Sunday, January 31, 2016

This Day in Bovina for January 2016

118 years ago today, on January 1, 1898, 20 year old Maggie Coulter made the following diary entry: "Weather ranging from zero to six above with wind blowing snow 10 or 12 inches deep. Mother & Maggie Storie visting in Scranton at Chas. Shedds. Went the 30th of Dec. 1897. Started from home 8 o'clock A.M. and arrived in Scranton 5 oclock P.M. Aunt Mary Anne staying with us. Mrs. Geo. Archibald buried to-day. Died suddenly at the wedding of the son William to Sarah Hobbie at John Hobbie's. Post Office changed from Wm. McCunes to Alex Hilsons." Maggie later married J. Russell Boggs. They had three children - Donald, Norris and Robert. She died in 1951

138 years ago today, on January 2, 1878, "A building in Brushland, occupied by John Phyfe as a tailor shop, and the upper part by his son as a residence, took fire from a stove pipe…and before it could be extinguished, a considerable damage was done both to the building and contents."

Ninety-three years ago today, on January 3, 1923, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Ruth Coulter fell on the street last Wednesday and injured her arm quite severely and she has had to carry it in a sling." Ruth later married William Parsons.

134 years ago today, on January 4, 1882, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Stamford Mirror, "S.G. Bramley lost a valuable ox….He was starting logs when one ran against the ox's leg, breaking it so badly that it had to be killed."

Ninety-three years ago today, on January 5, 1923, "Miss Jennie Miller, who stays at Walter Wilson’s up-town, suffered a shock … which paralyzed one side. She has improved a little during the last few days.  Mrs. Lucy Coulter is caring for her." This is likely Jennie Elliott Miller, the daughter of David and Isabella Miller. Born in 1841, she died a little over two years after this stroke in May 1925.

Sixty five years ago today, on January 6, 1951, as later reported in the Delaware Republican Express, "Richard Davidson returned on Saturday to his studies at Park's Air College in East St. Louis, Illinois." Richard was the son of Fletcher and Lois Davidson.

183 years ago today, on January 7, 1833, the Bovina Association Presbyterian Church session met. The main topic of discussion concerned "James Coulter having given in a complaint in in writing against William McGibbon Jr for traveling with a loaded wagon on [the] Sabbath."  The gist of the story is that McGibbon has been seen traveling to Catskill on Saturday afternoon and was then seen there on Monday, so an assumption was made that he made some of the journey on Sunday. It was fairly quickly proven, based on the testimony of several witnesses, that McGibbon did not travel on the Sabbath. "James Coulter … expressed his sorrow for taking up an ill report against a Brother, and stated he did not retain any malice or ill will to William Mcgibbin." The session indicated that they knew "James Coulter to be a peaceable young man [and] did not inflict any censure upon him for this than admonishing him to be more careful for the time to come." Thirty three years later, James would once again appear before the session in a more serious matter. More at the Bovina NY History blog at

137 years ago today, the January 8, 1879 issue of the Delaware Gazette reported that "Mr. J.D. Mitchell, of Bovina, has a 7/8th Alderney heifer, 20 months old, which during the present winter has been yielding 1 pound 3 1/2 ounces of butter per day. This seems to be a good showing. Are there any farmers in the county that have any stock that is doing better?"

132 years ago today, January 9, 1883, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Stamford Mirror, "Mr Andrew McGibbon fell….from the hay lot to the barn floor, a distance of about nine feet, and hurt his ankle and back quite badly." It appears he never totally recovered from this injury, dying in July 1883.

Ninety-four years ago today, on January 10, 1922, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Miss Louise Dennis had a sale of household goods...  After a visit with relatives in Walton she will go to Virginia to live with her brother, John P. Dennis."

133 years ago today, on January 11, 1883, as later reported in the Stamford Mirror, " Miss Nancy Wight, a sister of James Wight, of Lake Delaware, was buried in the cemetery near Brushland … having died at Newark, N.J., where she has resided for some years past." 

Eighty seven years ago today, the January 12, 1929 Bovina column of the Delaware Republican reported that "there are several cases of measles both in Bovina and Bovina Center." The same column also reported that "The superintendent of highways, with help, put salt on the Andes road and also at Lake Delaware. Cars had rather a sliding time of it, but no one was hurt."

164 years ago today, on January 13, 1852, John Murray took out this chattel mortgage with James Cowan of Cortland County for the amount of $370.63. He mortgaged to Cowan twelve cows, three calves, twenty sheep, a wagon, a sleigh, a harness, one five year old mare, one four year old horse and three acres of rye. He had a year to pay off the amount. Otherwise, Cowan would take possession of the aforementioned items. There is no record as to whether or not the mortgage was paid off.

