Saturday, January 24, 2015

Stories from Bovina Cemeteries - "A Very Strange Circumstance"

Stamford Mirror reported in its February 19, 1889 issue that “a very strange circumstance took place in Bovina recently.” The circumstance concerned the funerals of two elderly women, both from New Kingston. On January 24, Eleanor Wight Elliott passed away in New Kingston, likely on the farm still in the Elliott family that straddles the Bovina/Middletown town line. Born in 1817, she had just been widowed the previous October when her husband, William, died at the age of 79. In November 1864, Eleanor had the misfortune to lose two sons in the Civil War - Thomas and James. At her death, she did have one surviving son, John, who carried on the Elliott name. The day after her death came that of her neighbor, Sally Dumond Winter, the widow of Robert Winter, a native of England. Robert had died in 1878. Sally had five children, of whom at least four survived her. Within 20 years, however, they too had all passed away. Eleanor and Sally very likely knew each other - their farms were adjacent to each other.

The strangeness of the circumstance was the fact that the two burials took place at the same exact time in the Bovina cemetery. And it seems suitable that since they were neighbors in life that their graves were “within a rod of each other.”
The two graves are marked with arrows - on the left is Sally Winter, on the right is Eleanor Elliott.
Here are two images of the tombstones. Photos courtesy of Ed and Dick Davidson.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

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

From the Andes Recorder
The Bovina Center Co-op Creamery gave its annual report, Cecil Russell’s parents celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary and a woman from Margaretville died at the Seacord home where she had been attending a wedding.

January 1, 1915
The town Board met Monday to settle with the supervisor and overseer of the poor for the year.
Gaylord Hafele, who has been with his brother, Jardine Hafele, a veterinarian in Canada for some time, has returned home. [Gaylord (1889-1947) and Jardine (1888-1974) were the sons of Charles and Lillian Hafele. Gaylord lived much of his life in Bovina and is buried there. Jardine stayed in Canada and is buried in Elgin County, Ontario, Canada]
The Bovina Center Co—Op Creamery company filled their ice house this week with ice from Lake Mahiken on Thos Mabon place. [Lake Mahiken is now Silver Lake or Coles Lake, which is on Route 28, on the left as you head towards Andes from Bovina.]
Thursday [Dec 24] while drawing ice from the Lake Mahiken for Ken Russell, Arthur Decker upset his load in coming down the Burgin pitch.  The accident was caused by the slewing of the bobs. [Slewing in this context means a twisting.]
Herman Coulter died on Christmas Day at his home on the homestead farm midway between Bovina Center and Bovina from pneumonia, at the age of 35 years.  He is survived by his wife, who was Julia Zeh of Stamford, and two children; also by his mother, a brother and two sisters.  The funeral was held Monday. [Herman was the son of James Coulter and Mary Rotermund. His wife was pregnant at the time of his death, giving birth to a daughter Gladys in May 1915. Julia was widowed just over 50 years, dying in January 1965.]

January 8, 1915
At the masquerade ball held here on New Year’s night there were 106 numbers.
Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton Russell celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of their marriage at their home in upper Bovina on January 7, by a gathering of their neighbors and friends. [These are the parents of Cecil Russell.]
Mrs. George Hewitt, of Margaretville, died, January 4, at the home of S.R. Seacord in southern Bovina, where she had been to attend the Sweet Seacord wedding.  Saturday she was stricken with paralysis and gradually failed. Her age was 64 years, 10 months and 14 days. Her maiden name was Cornelia Adee and she was born in Bovina. The Funeral was held in the M.E. church Wednesday and interment was made in the Center cemetery. [The wedding was that of John A. Sweet and Rosanna M. Seacord, which took place New Year’s Day. Mrs. Hewitt was not stricken until the day after the wedding. The Catskill Mountain News, in its obituary of Mrs. Hewitt in its January 15, 1915 newspaper, noted that she had come to the wedding of her cousin’s daughter to help with preparations. “She was in her usual health and joyous spirits until she was suddenly stricken with apoplexy...” The paper went on to report that Mrs. Hewitt, given her poor health, was ready for death, borne out by the fact “that she had taken her burial clothes with her on the trip to South Bovina and they were found among her effects there.”]

