Monday, August 21, 2017

Faces of Bovina - Craig and Thelma Banuat

On August 20, 1952, Thelma Galusha married David Craig Banuat in Oneonta. Delhi photographer Bob Wyer took photographs of the wedding, including the one used in the Oneonta Daily Star, August 22, 1952 issue:

And here's one that wasn't in the paper!
David Craig Banuat, more commonly known as Craig, was born in 1915 in Bovina, the son of Anthony and Margaret (Craig) Banuat. He grew up on the Banuat Family farm on East Bramley Mountain. At the time he married Thelma, he was working at the Fulton County Silk Mill in Gloversville. He likely met Thelma in Gloversville, where she was a teacher.

Thelma was born in Schenectady in 1919, the daughter of Leroy and Irene (Martin) Galusha. Thelma’s father died when she was eight. For a time after their father’s death, Thelma and her older brother Merl lived in the Upstate Baptist Children’s home near Oneonta while their mother worked as a maid. Thelma attended the teacher’s college in Oneonta and received her Master’s degree in 1952. She taught for several years in Union Grove, Coe Hill, Andes and in the Gloversville School system. She retired from teaching in 1953 when they moved to the Banuat family farm.




These three images below at the Banuat farm were taken by Paul Klein. Paul worked for Banuats in the 60s/70s.





Thelma’s brother Merl tragically died in March 1972 in the crash of a Mohawk Airlines passenger plane in Albany. He was one of 17 who died in the accident. Thelma died of cancer in 1980 at the age of 60. Craig died in the summer of 1987. They both are buried in Andes near Craig’s parents and other Craig relatives. 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

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

100 years ago in August 1917, Bovina saw the death of long time merchant Thomas E. Hastings, who once owned what is now Russell’s Store.

August 3, 1917
·         John A. Irvine had a fine heifer killed by lightning Sabbath afternoon.
·         Thomas, son of Herbert Olmstead, is on the sick list.  It is reported that he has the measles.
·         W.H. Taff has purchased a five passenger Maxwell touring car from W.J. Roney, of Andes.
·         Abram Brandow, a civil war veteran, was taken ill Tuesday at his home at the head of Hobbie Mountain.
·         Dr. and Mrs. Norris B. Whitcomb were at Walton to witness the departure of Co. F., for southern camp.
·         Clarence, the seven-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Whitehead, was operated upon Friday at the Neal hospital in Delhi, for the removal of adenoids.
·         Miss Freda Muller, who a few weeks ago underwent an operation in New York for goiter, is with her sister, Mrs. Otis McCumber in Andes, and is very much improved in health.
·         Miss Marjorie Allen, who is employed at Ellsworth Tuttle’s, was taken suddenly ill Sabbath morning and was taken to Delhi and operated upon at the Neal hospital Sabbath afternoon for appendicitis.  The operation was performed by Dr. Latcher, assisted by Dr. Ormiston and Dr. Whitcomb and she is doing well.

Bovina House Struck by Lightning
            During the severe electrical storm which passed over Bovina late Sabbath afternoon, the lightning entered the farmhouse of John Storie, up Pink street, on the telephone wire and filled the room with fire.  Fortunately it did not fire the house and the only damage done was the putting of the telephone out of commission.

August 10, 1917
·         Alva Shultis is the proud possessor of a new Ford car.
·         Fletcher Davidson is home for a few days from the Camp at Spartenberg, South Carolina.
·         J. Millard Blair of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, is spending his vacation with his parents.
·         Dr. and Mrs. Whitcomb and Rev. Thos E. Graham and wife are camping for a week near Walton.
·         Andrew T. Doig and Walter G. Coulter went to Utica on Tuesday and returned with a new 1918 Cadillac car.
·         The Town Board of Education will meet Thursday to visit the various school houses and decide on what repairs are needed.

Bovina at the Head
            The dogs in Bovina were all licensed or properly accounted for on August 1.  The report of that fact was the first received by the State department.

Native of Bovina Dead
            G.D. Miller received word that Thomas Downie, a native of Bovina, died August 6, at his home in Cleveland, Ohio, of stomach trouble.  He went to Cleveland many years ago and for a number of years conducted a shoe store, retiring a few years ago.  He had returned to his native town several times, his last visit being two years ago.  He has a brother, Jas Downie, living in Oneonta.  His wife died 8 years ago and he is survived by 9 children.  Burial was at Cleveland on Wednesday.

August 17, 1917
·         A reunion of the Thomson family was held at Dixon Thomson’s Wednesday.
·         W.D. Oliver and wife accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. G.D. Miller motored to Delhi Saturday afternoon.
·         The W.T.C.U. was disappointed in not having the temperance lecture which was announced for Thursday night. Miss Tangeu was unable to come. They are promised another speaker for Friday night.

