Friday, January 17, 2020

Bovina Ex-pats: David Murray (1830-1905), Educator


David Murray was born in Bovina in 1830, the son of William Murray and Jean Black, both natives of Scotland. He grew up in Bovina, attending the one room schools there. A story related in a memorial publication after his death noted that not long after he started school, he fell and injured his leg. This confined him in a crib for a year. The doctor who nursed him back to health brought him a book on George Washington and promised him the book when he could read the first page. After finishing at the one-room school he attended Delaware Academy in Delhi.
After graduating from Union College in 1852, David had an extensive career as an educator. From 1857 to 1863 he was the principal of the Albany Academy in New York City. He was a professor at Rutgers College in New Jersey from 1863-1873. During his time there, he taught mathematics, natural philosophy and astronomy. While teaching there, working with George Cook, he was active in developing a full science curriculum and lobbied for the college to be named the state’s land grand college. Cook and Murray conducted surveys that established the boundary between New York and New Jersey in 1872. On top of all of this, Murray was responsible for building Rutgers’ first astronomical observatory.
When an embassy from Japan came to the U.S. in 1872, the representatives met Murray and invited him to become an adviser to the imperial minister of education. He was the Superintendent of Educational Affairs in Japan from 1873-1879, establishing the system of public education for the entire country. He returned to the U.S. for a visit in 1876 specifically to collect material for an educational museum in Japan. When he left Japan in 1879, the emperor of Japan awarded him the decoration of the Rising Sun.
On his return to the U.S., he was appointed the secretary of the board of regents of the University of New York. While in this position, the Delaware Gazette reported in 1883 that “David  Murray, the Secretary of the Board of Regents, writes to the Brooklyn Board of Education that for the inspection of primary schools a woman is incomparably more efficient than a man.”
Undated photo of David Murray from memorial biography written in 1915.
David began having health problems in the 1880s, possibly related to the leg he injured as a child. When his brother, Delhi judge William Murray, died in 1887, he was too weak to attend the funeral. His poor health forced his resignation at the end of 1888, but he would live for another seventeen years. Murray wrote several books and numerous articles, including a history of education in New Jersey. He wrote The Story of Japan in 1894 as part of the Story of the Nations series.
David Murray never forgot his roots in Delaware County. He made frequent visits to his brother, William. He was chosen to be the editor of the Centennial History of Delaware County New York in 1897 and wrote the chapter on the “Anti-Rent Episode in New York,” which he originally wrote for and presented to the American Historical Association. It was one of the first histories written about this period.
He also continued his roots with Rutgers, serving on the College board of trustees until a few months before his death in 1905. He had been suffering from tuberculosis of the leg for some years. Murray is buried in the Elmwood Cemetery in New Brunswick, NJ. His grave records his birth in Bovina in 1830. 
From Find A Grave

Friday, January 10, 2020

January 1920 - 100 Years Ago "in That Thriving Town"

The roaring 20s start in Bovina with a number of property changes.

January 2, 1920

·         Wallace Hyatt, who has completed a four year enlistment in the United States Navy, has received his discharge and is at his home here.
·         Marshall Thomson up Pink street, has sold his farm to western parties, Marshall Scott has also sold his farm and the purchaser took possession on January 1. 

January 9, 1920

·         The Dry Milk Company is harvesting ice from Lake Mahiken, on Mabon farm this week.
·         It is reported that Thos A. Archibald, who has sold his farm, is looking for a farm near Walton.
·         Charles J. Russell has moved into part of Gideon Miller’s house, which he recently purchased, and is assisting his brother, Cecil Russell, in the store.
·         Mrs. Eliza Barnhart, who for many years was housekeeper for A.P. Lee, and for the past three years resided at John Quinn’s, has gone to Afton to reside with her sister, Mrs. Julia Mullnex.
·         Charles T. Fuller met with an accident on the ice at Lake Mahikan. His foot was caught in part of the machinery that was moving the ice up to the road.  The injury was very painful one, but he is improving.

Great Activity in Bovina Realty

Three Large Farm Change Hands During Past Week

During the past week three Bovina farms have been sold as follows:

            Marshall Thomson has sold his farm of 196 acres, 60 heads of stock and all equipment to A.E. Hadley, of Chester, Iowa, and gives possession on February 1.
            Edward J. Scott and his son Marshall Scott have sold their farms of 187 acres, located near the Butt End, to Eugene Chase, of North Branch, Minnesota, with immediate possession.  The sale includes 68 heard of stock and all equipment.
            Thomas A. Archibald has sold his farm of 172 acres, in upper Bovina, to T.F. Montgomery, of Attica, Indiana and gives possession February 1.
            Mr. Montgomery is the father of Mrs. Mitchell, who with her husband bought the Charles J. Russell farm.

