Sunday, April 23, 2017

Centennial of US Entry into World War I

On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson asked in a joint session of Congress for a declaration of war against Germany. Congress declared war on April 6, bringing the United States into the Great War.

Bovina would lose two men in the war. Clark Miller, uncle of Clark Lay, died in April 1918. James D. Calhoun, my grandmother Anna Bell Barnhart's first husband, died in October that same year. A third man, Clarence Lee, would die in 1922 from injuries received during the war.

I plan over the next few months to report on some of Bovina's soldiers from the Great War - I'm still working on creating a list of all of Bovina's World War I vets. So far, I have a list of 38 men. It may grow (or even shrink) as I verify these.

Some past blog entries about the war:

I did one in November 2010 about my grandmother Anna Bell Barnhart's first husband, James D. Calhoun: http://bovinanyhistory.blogspot.com/2010/11/james-calhoun-and-great-war.html. I will be starting a new blog in November sharing some of the letters my grandmother and James exchanged during their 11 month marriage.

James D. Calhoun (1889-1918)
This is James's service information from the New York State Abstracts of World War I Military Service, 1917–1919. Adjutant General's Office. Series B0808. New York State Archives, Albany, New York.
In March 2011, I reported on the death of the last World War I vet and noted that Fletcher Davidson was Bovina's last surviving World War I vet. http://bovinanyhistory.blogspot.com/2011/03/last-vet-of-great-war.html. I've since realized that Bovina had at least one vet who survived Fletcher - Donald Lee died in 1995 at the age of 99.

H. Fletcher Davidson (1895-1987)
This is Fletcher's service information from the New York State Abstracts of World War I Military Service, 1917–1919. Adjutant General's Office. Series B0808. New York State Archives, Albany, New York.
These cards are accessible through Ancestry.com and through the New York State Archives website.


Saturday, April 15, 2017

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


The Andes Recorder in April 1917 reported more deaths in Bovina, including natives of Germany and Switzerland, and a death by suicide.

April 6, 1917
·         The Center School will be closed next week for the Easter vacation.
·         There will be a sale of the furniture at the M.E. parsonage Saturday.
·         From a warm sugar social held Wednesday evening the Victor Class realize about $11.
·         John A. Irvine, who had an attack of pneumonia the past winter, started Monday for a trip to Florida.
·         Mrs. Ida Burgin has purchased a new Buick automobile and Marshall Thomson has purchased a new Dodge.
·         Lester Irvine, veterinary is examining the cows of patrons of the Bovina Center Co-operative Creamery Company.
·         Wilson Barker, a chauffeur of Delhi has been employed by Commodore Elbrige T. Gerry on his country estates at Lake Delaware.
·         William Armstrong has been re-appointed patrolman on the section of the State road from Thos C. Strangeway’s to Delhi.  The pay this year as been increased from $3 to $3.25 per day.
·         Jane Archibald and sister, Emily, have had an attack of jaundice.

April 13, 1917
·         John A. Irvine has returned from his trip.
·         The patrons of the Bovina Center Creamery are now required to take their milk every day.
·         James R. Honeywell, of Delhi, has bought of W.H. Cavin, the farm occupied by John W. Northrup in Bovina.  The price was $800, subject to the contract of Mr. Northrup.
·         The team of James Hastings took fright at a piece of paper at the creamery and ran to Hilson’s store where they were caught.  Mr. Hastings was thrown out but escaped without serious injury.
·         Frank Miller has sold his farm on the hill above the old cemetery to a Norwegian named Jenson.  He retains 40 acres below the road. The farm was formerly the Andrew Thomson place and by him was called “paradise.”

Death Claims Bovina Woman
            Miss Louise Muller passed away at the Muller home in Bovina Center on Saturday afternoon, April 7, aged 59 years. Death was due to chronic uraemic poisoning, and had been confined to her bed for three years, but was a patient sufferer.  The funeral was held at the U.P. church at 2 p.m. on Monday, Rev. J.A. Mahaffey officiating. Interment was in the Center cemetery.
            She was born in Switzerland in December, 1857 and came to Bovina with her parents 47 years ago. After their arrival she was sent to school for six months to learn the English language so that she could impart it to her parents.  For 21 years she was employed in the family of General Jacobs in Delhi, going from there to New York, where for 16 years she was housekeeper at Hotel Churchill, retiring three years ago on account of her health.  She leaves a brother, Wenner Muller, in Iowa, and four sisters, Mrs. Emma Roper, in Kansas, Mrs. Otis McCumber of Andes, and Kate and Frederika Muller in Bovina.