January 15, 1915
• W.T. Miller and wife and Miss Jennie E. Hoy spent Friday at Andes.
• Dr. and Mrs. N.B. Whitcomb visited his parents at Walton a few days the past week.
 The remains of William B. Tuttle, of New Kingston, were interred in the Center cemetery last Saturday.
Recently while cutting wood for J.W.Russell, Chas Mullenex and Harvey Burgin found 35 pounds of honey in a tree which they sawed down.
• Frank Kaufman, brother of Mrs. William Armstrong and Mrs. Robert A. Thomson of this town, has been appointed a member of the board of health of the city of Kingston, as a representative of the milk dealers. He is superintendent of the Kingston Dairy and Ice Cream Company.
Dr. N.B. Whitcomb had a runaway Tuesday.  When returning from making a call up-town his horse took fright at W.H. Maynard’s auto truck, at Fred Henderson’s above the village and went up onto the bank and upset the cutter, tearing the box from the runners.  The horse was caught at W.C. Russell’s, where the doctor borrowed another cutter.

January 22, 1915
• Walter G. Coulter and Russell Boggs were at Delhi on Monday.
• Anthony Banuat, who recently purchased the David Oliver farm, moved onto it this week. [This farm is on East Bramley Mountain Road and was in the Banuat family until the death of Anthony’s son, Craig. It is now owned by Ria Arons.]
• The will of Herman J. Coulter was admitted to probate Monday with Julia S. Coulter as executrix.
• A daughter was born to Mr. and Mrs. Tony Gabriel, who reside on the Thos Mabon farm, January 16.
• Mrs. Roscoe Gallup died at their rooms in part of the old hotel at Lake Delaware, about 9 o’clock Wednesday evening, January 20, from Bright’s disease. She was a woman of about 50 years and they came to this town from Delhi, the husband being employed on the Gerry estate.

January 29, 1915
The V.I.S. gave a home talent entertainment Tuesday night to a crowded house. The entertainment consisted of singing, speaking, acting, slight of hand, etc.
Intelligence has been received here of the death of Robert Scott at Kansas City, Missouri, January 20. He was born in Bovina 75 years ago and went west soon after the war.  He sustained a shock six weeks ago.  He leaves a wife and three children, and a sister and two brothers.  Adam Scott, who died in Delhi on January 17, was a brother. [This is Robert Trumbell Scott. Born in Bovina in 1840, he was the son of Robert Scott and Martha Loughran. He married Jennette Hoy Ormiston in Bovina in 1866 and went west around 1868.]

Bovina Center Co-Op Creamery
Annual Meeting Held on Tuesday and Directors Elected
Special to the recorder
     At the annual meeting of the Bovina Center Co-Operative Creamery company held Tuesday afternoon the old directors were all re-elected, viz: Frank T. Miller, William J. Archibald, Chas A. McPherson, J.T. Barnhart and John A. Irvine. At the meeting of the directors F.T. Miller was chose president and manager, and W.J. Archibald, secretary and treasurer.
     The report showed that during the year there was received 5,784,752 pounds of milk and 157,044 pounds of cream, and from this milk and cream 362,746 pounds of butter was made.  The average price paid to the patrons during the year for butter fat was 39 1/12 cents per pound.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Remembering Those Who Left Us in 2014

Several people with connections to Bovina passed away in 2014.

Hugh and Pat in September 2013
Pat and Hugh Lee died in the spring of 2014, barely a month apart. Given that their birthdays were one day apart, this somehow seems appropriate. The Lees came to Bovina in the early 1970s. Hugh taught at SUNY Delhi while Pat taught ceramics at home. I still have some of the items I made in Pat’s ceramic classes. Hugh was born in Ashland, NY in 1925, Pat in Queens almost exactly a year later in 1926. Hugh was a World War II veteran, entering the army in 1944. Hugh and Pat were married in Queens in 1952. Upon coming to Bovina in 1971 they became active in the community, including the church, library and historical society. Hugh was the first President of the Bovina Historical Society and was one of my predecessors as Town Historian. Pat died on April 3, Hugh on May 9. The Bovina Historical Society’s calendar for 2015 features studies by Hugh Lee – studies he helped to choose before his final illness. Hugh and Pat were survived by three children and four grandchildren.

