Friday, February 28, 2014

This Day in Bovina for February

Here are the 28 entries from the Town of Bovina Historian Facebook page for February:

Sixty one years ago today, on February 1, 1953, fire severely damaged Aknusti, the home of Robert L. Gerry at Lake Delaware.  As reported in the Catskill Mountain News, "Damage was estimated at more than one million dollars in Sunday morning’s fire which gutted the Aknusti mansion …. Everything inflamable, including priceless and irreplaceable antiques, furnishings and art objects, was destroyed in the blaze that left the 40-year-old structure a blackened and twisted hulk of concrete and metal."
Here's a postcard view of Aknusti before the fire.
Eighty six years ago on February 2, 1928, an alert Ruth Coulter saw a light in the village school building and discovered that the building was on fire.  As later reported in the Andes Recorder, "The fire department was called out and the fire was put out by the use of chemicals and very little water with only slight damage. It started from the furnace."  The building concerned is now the Bovina Public Library.  Ruth Coulter later married Bill Parsons.

Ninety five years ago on February 3, 1919, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Mrs. Mary Swart, who has been in poor health for some time, suffered a shock about 5 o’clock Tuesday morning, at the home of her niece, Mrs. William Crosier, and lies in precarious condition." She died a few days later on February 8.

115 years ago, on February 4, 1899, Mrs. Violet Johnson died suddenly at her home in the Mountain Brook area while on the telephone.  As later reported in the Andes Recorder, “John Hewitt was talking to her during the forenoon and all at once he noticed something unusual but supposed something was wrong with the instrument.  When her son, Thomas, went into the house for dinner he found her laying on the floor dead.”  Violet was born in Scotland in 1834, the daughter of Thomas and Helen Hamilton. She married Thomas H. Johnston and had four children. She was survived by two of her sons, “who are proprietors of the Woolen Mills.”

Two farm related items from the Andes Recorder appeared 117 years ago today in its Bovina column for February 5, 1897:
"Cows averaged $22.80 at Thomas Gordon’s auction last week Thursday, in Glenburnie, and everything else sold well.
"Many think that the grasshoppers working on the hay and straw the past season, is the cause of so much sickness among cows and horses here this winter."

111 years ago today, the February 6, 1903 Andes Recorder Bovina correspondent reported a rather horrible incident involving a former Bovina resident and a mad dog: "Last week word was received at this place that James. L. Ormiston and his two daughters, who resides at Wilmington, Delaware, had been bitten by a mad dog.  The dog, which belonged to a neighbor, attacked the youngest daughter, aged about seven years, and an older sister went to her assistance, and both were severely bitten when Mr. Ormiston came to their aid.  He succeeded in chocking the dog to death, but not until it had bitten off one of his fingers.  His brother, Dr. Ormiston of Delhi, who went to treat them, reports that no hydrophobia symptoms have developed and it is thought that they will come out all right."

112 years ago, in its February 7, 1902 edition, the Andes Recorder reported on a letter from a Bovina resident who was in Seattle:  "Writing from Seattle, Miss Jennie J. Campbell, who recently went from this place, likes the place very much and her letter, written about the middle of January, states that the climate is mild and at that time the weather was like our April.  Lawns were green and roses and violets were in bloom."

113 years ago today, the Garnett (Kansas) Eagle, in its February 8, 1901 issue, reported on a call made by the congregation of the U.P. Church in that town. The report, later published in the Andes Recorder under the heading "A Bovina Boy,"  went on to state that "At a congregational meeting of the United Presbyterian Church last Tuesday afternoon, it was unanimously agreed to call the Rev. W.T. Mabon to the pastorate of the church here.  Rev. Mabon has addressed this congregation a few times and the members were delighted with him.  He is a young man just graduated from the seminary at Xenia, Ohio.  His home is in Bovina Delaware County, N.Y.  It is understood that Rev. Mabon will accept the call. He will locate in Garnet in about a month."

108 years ago, on February 9, 1906, Dr. L.L. Van Slyke, of the [New York] State [Agricultural] Experiment Station, Geneva, NY lectured in Strangeway’s Hall.  His topic was the “Utilization of Barnyard Waste.”  The Andes Recorder, in promoting the lecture, reported that “The Doctor is under the Bureau of Farmers’ Institutes of the State Agricultural Department.  He will tell how to enlarge the bank account.  He is an interesting speaker and his address will both please and profit.” Dr. Van Slyke worked for the Geneva station for 38 years, retiring in 1929.

Eighty six years ago, the Andes Recorder of February 10, 1928 reported that "Courtney Currie was kept from his work at the creamery a few days the past week by boils."

149 years ago today on February 11, 1865, these two receipts were issued for payment to Robert Scott and James Elliott for $25 each.  Scott and Elliott incurred these expense by going to New York City to recruit volunteers to help Bovina meet its recruitment quota.

114 years ago, on February 12, 1902, Fort-nightly Club lecture course hosted a lecture by Professor William Elliott Travis of Cornell University at Strangeway’s Hall. His subject was “Facts Fun and Fancy Concerning the Japanese.”

