Friday, June 23, 2017

"Meet the Lady Cowculators" - Bovina Dairying Pioneer Beatrice Thomson

Seventy-five years ago, a Bovina woman was becoming a pioneer in the dairying industry. The newsletter of the American Dairy Herd Improvement Association, in its June 1942 issue, reported on its front page that "Women Fight Too!" The article noted that "There are fighters on the home front too, and none are more intrepid than the women who are stepping in to fill the gaps left by men who have gone to the service." Later in the newsletter was a page devoted to several women in the country who were becoming milk testers. Bovina's own Beatrice Thomson was one of the women featured. A life long resident of Bovina, she grew up on the Thomson farm on Pink Street. She had "recently graduated from the New York Agricultural College where she completed the Dairy-Commercial testing course that trained her in butterfat testing...." Here's the clipping from that newsletter about Bea.

Here's a clipping from the August 6, 1942 Waterville (NY) Times about "girl cowtesters," including Bea:

Bea continued to work at the Bovina creamery, later becoming the plant manager, until its closing in 1973. The Oneonta Daily Star in June 1968 had a short article by Jack Damgaard about the Bovina Center Coop Dairy and noted that "we are that we have a lady plant manager...." Here she is on the last day at the creamery.
Photo by Betty Elliott
After the closing of the Bovina creamery, Bea worked for Dellwood in Frasers as the bookkeeper, retiring from there in 1983. She died in 1986 at the age of 68 and is buried in the Bovina cemetery. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

June 1917 - 100 Years Ago "In That Thriving Town"

With the U.S. Entry into World War I, Bovina started to see military related activity, including an enlistment and a state military census. 

June 1, 1917
·         Mrs. G.D. Miller is under the doctor’s care.
·         Clark Miller went to Newburg Tuesday to enlist. [This is Clark Lay's uncle. Miller went to France where he died in action in April 1918.]
·         Miss Louise Dennis, who has spent the winter with her brother, John P. Dennis in Virginia, has arrived home.
·         The basement of the U.P. church will be fixed over so as to provide Sabbath School class rooms for the junior department.
·         Clark Gray, of Delhi, who has the contract to build the receiving vault at the Bovina Center cemetery, was here Wednesday to stake out the site.  The vault will be located in the embankment and directly facing the entrance.

June 8, 1917
·         James Archibald has leased and moved into the Methodist parsonage.
·         Herbert Olmstead has moved into the John R. Hoy house in the lower part of the village.
·         Robert G. Thomson has leased the residence of his father, Elliott Thomson, for the summer.
·         Sixty-four registered in Bovina on Tuesday under the selective draft law requiring all between 21 and 31 years to register.
·         Thos Tidd, of Shavertown, is repairing lines and putting the phones on the Bovina Center Telephone Co. lines in working order.
·         Mrs. H.A. Ayres fell Monday evening as she was getting out of John McCune’s auto and sustained numerous bruises about the head.

June 15, 1917
·         Dr. Norris B. Whitcomb returned Monday from New York.
·         Mrs. Thomas Gordon has been ill the past week with an ulcerated tooth.
·         Miss Grove, missionary from Egypt, spoke at the U.P. church on Sabbath evening.
·         The State military census of men and women between 16 and 21 is being taken by volunteers at Firemen’s hall.
·         Herman S. Russell and family, of Keldron, South Dakota, are visiting his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton Russell, in upper Bovina. [Herman was a brother of Cecil H. Russell.]
·         John McCune went to Binghamton on Saturday, taking Mrs. Raymond McNair to her home there by auto. His mother-in-law, Mrs. E.F. McNair, returned home with him.

Fire Discovered in Time
            The house of William T. Forrest in southern Bovina, caught fire Saturday around the kitchen stove pipe, where it passed thru the roof.  The family were away from home and the hired man had started the fire to get his dinner. He discovered the blaze in time to put it out with practically no damage.

