Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Three Scott Sisters

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Faces of Bovina - "She Always Was a Firebrand"

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

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

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

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


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

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

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

This Day in Bovina for February 2017

180 years ago today, the February 1, 1837 Delaware Gazette carried this ad, dated in December 1836: "John Reed Tailor. Respectfully returns thanks to the inhabitants of Bovina and its vicinity, for the liberal support tendered him since he commenced business and begs leave to inform them that he has opened a Shop on his new premises with a complete assortment of Trimmings, adopted to the texture and form of the garments of his customers. He has brought up from New York, Draughts, Plates and Reports of Fashions for the season and no expense will be spared to render his establishment commensurate with the growing taste and respectability of the community."

Ninety-six years ago today, on February 2, 1921, the Bovina column of the Andes Recorder reported that "The school teachers of the town were at Bloomville attending a conference Wednesday, adding more useless expense on the districts."

Seventy-seven years ago today, on February 3, 1940, as later reported in the Catskill Mountain News, "The Andes girls won over the Bovina Center girls in a basketball game..." The Andes girls beat the Bovina team in Bovina, 43 to 10.

136 years ago today, on February 4, 1881, as later reported in the Stamford Mirror, "'Reuben,' the well-known carriage horse, belonging to Rev. J.B. Lee [of Bovina], was found dead in the stable…"

Eighty-seven years ago today, the Delaware Republican reported in its February 5, 1930 issue, under the headline "Bovina Man an Inventor" that "W.G. Coulter of Bovina Center has invented a machine for the spreading of crushed stone in the building of public highways which promises to be of great value. He applied for a patent on the spreader and has received word that the patent has been granted."

Seventy-five years ago today, on February 6, 1942, Jennette Ellen Hoy Archibald died. Born in 1859, she was the daughter of John R. and Isabella [Miller] Hoy. She also was the sister of David F. Hoy. She lived most of her life in Bovina. In 1915, she married a widower, Sloan Archibald. She was in turn widowed at his death in 1928.

121 years ago today, on February 7, 1896, Alexander Storie died at his home in Bovina at the age of 83. The Delaware Republican noted that "he was one of the staunch, judicious and reliable men of [Bovina], for a number of years its supervisor, whose judgment was seldom at fault and who always had the courage of his convictions and the nerve to carry them into effect, if possible. A venerable land mark and pioneer, warm friend and excellent and thrifty citizen is removed by his decease."

Sixty-six years ago today, the February 8, 1951 Delaware Republican Express reported in its Bovina column that "the arch bridge at the lower end of the village has been closed all week, while repairs are being made." This is the Scott Bridge that stood for about 80 years at the lower end of Bovina Center. The bridge was demolished in 1956 after a new bridge was built.

Sixty-five years ago today, on February 9, 1952, as later reported in the Delaware Republican-Express Bovina column, "Howard LaFever jr., entertained thirteen young friends at a birthday party on Saturday afternoon, Feb. 9th, in honor of his 6th birthday. One of his guests, Tommy Burns, also celebrated his 6th birthday, it being the same day. There were two birthday cakes, cupcakes, cocoa, and ice cream for refreshments. All had a fine time."

113 years ago today, on February 10, 1904, Pete Johnson of  Bovina died. The Andes Recorder had this 'obituary' of him: "Pete Johnson is No More. Died, at the residence of Barna Johnson in this village[Bovina], February 10, Pete Johnson, cat, aged 14 years, 11 months. Cause of death, stroke of paralysis and alleged overdose of chloroform. We all knew Pete, faithful and loyal to his own home, and other cats and dogs stayed away. Some people had caused it to be suspected that he was occasionally too fond of young chickens; he never said much about it. Other cats can now take the blame."

138 years ago today, the Stamford Mirror in its February 11, 1879 issue, reported under the head line "Fire in Bovina" that "The house of Mr. Charles H. Bramley in Bovina was burned on Tuesday night last week. The family were away making an evening visit, and arrived just in time to see the house fall in ruins. No insurance. Mr. Bramley and family will have the sympathy and pecuniary assistance of his townsmen and many friends." This Charles likely was the son of Henry Bramley and had a farm on Bramley Mountain. Because of the fire, Bramley sold his herd of 21 cows and other animals, as well as farming implements on February 28.

133 years ago today, the Brushland column of the February 12, 1884, Stamford Mirror reported that "Thomas Hamilton, of Bovina, is very low with pneumonia and there is very little hopes entertained of his recovery." By the time that this issue had gone to press, Mr. Hamilton had passed away at the age of 78.

132 years ago today, on February 13, 1885, this bill was submitted by T.F. McIntosh of the Delaware Republican for printing 200 quarantine notices for the Town of Bovina. The notices were for the diphtheria epidemic that hit Bovina Center in late 1884 and early 1885. 

149 years ago today, on February 14, 1868, this bond document was signed for Thomas Purdy in his role as constable for the Town of Bovina. 