January 16, 1920

·         Mr. and Mrs. Wm Armstrong and son and Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Decker and little son motored to Walton last Wednesday to spend the day with their father, F.C. Armstrong, and help celebrate his 82d birthday.

January 23, 1920

·         William Mason overseer of “Aknusti” the summer home of Robert L. Gerry, is in New York City, and Jay Waterman is acting overseer.
·         Wednesday on a specially constructed sleigh attached to the town caterpillar tractor about ten tons of coal was brought up from Delhi at a load, for the Dry Milk Company.

January 30, 1920

·         A dairyman's league meeting held Tuesday was addressed by Bruce Kilpatrick.
·         David G. Currie has been confined to the house for a week with a gathering in his ear.
·         The town tractor is making regular trips to Delhi, hauling coal, etc. for the Dry Milk Co.
·         Students at Delaware Academy are home for the week as so many of the teachers are sick.
·         Mrs. Fred Henderson and little Oliva Bramley are on the sick list and attended by Delhi doctors.
·         There are no more cases of measles in town – only Emily and Wilhelmina Archibald having had them.
·         Marshall Thomson, who sold his farm up Pink street, is moving into part of John Blair’s house for the present.
·         The census of the town is complete and the taxes are practically all paid so that the collector can settle in full February 1st.
·         Thomas A. Archibald, who has sold his farm in upper Bovina, is moving to Walton and expects to buy a farm in that vicinity.

Vote Against Selling Creamery - From our Bovina Correspondent

Tuesday the annual meeting of the Bovina Center Co-Operative Creamery company was held in the town hall and two new directors were chosen.  A vote on the question of selling the creamery plant to the Dry Milk Company resulted in a decision not to sell.  The vote was 18 against selling and 12 in favor of selling. 

Bovina Farmers will Meet

A big all day meeting under the auspices of the Farm and Home Bureau will be held in Bovina Center on Friday, February 6th.  Dinner will be served at noon and everybody is supposed to bring their family and a box lunch.  There will be a business program with music and speeches in the afternoon.





Tuesday, December 31, 2019

This Day in Bovina for December 2019

Here are the December daily postings on the Town of Bovina Historian Facebook page:

108 years ago today, the December 1, 1911 Andes Recorder reported in its Bovina column that "180 barrels of dry milk were shipped from the Dry Milk plant here, to Vienna, Austria."

109 years ago today, on December 2, 1910, the Delaware County tuberculosis crusade held "two sessions at Bovina Center…, one for the benefit of the school children in the afternoon, the other in the hall at 7:45 in the evening."

Seventy years ago today, on December 3, 1949, Marjorie Russell received this letter from Bresee's Department Store in Oneonta: 

107 years ago today, the December 4, 1912 issue of the Delaware Gazette reported that "DeWitt C. Sharpe, Jr., a Bovina farmer living on the old Elisha B. Maynard place, filed a voluntary petition in bankruptcy Saturday with liabilities of $2438 and no assets except those claimed as exempt. There are about 20 in Bovina including Johnson Brothers who have a claim for $1,100. The other creditors are located in Bloomville, Stamford and Bovina Center."

297 years ago today, on December 5, 1722, Bathsheba Brush was born. She was the mother of early Bovina settler Alexander Brush. She came to live with her son later in life and died in 1803. She is buried in the Brush cemetery next to what is now the library.

Thirty-six years ago today, the December 6, 1983 Stamford Mirror-Recorder carried this story about the resolution of a boundary dispute between Bovina and Andes. 


Seventy-five years ago today, the December 7, 1944 issue of the Delaware Republican-Express carried in its Bovina column this list of new books at the Bovina Public Library. 

109 years ago today, on December 8, 1910, as later reported in the Delaware Gazette, "Two yearlings, part of a dairy of Wm. Smith, a large farmer of this town [Bovina] died last night of Paris green poisoning and four or five other cattle are sick, but it is expected they will recover. The Paris green was part of a can which had been used last summer and was placed on a shelf above the stanchions in the stable by Larry Mitchell, a farm hand in the employ of Smith. Mr. Smith did not know that the Paris green had been placed in the stable and was greatly surprised when he found that his cattle had eaten the poison. It appears that the can had been knocked off the shelf and the contents got into the feeding buckets."

