In Years Past

In 1914, three men were killed, two injured in another grade crossing accident at the notorious Forsyth or Ripley crossing of the main road and the Lake Shore Railroad on this morning. The accident happened when an automobile, racing to get through the crossing, was hit fairly amidships by an eastbound train on the Lake Shore Railroad. The dead were Fred G. Bird, 51, of Dunkirk, foreman of the boiler shop of the Brooks plant of the American Locomotive Company; George B. Bird, his son, 30 years and Otto E. Walters also of Dunkirk, former Police Commissioner. The bodies of Fred Bird and Walters were carried on the pilot of the engine nearly a half mile before the train was stopped.

A Randolph automobilist, either a most reckless driver, or else, filled full of Jamestown firewater, was being sought by various persons in Jamestown and along the state road between the city and Kennedy, for a number of accidents in the course of said man’s thrilling journey from Falconer to Kennedy. Not far from Levant, the reckless driver ran his machine into a carriage occupied by Mr. and Mrs. J.A. Huckleberry. The carriage was damaged and the occupants, both elderly, thrown out and injured. He then sideswiped another auto abut two miles east of Levant. He raced up behind another car, pulled out to pass, pulled back too quickly and ran into the front corner of the other car. He then sideswiped a buggy, throwing its occupants to the pavement. The auto did not stop but raced on towards Randolph.

In 1939, attorneys for the Jamestown Macadam Company, low bidder for the contract to supply the city with hot asphalt paving material, were busy preparing a supreme court action against the city of Jamestown following the announcement that Mayor Harry C. Erickson had signed a contract with the Driscoll Brothers Co. of Buffalo. Mayor Erickson and R.E. Driscoll, one of the partners in the Buffalo firm, signed the contract at a meeting of the highway committee of City Council. The Jamestown Macadam Company asked 50 cents per ton less for the material to be used than the city proposed to pay to the Buffalo firm. The lawsuit would undoubtedly come to an early trial, actions of this nature involving local governments having a preferred status.

Dr. Norman Stewart, former Warren, Pa., dentist, who pleaded guilty to the murders of his first wife and namesake son, was sentenced to life imprisonment by Judge Frank P. Patterson in Pittsburgh. The sentence was imposed for the killing of Stewart’s four-year-old son. Sentence was suspended on the charge of the murder of Mrs. Stewart. Patterson said he had decided to send Stewart to the electric chair but that the report of a psychiatrist had caused him to reduce the punishment. He commented, “I am not sure I shouldn’t impose the highest penalty, even now.

In 1964, continued fluoridation of Jamestown’s water supplies was assured when City Council, in special session, crushed an attempt to force the Board of Public Utilities to stop adding fluorides to the water under a decisive 11 to 1 vote. On a roll call which followed an hour-long verbal skirmish between fluoridation and anti-fluoridation protagonists, a resolution directing the BPU to discontinue fluoridating the water until the issue could be decided by referendum, was supported only by its author, Councilman-at-Large LeVerne Webeck.

Adoption by towns and villages of uniform sanitary regulations whose implementation would aid in preventing pollution throughout the county, was urged by Chautauqua County Board of Supervisors the previous afternoon following about an hour’s discussion. The discussion, participated in by citizens and supervisors, centered on Chautauqua Lake and Lake Erie pollution problems.

In 1989, the Chautauqua County Attorney’s Office had initiated a four-pronged plan to crack down on illegal dumping. The anti-littering plan featured a toll-free number for people with information or tips on illegal dumping, a $100 reward to callers with tips that lead to the arrest and conviction of dumpers, revamped court procedures to speed up the prosecution of litterers and beefed up surveillance of sites used as dumps. “It’s just frustrating to see people violating our environment with no social consciousness. We’re putting together a unified approach to tackle this problem,” County Attorney Andrew W. Goodell told The Post-Journal.

An investigation to determine the source of medical syringes and needles found Sunday on the shore of Chautauqua Lake east of Bemus Point was expected to be turned over to police. Chautauqua County Health Commissioner Dr. Robert Berke, said that an investigation by his department had failed to indicate the origin of the medical waste. Berke said about 50 syringes and needles were collected by area residents and turned over to police.