Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Stories from Bovina Cemeteries - Death Severs Ties of Sixty Years

One hundred years ago today, Mrs. Michael Miller passed away at the age of 83. Sarah Ann McCune, better known as Sally, was born in Bovina on March 29, 1832, the daughter of John McCune (1794-1850) and Catherine McNaught McCune (1796-1874). She married Michael Miller in 1853 and lived to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary in 1913 - reported by the Andes Recorder at the time as a 'rare event.' The Recorder went on to note that "a remarkable thing in connection with this union is the fact that during these 60 years there has not been a death in the family. Four children were born to them and there are also eight grandchildren in the family circle." For many years, Sally and Michael farmed on what was her family farm at Pink Street and Scutt Mountain Road. The farm was turned over to their son late in life and they moved to the house next to the Bovina United Presbyterian Church now owned by Amy Burns.

This picture may have been taken around the time of Michael and Sally's 60th wedding anniversary. They are behind the house they moved into when they retired from the farm. The building to the right is the Bovina United Presbyterian Church. 
Here is the obituary of Sally McCune Miller, published in the Andes Recorder's March 26, 1915 issue.

Transcript of this clipping is below

DEATH SEVERS TIES OF SIXTY YEARS

Mrs. Michael Miller of Bovina, died March 24, First Break in the Family Circle.  

Mrs. Michael Miller, who had been in poor health for some time, died at her home in Bovina Center, Wednesday morning March 24. The Funeral will be held at on o’clock Saturday.

Deceased was born in Bovina 83 years ago, her maiden name being Sally McCune. Her entire life had been spent in the town. On September 14, 1853, she married Michael Miller who survives. She is the last of the McCune family of her generation.

Rarely indeed can it be chronicled that for nearly 62 years husband and wife walked life's pathways together, sharing its joys and its sorrows, as been done in this case. But still more wonderful is the fact that during the more than six decades the busy reaper had not entered within the family circle and cut down any of its members. The mother is the first to be summoned. Besides the aged husband there are two sons and two dauters, viz: John M., William T., Mrs. J. T. Barnhart and Belle, all residing in Bovina. The last named lived at home and cared for the aged parents, and the other three live on adjoining farms. There are also eight grandchildren.

The Andes Recorder in the following week's issue reported briefly that the funeral had been held on March 27 at the Bovina United Presbyterian Church. The paper noted that the "aged husband was unable to leave the home to attend the funeral." Michael would follow his wife to the grave four months later in July 1915.

Sally and Michael are buried in the Bovina Cemetery, not too far from Michael's parents.
Photograph taken by Ed and Dick Davidson. And in case anyone thinks that there was an ill advised attempt to clean this stone, I can report that ever since I can remember, it has always looked like this. 
And in the interest of full disclosure, I should note that Michael and Sally are my great-great grandparents and were well remembered by my grandmother, Anna Bell LaFever and her siblings.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

March 1915 - 100 Years Ago in "That Thriving Town"

From the Andes Recorder
An important vote took place in the creation of a Bovina Center Fire District, with low voter turnout, while the Bovina Water Company continued to struggle to have the necessary paperwork required by the state. [And yes, this was 100 years ago.]

March 5, 1915
•Peacock meetings have taken many to Delhi during the past week. [Peacock refers to an evangelist and temperance lecturer, mentioned below. He was in the Delaware County area for a couple of months holding evangelical meetings.]
•The Bovina Center Creamery now receives milk every day except on Sabbath.
•The U.P. church was filled last Friday to hear the Rev. Peacock.  The collection amounted to over $60.
•William J. Archibald [1870-1941], who was operated on last week for appendicitis, is recovering nicely.  David Currie, who has been ill for several weeks, was taken worse Wednesday night. [Currie apparently recovered and lived on until 1958.]
•It is stated that Anthony Gabriel, who recently bought a farm in Glenburnie, will remain on the Mabon farm during this season and during the summer will repair the buildings on the farm purchased.
•The Bovina Center Water company is finding lots of “red tape” preparing maps of the watershed and making reports to the conservation commission, which must know all details about the taking and using of the water from Coulter Brook. Thos Gordon, the secretary, was at Delhi consulting an attorney Friday.

