In Years Past

In 1914, the four gunmen convicted of the murder of Herman Rosenthal, died in the electric chair at Sing Sing prison at the break of dawn this Easter Monday. None confessed his guilt and none mentioned the name of Charles Becker, the former police lieutenant, found guilty of instigating the murder but saved by the court of appeals reversal. Of the four, Frank Seidenshuer made the only statement. Even he did not flatly assert his innocence. “Gentlemen,” he mumbled as they strapped him in the chair, “I did not shoot at Rosenthal. They who said I did was perjurers. For the sake of justice, gentlemen, I say I didn’t. The witness Stannish–.” He did not finish the sentence. The current shot his body forward in the chair. He had meant to say that Stannish, a witness, had lied, but death intervened.

The property of the Lynndon Worsted mills at Falconer was purchased this day by the Cleveland Worsted Mills Company, now operating the Oldsonia mills in Jamestown. The Lynndon mills would be added to the string of finely equipped and prosperous textile plants operated by that concern in Cleveland, Philadelphia, Providence, Jamestown and Ravenna, Ohio. The plant would hereafter be known as the Ferndale mills.

In 1939, the April dinner-meeting of the Greater Jamestown Advertising Club was held at the Hotel Jamestown Wednesday night with an address on The Will of Civic Progress, by Howard Volgenau of Buffalo, chairman on housing for that city, and talks on the subject, Boost Jamestown, by local men. It was decided to hold the June meeting at the Hoot Owl Gulch camp of Donald R. Livengood, president of the club. Ross E. Davis of the Retail Merchants Association spoke to the club membership about the 40 signs to be placed in the area to seek Route 17 traffic. The mayor promised to remedy an unsightly condition at one of the approaches to the city.

From $10,100,000 to $29,500,000 annually could be saved New York taxpayers by reorganizing the state’s school system, a study published by the regents’ inquiry into the cost of education said. The report, a 400-page book called State Aid and School Costs, was the eighth published by the inquiry since its organization in 1935. The study recommended eliminating one-teacher schools, increasing the size of school courses, an improved school purchasing system and establishment of a statewide insurance fund. Urging the elimination of small school districts, the study proposed that all districts have a population of at least 6,000 with 1,200 pupils and an assessed property valuation of no less than $4,000,000.

In 1964, a 61-year-old farm hand was killed Saturday evening when struck by a car operated by the person the victim had been helping earlier in the day. State police identified the victim as Harry F. Hine of Main St., Ellington. Coroner Emmett E.C. Eckman, Lakewood, issued a certificate of accidental death. The driver was not held for criminal action, police added. Hine was reported walking west on Route 62, apparently en route home. The driver was traveling in the same direction and he apparently did not see the pedestrian.

Steven Showers had resigned as Celoron police officer and he would become Busti police officer, effective April 16. A controversial figure after the Celoron five-man, lame duck Democratic Village Board dismissed him, Showers would succeed Busti Officer George Dahlgren. Busti Town Supervisor Joseph Gerace confirmed Showers’ appointment. Showers verbally notified Celoron Mayor Edward J. Keller and other village officials of his resignation. Showers said his dismissal was political and that he was accused of participating in the Celoron Village election March 17, when two Republicans were elected, breaking the five-man Democratic control for the first time in nearly 10 years.

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.”