Friday, April 19, 2019

Tenth Anniversary of the Bovina NY History Blog

This is the 598th entry in the Bovina NY History Blog. And it was ten years ago today that I started this blog, almost on a whim. I had just attended the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference in Charleston, West Virginia and had gone to a session on Web 2.0. An archives friend, John LeGloahec, discussed his blog. Two days later, I went into the blogger software he demonstrated and in about two minutes, had the Bovina NY History Blog set up. 

With almost 600 entries, there's a lot to go through. I do create labels which help in any on-line searching but it still is a challenge with so many entries. So I've created a subject index to the more significant entries at the end of this blog entry. And I'm working on a name index which I hope to get posted by late spring.

There have been several series in this blog. Stories from Bovina Cemeteries is pretty self-explanatory. Faces of Bovina mainly focuses on photographs of Bovina residents taken by Delhi photographer Bob Wyer. During 2011 and 2012, at the start of the sesquicentennial of the start of the U.S. Civil War, I did a monthly series on various aspects of the Civil War and its impact on Bovina. That series also included mini-biographies of all of Bovina's Civil War soldiers.

I did a series that ran a little over a year starting in November 2017 relating the story of James D. Calhoun. He was one of Bovina's World War One fatalities. He was my grandmother's first husband, so I had a lot of information about him, including the letters he wrote home while he was in the service in the U.S. and in France. 

One of my longest series which continues to this day is the "100 Years Ago in 'That Thriving Town.'" The Andes Recorder for many years produced a weekly column about activities in Bovina. I compile these each month and present them on the blog. The series started in May 2013.

To be honest, some series, while a good idea, never really got off the ground. In October 2010, I started a series of entries where I experimented with recipes from the 1911 Bovina UP Church Cookbook. I managed a few of the recipes but others were sort of a bust! 

As well as this blog, I also, since 2014, I have been making daily entries on the Town of Bovina Historian Facebook page. At the suggestion of several people who are not on Facebook, I started doing monthly compilations of these entries. These are posted the last day of each month.

As I've done research, I've found some interesting and sometimes bizarre stories. There was the story of the brothers-in-law who got in trouble with the Bovina UP Church when they went to court over a law suit. I reported that in 2011. Around the time that was happening, I found a rather juicy slander suit involving the two Presbyterian ministers in Bovina. They went to court when one sued the other for slander. That story was reported in 2013.

There's the sad story of the West Point cadet who died in a plane crash in the Bramley Mountain area at the end of World War II. Brought to my attention by Steven Burnett and Chris Ingvordsen, I realized I had a piece of the plane that my father had recovered from the site. I did several entries about this crash, starting in the spring of 2011.  

In 1898 came the closest attempt to bring the railroad to Bovina. This story took four entries to tell, starting in March 2011. Documenting Bovina's physicians took three entries starting in June 2014.  

One of the benefits of a blog is that it is easier to correct mistakes. In 2009, for the Bicentennial celebration of the Bovina U.P. Church, I incorrectly noted (in print, unfortunately), that the community room behind the Hamden Presbyterian Church was the original Bovina Church. The late Dorothy Kubik contacted me when she saw the newspaper error, explaining that the Bovina church went to Delancey, not Hamden (and that building burned in the 1890s). I was able to correct the error, at least on my blog. 

So here's the subject index to the Bovina NY History blog. Hope to have a name index done by late spring. 


  • 6/23/2009 – Bovina Farm Day
  • 8/16/2009 – Was Bovina Butter Served at the White House?
  • 9/7/2009 – Bovina Farm Day
  • 3/29/2010 – Maple Syrup Production
  • 12/20/2010 – Prosperous Bovina Farmers
  • 1/17/2011 – Past and Future of Bovina Farming
  • 1/24/2011 – Bovina Earmarks
  • 2/2/2011 – Bovina Farms by the Numbers
  • 9/3/2011 – American Success Story
  • 7/7/2016 - "The farmers in Bovina are worse off...." - Bovina Farmers in the summer of 1896