Fifty one years ago today, the Bovina column of the Delaware Republican Express for January 14, 1965, had the following item: "Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Burns and Mr. and Mrs. James T. Elliott are planning to leave this week for Alexandria, Virginia, where they will visit Mr. Elliott's brother, Hale, and daughter, Mary." The same paper reported their return the next week, noting that "They had a very pleasant trip."

113 years ago today, on January 15, 1903, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "The graduates of the special poultry course met January 15, at the Hotel Nottingham, Copely Square, in Boston, Mass., and Thomas E. Dennis of Bovina Centre, was elected president of the association."

126 years ago today, on January 16, 1890, Christopher Strangeway died at the age of 75. Born in Scotland in 1814, he married Margaret Thompson in 1836 in Bovina. They would have seven children. Fifty three years after his death, on January 16, 1943, his granddaughter Elizabeth Strangeway, daughter of his son Andrew T. Strangeway, died at the age of 68. Both images courtesy of the Hilson family. The image of Lizzie Strangeway likely is that of Christopher's granddaughter, but I can't be 100% sure.

128 years ago today, the January 17, 1888 Bovina column of the Stamford Mirror reported that "Robert Black, late teacher in the Bovina Centre district, failed to return on the expiration of his holiday vacation, and A.F. Storie has been employed and is now teaching the school." Black had been hired the previous September to teach the 'winter term.' What ultimately happened to him I have yet to determine.

129 years ago today, the Bovina column of the January 18, 1887 Stamford Mirror had the following item: "Rumor says several weddings are about to occur in town, but the parties most interested seem to be waiting for the State to adopt Pennsylvania laws."

134 years ago today, on January 19, 1882, "The personal property of James H. Dean….[was] sold at public auction….to satisfy a mortgage held by Wm. McNaught, of Hobart."

126 years ago today, on January 20, 1890, the third of three deaths from pneumonia in less than three weeks occurred. As later reported in the Delaware Gazette, "D. Lyle Thomson, of Bovina Center, died of pneumonia…., aged about 38." The paper went on to note that Thomson's brother, Andrew, "died of the same disease about a week ago (January 4), also Mr. Christopher Strangeway, father of of Mr. A.T. Strangeway, of Bovina (January 16)."

Ninety seven years ago today, the January 21, 1919 Andes Recorder Bovina column had the following item "At a farmer’s meeting held Tuesday about 44 names were enrolled as members of the Dairymen’s League, W.J. Storie was chosen president; A.T. Archibald, secretary, and Frank T. Miller, treasurer.  A good start for the League in Bovina."

127 years ago today, the Bovina column of the January 22, 1889 Stamford Mirror had the following item: "Leonard Sloan was trying how near he could skate to the edge of the mill-dam without going over, when his foot struck some obstruction on the ice and he took a flying leap over the dam into the water below the falls." Leonard David Sloan, born in 1872, survived his 'flight' over the falls. He died at the age of 43 in 1916.

149 years ago today, the January 23, 1867 issue of the Delaware Gazette noted the following: "Hall of Military Record. - Alexander Storie, Supervisor of the town of Bovina, Delaware county, has paid the amount assigned to that town, in full, for the erection of the Hall of Military Record." The Hall of Military Record was to be built in Albany to store records of soldiers of the Civil War. It was created by an act of the State Legislature, passed in May 1865, to "provide a suitable repository for the records of the war, and for other purposes." County boards of supervisors were asked pass resolutions of support and contribute to this repository. In the end, this building was never built.

The session of the Bovina United Presbyterian Church met 156 years ago today on January 24, 1860 to discuss rumors about dancing and different interpretations by the area's Presbyterian churches: “…Elder J. Raitt Jr gave some statements which led session to believe that Mr. Joseph S. Raitt, Mrs. Mary A. Raitt and Miss Agnes Davis on the 20 inst engaged in promiscuous dancing.  Elders A McEachron and J. Raitt Jr were appointed a committee to wait upon said persons upon the subject and report at our next meeting….A free conversation was held upon the course pursued by the Sessions of Andes & Cabin Hill in encouraging Dancing and it was unanimously agreed that the 139 Question of the Larger Catechism condemns dancing & this session will adhere to its former rules upon this subject.”

145 years ago today, the January 25, 1871 Delaware Gazette reported the following: "The loss of Mr. Coulter by the burning of his wagon house at Bovina Valley, a few days since, we understand is estimated at $1000, on which there was an insurance of $600." This farm was located in the present day area of Route 28 and Russell Hill Road.

Eighty eight years ago today, on January 26, 1928, later reported in the Andes Recorder, "There was considerable excitement for a short time last Thursday afternoon when a call went over the telephone for aid to save the house of W. C. Redman on the Russell farm at the Butt End.  Fortunately it proved to be only a chimney fire." A little over a year later, in October 1929, the barn on the same property was struck by lightning and burned to the ground.

