In Years Past

In 1914, there were but five cities represented in the Interstate Baseball League, Olean having dropped out when its players refused to play for the reason that they had not been paid. The Jamestown team took the field but none of the Olean men showed up and Manager Lohr claimed the game by forfeit. It was claimed that the affairs of the club had been in poor shape for some time and the players took this chance to get out. It was expected that either St. Mary’s or Johnsonburg would take Olean’s place. Both were good baseball towns and the only drawback was the long jump between them and the other cities of the circuit.

George H. Coburn, for 20 years past, a well-known Jamestown citizen, for nearly 10 years manager for the Standard Oil Co. in this city and a member of a number of fraternal organizations here, died at his home on West Sixth Street at 1 in the morning. Coburn was best known in Jamestown by his title, Major, and his face would be missed on the streets where he had been well known for many years. Major Colburn suffered a broken arm in a fall recently. This and declining years sapped his strength and he had been confined to his bed since May 13. He was about 78 years of age.

In 1939, several witnesses testified in Mayville for the people in county court at the trial of Thaniel Thomas, alias Thomas Ball, 40, of Erie, Pa., on three indictments for the alleged kidnapping of his three children from St. Mary’s Home, Dunkirk, April 6. Louis Monroe, Fredonia Children’s Court clerk was the first witness to testify against Thomas, stating that Judge Ottaway signed an order April 1, removing the three children from the parents’ care and placing them in the Dunkirk Home. This action was done because Thomas and his wife, Pearl, were not capable of providing them with proper care.

A resolution proposing to lengthen the term of office of Jamestown councilmen “as well as other elective and appointive officers,” and to double the $25 monthly salary of councilmen, was laughingly received and pigeonholed at Monday night’s session of the city legislative body. Councilman Harry Stahley, who offered the resolution, said he did not expect it would secure early approval but added he was offering his proposal as “food for thought.”

In 1964, a search for pigeons’ nests for eggs and chicks led to a 12-year-old boy’s downfall, police reported. The youngster, Dwight Thompson, along with a group of other boys his age, were walking across the Pennsylvania Railroad trestle, some 40 feet above the Silver Creek creek when Thompson decided to crawl down onto a girder below to search the pigeon’s nest he sighted for chicks or eggs. While crawling, he slipped and managed to grasp the girder by his hands. He remained suspended until some of his companions ran to nearby police headquarters for help. Police rescued the boy with a rope and a long extension ladder they found near the scene. Among those attracted to the scene was the boy’s father.

The Ford Tri-Motor, most famous of transports during aviation’s pioneer days, would be making one of its last public appearances at the Jamestown Municipal Airport on Monday, June 29. Affectionately called the “Tin Goose,” the legendary craft would arrive at the North Main Street port at 1 p.m. where it would be on public display until early evening. It was being brought here by American Airlines in cooperation with The Post-Journal. Byron Rogers, American Airlines district sales manager in Buffalo said at least two flights were planned for city officials and travel representatives.

In 1989, the state education commissioner canceled a statewide chemistry achievement test on this morning after the New York Post published 56 answers from a stolen answer sheet on its front page. But Jamestown High School gave the test to its Regents chemistry students. Before the 12:30 p.m. exam, students were told they would receive local credit – but not Regents credit – for the year if their final averages were 65 percent or better. Some JHS students walked into the exam carrying copies of the New York Post. Others said they had seen a copy of the exam answer sheet.

There appeared to be little concern or even awareness that a Corry, Pa., company – Foamex Products Inc. – was 48th on the Natural Resources Defense Council’s list of 110 industries cited by it as the nation’s largest emitters of individual carcinogenic air pollutants in 1987. A company spokesman told The Post-Journal that he had not seen the list. Public officials in Corry said they were not aware of any emissions problems at the plant.