112 years ago today, on December 9, 1907, Mary Brown was born, the daughter of James Brown and Nancy D. Coulter. She married Edwin M. 'Ted' Burgin in Delhi in 1925. They farmed for many years on the Burgin homestead at Route 28 and County Route 6. Mary was widowed in 1993 and passed away in 2004 at the age of 96.

Sixty-nine years ago today, on December 10, 1950, as later reported in the Catskill Mountain News, "Mrs. Richard Crosley held a party for her music students and their parents at the [Bovina] church parlors… Twenty five were present. Much credit is due Mrs. Crosley in her untiring efforts to further her class in their talents of music." Mrs. Crosley lived on Cape Horn Road.

Ninety-three years ago today, on December 11, 1926, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Bovina defeated Bloomville at basketball here Saturday [Dec 11] evening by the score of 26 to 20."

115 years ago today, on December 12, 1904, as later reported in the Delaware Gazette, Jacob Bailey of Bovina died quite suddenly. The paper noted that "we have been able to get but few particulars, but he seems to have been quite seriously afflicted with asthma of late and his ailment is thought to have been complicated with heart trouble that resulted fatally." The paper went on to note that Bailey had lived on his farm near Lake Delaware for many years. He had just sold the farm and had only about a week before moved into Bovina Center. The death notice concluded by noting that Jacob "has always been regarded as a good neighbor, a faithful friend, an exemplary husband and father, one of the best citizens of that town."

142 years ago today, on December 13, 1877, Andrew H. Archibald was born, the son of Barbara H. Archibald. Barbara was the daughter of Andrew Archibald and Elizabeth McFarland. There is no information as to who his father was. Barbara died nine days later. Her son only survived her by about three months, dying in March 1878.

180 years ago today, on December 14, 1839, Walter Coulter, the Bovina Commissioner of Common Schools, submitted this report of monies received from the County Treasurer for use in the twelve Bovina school districts.

Ninety-eight years ago today, on December 15, 1921, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Bovina had a double wedding last Thursday evening, December 15.  The contracting parties were Miss Viola Russell and Wilfred Barnhart, both of this town, and Alfred Russell, of Bovina, and Miss Katherine Oliver, of Delhi.  Mrs. Russell is a granddaughter of the late Walter Amos of southern Bovina." Wilford and Viola Barnhart lived on Pink Street and had six children. Alfred and Katherine Russell had four children.

Seventy-six years ago today, the December 16, 1943 Delaware Republican published this relatively brief "Bovina Centre" column. 



Seventy-seven years ago, the December 17, 1942 Bovina column of the Delaware Republican reported that "The body of Mrs. Ella Cable was brought here from Delhi on Friday for burial. Mr. and Mrs. Fred Thomson, Mrs. John Hilson, Mrs. Aggie Draffen and others from here attended the funeral at Delhi."

197 years ago today, on December 18, 1822, Thomas H. Johnston was born, the son of Andrew Johnston and Mary Hamilton. His father would die when he was only 15. His mother took over management of the Johnston Woolen Mill. Thomas would take over when he was an adult. He married Violet Hamilton and had four children. Thomas was one day past 70 when he died in 1892.

155 years ago today, on December 19, 1864, Close Light died. Born in 1792, Light was a War of 1812 Veteran. More information about Light can be seen at the Bovina NY History blog at http://bovinanyhistory.blogspot.com/2012/06/war-of-1812.html

140 years ago today, the December 20, 1879 Delaware Republican had this item: "A correspondent of the Unadilla Times, says: The prize speaking on Friday evening, in chapel hall, Franklin, did credit to the participants and was listened to with attention by a large audience. The 1st prize was awarded to James Hastings, of Bovina…." This probably was James Blair Hastings (1860-1920). More about James' life is on my blog at https://bovinanyhistory.blogspot.com/2012/07/lightning-strike-in-bovina-120-years-ago.html

Seventy-five years ago today, the Bovina column in the Delaware Republican Express for December 21, 1944 reported that "Isabelle Monroe, who is attending Westminster College at New Wilmington, Pa., is spending her holiday vacation with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Monroe." Isabelle would marry Arthur 'Tex' Deter in 1951. She passed away in June 2018 at the age of 92.