Sixty three years ago today, on January 27, 1953, the Bovina Fire Department had a meeting, called to order at 8:30 pm by David Roberts. An election for chair of the department was held, with Alex Hilson and Clarence Burns as nominees. When the balloting was complete, Clarence won, 3 votes to 2. At the same meeting, Robert Hall was elected Secretary/Treasurer. A motion was made and seconded that the janitor salary be $75.

136 years ago today, on January 28, 1880, "Rev. J. B. Lee was called out of prayer meeting …. To marry a couple who were in waiting at the parsonage. The parties were a Mr. Butler and Miss Van Dusen…"

146 years ago today, on January 29, 1870, William Miller died of cancer at the age of 78 years, 2 months and 23 days. As reported in the Delaware Gazette, "He was a native of Scotland and emigrated to this country about 40 years ago."

130 years ago today, on January 30, 1886, John Johnson, the collector of taxes for Bovina, signed a statement reporting that there was $1.00 in dog taxes unpaid for 1885 - George Dougherty and Jacob Dietrich. Each had one dog for which taxes had not been paid. In his affidavit, he stated that "he has not been able to find the persons charged with said dog tax, nor to find any property belonging to said persons whereon he could levy the same, nor could he find and kill the dogs." 

159 years ago today, on January 31, 1857, Elizabeth Nettie Cairns was born, the daughter of John S. Cairns and Elizabeth Chambers. She married Edward L. Coulter in 1878. They had one son, Andrew. Elizabeth died in childbirth in February 1881 and is buried in Bovina. Her husband remarried and would survive Elizabeth by over 50 years, dying in 1932.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

"An Insane Female of interesting appearance"

In January 1829, reports appeared concerning a Bovina woman, believed to be insane. The January 7, 1829 Delaware Gazette carried a report from a Catskill newspaper about her situation - and criticized the Bovina overseers of the poor in the process:

Here's the transcript:

A day or two since (says the Catskill Recorder of the 1st inst.) an insane female, of interesting appearance, apparently about 18 or 20 years of age, was observed in our streets, followed, as is too frequently the case, by a company of thoughtless boys. In the course of the day she was discovered by a gentleman who was passing near the creek, on the ice, which was at that time considered unsafe. She stated that she was on her way to Lansingburgh. With some difficulty she was prevailed on to come on shore, though not until the ice had given way with her, though fortunately in shoal water. We have since ascertained that her name is Jane Patterson, from Bovina, Delaware county, from whence she has made her way on foot, in this inclement season of the year. On Tuesday, her brother, in company with Mr. John Thompson, of Delaware, (whose humanity cannot be too highly commended) overtook and conveyed her back to Bovina, her native place. It reflects but little credit on the overseers of the poor in that town, that she has been allowed, as we are credibly informed she has been, to go at large for several weeks. Such objects are truly deserving our pity, and too much attention cannot be paid to their comfort.

It is possible that this Jane Patterson is the woman who married Peter Dysart and was the mother of one of Bovina's Civil War fatalities, Robert Dysart. Robert would father a child with Eleanor Thompson, the daughter of John R. Thompson. Could this be the same John mentioned in the news article? Who knows? More information about the Dysarts can be found in this blog at for December 20, 2013:

Friday, January 15, 2016

January 1916 - 100 Years Ago in "That Thriving Town"

From the Andes Recorder
Bovina lost another one of its 'Old Soldiers' and the Bovina Center Creamery held its annual meeting, electing new directors.

January 7, 1916
•           Ward Baker, the violinist, will give a Scotch concert here January 19.
•           Bovina had a remarkable record for the last five months of 1915 – not a death occurred in the town.
•           In Bovina during 1915, the total number of hunting licenses issued were 61. Of these 2 were to non-resident tax payer and 1 to a non-resident alien.
•           Born to Mr. and Mrs. William R. Franks, on the Thos Mabon farm in Bovina, on January 1, a daughter.

January 14, 1916
•           Ward Baker and his Band will give a Scotch concert here Wednesday evening, January 19.
•           Ely Wright has moved from Meridale to Lake Delaware and will work for Alonzo Tuttle.
•           From a social held Wednesday evening at Ellsworth Tuttle’s the Methodist church realized $18.
•           William Thomson and Miss Anna Myers, both of Bovina, were united in marriage on Tuesday, January 11.
•           The third number of the lecture course was given Saturday evening by the Harmony Trio of ladies.  The fourth number will be given by local talent on Friday evening, January 14.
•           Tuesday at the annual meeting of Bovina Co-Operative Creamery company William Boggs, Chauncey McFarland, A.T. Archibald, Alex Thomson and Robert Tweedie were elected directors. Robert Tweedie is the new manager, succeeding Thos A. Archibald.