March 12, 1915
•A son was born to Mr. and Mrs. John Hilson, March 5 [This would be James Alexander Hilson, better known as Alex. He lived most of his life in Bovina and ran Hilson’s Store and the feed store with his brother Jack for many years. Alex passed away in 1990.]
•From a social held at the home of Frank Kinch the Methodist church realized $10.
•Mrs. Elizabeth Bryden, who recently came from Delhi to live with her son, Ellsworth Tuttle, is in very poor health. [Mrs. Bryden would die in November 1915.]
•Word has been received of the death of Dr. Rabuck on Long Island, from acute pneumonia following the gripe.  He practiced in Bovina for a few years leaving here in 1905 [See the August 4, 2014 entry in this blog for a bit more on Dr. Rabuck and other Bovina physicians].

Special Election
Bovina Center Fire District Will Vote on Appropriations March 18
The Bovina Center Fire District will hold a special election on Thursday, March 18, for the purpose of voting on four propositions as follows:
1-Shall the sum of $500 be appropriated for the purpose of purchasing apparatus for the extinguishment of fires in Bovina Center Fire District?
2-Shall the sum of $1,000 be appropriated for the purpose of erecting a building for the keeping and storing of apparatus for the extinguishment of fires in Bovina Center Fire District?
3-Shall the sum of $105 be appropriated for the purpose of procuring supplies of water for the extinguishment of fires in Bovina Center Fire District?
4-Shall the sums mentioned in Propositions Nos. 1 and 2 hereinbefore mentioned being the sum of $1,500, be raised by installment?

March 19, 1915
•Peter Gerry’s saddle horses have arrived at Lake Delaware from Washington, D.C.
•Mrs. Margaret Palmer, who has been visiting her brother, George Gladstone, returned Saturday to her home in Andes. [Mrs. Palmer was the widow of Civil War soldier Roman Palmer, who died in action in December 1864. She was widowed for almost 60 years, dying in 1923.]
•Sabbath afternoon as Geo Johnson was returning from Delhi, he turned out to let another auto go past at T.C. Strangeway’s and struck a bowlder in the ditch, causing the breaking of his auto, the knuckle attaching the wheel to the axle being broken.
•Mr. and Mrs. E. George Gladstone, who have been visiting relatives in this vicinity, left Wednesday for their home at Crested Butte, Colorado.  Enroute they will visit their son in Albany, see the sights in New York, and also stop off at New Wilmington, Penn to see his sister, Mrs. J.L. Coulter. [George Gladstone, born in 1862, died in Colorado in 1928.]

March 26, 1915
Under Surgeon’s Knife
Silas Rockefeller, on the Ed Dean farm, on the Bloomville road in Bovina, was operated upon Wednesday at the Neal hospital in Delhi.  The operation was performed by Dr. Latcher, of Oneonta, assisted by Dr. Ormiston, of Delhi, and Scott, of Bovina.  The surgeons found serious conditions when the cut in, the trouble being a cancer at the entrance to the stomach and the patient was made as comfortable as possible. [Silas would pass away in July 1915.]

Bovina Fire District Election
All Propositions Carried – Apparatus Purchased – Site Donated for Fire House
In the special election for the Bovina Center Fire District, held March 18, only 12 votes were cast and all four of the propositions were carried, viz.
Appropriating $500 for apparatus; appropriating $1,000 for building for apparatus and fire department rooms; appropriating $105 for water for fires, on which vote was unanimous. One vote was cast against paying the $1500 by installments.
The building will be erected on the site adjoining the public library, in what was formerly the D.L. Thomson tin shop and which site had been donated by J.W. Coulter.
The Fire Commissioners have purchased a hose cart and other apparatus. A hook and ladder truck will be purchased later.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Annual Report for 2014

This is the annual report that I am required to submit each year to the town board and to the New York State Historian's Office.

Overview of Some Goals from Last Year’s Report
·   History of Bovina book – I had hoped to complete this publication in 2014 but it still needs more work.
·   2015 Bovina History Calendar – working with the historical society, we took a somewhat different approach with the calendar this year. The 2015 calendar featured studies by the late Hugh Lee. Hugh was still well enough in early 2014 to help us pick out the studies for the calendar.
·   A fundraising trip to Scotland took place in the fall of 2014 as a fundraiser for the Bovina UP Church. Some of the trip’s focus was the Scottish borders, from where many of the early settlers of Bovina came. 
·   I had some success in researching Bovina Physicians, enough to write three blog entries about them. I also did an entry on Bovina place names and found, through Ancestry.com, when particular post offices were established, when their names changed (Bovina Center went from Brushland in 1849 to Bovina Centre in 1889) and when they were closed. Ancestry also provided information on pretty much all the postmasters in the town. My research on Johnson’s Woolen Mill goes more slowly. I’m still trying to determine when and how the mill buildings came down – were they demolished, allowed to collapse or was there some disaster like a fire.