June 22, 1917
·         Miss Freda Muller, who has been ill for several weeks, is improving slowly.
·         An auxillary of the Red Cross has been organized here and has about 75 members.
·         Marshall McNaught has purchased a Saxton roadster which he expects to convert into a truck.
·         For the month of May patrons of the Bovina Center Co-Operative Creamery received 56 cents per pound for butter fat or $2.58 per hundred for 4.6 milk.
·         Mrs. Thos E. Graham and little son who have been with her people at Pittsburg, arrived home Thursday last.  She was accompanied home by her cousin.
·         Frank Gowanlock was taken suddenly ill about 1 o’clock Saturday morning and for a time his condition was considered serious, but his condition is somewhat improved at present. [Frank would live a little over six months after this, dying New Year's Day 1918.]

June 29, 1917
·         Sheriff Austin was in town Tuesday
·         Fred Bramly has traded his Dodge car for a Cadillac.
·         Jenny Heller, the little daughter of Charles Heller got a fish hook in her finger and Dr. Whitcomb had to be called to cut it out.
·         The total registration of the state military census in Bovina was 395 between the ages of 16 and 51, or 105 less than the state authorities said resided in the town between those ages.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Faces of Bovina - The Adventures of Allan Johnston.

On January 22, 1944, Allan Johnston posed for this photograph by Bob Wyer. The timing of the photograph is interesting, given it was taken only two months after he had successfully escaped from German-occupied France.

Johnston was the son of T. George and Marjorie Johnston of Bovina. He had joined the Army Air Corps in July 1940. He spent over a year and a half in Panama then returned in March 1942 to the United States. He was appointed an aviation cadet and completed navigation training in Texas. In May 1943 he went to England and served as a navigator on a B-17. It was on his fifth mission that his adventures began, later reported in the local newspapers. He had noted that his first mission was boring and that “Nothing happened, No ground fire, no enemy planes, no nothin’. We got to our target, dropped our bombs and came home.” 

Shot down on the fifth mission, he was reported missing. The Catskill Mountain News noted that he had been missing since September 6. After two anxious months, the Binghamton Press reported in November that “…Second Lieut. Allan G. Johnston broke a long silence Monday when he cabled his parents Mr. and Mrs. T. George Johnston of Bovina, that he had returned to his U.S. Army Eight Air Force base in England.”

On his return, some of his story was reported in the local newspapers. On his last mission, his plane was heading back after dropping its bombs when the crew realized that they were short of gas. They decided to leave the bombing formation to take the shortest distance back to base. This proved to be the start of their troubles. They found themselves under constant attack by 15 to 20 fighter planes. This went on for an hour and a half.  Over occupied France, two engines were shot out and the gas ran out. Lt. Johnston was injured in the left arm. The bombardier had the worse injuries but managed to fire his machine guns at the plane that caused their injuries, shooting it down.

The crew bailed out at around 8000 feet. Johnston decided to wait on pulling his ripcord until absolutely necessary, figuring that if he came down slowly he would be easy to spot by the Germans. They did see him, but because he opened his parachute about 1000 feet above the ground they didn’t have time to figure out exactly where he had landed. He ended up in the tree tops and was noted by a German pilot, who waved at him. Johnston waved back and waited until dark to leave the woods. He later said that the only 30 minutes he would never want to live through again were those 30 minutes stuck in the treetops.

At this point, the story as published in the newspapers ends. Because it was war-time, Johnston could not tell of his adventures getting back to England. He did share the story with his family. In a conversation with his sister, Helen Johnston, I got the rest of the story.

The ill-fated fifth mission was over Stuttgart. When the pilot realized that they didn’t have enough fuel, he told them to bail out. Allan landed in a tree with shrapnel wounds in both wrists and his ankle. When he came down from the tree a little French girl took him to another tree and told him to go up in it. He did and belted himself into the tree in case he fell asleep or passed out. The reason he was directed to that specific tree was because of its dense foliage. A German patrol came under the tree and they even took a cigarette break there. A bit later the girl’s father came and took Allan to his barn. They put him under a large pile of hay in a spot where there were holes designed to prevent spontaneous combustion. This allowed Allan to breathe. He saw when the German patrol came to the house. They then came to the barn and went up on the hay mound right above him. He could hear the bayonets being poked into the hay, but he was far enough down that they didn’t find him. After a day or so in the hay, he was taken into the house.

