Tuesday, July 16, 2019

California Bound

151 years ago, the Delaware Gazette for  April 22, 1868 reported the following:

California Bound. —While taking a comfortable breakfast at Brinley & Steele’s Hotel, New York Tuesday of last week, in came a number of familiar faces which we recognized as Robert Smith, Jr., Daniel Smith, James Armstrong, and John Hart and family, including his mother-in-law, of Delhi, James Miller, of Bovina, and James Davidson of Andes, with their families, also John B. Scott, of Bovina, the whole party numbering twenty-five men, women and children. The two Messrs. Smiths were married on the Saturday previous, and Mr. Davidson on Monday after they had started on the journey. They were all looking hearty and full of hope for the future. May they not be disappointed. They sailed on Wednesday, the 15th, for San Francisco. They are as worthy and good citizens as ever emigrated to any country, and we are sorry to lose them.

The competing newspaper, the Delaware Republican, had reported the three aforementioned marriages:
April 11th at the Presbyterian parsonage by Rev. J.H. Robinson, Mr. Daniel Smith to Miss Nellie W. Gordon, both of Delhi.
At the same time and place, by the same, Mr. Robert Smith, of Delhi to Miss Elizabeth C. Miller of Bovina.
April 13th, at the same place by the same, Mr. Jas Davidson to Miss Bell Hutson, both of Andes.

Several of these people were related to each other. The Elizabeth Miller who married Robert Smith was a first cousin to James Miller. And Robert and Daniel Smith were brothers, the sons of Robert S. Smith and Christiana McFarland. They were later followed to California by their brother Alexander. And their sister Janet was married to James Miller.

So how did these folks do in California?

Elizabeth and Robert Smith settled in Salinas, California, where all four of their children were born. Robert Smith was a Fruit Stock Grain Farmer according to the 1900 census. By then, they were living in Fresno, where Robert died in 1903. Elizabeth died there in 1906. Both are buried in California. Elizabeth’s cousin James and his wife, Janet or Jeanette Smith, who he married in 1866, also settled in California in Santa Clara. They later lived in Fresno. James was a “stock raiser.” James and Janet had five children, three of whom survived. The couple both died in 1920 and are buried in the same cemetery as James’ cousin Elizabeth.  

James Davidson, who married Isabella Hutson, does not appear to have been related to Fletcher Davidson. I have not had any luck tracking this couple down. James Armstrong and John B. Scott have been equally elusive.

John Hart likely is the John Hart who was born in 1827 and was living in Delhi in 1860 with his wife, the former Janette Burnet. By 1865, the family had grown with four children. They had one more child before heading west. They had more children in California. John and Janette had a total of ten children, five of whom died before their mother did (some may have died before the family went west). John died in San Joaquin County, California in 1892 and is buried there. Janette still was living in 1900 in California. 

The newspapers weren't the only reports of these folks moving west. Walter Coulter in his diary particularly noted on Elizabeth Miller's getting married and heading to California.

Courtesy of the Delaware County Historical Association

Monday, July 8, 2019

July 1919 - 100 Years Ago "in That Thriving Town

July 4, 1919
·         Haying is in full blast.  Some day hands are receiving $5 per day.
·         The assessors found 150 dogs in Bovina this year.  Last year the number was 142.
·         Dr. N.B. Whitcomb has sold his house to Mrs. Hamilton Russell.  The price is said to be $3,000.
·         Miss Jane Hilson, who has been teaching at South Hampton, is attending summer school at Columbia University
·         William Archibald, at the arch bridge, is putting concrete driveway, cow beds and feeding floors in the stable of his barn.
·         Harold Robinson has leased rooms in George Gladstone’s (Kennedy) house and he and his bride will commence housekeeping therein.
·         The town assessors met Wednesday [July 2, 1919] to complete their roll.  They succeeded in adding considerable personal property to the roll – 51 being caught.  It is stated that the town of Hancock lets the personal slip and only has 3 assessed personal in the entire town.
·         The team of Mr. Ganger, on the Bouton farm up-town, ran away Tuesday afternoon [July 1, 1919] at Rema Hobbie’s.  Miss Ganger, who was driving, was thrown out and when found was lying by the roadside and unable to rise.  A physician was summoned and found that her injuries were not serious and she was around the next day. 

Bovina Lad Has Narrow Escape

Lloyd Oliver had a narrow escape Tuesday [July 1, 1919] 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. 