Social Media
The Bovina NY History Blog celebrated its fifth anniversary in April. Through the end of 2014, I have posted 57 entries on the blog (http://bovinanyhistory.blogspot.com/). I’ve settled to doing on an average four entries a month. 

In January, I started a new blog project – the 1868 diary of Walter Coulter (1843-1919).  Coulter spent his childhood and early adulthood in Bovina, though he spent most of his life in Walton.  The Delaware County Historical Association has his 1868 diary, when he was living in Bovina. The diary was featured in an article in the Walton Reporter about how Bovina resident, Samantha Misa, broke the coded sections of the diary. Entries appeared each day on the anniversary of the entry, running through the end of 1868. There is no diary for 1869 and by 1870 he was no longer living in Bovina, so there will be no more entries in this blog.

Started in 2013, I continue to post daily entries on the Bovina NY History Facebook page, finding some event that happened on that particular day. The entries are compiled each month for the blog.

Articles
I continue writing articles for the Walton Reporter once a month on the history of Bovina:
-January 15, 2014 - Horses Running Away Appears to be the Rage
-February 20, 2014 - Kennedy vs. Lee, Part I
-March 20, 2014 - Kennedy vs. Lee, Part II
-April 16, 2014 - Scott bridge
-May 21, 2014 - Memorial Day
-June 18, 2014 - The Disappearance of Frederick McFarland
-July 16, 2014 - Bovina Town Picnics
-August 13, 2014 - Bovina's Diphtheria Epidemic
-September 17, 2014 - Bovina and School District Centralization
-October 15, 2014 - Bovina Businesses in the 19th Century
-November 11, 2014 - Bovina Farms
-December 17, 2014 - Bovina and the Scottish Borders

I wrote three articles for the community newsletter produced by the Bovina United Presbyterian Church.

Bovina History Calendar
This year’s calendar for the Bovina Historical Society went a slightly different direction. I suggested that we do a calendar of works by Hugh Lee. Donna Bray and I met with Hugh in January to choose the studies for the calendar. We were sorry that the calendar was not printed until after Hugh’s passing in May, but were glad that Hugh was able to help choose the items for the calendar. For the first time, the calendar was produced in color and was ready for Bovina Day in July.

Bovina Historical Society
I serve as an ex-officio member of the historical society’s board. I staffed the society’s museum twice this summer, on July 19 and August 23. I created two display panels featuring ‘Families of Bovina’ to share at the museum. I expect to continue expanding this display as more people come forward with pictures.

Collecting and sharing images and records
Since starting the Bovina History page on Flickr in 2009, there have been around 219,000 views of the 800 images there. 

Scotland Trip
On October 30, a group of twelve people went on a six day trip to Scotland. The group included five people from Bovina: yours truly, Peg and Jim Hilson, Pat Parsons Miele and Jean Parson Merenberg. I arranged this trip as a fund raiser for the Bovina United Presbyterian Church through Celtic Tours in Albany. I chose the church and Scotland because of the church’s Scottish roots. The trip included three days spent in the Scottish Borders, from where many of Bovina’s early settlers came. One highlight of the trip was a visit to the Hawick Heritage Hub, the archives for the Scottish Borders region. The archivist brought out several documents, including some with such old Bovina names as Glendenning, Ormiston and Hilson. The trip went very well – I may consider organizing another such trip in 2016. (I wrote in more detail about the trip on the Bovina NY History Blog and in an article for the Walton Reporter.)