The underground disguised Allan as a Frenchman and provided him with French papers. He was taught not to respond to any sounds, since his papers said he was deaf and dumb.

Allan likely had landed in Northern France, so he had a long journey to the Spanish boarder. He was guided south all the way to the border. In some areas, German troop trains had an extra car or two at the end that the French could take. Allan at least once took his journey on one of these trains. He had a guide that took him up through the Pyrenees. At the top, the guide told him he was at the Spanish border and that he was to go into a specific village and go to the U.S. Embassy. Allan asked if the guide could go with him but he said no, he was too busy taking other escapees.

The night before Thanksgiving, his family got the word that Allan was ‘back on duty.’ No other details were provided but they knew he was safe. When the family got the word they had been told that the Germans said he was a P.O.W.

Allan was home not long after. The reason for the photograph was not to just get a photo of Johnston in uniform. This was one of three pictures taken when he married Gertrude Truesdell. Here's a picture of them together:

Allan was not sent back into service overseas. Sending him back to Europe was too great a risk. If he was shot down again and captured by the Germans, because he had already been reported as a POW by the Germans, he wouldn’t be protected under the Geneva convention but instead considered to be a spy. He was sent to Biloxi, Mississippi as a navigator trainer. He was honorably discharged at the end of the war.

Allan and his wife moved to Michigan where he went to college on the GI Bill. He ended up working for Lincoln-Continental. In the 70s, Allan survived another major crisis when he became serious ill with a brain aneurysm, spending three months in a coma. He recovered and was put to work dealing with computers. Allan died in Michigan in October 1990 at the age of 70.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

This Day in Bovina for May

174 years ago today, on May 1, 1843, a meeting of the Commissioners of Excise for Bovina was held, granting licenses to "retail strong and spirituous liquors" to Peter Jennings, a tavern keeper and Alexander Burns, a grocer. 

106 years ago today, on May 2, 1911, school trustees were elected in Bovina. Some of the trustees elected, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, were "Center district, Fred Bramley; Miller district, Christopher Gladstone; Lake Delaware, H.C. Hogaboom; Coulter district, Chas A. Tuttle; Biggar Hollow, Adam Biggar; Coulter Brook, John A. Irvine."

127 years ago today, the May 3, 1890 Delaware Republican reported in its Bovina Center column that "petty thieving has been commenced again. J.H. Dean had a bag of oats stolen last Saturday night and S.G. Bramley lost about 20 chickens and a quantity of grain."

Sixty-four years ago today, on May 4, 1953, the Bovina Library reported on a number of books given to its collection. This is the report as published in the Catskill Mountain News. 

Fifty-two years ago today, on May 5, 1965, as later reported in the Delaware Republican-Express, "Eleven members of the Bovina Home Demonstration Unit met Wednesday forenoon at the Bovina Center Community Hall for the second meeting on 'Meal Planning for Moderns' Mrs. Harold Lounsbury and Mrs. Robert Burns [sisters Mary and Agnes Burns] taught the project, they asked each member to bring a dish to pass, which would take only 20 minutes to prepare, from state to finish. It was interesting to see how many people depend on rice for a quick to prepare dish. A very good meal was enjoyed immensely by all. The leaders illustrated by flannel-graph, charts, etc., that food does make a difference, you are what you eat. The next meeting will be on program planning. Officers serving the Unit for the coming year will be Mrs. Harold Lounsbury as chairman, Mrs. Mildred Reinertsen as vice chairman, Mrs. Leonard Cairns as treasurer, and Mrs. Vincent Trimbell as secretary."