110 years ago, on the evening of December 22, 1909, William McNee died suddenly. He was 60 years old. The Andes Recorder reported his death: "Mr. McNee had worked all day at the Center creamery assisting in putting in the ice and his part of the work was to take the cakes as they came on to the platform and get them to the elevator. After completing his work there he went home and cleaned the sidewalk and then went to the outhouse. Mrs. McNee, after keeping supper waiting for half an hour or more, became alarmed and went to see what was the cause of the delay and he was found lying just inside of the door of the outhouse, and he had apparently dropped dead as he entered. It was known that Mr. NcNee had valvular trouble of the heart and it is supposed that the over exertion of handling the heavy cakes of ice was responsible for his death. Mr. McNee was born on Scotch Mountain but for many years has been a resident of this town.  He married Euphema Doig, youngest daughter of the late William Doig and she, with three sons and a daughter, survives him."

115 years ago today, the Bovina column of the December 23, 1904 Andes Recorder reported that "Civil Engineer W.W. Hoy is visiting his mother, Mrs. John R. Hoy. He has just returned from India, where he has been employed." William Wilson Hoy was born in 1872 in Bovina. He lived for some time in Pennsylvania before settling in California, where he died in 1967 at the age of 94.

129 years ago today, on December 24, 1890, as later reported in the Delaware Gazette, "The Bovina Centre Brass Band will give a concert Christmas eve and the evening following."  Image courtesy of Tom Hoy: 

Seventy-eight years ago today, the December 25, 1941 Catskill Mountain News reported on the American Red Cross's appeal for a "fifty million dollar War Relief fund.." The paper noted that the "Bovina-Lake Delaware branch had its Red Cross Victory Christmas tree ready to decorate…" It was decorated with crosses, each one representing "$50 given to the War Relief fund." The campaign chair, Tom Wallis, "announced that farmers were being asked to contribute a can of milk to the fund on Christmas day." The paper noted that "although some of the farmers do not have the ready cash to contribute to the fund just at this time, they are giving orders on their January milk checks."

131 years ago today, the December 26, 1888 issue of the Delaware Gazette reported that "The school at Bovina Center was closed a few days on account of diphtheria, and at Bovina, on account of measles. Both schools have commenced again, there being no more cases."

137 years ago today, the December 27, 1882 Delaware Gazette reported under "Bovina Items" this item: "Rev. J.L. Scott and bride have been expected at Bovina for several days. We learn that there will be a family reception for them at his father's to-day, Monday. Happiness attend them." This is John Loughran Scott, who was married on December 20 in Fishkill, NY to Elizabeth Laurens. They had two children, both named Lauren. The first Lauren died as an infant. The second Lauren lived to the age of 23 but spent much of his life in an institution. Rev. Scott died in Philadelphia in 1919, survived by his wife, and was buried in Connecticut near his son. I do not know when his wife died.

Eighty-two years ago today, on December 28, 1937, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "The Bovina Center basketball team suffered defeat Tuesday night at the hands of the Unadilla town team by a score of 28 to 23, on the winner’s court.  The Unadilla girls defeated the Bovina girls 23 to 15.

198 years ago today, on December 29, 1821, Jonathan Adee was born. He married Henrietta Kipp (born about 1823). They would have three children and farmed on Cape Horn Road for many years. Jonathan died in 1902 at the age of 80. Henrietta died about four years later.

111 years ago today, the December 30, 1908 Delaware Gazette reported the following: "Elmer Doig, of Bovina, the 7 year old son of Milton Doig, recently harnessed a pair of horses and drove three miles to the Center and returned home with a load of grain."

140 years ago today, the December 31, 1879 Delaware Gazette reported that "Dea[con] Thomas McFarland, of Bovina, one of the best farmers in America and a veteran subscriber to the Gazette, was in town [Delhi] yesterday. It is never a bad day when the Deacon is in town."

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Bovina Bicentennial Celebration, Update 12

We are two months away from Bovina's 200th Birthday. With it being the holidays, planning on the celebration has been on hold, though we continue to bring in money for the celebration fund, including selling posters and books. At the end of the year, we have over $7,000 in the fund. 

On Tuesday, February 25, 2020, we will have a party at the community hall from 6 - 9 pm to celebration Bovina's actual birthday. Bring a dish to pass (cake will be provided!). 