January 21, 1916
•           The Scotch concert given Wednesday evening was well spoken of.
•           Born to Mr. and Mrs. Walter G. Coulter, January 12, a daughter. [This is Margaret Celia Coulter, better known as Celia. She passed away in April 2015.]
•           W.T. Hyzer, who runs the Andes-Delhi auto stage, broke his car a few days ago when he dropped off the end of a culvert below T.C. Strangeway’s.

January 28, 1916
•           Mrs. Joshua Hafele, at Tunis lake, fell on the ice Monday morning and broke her shoulder blade.
•           Millard Blair will leave Monday for Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, where he has a position in the store of Mr. Copeland.
•           Charles A. McPherson, who had his leg broken several weeks ago, does not improve as rapidly as his friends would like to see.
•           Mrs. William Thomson was given a kitchen shower Saturday evening at the home of William Oliver and received a great variety of articles.

Bovina Veteran Dead
James G. Seath, Member of 144th Regt Answered Last Roll Call, Jan 23.
            James G. Seath died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. James Archibald about 4 o’clock Sabbath afternoon, January 23, having been confined to his bed three weeks with liver cirrhosis.  He was born in Andes and had he lived until February 17, would have been 76 years of age, and was a carpenter by trade.  During the civil war he served in Co K, 144th regiment.  He is survived by two sisters, Mrs. John Robson, of Bovina, and Mrs. Davidson of Rock Rift, and two sons, Harvey and Thomas, of Bovina, and three dauters, Mrs. James Boyd and Mrs. James Archibald, of Bovina and Mrs. Mary Dean in Masonville.  The funeral was held Wednesday and interment made in Andes cemetery by the side of his second wife, who was a dauter of Thomas Thomson of Biggar Hollow.

Bovina Center Co-Op Creamery [meeting held Tuesday afternoon – Jan 25]
            “A proposition from W.H. Sheffield to buy or lease the plant was cast aside.  The question of selling cream or butter was discussed at length and there was a difference of opinion.  The directors will investigate the matter.
            “The report showed that during the year there was received 5,814,825 pounds of milk and 163,173 pounds of cream, and from this milk and cream 374,949 pounds of butter was made.  This was 12,203 pounds more butter than was made the previous year.”

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Remembering Those Who Left Us in 2015

Nine people with connections to Bovina passed away in 2015. Some were life long natives, some were born in Bovina but ended up in other parts of the world while some discovered the joys of Bovina later in life.

Thelma Reinertsen LaFever Andresen died on her 94th birthday on January 20, the last surviving child of Andrew and Sophia Reinertsen. Born in Bovina, she first married Edwin LaFever. They would have five children while both working at Scintilla/Bendix in Sidney. After Ed’s passing in 1975, she married Edgar Andreson. They traveled to Norway to visit some of their Norwegian relatives. Thelma spent winters in her later years in Florida, her summers in Afton. As well as five children, Thelma had 14 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren and 13 great-great grandchildren – and she could member all their names and their birth dates.
Thelma at Christmas 1974, with her brother-in-law Ben LaFever and her husband, Edwin LaFever.
Bob Barnhart passed away in Bovina on February 10. Born in Bovina 87 years ago on the Barnhart family farm on Pink Street, he spent his life in Bovina. He married Lillian Gray in 1949. They celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary last year. Bob was a farmer and later worked for the Town of Bovina. He was superintendent of highways for 12 years. Bob left behind six children, 21 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren, as well as his three sisters.

Bob, second from right, with some of his sisters and cousins at a Barnhart reunion in 2008
Dr. Paul Lapinel, a longtime resident of Manhattan and Bovina, died on February 10 at the age of 90. Born in Cuba, he graduated the University of Havana Medical School and was a physician in the U.S. Army. He served American Military Veterans for many years as a staff Psychiatrist. He also provided Psychiatric evaluations to Cuban refugees. He was an Assistant Clinical Professor at Albert Einstein Medical School in Bronx, N.Y. as well as at New York University Medical School. He was Chief of inpatient psychiatric services at Lincoln Hospital in Bronx, N.Y. and also held Chief position at Bronx-Lebanon Medical Center. He also maintained a private practice in psychiatry New York City. He continued to practice medicine until the age of 80. He married Margarita deLourdes Fornes in 1951. He and Mrs. Lapinel would have seven children. With a busy medical practice and large family, he also found the time to manage a horse farm in Bovina that bred and trained Arabian horses. As well as his seven children, Dr. Lapinel was survived by 22 grandchildren and a great grandson, as well as two sisters.
Dr. Paul Lapinel (photo courtesy of Dean Lapinel)
Born in Bovina Center in 1916, Margaret Celia Coulter, known throughout her life as Celia, passed away on April 25 at the age of 99. Celia graduated from Delaware Academy, Delhi, as valedictorian and received a scholarship to attend Cornell University. After graduation, she came home to care for her parents until their deaths. Celia then went on to attend the State University of New York at Albany Library School. Upon graduation, she became a highly regarded librarian at the State University of New York at New Paltz until her retirement in 1985. Celia loved traveling with her sister, Ruth, and friends following her retirement. Always interested in knowledge, she requested that her body be donated to science at her death.