131 years ago today, the May 6, 1886 issue of the Andes Recorder in its Bovina column reported that "Thomas H. Johnson has added to his extensive machinery a new loom of an improved pattern, which is probably the best one in the county.  He and his sons are capable of doing a large amount of work with the machinery at their command. They not only make all kinds of woolen cloth, but grind feed, saw lumber, etc." This would have been for Johnson's Woolen Mill, which was located near the Mountain Brook area.

120 years ago today, on May 7, 1897, an auction of 65 cows was held in Hobart. The cows came from two Bovina farms, those of Thomas Hoy and A.F. Maynard. Here's the ad for the action that appeared in the Delaware Gazette.

Ninety-one years ago today, on May 8, 1926, the town clerk certified that a resolution was adopted authorizing the issuance of a Certificate of Indebtness to allow for the purchase of a stone raking machine. 

115 years ago today, the Bovina column in the May 9, 1902 Andes Recorder reported that "Three butcher carts now come round with meat – Perry Shaw, of Bloomville, William McDivitt, of Andes, and Ward Coulter, of this place."

122 years ago today, the Bovina column of the May 10, 1895 Andes Recorder reported that "Maple syrup is selling at seventy-five cents a can, and not very plenty at that." The same column also reported that "Bovina has secured no speaker for Decoration Day as yet.  Are our soldier dead to go unremembered this year?  Surely we can stop our toil long enough to remember the fallen heroes with the flowers of nature."

137 years ago today, the Stamford Mirror's Bovina column for May 11, 1880 reported that "Mrs. David Miller Sr., is seriously ill." This was the former Isabella Turnbull, the second wife of David Miller (1795-1883). She survived this illness, dying in May 1883.

Seventy-seven years ago today, on May 12, 1940, as later reported in the Delaware Republican's Bovina column reported that "Mr. and Mrs. Sylvan LaFever of Florida were here and attended Church." This likely was Sylvan's last visit to Bovina for a month later on June 10, he died in Patterson, New Jersey. Sylvan was my great grandfather.

Fifty-two years ago today, the May 13, 1965 Delaware Republican-Express reported in its Bovina column that "Herbert Parsons is now working with David Hoy at the Concord Hotel near Liberty. They expected to be through there by Memorial Day."

128 years ago today, the May 14, 1889 Stamford Mirror reported in its Bovina column that "The family of John W. Bramley has been quarantined the past week, but Mr. B. thought this was 'free America,' and went to Delhi regardless of the Board of Health. There is some talk of enforcing the law."

141 years ago today, on May 15, 1876, Isaac Atkin died. His death was later reported in the Delaware Gazette under the title "Sudden Death in Bovina." The paper noted that "Atkins, after working on his farm…until near night, started to go for the cows, and was shortly after found by his son, dead in the road." Isaac was a life long resident of Bovina.

Sixty-eight years ago today, on May 16, 1949, Bob Wyer took this photograph of the Bovina Fire Department's new truck, sold by R.H. Lewis. The photo was taken at the Bovina Center Creamery. 

127 years ago today, the Bovina column of the May 17, 1890 Delaware Republican reported that "Our milliners have returned from the city with a large stock of head-gear, and now they are busy day and night rigging out the ladies with that mysterious ornament which adorns their top-knots. If a woman's bonnet is not a thing of beauty, it is a mysterious thing."

137 years ago today, the May 18, 1880 Stamford Mirror reported that " Charlie Carman, the artist from Andes, was in town yesterday, taking views of some of the public buildings and residences of Brushland and vicinity." Though I can't be sure, this likely was being done for the Munsell History of Delaware County. Here's one of the images likely done by Mr. Carman. 

112 years ago today, the Bovina column of the May 19, 1905 Andes Recorder reported that "William McDivitt whose illness we mentioned last week, continues very low and does not improve." He had a shock, which was a term for a stroke or heart attack. McDivitt did not recover and died on July 29, 1905 at the age of 73, survived by his wife, the former Elizabeth Kipp, and five children.

Ninety-six years ago today, the May 20, 1921 Andes Recorder reported in its Bovina column that "In order to provide more room for the choir at the United Presbyterian church the pulpit will be extended further into the body of the church and the front and probably the second row of pews removed."