Bovina Farm Sold
            The Francis Coulter farm located in Coulter Brook, Bovina, was sold at partition, sale at Delhi on Monday and was bid off by James Monroe for $1,500.  Mrs. Elizabeth Adee first bid off the farm for $3,100, but could not pay the cash payment of 10 per cent. The farm was later put up again and Mr. Monroe was the only bidder.  There is some question as to whether the Court will confirm the sale or not.  The farm contains 300 acres.

Lake Mahikan sold
            What is known as the Lake Mahikan premises, formerly the Thos Mabon farm in the town of Bovina, was sold at partition sale at the front door of the court house in Delhi on Monday and was bid off by Ralph S. Ives, of Roxbury, plaintiff in the action, for $1,200 subject to a mortgage of $2,650.  The place was purchased some 9 or 10 years ago by Ralph Ives, Arthur Scott, Andrew Fenton, and James H. Hitt, of Margaretville, and a dam built flooding 22 acres and making a fine body of water.  George McNair, who has been occupying the place, has leased it for another year.

April 20, 1917
·         Wayne Marks is the proud possessor of a new bicycle.
·         W.W. Ayres, son of H.A. Ayres of this place, has enlisted in the regular army.
·         Herman Johnson, in upper Bovina, is having the interior of his residence re-modeled.
·         Douglas Davidson is having a bath room fitted up in his residence at the foot of Russell hill.
·         Frank Miller, who sold his farm last week, has rented rooms in the Kennedy house now owned by George Gladstone.
·         Town Superintendent McPherson was at Lake Delaware Tuesday shoring up the “Hook” bridge for the passage of the Gerry road machinery.
·         Word was received here Tuesday of the death of Charles Mullenex at Ilion N.Y. where he moved last fall. He had an attack of pneumonia a few weeks ago and was supposed to be improving.

Aged Man A Suicide in Bovina
            John Corbin committed suicide early Thursday morning, April 12, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. DeWitt Sharpe, on the Elisha B. Maynard farm in Bovina.
            The family had all been to the barn milking and when Mrs. Sharpe came to the house she missed her father.  A search was made and the body of Mr. Corbin was found hanging from the rafters in the attic over the kitchen.  He had evidently placed the rope around his neck and then stepped off a bed-stead that stood near.  He was cut down but life was extinct.
            He was born in Roxbury in 1838, and besides the daughter is survived by his aged wife.  Burial was at Bloomville on Monday.  The snow drifts had to be shoveled out before the funeral procession could get thru the roads.

Gerry’s Building Stone Road
            Tuesday evening 40 Italians and Russians arrived to work on the stone road on the Gerry estate in southern Bovina.  A large traction engine, stone crusher and other machinery has been brought by job by way of Delhi.

April 27, 1917
·         John H. Benjamin has been on the sick list and his shop has been closed for a few days.
·         The revival meetings which opened April 12, in the R.P. church, closed Monday evening.
·         It is stated that Lake Mahikan on the Thomas Mabon farm, will be drained and the land used for farming purposes.
·         Rev. Thomas E. Graham, pastor of the Church of the Covenanters, received word that a son- Paul Renwick Graham-had been born at Pittsburg, Penn., and left Tuesday for that city.
·         Mrs. H.A. Ayres returned home on Monday from Binghamton, where she has joined the Red Cross Ambulance Corps. She has gone to Columbus, Ohio for training.
·         The auction of the J.W. Coulter property Tuesday drew a large crowd and good prices were received.  The amount received from the sale was $3,250. The house and lot was purchased by Harvey C. Burgin for $1,800.
           
Bovina Man Died Suddenly
John Ruff Expired Thursday While Helping Neighbor Boil Sap
            John Ruff, who for about 22 years had resided on the Jonathon Adee farm in upper Bovina, was stricken with apoplexy about noon on Thursday, April 19, and died immediately.
            Mr. Ruff left home early that morning to assist Arthur Bouton, who lives on an adjoining farm, in the sap bush and worked all the forenoon.  About 12 o’clock while he and the other workers were at the sap house, preparing to go to dinner, Mr. Ruff was stricken and died almost instantly, Dr. Scott, the health officer, was summoned and pronounced the death due to apoplexy and issued a certificate.
            He was born in Germany 68 years ago and the third of the family to die suddenly-two brothers having been taken in a similar way.  His wife died last year, but he continued to live on his farm with his daughter and his son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. McCumber. Burial was in the Bovina Center cemetery Saturday.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Give my love to all my friends, and my best wishes to my enemies – The Slander Case of Margaret Bailey