Bovina’s History
  • 11/22/2009 – How Did Bovina Get Its Name?
  • 11/5/2018 – Women Vote in Bovina
  • 6/14/2009 – Russell’s Store
  • 1/10/2010 – Bovina Business, 1855
  • 1/31/2012 – Stories from Bovina Cemeteries - Thomas Elliott Hastings
  • 4/15/2012 – Businesses in Brushland 150 years ago
  • 11/25/2012 – Russell's Store, Thanksgiving 1978
  • 12/10/2012 – Gasoline in Bovina
  • 6/30/2012 – Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - A.T. Strangeway
  • 5/5/2013 – Russell's General Store Fifty Years Ago and Beyond`
  • 10/10/2016 – The Second Raising of Hilson's Store
  • 1/1/2019 – Russell's Store Centennial
  • 5/31/2009 – Bovina Town Picnics – Past and Present, Part I
  • 7/2/2009 – Bovina Town Picnics – Past and Present, Part II
  • 6/19/2009 – Bovina Farmers’ Picnic 1889
  • 7/4/2009 – Bovina Loudly Celebrates the 4th – 1919
  • 4/21/2011 – “Bovina Center, My Home Town” – this series, starting in April 2011, and continuing through March 2012, shared parts of a script for a Bovina History program presented in 1955
  • 8/7/2015 – Celebration at Bovina – 1826
  • 7/24/2016 – Bovina Celebrates the Bicentennial of the United States
  • 7/22/2016 – Sixty Years Ago - Bovina Celebrates Old Home Day
  • 9/23/2011 – I See Dead People - Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries
  • 10/31/2011 – Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - Prepare to Die and Follow Me
  • 11/30/2011 – Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - the Cathels Family
  • 12/31/2011 – Stories from Bovina Cemeteries - Epitaphs
  • 3/31/2012 – Stories from Bovina Cemeteries – “Our Pastor, Rev. Robert Laing”
  • 4/30/2012 – Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - the Elliott Brothers
  • 5/31/2012 – Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - Where is William Thomson
  • 6/30/2012 – Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - A.T. Strangeway
  • 7/31/2012 – Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - 100 and 150 Years Ago
  • 8/31/2012 – Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries – A Bovina Artist
  • 9/30/2012 – Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - “An Infant of Robert and Hannah Scott”
  • 10/31/2012 – Stories from Bovina’s Cemeteries - The children of James and Nancy Coulter
  • 11/30/2012 – Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - The American Revolution
  • 12/31/2012 – Stories from Bovina’s Cemeteries - Bovina's Oldest Citizen
  • 1/31/2013 – Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - The Müller Family
  • 2/28/2013 – Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - Frederick McFarland Goes Missing
  • 4/4/2013 – Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - John Sinclair Burns
  • 7/5/2013 – Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - Old Jock Hilson
  • 8/24/2013 – Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - Lloyd Oliver
  • 10/1/2013 – Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - the Frank R. Coulter Monument
  • 10/19/2013 – Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - The Chisholm Family
  • 11/2/2013 – Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - Jimmie McClure
  • 12/13/2013 – Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - The Tragic Death of Samuel Dean
  • 1/10/2014 – Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - Adam Scott and his Tobacco Tin
  • 3/20/2014 – Stories from Bovina’s Cemeteries - The Two Mary Ann Coulters
  • 4/26/2014 – Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - This is One of the Many Neat and Artistic Monuments
  • 5/23/2014 – Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - Policeman John Gordon
  • 7/21/2014 – Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - The Stott Family
  • 12/21/2014 – Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - Bovina's Earliest Burial
  • 1/24/2015 – Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - “A Very Strange Circumstance”
  • 3/24/2015 – Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - Death Severs Ties of Sixty Years
  • 8/23/2015 – Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - The Ballentine Family Drownings
  • 9/20/2015 – Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - Alexander Brush
  • 10/22/2015 – Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - Ballantine Family Tragedies
  • 11/18/2015 – Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - Margaret and Jen Get Their Tonsils Out
  • 9/7/2016 – Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - Little Arthur Taggart
  • 11/7/2016 – Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - “Who Died on His Passage to California”