Celia (second from right) in the SUNY New Paltz yearbook from the 1950s.
Brothers Viggo “Joe” Skovsende and Niels G. "Mike" Skovsende passed away in 2015. Mike was born in Michigan in 1929 and Joe in Bovina in 1931, the sons of Hans and Nina Skovsende. The brothers grew up in Bovina and graduated from Andes Central School. Joe was a Korean War veteran.  He married his wife Elsie in 1957. They would farm on Route 28 in Andes and raise their five daughters. Joe enjoyed working outdoors, making his famous fence posts and hunting. Joe passed away on May 30. As well as his wife and daughters, Joe was survived by 11 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren. His brother Mike also was a farmer. He and his wife, Barbara Boyd, owned and operated Skovsende Farm in North Franklin. As well as farming, Mike enjoyed bowling and square dancing. Mike passed away on December 18. He was survived by his wife, his son Garry, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Mike and Joe also were survived by their sister Nora Cole.
Joe Skovsende (photo courtesy of Suze Skovsende)

Millard F. Russell, better known by many as “Stub,” lived his entire 91 years in Bovina, passing away on November 24. He lived all his life on Mount View Farm, the family farm on Russell Hill Road. A graduate of Andes Central School, he diligently tended the family farm while enjoying its beauty. Stub raised registered Holsteins and won the Progressive Breeders Registry Award. He was married to Claire (Rabeler) Russell, who predeceased him in 1994. He was survived by their two sons, one daughter, two grand-daughters, his brother, a cousin and many nieces and nephews.

Stub with his sister-in-law, Mathilde
"Tillie" (Menke) Rabeler
(Photo courtesy of Steve Rabeler)
Stub in his younger days
(Photo courtesy of Steve Rabeler)

Another lifelong Bovina resident, Vincent L. Trimbell, died on December 10. He was the son of Vincent A. and Olga Trimbell and a graduate of Andes Central school. Vince owned and operated the family farm on Cape Horn Road and was an avid outdoorsman. He was survived by his loving wife, Mary, three children, five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Vince and Mary with Ben and Becky Damgaard
(Photo courtesy of Ethel Hammond)
David T. Call was born in Philadelphia in 1946 and spent much of his life there and in New York city working as a stockbroker. Later in life, he discovered the joys of Bovina, buying a property there. He loved the mountain views, woods, ponds and pastures. While in Bovina, he was active member and past president of the Delhi Rotary Club. He passed away on December 18 after a gallant fight against cancer.

David Call with his wife and daughter Liz.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

This Day in Bovina for December

104 years ago today, the December 1, 1911 Andes Recorder reported in its Bovina column that "180 barrels of dry milk were shipped from the Dry Milk plant here, to Vienna, Austria."

105 years ago today, on December 2, 1910, the Delaware County tuberculosis crusade held "two sessions at Bovina Center…, one for the benefit of the school children in the afternoon, the other in the hall at 7:45 in the evening."

109 years ago today, on the evening of December 3, 1906, Mrs. Agnes J. Scott Thomson died. As later reported in the Delaware Gazette, she "died suddenly….at her home in Bovina, aged 56 years." The paper went on to report that "she was in her usual health until the day of her death and was sticken that morning with a shock which caused her death that night. She was unable to speak after being stricken and did not rally at all from its effect." Her funeral was December 6, with burial in the Bovina cemetery. She was the widow of D. Lyle Thomson, who died 16 years before. She was survived by four children, a sister in Bovina and four brothers, including Robert Scott in Kansas City, MO and Rev. John Scott in Philadelphia.

103 years ago today, the December 4, 1912 issue of the Delaware Gazette reported that "DeWitt C. Sharpe, Jr., a Bovina farmer living on the old Elisha B. Maynard place, filed a voluntary petition in bankruptcy Saturday with liabilities of $2438 and no assets except those claimed as exempt. There are about 20 in Bovina including Johnson Brothers who have a claim for $1,100. The other creditors are located in Bloomville, Stamford and Bovina Center."

293 years ago today, on December 5, 1722, Bathsheba Brush was born. She was the mother of early Bovina settler Alexander Brush. She came to live with her son later in life and died in 1803. She is buried in the Brush cemetery next to what is now the library.

155 years ago today, on December 6, 1860, James Doig posted the following notice in the Delaware Gazette: "WATCH FOUND: About the middle of November a Watch was found in the road from Brushland to Andes. The owner cand have it by proving property and paying charges on application to the subscriber in Bovina."

