Monday, February 20, 2017

Historian Annual Report for 2016

Overview of Some Goals from Last Year’s Report 
My plan for another Bovina historian history program was successful, with a presentation in April on Bovina Butter. It was well received and was timed well with the plans to start producing butter at the Bovina creamery again.

I did a cemetery presentation as planned in the fall but weather issues forced it to be moved inside instead of holding it on-site.

Another family history trip to Scotland, similar to the one I ran in November 2014, did not come off, due to lack of people signing up.

Social Media 
The Bovina NY History Blog (http://bovinanyhistory.blogspot.com/) celebrated its seventh anniversary in April. I did 67 entries for 2016. I’ve settled to doing on an average four entries a month. A list of the entries is in the appendix to this report. A special thank you to David Hoy and his son John Hoy for sharing the 1884 diary of their ancestor, David F. Hoy.

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

Monthly articles for the Walton Reporter
 January 20, 2016 Bovina’s Physicians, Part one
 February 17, 2016 Bovina’s Physicians, Part two
 March 16, 2016 Bovina’s Physicians, Part three
 April 20, 2016  Ward Baker - America's Most Soulful Violinist  
 May 18, 2016  Prosperous Bovina Farmers
 June 15, 2016  Illegitimate Child of Robert Dysart
 July 20, 2016  The Brothers in Law, part 1
 August 17, 2016 The Brothers in Law, part 1
 September 21, 2016 W.S. Gordon 1921
 October 19, 2016 The Müller Family
 November 16, 2016 A Bolt of Lightning
 December 16, 2016 A Bovina theft - "....to wit two heads of cabbage...."

I wrote three articles for the community newsletter produced by the Bovina United Presbyterian Church. I also did an article on Bovina’s stone arch bridges for A Time and a Place, which is a shopping, dining and things-to-do publication published out of Arkville.

Bovina Historical Society 
I serve as an ex-officio member of the historical society’s board. Last fall, the society discovered a powder beetle infestation in the basement of the museum. This prevented me from opening the museum this year. Instead, the historical society moved some items to the old fire house and opened that for tours on Bovina Day in July and during the Open Barn and Studio day in August.
Town of Bovina, New York,

I did three presentations during the year proceeds of which went to the historical society – the April history program and two cemetery programs.

Programs 
On April 16, I presented a program entitled Bovina’s Lumps of Gold, Celebrating the Past and Future of Bovina Butter. This was not as elaborate the 2015 history pageant but was a chance for me to present the history Bovina’s dairying heritage. The timing of the program was fortuitous, given that plans are moving ahead to start producing butter at the Bovina Creamery. Cowbella in Jefferson provided some butter for refreshments after the program. The proceeds from the event went to the Bovina Historical Society.

On May 21, I did a reprise of the cemetery tour I did in October 2015 of the Bovina Center Cemetery. In the fall, on October 22, I conducted a program that was to be a twilight tour of three Bovina cemeteries – the Reformed Presbyterian Church Cemetery, located at Bovina Road and County Route 6 in the Mountain Brook area of Bovina, the Associate Presbyterian Church Cemetery at Reinertsen Hill Road and County Route 6 and the Brush Cemetery, located at Maple Avenue and County Route 6. Unfortunately, inclement weather forced the program indoors at the community hall, but about 20 people attended. Again, proceeds went to benefit the Bovina Historical Society.

Correspondence and research help 
As usual, the two most popular topics for research help were genealogy and property history. Concerning genealogy, I had two different people, including a woman from Australia, researching a gentleman named William Cowan (and the requests came to me about a day apart). Unfortunately, there is little information that connects this gentleman to the rest of the Cowans in Bovina, but I was able to get these two researchers in contact with each other. I received inquiries about the Warren and Crosier families. I also received a couple of inquiries concerning burials in Bovina cemeteries. Thanks to the work of Ed and Dick Davidson, these inquiries usually are easy to address.

About once or twice a year, I receive inquiries concerning Native Americans in Bovina. Other than information about Tunis the Indian and his legendary lead mine, there is little other information to share. Certainly Native Americans passed through the area but likely never settled here. When the first settlers came to Bovina in the 1790s, they did not record any such encounters.

A number of property owners had inquiries about their houses. In most cases, little documentary information exists about when a particular house was built, but I was able to direct people to things like the 1856 Gould Map and the 1869 Beers Atlas for more information. Locations for the property inquiries included Martha Lane, McNaught Hill and Jim Lane roads, Calhoun Hill Road, Pink Street and Townsend Road. I also had an inquiry from a realtor about Suits-Us Farm on Pink Street and the Maynard Farm on Bovina Road. Kristen and Tim Schneider, who happen to be my new neighbors in the house once owned by the Haran Family, have had numerous questions about the previous owners of their property and have shared some information they found along the way. A question also came up about Marvins Way and the origin of the name.

While it was not steeped in associations with the town’s earliest history, I was reminded that the property once was owned by Marv Hosier, thus the likely origin of the name.

I was able to provide to Mike and Lori Glavin historic photographs of their property on Pink Street, mainly because the property once belonged to my great grandparents. I receive a number of such requests but find in most instances I am not able to oblige due to the lack of images. Luckily, I was able to help John Finn in his request for historic images of Hilson’s Store and the Bovina Creamery. Much of the credit here comes from the Hilson Family, who have generously shared many of the pictures from their collections. Just this year, while cleaning out the old creamery, Chuck McIntosh came upon a box of negatives of photographs taken by the late Jim Hilson in the late 1930s/early 1940s.