Civil War

  • 5/29/2010 – Decoration Day and Bovina's Civil War Dead
  • 1/12/2011 – Bovina in the Civil War -Sesquicentennial
  • 2/12/2011 – Bovina in the Civil War - Bovina and Abraham Lincoln
  • 2/18/2011 – Bovina Civil War Records
  • 2/22/2011 – Bovina Civil War Records Update
  • 2/27/2011 – Some February news snippets from the Past
  • 3/12/2011 – Bovina in the Civil War - Who served in Bovina
  • 4/4/2011 – Bovina in the Civil War - Those who Served - The Roster
  • 4/12/2011 – Bovina in the Civil War - What Was Bovina Doing When the War Started
  • 5/12/2011 – Bovina in the Civil War - The Supreme Sacrifice
  • 6/12/2011 – Bovina in the Civil War - Recruiting Soldiers
  • 7/12/2011 – Bovina in the Civil War - Exemptions
  • 8/12/2011 – Bovina in the Civil War - Honoring the Dead
  • 9/12/2011 – Bovina in the Civil War - Slavery in Bovina
  • 10/12/2011 – Bovina in the Civil War - The First Enlistments
  • 11/12/2011 – Bovina in the Civil War - Bovina's Old Soldiers
  • 12/12/2011 – Bovina in the Civil War - To Care for Him Who Shall Have Borne the Battle
  • 1/12/2012 – Bovina in the Civil War - Soldier Biographies [This series went on monthly through March 12, 2013 – fifteen entries total]
  • 4/30/2012 – Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - the Elliott Brothers
  • 2/8/2013 – Another Cathels Family Tragedy
  • 4/4/2013 – Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - John Sinclair Burns
  • 11/2/2013 – Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - Jimmie McClure
  • 2/19/2010 – The 3Rs in Bovina – The Numbers
  • 3/10/2010 – Teaching in Bovina’s One-room Schools
  • 4/4/2010 – School District Centralization in Bovina
  • 10/30/2010 – Halloween Night, 1923 (Burning of Bovina District 9 School)
  • 12/7/2010 – Another Schoolhouse Fire
  • 6/17/2011 – Bovina’s Last Public School
  • 6/28/2011 – Some Pictures from the Last Public School in Bovina
  • 11/17/2012 - Modern School Building, Excellent Teachers and Many Bright Scholars - Bovina's New School
  • 6/4/2016 - Scholars in a Century Old Schoolhouse - the Maynard School in the 1950s
  • 10/20/2018 – Bovina School Fairs
Faces of Bovina
  • 9/5/2012 – Faces of Bovina – Andrew and Sophie Reinertsen
  • 10/17/2012 – Faces of Bovina - Faces of Bovina - Man with Fish [Noel Gonyo]
  • 6/3/2013 – Faces of Bovina - Bill Storie - "A Highly Respected Citizen"
  • 1/24/2014 – Faces of Bovina - Ruth Rabeler
  • 4/20/2014 – Faces of Bovina - Ann Tator
  • 12/22/2015 – Faces of Bovina - the McKenzie Sisters
  • 8/20/2017 – Faces of Bovina - Craig and Thelma Banuat
  • 3/7/2017 – Faces of Bovina - Frank Miller and his horse
  • 6/7/2017 – Faces of Bovina - Alan Johnston
  • 5/12/2009 – A Railroad into Bovina
  • 1/23/2011 – The Train that Never Came
  • 3/5/2011 – When the Trains Almost Came – Everything Looks Favorable
  • 3/9/2011 – When the Trains Almost Came – The Dirt is Flying
  • 3/16/2011 – When the Trains Almost Came - Our Supposed Railroad is at a Standstill
  • 3/23/2011 – When the Trains Almost Came - Buying a Pig in a Poke
  • 6/8/2011 – Delaware Railroad Company - Follow-up
  • 3/5/2012 – Investors in the Delaware Railroad Company
  • 2/20/2019 – Railroad Meeting in Brushland [1869]
  • 5/20/2009 – Bovina UP Church
  • 7/26/2009 – From the Ministry to Osteopathy
  • 10/4/2009 – Bovina United Presbyterian Church Bicentennial
  • 10/24/2009 – Hamden or Delancey - Where did the old Bovina Church go?
  • 12/2/2009 – Bovina UP Church Bicentennial and 1946 Aerial Photos Now on Flickr
  • 12/9/2009 – History of Site of the Original Bovina Associate Presbyterian Church and Cemetery
  • 12/16/2009 – The Reluctant Reverend, Part I
  • 12/25/2009 – Bovina in Winter - Pictures
  • 12/29/2009 – The Reluctant Reverend, Part II
  • 1/31/2010 – The Green Pastures and Still Waters of the Sanctuary Below
  • 10/7/2010 – Brief History of Bovina Churches
  • 10/23/2010 – Gladstones and Biggars Clash with the Bovina A.P. Church
  • 12/13/2010 – Road Rage 150 Years Ago
  • 5/5/2011 – The Brothers-in-Law, Part I
  • 5/17/2011 – The Brothers-in-Law, Part II
  • 3/31/2012 – Stories from Bovina Cemeteries – “Our Pastor, Rev. Robert Laing”
  • 3/18/2013 – Kennedy vs. Lee - Part I - Libel of Slander
  • 3/24/2013 – Kennedy vs. Lee - Part II - The Bed Was Badly Tumbled
  • 7/25/2014 – Centennial of the St. James' Episcopal Church
  • 9/7/2014 – Bovina Reformed Presbyterian Church
  • 12/7/2014 – Bovina's Methodist Church Pews
  • 10/7/2015 – Notice to Church Builders [Building of Reformed Presbyterian Church]
  • 11/23/2016 – “Found Dead in His Study With Heart Riddled With Shot” – The Death of Rev. Milligan
The World Wars
  • 11/11/2010 – James Calhoun and the Great War
  • 6/3/2011 – Bovina Honor Roll [World War II roll of Bovina’s World War II vets]
  • 10/9/2012, 11/3, 11/3 – Bovina Honor Roll unveiling
  • 11/14/2017 – Grandma’s First Husband – the story of Anna Bell Barnhart and James Calhoun [this was a monthly series that went through all of 2018]
  • 5/10/2018 – Clark Miller [Bovina’s first World War One fatality]