Helen with her two older children
Bob Wyer photo, 1945
Courtesy Delaware County
Historical Association
Though born in the south, Helen Bowen Burns lived most of her life in New York, and the bulk of that in Bovina (but she kept a bit of the south in her voice). Born in Petal, Mississippi in 1918, she spent some of her childhood in the Hadley-Luzerne area of New York, where she was an avid basketball player. She graduated from Curtis High School in New York City in 1937. A year later, she married James L. Burns. They owned and operated a farm on Pink Street for many years. While working alongside her husband, she also ran her own egg business. She was a member of the Bovina United Presbyterian Church and served as an elder. She and Jim had three children, daughter Elizabeth and sons Thomas and James E. At her passing on April 20 at the age of 95, she was survived by two of her children, 10 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren.

William Barnhart was born in 1985, the son of Richard and Linda Barnhart. He enjoyed long walks, riding horseback and playing childhood games with nieces and nephews. He loved animals, “The New Kids on the Block,” and unexpected loud noises. Willie was 28 when he died on May 3. He was survived by his parents, two brothers and four sisters, along with many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Mary Parsons Scorzafava was born in 1943, the daughter of Bill and Ruth Parsons. She was married to Ron Scorzafava in 1964 and lived in Geneva, NY where they raised their four children. After retirement, Ron and Mary settled in Florida. Though Mary left Bovina, it never totally left her. She was a good source of information about Bovina during her childhood, especially her school years. Mary was widowed in August 2013 and she passed a little over a year later on August 16. Until a few days before her death, she still was visiting the Town of Bovina Historian Facebook page, contributing comments and information.
Mary and her brother Richard at
the Maynard School, Photo by Ed Schneider

Though he never lived in Bovina, Michael Herbert Worden had deep Bovina roots – both sets of grandparents were from Bovina (and are buried in the Bovina cemetery). Born New Year’s Eve 1947, he grew up in Franklin, attended the United States Naval Academy, was a State Trooper and later a corporate pilot. He became involved with the Bovina United Presbyterian Church, where he became an elder and facilitated weekly AA meetings at the church. Mike passed away on October 12, 2014 and was buried next to his maternal grandparents in the Bovina Cemetery.

Millie in 2009
Mildred Kittle Reinertsen was born in Pine Hill in 1920, the daughter of Cedric and Anna Kittle. She married Leif Reinertsen in 1938 in Bovina and spent the bulk of her life there. Millie worked with her husband on the Reinertsen family farm while raising three children. Later, she also worked in food services. Millie was involved with the Bovina Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary and the Bovina United Presbyterian Church, having been a member there for over 70 years. Widowed in 1964, she passed away on October 25, 2014, a month shy of fifty years after Leif’s death. She was survived by three daughters, five grandchildren and eight great grandchildren, as well as by her sister Gert Hall.
Millie and Leif's passport picture
1961, photo by Bob Wyer
Courtesy Delaware County
Historical Association

Noah Olenych passed away unexpectedly in Florida on December 1 at the age of 40. He grew up in Bovina, the son of Brian and Marcia Olenych. Noah graduated from Delaware Academy and received his BS in Environmental Science from the University of Dubuque in Iowa. While proud of his work as the “Dam” inspector for Southwest Florida Water Management District, where he was employed for more than eight years his main interest in his life were his two sons.

Harmon (Harmony) Hathaway passed December 14 at 78. He was co-founder with the late Monica Lind Hathaway and president of the Foundation for the Study of American Yoga. The Foundation was established 45 years ago in Bovina, New York of the Catskill Mountains. A center was built on 132 acres in upper NY State with the help of Augustus Lightheart, Bruce Lano and other friends. The Center is for the continued development of American Yoga and for Meditation.

