In Years Past

  • In 1914, Owen Schoonover, 34 years old, a teamster living in Olean, was at the Higgins Memorial Hospital as the result of sitting down on a bottle of carbolic acid. The man’s leg was so badly burned that he became delirious and it was necessary to call in the police to restrain him. The physicians who were attending him said that he had a good chance for recovery. Schoonover had bought the acid to treat some cuts on his hands. He had placed the bottle in his hip pocket and forgetting that it was there, sat down. The bottle broke and the liquid saturated his clothing and ran down his leg.
  • The new Chautauqua Golf Club course was formally opened the previous day to the delight of a big bunch of golf enthusiasts who had been awaiting with impatience the day they could get on the links. The new course, laid out by Seymour Dunn, the Lake Placid club expert, was said to be one of the finest in the country. The course was on the beautifully located plot of 80 acres across the state road from the Chautauqua Institution grounds. Starting at this road, the ground sloped gradually upward to the piece of woods which crowned the hill top and was so located that one of the most beautiful views of the lake to be found anywhere could be had from almost every foot of the course. “This piece of land was designed by nature,” said Seymour Dunn, as he watched the first match, “for a nine-hole golf course, I do not know of a finer location in the world.”
  • In 1939, “ridiculous, false and untrue” were the words used by Jamestown Mayor Harry C. Erickson in describing his reaction to charges that he and 15 other city officials were guilty of “collusive and fraudulent” acts in entering a contract with the Driscoll Brothers Company of Buffalo for supplying the city with hot-mix asphalt paving material. Mayor Erickson, like a number of other officials who were defendants in the action, appeared to treat the situation without too great a concern but it was obvious that most of the officials were more than a little worried by the turn of events.
  • The Driscoll Brothers, who contracted recently to furnish the city of Jamestown with all the hot-mix asphalt needed for street resurfacing this year, had reason to suspect that some evil genius had followed their trail to Jamestown from Buffalo. The past weekend they encountered labor trouble when Local No. 17 of the Engineers’ union demanded that Donovan Maxwell, non-union crane operator, be removed from the job. That trouble was overcome when City Council directed Driscoll Brothers to return Maxwell to the job and assured the company of council’s support if further objections came from organized labor. On this morning, Maxwell was back on the job and operations were proceeding merrily when the crane toppled over like a stricken animal. Maxwell escaped with only a minor injury but operations on the project had to be suspended for the day.
  • In 1989, saying that man had “not been good to God’s gifts,” Gov. Mario Cuomo signed legislation strengthening the state’s commitment to protecting the Great Lakes. The new law, which Cuomo acknowledged was long overdue, controlled withdrawals and diversions of water from Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. “I don’t know why it took us so long. The Indians understood and are still trying to teach us how important it is to preserve the environment … Just now we are coming to realize we have a moral obligation to preserve those gifts,” Cuomo said.
  • Twenty years had passed since Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon. At the time it was considered the nation’s greatest accomplishment. President Richard Nixon called it the greatest feat since creation. Did it still seem as incredible to people? What did local people remember about the lunar landing? Many Jamestown area residents told The Post-Journal they remembered watching Armstrong on television and were awed at what they saw. To those who remembered the moon landing it still had luster. “I was awe struck,” Rep. Amo Houghton, R-Corning, said.