We need volunteers for several committees for the big celebration on August 1:

Fundraising - Responsible for raising the celebration funds. I have been actively seeking grant funding, but we need to reach out to local businesses and people who want to help with the celebration. The plan is to include a commemorative booklet where these donations can be acknowledged.

Parade - Responsible for getting marching units, including floats, bands, and any other participants, as well as handling organizing the actual parade. The Bovina Fire Department will handle traffic control, but the committee will coordinate with the department. 

Food/Vendor Tent - The event under the tent will celebrate Bovina's history and community. It would be great to have local people selling their wares, but it also would be nice to have different displays relating to the town and its people. This committee would invite vendors/participants appropriate to our celebration of our town's history and community. I've already lined up a couple of food vendors and an ice cream vendor. 

Evening music - Responsible for an evening program with local musicians, ending with a bonfire (and roasting weinies and s'mores). This committee would need to approach various musicians and explore whether or not we will want a stage (and if so, the cost). Some discussions with local musicians have already started.

So please contact me if you are interested in being involved - or be prepared for a phone call early in 2020 asking for your help! Thanks.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

A Foot Race at the Hook - 1867


152 years ago, the Delaware Republican published three letters to the editor concerning a race on December 3, 1867 at “The Hook,” the area known today as Lake Delaware. The race being mentioned likely is a foot race. The first letter, dated December 5, was published in the December 14, 1867 Delaware Republican:

We think the race of Tuesday, 3d inst., worthy of note; it was a dash of fifty yards, between Horace C Hogeboom of this place and Ed Mason of Delhi, for a purse of $20. The score was won by Hogaboom by about four feet, Mason having won a race here some two weeks previous, with James Elliot, (who had been playing base ball all day, and from other causes, was in no condition for running) by about two feet, claimed the championship, and came on Tuesday, wit[h] his friends, and challenged the town for fifty dollars, Hogaboom did not wish to run, and they prepared to leave, saying that there was no one who dared to run; his friends then raised a purse of $10, and insisted that he should run for it, to which he finally consented, it being the first thing of the kind he had attempted.

The following week, the December 14 issue of the paper had another letter about the race from W.G. Wood of Delhi:

Mr. Editor:—In looking over your paper of last week I saw an article headed "A foot race at the Hook," and in that article it was stated that Horace C. Hogaboom of the above named place beat E. R. Mason of Delhi in a fifty yard dash, for a purse of $20; and it also stated that on a previous occasion Mason ran with James Elliott (and beat him,) after Elliott had been playing base ball all day, and for other causes was In no condition for running. Now it seems from the tone of this article that neither Mr. Hogaboom, Elliott, or their friends are satisfied. I have heard a number of times, and from good authority, that Mr. Hogaboom's friends are desirous of matching him against any man in Delhi, or in Delaware County. I do not propose to blow, nor do I claim to be a first class pedestrian, but I will state this for the benefit of Mr. Hogabcom, Elliott and their friends, that I will match E. B. Mason, Clark or myself against any man in the town of Bovina, for a race of from fifty to one hundred yards, flying start, for not less than $100 and as much more as they choose to make it. I propose to make the three matches; —the first to come off at Delhi, and the others as we may agree. A forfeit of fifty dollar's Will be placed in the hands of Mr. LeValley of the Globe Saloon. This challenge will he left open for ten days. I mean business. "Stamps talk." W. G. WOOD

Mr. Hogaboom finally weighed in two weeks later, the letter published in the December 28 issue:

Bovina Valley, Dec. 24, 1867
Editor Republican:—I see in your last week's paper s challenge for myself or any man in Bovina to run with either of Messrs. Clark, Mason or Wood of Delhi for $100 a side. The challenge was to be open ten days, I will now close that challenge by accepting it. The race not to come off before the first of May, 1868. The one of the three whom I wish to run with I will designate a[t] some future day. H.C. Hogeboom.

Unfortunately, I can find no evidence that the race accepted by Hogaboom actually took place.

Horace Clark Hogaboom was born in 1839, the son of John Hogaboom and Elizabeth Purdy. The family moved from Otego to Bovina around 1841. His father died while Horace still was a child. His mother continued working the family farm in Lake Delaware for years. Horace had a brother, Henry, who fought in the 144th NY Volunteers during the Civil War.

