In Years Past

In 1914, among the legal papers in the cases before Surrogate Harley Crosby in Jamestown city hall was one of more than passing interest. It was the last will and testament of John Meehan of this city who died the past January. The interesting thing about the paper was its frail condition owing to having passed through the Gokey fire of 1910. It was in the fireproof safe of Alonzo Picard’s law office and was therefore not destroyed. The intense heat to which the safe was subjected, however, affected the paper. It was yellow and brittle and had broken apart along the folds but was still perfectly legible. It was being carefully kept in tissue paper.

Brigs Feather, a shoe manufacturer of Saltaire, England, who had been the guest of his sisters, Mrs. Samuel Nutter and Mrs. Petyt, for the past nine weeks here had been booked by the Merz Agency to sail for Liverpool on the Cedric, July 25. Feather was very much pleased with his visit in Jamestown. Speaking of his trip to a representative of The Journal, he said he liked the city so well that he might come here to reside. “There is one thing I would like to say through the columns of the Journal,” said he, “and that is to thank the many friends in Jamestown for their hospitality.”

In 1939, suggestions designed to help the American people toward a better life were made by Dr. Harry A. Overstreet in the fourth of his lecture series on Ourselves 1939 at Chautauqua. “Nice people must stop being snooty about politics,” he said. “We must no longer think of politics as being the last resort of scoundrels but as an activity toward which the best minds of our country should be directed. Nothing much can happen in this country as long as the intelligentsia stay out of politics.” He stated that the tendency of most Americans was to stand around the fringes of the sidewalk and complain about what the politicians were doing. Overstreet said, “What we need is less booing and more doing.”

A torrential downpour accompanied the most severe electrical storm of the summer season Thursday night when lightning struck a barn on the farm of Leslie Barton, near Ashville. Despite the efforts of Ashville and Lakewood firemen, the structure burned to the ground. The residence was saved as were farm equipment and some head of livestock although some did perish in the flames. As Barton was leading two horses from the burning barn, one of the frightened animals kicked him in the side. He was taken to WCA Hospital for treatment. His injuries were not of a serious nature.

In 1964, the “Army Worm Epidemic” was spreading in Chautauqua County. Glen Cline, Chautauqua County agricultural agent, warned farmers to be on the alert for the worms and said he had received about 15 calls reporting worms in oat fields. Most calls, he said, came from farmers located in the vicinity of Sherman, Clymer, Stedman and Panama. The agricultural agent said attempts to hire a plane, equipped with a spraying device, had, to date, failed. Cline said the worms didn’t eat the oats but stripped the leaves necessary for nutrients, from the plants.

Prospects for the operation of the municipal beach at Burtis Bay appeared doomed after Jamestown City Council declined to take immediate action on a resolution to appropriate $6,000 for the purpose. Effect of this action was expected to result in such a delay as to make it unlikely that the measure could be approved in time to recruit personnel and complete preparations for opening the beach so it could be in use during the remainder of the summer.

In 1989, the death early this day of Robert C. Hoag, 53, treasurer of the Seneca Nation of Indians, was being felt as a great loss to all who knew him, according to responses from across the state. Salamanca Mayor John F. Gould directed that all flags in the city be flown at half mast. “Bob’s death is a real blow to the Seneca Nation and all people of our area,” said Gould. “He’s been a real force helping to achieve many things. I’m so sorry he had to die at such a young age with such a wonderful future before him.” Seneca Nation President Dennis Lay ordered all tribal operations closed down on this morning.

Grabbing handfuls of weeds from Lake Chautauqua’s silty bottom was part of the day’s work for a group of New York state biologists studying the lake’s weed composition. Two six-person research teams from the State College at Fredonia were putting on their wetsuits and snorkels over the next few weeks as they gathered July’s growth from 30 sites around the lake. Their data would be used to develop a lake management plan and an environmental impact statement required by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.