Harmony and Monica, photo from the Foundation for the Study of American Yoga website

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

This Day in Bovina for December 2014

141 years ago today, December 1, 1873, Alexander Home Gillie passed away. Born in Berwickshire, Scotland in 1805, he married Martha Lewis in 1838 in Bovina. They had four children, one of whom, son William, would die in the Civil War in August 1863.

Ninety six years ago today, on December 2, 1918, Mrs. John Irvine moved to Maple Avenue into the house now owned by Norma and Tony Gabriele. Elizabeth's husband had died New Year's Day, having committed suicide.  Mrs. Irvine lived in this house until her death in 1940.  Living with her for much of that time was her son-in-law and daughter, Cecil and Isabell Russell, and their daughter Marjorie.

Ninety-six years ago, on December 3, 1918, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Mr. and Mrs. H.A. Ayres, accompanied by Cora Hennings as nurse, went to Ithaca … where Mrs. Ayres will undergo an operation.  Mr. Ayres has given up his position with the government.” H.A. Ayres was Henry A. Ayres. He worked for several years at the Bovina Center Coop Creamery as the buttermaker. He was set to go to Washington, DC in 1918 for a position there but as the paper noted, gave it up when his wife became ill. She was operated on two days later on December 5. The nature of the operation was not revealed. Subsequent issues of the Recorder noted that she "continues to improve." Whatever happened to her, it appears she recovered. The family moved away from Bovina around 1920 and in 1930 she and Henry were still alive and living in Erie County, New York.

Eighty-nine years ago today, the Bovina column of the Andes Recorder for December 4, 1925 reported that "Mrs. Walter G. Coulter had her toe severely injured when a soap stone fell on it." Mrs. Coulter was Margaret Strangeway and was the mother of Ruth Coulter Parsons and Celia Coulter. She passed away in 1953.

Robert L. Gerry, Jr was born 103 years ago today, December 5, 1911, the son of Robert Gerry and Cornelia Harriman. A veteran of World War II, he died in December 1979 and is buried at the Gerry cemetery in Lake Delaware.

Ninety-six years ago today, on December 6, 1918, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "A party was held at A.P. Lee's." The paper noted that "dancing was indulged in."

Sixty years ago today, in its December 7, 1954 issue, the Catskill Mountain News reported the following: "Gus Manes, who has been employed by the Spagnoletti Construction Co., has finished his work for the winter and will leave for Mt. Vernon this week. We hope Gus will return here in the spring when they reopen the bridge construction work here. One bridge is to be built and the large bridge is to be completed and opened to traffic in the spring. The bridge at the Thomas garage will be opened to traffic this week." The large bridge referenced likely is the one at the lower end of the Bovina Center hamlet, built to replace the stone bridge. The bridge was indeed finished and opened to traffic the following spring.

Ninety-two years ago today, the December 8, 1922 Andes Recorder had the following item in its Bovina column: "Mrs. Glen Taylor, of Beach, South Dakota, who will be remembered here as Minnie Ruff, has gone to Los Angeles, California, for the benefit of her health." She stayed in California and died in Los Angeles in 1945 at the age of 62.

Eighty-seven years ago today, December 9, 1927, Mrs. Mary Phinney was buried in Bovina. As reported in the Andes Recorder, "Her death occurred at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Albert Sarles at Sand Point, Idaho." Born Mary Archibald in 1853, she married Dr. Lehman Phinney in 1881. Phinney was a doctor in Bovina for a number of years. He died in 1901.

124 years ago today, on December 10, 1890, Gilbert Jardine posted this notice advertising the sale of his farm in the Delaware Republican. Born in Scotland in 1822, he married Nancy E. Tuttle in 1856. Gilbert died in November 1893 and his wife a bit over a year later. The farm appears to have been somewhere in the Bramley Mountain area.