In December 1856, Margaret Bailey, a 25 year old Bovina native living in New York City and working as a milliner, received a rather startling letter from her brother-in-law, James Cathels:

Margaret – I hope you will excuse me for the liberty I am about to take with you, concerning your character and conduct of late in New York City. There has a report reached the ears of your friends here, that you have fallen from the paths of virtue and chastity, to that of a common ---; such is the report.  By the request of your friends, I write you this, and ask you the following questions:  At what places have you worked since you came to York, and what houses have you lived or boarded at?  Please give us the name and number; their general reputation.  Have you cards printed with your name and number of your bed-room on them; have you ever given such cards to gentlemen from Delaware county; has said gents staid or stopped or had the use of you as a common ---.  Is this report true or is it a base lie? Such is the story; now tell us if it is true or false? I do not believe it, your friends don’t believe it; if it is all false, it is a base and damning slander on your character, and you have your remedy, for we know the person that has told it, and they are frequently responsible for heavy damages. Now, Margaret, if your conduct is all straight since you lived in York, and nothing can be proved to the contrary, you can get a handsome bill of damages, but if your conduct is not straight – enough said.

This letter, as can be imagined, upset her greatly.  It impacted her work and she became so unwell that she needed to go into the care of a doctor.  She wrote a letter to her friends, William and Agnes Miller in February 1857:

New York, 121 West 27th St., [Feb]15th, 1857

Mr. & Mrs. Miller—I received your letter and have neglected answering it until now.  I was glad to hear from you all. I am always glad to get a letter from old Delaware, but I am sorry to say that they have not been of the pleasantest nature of late to me. I have been informed of the slanderous report concerning my character, and from some of my friends I learn that some of my false friends have been the beginer of the most of all that has been said, and from my knowledge of some of the characters in your village that it is nothing new for them to secretly slander their most intimate friends. But I trust that I have some true friends still left to speak a word in my behalf. I understand that some of my female friends think that I have read and knew too much for to be very virtuous, but for my own part, I think my knowledge is very limited compared with some of the ladies of the celebrated Brushland, for it was from them that I heard most of my information.

First. I am accused of not being virtuous, but I defy any person to bring proof to that effect, and if I am spared to return to Bovina, I will have it brought to an understanding, for I will have all face to face, for I do not suppose they will give me any other way of doing much about it, for they are so used to the work, that slander in Bovina is done in an underhanded way, so as they cannot be disturbed; but some of them has been brought in trouble, so as there has been some untruths told to make a way of escape, I am not ignorant to some of them.

Second charge against me is, that I left in such a manner.—I really do not know how I was to leave; must I have it published in the public papers, or what must I do. If they want an explanation upon my leaving, they can by going to Mrs. Bayruther; she wrote to me, which was the reason of my leaving at the time that I did, although I intended to come to the city in a very short time, at all events. And they go so far as to say even more, which is not worth while to mention, but they may go on, but there is a day of reckoning coming, and perhaps not so far off as they expect; and they will not get a card with my name and number, as represented is my practice. In conclusion I will say, I hope they will reap their reward.

Ag. write soon  Tell me all the news. I am well, and hope that you are all enjoying the same blessing. Give my love to all my friends, and my best wishes to my enemies.
Yours truly, MARGARET BAILEY

She’s upset about what is being said, but from the tone of the letter, it is not clear whether or not she realizes yet that the source of these rumors is Mr. Miller. The slander seems to have started during the winter of 1856 when Margaret’s father, William Bailey, came to Miller’s blacksmith shop. When Miller asked him the whereabouts of Margaret, Bailey explained that she was “at Mrs. Abbotts” in New York City.  Miller said he understood that this was not the case and that she was instead at a whore house.  He told Mr. Bailey he had better get her out of New York and back home.

As the story began to spread and further details were shared, Margaret realized that Mr. Miller was the source of the slander and, urged on by her father, took him to court.  The trial took place on January 18, 1858 in Delhi. There followed a day of conflicting testimony as to whom Mr. Miller told his information and what other information he and others shared about Margaret’s situation and reputation. During the trial, the above referenced letters were read into the court record. 