Reaches Ripe Old Age
Thomas E. Hastings, Retired Bovina Center Merchant Dead
            Thomas E. Hastings passed away at his home in Bovina Center August 8, at the age of 88 years, having been in failing health for the past four years.
            He was born in Bovina on April 1, 1829, and had always resided in the town.  He began his business career in 1852, by forming a partnership with James Elliott in a store near the bridge and two years later W.D. Telford bought out Elliott. This firm moved to the Judge Cowan store which with the lot now occupied by his home had been bought by Mr. Hastings.  In 1860 he became sole owner and from 1866 and for two years was associated with J.K. Hood.  From 1868 to 1870 he was out of business, and during that time got out lumber for a new store. In 1893 he sold the store and business to the present owner, Andrew T. Doig.  He then engaged in the feed business until four years ago, and has since that time, though afflicted with no disease, been on gradual decline.
            In 1859 he married Miss Jane Blair, who died in 1887.  Four sons and one dauter, all of whom are living, were born to them.  They are James B. of Cape May, N.J., Elmer E. of Saranac Lake, William E. of Oneonta, Milton T. of Bovina Center, and Miss Jane Hastings of Fleischmanns.  One brother James E. Hastings of Bovina, and a sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Miller of Colliers, also survive.

August 24, 1917
·         John and James Hilson were at Cortland last week to have a new frame fitted to their auto truck.
·         Miss Jane Hilson returned Saturday from Columbia University, where she had been attending summer school.
·         The officers of the Bovina Town Board of Education are Walter Coulter chairman; Thomas Gordon, clerk; Jas. W. Thomson, treasurer.
·         A fire caused slight damage at John W. McCune’s on Monday afternoon.  Mrs. McCune was canning and using the oil stove.  A shelf over the stove had become loose and tipped three lamps with their contents onto the oil stove.  Of course there was a big blaze but it was soon extinguished by Mrs. McCune with the aid of some of the neighbors. [This is now the home of Stephen & Glenna MacGrotty on Maple Avenue.]

August 31, 1917
·         A re-union of the Doig family was held Thursday at the home of Douglas Burns.  The Thomson re-union will be held Friday at John Campbell’s.
·         Rev. J.A. Mahaffey, John A. Irvine and Miss Lela Miller started Monday morning for a western trip.  The later will visit her brother in Minneapolis.
·         Mr. and Mrs. Earl Shaw, of Albany, are visiting her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert A. Thomson.  Mrs. Thomson had the misfortune to fall recently and break her leg.

·         Alex Myers has been laid up this week with a sore foot.  Tuesday he drove the team of Ted Fuller to the creamery with the milk and while he was loading the empty cans the team started to turn sharp around.  In order to save his little grandson he jumped and landed behind one horse.  He succeeded in getting hold of one line and swung the team around and stopped them. What he hit when he jumped he does not know but his right heel was injured so that he could not step on it.

Monday, July 31, 2017

This Day in Bovina for July

Ninety-eight years ago today, on July 1, 1919, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Lloyd Oliver had a narrow escape …from going off the high wall at Alex Myers' in his car.  Something was wrong with the car and Terry, the garage man, towed it backwards to the top of the pitch and he started to coast down.  In front of the Myers house a rod dropped down careering the car into the air so that only one wheel was on the ground and when it righted itself it was on the wall and less than a foot from the edge.  Mr. Oliver who had no brakes, succeeded in guiding the car along the wall and it was stopped in front of Elliott Thomson's."

Seventy-five years ago today, the Bovina column of the July 2, 1942 Delaware Republican reported that "Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Ormiston and two sons of Liberty spent the week-end with his mother, Mrs. Margaret Ormiston." Edwin was the brother of Lois Ormiston Davidson.

109 years ago today, on July 3, 1908, Norman Hawley was married to Edith Michelbach in Bovina, with the Rev. Norman Speer officiating and Mrs. E.E. Hastings and John T. Coulter as witnesses.  About six weeks later, on August 18, Norman was arrested at the farm of John A. Irvine on Coulter Brook, where he was a hired hand, for having deserted from the regular army about a year previous while stationed in Vermont.  His wife was living in Binghamton at the time, probably with his parents.  The letters that passed between them led to his discovery.  What happened to him after his arrest is not clear, but by 1910, he was living in Binghamton with his wife and parents.  They later settled in Syracuse, where Hawley worked for the railroad.  His arrest for desertion does not appear to have had a major impact on his life.

Sixty-five years ago today, on July 4, 1952, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Catskill Mountain News, "Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Russell and daughter, Marjorie, were Fourth of July guests of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Russell of Oneonta." Charles was Cecil's brother.

110 years ago today, the July 5, 1907 Andes Recorder Bovina column reported that: "The telephone service in Bovina is on the 'bum' and with no signs of anything better. It is stated that the central for the Rose lines will be at Hobart and in order to talk with Andes for example it would be necessary to call Hobart and then talk via Delhi. Certainly very convenient."