July 11, 1919
·         James A. Gow has purchase a new Buick six roadster.
·         Sugar is scarce.  Hilson Brothers expect to have two tons August 1st.
·         Fred Thomson was at Oneonta this week taking an examination for chauffer.
·         Mrs. Betts, who was formerly Hannah Cathels, of Bovina, and her dauter, from South Dakota, are visiting in the vicinity of her old home up Pink street.
·         Henry Archibald, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Craddock and son, motored here from New York City and spent the past week with relatives.  On their return they were accompanied by Mrs. W.J. Crosier of this place, and James F. Forman, of Delhi.
·         Fire Chief Alex Myers wishes to give warning to the parties who on the morning of July Fourth broke out the glass over bell rope at the fire house and rang the bell, that further tampering with the alarm will lead to unpleasant consequences.
·         Will Johnson, who lives up-town, left his auto standing into front of Hilson’s store Monday [July 7, 1919] night and it was run into by the car of an out of town party, who did not stop to see what damage had been done.  The Johnson car sustained a smashed fender and the steering gear was bent.  The stranger was minus a hub cap.

Lots of Noise in Bovina

Dynamite Used – One citizen Frightened by Sheep in Bedroom.

If noise was an indication of a celebration Bovina had it in the early hours of the fourth of July.  As usual the fun resulted in damage to property by the use of dynamite.  At Gideon Miller’s a tree was ruined and at his blacksmith shop glass broken out.  At Mrs. W.R. Miller’s the glass was blown from the front door and panes of glass and flat stones at George Gladstone’s and much other damage done about town.

The joke of the morning was the taking of Rank Miller’s sheep and putting it into Dixon Thomson’s bedroom window. Mrs. Thomson was awakened by the noise of the sheep moving about and told her husband that there was someone in the house.  Mr. Thomson had the scare of his life when he reached out his hand and put it on something soft by the side of the bed and supposed that it was a burglar in a fur coat.

July 18, 1919
·         Harry Martin of the Dry Milk force went to Trout Creek on business Tuesday.
·         J. Clifton Irvine, his brother Lloyd, and J. Millard Blair, started for Seattle, Washington, on Tuesday [July 15], expecting to remain.
·         Bovina real estate transfers recorded are James R. Honeywell and others to Alfred E. Luckhurst, $250; Ralph S. Ives and wife to Elizabeth Cumming, $1.

July 25, 1919
·         The sugar famine has struck Bovina.
·         Arthur Kellam now owns a Ford runabout.
·         Robert Fiero of the Dry Milk plant, is on the sick list.
·         Miss Jean Hume is now the proud owner of a Dodge car.
·         Miss Jennnie E. Miller is confined to her home with a severe cold.
·         Harry Martin and family intend to move into part of Miss Louisa Dennis house.
·         William A. Hoy is having his residence, the Pressley house, treated to a new dress of paint.
·         Thursday, August 28th, has been decided upon as the date for the community picnic which Bovina people hold annually.

Last of Her Generation

Mrs. William B. Thomson died at her home in upper Bovina early Wednesday morning, July 23, from disease of the kidneys, at the age of 77 years.  Her maiden name was Nettie McEachron and she was the last of the family of Deacon Alex McEachron.  She was born on the farm now owned by Fred Henderson and had always resided in the town.  Besides her husband she leaves two sons, Alex Thomson at home and Dr. Leonard Thomson at Torrington, Conn.  The funeral was held Thursday. 

Bovina Girl Wins Scholarship

The scholarship for Delaware county at Cornell, which entitles the holder to four years of free tuition in Cornell University, was won by Miss Marjorie Dickson, of Bovina Center, a daughter of the late Dr. G. J. Dickson.  Her record was 271 ½ point.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

This Day in Bovina for June 2019

162 years ago today, June 1, 1857, Walter Hamilton died in Bovina. Born in 1809, he was the son of Robert Hamilton and Jean Ray. He married Dorcas Pamelia Hilton, who bore him six children. She ran the tavern that was in what is now the Jardine house for a number of years.

120 years ago on June 2, 1899, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "B.S. Miller returned Friday from a trip to Washington, the Capital city, and New York city, and reports an enjoyable trip and much sightseeing. He spent Decoration Day on the battlefield at Gettysburg." Berry Shaw Miller was one of Bovina's Civil War Veterans.

Seventy-six years ago today, the June 3, 1943 Delaware Republican Express's Lake Delaware column had the following items: 

Forty-four years ago today, the June 4, 1975 Stamford Mirror Record had an article entitled "Rescue Squad to Hold Fund Campaign." The article went on to say "Everyone will be receiving an information letter concerning the Bovina Rescue Squad early next week. The week of June 6 through 14 there is to be a house to house canvas for funds. Be generous when your neighbor calls, your life may depend on it some day! Mrs. Byron Trimbell is chairman of the Fund Raising campaign."

