A local historian named Bruce F. Towne published a short book entitled "Bricks on the Chimney" which discusses the origins and history of Jamaica. Towne was a local grocery store owner for several decades, a business founded by his father in the early 1900s. In March 1921, Maylen M. Heater was Jamaica's first traffic victim when his car overturned just west of town. He was the vice president of his father's bank. On July 4, 1919 Clarence Kinney and his son Guy tragically drowned in the high waters of the Raccoon River near the old saw mill. In 1921 the local garage was destroyed by fire when a local resident thought his Model T was leaking gas. He crawled under the automobile and lit a match which resulted in an explosion. In the 1930s, the flu epidemic killed several local residents.