In Years Past

In 1914, the ladies of Ss. Peter & Paul Roman Catholic Church held a social in the church parlors Thursday afternoon for the benefit of the fund for the erection of an old folk’s home on the site given to the church by the Rev. Father Richard Coyle. There was not a very large crowd present but considering the bad weather, the ladies did very nicely. The parlors were attractively decorated with American flags and bouquets of red roses adorned the tables. In the afternoon, vocal solos were given by Mrs. Martin Pierce and Mrs. Edward Hazeltine and refreshments were served.

The examination of the 120 babies entered in the Better Babies contest being conducted in the YWCA building would be concluded late on this afternoon. The contest had proved to be a decided success and physicians who had been assisting in the work predicted that it would become an annual event. Even the doctors had admitted that there was a “surprising number of attractive babies” in Jamestown since this campaign was inaugurated.

In 1939, Carl Pintagro, Jamestown, was the winner of the 20-lap, 10-mile feature motorcycle race before a crowd estimated at 3,000 persons at the meet sponsored by the Jamestown Motorcycle Club and the American Legion Fife, Drum and Bugle Corps on the Frank Shaw farm track at Sherman’s Bay, Sugar Grove Road. He was presented with the tourist trophy for the victory over winners of four previous events. There were only a few spills, all of a minor nature, none of the riders being injured. The half-mile track was in good condition for the series of events in which Jamestown, Dunkirk, Buffalo and Canadian riders participated. Music was furnished by the veterans’ musicians.

The 20th case of smallpox reported since the epidemic at Ripley was declared, was reported Saturday afternoon. The victim was a Ripley man and according to Dr. Paul S. Person, was the head of a family in which three children were ill with the disease. No new cases had been reported from Ripley this day up to press time. Dr. Robert L. Vought of Jamestown, announced that the 176 young people who were exposed to one of the Ripley victims when they took an examination at Fredonia on May 13, had been released from quarantine. He also announced that 113 persons who were exposed at Brocton during the Junior prom of Brocton High School had been released.

In 1964, heavy frost was reported in lowland areas of Chautauqua County overnight but the fruit belt section apparently escaped unscathed. The Experimental Station, East Main Street, Fredonia, had an overnight low of 37 degrees and at a late hour of the morning had received no report of frost damage in the fruit belt. Light frost was felt in the hilly sections of Arkwright and Cherry Creek and a 32-degree reading was recorded on Route 83, the Laona-Hamlet Road. These section, however, were well removed from the fruit operation.

The trailer of a tractor-trailer unit was demolished and another vehicle was damaged when the trailer was struck by a train about 1:45 a.m. on Route 219, one mile north of Great Valley. Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Department reported a tractor-trailer unit owned by Associated Coal of Buffalo and operated by William Green, 29, of Hamburg, was traveling north. The driver failed to see the 137-car B&O freight train approaching the grade crossing and attempted to beat the engine in spite of the flashing signal. The engine struck the trailer about midway and tossed it sideways into the front end of a 1957 car owned and operated by Charles Jimbrone, 25, of Salamanca. Jimbrone suffered only a minor injury and was to see his own doctor. Green was taken to Salamanca Hospital for observation.

In 1989, Cassadaga Valley Central School was celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. In 1939, 31 school districts merged to form a new school district. The names of those smaller districts were engraved in the foyer of the three-story brick school building on Route 60 just outside of Sinclairville. By the mid-1930s, the state Education Department was encouraging small, rural districts to merge into centralized schools but many people vehemently opposed the idea. To them, centralization meant the tearing down of the old order of their communities. All their lives, they had their own schools and they resented anyone who wanted to disrupt tradition. The aged buildings had served the districts well and the education had been sufficient but the buildings were inept and the education inadequate for the time. And so the country schools passed from the scene.

The bids were in on the reconstruction of Jamestown’s Persell School and they were way above the past year’s estimates, according to reports. Renovations to turn the one-time elementary school into a middle school for grades 5 through 8 would cost almost $2.6 million, according to Dodge Reports. That was 2 times what the Jamestown Public Schools Board of Education last year estimated Persell renovations would cost.