I also received an inquiry about the Bovina and Middletown Telephone Company from Diane Galusha. Mary Pelletier, who was one of the school marms for the Bovina Historical Society’s School Day Camp, contacted me for information concerning some of the families that went to the Maynard School.

The ever-alert Steve Pelletier drew my attention to two postcard images of Bovina for sale on eBay. One was of the stone arch bridge that once crossed Brush’s Brook on what is now County Highway 6. The second image was one that I had seen before of the Bovina United Presbyterian Church, but it was a curiosity because it was mislabeled as the Bovina Methodist Church. I purchased both postcards.

Association of Public Historians of New York State  
I’m the Association’s Region 4 coordinator and also serve on the board as a trustee. In November, I was made the 2nd Vice President to fill a vacancy caused by the resignation of the APHNYS President. As a regional coordinator, I am responsible for organizing a regional meeting each year. We passed on a regional meeting this spring and instead participated in the Catskill History Conclave, which was held on April 30 near Phoenicia. I attended the APHNSY fall annual meeting, held in September in Syracuse. The meeting was held jointly with the Family History Conference.

Historical Markers 
I applied for funding last year for two historic markers from the William G. Pomeroy Foundation in Syracuse and was notified at the end of the year that we were successful. On June 4, both markers were dedicated. One marker was unveiled at the Maynard School on Bovina Road with four former students of the school helping with the unveiling. That afternoon, the other marker was installed at St. James Church at Lake Delaware.

This fall I applied for a marker to be installed at the Bovina Public Library next summer as part of the library’s celebration of the centennial of its regents charter. I received notice in December that the library will receive the funds for the marker. Tentative plans are for the installation to take place next summer.

Historical Records 
The family of Hugh Lee found a number of historical items likely collected by Hugh when he was town historian. These included the Civil War diaries of Bovina resident William Richardson (the grandfather of Isabell Russell). These diaries have been scanned and given to the Delaware County Historical Association. I have started transcribing these and plan to post them in a blog probably sometime in 2017.

The family also discovered in an outbuilding 43 various ledge books from Thomas E. Hastings. Hastings started his store in the 1850s in partnership with W.D. Telford. His partnerships changed over time but by 1871 he was a solo businessman. He likely built what is now Russell’s Store. The ledgers go into the 20th century. They will be donated to the Delaware County Historical Association after I finish my review of them.

The family of the late Celia Coulter turned over to me several family diaries, including those of her mother and grandfather. It was in Andrew Strangeway’s diary that we learn the exact date construction started on Hilson’s Store (August 15, 1867). These diaries also have been donated to the Delaware County Historical Association.

Plans for 2017 
In April, I will be hosting/presenting another Bovina history program. This one will be entitled Bovina Celebrates. It will be a slide show of pictures from past Bovina celebrations, including Old Home Days, the town’s Sesquicentennial and 175th birthdays and the nation’s Bicentennial in 1976. The program also will serve as a launch for celebrating Bovina’s Bicentennial, which is coming in 2020. Audience members will be provided with note cards and pencils to provide a suggestion as to how we can celebrate this milestone event.  I also will be attempting another cemetery tour in the fall.

Another family history trip to Scotland, similar to the one I ran in November 2014, is being considered for October 2018. We will need 15 people for the trip to go. This trip is being offered through the Delaware County Historical Association.

And I close with a plea to whoever may see this to keep digging in your attics and closets for pictures of Bovina, including any Bovina celebrations, but also of pictures of everyday life.