Some witnesses testified that Miller said that a Mrs. Elliott had told his wife that she had seen a gentleman distributing her card, giving the address and the number of her bedroom.  The gentleman had been with her the night before and suggested that other men call on her.  Margaret’s sister Jane testified that Miller also told her these tales, including the fact that Margaret got $100 for men to stay with her.  Others testified of hearing Miller tell about catching Nathan Hilton in bed with Margaret Bailey at Hamilton’s hotel in Bovina after a dance there.  Miller denied spreading these tales, saying that he only told Mr. Bailey “in a friendly manner and told no one else.” He said he took him aside in the shop to have a private conversation. 

After all the testimony, the jury retired to consider its verdict.  It took them until 2 o’clock the next morning to come to their verdict, announced later that day, in favor of the plaintiff, Margaret.  She was awarded $275.

What happened between the Miller and Bailey families after this verdict is unknown. William Miller died in 1882 at the age of 58 in Hobart (his wife died in 1914).  Margaret Bailey married Mathew Shaw and died in 1892 at the age of 61.  She is buried in the Bovina cemetery. 

Friday, March 31, 2017

This Day in Bovina for March 2017

130 years ago today, the Stamford Mirror for March 1, 1887 reported that "Jonathan Adee, of Bovina, has rented his farm to Joseph Birdsall, son of Isaac Birdsall, of New Kingston." The Adee farm was on Cape Horn Road.

218 years ago, on March 2, 1809, Peter Clark was born in Perthshire, Scotland. The son of William Clark and May Dewar, he likely came to the United States with his parents. He married Elizabeth Raitt in 1842. They had nine children and had a farm on Lee Hollow Road. He relocated to Walton after 1880, where he died in 1898 (he had been widowed in 1892). He is buried in Bovina.

154 years ago today, on March 3, 1863, this receipt was created certifying that David Nichol, a volunteer in the Civil War, was entitled to $150 from the town bounty. Nichol had volunteered the previous September in Battery E Light Artillery Regiment in Pennsylvania. Nichol left the area after the war and died in Iowa in 1929.

Fifty-two years ago today, the March 4, 1965 Bovina column in the Delaware Republican-Express reported that "Mrs. Jennie B. Elliott is showing improvement as a patient at the Sidney Hospital." Jennie died two years later in April 1967. She had lived for many years in the house at the corner of Pink Street and County Route 6, now owned by Joe and Connie Dibble.

136 years ago, the March 5, 1881 Delaware Republican reported that "A glass ball shooting match at Bovina recently caused some excitement." The paper went on to report that "the best scores were made by Walter Graham and Andrew Thomson - seven broke out of ten. Geo. Cable and Alex. Bryden broke six out of ten." Glass ball shooting was popular in America from about 1866 to the 1880's. The ball was launched similar to later clay shooting matches, which replaced the glass ball. The goal was to break as many of the balls in a set period. The sport fell out of favor quickly, partly because the ease with which the balls could be hit and partly due to the unwanted dangerous glass that had to be cleared after.

Seventy-six years ago today, on March 6, 1941, Anna Ruland Barnhart died of cancer. The daughter of Orson Ruland and Addie Smith, she was married to Ralph Barnhart. She was 40 at her death, leaving her husband and son Donald as survivors.

135 years ago today, the Bovina column of the March 7, 1882 Stamford Mirror reported that "A quantity of flaging (sic)
for walks has been delivered at the U.P. Church."

Sixty-six years ago today, the Bovina column in the March 8, 1951 Delaware Republican-Express reported that "We are glad to learn that Mrs. John Burns is home again from New York, and that the treatments have been beneficial." Mrs. Burns died the following July at the age of 63.

197 years ago today, the March 9, 1820 Delaware Gazette reported the creation of "a new town by the name of Bovina…" If you do the math, you'll realize that Bovina is only three years away from its Bicentennial.










131 years ago today, on March 10, 1886, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Stamford Mirror, "At a special school meeting, held in the Brushland district … a tax of $2,000 was voted for the purpose of purchasing a new site, and building a school house large enough to accommodate two teachers." The school was built, but it was seven years before this was accomplished.

106 years ago today, the March 10, 1911 Andes Recorder reported in its Bovina column on renters in the Gow House. One item noted that "Harry Martin has rented rooms in a part of the Gow house." The same column later noted that "Mr. and Mrs. Robert G. Thomson will commence housekeeping in rooms in the Gow house."

