In Years Past

  • In 1914, news of the death of Charles H. Gifford, which spread through the city of Jamestown early in the morning, came as a genuine shock not alone to Mr. Gifford’s close friends and acquaintances but to thousands of others who knew him as a successful and energetic businessman, a worker in the church, a man with a hearty greeting, a ready hand clasp and a pleasant smile for everyone. Mr. Gifford’s death occurred at his home at the corner of West Fifth and Cherry streets, caused by a sudden attack of neuralgia of the heart and came without warning to himself or his family. He was about the city as usual during the previous day and he looked in perfect health. He did speak in a light manner of a twinge of rheumatism in his shoulder but gave the matter no consideration.
  • A dog supposed to be mad went on a rampage along the north road in Cherry Creek the past Monday, biting and fighting with every living thing it ran across. At Carl Brookman’s home, the dog attacked his three-year-old daughter, Eva, biting her on the face and her mother, who ran to her assistance, was bit on the arm but succeeded in driving the animal off. Drs. Benjamin, Caneen and Waters were summoned and dressed the wounds of the mother and child who were getting along nicely as of this writing. The neighbors started after the dog and he was finally shot by Shirley Wilcox and George Decker. The dog’s head was sent to Cornell to ascertain if the animal was afflicted with rabies and an answer received later stated that the case was one of rabies.
  • In 1939, the way was cleared for construction of a new bridge overlooking Niagara Falls, as owners of the destroyed “Honeymoon” span sold its site to an Ontario-New York commission. The International Railway Company, owner of the famed span that collapsed under pressure of an ice jam in January 1938, announced it had contracted to sell “real estate, rights and transferable franchises” to the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission, an international body preparing for construction of a bridge at another site. The purchase price, the announcement said, was $615,000.
  • With the opening of the New York World’s Fair a scant 24 hours away, 50,000 workmen toiled to put the vast exposition in shape for its debut. Out on the erstwhile Flushing Marshland, part of the mile-square aggregation of the fair’s wonders still was short of completion but the scores of finished buildings and thousands of exhibits, together with a full program of opening day ceremonies, promised plenty of attractions for the expected million visitors the following day. Most of the commercial displays, towering temples dedicated to everything from beer and bread to cars and communications, were ready.
  • In 1964, the nation’s first nuclear fuel processing center, under construction at West Valley, Cattaraugus County, should be in operation “early next year.” The prediction came from Jon D. Anderson, deputy director of the N.Y.S. Office of Atomic and Space Development, who spoke the previous afternoon at a Lions Club meeting in the Hotel Jamestown. He said 40 percent of the state’s facilities had been completed and about 30 percent of facilities to be owned by a private firm, on the sprawling 3,331-acre site. The $30 million plant would be used to process, recover and store nuclear fuels and wastes for private industry in New York, the first state in the nation to develop this type of nuclear facility.
  • Gov. William W. Scranton easily swept Pennsylvania’s Republican presidential preference primary, scoring a state record for write-in votes. He said, in a statement from his home at Dalton, that he was “astonished” by the size of his write-in and “certainly I am grateful to the men and women of Pennsylvania who have offered this expression of their confidence.” State GOP leaders had hoped for such a large write-in that the 46-year-old first term governor would regard it as a popular clamor from his home state for him to become a presidential candidate. Scranton said, “I am not a candidate and have made this very plain. Since I repeated time after time that I was not a candidate, I expected few votes.”

-In 1989, a former employee of Cummins Engine Co. had rejoined the company as manager of its Jamestown Engine Plant. James D. Kelly succeeded Joseph Peganoff, who accepted a position in Ann Arbor, Michigan, as vice president of the Midwestern Division of Wyman-Gordon Co. Kelly’s appointment was announced by F. Joseph Loughrey, Cummins Vice President of heavy-duty engines. Kelly returned to Cummins from Dahlstrom Manufacturing Co. of Jamestown, where he was general manager for structures and enclosures.

  • Another historic landmark was being torn down on Main Street in Sinclairville. Very few of the old buildings were left. Two that looked much the same as they did years ago were the brick Mitchell building, now the Valley Historical Museum and Sinclairville Hotel, now Century Manor, an apartment house. Sheldon Store was still standing and had been completely remodeled as the home of the Sinclairville Volunteer Fire Department. The latest building to be demolished was known as the Masonic building. It was not built for the Masons but for a store sometime before 1858. The Masons bought it to use as a clubhouse in the 1920s. The old building was being demolished to make way for gasoline pumps.