Respectfully submitted,

C. Raymond LaFever Town Historian, Town of Bovina January 14, 2017

Bovina NY History Blog entries for 2016

1/12/2016  Remembering Those Who Left Us in 2015
1/15/2016  January 1916 - 100 Years Ago in "That Thriving Town"
1/21/2016  "An Insane Female of interesting appearance" 1829-01-07 Del Gazette
1/31/2016  This Day in Bovina for January 2016
2/7/2016    Threshing Machines notice, Feb 1825 - 1825-02-09 Del Gazette
2/15/2016  February 1916 - 100 Years Ago in "That Thriving Town"
2/22/2016  The 1884 Diary of David Fletcher Hoy of Bovina, New York
2/29/2016  This Day in Bovina for February 2016
3/7/2016    A Curious Find at the Old Bovina Creamery
3/15/2016  March 1916 - 100 Years Ago in "That Thriving Town"
3/23/2016  The 1884 Diary of David Fletcher Hoy - January/February
3/31/2016  This Day in Bovina for March 2016
4/8/2016    Historian Annual Report for 2015
4/15/2016  April 1916 - 100 Years Ago in "That Thriving Town"
4/20/2016  Bovina Butter - follow-up to April 16, 2016 History Program
4/23/2016  The 1884 Diary of David Fletcher Hoy - March/April
4/30/2016  This Day in Bovina for April 2016
5/6/2016    Coulter and Gladstone - Builders
5/15/2016  May 1916 - 100 Years Ago in "That Thriving Town"
5/23/2016  The 1884 Diary of David Fletcher Hoy - May/June
5/31/2016  This Day in Bovina for May 2016
6/4/2016    Scholars in a Century Old Schoolhouse - the Maynard School in the 1950s
6/5/2016    Photos from Yesterday's Historic Markers Dedications
6/15/2016  June 1916 - 100 Years Ago in "That Thriving Town"
6/22/2016  Newly Discovered Postcard of Bovina
6/30/2016  This Day in Bovina for June 2016
7/7/2016    "The farmers in Bovina are worse off...." - Bovina Farmers in the summer of 1896 7/15/2016  July 1916 - 100 Years Ago in "That Thriving Town"
7/24/2016  Bovina Celebrates the Bicentennial of the United States
7/31/2016  This Day in Bovina for July 2016
8/7/2016    The 1884 Diary of David Fletcher Hoy - July and August 1884
8/15/2016  August 1916 - 100 Years Ago in "That Thriving Town"
8/22/2016  Sixty Years Ago - Bovina Celebrates Old Home Day
8/31/2016  This Day in Bovina for August 2016
9/7/2016    Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - Little Arthur Taggart
9/15/2016  September 1916 - 100 Years Ago in "That Thriving Town"
9/20/2016  Wedding from 100 Years Ago - Cecil and Isabell Russell
9/30/2016  This Day in Bovina for September 2016
10/10/2016 The Second Raising of Hilson's Store
10/15/2016 October 1916 - 100 Years Ago in "That Thriving Town"
10/21/2016 The 1884 Diary of David Fletcher Hoy - September 1884 and conclusion
10/31/2016 This Day in Bovina for October 2016
11/7/2016   Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - "Who Died on His Passage to California"
11/15/2016 November 1916 - 100 Years Ago in "That Thriving Town"
11/23/2016 “Found Dead in His Study With Heart Riddled With Shot” – The Death of Rev. Milligan 11/30/2016 This Day in Bovina for November 2016
12/7/2016   Duke of Bovina and Butter for Camelot
12/15/2016 December 1916 - 100 Years Ago in "That Thriving Town"
12/24/2016 Christmas in Bovina
12/31/2016 This Day in Bovina for December 2016

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

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


The Andes Recorder's Bovina column in February 1917 reported the death of one of its prominent citizens, J.W. Coulter, at his home in Bovina and the passing of Mrs. F.W. Hyatt after an operation in New York City. 

February 2, 1917
·         Mrs. F.W. Hyatt underwent an operation in New York this week.
·         Mrs. Robert G. Thomson, who recently underwent an operation at Oneonta, underwent a second operation in a private hospital in New York city on Monday afternoon.
·         Jardine Dickson died recently at his home in Albany aged 80 years. He was born on Dickson mountain and is the last of the family of Gilbert Dickson. He has numerous relatives here.
·         The William L. Ruff farm in upper Bovina has been sold to Stephen Shablaski of Virginia, for $5,700 and the personal property thereon for $1,500.  The place was formerly the William Rutherford farm.

Death Claims Bovina’s Benefactor
J.W. Coulter Passed away Saturday Night, at Four Score Years
            James William Coulter, who suffered a shock on January 3, died at his home in Bovina Center, January 27, aged 80 years.  The funeral was held Wednesday from the U.P. Church and interment made in the Center cemetery.
            Mr. Coulter was born January 19, 1837, in the town of Bovina on the farm now occupied by Edward L. Coulter and has always been a resident of the town. In early life he constructed many of the bridges of which Robert Murray was the contractor.  In 1866 he married Elizabeth Doig, who died six years ago.
            In the early seventies he became manager of the country estate of Robert Livingston at Lake Delaware and continued under the Gerry’s, holding the position for 29 years. Sixteen years ago he retired and purchased the D.L. Thomson property in Bovina Center, where he had since resided.
            He was public spirited and since his retirement had done more than any other to promote the interests of the community.  For many years he had been president of town fire insurance company and was instrumental in starting the movement which resulted in beautifying the cemetery.  Last fall he had planned to have a vault built for the cemetery but was disappointed in getting the masons. He was one of the promoters of the water works and when the fire district was organized was active in organizing the fire department and the erection of the fire house, giving the site and a substantial sum for its erection.  The building adjoining the fire house will be given for a public library. He will be missed.

February 9, 1917
·         Mrs. Robert G. Thomson, who underwent an operation in New York on January 29, I snow improving.
·         The Schools of Bovina will be closed Thursday and Friday to allow the teachers to attend a teachers conference at Stamford.
·         Mrs. William R. Miller, who suffered a shock January 19, and since been very ill, can sit up a little, but has no use of her left side.

Auction in Bovina
            The undersigned administrator of the estate of W.R. Miller will sell at auction at his late residence in Bovina Center on Wednesday, Feb 20, at 1 p.m., 7 cows, horse, lumber wagon, buckboard, buggy, sulky plow, hand plow, harrow, hay rigging, cultivator, single harness, heavy 1 horse harness, 1 horse sled, saw horses, cross cut saw, hand saw, laud roller, buggy pole, 2 stone jars, wheel barrow, grindstone, horse rake, scythe and swath, roll barb wire, stone boat, forks and shovels, blankets, robes, and other articles too numerous to mention.
            Terms: Under $10 cash; over $10 30 or 60 days on approved notes payable at Delaware National bank.
            F.T. Miller, adm’r

February 16, 1917
·         The Vail company will give a show here for three nights, beginning on Thursday.
·         A Farmers club was formed Tuesday in the Fireman’s Hall and temporary officers.
·         Stephen Shablaski has moved onto the Wm L. Ruff farm in upper Bovina which he recently purchased.
·         Alex Hilson has sold his farm in upper Bovina, which has been occupied by James A. Liddle for a number of years, to Everett DeSilva, of Arena, who takes possession next week. Mr. Liddle will move into one of the Johnson houses at the Butt End.
·         Mrs. F.W. Hyatt died in a New York hospital February 8, following an operation, aged about 43 years. She is survived by her husband and three daughters and two sons.  The family came to Bovina from Yonkers some 6 or 7 years ago and purchased the D.J. Miller farm. Burial was at Yonkers.

