In Years Past

  • In 1914, Cora Johnson, the 7-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Johnson of 214 Chandler St., had a narrow escape from drowning at noon this day when she fell in the mill race of the Jamestown Lounge Company, near the corner of Winsor and Harrison streets. It was only the quick and heroic work of Sam Keefe, who was passing near the place at the time, that saved her life. He heard her scream and ran and jumped into the water, bringing her to shore safely. The little girl had been playing near the bank of the race and in some manner had fallen in. The water in the race was about 10 feet deep and was far more dangerous than the Chadakoin River itself.
  • The home of Henry W. Odell, 519 Washington St., was burglarized recently by some unknown person and a sum of money and valuable jewelry was taken. Mr. and Mrs. Odell left the house about 2:30 in the afternoon and the burglary occurred some time between that hour and the hour of their return about 4:45. No indications that anyone forced an entrance to the house were discovered and the conclusion followed that someone had a key and unlocked the door.
  • In 1939, damage estimated at approximately $35,000 resulted early this day when a sensational blaze swept the old Monarch Furniture Company plant at 708 E. Second St., just east of Winsor Street in Jamestown. The fire completely destroyed the stock and equipment of the Surplus & Salvage corporation, as well as the structure itself. When firemen first arrived, the flames were still confined rather well to the center of the main building, although a few licks of fire were shooting out windows on the east side of the structure. All apparatus in the city was placed in use as well as most of the department’s serviceable equipment. The aerial truck proved its usefulness by shooting a stream of water from the top of its 85-foot ladder into the heart of the flames. Success of the firemen in keeping the blaze from spreading to nearby structures was outstanding. A grocery store, meat market and drug store immediately west of the burning building were not even slightly damaged by the flames.
  • New York State Motor Vehicle Commissioner Carroll E. Mealey, estimated “thousands of persons” were operating automobiles on terminated driving licenses and asked police to ‘take such action as is necessary.” He reported 966 or 68 percent of the 1,420 licenses which expired during March had not been renewed. Most operator licenses, Mealey said, were for the three-year period ending the following year but many expired one or three years from the date of issuance so that some terminated each month. Approximately 23,000 chauffeur licenses expired May 31.
  • In 1964, police from three departments took over the job of cowboys this morning and were busy rounding up 26 cows let loose when a cattle truck rolled over into a ditch on the Route 5 cutoff, just outside the Silver Creek village line. Silver Creek police said they received the first call at 5:15 a.m. and by 10 a.m. had succeeded in corralling eight of the animals. Details of the accident had not been learned. Silver Creek officers were being assisted by State Police from the Fredonia barracks and Sheriff’s Department personnel.
  • Todd D. Gustafson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jack H. Gustafson, of R. D. 4, Shadyside Road, was injured in a crash of a twin-engine training plane that claimed the lives of two at the Naval Air Station, Corpus Christi, Texas. Mr. Gustafson, an instructor pilot, was not believed to have sustained serious injuries. Authorities said the plane was on a routine training flight.
  • In 1989, torch-bearer Bobby Confer of Jamestown, accompanied by Special Olympics coaches and area law enforcement officers, set off from Jamestown City Hall, heading for Falconer and then up Route 60 through Cassadaga to Fredonia and on to Silver Creek. The run the previous day was part of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for the Special Olympics, which began in Long Island. The final destination of the torch was Rochester and the RIT Stadium, where the New York State Special Olympics would begin on June 8.
  • Ayatollah Khomeini was buried alongside followers who died in the Islamic revolution that carried him to power. Thousands of Revolutionary Guards and civilians pushed and shoved around the graveside, kicking up clouds of dust as Khomeini’s body was taken from a metal casket and lowered to the grave. Burial of the 86-year-old fundamentalist patriarch was delayed when frenzied mourners blocked the funeral procession and some of the vast crowd grabbed the corpse from the open coffin. Khomeini’s body fell to the ground and the people ripped his white burial shroud to pieces for mementos of the revered Iranian revolutionary leader.