This Week in History: Ernie Hall sets flight path

99 years ago in 1919:

• Ernest C. Hall, the son of local merchants who made good in government service, was establishing air routes for commercial transportation between Wichita, Kansas, and Fort Worth, Texas, to pass over Dallas and some of the richest oil fields in the country. He secured pledges from over 100 men who would make the flights with him at prices ranging from $35 to $200.

Hall’s record dated back to the opening of hostilities in World War I when he was an instructor of aviation at Exposition Park near Conneaut Lake, where he established the five-mile route between the park and the lake and had made daily trips there. When war was declared, he had volunteered the services of the school to the government at no cost and was transferred to Wright Field at Dayton. Hall was made the government’s chief flight instructor at Call Field near Wichita and served as an agent for the Wright airplane.

• A 12-year-old boy on Youngstown Avenue had a very narrow escape from drowning. Harold Tyrell and another boy were playing in the dooryard and during the play, Tyrell ran across the stone covering of the cistern. A coal wagon had passed over the underground tank and fractured it. When the weight of the boy came on it, it gave way and allowed him to fall into the cistern.

The other lad gave the alarm and Officer Ward Mahan of the police force came to the assistance and by means of a yard rake got hold of the boys clothing and dragged him out of the water in an unconscious condition. The boy was resuscitated and for a time considered critical by Dr. Goodman, who was called to attendance. But an inquiry the following day showed the boy to be better. He suffered no permanent injuries from the experience.

50 years ago in 1968:

• A 45-year-old Newton Falls man and his working companion remained in serious condition at Youngstown’s Southside Hospital after suffering extensive burns at Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co.’s Campbell Works.

Lee Powell, Rt. 2, Newton Falls and George Barbour, 59, Boardman, sustained second-degree burns over 65 and 75 percent of their bodies.

According to T.B. Carpenter, works manager, the men, both employed by William G. Pollock Co. of Campbell, were working on pipeline construction for Sheet & Tube.

The men were standing some 30 feet from a slag pit where the molten steel was filled about halfway with water. Carpenter said that apparently steam or gaseous pockets erupted, throwing scalding water over the top of the pit and onto Powell and his companion.

• Two Trumbull archers, a Warren woman and a Hubbard man, were honored when the Apco Fish and Wildlife Conservation Club held its sixth annual archery tournament awards banquet.

The banquet, held in the recreation building of the arsenal with a cocktail dinner honored the high scorers in the last tournament.

Mrs. Julie Ratell of Rt. 4, Warren, not only defended her position but topped her triumphs of 1965 and 1968. The outstanding male archer, Harland Jamieson of Hubbard, recorded 716 to top the men’s scoring. Mrs. Ratell’s score was 648.

25 years ago in 1993:

• A local nursing home strived to improve as inspectors found only two minor deficiencies.

Gilette Nursing Home had fallen into neglect and Charles Stein, whose family had founded the home in 1936, said he decided to get control of his nursing home. He took over the job as nursing home administrator six months before with his son, Douglas, who joined the staff.

A series of stories published in the Tribune Chronicle in May 1992 outlined the problems state inspectors had found in Trumbull County nursing homes. If the home had not fixed the violations, including issues of poor health in patients, the nursing home could have faced serious penalties from the Ohio Department of Health. Stein said he was motivated to address the shortcomings by something basic: “Our residents deserve good care.”

• A strip of forgotten land, between two railway overpasses near undeveloped Church Street in Niles gave the Niles Beautification Commission big plans for the area — if it was cleaned– including a walking path through riverside park marked with lush green grass, colorful flowers and park benches. The concern of the group was to make downtown Niles more attractive and safe.

Law Director, Terrance Dull described the site as “an eyesore” and a “potential health hazard” in a letter asking John Hromyak, the city man who did not own the property but had dumped scrap and other materials there for more than 10 years, to clean it up.

Hromyak said cleanup had been delayed by equipment failure. He said he continued using the land after the former tenant stopped renting it from Conrail 10 years prior.

“I’m retiring,” he said, “…we’ll get the scrap out of there.” He also said he would be cleaning the debris left by Conrail.

10 years ago in 2008:

• Two Tribune Chronicle columnists again earned honors in the Humor Press national writing competition.

Burton Cole took third place overall in the December 2007 / January 2008 cycle for his Sunday “Burt’s Eye View” column “No Savings Here, but Clip and Save Anyway.” The tale of growing up with a coupon-clipping mom originally ran Jan. 13 in the Tribune Chronicle.

Cole also earned two finalist and semifinalist honors, tying a New York writer for the most articles to place in competition. He had placed in the top three nationally — including the top prize — in three of the four cycles his works were entered.

Patty Kimerer was awarded an honorable mention for “The Long Ride to Empty Nest University.” It was her second consecutive honorable mention.

• Days of (tiny) thunder offered hands-on racing in Bristolville Centerway Runway. The slot-car competition opened by brothers Larry and Leroy Moyer and their sister, Cindy Stevens, opened in a structure that had formerly been Bristolville Antiques.

The little race cars on the indoor track were called “the fastest cars on the planet” negotiating the 156-foot flat track in 7.2 seconds.

Owners came from Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio to participate in a day of competition at the new Bristolville Center Raceway.

— Compiled from Tribune Chronicle archives by Emily Earnhart