Sixty-six years ago today, the Bovina column of the February 15, 1951 issue of the Delaware Republican-Express reported that "Henry Monroe is driving a new Chevrolet." The same issue also reported that "Mrs. W.J. Storie is staying some time at the Vandenbord home, caring for Mrs. Vandenbord and two children, who have the mumps."

131 years ago today, the February 16, 1886 issue of the Stamford Mirror in its Bovina column reported that "The boys have been making frequent excursions to Johnson's pond lately to fish for suckers. On one occasion several were caught that weighed over two pounds apiece."

106 years ago today, the Bovina column of the Andes Recorder reported in its February 17, 1911 issue that "C.J. Marks, who for two years has been the buttermaker at the Center creamery and was hired for this year, has thrown up the job and hired to make the butter at the up-town creamery. He will move to the house near the creamery."

Seventy-six years ago today, on February 18, 1941, as later reported in the Delaware Express, "Mrs. William J. Archibald and Miss Emily Archibald received medical advice in New York….They and Henry Monroe made the trip with the Rev. Harvey H. McClellan. Mr. Monroe visited an uncle in the Bronx."

Eighty-seven years ago today, the Bovina column of the February 19, 1930 Delaware Republican reported that "Lancelot Thompson was taken ill last Wednesday night and Dr. Sarle was with him for three hours. He is better at this time." Thomson survived this 'attack' but died the following June at the age of 81.

134 years ago today, the February 20, 1883 issue of the Stamford Mirror reported in its Bovina column that "There has been nearly 50 cases of measles in the Brushland School Dist. At this date. They are also quite numerous in the Andrew Brown District beyond the Lake." I'm not sure what district they mean here, but likely is the one that was on Biggar Hollow Road.

181 years ago today, on February 21, 1836, Elizabeth Jane Fuller was born in Bovina, the first born child of Richard and Ann Fuller. She died at the age of 21 in 1857 and is buried in the Nichols cemetery on Cape Horn Road.

110 years ago today, on the evening of February 22, 1907, the Fortnightly Club held this program at Strangeway's Hall in Bovina.

Eighty-seven years ago today, on February 23, 1930, Clifford Boggs was born, the last child and only son of James and Edith Boggs. Sadly, his mother died in childbirth, leaving Clifford to be cared for, in part, by his aunt (and my grandmother) Anna Bell LaFever. Clifford died in May 1933 when he was 3 years old.  This is believed to be one of the few pictures of Clifford. Clifford was the brother of Anna Hobbie Lounsbury, Mary Bathen and Helen Tyrell.

167 years ago today, on February 24, 1850, Matilda Loughran Phyfe died at the age of 23. She was the daughter of Alexander Loughran and Sara Maria Card. She married John Phyfe in Roxbury in May 1847. She likely died in childbirth, giving birth to her daughter Sarah. John would marry twice more, and was widowed each time, dying in 1901.

Sixty-eight years ago today, the February 25, 1949 issue of the Catskill Mountain News reported in its Bovina column that "Russell Jones of Stamford has moved his family to John Bellino's tenant rooms and will assist John with his farm duties." The Bellino farm was on Pink Street, now owned by Hall Wilkie.

Ninety-two years ago today, the February 26, 1925 issue of the Hancock Herald under the topic "Farm Bureau Notes" reported on several cow testing associations, including Bovina. "The work of the Bovina Diary Improvement Association is progressing in splendid shape with H.C. Brackville as agent. Records from this association show splendid progress of the work and improvement in the various dairies tested. For the past month the five highest herds of the association reported by Mr. Brackville are owned by Isaac L. Mitchell, A.T. Archibald, John F. Thompson, James A. Boggs and John S. Burns. Considering the fact that many cows in the dairy are dry at this season of the year the average of these herds runs very good. 20 cows in Mr. Mitchell's herd produced 19696.6 pounds of milk producing 840.3 pounds of butter-fat or an average per cow of 42.1 pounds per month. The other dairies also average well for this time of year.

123 years ago today, on February 27, 1894, Shirley Ada Miller was born, the daughter of John and Bertha Miller. She grew up on Pink Street on the family farm (the farm that later became Suits-Us Farm). She later became a dental hygienist and passed away in 1973 in Walton.

186 years ago today, a testimonial appeared in the Albany Evening Journal dated February 28, 1831 for John Thomson, Botanic Physician: "This may certify that I have been afflicted with the Dyspepsia for six years past, and for the last 12 months, have not been able to do any labor. My food was principally dry toast and crackers. I was attended by three of the best physicians in Delaware county, where I reside, to no advantage. Having heard of Dr. Thomson, of Albany, I applied to him on the 2d day of this month, who relieved me immediately; and at this date find myself in a better state of health than I have before enjoyed since I was first taken sick, and shall enjoy good health when my strength is fully restored, which is now fast gaining. I can now eat anything that a well person can, and have been able to since the third day after Doct. Thomson commenced his attendance. Harriet A. Soper of Bovina." Harriett was 27 years old when this ad appeared. She was the daughter of Peleg and Nancy Soper. Dr. Thomson did something right - Harriett would live to be 82, dying in 1886.

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.