February 23, 1917
·         Fred Bramley has purchased an auto truck.
·         The Vail company had large crowds every night.
·         Miss Louise Muller continues in very poor health.
·         Mrs. G.D. Miller has been on the sick list but is now better.
·         Miss Hazel Hoy is home from Elmira college on account of her health.
·         Adam Laidlaw has been confined to the house.  Walter Wilson is doing the farm work.
·         John A. Irvine, who had pneumonia several weeks ago, is now able to be about the house.
·         Rev. J.A. Mahaffey has been attending the dog show at Madison Square Garden in New York.
·         Mrs. R.G. Thomson, who was operated upon January 29, expects to leave the hospital this week.
·         It is expected that James A. Liddle will be the next mail carrier between Bovina and Bloomville.
·         ·         Frank Coulter, who has varicose veins, has been ordered [by] the physicians to remain in bed for two weeks.  His case will probably require an operation.

Bovina Farm Goes Cheap

            Monday at the partition sale of the Thomas R. Hoy farm located in Bovina, held at front door of the court house in Delhi, the farm was purchased by William Robson, of Andes, for the remarkable low figure of $1,200.  The farm has not had a dairy on it in ten years. The place contains 280 acres.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Bovina Band – Learn the Boys How to Blow


Karen Cuccinello from the Stamford History room found a copy of this wonderful photo of the Bovina Cornet Band (c. 1890) that I originally shared on this blog in November 2010. When I wrote that entry, I did not know the names of the band members.  Unlike the copy held by the Bovina Historical Society, this one shared by Karen had the names on the back! They are, left to right: James Foreman, John Laing, James Dickson, Millard Thomson, Al McPherson, George McNair, Will Miller, Robert Fiero, Adam Laidlaw, Robert Foreman, John Gordon, Fred Bramley, William Archibald, Will Black, Arthur Hoy, Dr. Secord (vet), Alex Myers.


The photo held by the Bovina Historical Society was donated by Margaret Hoy. Her father was Adam Laidlaw, one of the band members. The copy shared by Karen was owned by Emily Archibald. Her father too was a band member, William Archibald.

The May 17, 1890 Delaware Republican reported the band’s formation under the headline “B.B.B. – Bovina Brass Band” and noted that “when fully organized [the band] will contain about twenty pieces.” The report went on to say that “a teacher has been engaged to learn the boys how to blow.” The band received its instruction from Mr. M.V. Teller, of Stamford. On August 16, the Delaware Republican reported who was in the band, now called the Bovina Coronet Band: 


You’ll notice that there are some names not in the photo, as well as two names in the photo that are not in this article.

The August 20, 1890 Delaware Gazette reported that the band “serenaded some of the prominent citizens of the town, and among them Mr. and Mrs. A.F. Maynard.” The Maynards invited the band into their home and served refreshments and presented them a $20 donation.

The band took some time to get underway. In the October 18 Delaware Republican, it was reported that “the band have postponed their concert till about Christmas.” The paper went on to note that “our neighboring towns are commencing to realize the fact that we have a band and you can spell it with a big B every time.”

In December, the band did indeed give a concert on Christmas Eve at Strangeway’s Hall. The Delaware Republican on December 6 promoted this concert, noting that “this entertainment will give an evening or two of pleasure to those who may attend it, as an entertainment of this kind ... will be well worth hearing.”

During the 1890s, the band entertained in Bovina and in the surrounding area. They went to Hancock on August 1891 for the Grand Army of the Republic Reunion. In August 1894, the band played for a picnic in New Kingston and in Shavertown at the fair there in 1896. They performed at a benefit in Bloomville in September 1896 as a benefit for a band being formed there. Sixteen members of the Bovina band marched in the 1897 Delaware County Centennial Parade in Delhi.

Of course, they also played in Bovina. Reported in the Andes Recorder in 1895, the band performed for Bovina’s Decoration Day “under the direction of Professor Harkness and assisted by a snare drummer from Margaretville.” In 1896, the Recorder reported that in September “the Bovina Band has purchased a gasoline lamp, and tested it at a recent practice meeting.  It gives a fine light.”

The band didn’t always perform for just public events. In December 1898, the band serenaded Milton Hoy when he returned home from his service in the Spanish-American War.

Sadly, M.V. Teller, who gave the band instruction when it was founded, was sent to the Binghamton asylum in 1899.

It is not clear when the band disbanded, but references to its activities disappear from the local press by the early 1900s.

Here’s a bit more information on the people in this photo (in order from left to right):

James Foreman was born in Bovina in 1871, the son of Archibald Foreman and Davina Laidlaw. Married to Jennett Archibald in 1900, he died in 1949. A fellow band member was his first cousin Adam Laidlaw.

John Laing was a grandson of the Andes pastor Rev. James Laing. Born in Andes in 1867, he married Mary Alice Elliott in 1892. She died the following year giving birth to a son. He remarried and eventually settled in the Binghamton area, dying in 1940. His sister Isabella was married to fellow band member Alex Myers.

