In Years Past

In 1914, Charles E. Weeks, a member of an old Jamestown family, and extensive cigar and tobacco dealer, went to his farm home in Warren County and shot a farm employee, George Ganey, with a .44-caliber revolver. Death was instantaneous. After the shooting, Weeks went to the home of Oscar Beustrom, a neighbor, and telephoned to his brother, James L. Weeks of Jamestown and to the sheriff of Warren County. To his brother, he told what he had done. To the sheriff, he gave information that he had shot and killed a man and that he wished to give himself up. The motive of the shooting was the old, old story, one that had been told many times before. It was the story of broken marriage vows, the discovery by the husband and the excitement of the moment, then the killing of the man who had invaded his home.

Three pretty girls and three clever boys billed as The Six Tango Fhiends, would present as one of the features at the Lyric Theater in Jamestown, all the popular dances, including the tango. The tango was not commonly believed of South American origin. It was an old gypsy dance which came to Argentina by the way of Spain, where in all probability it became invested with certain features of the old Moorish dances. The Argentines adopted the dance, eliminating some of its reckless gypsy traits and added to it a certain languid indolence peculiar to their temperament.

In 1939, a rapt audience was gazing upon four unwrapped young women in a nudity contest at the New York World’s Fair the past night when up strode the sheriff and six deputies who ordered the beauties to don some clothes and charged two of them with “indecent and lewd exposure.” The other two got off with a lecture because careful scrutiny disclosed they were wearing bras and skin-tight cobwebby nether garments. In the whole quartet, however, there wasn’t enough clothing to wad a 12-gauge shotgun. A number of photographers and reporters were on hand for the arrest, which was timed to theatrical perfection.

Details of a recent backyard quarrel over a disputed clothesline were unfolded in city court as Judge Allen E. Bargar tried Eva Peterson, 32 and Sadie Thompson, 30, who resided on West Eighth Street in Jamestown, on charges of third-degree assault. He found both guilty and deferred sentence on the pair. According to testimony of the principals, each of whom accused the other of attacking her, one of the women hung her week’s wash over the clothesline of the other. Clothes poles and hammers figured in the melee in which both women claimed to have received bruises.

In 1964, George Jessel, one of the all-time greats of show business, would be the guest of honor at a dinner for Israel Bonds at the Hotel Jamestown on Thursday evening, June 11, it was announced by Seymour Minsker, general chairman of the event. Minsker said: “We are indeed delighted that so great a personality as George Jessel is visiting Jamestown, especially since he will be coming here one day after he returns from a visit to Israel. We look forward to welcoming Mr. Jessel with a capacity turnout.”

A recommendation that the Jamestown City Planning Commission consider the transfer of 23 parcels of tax sale property with frontage on Baker Street as an addition to Bergman Park was approved by City Council. The property, which adjoined the park to the northeast, was formerly the site of a post-war housing project occupied by temporary homes converted from one-story military barracks.

In 1989, Niagara Mohawk work crews completed repairs early in the day to restore power to about 2,800 Chautauqua County customers left without electricity as the result of a thunderstorm that hit the area shortly after midnight. Lakewood District Manager Ronald E. Soehnlein said a large tree took down a 34,500-volt transmission line in open country between Panama and Clymer, knocking out substations in Panama, Clymer, French Creek and Findley Lake. Soehnlein said this morning, “We don’t have any more out that I know of right now. Now it’s time for breakfast.”

Despite a five-year investigation, officials at the state Department of Environmental Conservation could not determine the cause of natural gas leaks that forced the evacuation of a Levant family from its home and contaminated the water of neighboring houses. John Luensman, Chautauqua County Department of Planning and Development director, received the 86-page report the previous day. Luensman said he was dissatisfied with the study and said it might take legal action to get results from the DEC. According to the report, he said, the DEC doesn’t know whether an earthquake or well drilling caused the leaks.