In Years Past

In 1914, a letter was received from Mabel Williams of Dunkirk, who with her sister and nephew, had been abroad since the middle of June. The party was in London, waiting for passage back to this country. Williams wrote that they were in Munich, Germany, on July 31. During the day everything was quiet and there was no talk of war but in the evening troops began to march through the streets amid great enthusiasm. The next morning, Williams and party started for Cologne. The boat went no farther than Coblentz and the passengers were obliged to disembark and go the rest of the way by train. Many of them were held up for identification and there was much excitement.

Dr. Axel Grafstrom, another of the well-known Jamestowners who was abroad when war was declared, and relative to whose safety and comfort his Jamestown friends had been worrying, returned to Jamestown this morning. Grafstrom was fortunate in securing excellent accommodations for the return trip but was glad to again tread the streets of Jamestown. He was accompanied on his trip to his former home in Sweden by his wife and baby child and his wife’s sister, Lillian Anderson. “Such excitement as there was in Copenhagen I have never seen,” said Grafstrom.

In 1939, “war-weary” soldiers of the First Army at Plattsburgh, returned to their base camps for a weekend rest and found a new concern in the streams of tourists who had come to visit the “battlefield.” The visitors, pouring into the mimic war scene in rapidly increasing numbers, promised to complicate an already troublesome traffic problem as they meet some of the 52,000 men returning after a night in the field. To handle the situation expected to develop over the weekend, the force of military police in Plattsburgh and the immediate vicinity was stepped up to 90 men, while several hundred more were called to duty elsewhere throughout the “battle” area.

Charles “Chuck” Brown of Barcelona had his shirt torn off by a monkey in the dense woods at Volusia, near Westfield. The animal, owned by Amanda Parsons, suddenly went native and scampered away into a nearby wooded section. It finally perched on a high limb and chattered away while bananas, oranges and nuts were spread on the ground in an effort to tempt it to come down. Late in the day, Brown arrived on the scene and decided he would capture the simian. He shinned up the tree only to come sliding down a few minutes later, minus his shirt and tufts of hair and with red scratches criss-crossing his face. “Stay up there as long as you want to,” he yelled up at the monkey. The monkey was still up in the tree. Its owner had offered a $10 reward for its return.

In 1964, a brazen burglary the previous night at Damond’s Food Market, 188 Falconer St., Jamestown, netted a small truckload of merchandise which apparently was carried out the front door, detectives reported. The theft of a large variety of articles from display and storage areas was discovered at 8:30 a.m. by the store owner, Frank Damond. He estimated the loss at approximately $800 but said the exact value of the merchandise would have to be determined by inventory. He said missing merchandise included more than 15 cases of canned and bottled beer, about 40 cartons of cigarettes, $8 in change from an unlocked register, two boxes of pepperoni, several bottles of pop, potato chips, candy, small cakes and a quantity of cosmetics and men’s toiletries.

Advice from a 7-year-old son cost Anton J. Fier Jr., 40, Euclid, Ohio, a $50 fine in Peace Justice William Harris’ court at Portland the previous day. Trooper H.B. Kowal of the state Thruway patrol reported what happened. Fier was traveling east on the Erie section of the Thruway when he was stopped while traveling at 100 mph. When the officer asked Fier why he was going so fast since he had his family with him, the trooper quoted Fier as saying: “My son said, ‘open it up daddy and see what it will do.'” Fier pleaded guilty to the speeding charge.