Eighty-seven years ago today, the March 12, 1930 Delaware Republican reported that "The farmers are busy hanging the sap buckets. A fine run on Monday."

129 years ago, the March 13, 1888 Stamford Mirror reported in its Bovina column that "Robert Fiero has been quite sick with pneumonia but is recovering." Fiero recovered from this attack. He left Bovina in the 1920s and died in Bainbridge in 1935.

Seventy-seven years ago today, the Bovina column of the March 14, 1940 Delaware Republican reported that "Jane D. Hilson was…ill last week. Barbara Hotchkin has been sick with the grip." Jane was the daughter of John and Helena Hilson. Barbara was the daughter of Malcolm and Ruth Hotchkin. Jane and Barbara would become in-laws in 1947 when Barbara married Jane's brother Jack.

129 years ago today, on March 15, 1888, a "Surprise Party Sociable" was held at the Methodist Church Parsonage "for the benefit of Rev. E.M. Kniskern…" This is the invitation that was sent to Alex Hilson and family. The invitation also included Adam Laidlaw. Likely he was living with the Hilsons at the time, may working as a hired hand. 


137 years ago today, the Bovina column in the March 16, 1880 Stamford Mirror reported that "Miss Margaret Hoy is dangerously ill with erysipelas and other diseases." I am not sure which Margaret Hoy this is. There are three possibilities, all of whom lived for some time after 1880. There was Margaret Jane Hoy, the daughter of J.R and Isabella Hoy. Born in 1866, she married Douglas Davidson in 1889 and died in 1936. Then there is the Margaret Hoy who was the daughter of Thomas and Julia Hoy. Born in 1869, she married Frederick Bramley in 1892 and died in 1899. The final Margaret is the oldest, born in 1836, the daughter of Robert and Nancy Hoy. She died in 1923.

Sixty-seven years ago, the Bovina column in the March 17, 1950 Catskill Mountain News reported on illnesses: "Mrs. W.J. Storie, who has been confined to her home th epast two weeks with grippe, is still unable to be out." The paper also noted that "Fred Thomson has been confined to his home with grippe since his return from Florida, and is under the care of Dr. Flint."

140 years ago today, on March 18, 1876, Joseph Ludington died in tragic circumstances. As later reported in the Delaware Gazette, "Joseph Ludington, or 'Jo.' as familiarly called, was employed by Stephen Russell, of Bovina, to assist in driving home some cows he had purchased from an auction in Andes. Mr. Russell kept along until they reached the top of the hill this side of Andes village when he left Ludington to come on with the cows, while he went a short distance out of the way for his wife at a neighbor's. The cows not reaching Mr. R.'s house, he went in search and found them in a field of a Mr. Coulter, but nothing was found of Ludington till Sunday morning, when it seemed he had to chase the cows into the lot and got lost and overcome by cold, died. Ludington was between 50 and 60 years of age."

Eighty-seven years ago today, the Bovina Center column of the March 19, 1930, Delaware Republican reported on the illnesses of several people. "Mrs. Margaret D. Russell is at home sick with grippe." It was believed she caught it while nursing two daughters of James Boggs' and his sick mother-in-law, Kate Barnhart. Mrs. Russell recovered and died three years later, but Mrs. Barnhart died the day this news item came out. Another victim of grippe was Mrs. T.C. Strangeway. The paper noted that "Nettie Doig is with her." Mrs. Strangeway survived this attack, dying in 1936.

117 years ago today, on March 20, 1900, James H. Coulter died. Born in 1872, he was the son of Francis Coulter and Loruhannah Henderson. He married Minnie Miller in 1895. Minnie died nine days after her husband died. James' brother Walter died two days after that.

176 years ago today, on March 21, 1841, Louisa McFarland was born in Bovina, the daughter of Andrew McFarland and Jane Russell. She lived in Bovina her entire life, dying of gastritis in 1911. She is buried in Bovina.

134 years ago today, on March 22, 1883, Alexander F. Storie signed this oath of office as town supervisor, using an altered oath form from the town of Delhi. The oath was signed late because the original person elected to the position, David Black, had not qualified to serve, likely due to illness, so a new supervisor had to be appointed by the Justices of the Peace. He was the son of Alex Storie and was known more commonly as Freemont Storie, probably to avoid confusion with his father. 