157 years ago today, on May 21, 1860, Janet Rutherford died at the age of 80. Born in Scotland, Janet was the daughter of Walter and Isabella Thomson. She married James Rutherford in 1808 in Bovina. They would have eight children, six of whom would survive her. Janet was widowed in 1870. She is buried in Bovina.

121 years ago today, the Bovina column in the May 22, 1896 Andes Recorder reported that "Slight showers have brightened up vegetation this week, but much more rain is still needed."

108 years ago today, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Bovina was startled Sabbath morning, May 23, [1909] when the news spread that William A. Gladstone, who resided on the Robert R. Scott farm on Coulter Brook, had died suddenly that morning a few minutes after loading his milk." Mr. Elmer Close, who was with Mr. Gladstone, reported that he and Gladstone had loaded his milk and sat down on the milk platform to talk for a few minutes. Gladstone suddenly stopped in mid-sentence, put his hand to his head, fell over and died. The paper noted that "Just what caused his death is hard to tell but it seems probably that it was acute indigestion which caused heart failure.  For some time, it is stated, his stomach had not been perfect and the previous night after eating two bananas, remarked to his wife that he guessed he shouldn’t have eaten them.  He, however, slept well and Sabbath morning ate a hearty breakfast and was apparently in his usual health." Gladstone was only 31 years old at the time of his death. He was survived by his wife of three and a half years, Elizabeth Armstrong, and his parents, George and Helen (Strangeway) Gladstone.

Eighty-two years ago today, the May 24, 1935 Delaware Express reported that "Dr. Whitcomb Dies in Egypt." The articled noted that "Dr. Norris B. Whitcomb, 47, a beloved physician who was formerly located in Bovina Center and for the past sixteen years a medical missionary at Assuit, Egypt, died last week, death, according to report being due to blood poisoning." He was survived by his mother, sister, wife and two children.

Seventy-eight years ago today, the May 25, 1939 issue of the Delaware Republican published this photograph by R.R. DeGelleke of Jack Hilson in his High School shop class. 

Fifty-two years ago today, on May 26, 1963, the family of Charlie LaFever paid a visit to his parents, Ben and Anna Bell LaFever near Massena, New York. This photo was taken of Charlie, Leona and their three kids with his mother Anna Bell. 

Seventy-nine years ago today, the Bovina column in the May 27, 1938 Andes Recorder reported that "A daily vacation school is being planned at Bovina Center during the summer."

102 years ago today, the May 28, 1915 Catskill Mountain News carried this item under the title "Bovina Center to Celebrate:" "There was a meeting of public spirited men in Bovina Center during the past week, in the interest of a ball team, a tennis club, and a Fourth of July celebration."

134 years ago today, the May 29, 1883 Stamford Mirror Bovina column reported that: "Miss McMurray has resigned her place as teacher in our village school, and Miss Mary Woodburn takes her place."

115 years ago today, on May 30, 1902, the Bovina column of the Andes Recorder reported that "Truant officer, B.S. Miller has been visiting the schools this week."

Eighty seven years ago today, the May 31, 1930 Delaware Express reported in its Bovina column that "Our teacher, Miss Gordon, is driving a new car."

Monday, May 15, 2017

May 1917 - 100 Years Ago "In That Thriving Town"

The Andes Recorder 100 years ago this month reported yet another runaway team of horses, while William Sloan and Mary Ackerly were facing health issues. Harold Smith and Joshua Hafele both purchased vehicles.

May 4, 1917
·         James E. Hastings has purchased a Globe silo.
·         Harold Smith has purchased an International truck.
·         William O. Sloan was operated upon Thursday at his home at Hamden for appendicitis.  He is a son of David Sloan, formerly of Bovina.