123 years ago, the Andes Recorder reported in its Bovina column for June 5, 1896 that "Telephones will be put in by T.E. Hastings and A.T. Strangeway, in their residences." Hastings and Strangeway were both merchants in town at that time. In the same column and in another telephone related report, "Perhaps there is no other town in the county that has much more telephone line than has Bovina. Now the talk is of running a line up Coulter Brook to New Kingston, and another line up Pink street and connect with Almeda [South Kortright]."

Sixty-seven years ago today, the June 6, 1952 Catskill Mountain News, in its weekly Bovina column, reported that "Mr. and Mrs. John Bathen and children, Linda, John and Carl, of Woodmont, Conn., Mr. and Mrs. Paul Hummel and three children of North Haven, Conn., were weekend guests of Mr. and Mrs. Sig Bathen."

139 years ago today, on June 7, 1880, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Stamford Mirror, "Two of our 'worthies' had a tussle with hard cider last Monday and got rather the worst of it."

119 years ago, the June 8, 1900 Andes Recorder reported that "Several years ago a number of persons subscribed money and a telephone line was built from Bovina Centre to Margaretville via. The Butt End and New Kingston, but the line was never incorporated and was always out of repair and for some time has not been working at all. A new stock company we understand has been formed to reconstruct the line and expect to have it completed in about a month."

134 years ago, the Bovina column of the June 9, 1885 issue of the Stamford Mirror reported on a couple of Bovina residents traveling in the west. "T.R. McFarland is enjoying an extended trip through the far West," while "Miss Jennie Russell has gone to Dakota to spend the summer with her brother John K. Russell." McFarland likely was Thomas Russell McFarland (1845-1915). Jennie and John K. Russell likely are the children of Stephen and Jean (Bryce) Russell.

180 years ago today, on June 10, 1839, Allen Ballentyne "was found drowned in a well on a place adjoining the farm on which his family lived" in Bovina. As later reported in the June 19 Delaware (Delhi) Gazette, it was thought to be a suicide. The story about this tragic death and that of his father is in the Bovina NY History Blog at http://bovinanyhistory.blogspot.com/2015/08/stories-from-bovina-cemeteries.html

Ninety-nine years ago today, the June 11, 1920 Bovina column in the Andes Recorder reported that "A Buick touring car from South Kortright collided with the iron bridge at Lake Delaware and was saved from falling into the stream by one wheel being caught in the bridge."

147 years ago today, on June 12, 1872, Michael Miller and F.C. Armstrong, Assessors and Fence Viewers for the Town of Bovina settled James Ormiston's claim concerning a lamb that was killed by dogs. Fence viewers, who adjudicated disputes about boundaries and maintenance of stone walls, also had the job of determining how sheep or lambs were killed. They looked at the lamb in question and interviewed witnesses to determine that the killing was done "by dogs and in no other manner." The viewers certified "that the amount of damages sustained by the said James G. Ormiston in consequences of the killing of said lamb as afoursaid is $6.00." There was a town fund to reimburse farmers for such killings when it could not be determined whose dog did it. 

Seventy-nine years ago today, June 13, 1940, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Delaware Republican, "Mr. and Mrs. Ray Jardine attended the circus at Binghamton…"

136 years ago today, on June 14, 1883, the Armstrong family reunion was held at the house of F.C. Armstrong. The Stamford Mirror reported the reunion and had noted that "John Armstrong, wife, and daughter, of Salinas, Cal., are visiting friends in town.." and attended the reunion. John Graham Armstrong was the son of John C. Armstrong (1797-1864), an early settler of Bovina. John G. Armstrong died in Salinas in 1904. F.C. Armstrong was John's younger brother, Francis Coulter Armstrong. He died in Bovina in 1925.

Ninety-nine years ago today, on June 15, 1920, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Mrs. Christopher S. Gladstone and Mrs. Fred Thomson were operated upon Tuesday at the home of the last named for the removal of their tonsils. Dr. Goodrich and Ormiston were the surgeons." More on this story and something else they did on the same day is in the Bovina NY History blog at http://bovinanyhistory.blogspot.com/2015/11/stories-from-bovinas-cemeteries.html.

108 years ago today, the Bovina column of the June 16, 1911 Andes Recorder reported the destruction of a barn in Lake Delaware: "The old barn of Alonzo Tuttle at Lake Delaware was struck by lightning and burned during the storm of Monday night. The building was used mainly as a place in which to store farm machinery and a few stalls had been put in for extra horses. In addition to the building a ton or two of hay and machinery was destroyed. There was no insurance. The barn was built by Thomas Wight and had probably withstood the storms of nearly three-quarters of a century."

