In Years Past

In 1914, the picnic season had begun. The Jamestown Business College picnic to Midway Park was carried out according to schedule Friday evening. Although the continuous rains and lowering of the temperature as the day advanced materially affected the attendance, a little over 100 persons participated in the event. The steamer City of Cleveland was used and was prettily decorated with red and buff crepe paper. The party left the boatlanding immediately after 6 p.m. arriving at Midway Park at 8:15 p.m. All the way up the lake the steamer headed a prevailing wind and white caps were abundant but the passengers had prepared for such an occasion and with an abundance of music to lend good cheer, the journey was not in any way discomforting.

Every seat in Jamestown’s Lyric Theater was sold at both performances Friday evening and hundreds were turned away, unable to secure seats at the two benefit performances for Mortimer Snow, the well-known actor who had been sick in the hospital for several weeks. The benefit which was given under the direction of Ellsie Williams, Snow’s leading lady, was such a splendid success that by special request a matinee would be given. The performance Friday evening was without a doubt one of the best home-talent bills given in Jamestown, five out of six of the acts being composed of home talent.

In 1939, Ed Barrow, president of the New York Yankees, announced that Lou Gehrig was suffering from chronic infantile paralysis and would never play baseball again. Barrow’s statement came after Gehrig had turned over to him the formal report made by Mayo Clinic experts. Gehrig had spent several days in the clinic in order to have a thorough check made of his physical condition. The one-time great first baseman had been worried about his condition all year. After making a bad showing in the field and at bat during the early part of the season, Gehrig voluntarily benched himself on May 2 thus ending his consecutive games streak at 2,130 games. Barrow said he understood from the physicians’ report that the disease could be checked and that in any event it probably would not get worse.

Assurance that his firm would soon take over and operate the Jamestown Municipal Airport on North Main Street extension in accordance with terms of its lease arrangement with the city was given by Donald G. White, president of the White Aircraft Inc., at a meeting of the Airport committee. White told the committee that a subsidiary of the White Aircraft firm called the Benson-White Flying Service, would conduct a flying school and operate a charter plane service at the port. Frederick Larson, well known Jamestown pilot who had charge of activity at the old airport, had been engaged by the new operating firm as resident manager of the new airport. Larson would move to the new hangar as soon as the interior of the structure had been completed, probably in three weeks.

In 1989, collecting more than $1 million from former Jamestown General Hospital patients was a headache for city officials and the unpaid bills were not always the fault of the patients. Most of the problems involved the former ambulance service at JGH, according to Douglas Anderson, Jamestown’s finance director. When JGH purchased the Chautauqua County Ambulance Service, it took over that company’s accounts receivable. These bills were not computerized but were handled manually, Anderson said. For some reason, the hospital administration was never able to computerize the ambulance bill collection system. After JGH was sold in September 1988, all bills owed to the hospital were put into the city’s computer system, Anderson said.

Two New York state legislators wanted Art Linkletter to get a state license before he could talk to senior citizens about health insurance. That was because insurance was so complicated that people who appeared on advertising should know what they were talking about, the legislators said. “We’ve had people going out and buying a policy because they feel ‘Arthur Godfrey would never lie to me,'”Assembly Insurance Committee Chairman Howard Lasher said. “The feeling is ‘How could a celebrity lie to us?'”