May 11, 1917
·         Estate of John Ruff, late of Bovina, estimated at $2,000 personal and $200 real.  Property goes to his daughter and at her death to her children.
·         The team of Frank Graham took fright Tuesday morning at the Bovina Center Creamery and ran away.  At Elliott Thomson’s blacksmith shop they collided with a buckboard wagon but continued on their way and ran in back of Alex Myer’s residence and then tried to climb the steep bank but could not make it and were caught.

May 18, 1917
·         Mrs. Eliza Barnhart is under the doctor’s care at the home of John Quinn, Lake Delaware.
·         William Rogers, who has spent the winter at his home in New York City, has returned to Lake Delaware.
·         Miss Jane Hilson has been re-elected principal and Miss Kathryn Reynolds primary teacher in the Center school.
·         Hale Elliott, of New Kingston, has rented rooms in Harvey C. Burgin’s house and will soon move thereto. He is a carpenter.
·         Mary, daughter of Mrs. Ackerly, who is employed at Fred Bramley’s, and who has been taking treatment for spinal trouble, has been taken to New York for further treatment and for a serious operation.

May 25, 1917
·         Joshua Hafele, on the Andrew G. Thomson farm, now drives a Ford car.
·         Mrs. Douglas Davdison and dauter, Mrs. William Storie, attended the pageant at Cornell the past week.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Reports on Bovina Celebrations, Past and Future

On April 22, I held my third annual Bovina Historian program at the Bovina Community Hall. The topic of my presentation was "Bovina Celebrates." The program was a review of past Bovina celebrations from the town's early days to the current century. I've written about Bovina celebrations in this blog. I did a two part series on town picnics, starting with 1918 and taking it to near the present. They are from May 31 and July 2, 2009:

I also related the earliest reported celebration in Bovina when the town observed the 50th anniversary of U.S. Independence:

In July 2016, I shared some pictures from the town's celebration of the Nation's Bicentennial in July 1976:

The following month, I shared more pictures, this time from Bovina's "Old Home Day" in 1956:

The last big birthday Bovina celebrated was its 175th in 1995. Here's the poster advertising this anniversary:

As to the future, Bovina is rapidly approaching its Bicentennial - 2020 to be exact. By the end of this year, I hope to have a committee established to start planning how best to celebrate this significant birthday. I'm open to ideas, so pass them along.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

This Day in Bovina for April 2017

187 years ago today, on April 1, 1830, Priscilla Brush was born, the daughter of Alexander Brush, Jr. and Jane Storie (and the granddaughter of early Bovina settler Alexander Brush). Priscilla would die at the age of 4 in 1834 and was buried in the Brush cemetery.

Seventy-three years ago today, on April 2, 1944, Elizabeth Hastings Bramley died at the age of 86. born in Bovina in 1858, she was the daughter of John Hastings and Jeanette Scott. She married William Bramley in Newburgh in 1893. She was widowed in 1923.

106 years ago today, on April 3, 1911, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Andes Recorder, "Rev. H.B. Speer and family started Monday for their new home at Omaha, Nebraska." Speer had been the pastor at the Bovina U.P. Church since 1906 and had resigned in 1911 to become pastor of a church in Omaha.

Fifty-two years ago, the April 4, 1965 Delaware Republican-Express Bovina column reported that "Mr. and Mrs. James Hoy of Bainbridge were Sunday guests of his mother, Mrs. Margaret Hoy, and son Thomas."

Nineteen years ago today, on April 5, 1998, this photograph was taken of the Bovina U.P. Church choir. The members are (left to right) Pat Parsons (Miele), Marie Burns, Marge Burgin, Leona LaFever, Lois Monroe, Anna Lounsbury, Frances Burns, Lauren Monroe, Thelma Barlow, Joe Dibble and Enid Carter.

Eighty-three years ago today, the April 6, 1934 Delaware Express reported that the "Bovina girls ended their season of basketball Friday night, playing South Kortright. Bovina girls won."

Fifty-six years ago today, on April 7, 1961, the Bovina 4-H Diary Club held its monthly meeting at the home of Frederick and Lawton Rabeler. Here's the full article in the Delaware Republican-Express for April 13. The report was submitted by Beverly Rabeler. 