Horace shows up in the local papers again in 1873. Around 1870, Bovina had essentially become a dry town, meaning the sale of alcohol was forbidden. In 1872, Horace had bought six acres of land just over the town line in Bovina from his mother. The following year, in July, the Delaware Gazette reported that Horace, also known as Clark Hogaboom, was building a house just over the town. In September, he applied to the Board of Excise in Delhi for a license to sell alcohol – he was denied. It appears, however, that he continued living in this house, or at least owned it, until 1886, when he sold it. When he died in 1913, he still was living at Lake Delaware (his death is recorded in the Town of Bovina).

Here's the report from the May 7, 1913 Delaware Gazette:

The death of Clark Hogaboom at Lake Delaware, last week,-removes a good citizen, an accommodating and straightforward neighbor and a reliable friend from the scene of his long life work. Mr. Hogaboom was positive in his ideas of right and wrong, despised hypocrisy, warm-hearted and true to those who he deemed, worthy of his respect. The world is better of such men and while he made no pretentions of being perfect, his many good traits of character are worthy to be commended. He leaves a widow and many friends to regret his death, the writer being among the number who cannot forget many kindly manifestations of his generous nature.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

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


The last month of the teens in Bovina saw the demolition of an old cooperage and some activity concerning dry milk produced at the creamery. 

December 5, 1919
·         Miss Lela Miller was home from Walton, where she is attending school, to spend Thanksgiving.
·         Fred Whitehead has been secured by T.W. Miller & Son to work on the Miller homestead farm.
·         Owing to the illness of Professor James Hastings the high school department of the Bovina Center school is closed this week.
·         The old Stott coopershop is a thing of the past, having been torn down by John M. Miller, who recently purchased it.  The building was erected beyond the memory of any now living and its age is unknown. 
·         In compliance with a new law the Dry Milk company now delivers daily to each patron of the creamery a slip giving the date, patrons number, the number of pounds of milk delivered and the order of delivery. Miss Shirley Miller has charge of this work. 

December 12, 1919
·         Dr. Norris B. Whitcomb with his wife and little daughter, who left here to become a medical missionary in Egypt, arrived safely at Naples, Italy, November 30.

December 19, 1919
·         Congressman Peter Gerry and Robert Gerry were at their Lake Delaware estate the past week and spent a few days hunting.

December 26, 1919
·         The tax collector is on the war path.
·         John W. McCune has been appointed census enumerator for the town of Bovina.
·         A community Christmas tree and excellent exercises were held Wednesday evening in the United Presbyterian church.
·         Harry Martin is converting the old house, which stands across the road from the house he recently purchased on the Dennis corner, into a garage.
·         Harry Martin and Hale Elliott employees of the Dry Milk Co, were at Trout Creek the beginning of the week mending machinery in the plant there.
·         Miss Jane Hilson from South Hampton, Miss Marjory Dickson and Miss Jane Archibald from Cornell University, Miss Emily Archibald from Elmira Female College, Misses Mary and Anna Dickson from Schenectady N.Y. are all home spending the Holidays.

Will Re-construct Bovina Road

In addition to the new highways to be constructed in Delaware County during 1920, the 2.34 miles of the Bovina Center state road will be re-constructed with concrete.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

This Day in Bovina for November 2019

Here are the daily entries from the Town of Bovina Historian Facebook page:

135 years ago today, November 1, 1884, this bill from Paine & Smith, Delhi, was sent to the Town of Bovina for several print jobs:


Seventy-five years ago today, the Bovina column in the November 2, 1944 Delaware Republican-Express reported that "Cpl. Clark G. Lay of the 79th A.A.A. Hq. Btry. writes his parents that on Oct. 22nd he was transferred from Camp Stewart, where he has been since August 1st, to Camp Gordon. This camp is fifteen miles from Augusta in Georgia." The same column had another report on the Lay family, reporting that "recent dinner guests of Miss Evelyn Lay at her home here were the Misses Vesta Norwood and Ada Bliss of Norwich."

123 years ago today, on Election Day, November 3, 1896, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Mrs. John Aitkin, over eighty years old…fell and was quite badly injured. She was unable to tell just how it happened." This appears to be Eliza Blish Aitkin. Born in 1816, she married John Aitkin in 1838 in Clovesville, NY. He died in 1888. She died about eight months after this accident in July 1897.

