In Years Past

In 1914, the Judge Orsell Cook property in East Fourth Street, which was sold by the trustees at auction sale to Charles M. Nichols of Jamestown, was again sold later in the day by Nichols to Mrs. W.W. Watson, also of this city. It was understood at the auction that one of the bidders was acting for the Watson interests but the bidding was not continued to the point of overbidding the final offer of Nichols. Some time later, it appeared, a private agreement was reached whereby Nichols transferred his purchase. The deal was a private one and the consideration could not be learned.

The board of managers of the Warner Home for the Aged in Jamestown were sending out envelopes asking everyone in our city to contribute to a mile of pennies. The needs of their work demanded that they raise more money and they were asking every man, woman and child in our city to at least give one foot of pennies. All who could give two feet and others who could give as many feet as they could spare, were asked to do so for the benefit of this worthy work. Eight hundred eighty-four dollars and 80 cents made one mile. They invited all to contribute something and to remember that the aggregation of small amounts builds up a large sum.

In 1939, Carl H. Carlson of Jamestown, employed by the Bell Aircraft Co., of Buffalo and rooming in Kenmore, lay seriously injured in the Rhinehart Hospital at Silver Creek as the result of an automobile accident which occurred around 3 a.m. Saturday morning on Route 20 between Farnham and Irving as Carlson was driving alone to Jamestown for the weekend. He was found and picked up by state police as he lay beside his overturned car on an embankment across the ditch. According to Carlson, he was knocked from the road by a swaying tractor trailer approaching from the opposite direction. Carlson was, for over 25 years, employed as chauffeur in the family of the late Frank E. Gifford.

The home of William P. Thorpe at Sprague Street in Jamestown was damaged slightly in a freak fashion Saturday evening when fire broke out in a service truck owned by the Burgeson Tire Stores, causing a compressed air tank on the truck to explode. The truck was parked 150 feet from the Thorpe house but the force of the explosion sent one end of the air tank into the wall of the house, ripping several clapboards and damaging the plaster inside the house. Clark Schnars, employee of the tire store, had his hair slightly singed in trying to extinguish the fire.

In 1964, picking flowers was usually a non-hazardous way to spend a sunny afternoon, except if you were in the Corydon area where you and your bouquet could end up at the bottom of a 40-foot well or wallowing in a water-filled septic tank. The area, where once the village of Corydon stood, was dotted with open wells and septic tanks. These non-posted holes in the ground very nearly resulted in the death or serious injury of an area boy. The lad, just 3 years old, accompanied by his family, was in the area when he halted abruptly at the brink of an open water well, estimated to be about 40 feet deep and three feet in diameter. A check with the Army Corps of Engineers which bought the land so the water to be backed up by the Kinzua Dam could create a 32-mile-long reservoir, disclosed that it was aware of the situation. The wells and septic tanks were located where once stood houses that were razed to make way for the waters of the reservoir.

The Jamestown area was being “cased” prior to pulling a big job; that of solving many of the present and future traffic problems. The New York state Department of Public Works started a transportation traffic survey here the past month and had a crew of seven men taking traffic counts over this week. A major phase of the project would begin the following Wednesday when interviewers would start calling some 4,500 Jamestown motorists to determine when and where they drive each day.

In 1989, the deaths of two men killed in a lightning strike Sunday afternoon had been attributed to cardiorespiratory arrest by Chautauqua County Coroner John C. Sixbey of Jamestown. The victims were identified as Harry Nelson Jr., 30, of Salamanca and Terry Ristau, 29, of North Warren, Pa. Nelson and Ristau were members of a softball team that had been playing a game in the Randolph Modified Softball League at Randolph Central School. Four other players on the team were taken to WCA Hospital in Jamestown where they were treated for shock and released. The police report said team members sought shelter beneath a nearby tree, which was struck by lightning about 10 minutes later.

A young Sinclairville woman became Chautauqua County’s ninth highway fatality of the year as the result of a two-vehicle accident at 3 a.m. Sunday on Route 60, a mile north of Gerry. The victim was identified as Connie Lynn Goodwill, 18 of Sinclair Drive. Police said the victim’s car crossed the center line, striking a tractor-trailer and dislodging its rear wheels. The driver of the truck was not injured.