Correspondence and research help
·I’m continuing correspondence with Vicki Evans concerning the Indian Tunis.
·Frederick Doolittle from Lansing Michigan inquired about his ancestor, William Doolittle. William owned a distillery in town. I did find some information about him in early town records, including a permit he received for the distillery in 1827.
·Kristin Scott inquired about her father, a son of George Lewis. I got her in touch with other people researching the family.
·Sohail Zandi, the new owner of the Main Street Bovina building has inquired about the building’s history. He decided, after reviewing my blog, to give a historical name to his restaurant, calling it the Brushland Eating House.
·Roz Foster inquired into the history of her house in Bovina Center, purchased from Ken and Barbara Brown.
·The Deacon at the Saint James Church at Lake Delaware was in contact concerning the history of the church. I attended the church’s centennial celebrations in July and in 2015 will be helping the church with records storage issues and get some of their historic photographs scanned.
·Keren Beasley from Bristol, England inquired about the Rev. Robert Laing. Laing was the first pastor of the Association (now United) Presbyterian Church. She made me aware of something I had not realized before – that when Laing came to the United States, he left behind in Scotland an infant son, Benjamin. Benjamin later also became a minister. I hope to do a blog entry about this son.
·Sharon Froedden from the Chazen Companies contacted me for information on the John and Margaret Hilson property on Coulter Brook Road as part of an environmental site assessment.
·Axel Estable was in touch with me concerning life in the area in the 1840’s for a project he was doing for the Farmer’s Museum as part of their planning for living history characters.
·Karen Kettleson was interested in Thomas Lewis and Margaret Renwick, who left Bovina and settled in Iowa. They were related to the Burns.
·Two descendants of Bovina pioneer Alexander Brush contacted me this year seeking information. Doraine Pratt from Clifton Park and Carol Brush-Vaughan from the Buffalo area. Doraine visited in August and Carol in September to visit the grave, see Brush’s house (now the home of Tim and Tamara McIntosh) and visit Brushland Eating House.
·Joe DeSalvo was hoping to find pictures of a structure that was once on his property. So far, I’ve had no luck finding any. This is always a challenge. Our ancestors usually were not into taking photographs. This is particularly notable in the properties outside the Bovina hamlet.
·The current owners of what was known as the Briscoe farm on Bramley, Warren and Rochelle Simonson, were in contact, hoping to find pictures. I was able to find some pictures sent to me by a descendant of a former tenant on the farm.
·Tom Bakke was interested in a photo of his five great grandfather Robert Steele’s grave. The photo is available on FindAGrave, thanks to the efforts of Ed and Dick Davidson.
·An archivist from Clear Creek County, Colorado asked about John Coulter. Christine Bradley was researching the creation of the town of Georgetown in Colorado and found that John Coulter was a prime mover behind its creation. Coulter grew up in Bovina and was a Civil War veteran. He left Bovina not long after the war and settled in Colorado where he was an attorney and later a judge. Christine wondered if the structure he came up with for Georgetown was modeled on the Town of Bovina. Unfortunately, that was not the case. It appears he looked to the structure of New England towns.
·I was asked to write a brief history of the Bovina Public Library for the brochure at the library’s Farm Feast in November.

Association of Public Historians of New York State
I’m the Association’s Region 4 coordinator, responsible for organizing a fall regional meeting each year. This year’s meeting took place in Prattsville and focused on the issues the town has faced since the devastation of Hurricane Irene. At the spring meeting, I reprised my presentation on how local government historians can effectively use social media (Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc) to share the history of their communities. I also was invited to speak to the APHNYS Region 9 members at their fall meeting on the topic.

Plans for 2015
The ever present book on the history of the Town of Bovina remains a goal. Some other commitments over the winter of 2015, the time of year I can best devote to this project, may likely prevent me attaining this goal, but I continue to hope and push it forward.

In April, I will be hosting/presenting a Bovina history pageant, commemorating the 60th anniversary of a similar pageant done at the community hall. Proceeds will go to the Bovina Historical Society and I hope to get a number of community members to participate in different parts of the program.

In researching Lizzie Coulter, a Bovina resident who was sent to Virginia in 1868 to teach for the Freedman’s Bureau, I encountered the name of George Graham. He grew up in Bovina, fought in the Civil War, and became involved in the Bureau, running their office in Southern Virginia. Graham could very easily be seen as a carpetbagger. I’ve discovered that the records of the office he ran for the Freedman’s Bureau are at the National Archives. I’ve also discovered some other interesting items about Graham’s life in the south (he ended up settling in West Virginia). I hope to find out more about him in the coming year.

James L. Coulter and George Gladstone built a number of homes in Bovina in the late 19th century – I want to more definitively identify the houses these gentlemen built.