Seventy-six years ago today, the Lake Delaware column in the November 4, 1943 Delaware Republican Express reported that "The Home Bureau will meet on Tuesday, November 16….. It will be an all-day meeting and a luncheon will be served at noon under the supervision of our nutrition leader, Mrs. Lovett. Soybeans will be the main subject discussed and will enter principally in the meal. Everyone is sincerely uged to attend this luncheon, whether a Home Bureau member or not. The only thing the unit asks is that all who plan to partake of the meal will notify Mrs. Lovett or the chairman, Mrs. Charles Lee, so that we may provide plenty of food.

108 years ago today, on November 5, 1911, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Mr. and Mrs. Peter Gerry returned to New York…" The paper also noted that "Robert Gerry and family have arrived here."

129 years ago, the November 6, 1890 Kingston Weekly Freeman and Journal had the following item under the headline "Rats!" - "C.  R. Lee, of Bovina, Delaware county, was digging potatoes a few days ago and upon opening  one hill found, instead of potatoes, one very large rat and 11 young ones.

Seventy-nine years ago today, the Bovina Centre column of the November 7, 1940 Delaware Republican reported that "Miss Marjorie Ormiston accompanied Miss Helen Winter, Mrs. Henry Schall and John Raitt of Delhi to New Concord, Ohio, last Friday. This occasion was home coming week at Muskingum College. They returned Monday." Helen Winter would marry John Raitt the following April.

138 years ago, the Bovina column for the Stamford Mirror for November 8, 1881 reported that "Dr. Dickson has had workmen from Binghamton, putting slates on his new drug store." This building is now the Brushland Eating House.

145 years ago today, on November 9, 1874, John Murray submitted this account of his expenses as overseer of the poor in "examining Margaret Mackessy, the mother of a bastard…" His expense was $2.00. 


Sixty-seven years ago today, on November 10, 1952, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Delaware Republican Express, "Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Aitken moved on Monday from the Ackerly house to the apartment over the garage of Clayton Thomas."

Thirty-eight years ago today, the November 11, 1981 issue of the Daily Star (Oneonta) carried this article by Neil Cunningham about World War I and longtime Bovina resident and World War I vet Fletcher Davidson. 

144 years ago today, on November 12, 1875, Elizabeth Raitt Black died in Philadelphia. She was born in Bovina in 1840, the daughter of Thomas Raitt and Jennet Thorburn. She married Rev. James E. Black in Mississippi in 1870. At her death, she was survived by her 19-month-old daughter and her husband. Elizabeth was buried in Bovina. Her husband survived her by over 50 years, dying in Oklahoma in 1929. 

Seventy-eight years ago today, the Lake Delaware column of the November 13, 1941 Delaware Republican reported "The Lake Delaware -Bovina A.W.V.S. (American Women's Volunteer Service) met at the parish hall on Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 4th, with the newly elected chairman, Mrs. T.S. Wallis in charge. A box of woolen garments was packed for Bundles for Britain; several sweaters being reserved for use in our own camps. Wool has been distributed for 24 sweaters, to be finished by December 1st."

108 years ago today, on November 14, 1911, as later reported by the Andes Recorder, "Robert B. Jardine died … from Bright's disease, at his home on the Arbuckle farm on the eastern slope of Glenburnie, just over the Bovina line, aged 55 years." Under the headline "Native of Bovina Dead," the paper noted that he was born in Bovina, the son of Gilbert Jardine and Nancy Tuttle. He was married twice and was survived by his second wife and a son and daughter from his first marriage. He was buried in the Bovina Cemetery. Here's his headstone. Note that it gives a death date of November 13, but the newspaper clearly says the 14th. 


154 years ago today, the Delaware Gazette for November 15, 1865, reported the following: "Who can beat it? - Robert Tilford of Bovina, the other day, killed a two-year-old Ewe which weighed (sic) alive 200 lbs. The four quarters, dressed meat, weighted 130 lbs., the pelt 18 lbs, and the tallow from the entrails 16 1/2 lbs. We say again, who can beat it?"

113 years ago today, the Bovina column of the November 16, 1906 Andes Recorder reported that the Bovina U.P. Church was considering getting an organ. It was noted that while James L. Coulter was leader of the choir, one wasn't necessary. "The removal of Mr. Coulter to Margaretville leaves the choir without anyone to 'start the tunes' and the congregation will have to dispense with singing or put in an organ.  A few years ago, the opposition to an organ was strong but now there is very few opposed to it.  A petition has been presented to the session by the choir asking that they take action."