163 years ago today, the March 23, 1854 Syracuse Evening Chronicle reported on a report from the Delaware Express concerning interest by "citizens of Andes, Bovina, Middletown, Delhi, etc" in a railroad from Syracuse to Newburgh and New York City. The paper noted that "we have seldom seen more enthusiasm and confidence manifested on any occasion." They noted that among those interested was "Dr. J.C. Calhoun, of Bovina" who presided over a meeting held in Delhi of people interested in a railroad. "Measures were taken to secure a thorough and prompt survey of the Little Delaware and Elk Creek route."

Ninety-seven years ago today, the Cobleskill Index for March 24, 1920, reported that "William T. Russell, who lives on the Dysart farm in Bovina, went out into his orchard and picked up a dozen Roxbury russet apples in as sound and perfect a condition as they were last fall. Pretty good for March 24."

127 years ago today, the Bovina column in the March 25, 1890 Stamford Mirror reported that "Alex Crozier is soon to commence keeping a grocery at Bovina, in a part of John Johnstons wagon shop building." Though not clear exactly where this was, this likely was located in the Mountain Brook area of the town.

153 years ago today, on March 26, 1864, Edward Boggs was paid $54 for his teaching services in the District 4 school in Bovina. Boggs was the son of William H. Boggs and Elizabeth McKenzie. He married Nancy Murray in 1866 and died in South Kortright in 1908.


134 years ago today, the Bovina column in the March 27, 1883 Stamford Mirror reported that "Rev. James Black, of Canada, is in town visiting his brother, David Black, who is still quite sick." The same column reported that Rev. Black would be preaching at the Bovina United Presbyterian Church.

135 years ago today, the Bovina column in the March 28, 1882 Stamford Mirror noted that the "District School No. 3 is closed for a vacation of three weeks." This is the school located at Bovina Road and County Route 6 in the Mountain Brook area. The same column also reported that the "writing school is also closed, Mr. Gordon received a fifteen-dollar present for his services." Gordon was noted for his beautiful handwriting.

Sixty-six years ago today, the Bovina Center column of the March 29, 1951 Delaware Republican-Express reported that "Nancy Worden of Albany is spending the Easter holidays with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Roy Worden."

137 years ago today, the March 30, 1880 issue of the Stamford Mirror reported that "A Bovina woman, owning a farm of 100 acres, has refused to take $2,000 for it." This probably was Nancy Cathels. She is the only women to own 100 acres in Bovina in 1880. Her husband had died in 1865 (see this blog for November 30, 2011 for more about Nancy and the loss of her husband). She never did sell the farm and still owned it at her death in 1888.

191 years ago today, on March 31, 1826, Sally Adee was born in Bovina, the daughter of Darius Adee and Harriett Jewell. We don't know much else about her. She lived with her widowed mother but by 1870 was living in Davenport with what appear to be a niece and nephew.



Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Three Scott Sisters

Between March 31 and April 11, 1889, three sisters, all born in Bovina, passed away. These were not little children living together but adults with their own homes. The Scott sisters were the daughters of John Scott and Nancy McNaught. John was born in 1797 in Cambridge in Washington County, while their mother Nancy was a native of Scotland, born in 1802. John and Nancy had ten children. Their first two sons died while still children and their last daughter predeceased them in 1870. John died in 1873, Nancy in 1876. They are buried in South Kortright.

At Nancy’s passing in 1876, there were seven surviving children, including Jeanette, Mary Jane and Augusta. Jeanette, born in 1830, was married in 1854 to John Hastings of Bovina. The Hastings had four children, all of whom survived to adulthood. Two of their children lived to be 90. Mary Jane, born in 1833, married a widower, David Black in 1875 and was widowed in 1883. Augusta, born in 1839, married Charles K. Lauren in 1864 and was living in Oneonta in the 1880s.

Jeanette and Mary Jane passed away within five days of each other. Their deaths were reported in Stamford Mirror: “Mrs. John Hastings died of pneumonia at her home in Bovina Centre, on Sunday morning, March 31st. Her sister, Mrs. David Black, died of the same disease at the same place on Thursday, April 4th.” Their sister Augusta Lauren had come to Bovina to care for both sisters and came down with pneumonia, too. The April 10, 1889 Delaware Gazette reported that she was “very ill with pneumonia in Bovina where she went to care for her sisters, Mrs. John Hastings and Mrs. David Black, both of whom recently died with the same disease.” Augusta died the day after this report appeared. All three sisters were in their 50s at their deaths.  Jeanette is buried in Bovina. Mary Jane was buried in Delhi and Augusta in Hobart.

