one of the pioneers of the oil industry, and for many years a resident of Jamestown, died this morning of pneumonia at Robinson, Ill. Grace was a Civil War veteran. He enlisted in the 83d Pennsylvania regiment at the outbreak of the war as a private. He returned at the close of the war with a commission as captain. As stated, Captain Grace was one of the pioneer oil men of the country. In 1860 he started drilling for oil at Tionesta, Pa. After the war was over he resumed his oil operations and with signal success. “At one time,” stated Louis Heineman, one of his Jamestown friends, “Captain Grace was the heaviest individual oil producer in the United States.”

The small boys, Joseph Agato, Norman Borst and Ferdinand Woodard, who confessed to robbing several of the business places in Jamestown during the past few weeks, were arraigned in police court. Agato was sentenced to the western House of Protectory at Buffalo. Woodard was sentenced to the Rochester Reform school but sentence was deferred with the understanding that his mother would take him in hand and leave the city. Borst was placed under probation for a period of one year.

In 1939, had Orson Welles’ Martian play been broadcast Sunday evening, it was very likely that the couple residing in the house at the corner of Main and 12th streets in Jamestown would have had good reason to believe that a Martian attack was actually being made on the United States. Mr. and Mrs. Justin Shields, 915 N. Main St., were seated in their living room listening to the radio when a careening car crashed into the front porch, following a collision. The impact broke several windows behind the couple but the startled duo escaped the flying glass when they scurried to the other side of the room.

When Norman Robinson of Livingston Avenue, Jamestown, returned to his auto and found a parking ticket on it Saturday, he had the somewhat original idea of posting 100 pennies as bail for his appearance before Judge Allen E. Bargar in traffic court this day. His originality was demonstrated again when he sent his wife to appear in court in his stead. But other people had other ideas. Bargar sent a special invitation to Robinson via his wife, requesting Robinson’s appearance in court the following day.

In 1964, a pre-Easter storm, accompanied by gale force winds, rain and snow, hit Chautauqua County the past night, making driving hazardous. Most highways in the eight-county area, comprising Western New York were slick with the snow, which began falling about 7 p.m. the previous evening. But Chautauqua County appeared to have received the greatest amount with nearly 4 inches overnight. Winds, reported to have reached up to 50 miles per hour, whipped snow across the highways, cutting visibility to practically zero. City and county crews were on duty all night, plowing and salting and cindering the slippery roads.

Three Jamestown High School debate team members were injured, one seriously, in a car crash during a blinding snowstorm at 8 p.m. the previous evening on Route 60 near Cassadaga. Most seriously injured was Kenneth W. Hauck, 17, a senior, who was in WCA Hospital with fractured ribs and a fractured pelvis. The debater’s father, William Hauck, Crescent Tool Company personnel manager was a patient in the same hospital. Other debaters hurt were Neil Anderson, 18, and Sharlene Lindquist, 18. The three were passengers of Robert A. Carlson, the team’s coach. They were in route home from Buffalo where they had been doing research work in preparation for a meet in New York City. Carlson was not injured.

In 1989, entertainers Lucille Ball and Bob Hope took a break Saturday afternoon during rehearsals for Wednesday’s Oscar show in Los Angeles. The pair, who had co-starred in several movies, would appear together to present one of the awards at the 61st Annual Academy Awards show.

Highway superintendents in towns throughout Chautauqua County expected spring thaw breakup problems every year but this time around appeared to be worse than usual for some of them. Perhaps reacting most strongly was Sheridan’s Robert M. Wdowisz. “It’s like a war zone,” he said of the town’s 41-mile highway system maintained by four men and himself. Portland officials reported unusually poor conditions as well. “The whole winter’s what’s caused the problem, with fluctuating temperatures,” Wdowisz explained noting that some of the town’s roads were beyond repair.