Sunday, September 20, 2015

Stories from Bovina Cemeteries - Alexander Brush

175 years ago on September 11, 1840, Alexander Brush died in Bovina at the age of 81. The Delaware Gazette for September 30 reported his death and included a longer obituary than usually was published in that time period:

Mr. B. was a native of Smithtown, Long Island, and when our fathers, few in number, were contending for Liberty and were resolved to throw off Britain's yoke, he entered the contest and was among those who survived the bloody conflict, and long did he live to enjoy the benefits of American Independence, both civil and religious. As a citizen, he was not unmindful of his duty, and although he frowned upon political strife, ye he was a lover of his country's weal, and always endeavored to keep sight of the old landmarks. As a christian, he was decided in his course, and labored to sustain that dignity of character so essential for the honor of christianity. The last forty years of his life were spent in the town of Bovina, where he was beloved and esteemed by those that knew him; few men have lived so long and had so few to oppose. I am not aware of his having one who could be counted an enemy. He died as a christian dies. His confidence was in his God-even in him who he had trusted for almost 60 years. His funeral obsequies were attended on Sabbath, the 13th instant, at his own house, by a numerous concourse of friends and acquaintances, who seem to feel their loss.

Brush was a Methodist. He donated the land for the Methodist church which was built nine years after his death in 1849. That same year, the post office in the hamlet of Bovina Center became Brushland. That name would last until 1889, when it became Bovina Centre.

Brush was the first settler in Bovina Center and sold off a number of parcels in the area, essentially leading to the creation of the hamlet. Brush is buried in Bovina Center in what is now known as the Brush cemetery. His tombstone still exists today.

Something I noted in the article that I hadn't seen elsewhere was a reference to Brush having served in the American Revolution. I've started some further digging into this. If he was, indeed, a veteran of the American Revolution, we need to add a marker and flag to his grave.

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