132 years ago today, on the evening of November 17, 1887, Maggie Gow was married to Robert A. Mable. Robert was the son of Alexander and Elizabeth Mable. Margaret was the daughter of Robert and Beatrice Gow. The Mables would have four children, two daughters and two sons. Robert died in 1930, Maggie in 1939. This is the wedding invitation, courtesy of the Hilson family.


118 years ago today, on November 18, 1901, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "T.C. Strangeway, R.A. Thompson and William J. Archibald were at Margaretville … on business relating to the opening of a new road.  The matter was adjourned." I have yet to determine what road is meant by this.

100 years ago today, November 19, 1919, Edith Jane Barnhart, the daughter of the late Jeremy Barnhart and Kate Miller Barnhart, was married to James Boggs, a widower. They would have five children, daughters Anna, Mary, Grace and Helen and son Clifford.  Grace died at the end of 1929.  In early 1930, Edith died after giving birth to Clifford (he died in 1933).  Anna would marry Glen Hobbie and later Harold Lounsbury; Mary was married to Sig Bathen and Helen married Bud Tyrell.

163 years ago today, on November 20, 1856, Margaret S. Doig was born in Andes, the daughter of William S. Doig and Elizabeth Armstrong. She married J. Douglas Burns in 1879 and lived in Bovina, where she gave birth to her five children, four of whom survived to adulthood, including Bill Burns, grandfather of a number of the Burns family. She died in 1925. Her husband survived her by 9 years, dying in 1934. Both are buried in Bovina.

One hundred ninety eight years ago today, on November 21, 1821, the following notice was posted in the Delaware Gazette: "Public notice is hereby given, that the personal property of Adam Kezie, late of the town of Bovina deceased consisting of Horses, Cattle, Sheep, and Farming Utensils, will be exposed to sale at public auction for cash, on Thursday the 6th day of December next, at the house formerly occupied by the said Adam Kedzie deceased. Mary Kedzie, administratrix; James Kedzie, William Kedzie, Administrators.

Seventy-three years ago today, on November 22, 1946, a game and card party was held at St. James' parish hall to benefit the Women's auxiliary.

137 years ago today, the Bovina column from the Stamford Mirror dated November 23, 1882 reported that "William M. White went over to Andes…and while there one of his horses was taken sick and died." The same column also reported that "owing to some break in the machinery, the steam mill has been idle this week; but the proprietors expect to resume business in a few days."

Fifty-nine years ago today, on November 24, 1960, as later reported in the Massena (NY) Observer it's "Louisville Events" column that "Mr. and Mrs. Charles LaFever and family of Bovina Center spent Thanksgiving with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Benson LaFever. Benson LaFever is working in Plattsburgh as a carpenter on a building project."

109 years ago today, readers of the Catskill Mountain News for November 25, 1910 learned that "Mrs. Elizabeth Hewitt of Bovina has bought the Dr. Ward Young house, Bovina Centre, and John W. Hewitt takes the homestead farm in upper Bovina." The Dr. Young house was later owned by Millie Reinertsen (42.2623°N 74.7833°W). The Hewitt homestead is on Mountain Brook Road and is now owned by Tom Groves.

141 years ago today, the November 26, 1878 issue of Stamford Mirror reported on two items in a brief entry: "Mrs. Miller, wife of William Miller, has become insane and a home will have to be found for her in some insane asylum.  John. G. Bramley, who has been engaged on the State Survey during the past summer, will spend the winter at home and teach the school in which he was formerly a pupil."

136 years ago today, the Bovina column of the Stamford Mirror for November 27, 1883 reported that "A 'weight party,' held at Hasting's Hall on Tuesday evening, ended with a dance." I don't know what a 'weight party' is. If anyone does, please weigh in (no pun intended!).

Seventy-two years ago today, the November 28, 1947 Catskill Mountain News in its Bovina column reported "Several attended the funeral of William Coons held at Halls funeral parlors at Delhi Monday conducted by Rev. W. Wade Miller. Mr. Coons lived in Bovina several years. He was a sawyer. About two years ago they moved their mill to Bloomville where he was employed at the time of his death."

138 years ago today, the Bovina column of the November 29, 1881 Stamford Mirror reported that "Thos. Johnson has made 260 barrels of cider this season." The same column also reported that "About $70 has been expended in improving the appearance of the cemetry (sic) grounds."

Ninety-nine years ago today, as later reported in the Bovina column of the November 30, 1920 Andes Recorder, "Robert G. Thompson was at Delhi…and traded his Buick roadster for a five passenger 1921 Buick."