Respectfully submitted,

C. Raymond LaFever
Town Historian, Town of Bovina





Saturday, February 28, 2015

This Day in Bovina for February 2015

The tax collector for the Town of Bovina, John Aitkens, settled with the county treasurer ninety four years ago today, February 1, 1921. As later reported in the Andes Recorder, "He had only $66 uncollected taxes."

The Bovina correspondent for the Andes Recorder reported the following 121 years ago today, February 2, 1893: "We hear that George Russell has been offered $28 per month to work on a farm the coming summer, but refused the offer.  About the best industry in this place would be to raise boys who would not be too 'high toned' to work on a farm.  The above offer shows that it pays to be sober and industrious."

127 years ago today, on February 3, 1888, Ethel Thomson was born, the daughter of Alexander Thomson and Addie Kaufman. She would only live about 3 1/2 years, dying in July 1891. When she died, she was survived by her parents and one sister. A year later, a brother, John, was born.

Eighty-seven years ago today, on February 4, 1928, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "the bids for the Bovina Community Hall were opened...but were far above the appropriation.  Only two bids were submitted and one was for $10,000 and the other was $14,000." Nothing further happened until the end of 1929 when the project was revived and in March 1930, a bid of $7,500 was accepted. The building was dedicated in the fall of 1930.

Seventy seven years ago today, on February 5, 1938, a fire on the Gerry Estate killed Col. V.L. Bennett, the foreman of the Gerry Breeding Stables. The Andes Recorder reported that the fire was "supposedly started by a patented lamp left burning in the living room…" His family, including his wife, six year old daughter and mother escaped.

109 years ago today, on February 6, 1906, as later reported in the Catskill Mountain News, the temperature in Bovina was "twenty-four degrees below zero … the backbone of winter seems to be strengthened instead of weakened."

Eighty nine years ago today, on February 7, 1926, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Mr. and Mrs. John P. Dennis, celebrated the 55th anniversary of their wedding ... at their home, Glenwood, on the Richmond road Williamsburg, Virginia.  Miss Louise Dennis, a sister and the only guest at the wedding now living, was present, and also all of their children. Mr. Dennis is a native of Bovina, and for many years conducted the Dennis grist mill.  Around a quarter of a century ago he went to Virginia." John died at the end of December 1929, his wife in 1937.

114 years ago today, on February 8, 1901, the Bovina correspondent for the Andes Recorder reported: "The government rejected the bid of William H. Maynard of $373, which was the lowest for carrying the mail from Bovina to Bloomville.  The round trip is 18 miles and this has to be covered six days in the week and takes the best part of each day, and but little is received from either express or passengers."

Ninety two years ago today, on February 9, 1923, as reported by the Andes Recorder, "Mrs. Fred Johnson committed suicide at her home in Bovina Center by cutting her throat with a razor…"  Born of Lydia Thomson, the Recorder noted that the cause of her suicide "was probably over wrought nerves." The newspaper noted that her husband had been ill and she was having her own health problems. A niece had come to help with the care of Mr. Johnson, so Mrs. Johnson and her sister went up to bed. Her sister, Mrs. James Russell, heard her sister get up in the night but didn't think much about it and went back to sleep. When she couldn't find her the next morning, a search was instigated in the house. Mrs. Johnson was found  at the top of the stairs into the attic, still holding the razor with which she did the deed. "The funeral was held Monday from the Church of the Covenanters [Reformed Presbyterian], Rev. F.N. Crawford officiating." Mr. Johnson passed away in January of 1925.

Sixty-four years ago today, on February 10, 1951, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Catskill Mountain News, "A large number of people from Bovina attended John Deere day…at the South Kortright central school. A dinner was served to nearly seven hundred people. They were honored to hear Radio Farm Advisor Ed Mitchell with a fine speech." Ed Mitchell was a broadcaster on station WGY, starting in 1927.

Ninety four years ago, the February 11, 1921 Bovina column of the Andes Recorder reported that "Ice nearly two feet thick is being harvested from the Johnson pond uptown."

Seventy-five years ago today, on February 12, 1940, as later reported in the Delaware Republican, "Mr. and Mrs. Fred Thomson and Mrs. Jennie Archibald were at Delhi on Monday evening to attend the Virginia baked ham supper put on by the senior class of Delhi Central School."