Dr. Gilbert Scott, ninety seven years ago today on December 11, 1917, caught a chill which subsequently turned into pneumonia. He died on December 27. For more about Dr. Scott, go to the Bovina NY History blog at

Ninety-four years ago today, the Bovina column of the December 12, 1920 Andes Recorder reported that "The dairies and barns of the 73 patrons of the Bovina Center Co-Operative Creamery were examined and inspected the past week by Dr. Irvine and H.C. Burgin.  The Dry Milk Co. claim they cannot find the last inspection reports."

Ninety-nine years ago today, December 13, 1915, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "More than a foot of snow fell during Monday afternoon and night.  Tuesday morning the teamsters started out for their Delhi trip but soon turned back.  Traffic was much delayed and mails did not arrive."

Seventy seven years ago today, December 14, 1937, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Mrs. James Ackerly died at her home in Bovina Center … after a long illness at the age of 82 years.  Her maiden name was Velma Barnhart and she was born at Shavertown.  She was twice married, her first husband being Eugene DuMond.  She is survived by her husband, James Ackerly, and a daughter, Mrs. Delbert Dickson, by her first marriage.  The funeral will be held Friday with burial in Andes."

Ninety-seven years ago today, on December 15, 1917, Mrs. Robert G. Thomson arrived home with her husband, her mother, Mrs. Georgia More, and a nurse. Nelle Thomson had been in New York City for cancer treatments, treatments which were unsuccessful. The Andes Recorder noted that "she was brought home on a cot." She passed away a few days later on December 19.

153 years ago today, on December 16, 1861, this receipt was issued for payment made for "work done on the Bridge by Robert C. Scotts." This likely is the bridge at the lower end of the hamlet. While it was a stone bridge, it probably was not the one that was well known and was demolished in the 1950s. That bridge had at least one predecessor that proved to be poorly built and had to be rebuilt  in 1873.

102 years ago, on December 17, 1912, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Mrs. Elmer Close Succumbs to Cancer…" Born Priscilla Lidde, she was the daughter of John O. Liddle and grew up in Bovina. The paper noted that "She was twice married, her first husband, Robert Bryden, being killed in a runaway accident in which the horses went over an embankment in the night and he was caught beneath the wagon." She married Elmer Close, a widower, in 1886. She was 65 at her death. Elmer survived her by over 20 years, dying in 1935.

149 years ago today, on December 18, 1865, James K. White, the 18 year old son of Robert White and Anna Graham White died. He is buried in the Associate Presbyterian Church cemetery.

137 years ago today, on December 19, 1877, the Bovina Methodist Episcopal Church reopened after having been closed for repairs. There was a sermon at 11, a reunion service held at 2:30 and another sermon at 7 pm. When the church issued a notice for this service, the Andes Recorder included the following:  "We would earnestly commend to the attention of those in this vicinity the services above announced. They will be very interesting, and profitable to all who may attend. Revs. A.K. Sanford and J.E. Gorse are earnest warm-hearted Christian men, and the service conducted by them, and stamped with Divine approval will be blessed for good. The church societies of the towns surrounding will, we hope, take a warm interest in this meeting, and encourage the Brushland M.E. Society by their presence and means.  'The liberal soul shall be made fat; and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself.'" The church was located across from where the Bovina Community Hall now stands.

Ninety-six years ago today, the December 20, 1918 Andes Recorder reported in its Bovina column that "Miss Jane Hilson is home from Long Island, her school being closed for four weeks on account of influenza."

201 years ago today, on December 21, 1813, Joel Brush, son of early Bovina pioneer Alexander Brush and Nancy Griffith Brush, died. He is buried in the Brush cemetery next to the library. Born in 1786, he was married to Elizabeth Maynard, daughter of another early Bovina pioneer. They had two children before his untimely death at the age of 27.

The December 22, 1922, Bovina column of the Andes Recorder reported ninety-two years ago today that "There will be no more Sabbath evening meetings at the United Presbyterian church until coal is more plenty.”

Seventy-nine years ago today, December 23, 1935, as later reported in the Catskill Mountain news, "The community Christmas tree was held in the hall…with the different schools furnishing the entertainment."