James Dickson was born in 1866, the son of Michael Dickson and nephew of Gilbert Dickson, who built the structure that is now the Brushland Eating House. He married Lavonia Dumond in Albany in 1921. He lived in Oneonta for a number of years working as a druggist. He died in the late 1930s or early 1940s.

Millard Thomson was born in 1870, the son of Andrew Thomson and Margaret Scott. Married to Agnes Bright, he was the father of J. Marshall Thomson, who later married Helen Blair. Millard died in 1913.

Al McPherson probably is Albert McPherson, the son of Alexander McPherson. Born in 1840, he married Drusilla Ellsworth in 1872. He is the grandfather of former Bovina supervisor Frank McPherson. Albert died in 1917.

George McNair was born in Shavertown in 1872. He married Mame Liddle in 1900. George was a funeral director for 36 years in Andes. He was the Andes Town Clerk for 10 years and later served as the Andes Town Supervisor from 1933-1945. He was the last surviving member of the Bovina band, dying in 1955.

William T. Miller was the son of Michael Miller and Sally McCune. Born in 1869, he married Mary J. Boggs in 1897. Widowed in 1926, he passed away in 1940 in Bovina. Fred Bramley, a fellow band member, was his first cousin.

Robert Fiero came from the Margaretville area, born in 1861. He married Christiana Forrest in 1880 and lived in Bovina, working for Hilson Brothers and later at the Dry Milk plant at the Bovina creamery. He moved to Bainbridge in the 1920s and died there in 1935.

Adam Laidlaw was born in Delhi in 1871, the son of George Laidlaw and Jane Hume. He married Emma Campbell in 1902 and was the father of two daughters, including Margaret, who married James Hoy and was the Bovina Town Clerk for many years. Adam died in 1935. Fellow band member James Foreman was Adam’s first cousin.

Robert Foreman was born in 1869, son of Archibald and Davina Foreman and older brother of fellow band member James Foreman. Robert was married to Dora Alice Boggs in 1900. Robert died in 1944.

John L. Gordon was the son of Thomas Gordon and his first wife, Mary Jane Oliver. Born in 1871, he married Elizabeth Roger. He became a New York City policeman and committed suicide in 1908 (see May 23, 2014 blog entry for more about John - http://bovinanyhistory.blogspot.com/2014/05/stories-from-bovina-cemeteries.html).

Frederick H. Bramley was born in Bovina in 1868, the son of John W. Bramley and Margaret McCune. He was married three times, surviving all three wives and dying in 1944. He was first cousin to fellow band member William T. Miller.

William Archibald was born in 1870, the son of George Archibald and Jane Anderson. He married Sarah Hobbie in 1897. They would have three daughters. William died in Bovina in 1941.

Will Black probably is William T. Black. Born in Wisconsin in 1861, he grew up in Bovina and was Bovina Town Supervisor for four terms before moving to Delhi when he became the County Clerk. His wife was Bell Black, who was Isabell Russell’s aunt. Will and Belle both died in 1938.

Arthur D. Hoy was the son of Thomas Hoy and Julia Ann Tuttle. Born in Bovina in 1872, he married Janet Currie and would have two sons. Arthur died in 1924 in Bovina.

Dr. Andrew Secord was born in Bovina in 1872, the son of Edward Seacord and Mary Peake. He married Elizabeth Loughran in 1894. He became a veterinarian in 1895, starting up his business in Bovina. When he died in 1913, he was living in Atlanta, where he had moved to around 1902.

Alexander R. Myers was born in 1856 in Delhi. He married Isabella Laing in 1879 and died in 1947. He was brother-in-law to fellow band member John Laing.


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

This Day in Bovina for January 2017

Here are the Facebook entries for This Day in Bovina for January.

176 years ago today, on January 1, 1841, the Trustees of Bovina school district number 3 (the Mountain Brook area) provided this document showing the books in the school's library. Books included Scott's History of Scotland, Lives of Early Navigators, American Husbandry, and Russells History of Palestine." The document was submitted by trustees James M. Hastings and John Miller.


128 years ago today, on January 2, 1889, Maggie J. Hoy was married to Douglas Davidson. Here is the invitation to their wedding received by Mr. and Mrs. Alex Hilson. [Bovina records\Hilson Family] This was the second time a daughter of J.R. Hoy married Douglass. His first wife was Maggie's sister Mary, who died in childbirth in 1883.


Thirty-seven years ago today, on January 3, 1980, Bovina Supervisor Charlie LaFever signed this oath of office for his second term as Bovina Town Supervisor.

Seventy-seven years ago today, the January 4, 1940 Delaware Republican reported in its Bovina Centre column that "The schools opened for the new year and both teachers and pupils are at work again."

131 years ago today, the Bovina column in the January 5, 1886 Stamford Mirror reported that "David F. Hoy has gone to Harpersfield to teach school in the Middlebrook district." The same column also reported that "Parties are of almost nightly occurrence at present.

Sixty-seven years ago today, the January 6, 1950 Catskill Mountain News reported in its Bovina column that "Charles McIntosh lost a valuable heifer the latter part of December with what has been proved by the state as rabies."

102 years ago today, on January 7, 1915, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton Russell celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of their marriage at their home in upper Bovina … by a gathering of their neighbors and friends." Mr. and Mrs. Russell were the parents of several sons, including Cecil Russell.

