100 Years Ago
In 1912, an eastbound freight train on the Pennsylvania railroad crashed into a switch engine in the local yards at Silver Creek the previous evening. The wreckage caught fire and threatened a serious loss for some time. The freight train was in charge of Engineer F.H. Gibbons of Oil City, Pa. The cause of the collision had not yet been ascertained but the freight train was running at good speed through the village when the two engines collided. Gibbons stuck to his post and was badly cut and bruised, although it was said his injuries were not fatal. The engine of the freight train was thrown across the tracks and several freight cars piled up on top of it. The wreckage soon caught fire and was blazing fiercely when the village fire department arrived on the scene. After a hard fight, the firemen saved most of the train.
Grapes, the big money crop of the Lake Erie valley occupying the whole north and northwestern part of Chautauqua County, struck their low mark for the year. The market prices had remained down up to this day, although with a complete cessation of picking because of the low price in many sections and the faster movement of the crop incident to low prices, there had been a slow recovery. Grapes struck their probably low prices at retail in the Jamestown city markets Thursday and this day. The slump in the grape market was one of the elements which made the grape business undesirable under present circumstances.
75 Years Ago
In 1937, Joseph Holtz, 32, and his wife, Laura, 30, of Silver Creek, were instantly killed early Sunday morning near Silver Creek when their car crashed into the rear of a parked truck, which with other cars had been stopped on the highway because of another accident. According to Police Chief Eugene M. Fox in Silver Creek and state troopers who investigated the tragedy, the Holtz car was traveling at a high rate of speed. The truck had been parked on the side of the highway by its driver, Bernard Deloma, Dover, Ohio, when he responded to a distress call of Harold Oliver, Utica, whose truck had careened from the highway and overturned when a tire blew out two hours previously. Oliver told police that he was on his way to Dunkirk with a load of boilers when the tire blew and his truck left the road, overturned and burst into flames. Deloma had stopped and left his truck on the highway with a lantern and flares about the vehicle to warn approaching cars. Apparently Holtz did not notice the flares until too late and crashed into the parked truck. Both occupants of the Holtz car died instantly.
High praise for the peace officers and grand and trial jurors of Chautauqua County was given by David L. Brunstrom, district attorney, in an address on the operation of the district attorney's office before the Rotary Club at its weekly lunch meeting at the Hotel Jamestown. Mr. Brunstrom concluded his address by urging that the solution of the crime problem in this or any other county rested with the churches, the service clubs and the various other agencies that worked with young people in attracting them to social rather than anti social activities.
50 Years Ago
In 1962, the case of a missing glockenspiel confronted the Jamestown Police Department - but not for long. William H. Crosby, well-known percussionist in local music circles, was unloading his drums and other instruments at the National Guard Armory the previous evening when he discovered that the case containing his glockenspiel was missing. He recalled that when he was loading the instruments into his car at his home on 5th St., he had set the case down beside the car. Mr. Crosby dashed back to his home only to find that the case had disappeared. After searching the area thoroughly without success, he appealed to the police department for help. Several hours later the case was solved when Mrs. Del Lorence of Royal Ave., brought the missing instrument in to police headquarters. She had found it as she was driving by Mr. Crosby's home.
The first payment for construction of a plant to be used by a new $2 million area industry, Flakebord Corp., was authorized by the Jamestown Area Development Corp. Resignation of two officers and one director of the development corporation was accepted "with regret" and a new secretary and new treasurer were appointed by the board of directors. Construction of a plant for the industry already was well under way at a 40-acre site on the Frewsburg-Falconer Road. Manufacturing operations were to start the following year.