100 Years Ago
In 1912, at Silver Creek, lightning killed the 2-month-old twin boys of Frank Barnes as they lay in their double crib early the previous day. A great bolt had torn its way through the rear of the home of William Wettstein, adjoining the Barnes house. The Barnes home rocked and trembled and the shock snuffed out the lives of the twins. Neither Barnes nor his wife, nor anyone in the Wettstein house, was injured by the bolt.
Constable J.J. Velle of Richmondville, 30 miles north of Oneonta, N.Y., was probably fatally shot by a band of burglars who robbed the post office at Richmondville. No trace of the robbers had been secured although telephone communication with every vicinity village had notified the authorities of the burglary. It was thought the men escaped in an automobile although trains were being stopped in an effort to obtain the robbers or clues. The postmaster at Richmondville was awakened by the ringing of an automatic alarm. He hurried to the office but reached there too late to be of assistance. Officer Velle had returned home on the morning train and, going by the post office on his way home, saw the robbers, interfered, and was shot down. The men secured considerable money orders and stamps.
75 Years Ago
In 1937, more than 40,000 people visited Chautauqua County's 38th annual fair which opened the previous day, Labor Day, on the Dunkirk Fair grounds. They came with dawn, they stayed to the last minute and all day and far into the night there was not a dull minute to be found anywhere on the entire 54 acres, which comprised the county's big playground. Being opening day and first night, in addition to a national holiday, it was a gala occasion. Hints of rain or snow, for the temperature took a terrific tumble, seemed to have no effect whatever on the attendance.
Sebastian Foti, 10, of 115 Barrows St., was overcome by fumes from a gas heater while bathing at his home Monday night. The lad was just losing consciousness when members of his family discovered his plight and carried him into fresh air. A call was placed for the fire department inhalator, but the boy was sufficiently revived when it arrived so as not to require the apparatus. A physician administered restoratives and announced the boy was out of danger.
50 Years Ago
In 1962, Chautauqua County's 20th motor vehicle fatality of the year was recorded the previous afternoon when Henry Ellis Rowley, 5, was fatally injured in the collision of his bicycle and an automobile. The child was riding his bicycle near his East Oak Hill Road home at the time of the accident. State Police said the driver of the car tried to avoid the accident by driving his car into the ditch on the right side of the road. The right front of his car struck the bicycle. The motorist drove the child to WCA Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Henry was one of 10 children of Harold B. and Olita Sisson Rowley. He was enrolled in the kindergarten class at the Robert H. Jackson Elementary School in Frewsburg.
Level of water in the well field of Jamestown's Board of Public Utilities showed an increase of .8 foot from one week previously, the first rise recorded in the level which previously had decreased weekly since imposition of water restrictions July 14. Merle A. Smedberg, utilities superintendent, was heartened by the report but said no consideration would be given at the present time to relaxing restrictions on water usage.