195 years ago today, on January 8, 1822, Walter Crozier posted the following notice for publication in the Delaware Gazette: "Whereas, a report is in circulation in this part of the county, stating that sometime in January last, Adam Kedzie, jun. late of Bovina, deceased, revealed to me in an audible voice, that he, the said Adam Kedzie, had paid his brother William Kedzie Five Hundred Dollars for which he had taken on receipt, and which had never been accounted for; and had enjoined it on me to make it known to the world. I do hereby declare to the world, that the report as above stated, is false." It appears the Adam Kedzie involved died in 1820.

134 years ago today, the January 9, 1883 issue of the Stamford Mirror reported that "In Bovina, not a drop of liquor has been sold for years. She has only one pauper in the poor house, and for many years had none."

121 years ago today, the January 10, 1896 Andes Recorder in its Bovina Column had the following commentary:  "Your correspondent thinks if parents would keep their children in off the street and out of the stores a little more there would be less fault to find about children being mean and saucy.  They are allowed to go where they please from morning until late at night and no one knows what mischief they are into."

Seventy-seven years ago today, the January 11, 1940 Delaware Republican in the Bovina Centre column that "W.A. Hoy has not been enjoying the best of health for a while back and has gone to Goshen to take treatments." Hoy was born in Bovina in 1866. Whatever the treatments were did not work for he died January 19.

Ninety years ago today, on January 12, 1927, Chauncey McFarland, while driving a load of coal and feed home from Delhi veered off the highway and demolished the steps to the home of Officer S.P. Swanson. McFarland was pulled over and "after unseating the driver….it was deemed wise, in the interest of 'safety first,' to transfer him to the care of Sheriff A. L. Austin." He was fined and threatened with a prison sentence if he was intoxicated again in the next year. Here's the full article from the January 15, 1927 Delaware Republican.

137 years ago today, the January 13, 1880 Stamford Mirror reported in its Bovina column that "We have been informed that Mr. Black, our Supervisor, kept 2 1/2 percent of the school funds for his trouble paying over the same. Black is more for self than for the schools."

127 years ago today, the Bovina column of the January 14, 1890 Stamford Mirror reported that "Polly Wooden fell out of bed one morning recently and received quite serious injuries." The same column also reported that “E.C. Dean has the grippe." The further status of Polly is unknown but Dean survived the grippe and lived until 1926.

126 years ago today, the Bovina column in the Stamford Mirror dated January 15, 1891, reported that Frank Gowanlock has returned from Virginia, where he has been doing mason work for several months past."

Fifty-one years ago today, the January 16, 1966 Delaware Republican Express reported the following: "Mrs. Howard LaFever, chairman of the March of Dimes drive in the Bovina -Lake Delaware area, announces the following list of canvassers, who will be calling at your home sometime during the month of January: Eleanor Damgaard, Mary Bathen, Harold Lounsbury, Henry Menke, Irene Beers, Carl Schneider, Thelma Hadley, Helen Burns, Robert Barnhart, Thelma Barlow, Laura Fisk, Cecilia Morrison, Lois Davidson, Milton Graham, Louise Chase, Leona LaFever, Lillian Hilson, George Archibald, Margaret Hoy, Joan LaFever, Joyce Eaton and Gladys Lay.

195 years ago today, on January 17, 1822, "a true canvass and estimate of the votes" cast on January 3, 1822 for the "amended constitution of this state" was issued. The vote was 33 for and 37 against.  The amended constitution was accepted statewide.

Sixty-six years ago today, the January 18, 1951 Delaware Republican Express reported in its Bovina column that "Jackie Burns has been in the Margaretville Hospital for a few days with an infection of the nose and throat." The same column also reported that "Jack Damgaard is driving a new Dodge truck."

Eighty-eight years ago today, on January 19, 1929, the Bovina column of the Walton Reporter noted that "Among the new cases of measles are Mrs. Floyd Lewis, Bill Gergman, Louise Hilson, Robert Burns, son of W.C. Burns, and Mary Burns, daughter of John Burns."

Sixty-seven years ago today, the Bovina column in the January 20, 1950 Catskill Mountain News reported that "Will Storie has a new Plymouth and Will Burns has a new Jeep. It is our advice to these fellows to stay on their own side of the street."

107 years ago today, on January 21, 1910, Thomas Johnson resigned as Justice of the Peace and filed his resignation with Town Clerk Thomas Gordon.


119 years ago today, on January 22, 1898, the voters of the Prohibition party met at the home of Thomas Miller and nominated this slate of candidates for town office.

187 years ago today, on January 23, 1830, George Nesbitt was paid $12.25 for services as town clerk performed in 1829.

135 years ago today, two Bovina related items appeared in the January 24, 1882 Stamford Mirror. The first item reported that "The Mortgage sale advertised to take place at James H. Dean's, to day, was a failure, owing to a satisfaction of the Mortgage." The second item reported that "Prof. Spencer intends to meet with the young people of Bovina on Tuesday evening, Jan. 24th, at Brushland and make an effort to organize a Musical Convention."

169 years ago today, on January 25, 1848, the Commissioners of Excise for the town of Bovina issued this license to "Alexander Kinmouth to retail Strong and Spirituous Liquors…" His tavern was located at the former Clark Lay residence in Bovina Center.

116 years ago today, on January 26, 1901, the Bovina Board of Health adopted a resolution quarantining the entire "herd of cows on the farm of T. Ormiston…" because of the prevalence of tuberculosis.


