In Years Past

In 1914, the school at Shamburg, Pa., near Titusville, erected 45 years previously during the height of the oil excitement in that area, was a landmark used jointly as church and school of late. It was destroyed by a fire discovered about 6 p.m. two evenings ago. A derrick and tub tank containing a small quantity of oil owned by Hampton & Dunham was also destroyed. School was dismissed at 2 p.m. Friday afternoon to allow the pupils to join with the school children of the Jerusalem district in giving an entertainment. When the building was closed for the day there was no fire in the stove or lights on in the building. The church and Sunday school supplies, including a good church organ, together with books and supplies owned by the school, were destroyed.

Some of the many features to recommend Jamestown were as follows: The city had an ideal high school, many clubs and lodges, two hundred factories, about twenty churches and three daily newspapers. It also boasted a superior park system, a population of nearly 35,000 and was only seventy miles from Buffalo. It was located on Chautauqua Lake, had an abundance of natural gas, well kept streets and was a well-governed municipality with excellent sanitary conditions and good water and electric power. It was a good place for the capitalist with twenty miles of paved streets, an effective police department, an excellent street car system and a minimum of labor troubles. The streets were brilliantly lighted at night. It had first class hotels at moderate rates, a half-million dollar public library, a U.S. post office and court building. And it was located in the heart of good farming country with nearby towns connected by trolley.

In 1939, a Chautauqua County Court jury which was trying Hachig Simonian, 64, on a charge of first degree manslaughter for the alleged fatal stabbing of George Bohigian, 45, the past Dec. 23, on the Findley Lake farm they shared, this day heard Lee Bohigian, 16, son of the slain man, relate details of the argument over distribution of a milk check that led to the tragedy. Simonian, who claimed he acted in self-defense after being struck by his partner, was defended by Allen A. Cass and Michael D. Lombardo from Jamestown, with Assistant District Attorney Edwin G. O’Connor, of Brocton, prosecuting for the people. Lee Bohigian said that during the argument between the two older men,Simonian called the elder Bohigian a foul name in Armenian. George Bohigian then slapped Simonian in the face and the defendant picked up a kitchen knife, which he plunged into Bohigian’s left side.

Herman C. Ehlers, local Dunkirk undertaker, who several days previously, had culminated legal warfare against Coroner George E. Blood of Fredonia by preferring charges upon which he sought Blood’s removal from office, found himself in the role of defendant. He was hauled before Edward Schreiner of Albany, chief administrative officer of the state department of health, to answer three charges of having removed bodies from one district to another without having first obtained permits, as provided by the state health laws. Taking the stand in his own behalf, Ehlers stated that two of the deaths in question had occurred late at night and efforts to get in touch with officials authorized to issue the required permits had been unavailing until he following morning and that early removal of the bodies had been desirable.

In 1989, hunters might be reporting that they had seen fewer deer than in previous years but there was no shortage of them, according to two experts on the subject. There were fewer deer than there were a few years ago but population changes were natural and not the fault of the state Department of Environmental Conservation, according to James Snider, DEC wildlife biologist. Snider said Allegany State Park had more deer than it could support – even after recent mild winters, park officials had found deer that had starved because they had not been able to find enough food, he said.

College professor turned county executive John A. Glenzer was looking forward to retirement at the end of the year. Glenzer officially announced what he called one of the world’s worst-kept secrets – he would not seek re-election to the county executive post he had held since November 1983. “I have decided I am not going to run but I will remain active with the Republican Party,” the Fredonia resident said. “I’m not going to go back to being a college professor – I’m going to retire.”