110 years ago today, on December 7, 1905, as later reported in the Delaware Gazette, "Fred J. Henderson of Walton, and Miss Nellie J., daughter of Thomas Hilson of Bovina, were married at the First Presbyterian parsonage [in Delhi]….by Rev. J.H. Robinson. They will reside in Bovina." They were married just shy of 68 years when Fred died in December 1971. Nell died a few months later in 1972. The Walton Reporter's November 11, 1969 issue reported on their 64th wedding anniversary. 

105 years ago today, on December 8, 1910, as later reported in the Delaware Gazette, "Two yearlings, part of a dairy of Wm. Smith, a large farmer of this town [Bovina] died last night of Paris green poisoning and four or five other cattle are sick, but it is expected they will recover. The Paris green was part of a can which had been used last summer and was placed on a shelf above the stanchions in the stable by Larry Mitchell, a farm hand in the meploy of Smith. Mr. Smith did not know that the Paris green had been placed in the stable and as greatly surprised when he found that his cattle had eaten the poison. It appears that the can had been knocked off the shelf and the contents got into the feeding buckets."

Sixty three years ago today, the Catskill Mountain News had the following item dated December 9, 1952 concerning Bovina and a cookie swap. 

Sixty-five years ago today, on December 10, 1950, as later reported in the Catskill Mountain News, "Mrs. Richard Crosley held a party for her music students and their parents at the [Bovina] church parlors… Twenty five were present. Much credit is due Mrs. Crosley in her untiring efforts to further her class in their talents of music." Mrs. Crosley lived on Cape Horn Road.

Eighty nine years ago today, on December 11, 1926, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Bovina defeated Bloomville at basketball here Saturday [Dec 11] evening by the score of 26 to 20."

111 years ago today, on December 12, 1904, as later reported in the Delaware Gazette, Jacob Bailey of Bovina died quite suddenly. The paper noted that "we have been able to get but few particulars, but he seems to have been quite seriously afflicted with asthma of late and his ailment is thought to have been complicated with heart trouble that resulted fatally." The paper went on to note that Bailey had lived on his farm near Lake Delaware for many years. He had just sold the farm and had only about a week before moved into Bovina Center. The death notice concluded by noting that Jacob "has always been regarded as a good neighbor, a faithful friend, an exemplary husband and father, one of the best citizens of that town."

138 years ago today, on December 13, 1877, Andrew H. Archibald was born, the son of Barbara H. Archibald. There is no information as to who his father was. His mother died nine days later. Her son only survived her by about three months, dying in March 1878.

176 years ago today, on December 14, 1839, Walter Coulter, the Bovina Commissioner of Common Schools, submitted this report of monies received from the County Treasurer for use in the twelve Bovina school districts. 

Ninety four years ago today, on December 15, 1921, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Bovina had a double wedding last Thursday evening, December 15.  The contracting parties were Miss Viola Russell and Winifred Barnhart, both of this town, and Alfred Russell, of Bovina, and Miss Katherine Oliver, of Delhi.  Mrs. Russell is a granddaughter of the late Walter Amos of southern Bovina."

101 years ago today, on December 16, 1914, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "    Dr. Goodrich, of Delhi, was called here... in consultation with Dr. Whitcomb, in the case of Herman Coulter, who has pneumonia." Unfortunately, Herman did not survive his pneumonia and died on Christmas Day at the age of 35. He left his wife Julia and two children.

148 years ago today, on December 17, 1867, Jeremy Terwillger Barnhart was born in the Town of Hardenburg, Ulster County. He came to Bovina probably in the late 1880s and was married in December 1890 to Katherine Miller, who had grown up in Bovina. They had four children, including my grandmother, Anna Bell. Jeremy died in New York City in November 1916, about two weeks after surgery to remove a cancerous growth. 

193 years ago today, on December 18, 1822, Thomas H. Johnston was born, the son of Andrew Johnston and Mary Hamilton. His father would die when he was only 15. His mother took over management of the Johnston Woolen Mill. Thomas would take over when he was an adult. He married Violet Hamilton and had four children. Thomas was one day past 70 when he died in 1892.

151 years ago today, on December 19, 1864, Close Light died. Born in 1792, Light was a War of 1812 Veteran. More information about Light can be seen at the Bovina NY History blog at

120 years ago today, the December 20, 1895 Bovina column in the Andes Recorder had the following item: "There is some talk of holding a meeting to see about establishing a creamery at this place.  Why not start one?  It is what is needed."

134 years ago today, the December 21, 1881 Delaware Gazette reported that "Thomas Johnson, of Bovina, has made 260 barrels of cider the present season."