Ninety-two years ago, on February 13, 1922, the Bovina Town Board met "to make arrangements for building a new bridge to take the place of the stone arch bridge at the former Strangeway store in Bovina Center."  As later reported in the Andes Recorder, "The present structure was built about 1858, by James R. Scott, who furnished and hauled the stone and built the bridge for $100.  The highway commissioner was severely criticized for his extravagance, it being alleged that he would bankrupt the town."

Eighty-four years ago, on February 14, 1928, "Bovina experienced a very high water Tuesday night.  Streams were over the banks and large cakes of ice were carried onto the highway below the Center.  Cellars were also filled, water ran through the barn of Lester Hoy on the former John Hastings farm."

102 years ago today, on February 15, 1912, Elmer Gladstone, son of George Gladstone, was operated on for chronic appendicitis. He came through the operation fine. In 1925 he was attacked by a bull on the family farm. He survived that too and died when he was 81 in 1956.

A heavy snowfall ninety four years ago today, February 16, 1920, prevented the delivery of the mail. It did make it through the next day. Another storm about a month later would prevent mail deliver on March 12 and 13.

103 years ago today, on February 17, 1911, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "The infant child of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Foreman, aged three months and four days, died with pneumonia... Rev. Robb officiated at the funeral Monday.  Child was their only daughter, Mary Elizabeth."

Commodore E.T. Gerry died in New York City eighty seven years ago today, February 18, 1927. Grandson of a signer of the Declaration of Independence, he spent many summers at home on Lake Delaware. His son Robert and daughter Angelica each later built their own homes at the lake.

Ninety three years ago today, the installation of radios in Bovina seemed to be the rage. The Andes Recorder of February 19, 1921 reported that "John H. Hilson has had a radio installed."  The same issue also also reported that "John S. Burns in upper Bovina and Gaylie Hafele up Coulter Brook, have had radios installed."

112 years ago this afternoon, on February 20, 1902, "the smoke house of G.D. Miller caught fire, scorching eight hams he had curing there.  It was believed that the building caught fire from some ashes which Mr. Miller had taken from the stove that morning and stored there." [Andes Recorder]

The February 21, 1902 issue of the Andes Recorder (112 years ago today) reported in its Bovina column that "Henry Hogaboom, formerly of this town, is now at the Military Home at Dayton, Ohio." Hogaboom was a Civil War veteran.  Born in Sullivan County, he moved to Bovina as a boy and settled in Lake Delaware after the war until his move to the soldier's home.  He lived there 19 years until his death there in 1921.  His body was brought back to Bovina for burial.

118 years ago today, on February 22, 1896, “An entertainment was held Saturday night in Strangeway’s Hall for the benefit of the Epworth League and it was reported as being a good one. The proceeds amounted to $19.” [Andes Recorder]  The Epworth League was an organization of the Methodist Church.

Seventy-three years ago today on February 23, 1941, as later reported in the Delaware Republican, "Mrs. W.J. Storie gave a ten-cent tea at her home for the benefit of the A.W.V.S…"

118 years ago, on February 24, 1896, a fire that happened during evening church services caused a ruckus. The reported of the fire was in the Andes Recorder: "About 8 o’clock Monday evening [Feb 24] while the people were in the United Presbyterian church attending services, the startling cry of fire ran through the church. In an instant all was excitement and a rush was made for the door and the street was black with people hurrying toward the store of Hilson & Blair where the fire had been discovered.  The fire had started in the rear of the store beneath the floor and within a few feet of the oil tank.  Plenty of help was soon on hand and went to work carrying water in pails, tubs and whatever would hold water.  Boards were torn off and the water poured on the fire and it was soon extinguished without much damage being done.  No cause can be given for the fire as fire has never been kept in that part of the building.  If the fire had gained a little more headway before it was discovered, or had occurred a few hours later nothing could have saved the store, as we have no way to extinguish a fire once fully started."

194 years ago today on February 25, 1820, the New York State legislature passed an act creating the Town of Bovina.

Seventy four years ago today, on February 26, 1940, Mrs. Charles F. McPherson died.  The Delaware Republican had reported in its February 22 issue that "Mrs. Charles F. McPherson was taken to the hospital at Delhi….for treatment by Dr. Brooks."  The newspaper reported her death a week later.

The Andes Recorder from 135 years ago today, February 27, 1879, reported the sad news that "Henry, Son of Wm. D. Thompson, of Brushland, who met with an accident recently, which was supposed to have ruptured one of his kidneys, is not better, and when last heard from he was still failing.  He is about fifteen years of age, and an only child."  Henry, born in 1862, had had three siblings, but they had all died as children, two before his birth.  Happily, Henry did recover from this accident and was married four years later.  He died in 1930, leaving a widow and three children.

Ninety one years ago, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, “The road from Bovina to Delhi was opened up Wednesday [February 28, 1923] for trucks, after having been closed for anything but sleighs for about two weeks.”

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