159 years ago today, on July 6, 1858, the Bovina UP Church session met.  One of the 'cases' discussed was the case of intoxication by William Mabon.   "Mr. Mabon admitted the facts charged, proffered his sorrow for the same and promised to comply hereafter with the rules of the church on the subject of temperance."  He was admonished by the moderator "to continue in the course that he had promised… in the total prohibition of spirituous liquors."  William Mabon was born in 1818 and lived on Route 28, not far from Tunis Lake. He died in 1893 and was buried in the Bovina Cemetery.

118 years ago today, the July 7, 1899 Andes Recorder in its Bovina column reported that "Quite a number of new mowing machines have bought this year.  Besides those mentioned last week they are Walter Biggar, a McCormick; E. Burgin, an Osborn; James Coulter a Walter A. Wood and F.C. Armstrong, a Buckeye."

113 years ago today, the July 8, 1904 Andes Recorder Bovina column reported that "Alexander Burns has been building an addition to his barn.  Last week in a little less than 2 ½ days James G. and Harvey Seath, James Aitken and Jas. Boyd put on 31,000 shingles."

Seventy-five years ago today, the Bovina column in the July 9, 1942 Delaware Republican reported that "Charles Lichtenberg of Springfield, Mass, spent the week-end with his wife at the home of her mother, Mrs. Sarah Archibald. Mrs. Lichtenberg has been with her mother for some time due to her poor health. Mrs. Archibald is much improved." Mrs. Archibald was the widow of William Archibald, who died in January 1941. Mrs. Archibald passed away three years later in June 1945. Mrs. Lichtenberg died in 1986, Mr. Lichtenberg in 1999. In 2000, the estate of Charles Lichtenberg made a major bequest to the Bovina Public Library. This is a picture from 1941 of Charles and Jane Lichtenberg in front of her mother's home in Bovina, across from the community hall. 


116 years ago, on July 10, 1901, a meeting took place at which the decision was made to build a cooperative creamery in Bovina Centre.  The goal was to have it up and running by September 1st.  Douglas Davidson, W.A. Hoy and Robert Thompson were elected trustees for the first year.

Ninety-eight years ago today, the July 11, 1919 issue of the Catskill Mountain News reported "William T. Miller of Pink Street, Bovina, who had ten head of cattle killed by lightning recently, had no insurance, and $114 received for the hides is the only recompense he will have for the stock."

112 years ago, on July 12, 1905, Bovina resident Claude Erkson and his aunt had an accident with their horse and buggy while returning from Hobart.  They had just passed a railroad crossing when a passenger train rounded the curve.  At this, the horse took fright ran into the steep bank, upsetting the buggy.  Both occupants were thrown out and badly shaken up, but not seriously injured. Erkson held to the reins and stopped the horse.  Erkson, born in 1880, would live until 1951 and is buried in the Bovina Cemetery.  His aunt, Elizabeth Erkson (1842-1928) is also buried in Bovina and could be the aunt who was traveling with Claude when this accident happened.

148 years today, on July 13, 1869, James Campbell filed with the town clerk a notice concerning a stray colt that showed up at his farm.  "Notice is hereby given that an iron grey horses colt came to my premises this morning, the owner is requested to prove property, pay charges and take the same away.  Dated July 13, 1869, James M. Campbell" James Campbell's farm was on Scutt Mountain Road.  

106 years ago today, on July 14, 1911, as later reported in the Andes Recorder "… a terrific hail storm swept over the greater part of the town of Bovina and did much damage. Corn was stripped of leaves, oats and buckwheat were irreparably damaged. Gardens were in some instances nearly ruined. The storm lasted nearly half an hour and the hail was like peas. Heaps of them remained unmelted the next morning. Lightning struck a maple tree at J.W. Coulter's."

Ninety-one years ago today, on July 15, 1926, as reported in the Stamford Mirror, "Mrs. Belle Hilson, Miss Jane Hilson, Miss Elizabeth Strangeway and Miss Ruth Coulter left Thursday for the Pacific coast.  Mrs. Hilson and her daughter expect to visit points in California, while Miss Strangeway and Miss Coulter will attend the Young People's Convention in Seattle."  Belle Hilson was the widow of Alex Hilson and lived in the house now occupied by Chris and Mike Batey.  Elizabeth Strangeway was the aunt of Ruth Coulter.  Ruth would later marry Bill Parsons.

Margaret Doig was born 178 years ago today on July 16, 1839, the daughter of William Doig and Jane Forrest.  She died a month after her fourth birthday on August 16, 1843.

114 years ago, on July 17, 1903, as reported by the Ithaca Daily News, "Mr. and Mrs. David Hoy left for their vacation in Bovina." Hoy, the uncle of Fletcher Davidson and Vera Storie, among others, grew up in Bovina and became the Registrar of Cornell University for many years. He also is responsible for starting the extensive genealogy files referred to as 'Early Bovina Families.' I, for one, will always be grateful for his pioneering efforts in documenting Bovina's history.

