In Years Past

In 1914, Joseph D. Digola of Erie County and George Coyer of Cattaraugus County were electrocuted in Auburn prison on this morning. The executions were without incident and that of Coyer was accomplished in less than five minutes. Both went to the chair stoically. Digola killed a successful rival in Buffalo and Coyer slew his wife after she had left him because of cruelty. The electrocutions marked the end of 23 years of service as state electrician by E.F. Davis of Corning. A statement was issued at the prison that Davis did not officiate at these electrocutions because of ill health and added that he would not officiate in the future. His assistant was not on hand and an unknown had charge of the executions.

Lee Chapman of Conewango was the victim of a shooting accident Sunday afternoon and at present he was at his home with a bullet lodged in his hip near the joint. Dr. W.F. Gardner, who attended him, probed for the bullet and although he located it, he was unable to extract it. The accident took place near the Chapman home. Chapman was with Leo Bartlett of Machias, a companion, and the latter had a .22 caliber revolver in his pocket. Not knowing that the weapon was loaded, he took it from his pocket with the intention of loading it when it was accidentally discharged.

In 1939, the British government ordered complete mobilization of the navy and called up the remainder of the regular army reserve and supplementary reserve. This move was announced in a statement from the prime minister’s residence after a special meeting of defense ministers and key cabinet members had discussed preparedness steps to meet the European crisis. It also was announced an undetermined number of Royal Air Force volunteer reserves were being called up. It was understood this would bring the air force virtually to war strength. Earlier, the government had ordered “precautionary” removal of approximately 3 million women, children, invalids and aged from London and other danger zones.

George Goodell, popular Jamestown athlete, who had appeared in every one of the 97 games played by the Pirates during the 1939 PONY league season, would be out of the lineup for this day’s game with Hamilton due to a broken nose cartilage received at Celoron Park Wednesday evening when he was struck in the face by Don Hurst’s hard-hit, one-bounce smash. The manager of the Red Wings, who pitched the Canadian club to a 6-3 victory over the Baby Bucs, was credited with a double on the unfortunate play which occurred in the seventh inning. Goodell, who also received a black eye in the accident, said he was unable to get his glove in position to field the ball driven at him with lightning speed.

In 1964, two men lost their lives at 8 p.m. Saturday when a vehicle which police said was stolen crashed head-on into a truck on Route 16, 1 mile south of Machias. State Police identified the dead as Earl Stoy, 22, of Altoona, Pa., and George Thomas Anna, 35, of Buffalo. Stoy was driving the car which was reportedly stolen in Buffalo earlier in the day. Allegany State Police reported the car was traveling north on Route 16 and while rounding a slight curve, crossed to the southbound lane and collided head-on with the tractor-trailer owned by Boss-Linco Lines, of Buffalo and operated by Joseph Eaton, 38, of Portville, who escaped serious injury.

Oliver Earle, 45, of Harborcreek, near Erie, Pa., was a very brave man. He proved that when a man armed with a gun robbed the Loblaw’s supermarket where Earle was employed as a clerk. Earle learned of the robbery when a cashier screamed into the store microphone, “he’s got all my money.” Without hesitating, Earle rushed to his car and gave chase. The clerk caught up with the bandit, forced him off the road and ran to the gunman’s car. The bandit pulled his gun and came at Earle but tripped and fell to the ground. The clerk jumped him and got the upper hand holding the bandit until passing motorists came to his aid. The suspect was taken back to the supermarket and turned over to state police.

In 1989, Falconer Central School teachers, who worked the past school year without a contract, would get pay hikes totaling 39.34 percent over four years, according to a new contract that was almost finished. Spokesmen for the district’s administration and teachers said they were pleased with the contract. So if a teacher who earned $30,000 in 1989-88 got the average increase, he would get $32,640 for 1988-89, $35,512 for 1989-90, $38,708 for 1990-91 and $41,805 for 1991-92.

More Chautauqua County residents than ever before held two jobs but the county’s economy was getting weaker, according to a study by the county Department of Planning and Development. The weakness stemmed from the increasing number of seasonal or part-time jobs and less high-paying and permanent positions for county residents, John Luensman, Planning Department director, told The Post-Journal. “We are talking about the quality of the job,” Luensman said, adding that quality could be measured by both permanence and salary.