106 years ago, on the evening of December 22, 1909, William McNee died suddenly. He was 60 years old. The Andes Recorder reported his death: "Mr. McNee had worked all day at the Center creamery assisting in putting in the ice and his part of the work was to take the cakes as they came on to the platform and get them to the elevator.  After completing his work there he went home and cleaned the sidewalk and then went to the outhouse.  Mrs. McNee, after keeping supper waiting for half an hour or more, became alarmed and went to see what was the cause of the delay and he was found lying just inside of the door of the outhouse, and he had apparently dropped dead as he entered. It was known that Mr. NcNee had valvular trouble of the heart and it is supposed that the over exertion of handling the heavy cakes of ice was responsible for his death. Mr. McNee was born on Scotch Mountain but for many years has been a resident of this town.  He married Euphema Doig, youngest daughter of the late William Doig and she, with three sons and a daughter, survives him."

111 years ago today, the Bovina column of the December 23, 1904 Andes Recorder reported that "Civil Engineer W.W. Hoy is visiting his mother, Mrs. John R. Hoy. He has just returned from India, where he has been employed." William Wilson Hoy was born in 1872 in Bovina. He lived for some time in Pennsylvania before settling in California, where he died in 1967 at the age of 94.

125 years ago today, on December 24, 1890, as later reported in the Delaware Gazette, "The Bovina Centre Brass Band will give a concert Christmas eve and the evening following."

Seventy four years ago today, the December 25, 1941 Catskill Mountain News reported on the American Red Cross's appeal for a "fifty million dollar War Relief fund.." The paper noted that the "Bovina-Lake Delaware branch had its Red Cross Victory Christmas tree ready to decorate…" It was decorated with crosses, each one representing "$50 given to the War Relief fund." The campaign chair, Tom Wallis, "announced that farmers were being asked to contribute a can of milk to the fund on Christmas day." The paper noted that "although some of the farmers do not have the ready cash to contribute to the fund just at this time, they are giving orders on their January milk checks."

154 years ago today, the December 26, 1861 edition of the Delaware Gazette published the annual accounts for all the towns in Delaware County, presented and audited at the annual meeting of the Board of Supervisors. Here's Bovina's:

195 years ago today, on December 27, 1820, Robert Scott posted the following notice in the Delaware Gazette: "Strayed or Stolen, From the Farm of the Subscriber in the town of Bovina, some time since, a number of young CATTLE. - Any person who will give information where the same may be found, shall be liberally rewarded."

Seventy-eight years ago today, on December 28, 1937, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "The Bovina Center basketball team suffered defeat Tuesday night at the hands of the Unadilla town team by a score of 28 to 23, on the winner’s court.  The Unadilla girls defeated the Bovina girls 23 to 15.”

194 years ago today, on December 29, 1821, Jonathan Adee was born. He married Henrietta Kipp and they had three children and a farm on Cape Horn Road for many years. Jonathan died in 1902 at the age of 80.

107 years ago today, the December 30, 1908 Delaware Gazette reported the following: "Elmer Doig, of Bovina, the 7 year old son of Milton Doig, recently harnessed a pair of horses and drove three miles to the Center and returned home with a load of grain."

136 years ago today, the December 31, 1879 Delaware Gazette reported that "Dea[con] Thomas McFarland, of Bovina, one of the best farmers in America and a veteran subscriber to the Gazette, was in town [Delhi] yesterday. It is never a bad day when the Deacon is in town."

Monday, December 21, 2015

Faces of Bovina - Ruth Rabeler

Ruth Rabeler has the distinction of being one of three women to appear on Bovina's World War II honor roll. The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Alex Rabeler, Sr., she grew up in Nebraska and came to Bovina in 1939.  In September 1942, she enlisted while visiting in Nebraska, taking her basic training at Des Moines, Iowa.  She went to the Cooks and Bakers School, graduating as 2nd Lieutenant on March 3, 1943.  She was stationed in several locations, including Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia; Fort Lewis, Washington, and Camp Beale, California, where she took charge of the Officers Club.  She was then transferred to the Presidio in San Francisco to the 6th Army Cook and Bakers as an instructor and head of the mess hall.  She was discharged in 1946 but went back into service in California.  In 1952 she was married to James Donohue at the Presidio and left the Army in 1953.  Ruth passed away in October 1974 in California and is buried in Fair Oaks, California.
She posed for this photograph by Bob Wyer on May 17, 1943. Courtesy Delaware County Historical Association

Cousins Paul and Ruth Rabeler in service sometime during the war.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

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

From the Andes Recorder
Two couples celebrate Silver Wedding anniversaries and one a Golden in December.