112 years ago today, on the evening of February 13, 1903, in celebration of Valentine's Day, a Basket Social or Sociable was held at Strangeway's Hall. The Andes Recorder announced the event - "Come and get your Valentine at the Basket Social in Strangeway’s Hall, on Friday evening, February 13. Every lady will please bring a basket with lunch in it for two."  A few days later, on February 17, another "Basket Sociable"  was held at Elmer E. Hastings, with the "Money to be used to purchase new Bible Songs."

115 years ago today, on February 14, 1900, "Archibald F. Maynard died at his home in the upper part of this town Wednesday night, aged 70 years." The Andes Recorder noted that "He had been in failing health for about six months.  Mr. Maynard lived on the old Maynard homestead and was born and spent all his life on the farm on which he died.  In 1875 he married Jennie L, daughter of Hector Cowan, of Stamford, who with one son survives him.  The funeral will be held on Friday."

151 years ago today, on February 15, 1864, John Murray signed this oath of officer as overseer of the poor:

Ninety three years ago today, on February 16, 1922, Calvin Russell's team of horses got away from him. The Andes Recorder reported that "The team of Calvin Russell took fright at the creamery Thursday morning and had a lively run.  Coming onto Main street the team ran in at the Hastings feed store and onto the flat above the new street.  Continuing up the flat they went over the wall into a rocky pasture lot of Fred Bramley and were not caught until they reached Bramley’s.  No damage was done and not even the milk cans were thrown out. How they avoided all the rocks is a miracle."

Seventy two years ago today, on February 17, 1943, Kathryn Louise McPherson was born, the daughter of Lester McPherson and Margaret L. Russell. Better known as Louise, she married Wilford Barnhart in 1971 and, sadly, died in 1980 when she was only 37.

175 years ago today, on February 18, 1840, the Town of Bovina held its annual meeting and elected officers, including the Supervisor, Town Clerk, Assessors, Commissioners of Highway, Commissioners and Inspectors of Common Schools, Tax Collector, Constables, Overseers of the Poor and Justices of the Peace. The names of those elected are in the document below:

Thirty four years ago today, on February 19, 1981, Margaret Hoy passed away. Born in Bovina in 1911, she was the daughter of Adam Laidlaw and Emma Campbell. She married James Hoy in 1935 and had three children before she was widowed in 1956. Margaret was the Bovina Town Clerk for a number of years, retiring in 1976.

Seventy seven years ago today, on February 20, 1938, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Miss Jennie Biggar died at the home of Mrs. Kate Birdsell (sic) in the upper part of Bovina Center...She was the only child of Walter Biggar and Esther McEachron and was born in Bovina 59 years ago on the McEachron home stead, now occupied by Benson LaFevre (sic).  The funeral was held Wednesday."  The house that Jennie died in happens to be my house.  She died in the back bedroom, according to Mrs. Birdsall's daughter, Kate.  She was living with the Birdsalls after she lost her house (which was the house I grew up in) at a sheriff's sale.

162 years ago today, on February 21, 1853, Mary McCune Douglas gave birth to a son, John McCune Douglas. His father was James R. Douglas. John would die at the age of 7 years and 26 days in 1860. Mary Douglas was James' second wife. His first wife, Nancy, gave birth to one daughter and died a few months later. Her daughter would die two months before her half brother John. James and Mary would have one more child a year after the death of their son. The daughter would die at the age of 15.

Eighty seven years ago today, on February 22, 1928, "The Woman’s Missionary society had a good turnout at a ten cent tea at the home of Mrs. Elizabeth Irvine…." This is now the Tony and Norma Gabriel house.

123 years ago today, February 23, 1892, Ralph Miller Barnhart was born, the son of Jeremy Barnhart and Kate Miller.  Ralph was married and widowed three times and would live to be 96, dying on Christmas Day, 1988.  He is buried in Bovina.

129 years ago today, on February 24, 1886, the Bovina Town Board appointed Gilbert D. Miller as overseer of the poor after John Hastings, who was elected to the office on February 9, refused to serve. Here is the document of appointment:

Ninety-four years ago, the Andes Recorder for February 25, 1921 reported the following: "Mrs. Ann Bouton, of Lake Delaware, has in her possession a violin of interest to many.  Her father, Sandy Gillie (for many years court crier) bought the violin from Alva Belcher, the well remembered fiddler of his day, for his son, William Gillie, who died while serving his country in the civil war." For more on William Gillie, go to the Bovina NY History blog at http://bovinanyhistory.blogspot.com/2012/05/bovina-in-civil-war-soldier-biographies.html.