170 years ago today, on July 18, 1847, two families with Bovina connections were bereft of children. Both children were about 3 years old.  Robert Forrest, the son of Thomas E. Forrest and Ellen Raitt, is buried in the Old Associate Presbyterian Church cemetery (more commonly known as the Reinertsen Hill Road cemetery). In that same cemetery, there is a memorial stone to Robert Scott, the son of Robert and Ellen Scott. Robert died at sea.

Ninety-nine years ago today, on July 19, 1918, Bovina was hit with a heavy storm that caused considerable crop damage and killed three cows.  Gardens and field crops, including William Archibald's buckwheat were destroyed by hail, some of the early stones being as large as plums (the Archibald farm was at the lower end of Bovina Center, what is now the McPherson farm).  The maple tree at the home of the Muller sisters (across from about where Hugh Lee's is located) was struck by lightning.  Lightning traveled into the house of Adam Laidlaw through the telephone lines, but did no damage (Laidlaw is where Marie Burns lives now).  A.B. Phyfe, who had the farm now owned by Tim and Kristin Schneider, saw his entire dairy of three cows killed by lightning.

115 years ago today, on July 20, 1902, Bovina was hit with a heavy storm. John Blair, on the farm now owned by Jack Burns, sustained the greatest damage.  Evergreen and other trees were torn up.  G.D. Miller's butcher shop was literally torn to pieces.  The Andes Recorder reported that "In the village trees were blown down and some of the school house roof and chimney were smashed. In other parts of the town there was also a lot of damage."

Ninety-five years ago today, the Bovina column in the July 21, 1922 Andes Recorder reported that "The ten year old son of Harrison Hall, on the Soper farm, fell from a load of hay and twisted his arm in such a manner that in order to get it straightened the physician had to break the arm."

134 years ago today, on July 22, 1883, Mary Isabella Hoy Davidson, wife of Douglass Davidson, died giving birth to an infant son, who also died the same day.  Five years later, Douglass was remarried to his late wife's sister, Margaret Jane Hoy.  They would have four children, two of whom, Vera and Fletcher, would survive to adulthood.

116 years ago today, on July 23, 1901, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "the first load of lumber was drawn for the creamery at the Centre…"

193 years ago today, on July 24, 1824, James Coulter posted the following notice to be published in the Delaware Gazette: "Six Cents Reward. Ranaway from the subscriber an indented apprentice named Thomas Freeman. All persons are hereby forbid harboring or trusting him on my account, as I will pay no deb of his contracting. The above reward will be paid by the subscriber to any person who may apprehend and deliver said boy to him but no charges will be allowed."

Eighty-three years ago today, on July 25, 1934, J. Douglas Burns died in Bovina at the age of 75. He was a lifelong resident of Bovina, the son of John Burns and Nancy Ormiston. He married Maggie Doig in 1879. They had five children, four of whom survived to adulthood - Arthur, Eva, Elizabeth and Willam C.

136 years ago today, the Bovina column for the July 26, 1881 Stamford Mirror reported that "The new boat on the pond at the coopershop is a source of attraction for the small boys, and some large ones."

114 years ago today, on July 27, 1903, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "David F. Hoy and family started ... for their home in Ithaca.  Mr. Hoy’s duties as registrar will soon engage his time, preparing for the opening of Cornell University."

Seventy-seven years ago today, on July 28, 1940, Elizabeth Richardson Irvine passed away.  Mrs. Richardson lived in what is now Tony and Norma Gabriele's house.  She had been ill only a few days before her death.  Born in 1866, she married John Irvine and had five children.  Her husband John died in 1918 and she had lost a son, William, in 1929.  Elizabeth was survived by sons Lester, Clifton and Lloyd and daughter Isabell Russell.  Clifton and Lloyd were living in Washington State at the time of their mother's death, so they sent this telegram on hearing the news to their sister.

Seventy-four years ago today, the July 29, 1943 Delaware Republican Express reported that "Mr. and Mrs. H.F. Davidson took their son, Lt. Edwin Douglas Davidson, to Albany on his way back to duty after a ten-day furlough here."

Eighty-three years ago today, on July 30, 1934, David Currie resigned as Bovina Town Clerk. James Hoy was appointed to fill the position. Hoy would hold the position for about a year when David Currie would resume it and hold it until 1945. James' wife, Margaret, succeeded David in the position, becoming the first woman to be the Town Clerk for Bovina.

Ninety-four years ago today, on July 31, 1923, Alexander Hilson died at the age of 64.  He is the grandfather of Alex and Jack Hilson and lived where Mike and Christine Batey now live.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

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

Over the next few months, the Bovina column regularly reported on the health of Mrs. Robert G. Thomson. Mrs. Thomson, born Nelle Moore in Andes in 1884, was suffering from uterine cancer. As you will see through the rest of 1917, her health would not improve and she died in December.