106 years ago today, the Bovina column of the January 27, 1911 Andes Recorder reported that "James A. Gow has decided not to go to Andes as manager of the Andes Creamery Co. plant and will probably continue as manager of the co-op plant here."

Fifty-two years ago today, the Bovina column of the January 28, 1965 Delaware Republican Express reported that "Mrs. Jack Hilson's father, Malcolm Hotchkin, was taken to Cooperstown to the Bassett Hospital for further treatment last Monday. Mrs. Hilson was up to see him Friday and his condition was about the same." Malcolm passed away a little over a month later on March 13.

Ninety-four years ago today, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "The Bovina Center Co-operative Creamery company finished filling their ice house [on January 29, 1923].

123 years ago today, the January 30, 1894 Stamford Mirror reported the following story: "Mr. Schermerhorn, of Hudson, N.Y., is trying to start a writing class here. He had a large piece of canvas for an advertisement, that cost him $15, cut up by some 'galoots' on Saturday, and completely destroyed. He knows one of the party, and we have heard several express the desire that he would punish them to the full extent of the law - $25 fine and damages."

129 years ago today, on January 31, 1888, John Hilson issued this bill to the Bovina Overseer of the Poor for $3.61 for items for a needy person in the town.


Sunday, January 22, 2017

His Insulting and Abusive Letter is Received

The owner/editor of the Delaware Gazette (Delhi, NY) in its January 11, 1821 issue wrote the following letter:

We inform James Miller of Bovina, that his insulting and abusive letter is received. In noticing Miller, thus publicly, our readers, no doubt, will be inquisitive to know the cause; we therefore, without hesitation, state the reason, as we believe, of his hostility to the Delaware Gazette. Some time since, we received a communication, no doubt intended to be poetical, which we did not think proper to publish - The communication was called for and delivered to a person living in Bovina, (whether this person or James Miller was the author we are unable to say,) who very politely notified us that we might expect hostility from that quarter, in the withdrawal of their names from our subscription list. Who this James Miller is we do not know nor very much care:- but brim full of "wrath and cabbage," he has, with great labor, in an epistle of some considerable length most outrageously attacked my reputation in regard to the management of the paper. We have neither time nor disposition to notice James Miller farther:- he has perfect liberty to withdraw his name, for we neither think him capable of writing, spelling or judging of a sentence correctly.

The paper noted they did not know who this James Miller was and, to be frank, neither do I. I found three James Millers that probably were living in Bovina around this time. There was James, son of William Miller and Janet Kedsie. Born in 1781, he was married to Grace Archibald and died in 1840. The second and third possibilities were a father and son both named James. James, born in 1775, was married to Isabella Armstrong. He died in 1851. Their son James was born in 1802 and was married to Agnes Coulter. He died in 1878.

If this newspaper could not figure out who this James was, we likely may never figure out either.


Sunday, January 15, 2017

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


One of the recurring themes in January 1917 in Bovina was the health of J.W. Coulter. 

January 5, 1917
·         The Bovina Center Creamery ice house is being filled.
·         Benj A. Mead received the first hunting license of the year.
·         J.W. Coulter, who has been confined to his home, is now out again.
·         David Draffen is hauling lumber for his farm residence, which he will remodel the coming summer.
·         Mr. and Mrs. Sloan Archibald recently entertained at dinner, Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Davidson, Mr. and Mrs. W.J. Storie and Miss Jennie E. Miller.
·         Some of those home for the holidays were Clifton Scott from Yale, Mabel Thomson from teaching at Winsted, Connecticut, and Harry Crosier, Mary, Caroline and Marjorie Dickson.
·         Mr. and Mrs. John W. Storie entertained at dinner on December 26, Mr. and Mrs. J.H. Johnson and their son George Johnson, from Alberta, Canada; Miss Jean Hume, Mr. and Mrs. Adam Laidlow and family and William J. Storie and wife. After dinner a Christmas tree was provided for the children.

January 12, 1917
·         John Hilson has moved into his new house.
·         So far this year 25 hunting licenses have been issued this year.
·         Mrs. Robert G. Thomson underwent an operation at Oneonta last Friday and is recovering nicely.
·         All those who wish to join the singing school will meet with Rev. Graham at school house Friday evening.
·         A Farm Bureau meeting will be held at the town hall, Bovina Center, Thursday, January 18, to which all are invited.
·         Lucy Fisk, the eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Earl Fisk, of Lake Delaware, was taken to the Neal hospital at Delhi Monday night and operated upon for an attack of appendicitis.
·         Tuesday at the annual meeting of the Bovina Co-Operative Creamery company A.T. Archibald, J.H. Johnson, Alex Burns, Chauncey McFarland and T.A. Archibald were elected directors.  The officers elected are: Chauncey McFarland, president; Alex Burns, vice president; A.T. Archibald, secretary and treasurer; T.A. Archibald, business manager.

Bovina Citizen Stricken by Paralysis
            J.W. Coulter was stricken with two shocks last week at his home in Bovina Center and as a result his right side is paralyzed and he is unable to speak, but his condition seems lightly improved.  He is 80 years of age.  His nephew, James L. Coulter, of New Wilmington, Penn, arrived Tuesday to assist in caring for him.

January 19, 1917
·         J.W. Coulter, who suffered a shock two weeks ago, is improving.
·         A number of the friends of the Misses Muller made them a surprise visit Tuesday evening.
·         David F. Hoy, Registrar of Cornell University, and wife have been guests of his sister, Mrs. Douglas Davidson and other relatives.