Seventy-five years ago today, on February 26, 1940, as later reported by the Delaware Republican, "Mrs. H.F. Davidson and Eddie were ill…"

Ninety years ago, the February 27, 1925 issue of the Andes Recorder's Bovina column reported the following: "A few weeks ago in a scuffle Master James Crawford, son of Rev. and Mrs. F.N. Crawford, had his arm injured.  It was thought to be only a bad strain, but it did not improve and an X-ray showed that the bone was fractured at the shoulder." Reverend Crawford was the pastor of the Bovina United Presbyterian Church until 1931.

Sixty-six years ago today, on February 28, 1949, as later reported in the Catskill Mountain News, "Frank Ackerly, who is employed on the town highway, slipped and fell Monday while walking to work. He was taken to a Delhi hospital where x-rays revealed he had broken his leg."

Saturday, February 21, 2015

"Fifty Joyous Years of Team Life"

In February 1921, two couples in Bovina celebrated their 50th wedding anniversaries one day apart. On February 15, 1871, Alexander Burns was married to Nancy Miller. They would have three children, daughters Ella and Aggie and son John (they also had a son who only lived two days). At the time of their anniversary, Alex and Nancy had two grandsons, Ben and Clarence LaFever, and two granddaughters, Mary and Agnes Burns. The next day, on February 16, 1871,William Boggs was married to Alice Russell. They would have two sons, Harry and J. Russell. They had three grandchildren at the time of their anniversary, Don, Bob and Norrie.

William and Alice Boggs; Alex and Nancy Burns
The article I believe came from a Presbyterian Church magazine (click on the image of the article to blow it up).


Thank you to my cousin Barbara Boggs Ide for sharing the article. And thanks to Jack Burns for sharing the photo. Alex and Nancy Burns are Jack's great grandparents (and my great great grandparents). W.J. and Alice Boggs are Barbara's great grandparents.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

February 1915 - 100 Years Ago in "That Thriving Town"

From the Andes Recorder
The Andes Recorder reported on the continuing effort to create a Bovina Center Fire District and on items related to the hamlet's new water system. Also reported were two operations, some weddings and a runaway team of horses down South Kortright Mountain.

February 5, 1915
William C. Burns spent Monday with Andes relatives.
Charles Hafele, Wallace Hyatt and Fine Hunt were at Andes on Wednesday.
Mrs. Robert McCandlish, of West Delhi, was a guest of her brother, Gideon Miller, the past week.
W.J. Howland has been surveying for a map of the reservoir of the Bovina Center Water Co., to file with the Conservation Commission.
John Kilham gave a lecture at the Town Hall on Wednesday evening on “My Life Among the Indians.”  This was the fourth number of the lecture course.
The Fire Commissioners of Bovina Center have organized by electing J. Russell Boggs, president and John W. McCune, secretary. William A. Hoy has declined to accept the office of treasurer to which he was elected last week.
Saturday afternoon there was a small fire in the Dickson Drug Store building, doing damage to the amount of about $10.  During the morning the chimney had burned out and several hours later the woodwork on the second floor was discovered on fire and alarm given.  The flames, however, were subdued by the use of several pails of water without turning on the village water. [This is now the Brushland Eating House.]

[The death of Russell McFarland was reported in this issue. Go to the November 7, 2013 blog entry for more about Mr. McFarland: http://bovinanyhistory.blogspot.com/2013/11/bovinas-first-automobile.html]

February 12, 1915
William Tuttle, of Livingston Manor, visited his dauter, Mrs. Fred Whitehead, over Sabbath.
Mr. and Mrs. E. George Gladstone, who have spent the past five years in Colorado, are visiting relatives here.
Mrs. Elizabeth Bryden has moved from Delhi village to the home of her son, Ellsworth Tuttle, where she will make her home in the future.
Mr. and Mrs. Jas W. Thomson have returned from visiting his son, Charles Thomson on Staten Island, and his dauter, Mrs. Dayton, at Peekskill.
About 75 friends of Mr. and Mrs. William S. Thomson, Coulter Brook, made them a surprise visit on the occasion of their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary last week.  The guests served dinner and presented the bride and groom with a purse of money. [William Thomson was the son of Andrew Thomson and Margaret Scott. He married Jennie Archibald, the daughter of Sloan Archibald and Elizabeth Esther, on January 29, 1890. Their marriage would not last much longer. Jennie died two years later in 1917 at the age of 46. William died in November 1921.]