Sunday, April 7, 2019

April 1919 - 100 Years Ago "in That Thriving Town"

Work moves ahead on renovating the building to be used as the Bovina Public Library, while the town purchased a tractor for road work.

April 4, 1919
  • Mr. Terry, who has opened a garage in the Elliott Thomson blacksmith shop is getting more work than he can do.
  • Bovina was visited by a blizzard on Friday and Saturday.  Roads were blocked and much inconvenience sustained, especially in the delivery of Milk at the creamery.
  • Thomas C. Strangeway moved this week from his farm at Bovina Valley to the hotel property in the Center, and Chas. A. McPherson has moved from Bramley mountain to the Strangeway farm, which he recently purchased.
April 11, 1919
  • Ellsworth Tuttle is having a milking machine installed.
  • Carl Doonan has moved into the Dickson house adjoining the hotel.
  • Alfred Russell of the merchant marine corps, is home on a furlough of 21 days.
  • James Monroe, David Draffen and James Barnhart have each had a Delco lighting system installed for lighting their houses and farm buildings.
  • J.W. Blair was home from the Hospital in New York for a day or two, returned Sunday and expects to have to stay a week or more to finish treatment of his eyes.
  • Howard McPherson, town superintendent of highways, is having the “Hook” bridge re-floored.  Two by four scantling placed on edge are being used and this will covered with stone and an asphalt binder.
Bovina Center Library
Preparations Being Made to Carry Out Wishes of Late J.W. Coulter

The late J.W. Coulter left the village of Bovina Center the building known as the D.L. Thomson hardware store, and $1,200 with which to fit it up for a public library.  For several years, the wing had been used for a library and Mr. Coulter used the main part for a shop.  The part used as a library has been sold to Dixon Thomson who is tearing it down and will move it to his farm for sap house.  The main building will be remodeled for a library. 

The library books were moved Monday to the Firemen’s hall.

April 18, 1919
  • The Town Board met Wednesday to consider the purchase of a tractor of some kind to haul the road graders.
  • William Archibald, at the lower end of the village, has purchased a milking machine and it is being installed.
April 25, 1919
  • A.P. Lee is having changes and improvements made to his barn.
  • Fred Thomson has bargained for the sale of his farm in upper Bovina.
  • The Camp Fire girls held a Victory social in the Hall Tuesday evening.  They realized $24.
  • Last Wednesday night as Norton Forrest was returning from a dance at Andes his auto collided with a telephone pole at George McNair’s and the car had to be taken to the garage to put it in running order again.  The lights on the car were not working.
Purchased Caterpiller Tractor

Monday the Bovina Town Board purchased a Linn Caterpiller Tractor for use in working the town highways.  The purchase is made under the lease plan and $20 is paid for every day the tractor is used until about $4,000 is paid.  The State pays the greater part.  This does better work and is cheaper than teams, as teams for each work cost $21 per day.

Will Build New House

George Decker, who lives on the old Purdy farm near Lake Delaware, is tearing down the old house on the place and will erect a new modern dwelling.  During the building the family will occupy the garage and the kitchen part of the old house.

Bovina Couple Given Surprise Visit

Friday evening will long be remembered by those who attended the party at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Charles A. Tuttle in Bovina. 

Unaware to them fifty friends and neighbors gave them a surprise by rushing in and enjoying the evening together.  Games and music were the principal features, and later refreshments were served. Upon leaving each one had a creepy feeling that they were soon to loose the Tuttle family as they are about to sell their farm and it is rumored they will reside in Delhi.