Less than two years after the three sisters died, their surviving, Margaret, died in January 1891 of the same illness that took her three sisters, pneumonia. She was the widow of Andrew Thomson. The sisters’ three surviving brothers lived into the 20th century. James died in 1903 and Robert in 1909. The last surviving child of John and Nancy Scott was Edwin John, who died in Oneonta in 1927 at the age of 85. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

March 1917 - 100 Years Ago in "That Thriving Town"


One hundred years ago this month in Bovina saw several deaths, including a death due to tuberculosis of the spine of a 47 year old woman and the passing of two Civil War veterans.

March 2, 1917
·         The last number of the lecture course will [be] given on Tuesday evening, March 6.
·         Mr. and Mrs. David Worden and children, of Pipestone, Minnesota, are visiting relatives in town.
·         Harold Aitken has his head bandaged as a result of being bitten on the ear by Dr. Whitcomb’s horse.
·         Miss Mary Thomson entertained eight of her lady friends at dinner at the home of her brother, Elliott Thomson.
·         John Benjamin has moved from the Denny Hughes house to the rooms in the old Stott cooper shop building, vacated by Hala Travis.
·         Saturday night as Mr. and Mrs. Chauncey McFarland and her mother, Mrs. Anna Ruff, were returning home the cutter upset and Mrs. Ruff had her hip dislocated.
·         Mrs John A. Russell has sold her farm up Pink street to Stephen Shlabowski, who purchases the place for his son.  The place has not been occupied for several years.

March 9, 1917
·         Mrs. William S. Thomson is in poor health.
·         Dr. J.D. Frisbee, the Andes dentist, will be here Thursday, March 15.
·         Mrs. John Oliver, who has been with her daughter, Mrs. Harry Martin in Harpersfield for some time, has returned to Bovina.
·         Mrs. Robert G. Thomson, who underwent an operation in New York January 29, expects to come home about the first of April.
·         H.A. Ayres, butter maker at the Center creamery, has moved from the Michael Dickson place up Pink Street to Mrs Addie Russell’s house (the Richard Smith place) in the village.

March 16, 1917
·         Robert G. Thomson, whose auto was in the recent garage fire at Delhi, has brought home the remains.
·         The older students of the Center school made John Armstrong a surprise visit at his home Monday.
·         The boys are very much interested in a wireless telegraph station being installed by Postmaster Dickson.
·         It is reported that Frank Miller has purchased of Mrs. W.R. Miller, the small farm, known as the Chas Palmer place at the Center.
·         Mrs. William J. Story gave a party last Thursday to a number of young girls in honor of Miss Wilma Doig, of Gunnison, Colorado.
·         Mr. and Mrs. Frank Coulter went to New York this week, where Mr. Coulter will undergo an operation for a bad case of varicose veins.
·         John A. Irvine, up Coulter Brook, who for several years has lighted his house and barn with acetylene gas, will have that system taken out and is having a Delco electric lighting plant installed.
·         Mr. and Mrs. William J. Doig and daughter, of Colorado, who have been here for several weeks, went to Delancey Monday for a visit with her brother, William Sloan, and Mrs. Doig will visit New York before their return to their western home.

The Harvest of the Reaper
Mrs. William S. Thomson died at her home on Coulter Brook about 3 o’clock Friday morning, March 9, having been in poor health for several months.  The cause of death is given as tuberculosis of the spine.  She was the only daughter of Sloan Archibald and was born in Bovina on April 24, 1870, and had always resided in the town of Bovina.  She is survived by her husband and two sons, Ralph, in Watertown and Archibald, at Walton, and one daughter at home; also her father and one brother, Russell Archibald of Delhi.  The funeral was held Monday with interment in the Center cemetery.

March 23, 1917
·         Fred Bramley and J.K. Russell were at Delhi Saturday after a new auto truck.
·         A.N. Wilber, of Arena, has rented the Lydia Thompson house in upper Bovina and will move this week.
·         DeWitt Warren, who was born in upper Bovina 80 years ago, died last week in Delhi.  In the civil war he served in Co E 144th regiment.  He was a member of the Covenanter church in this place.  He is survived by his wife, who was Jane Aitken, of Bovina, and one son.

