NYFingerLakes-L ArchivesArchiver > NYFingerLakes > 2007-03 > 1173501916
Subject: [NYFINGERLAKES] Chronicle - Express, 17 Nov 1938 ( 1st Message)
Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2007 23:45:16 -0500 (EST)
Opps! I've added my signature and contact info.
As time allows I'll transcribe and send various articles.
Victim of Shot is Holding Own.
- O.J. TOWNSEND, Sportsman, Veteran Printer, in Hospital With Mystery
Bullet in Head. - Seek Wallet
Anyone who happened to drive in the vicinity of Esperanze, the County
Home, on the PennYan-Branchport state road between 10 and 10:15 a.m.
Saturday may be able to shed some light on the mystery which surrounds the
shooting of Oliver J. TOWNSEND, aged 69 years, Penn Yan veteran printer
and sportsman. Yates County officials would welcome any
information such persons might be able to give.
At about that time, while a Chevrolet sedan was parked on the north side
of the state road a few rods west of the garages which stand along that
side of the highway, just before the road slopes over the hill and turns
across the flays at Branchport, Mr. TOWNSEND was struck by a bullet from
behind while he was standing on the south side of the highway looking
across the end of West branch towards Branchport.
A few coins, his glasses and blood, found in the leaves along the side
of the road, some 20 feet from where he was picked up coupled with a
missing wallet, would indicate that someone else was in the vicinity
during that brief period.
In the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial hospital Sunday afternoon, when Mr.
TOWNSEND recovered consciousness for a few minutes. He told Dr. Allen
HOLMES of the FOSTER-HATCH group that his companion had been gone but five
minutes and he was standing beside the road when suddenly
everything went black.
Wednesday Mr. TOWNSEND seemed a bit brighter and stronger. Physicians
feel it will be unwise to try to remove the bullet for a time at least,
because of the unusual course it followed in missing vital spots.
Talking with officials, he recalls the exact amount of money on his
person and that his billfold was buttoned in his hip pocket. It was a
black leather wallet with his name stamped on it. He recalls the pain
after being struck and his efforts to get up, also wondering how long
before Mr. BALLARD would return. Mr. TOWNSEND has a hazy recollection of
noticing another car approaching.
PLANNED FISHING TRIP
Mr. TOWNSEND treasurer of the publishers of the Chronicle-Express, was
at the office for a short time Saturday morning, before he decided to take
advantage of "the first good day in two weeks to go bass fishing". Always
an ardent fisherman, Mr. TOWNSEND had spent most of his spare time in
years gone by on Lake Keuka after trout or bass. Making arrangements with
Lewis BALLARD of Penn Yan, he went home to change his clothes, bought some
bait on Lake Street and a lunch at a local restaurant and the two men
headed for Branchport in Mr. BALLARDS car, intending to get some fishing
tackle from BALLARD'S cottage and go to Bluff Point for a day of fun.
A flat tire caused Mr. BALLARD to pull off the road just west of
Esperanza, beyond the garages and up the bank from several cottages,
in-cluding one belonging to Mr. TOWNSEND. This was about 10 a.m. Mr.
BALLARD started to walk toward Branchport to get the tire repaired. As Mr.
McMINN picked him up a few rods away, Mr. BALLARD saw "O.J." get out of
the parked sedan and cross the road.
Within 20 minutes he returned from Sutherland's garage at Branchport,
changed tires and began looking for his fishing companion. Sounding the
horn and calling brought no response, so he walked down the bank to Mr.
TOWNSEND's and returned. Not finding him, he made a second trip; then a
third trip to the lake to get water for the bait.
Driving to Branchport without finding him, he parked his car this time
on the south or lake side of the highway. Still thinking "Ollie" might be
walking along the shore, he stepped to the edge of the hillside and saw
him lying unconscious with his head on a rock, out of site of the highway.
Mr. and Mrs. Allen McMINN of Branchport happened along just then. Mrs.
McMINN went to the home of friends nearby, so Mr. McMINN could bring Mr.
BALLARD and Mr. TOWNSEND to Penn Yan.
MISSING MONEY STARTS' SEARCH
Concerned over his general condition since he lay on the ground nearly
an hour, it was thought that the skull fracture from a fall onto the rocks.
When it was established however, that he had $125 in his wallet at the
time and this was missing and when examination of X-ray photographs showed
a bullet had penetrated the left ear and lodged under the left eye, a
search was made at the scene Sunday morning.
Near one of the gravel piles kept by the road maintenance crew were
found some coins. About six feet away were found his glasses and blood
stains under the leaves. It seemed then impossible that he could have
moved over the ridge by himself after being shot and some 20 feet down the
hillside to the position in which he was found by Mr. BALLARD.
Authorities, judging from the direction of the head injury and Mr.
TOWNSEND's testimony at the hospital, believe that a hunters stray bullet
from the woods above the road and towards Esperanza, or even a shot from
the highway might be responsible for the wound, which
obviously was not made at close range.
Yates county officials and extra state police have searched the ground
on all sides of the scene without uncovering any further clues. State
Trooper Fred GUYLE states that Oliver WELDY, aged 63, inmate at
Esperanza, now admits that he was hunting in that vicinity at about that
time and that he took a couple of shots at squirrels.
Sunday afternoon Trooper GUYLE and Deputy Sheriff KIPP confiscated his
22 rifle and a supply of "short" cartridges. Recovery of the bullet from
the injured man would establish definitely whether or not it was fired
from this rifle. Mr. WELDY for some time has been permitted use of the gun
for small game hunting on the county lands.
Officers hope that someone driving by the scene at 10 a.m. or shortly
after may have seen something which will enable them to solve the
Bruce A. Sherwood, Sr.