Ninety four years ago today, the December 24, 1920 Bovina column of the Andes Recorder reported that "William J. Archibald will install a Western Electric plant to light his farm residence and barn."

125 years ago today, on December 25, 1889, Alexander Storie wrote the following in his diary: "Calm warm and pleasant in the morning. Clear calm and sunshine all day. We all went to Mary Ann's for our Christmas dinner. Mrs. Mary Coulter and children, Mrs. Jane Liddle and Samuel Storie and family were there also to dinner. There was fifteen in all.

Ninety-five years ago today, the Bovina column of the December 26, 1919 Andes Recorder reported that "The tax collector is on the war path."

102 years ago, the December 27, 1912 issue of the Andes Recorder reported in its Bovina column that "Collector Geo H. Miller has commenced taking taxes. The first taxes paid were James B. Thomson’s"

Ninety-nine years ago today at the December 28, 1915 town board meeting: “A motion was made and carried to authorize the Town Clerk and Justice Doig to purchase six chairs, a stove, a table and a cord of stove wood and some necessary shelving for the new Town Clerk’s office the whole expense not to exceed $16.”

Ten years ago today, on December 29, 2004, Clark Lay passed away while his daughter Marlene was singing "In the Garden" to him. Born in 1919, he married Gladys Reinertsen in 1946. They lived in Bovina most of their lives, raising their four daughters. Clark was the Bovina Highway Superintendent for many years.

195 years ago today, December 30, 1819, Nancy Jane Hamilton was born, the daughter of Thomas Hamilton and Elizabeth Arneil. She married Archibald Erkson in 1839. They would have five children. Nancy died in 1899 when she was 79 years old. Her husband survived her by five years, dying in 1904.

178 years ago today, on December 31, 1836, Adam Scott was killed in a riding accident. For more information on this accident, go to the Bovina NY History blog at

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Alexander Storie's Christmases

Thanks to the generosity of Judy Bauer, I have had the pleasure to read some of her great and great-great grandfathers' diaries, that of Alexander Storie (1814-1896) and of his son John (1863-1944). The diaries passed down to her grandfather, Bill Storie and then to her mother, Rae Storie Vandenbord before passing on to her. I thought I'd share a few Christmas day entries from Alexander Storie (unfortunately, John's diaries are more challenging due to his handwriting, so it might be awhile before I decipher those).

Alexander Storie's farm was up Pink Street, now the Tom and Joan Burns farm.

Here's what was going on in Alex's life 140 years ago, covering Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Note that he doesn't actually mention that it's Christmas:

December 24
Stil moderate with weather. Boys at School. A little snow wind Southerly in AM, N.W. in PM.

December 25
A moderate winter day. Boys storing up ice under the new barn. They went to the fistival (sic) at Brushland in the evening. Wind N.W.

Alexander's Christmas five years later in 1879 was unique - one of the few times he spent it outside of Bovina. He and his sister Mary Ann Storie went to visit family and friends in the Fond Du Lac area of Wisconsin:

December 25
Stil cold wind NW. Alex and family and M. Ann and I went in Sleigh to His Fathers. William and family, Alexander Coulter and wife and Mrs. Jane Roberts were there also, making 12 in all and 3 of themselves making 15 to dinner. Had a fine turkey dinner. Went home with William.

There are a number of Alexanders in Alex's life and in these diaries. It took a bit of detective work to sort them all out. In this entry, the Alex he mentions first is Alexander Brush, grandson of one of Bovina's earliest settlers, also named Alexander Brush. And this Brush's father was named Alexander, too (it was at this Alexander's house that they had their Christmas dinner). The Alexander Brush (1834-1900) with whom they went in a sleigh for dinner was a nephew of Alexander Storie, Alex Storie's sister Jane (1808-1842) being the first wife of Alexander Brush, Jr. The William mentioned I think is Alexander Brush's brother. He died in Fond Du Lac in 1900.