126 years ago today, on June 17, 1893, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "M. Robertson raised his new barn last Saturday." This likely is a gentleman named Marion Robertson. Born in 1857 in Hamden, he was in Bovina from the late 1870s to 1901, when he relocated to Meredith. The farm was actually his father-in-laws, David Oliver's, up on East Bramley Mountain Road. This later was the Banuat farm.

Two hundred and four years ago today, on June 18, 1815, Adam Scott died. A native of Scotland, he was married to Janet Ingles and had three children. He is buried in the Associate Presbyterian Church cemetery. Here is his stone: 

123 years ago today, the June 19, 1896 Andes Recorder had the following item in its Bovina column: "Bovina young men ought to petition farmers who have hired girls to keep good tempered dogs or shut them up at night. One night not long since a certain man heard a terrible holloing, and on investigation found a young man up a tree and a dog keeping close watch. On being asked what he wanted, replied in a trembling voice, that he wanted to see the hired girl, then under his breath 'I will kill that man eater as sure as my name is O.K.'"

Eighty-one years ago today, on June 20, 1938, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Margaret C. Coulter, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Walter G. Coulter, graduated Monday from Cornell University at Ithaca. Walter Coulter, and daughter Mrs. William Parsons, and Elizabeth Strangeway, the latter an aunt, attended the exercises." Margaret was better known as Celia. She passed on April 21, 2015 at the age of 99.

Forty-one years ago, the Bovina column in the June 21, 1978 Stamford Mirror-Recorder, written by Ann Cairns, reported the following item: "The Bovina transfer station is now in operation at the site of the land fill. Hours are Saturday from 9 to 4 and the station will also be open on Wednesdays from 1 to 4 during June, July, and August. Permits are required to enter the transfer station and can be obtained at the Town Clerk's office."

Ninety-seven years ago today, on June 22, 1922, "Lloyd Irvine and Millard Blair, who have been visiting their parents here, left….for their return to Seattle, Washington." Lloyd was the brother of Isabell Russell; Millard the brother of Helen Thompson.

125 years ago today, on June 23, 1894, Dick Johnson was badly injured in an accident at a saw mill, likely the Johnson family mill. As later reported in the Andes Recorder, "he was running the saw in the mill and a stick flew from the saw and struck him on the side of the head, cutting his face and mouth quite badly. He was unconscious for some time, but it is thought he will recover." How this Johnson was related to the Johnson family is not clear.

Fifty-four years ago today, the Lake Delaware column of the June 24, 1965 Delaware Republican-Express had two items concerning the Hewitt family: "Mrs. Stanley Hewitt and son, Lawrence, were dinner guests of her sister, Mrs. Joseph Pondolfino of Oneonta last Friday. Norma Jean Hewitt attended a slumber party at Donna Parsons' home in Bovina Center last Friday evening."

156 years ago today, June 25, 1863, Robert Thomson was born. He was the illegitimate son of Robert Dysart and Elinor Thomson. For more about Robert Thomson, visit the Bovina NY History blog at http://bovinanyhistory.blogspot.com/2013/12/illegitimate-child-of-robert-dysart.html

131 years ago today, June 26, 1888, as later reported in the Stamford Mirror, "J.L. Ormiston and J.L. Coulter were at Syracuse….attending the Prohibition State Convention."

The Windham Journal carried an ad for "The Dairy Woman's Friend. The Gilt-Edge Butter-Worker." The ad included a letter from a Bovina farmer dated 141 years ago, June 27, 1878. The letter was from Robert J. Forrest and stated "Having been inquired of by many in regard to my opinion of the Gilt-Edge Butter-Worker, I wish to give it my unqualified endorsement. It is a success in every particular, and one of the greatest labor-saving inventions any farmer can place in his dairy. In doing the work of a dairy of twenty-two cows my wife insists that more than one-half the work is saved her by its use."

124 years ago today, in the June 28, 1895 issue of the Andes Recorder, the Bovina correspondent reported that "Irving Phinney has a new bicycle." In the same column, it was reported that "The most healthy thing for tramps and thieves, who are so numerous in this vicinity, to do is for them to leave before they get a dose of lead."

132 years ago today, June 29, 1887, during the installation of Rev. Milligan as pastor of the Bovina Reformed Presbyterian Church, "the floor of the audience room broke down at each end." Later reported in the Stamford Mirror, the report noted that "the distance to the ground was small and no one was hurt, and the exercises were continued as though nothing unusual has happened."

Seventy-nine years ago today, June 30, 1940, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Delaware Republican, "Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Doig and children of Downsville were guests of his brother and sister-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Doig…." That same day, Miss Virginia Decker, who has been spending a couple of weeks with her aunt, Mrs. Charles Scobie at Glenn Cove, L.I., returned home…."