July 6, 1917
·         The celebration of the Fourth commenced here Tuesday evening.
·         The R.P. church will hold a social at the Town Hall Friday evening.
·         Charles A. McPherson, on Bramley mountain, has purchased a Saxon six automobile.
·         Hale Elliott has purchased the Robert Hoy house and lot in the upper part of the village. [This is  now the home of Leonard and Ann Cairns.]
·         Robert Hunt and wife and Frank Miller and wife attended a picnic Tuesday at Eugene Storie’s.
·         Frank Kinch and family attended the Kinch family reunion held Wednesday at Oneonta, making  the trip in his new Ford car.

July 13, 1917
·         Thos Hoag had a good horse die Monday morning.
·         Ellsworth Tuttle has a new Ford car and will use it to haul his milk.
·         William S. Gordon has gone to James Mabon’s for the haying season.
·         Mrs. R.G. Thompson has been quite ill the past week but is improving.
·         Miss Bessie Kinch was in the village Tuesday with her new car. It is a Ford.
·         Mrs. Hale Elliott left today to spend a few days with her parents, Supt. And Mrs. L.R. Long, in  New Kingston.
·         John Benjamin spent the Fourth at Kingston and brought back several men to work for the  farmers in haying.
·         Dr. Whitcomb took Miss Freda Muller to New York Monday for medical treatment and perhaps  an operation on the throat for goiter.
·         Fred Govern, the little son of Mr. J.L. and Mrs. Govern, of New York, who are visiting here, fell  out of bed Saturday and cracked his collar bone.

Bovina Library Trustees
            At a meeting held at Firemans hall this week, Thomas Gordon, Andrew T. Doig and Walter G. Coulter, were appointed trustees of the Bovina Library Association.

July 20, 1917
·         H.A. Ayres has a new Ford auto.
·         Rev. Thomas E. Graham drives a new Ford car.
·         Mrs. Dickson, who has been quite ill, is improving.
·         Mrs. William Storie who has been quite ill, is gaining slowly [This is Vera Davidson Storie, who  lived until 1967].
·         J.J.K. Russell is hauling some big stone from Delhi for the cemetery vault.  They were shipped  from Walton.
·        Word has been received that Miss Freda Muller, who went to New York last week, had undergone  a successful operation for goiter. [Freda would live until 1951, dying at the age of 75.]
·         Dr. Latcher, of Oneonta, was here Saturday night to see Mrs. Jane Doig, who is ill at the home of  her son, Milton, up Coulter Brook.  An operation is contemplated on her neck. [Jane would only  survive about another six months, dying in January 1918 at the age of 78.]

July 27, 1917
·         Miss Nellie Miller has been ill from an ulcerated tooth.
·         Frank Dickson, on the Little Delaware, now drives a Ford.
·         Dog owners should hurry up getting their licenses - $10 fine after July 31st.
·         Mrs. Robert G. Thomson is still confined to her bed and shows little improvement.
·         William J. Crosier was taken quite ill Sabbath night but is a little more comfortable at this writing. (Crosier recovered, dying in 1931.)

Friday, July 7, 2017

Bovina Public Library Celebrates 100 Years...and More

Bovina has had a library in one form or another since at least 1836, when the Bovina Subscription Library was incorporated. Application was made to the New York State Legislature in 1835 to establish the library. It had 44 subscribers and 227 volumes when it was incorporated in April 1936, with a treasury of $20.12. James Douglas was chairman of the library, with Samuel Gordon serving as the “librarian clerk” and Thomas Eliott as treasurer. The trustees included Adam Scott, William Murray, John Miller, John Roe, Thomas McFarland, Jr, James Archibald. How long the library existed I have yet to determine. (Note: as far as I can tell, Samuel Gordon is no relation to Thomas Gordon, who was Bovina's Town Clerk in the early 20th century.)


The first public library in Bovina was created in 1879 when the “Young People’s Christian Association” of the Bovina United Presbyterian Church organized a small library in the church basement, with volumes presented by the church pastor. Additional items were donated by E.T. Gerry and Ferris Jacobs. When the Association folded, the books reverted to the Bovina church. In 1896, Mr. Gerry donated $100 to William Coulter to be used for library purposes. An additional $50 was donated by the noted industrialist Henry Clay Frick of Pittsburg. Frick, with Andrew Carnegie, created what became U.S. Steel. These donations allowed the church trustees to re-establish the library. 

Any person “living in Bovina or vicinity” was allowed to take out books with an annual payment of 25 cents. Books were allowed out for fourteen days, with a fine of 2 cents a day for each additional day the book was out. During this time, the Gerry family made several generous donations of books and magazines. In 1905, a state library inspector paid a visit to the Bovina library and reported that “the Bovina library was one of the best selected libraries of its size in the State.” At this time, though called the Bovina Public Library, it still was owned by the Trustees of the Bovina UP Church.