That's not the end of the Alexanders. The Alexander Coulter mentioned is not a descendant of the early Bovina settler, Francis Coulter, but was the son of James Coulter, another Coulter family that was in Bovina in its early days, and his wife Esther Brush. Esther was the daughter of the early Bovina settler and sister to the Alexander Brush who hosted the Christmas dinner. Alexander Coulter died in Fond Du Lac in 1893. (So it seems likely that the family spent most of this Christmas dinner trying to sort out how they were related to each other!)

One hundred and twenty five years ago, in December 1889, Alex makes a bit more mention of Christmas:

December 24
Ground froze quite hard in the morning but calm and thawed during the day and come on rain after night. John and Bell went to Brushland in the evening to see a Christmas Tree. James C. came home did not get here till some time after night about 8 o'clock. The night was very dark with heavy showers.

December 25
Calm warm and pleasent in the morning. Clear calm and sunshine all day. We all went to Mary Ann's for our Christmas dinner. Mrs. Mary Coulter and children, Mrs. Jane Liddle and Samuel Storie and family were there also to dinner. There was fifteen in all. 

The John mentioned probably is Alexander's son. Bell may be Belle Miller, who sometimes helped on the farm. Belle was the daughter of Michael Miller, who lived just down the road from the Stories. James C likely is his son, James Cowan Storie.

The Mary Coulter mentioned probably was the widow of James Coulter, born a Rotermund. Jane Liddle was the widow of Thomas Liddle and was a Coulter, a sister-in-law to Mary Coulter. Jane was related to Alex, her mother being Margaret Storie (her father was Walter Coulter). The Samuel Storie (1847-1922) mentioned is Alex Storie's nephew, son of his brother, also named Samuel.

One hundred and twenty years ago saw a smaller Christmas dinner at home:

December 24
Cold last night. Sunshine in the morning. John doing the chores. He went down to Mr. Millers towards night and bought a turkey for Christmas. He went to Brushland in the evening. James C came up in the evening. Harvey came with him.

December 25
Clear and quite cold in the morning. The ground white with snow but moderate. We had our Christmas dinner by our selves with Harvey and Jas. C. John and James C. went over to Sams in the evening.

The names in this entry showed up in the 1889 entry, except for Harvey. I have yet to figure out who that might be.

The 1894 diary is the last one to which I have access. This was Alexander's next to last Christmas. He passed away in February 1896 at the age of 81 (though his obituary below from the Delaware Republican for February 15, 1896 says he was 83).

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - Bovina's Earliest Burial

The oldest documented burial in the Town of Bovina is that of Bathsheba Brush, widow of Nehemiah Brush and mother of Bovina pioneer Alexander Brush. I have to say documented because there likely are older burials of the first European settlers in Bovina that are lost to time and nature (the earliest referenced death in the town took place in the 1790s).

We do not know that much about Bathsheba, including her maiden name. She probably was born in Huntington, Long Island in about 1723. We also do not know when she was widowed or when she came to Bovina, though it had to be 1794 or later, when her son settled in what is now Bovina Center. When she died in 1803 there was no Town of Bovina. At that time, Brush's land was in the Town of Delhi. Bovina Center did not become Brushland until several years after the death of her son in 1840. 

Bathsheba is buried in the Brush Cemetery in the Bovina Center hamlet at the corner of Maple Avenue and County Highway 6. It is one of the few headstones in Bovina made of red sandstone. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

December 1914 - 100 Years Ago in "That Thriving Town"

From the Andes Recorder

December 4, 1914
Mrs. Margaret K. Palmer, of Andes, visited her brother, George Gladstone here this week. [Margaret was the widow of Roman Palmer, who was killed in the Civil War in December 1864.]
Wm. H. Maynard has hired Charles Thomson to help on his farm in upper Bovina. He will occupy part of the big house.
James A. Gow moved his household goods this week back from Springfield Center to his house in Bovina Center. He will only take a part of them to Halcott Center where he will manage a creamery.
Mrs. G.D. Miller was severly injured Thursday by a fall at her home in the Center. She had started down the walk at the end of the house and slipped on some ice and fell striking her head and cutting a gash which it required four stitches to close.  She lost considerably blood.

