100 Years Ago
In 1912, the members of the Methodist troop of Boy Scouts under the command of scoutmaster Frank F. Leet, had hit upon a novel means of raising funds for the purchase of troop flags and other equipment. They were offering their services to the public for the delivery of Christmas packages in all parts of the city. The boys had all taken the scout oath and could be depended upon to perform efficient service along this line. The boys would be on duty all day of Dec. 23 and 24 and could be quickly summoned by calling on the telephone.
George Keith returned to Steamburg on Train No. 4 Thursday morning from Florida, where he had been to bring the remains of his son, Roy Keith, back home for burial. While south he learned something of the accident in which Roy was killed, although the particulars were somewhat meager. Roy and his companion, Staples, were riding on a freight train which was wrecked at Raiford, a small station in Florida. The freight train broke in two and came together, the cars were piled up with the boys underneath. Roy was killed and Staples very seriously injured. The funeral of Roy Keith would be held at Steamburg on this afternoon.
75 Years Ago
In 1937, trapped in a tiny cabin three miles north of Olean, three members of a woodcutter's family perished in a fire the previous night. News of the tragedy reached Olean early this day when Coroner S.J. Catilone was called. The dead were Bert Barden, 63, a woodcutter, Mrs. Barden, 55 and their son, Egbert, 25, also a woodcutter. Their bodies were found in the ruins of their cabin home in Godfrey Hollow. Barden, who was a widely known woodsman, was employed with his son on a wood cutting job on the Fred Smith farm for the potter Lumber Company of Allegany. A cut-down empty oil drum had been utilized as a stove in the cabin.
In what he described as his farewell official appearance before city council, Jamestown Mayor Samuel A. Carlson urged that body to seek bids for a municipal gas plant, declaring that method would be least costly for the city as well as most likely to bring about the establishment of the projected new municipal utility venture. Mayor Carlson's oral message augmented a written message in which he stated that the Pennsylvania Gas Company had never been granted an exclusive franchise to service residents of this community. Both written and oral messages from the mayor were ordered referred to the gas committee.
50 Years Ago
In 1962, a tractor-trailer ran out of control while traveling downhill into the Bradford business section the previous day, killing a 3-year-old boy, injuring his brother and seriously injuring the children's grandparents. Mark A. Godding died in Bradford Hospital some six hours after the tractor-trailer hit a car in which he and the other injured were riding. Mark's 1-year-old brother, Kent, was hospitalized in fair condition. Their grandfather, J. Albin Johnson, 68, of Bradford, was driving the car. He was reported in poor condition and Johnson's 62-year-old wife was in serious condition. Andy Banda, 57, of Johnstown, said the truck he was driving lost its brakes as he headed downhill on South Avenue. Banda said he blew his horn and swerved but could not avoid hitting the Johnson car which was stopped at the intersection.
A doe swam safely to shore as state police attempted to rescue her from Lake Erie at Van Buren Point late the previous afternoon. The animal, chased by dogs, ran onto the ice, about 2 to 3 inches thick but broken in most spots. She was about 100 yards from shore when she broke through the ice and struggled for nearly two hours before finally freeing herself. Troopers were in the process of rowing a boat to the trapped animal when the doe began to swim toward shore. Upon reaching solid ground, the doe darted into a nearby woods.
25 Years Ago
In 1987, local taxpayers had given a definite no vote to school district mergers but the state was still casting a yes ballot. L. Kenneth Rowe, a state Education Department official, said the state believed mergers were a good idea for small school districts. "The districts we are concerned about have less than 600 students," Rowe told The Post-Journal. And the state was standing behind the incentive aid it gave schools which study mergers and/or vote then in. Districts were fully funded in their studies of merging. "It's done to encourage districts to look at it," Rowe said. "If there wasn't any financial consideration, the district might not give it a good thorough study."
If Jamestown leaders could see the community receive one gift for Christmas, what would it be? That was a question posed to city leaders and their answers - mostly given after a moment's thought - mainly reflected their areas of interest. Jamestown Mayor Steven B. Carlson said he would want every resident to receive a good job. Samuel Teresi, executive director of the Downtown Jamestown Development Corp. said he wanted two gifts. "One of them is to maintain the outstanding cooperation between the public and private sector in the downtown area," he said. The second gift would be difficult to gift wrap. "It's another major anchor (store) for downtown Jamestown."