Jamestown Post

William M. Webb Died At Celoron Home Yesterday

Had Been Prominent in Local Athletic Circles, Particularly Baseball for Many Years
Piloted Jamestown Spiders for Number of Seasons and Managed Local Bowling Alleys
Ill Several Months


William M. Webb, one of the most prominent figures in Jamestown athletic activities, died yesterday morning about 6 o’clock, at his home 15 Conewango Avenue, Celoron, aged 47 years, victim of a cerebral hemorrhage. He had suffered two strokes earlier in the summer. The end came during his sleep. He was found dead by his wife about 8 o’clock.Mrs. Webb had given her husband medicine at 4 o’clock and he appeared to drift off into sleep from which he probably never awakened.

Mr. Webb suffered his first stroke early in July, his right side being paralyzed for several weeks. A similar attack came about two weeks later, but his condition had improved and he attended the ball game played by the All Jamestown team, management of which he relinquished after his second stroke, and the Buffalo Colored Bisons at Celoron Park on August 18th. He was able to be about Celoron Park and he was downtown Wednesday when he greeted friends on the street.

The deceased was widely know to baseball and bowling enthusiasts, both players and fans, in this region and his death came as a distinct shock to them.

Mr. Webb is survived by his wife, Mrs. Myrtle Miller Webb, two daughters, Katherine E. and Joan Webb, his mother, Mrs. Harriet Webb of Philadelphia, and a sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Fisher of Merchantville.

Born in Homestead, Pa., October 22, 1883, Mr. Webb came to Jamestown about thirty years ago to play baseball in the old Interstate League. Prior to that time, he had played with various minor league clubs in Eastern Pennsylvania and had the reputation of being one of the best infielders in that part of the country.

At one time manager of the Warren, Pa., club of the Interstate League, Mr. Webb returned to Jamestown to play independent ball with the Jamestown professional club at Celoron when the Interstate League was disbanded. Later on, he assumed the managership of the local club, which became known as the Jamestown Spiders, sometimes called the Spider Webbs, and he piloted the team for many years. His Spiders were well known throughout Western New York and Pennsylvania. Mr. Webb and the late Lehman G. Peterson were associated in the operation of the club for several years until the death of Mr. Peterson.

Mr. and Mrs. Webb would have celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary tomorrow, had Mr. Webb lived.

Prominently identified with bowling, Mr. Webb managed the Floss alleys in the Wellman Building before the World War, and later became associated with the Freebrook Bowling Company as assistant manager under James Brooks, long a personal friend. He became manager of the Spring Street alleys of the Freebrooks Company when they were opened a few years ago, a position he held since.

He was for a long time a member of the Easter Brands bowling team in the city’s bowling history. Last season Mr. Webb maintained a 200-pin average, which was the best he ever experienced. He participated in several American Bowling Congress state and district tournaments and more frequently than not “rolled into the money.” He was one of the founders of the Jamestown Bowling Association and will be greatly missed as a teacher of young bowlers.

Mr. Webb was a member of Jamestown Lodge L.O.O. Moose.

Tributes Are Paid

Mayor Roberts issued the following statement at City Hall yesterday: “I am deeply shocked by the news of his death. Billy Webb was a true sportsman in every sense of the word. He was one of those unselfish characters who knew the meaning of loyalty and who made life pleasanter for all of whom he came in contact. I have known Billy Webb for twenty years and I shall miss him greatly.”

City Judge Allen E. Bargar, President of the Jamestown Baseball Association, speaking on behalf of Muny League players added this mark of tribute: “Word of the death of Billy Webb is especially shocking to his many friends and admirers who believed he was rapidly regaining his health. I have known Billy Webb since he came to Jamestown to play baseball. He first attracted my interest and admiration as a player. He possessed ability as a leader and for many years the team managed by him at Celoron Park attracted thousands of fans.

“He was always devoted to promoting the national pastime in Jamestown and throughout his life here was a splendid influence for good. All baseball followers in Jamestown, as well as those from other communities who have met his ball teams and come in contact with his genial personality, will sorely miss Billy Webb.”

The body is at the Boyd Funeral Home, where a prayer service, in charge of the Jamestown Lodge L.O.O. Moose, will be held at 4 p.m. daylight saving time today. The body will be taken to Warren and shipped this evening to Philadelphia, where funeral services will be held from the Cushing Funeral Home, Pine Street, on Monday.

The additional financial assistance of the community is critical to the success of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame.
We gratefully acknowledge these individuals and organizations for their generous support.