127 years ago today, the April 8, 1890 Stamford Mirror reported in its Bovina column that "Frank Palmer has moved to rooms in Charles F. Smith's house, Henry Thomson to rooms in Strangeway's store building." Charles F. Smith's house is the Jardine residence. Strangeway's is the former garage now owned by Tom Hetterich.

Eighty-seven years ago today, on April 9, 1930, this voucher was issued for $125 to pay Bovina school district number 4 for tuition for pupils from Bovina school district number 10. District 10. located on East Bramley Mountain Road, had not run a school house in several years, sending its students to the Bovina Center school. 

Fifty-two years ago today, the Bovina column of April 10, 1965 Delaware Republican-Express reported that "Mr. and Mrs. H.F. Davidson, Mrs. W.J. Storie and Mrs. Edna Carter attended the meeting of the Delaware County Historical Association at Masonville…"

135 years ago today, the Bovina column of the April 11, 1882 Stamford Mirror reported that "Alex. Hoy has taken possession of the place bought by him from Wm. Richardson." This is now my house.

Ninety-eight years ago today, the April 12, 1919 Bovina column of the Delaware Republican reported that "Hale Elliott, who has been laid up several weeks with injuries received by a fall in the dry milk plant, has returned to his work there." He was born in 1890 and died in 1980.

134 years ago today, on April 13, 1883, David F. Hoy was paid $58.50 for teaching at the Bovina school that stood at Miller Avenue and Lee Hollow, Bovina District 5.

194 years ago, on April 14, 1823, days of highway work were assessed for property owners in Bovina highway district 14. Before the imposition of road taxes in the early 20th century, roads were maintained by assessing days of work on the property owners around the roads. They either had to carry out the work or hire someone to do it. Where this district was located cannot be precisely determined, but it may have been in the area of Pink Street.

169 years ago today, on April 15, 1848, Charles Oscar Boggs was born, the son of William H. Boggs and Elizabeth McKenzie. He married Mary Archibald in 1881. They had two children before his death at the age of 43 in 1891. His widow survived Charles by over 50 years, dying in 1945. They are both buried in Bovina.

142 years ago today, on April 16, 1875, the five-year-old son of James Dean died in a tragic accident. The accident was later reported in the Delaware Gazette: "…a little son of James H. Dean, of Bovina, together with one William Herkimer, who has been at work for Mr. Dean for some time, went into the chamber of Mr. Dean's house to cut off a string from a piece of leather. While there, Herkimer was on his knees in the act of cutting the leather, when in some way the boy fell over on to the knife in Herkimer's hand. The blade of the knife penetrated the boy's left side immediately under the heart. He lived only fifteen minutes. The boy was in his 5th year." The child's first name was not provided, but I believe it was James' oldest son, Alexander.

107 years ago today, on April 17, 1910, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Wilson McFarland died in upper Bovina …. at 7 a.m. He was taken with lagrippe on Friday and this was complicated by heart trouble. He was born in town of Roxbury in the Plattekill valley 71 years ago April 2. When only about a year old his mother died and he was taken by his grandfather, James Thomson at the 'stone house' and had always remained there. He is survived by an aunt, Miss Lydia Thomson, one sister, Mrs. Nancy Jane Ackerly, of Margaretville, and a half-brother, Milton McFarland, of Delhi." The funeral took place on the 19th and he was buried in the Bovina cemetery.

Seventy-seven years ago today, the Bovina column in the April 18, 1940 Delaware Republican reported that "Rev. and Mrs. Norman Spear went to New Castle, Pa., Wednesday of last week; he has been called to preach there. Miss Marjorie Ormiston accompanied them, and the school in Bovina Centre is closed for a week."

163 years ago today, on April 19, 1853, Mary Jane Forrest was born in Bovina, the daughter of Thomas Forrest and Helen Raitt. She was the second wife of Edward L. Coulter, marrying in 1883. She would have two children and passed away in 1920. Her husband survived her by 12 years, dying in 1932.