December 3, 1915
•Mrs. G.J. Dickson is having her store decorated for the holidays. [This is the Brushland Eating House.]
•A community social will be held at Town Hall on Friday evening of this week.
•Hilson Bros new feed store was dedicated Wednesday night [Dec 1] by a dance with 57 numbers.
•The Hose company was out Monday evening for practice. The church bell was used to sound the alarm.
•Mrs. Christopher S. Gladstone was taken to Delhi on Thursday to undergo an operation for appendicitis.
•Dixon Thomson has commenced remodeling the interior of the Phinney house, preparatory to moving thereto.
•Work has been suspended for the winter on the stone road being put in by the Gerry’s to change the highway across their estate. About half of the road is completed and the remainder is in various states of construction.

December 10, 1915
•Alva Shultis moved this week from the big Dickson house to Margaretville.
•Fred Bramley has hired A.Todd, of Bloomville, to work for him and he has moved here.
•Wednesday [Dec 8] the car of Watson Fowler, of Hamden, collided with the side of the Scott bridge, bending the front axle of the car.

Bovina Farmer Breaks his Leg 
Charles A. McPherson, who lives on the S.G. Bramley farm, had his leg broken below the knee Friday. Mr. McPherson is preparing to build a barn next season and was engaged in drawing out logs when in some way he was caught under the log and both bones of the leg were broken. William Strangeway, a brother-in-law, and another man were in the woods with him but some distance away and it was some time before he could make them hear. They removed the log from his leg and covered him with their coats, and then went to the house and got the sled and drew him home. Fortunately when the accident happened the horses got loose from the log or Mr. McPherson might have more severely injured. [Charles was the father of Marian, Frank and Lester McPherson. Born in 1873, he died in 1949.]

December 17, 1915
•The tax collector next.
•Thos C. Strangeway, who has been suffering from the shingles, is now able to be up part of the time.
•More than a foot of snow fell during Monday [Dec 13] afternoon and night. Tuesday morning the teamsters started out for their Delhi trip but soon turned back. Traffic was much delayed and mails did not arrive.
•A meeting was held at the home of Rev. Thomas Graham for the purpose [of] organizing a singing class which will be taught during the winter by Rev. Graham. Bovina has a great deal of latent local talent which should be developed and trained.

December 24, 1915
•Wallace Hyatt has enlisted in the United States navy.
•A private dance is scheduled to be held at the town hall on the evening of December 29.
•The receipts of the oyster supper last Thursday evening for the benefit of the firemen, amounted to $38.75
•A surprise party was held last week for Mrs. E.E. Hastings, of Saranac, at the home of Mrs. Douglas Davidson. About twenty ladies were present and charades were played. To use the expression of one of the ladies they had “the best time ever regardless of the blizzard outside.”
•Mrs. Rebecca Scott was stricken with paralysis Sabbath morning, at the home of her brother, Jas A. Scott at Hobart, where she has been visiting for some time. She was walking down stairs and had reached the bottom step when she was taken with what she supposed was a fainting spell and fell to the floor. Her condition was soon found to be serious.

Celebrated Silver Wedding
Friday, December 17, was the twenty-fifth anniversary of the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. J.T. Barnhart, and 60 of their friends and neighbors made them a surprise visit at their home up Pink street. As a memento of the occasion the company presented the host and hostess with a sum of money and a set of silver knives and forks. [Jeremy Barnhart and Kate Miller were married in 1890 and would have four children, Ralph, Anna Bell (my grandmother), Edith and Wilford. Sadly, Jeremy and Kate would not celebrate another anniversary – Jeremy would die in November 1916.]

December 31, 1915
•A thimble party was held with Mrs. Mahaffey on Tuesday.
•Mrs. John H. Ruff is very ill and no hopes are given for her recovery. [She would die the following month on January 23, 1916.]
•Next Friday evening there will be a supper in the U.P. church parlors for the benefit of the new organ fund.
•At the dance held Wednesday evening in the town hall there were 35 numbers. Meade’s orchestra failed to appear.
•The Christmas tree held Friday evening in the town hall was largely attended and all the children were made happy by gifts from Santa Claus. The exercises by the children were finely rendered and reflected great credit on the teachers who had trained them.

Double Wedding Celebration
Thomas R. Boggs and wife celebrate golden and Thos Ormiston and wife Silver Wedding Dec 25.
Saturday, December 25, in upper Bovina there occurred the rare event of the celebration of a golden wedding and a silver wedding in the same family and both falling on the same date.
On Christmas Day fifty years ago Thomas R. Boggs and Jane Archibald embarked upon the unknown sea of matrimony and for half a century have followed the devious ways of life together. Twenty five years ago, also on Christmas Day, their eldest daughter became the wife of Thomas Ormiston.
Last Saturday 75 relatives and neighbors assembled at the Boggs home to celebrate the double event and it was a day or rare good cheer. As a memento of the occasion Mr. and Mrs. Boggs were presented with a purse of money and a small gold clock.
On the Thursday evening previous the neighbors of Mr. and Mrs. Ormiston made them a surprise visit at their home and left them a set of silver knives and forks.