February 19, 1915
Mr. and Mrs. Fred Johnson spent Thursday at Andes.
Mrs. George Decker has gone to visit her daughter on Long Island.
James L. Coulter, of New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, was a recent visitor here.
Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Davidson visited her brother David F. Hoy, at Ithaca last week.
William H. Maynard has purchased a Hinman milking machine and will have it installed on his farm uptown.
Miss Jennie Hastings was home for a few days the past week to see her father, Thomas E. Hastings, who is in feeble health.
Mr. and Mrs. William S. Thomson, were at Walton on Wednesday to attend the marriage of their son, Archibald Thomson to Wanda Mae Lathan of Walton. Sloan Archibald and Mr. and Mrs. William F. Boggs were also wedding guests.

February 26, 1915
Two Bovina Operations
William J. Archibald and Mrs. Robert Foreman Under Surgeon’s Knife
Tuesday morning Dr. Latcher, of Oneonta, assisted by Dr. Ormiston, of Delhi and Dr. Whitcomb, the family physician, operated upon William J. Archibald at his home at the Scott arch bridge below Bovina Center. Mr. Archibald had been ill about a week, his case puzzling the physicians, but it was finally diagnosed as appendicitis. [William Archibald was born in 1870 and would live until 1941.]
Friday, Mrs. Robert Foreman was operated upon at the Neal hospital at Delhi. [This likely is Dora Boggs Foreman. Born in 1874, she would die in 1962 at the age of 88.]

Stage Team Ran Away
Team of Will Thomson Had Lively Run Down Hobbie Mountain
Last Thursday the team of Will Thomson, proprietor of the Bovina-Bloomville stage route, took a lively run down Hobbie mountain. Thomson was enroute to Bloomville and when below George Foreman’s the team started to run and the one passenger, Miss Jennie Hastings, jumped and escaped injury, and the driver was thrown out a short distance further.  The horses went down the hill at break-neck speed, meeting two teams and passing a third before they reached the Craft place, but swerved to the right enough to avoid collision.  Reaching the foot of the mountain they turned up the river road and were caught near the Rose school house by Fred Dayton.  The wagon was badly wrecked, three of the wheels being smashed.  A mustang he was driving caused the trouble.  The next day the team tried the same caper at the same place, but Thomson was prepared for it and held them. [This likely, based on information provided by Ed Davidson, is Scutt Mountain Road. This is a correction of my earlier speculation that this was South Kortright Mountain. Ed has convinced me that my speculation is incorrect.]

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Centennial of Two Weddings

100 years ago this month, two well known Bovina couples were married. On February 5, 1915, Bill Burns and Emily Elliott were married in Kingston. They settled in Bovina, farming for many years on the farm that his grandson Gary now owns, just outside the Bovina Center hamlet. They would have five children, Robert, James, Eleanor, Clarence and Kathryn in an 11 year period. Emily died in 1966, Bill in 1975. They were survived by four of their children, their eldest son, Bob, having died in 1956.
This picture of Bill and Emily likely dates from the 1960s. It may be in celebration of their Golden Wedding Anniversary in 1965. The picture was taken in the Bovina UP Church. Thanks to their grandchildren, Barbara Moore and Joan Townsend for getting this picture to me for this blog.
On February 17, John F. Thomson married Ina Nichols in Bovina. John was the son of Alexander Dixon Thomson and Addie Kaufman; Ina the daughter of John Nichols and Ida Wilbur. John spent his entire life in Bovina. He was born and died in the house on the family farm on Pink Street. Ina was born in North Harpersfield. John and Ina had two children, Bea and Doris. Ina was widowed in 1964 when John passed away, eight months shy of their 50th wedding anniversary. She survived him just over 20 years, dying in 1985. The family farm went to their daughter and son-in-law Doris and Henry Rabeler and, like the Bill Burns farm, still is in the family.
Wedding picture of John and Ina, provided by their granddaughter Dianne Rabeler Abele.