Around 1910, J.W. Coulter offered the wing of his building, which had once been a tin shop and hardware store, to be used for the library. When he died in early 1917, he bequeathed the entire building, along with $2,700, to establish a public library. That summer the Bovina Library Association was formed, with Thomas Gordon, Andrew T. Doig and Walter G. Coulter as trustees. On December 27, 1917, the Bovina Public Library was chartered by the New York State Board of Regents.

Over the next three years, the renovations funded by the J.W. Coulter bequest took place. The building’s extension was removed and the main body of the structure was completely redone to serve as a library. During the renovations, the library books were moved to the firehall next door.

The library stayed in this building for just over 50 years. One of the first librarians after the library received its charter was Ida McNair McCune. Other librarians over this period included Aggie Draffen, Celia Coulter and Therese Aitken, In 1956, Dot Russell began her long tenure as the Bovina librarian, working into the 1990s. The library's collection continued to grow through donations and purchases. The Gerry family made further donations to the library.

In 1950, the library reported the following circulation numbers: “Adult fiction, 529; adult nonfiction, 184; adult periodicals, 847; children’s books, 1,082; children’s periodicals, 274; teen-age fiction, 260; teen-age non-fiction, 125; other materials, 101; grand total, 3402.”  
Vera Storie and librarian Dot Russell c. 1965
The library’s next big change came in 1970, when it was moved into its current home in the former District four school house on Maple Avenue, built in 1893. Generous funding from the O’Connor Foundation allowed for major renovations in 1973. An open house and re-dedication of the newly remodeled library took place in June 1974.


The Bovina Public Library continues to receive generous donations. In 2000, the library received a major bequest from the Charles Lichtenberg estate, given in memory of his late wife, Jane Archibald Lichtenberg, a Bovina native.

Jane Archibald Lichtenberg and Charles Lichtenberg in front of her mother's home in Bovina (now the home of Gert Hall).
The bequest made by J.W. Coulter in 1917 was followed more recently by his first cousin twice removed, Celia Coulter, who passed away in 2015. Celia's stint as Bovina's librarian likely is what led her to attend SUNY Albany’s library school, where she received her master’s degree in 1955. 

After the retirement of Dot Russell, Bovina's librarians have included Avis Adams, Marjorie Miller, Mary Pelletier and our current librarian, Annette Robbins.

As the library begins its second century as a New York State chartered institution, it has received $140,776 from the State of New York's public library construction fund for a much needed renovation to its foundation and basement.

On July 15, the library will have a centennial celebration at the library, starting with the dedication of a historic marker at 5, followed by a dessert contest and a picnic. Come and join the celebration.


Friday, June 30, 2017

This Day in Bovina for June

Here are the daily Facebook entries I posted for June:

111 years ago, the Bovina column of the June 1, 1906 Andes Recorder reported that "Mrs. E.G. Gladstone, who has been on the sick list, is improving." This likely was the former Sarah Sloan. She and her husband moved to Colorado in 1909. She died there in 1936 and is buried in Colorado.

186 years ago today, June 2, 1831, an arrest warrant was issued for John Rutherford and John Renwick: "Whereas complaint hath been made before me, John M. Landon, one of the Justices of the peace for [Delaware] county upon the oath of David W. Thomson of Bovina ... that John Rutherford and John Renwick did on the 11th day of May last violently assault and beat him the said David W. Thomson at Bovina … therefore in the name of the people of the State of New York to command you forthwith to apprehend the said John Rutherford & John Renwick of Bovina & bring them before me, to answer unto the said complaint, & further, to be dealt with according to law…"


119 years ago today, on June 3, 1892, the Overseers of several road districts in Bovina requested that Bovina's commissioner of highways purchase a Climax Road machine for the sum of $235, to be paid in installments.

158 years ago today, on June 4, 1859, Alexander Sylvanius Bramley, son of John W. Bramley and Margaret McCune was born. He would die only 21 days later on June 25. John and Margaret had a total of eight children, five of whom made it to adulthood. Alexander was their fifth child. This is his headstone, courtesy of Ed and Dick Davidson. 

Eighty-seven years ago today, on June 5, 1930, Bovina's Village Improvement Society held its monthly meeting at the old Firehouse.  Fourteen members answered the roll call.  “Motion made and carried that V.I.S. take charge of the opening of the new Community Hall. It was moved that the Executive appoint a head com[mittee] to have charge.  A motion was also made and carried that all the money that V.I.S. has on hand, and what is made this year aside from necessary expenses to be used for equipment for Community House. Motion was also made and carried that Executive Committee appoint three committees to look after furnishings lights, curtains, and seating.”

