100 Years Ago
In 1912, Seth Sheldon, brother of A.B. Sheldon and Postmaster Charles E. Sheldon of Sherman, wandered away from his boarding place some time during the previous night. Sheldon was subject to fits of mental aberration and it was thought that he had become bewildered and succumbed to the intense cold. The thermometer ranged from zero to 15 degrees above. Searching parties were scouring the country around Sherman looking for the missing man. Sheldon had been at the office of a physician and got some medicine. He went to his boarding place at the home of Mrs. Messenger and went to bed. In the morning he could not be found. Mr. Dutton, a neighbor, was notified early and tracked him from the Messenger home to the Vincent woods, some distance away, then back to the house and down the sidewalk to the village, where his tracks were no longer distinguishable. Mr. Sheldon was found unconscious in the rear of the home of Charles Smith back of the Sherman pond, which he had evidently crossed on the thin ice. Both legs were frozen to the knees or above. The physicians were not certain whether they would be able to save his feet.
Chautauqua County Superintendent of Highways Willis D. Leet spent the previous day in Jamestown, arranging as far as possible for the forwarding of plans whereby the permanent improvement of Foote Avenue from the end of the present pavement to the city line to connect with the Jamestown-Frewsburg improved road, could be got in shape for letting a contract the coming spring. Leet was in consultation with City Engineer Clyde G. Jones and other city officials on this proposition. Leet stated that there was very much truth in the criticism which had been raised that Chautauqua County had not received its share nor anywhere near its share, of the state funds expended during the past two years for permanent highway work, from the proceeds of the sale of the first $50 million of bonds.
75 Years Ago
In 1937, the sinking of the United States gunboat Panay and two American-owned tankers by Japanese warplanes precipitated the gravest of many international crises arising from the Far Eastern war. High officials of the Navy and State Department at Washington worked through the night compiling reports for quick submission to President Roosevelt on the sinking of the gunboat and the Standard Oil tankers, Meiping and Meishia, with an undetermined loss of life. Comment on possible government action was withheld pending receipt of a Japanese communiqu and additional information from U.S. diplomats and naval officers on the scene. The tankers, both said to be carrying Chinese and American refugees, burned and sank. The Japanese foreign minister, Koki Hirota offered "the profoundest apologies."
Plans for the annual Christmas shopping season parade of the Jamestown Retail Merchants Association Thursday evening were perfected by the special committee headed by Benjamin M. Rose of the Chamber of Commerce. Retail stores would close at 5:30 p.m. and remain darkened until after the parade, which would move at 7 o'clock. The business houses would reopen at 7:30 p.m. Santa Claus and 50 torchbearers, wearing caps and capes, would be in the line of march through the business section of Jamestown. Music would be furnished by the Jamestown Concert Band and the fife, drum and bugle corps of Ira Lou Spring Post, American Legion. The parade would consist of the torchbearers, Santa Claus, floats and employees of the stores.
50 Years Ago
In 1962, a 2-year-old Falconer boy, who wandered alone with his dog the previous night in zero-degree weather for an hour was returned to his home safely after a "lost boy" alarm had been sounded by Falconer and Jamestown police. Tom Whitermore, 2, changed his mind about sliding with his brothers, Bradley, 5 and Gregory, 7, children of Mrs. James Whitermore. Tom decided to go for a stroll with his black Lab dog, "Mister." The walk in the snowstorm came to an end an hour later on Aldren Avenue. Burton M. Anderson of Clyde Avenue, Jamestown happened along and saw the child and the dog in the roadway. Anderson was unable to get much out of the lad so he took him to the home of Mrs. Ruth V. Sampson, 116 Aldren Ave., who sheltered Tom and his dog. Meanwhile, the "lost boy" alarm was broadcast to the police. Jamestown Police Officer Robert Due notified Falconer police where the boy could be found. Officer Ross Runfola picked up the boy and his pet.
One death of a heart attack while shoveling snow was recorded in Chautauqua County as the pre-winter storm slammed into its eighth day. Rudolph Springling, 71, died of a heart attack while shoveling snow at his home in Fredonia. Two school buses transporting students of Chautauqua Central School became stuck in the snow while traveling the school district route this morning. Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department early in the afternoon, rushed to the aid of a snowbound family on the Hartfield-Centralia Road. Deputies equipped with snowshoes left the Sheriff's office on an errand of mercy, carrying cans of fuel oil for the stranded Paul Weise family. The storm continued to rage in near-blizzard proportions along the Erie Lake Plain and the "snow ridge" sector across the center of the county.