Had Exciting Experience
   C.J. Russell, son of R.H. Russell, of upper Bovina, a clerk in a drug store at Deerfield, Illinois, had an exciting experience recently.  Two men entered the store and drawing revolvers proceeded to help themselves.  Young Russell was so closely covered by one of the ruffians that he felt the revolver pressed against his head.  The thieves took $30 and got away, but were later captured.  Mr. Russell is now visiting his brother Herman Russell, in South Dakota. [C.J. Russell likely is Charles Russell, brother of Cecil Russell.]

December 11, 1914
The David Oliver farm on the Bloomville road has been sold to Anthony Banuat, of Andes, and the writings were drawn Tuesday.  The price including some hay is said to be about $3,300.
Mr. and Mrs. George Gladstone who for the past four months have been on the farm with their son C.S. Gladstone, returned Monday to their home in the Center. Mr. Gladstone has been in poor health, but is much improved.
A horse owned by John Hilson and driven by James Hilson ran away Wednesday morning. The horse which was hitched to a cutter took fright and ran from the street onto the flat below the creamery.  Some damage was done to the cutter.
A small fire about midnight Monday night did about $15 damage in the residence of Howard McPherson, adjoining Elliott Thomson’s blacksmith shop. During the evening the chimney had burned out but at 11:30 everything was apparently all right.  Half an hour later Mrs. McPherson heard something fall and on going upstairs found the rooms filled with smoke. Mr. McPherson was not at home and she aroused the neighbors. The fire was in the partition and was put out by the use of several pails of water.

December 18, 1914
The town tax collector is after your sheckels.
Invitations have been issued for a masquerade ball in the town hall on New Year’s night.
Thermometers registered 2 above zero Tuesday morning, and Wednesday morning it was zero.
The Bovina Center Water company has sent out its first bills to patrons.  The rate per family is $12 per year.
Mrs. Estella Oliver has moved her household goods from the house on the Oliver farm to the Michael Dickson house on Pink Street.
Dr. Goodrich, of Delhi, was called here Wednesday in consultation with Dr. Whitcomb, in the case of Herman Coulter, who has pneumonia.
The Bovina Center fire district has been authorized by the board of supervisors. The sum of $500 has been appropriated for purchased of cart, hose and rent of hydrants, etc.

Finger Amputated - Geo Decker, of Lake Delaware, Has Serious Results From Felon
George Decker, who lives on what is known as the Purdy place near Lake Delaware, has been having a serious time with a felon on the middle finger of left hand, having been laid up for over nine weeks.  Ten days ago he was taken with chills and blood poisoning developed. Saturday Dr. Whitcomb amputated the finger at the first joint and the bone was found to be dead. [A felon is an infection inside the tip of the finger that can lead to an abscess.]

Burglars At Gerry Summer Home - Residences of Robert Gerry and E.T. Gerry Entered Monday Night.
Sometime during Monday night the summer home of Robert L. Gerry in southern Bovina and also that of Hon. E.T. Gerry at Lake Delaware, were entered by burglars and ransacked.
At the Robert Gerry place entrance was gained by breaking out a glass in one of the French windows.  Only the main part of the house was visited and it is not known what booty was secured.  The silver is kept in a vault and was not disturbed.  From the tracks only one man had been there and he had gone from there to the E.T. Gerry house.  Mr. Carpenter who sleeps in the house and heard nothing and did not discover the burglary until the next morning.  It is not known how many men may have been in the homestead.  The sheriff was notified.
The burglars were evidently familiar with conditions in both houses. Bureaus, desks and closets were broken open and contents strewn on the floor.

December 25, 1914
Monday, according to the almanac, was the shortest day of the year.
A Christmas tree and exercises will be held at the Methodist church on Thursday evening.
William Rogers, of Lake Delaware, has gone to New York to spend the holidays with his family.
Miss Louise Dennis will have a special sale of millinery on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons of next week.
The center school closed Wednesday for the Christmas vacation.  A Christmas tree for the school was held Wednesday evening.