March 30, 1917
·         Several have tapped and are making maple syrup.
·         James L. Coulter, of New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, came to attend the funeral of William Richardson.
·         A maple in front of the Chisholm place went down by the axes of Rev. Thos E. Graham, J.W. and Dixon Thomson.
·         Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Russell were at Oneonta last Friday and Mr. Russell underwent an operation for submerged tonsils.  He returned home the same day.
·         Avery Ryer, of Dunraven, arrived in town Thursday and will inspect the barns of the patrons of the Bovina Center Co-operative Creamery Company.
·         Mrs. Robert G. Thomson, who underwent an operation in New York city on January 29, arrived home Tuesday night. Mr. Thomson went to New York to accompany her home.  W.W. Thomson and Harry Robson met them at Andes with an auto.

Had passed Four Score Years
William Richardson of Bovina, Passed away March 24
            William Richardson, one of the oldest residents of Bovina, passed away at the home of his daughter, Mrs. John A. Irvine, Coulter Brook, on Saturday, March 29, from the infirmities of age, having nearly reached the 89th mile-stone.
            Mr. Richardson was born in Scotland, June 6, 1828, and by trade was a mason.  When about 27 years old he came to Bovina and then went to New Kingston where he lived for a time with an uncle, but soon returned to Bovina. On August 28, 1862, he enlisted in Co E 144th Regt and served until the end of the war.  He was twice married, his first wife being Miss Isabelle Sloan and she died in 1874, leaving the one child, now Mrs. Irvine. His second wife was Mrs. Eliza McDonald Coulter and she died six years ago.  The funeral was held Tuesday with interment in the Center cemetery. 

Will Be Hot Time in Old Bovina
            One of the chief topics of interest in Bovina is the evangelistic campaign which will begin April 12 and end on April 25.  The meetings will be led by Rev. Thos E. Graham, pastor of the Bovina Covenanter Church and the meetings will mostly be held in that church.
            There will [be] special nights for the W.C.T.U.; for firemen; for employees of milk plant and creamery; for merchants and teamsters; for Butt End folks; for young people especially, and another night for two separate meetings, one in the R.P. church for women only addressed [by] Mrs. J.A. Mahaffey and the other in the U.P church for men only addressed by Rev. Mahaffey.
            Some of the subjects for these revival meetings are: Is Bovina on Road to Hell or on the Road to Heaven; The Unpardonable Sin; Amusements; Intemperance; Heaven; Hell; Christian Home; What shall I do with Him who is called the Christ.
            There are almost 900 people in Bovina but not more than half of this number are even professing Christians.  Bovina is by no means a modern Babylon.  In most things Bovina will compare very favorably with any other community, but she needs to be shaken to her very bottom by the religion of Jesus Christ.  This is to be a series of meetings conducted along the line of vital and practical religion.  There will be hot time in old Bovina.


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Faces of Bovina - "She Always Was a Firebrand"

The Binghamton Press for Thursday Evening, March 30, 1941, carried a report concerning a 29-year-old draft horse from Bovina named Maude. Maude was had been owned for almost her whole life by Frank Miller. He had purchased her and another draft horse, Daisy, in about 1912.

Frank Miller was born in Bovina in 1879, the son of William R. Miller and Mary G. Laing. He grew up on the family farm on what is now Reinertsen Hill Road. Frank married Mabel Ackerly in 1906 and took over the farm from his father. Miller sold the family farm to Andrew Reinertsen in 1917 and moved into Bovina Center, having bought the small farm of his stepmother, Ella Miller (this later was the home of Charles and Eva McIntosh). When he moved, he took his two draft horses with him.

On New Year’s Day in 1941, Daisy passed away. In March, Miller found his surviving horse Maude “lying on her side, and apparently dying.” The help of Miller’s neighbor could not rouse her, so they went in the back field and began digging the grave. When they came back for Maude, they found her on her feet and showing “great willingness to work.” The paper reported that “snow has filled in the grave” while Maude continued her daily chores. Miller said that “she always was a firebrand.”

Here's the article from the Binghamton Press (March 20, 1941) about Maude:


This photo was taken by Bob Wyer in March 1941 of Frank Miller and his horse, likely Maude. Behind Frank's right shoulder can be seen what is now Brushland Eating House.

As well as a farmer, Miller had worked for several years at the Bovina Center creamery. When he and his wife moved from Bovina in 1944 they first settled in Halcottsville then later Stamford. He worked in creameries in both places. Frank died in 1967 when he was 87. His wife died in 1973. We don't know when Maude died, but I suspect it was before 1944, when the family moved from the area.