137 years ago today, on June 6, 1880, as later reported in the Stamford Mirror, "a team of horses belonging to Wm. Archibald, managed to get loose from the sheds where they were tied while the family were attending church, and started for home, but were pursued by quite a large portion of the congregation and soon overtaken."

106 years ago today, the June 7, 1911 Andes Recorder reported in its Bovina column that Andrew T. Doig had "purchased a 'Cadillac' automobile' and broke ground “for the building in which to house it.”

Seventy-eight years ago today, the Bovina column of the June 8, 1939 Delaware Republican reported that "Postmaster and Mrs. Fred Thomson attended the horticultural meeting in Delhi…."

118 years ago today, on June 9, 1895, as later reported in the Andes Recorder's Bovina column, "A number of the boys were up [to Bovina] from Delhi … on their wheels."  In this instance, 'wheels' means 'bicycles.'  The 1890s were the heyday of bicycling in the United States.  It was bicyclists who started the push toward better maintained roadways.

117 years ago today, on June 10, 1900, as later reported in the Delaware Republican, "Wm. T. Miller died of heart trouble at his residence in Bovina...aged about 60.  He leaves a wife who was a sister of John and Thomas Hastings, and one daughter, Mrs. Geo. T. Russell.  Mr. Miller was one of the substantial men of Bovina, and a very worthy citizen. His funeral was held on Tuesday, the pastor of the Reformed Presbyterian Church officiating."

Fifty years ago today, on June 11, 1967, Delhi Tech Professor (and Bovina resident) Gaston Pelletier gave an address at the schools graduation ceremonies that so impressed local Congressman John G. Dow that he it entered into the Congressional Record.

134 years ago today, the June 12, 1883 Stamford Mirror reported that "Dr. Finney [Phinney], of New Kingston, thinks of locating at Bovina." Dr. Phinney did indeed relocate to Bovina, working there until his premature death in 1901 at the age of 51.

Seventy-seven years ago today, the Lake Delaware column of the June 13, 1940 Delaware Republican reported that "Miss Angelica Gerry has opened Ancrum House for the summer and has as her guest Saxham Deury of Newport, R.I."

Ninety eight years ago today, on June 14, 1919, as reported by the Andes Recorder, "Sergeant Donald Lee, a member of the Lightning division, who served over a year in France, arrived home ….having received his discharge."  Lee was born in Bovina in 1896, the son of John Bruce Lee and Lucy A. Hall.  The Lee family lived on Lee Hollow.  Donald was a US Army Sargent during World War I, receiving the Purple Heart.  He lived to see his 99th birthday, dying in Florida in May 1995, and was Bovina’s last surviving World War I veteran. He is buried in Bovina.

137 years ago today, the Bovina column of the June 15, 1880 Stamford Mirror reported that "Sheriff Crawford was in town last Saturday night, laying in wait for an escaped prisoner, but failed to find him." We do not know if he ever succeeded in capturing this escapee.

122 years ago today, on Sunday, June 16, 1895, Bovina saw the end of a weekend of burglaries. It started the evening before when Homer Burgin's home on present day Route 28 was entered.  The following morning, while the William Forrest family was at church, two burglars entered his house and took his gun and a number of other things.  That evening, burglars entered Francis Coulter's house on Coulter Brook. While rummaging through the house, they awoke Mr. Coulter and fled.  Coulter found his pants dropped on the veranda.  It is likely, though not definite, that all these burglaries were done by the same people.  I never found any evidence that the perpetrators were caught.

174 Years ago today, on June 17, 1843, the commissioners of highway of the Town of Bovina received an application to alter a highway from Alexander Storie:  "The undersigned resident of the said town and liable to the assessed for highway labour therein hereby makes application to you the said commissioners to alter the highway in said Town Commencing at the old road on the line between Priscilla Carman and William Jobson and running a northeasterly course through said Jobsons land to the Stamford town line (which said highway will pass through the improved lands of said William Jobson who does not consent to the laying out of the same)." Where this is located I'm not exactly sure, but I think it's the upper Pink Street area.  Alexander Storie had a farm where Tom and Joan Burns now live.  The Carman property may be where the John Thompson farm was located. A few days later, twelve men were brought in to hear the case for and against laying out this highway and agreed that it was necessary to do so.  William Jobson's objections to this action were overruled.

108 years ago today, the Bovina column in the June 18, 1909 issue of the Andes Recorder reported that "Mrs. William A. Gladstone has sold her farm on Coulter Brook, known as the Robert R. Scott farm, to Emile Snyder (sic), of South Kortright, and he is moving onto it this week.  The sale includes the stock and farm machinery, etc.  The price paid was $4,250." This was the farm of Emil Schneider. Schneider died in 1965. He was the father of three sons and a daughter, Lillian, who married Alex Hilson.