136 years ago today, on April 20, 1881, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Stamford Mirror, "The household goods of the late Mrs. Kendall were sold at public auction…. Dan Franklin auctioneer." This likely is Jane Tuttle Kendall, who died in February 1881 at the age of 61. She was the daughter of William Tuttle and Sarah Carman and was married to Charles Kendall. I cannot determine when she married him. Her will file uses her maiden name with a reference to being also known as Jane Kendall.

106 years ago today, the April 21, 1911 Bovina column in the Andes Recorder reported that "Charles A. Tuttle has leased the rights of the stream flowing thru his farm to the club owning the new lake built on the Thos Mabon farm, for a year. The stream flows directly into their lake." This is now known as Coles Lake or Silver Lake and is on Route 28.

Fifty-two years ago, the April 22, 1965 Delaware Republican Express reported that "Bovina maple producers have had a poor year up to now, but the last few days they have had a splendid run of good quality syrup, which will help out a lot to bring the run up to near average."

149 years ago today, on April 23, 1868, Jane Black Murray died. She was born in Scotland in 1789, though we don't know who her parents were. She married William Murray in Scotland and would have nine children, most of whom were born in Bovina. Her husband survived her by 4 years, dying in 1872. They are both buried in the Associate Presbyterian Church cemetery on Reinertsen Hill Road.

Seventy-eight years ago today, on April 24, 1939, Ronald James Russell was born, the elder son of Ernest and Dorothy Russell. He was joined by a brother David in 1941. Ron died in 1985 at the age of 45, after battling diabetes and kidney disease. [This shot of Ron and Dorothy Russell was taken in front of what is now Bill and Joan Foster's, just down from Hilson's Store.]

Seventy-seven years ago today, the April 25, 1940 issue of the Delaware Republican reported in its Bovina column that "Word that Mrs. C.A. McPherson is able to be up in a wheel-chair has been received from the hospital in Cooperstown." This likely was Mrs. Charles A. McPherson, born Rosa (or Rose) Strangeway in 1875. She died in December 1947. She was the mother of Frank, Lester and Marian McPherson.

137 years ago today, the April 26, 1890 Bovina column of the Delaware Republican reported that "D. Dickson is in New York this week buying goods." I'm not 100% sure who this is, but it might be a reference to Dr. Gilbert Dickson, who ran a store in the building that is now the Brushland Eating House.

138 years ago today, on April 27, 1879, Hanna Halstead died. She was born in 1801, the daughter of William Halstead. Unfortunately, we don't know a lot about her except that she was living for a number of years with her brother John. In the 1860 census, she's listed as the head of household. She is buried in the Bovina Center cemetery.

106 years ago today, the Bovina column of the April 28, 1911 Andes Recorder reported that "Jardine Hafele is home from Albany and will assist his father on the farm during the summer." This may actually be Gailie A. Hafele, the son of Charles G. Hafele and Lillian Jardine. Born in 1889, he died in 1947 and is buried in Bovina.

160 years ago today, the April 29, 1857 Delaware Gazette reported on a late snowstorm that hit "the Western and Southern States." New England was spared but apparently not New York. The Delaware County area was reported as having a "full seven feet, and some think nearer eight feet of snow ... during the two storms." There was mild weather between the two storms, allowing some of the snow to melt and settle. "Some ten or twelve barns and sheds in this village [Delhi] and vicinity were crushed in…A Mrs. Snooks, of Bovina, lost three cows and had another badly injured, by the falling of a barn." Mrs. Snooks' farm was on the lower end of Lee Hollow just above the Hook.

140 years ago today, on April 30, 1877, Jane Patterson Dysart died. Born in 1804, she married Peter Dysart and would have two children, both of whom would predecease her. Her son Robert died in October 1963 of typhoid on Folly Island in North Carolina while with the NY 144th Infantry. She lost an infant daughter in 1850. She was survived by an illegitimate grandson. More about her son Robert may be found at the December 20 2013 Bovina NY History blog.