January 26, 1917
·         J.W. Coulter is not feeling so well this week.
·         Rev. Thoms Graham has been ill with the gripe.
·         The addition to the creamery ice house is being filled.
·         John A. Irvine is ill with pneumonia at this home on Coulter Brook.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Those that left us in 2016.

Bovina saw a number of current and former citizens of our town pass away in 2016, including a mother- and daughter-in law and a former school teacher who was 102.

Dot Wright was 90 at her passing in January in North Bend, Oregon. Born Dorothy Cant in England in 1925, she served in the Women’s Land Army in England during World War II. While in service, she met Claude Wright. They were married in 1947 and operated a dairy farm in Bovina for 25 years. While living in Bovina, Dot was an election inspector. She continued serving as an inspector in Jefferson, NY when Dot and Claude moved there after retiring from farming. Claude died in 1998. Dot moved to Stamford and traveled and visited her grandchildren. She celebrated her 82nd birthday with an Alaskan cruise and was sometimes seen later on on the back of a Harley.

Edward Schneider was born in Bovina in 1914. He graduated from the Oneonta Normal School and was a teacher for a number of years in one-room schoolhouses. He was the last teacher in the Maynard School in Bovina. Ed later studied library science and worked for the Huntington Memorial Library in Oneonta, where he met his wife Mellicent. Ed was 102 when he died in August.

Ed Schneider's High School graduation photo, 1932
Mary Behrer died unexpectedly in August when she was 68. Mary worked for a number of years at the Bovina Community Post Office. Mary was survived by her husband John and five children and nine grandchildren. Mary was noted as “the neighborhood mom,” taking in people who needed help.

Gladys Evers Wickswat passed away in early October at the age of 92. She came to Bovina in the 1970s, living on Coulter Brook Road and raising her two children. She worked for many years for LaFever Excavating. Gladys was active in the Bovina Historical Society and St. James Church. She was noted for her culinary skills and her advocacy for animals.

October also saw the passing of Stanley Rome at the age of 88. His obituary noted that “his life was simple and he always made the best of his time.” He loved tinkering, four-wheeling and snowmobiling and spending time with family and friends over good food and drink.

June Reinertsen Burns lived most of her life in Bovina and was the granddaughter of Norewegian immigrants Andrew and Sophia Reinertsen. After graduating from Delaware Academy, June received her associates’ degree in dental health. June married fellow Bovina native Jack Burns in 1961. They were farmers most of their lives, but also spent time traveling and skiing and enjoying their extended family and friends. June also was active in her community. She was the first woman elected as a member of the Bovina Town Board.  June battled her illness, amyloidosis, with great courage. When she realized she was losing the battle, she planned her funeral and insisted that a party be held at the Bovina Community Hall after the service.

June Reinertsen Burns - High School portrait, October 1958, photo by Bob Wyer, courtesy DCHA
Ten days after June’s death, her mother-in-law, Agnes V. Burns died at the age of 98. Agnes grew up on the family farm on Crescent Valley Road, attending the Maynard one-room school. She married Bob Burns in 1934 and would have three children while they raised pure-bred Holstein dairy cattle. After she was widowed, she became a Licensed Practical Nurse. Agnes pursued drawing and painting, as well as sewing and knitting. Agnes lived most of her life in Bovina, but spent a year in Albany for her nursing training and lived in Tehran for nine months with her daughter and family.

Agnes Burns, 1942, photo by Bob Wyer, courtesy DCHA
Former Bovina farmer John Renner died in November at the age of 99. John grew up in New Jersey but was a farmer on Coulter Brook Road for 20 years. His wife Marie died in 1995. He was survived by five children, thirteen grandchildren and twenty-two great grandchildren.
John Renner
Another former Bovina resident died in November, Mathilde “Tillie” Rabeler at the age of 96. Mathilde Menke was born in Germany in 1920. The family moved to Brazil in 1924 and came to the United States in 1930. She spent the rest of her childhood in Bovina and married Paul Rabeler, where she and Paul ran the family dairy farm on Bovina Road. Tillie was widowed in 2000.
Tillie Menke Rabeler, photo provided by her son Steve.
November also saw the sudden death of Kokie L. Hunter-Zilla at the age of 44. Kokie was the daughter of Gerald Richard Irving Hunter and Judy Ann Renner. Her obituary noted that she “loved to laugh but mostly loved to make other people laugh…” and was noted for “pulling pranks on her loved ones….”

Margarita Del Lourdes Fornes Lapinel, who was a long-time resident of Manhattan and Bovina, also passed away in November. She was born in Cuba and came to New York City at the age of 16. She married Paul Lapinel in 1951. They would raise seven children. Margarita also pursued a graduate education in Anthropology. She instilled this appreciation of a value of good education in her children. She was survived by her seven children, 22 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren, as well as her sister Carmen Fornes Nute.

Margarita with her husband Paul. Photo courtesy of Dean Lapinel
Bovina native and long-time Bovina resident Mary Shoemaker died on Christmas Day at the age of 68. She was the daughter of John and Erika Weber and grew up on the Weber farm on Crescent Valley Road. She married Neil Shoemaker in 1969. She worked for the FBI as a fingerprint clerk in Washington DC in the late 1960s. She later was a home health aide. Mary was survived by her husband, four daughters, two grandchildren and two brothers. 
Children at the Maynard school in the 1950s, including Mary Weber Shoemaker (third from the right).