137 years ago today, a letter to the editor of the Stamford Mirror dated June 19, 1880 was received and published in the paper's next issue: "Brushland, June 19th, 1880. Mr. Mirror:- The author of Bovina items is mistaken about the 'neighbor's dogs.' The only shadow of reality lies in the attack of that barking one who calls himself your correspondent. Truly, N.B.A."

116 years ago, on June 20, 1901, the Bovina 'uptown' cooperative creamery was organized.  As reported in the Andes Recorder, the "creamery will be built on the Andrew T. McFarlane [McFarland] farm," now the Schumann property.  Thirty farmers were to participate.  The trustees elected were Andrew McFarland, George T. Russell and Alexander Burns. The Recorder went on to report that "[t]he contract for the building and apparatus has been let to F.B. Floyd for $4,350 and it is to be ready for business by September 1."  This creamery was organized a couple of months before the Bovina Center Cooperative Creamery was organized.  The uptown creamery building is no more, though the foundation is still identifiable.

Ninety eight years ago today, June 21, 1919, Clifton Irvine arrived home from service in the army in the Great War. The Andes Recorder reported that "He is going back to Seattle, where he was before the war, and Lloyd Irvine and Millard Blair expect to go with him." Clifton and Lloyd were brothers and the brothers of Isabell Irvine Russell (Lloyd was her twin). Millard Blair was the brother of Helen Thompson. Clifton, Lloyd and Millard all settled in Washington State.

153 years ago today, on June 22, 1864, a vote was held in Bovina to pay a bounty of $500 to any man enlisting in the Civil War, to be credited to Bovina.  There were several such votes during the war, each time for a larger amount.  By the end of the war, it was up to $800.  This vote was the closest of the war, passing by only one vote, with 68 for and 67 against.

112 years ago today, on June 23, 1905, William B. Thomson, the sole trustee of Bovina School District Number 1 issued this request to Bovina Town Supervisor John Irvine to pay Mina B. Cooke $25 for teaching at the Maynard School. 

122 years ago today, on June 24, 1895, two Bovina men took a bicycle trip, as later reported by the Andes Recorder: "William Palmer and Charles Thompson made a trip on their wheels (bicycles) to Delhi and Bloomville the first of the week." William Palmer likely was the son of Charles Palmer, born in 1875. I have not identified who Charles Thompson was, since there are several Charles Thompsons and Thomsons (the newspapers tended to use the spellings interchangeably) from which to choose.

122 years ago, on June 25, 1895, Alexander Hilson found that sixty of his eighty chickens, all four or five weeks old, had disappeared. The chicken thieves turned out to be rats. Alexander Hilson (1859-1923) had the farm by the creamery that is now owned by the Livestock Foundation.

Seventy-five years ago today, on June 26, 1942, the Bovina town board passed a resolution choosing the Bovina Community Hall as "an Airplane Observatory for the duration [of the Second World War]." The town agreed to furnish a "telephone and all needed appliances" unless the County agrees cover these expenses.

167 Years ago today, on June 27, 1850, David P. Stewart acknowledged a debt to William Doig of $53.93, dating from 1848, in this document, known as a chattel mortgage.  To cover the debt, he mortgaged several items from his blacksmith shop and components for a wagon being built for him by Herman Roterman, including "one running gear box and three seats of a Two Horse Plesure Wagon.." Stewart was obligated to pay the $53.93 with interest by the 1st of August.  If payment wasn't made, the items mortgaged would become Doig's.  Note that Doig also had the option to redeem the note before the due date of August 1st if he "shall at any time deem himself insecure…" In the days before credit cards, chattel mortgages were way to get a secured loan. 
























166 years ago today, on June 28, 1851, four Bovina men made statements related to their unfitness for military service. Joshua Carman, age 40, had hearing issues and a problem hip joint. Walter Hamilton, age 42, ran the hotel located where Jardines house is now. He reported a knee injury from a few years previous that continued to plague him. Homer Burgin, age 33, was a farmer on present Route 28. He was not specific about his health problems, just stating that he was 'unfit for military duty on account of ill health…' Thomas Seacord, age 39, had a "weak and lame leg." All four statements were sworn before assessor Walter Stott, Jr. Two of these gentlemen, Hamilton and Seacord, would both die six years later in 1857. The other two lasted considerably longer. Carmen was 70 at his death in 1891, while Burgin was 78 when he died in 1897.  


122 years ago today, on June 29, 1895 (as later reported by the Andes Recorder) "Dr. Barnard was in town Saturday extracting teeth without pain." This likely is a gentleman named Homer H. Barnard from Milford in Otsego County. He shows up in several census records as a dentist.

Seventy-nine years ago, on June 30, 1938 (as later reported in the Andes Recorder), "Rev. and Mrs. Peter McKenzie traveled to Newark to see their two daughters sail on a six week trip to Finland." The McKenzies had three daughters, Janet, Elizabeth and Margaret. Which two daughters was not stated in the newspaper, though it probably was Janet and Elizabeth.