Monday, November 30, 2015

This Day in Bovina for November

114 years ago today, the November 1, 1901 Andes Recorder reported that Bovina veteran "Frank Gowanlock, late of Co., E., 144th Regt., has been granted a pension of $6 per month, with back pay from July 1900."

156 years ago today, on November 2, 1859, Robert J. Forrest, the son of Robert and Elizabeth Forrest, died at the age of 4 years, 6 months and 19 days. He died as the result of being scalded. The hired girl had left a pail of water on the floor while getting more. The little boy was playing with the water in the pail when he heard the girl coming back. He was afraid he would be scolded and backed away from the pail, falling against a pot of boiling water which proceeded to spill on him. He lived for a couple of days after the accident.

119 years ago today, on Election Day, November 3, 1896, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Mrs. John Aitkin, over eighty years old…fell and was quite badly injured. She was unable to tell just how it happened." This appears to be Eliza Blish Aitkin. Born in 1816, she married John Aitkin in 1838 in Clovesville, NY. He died in 1888. She died about eight months after this accident in July 1897.

116 years ago today, on November 4, 1899, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Hector Cowan, son of James Cowan, who kept store in the centre many years ago, was in town.... It is 41 years since he was here." This store may have been located where Russell's Store is now located.

104 years ago today, on November 5, 1911, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Mr. and Mrs. Peter Gerry returned to New York…" The paper also noted that "Robert Gerry and family have arrived here."

107 years ago today, the Bovina column of the November 6, 1908 Andes Recorder reported that "A monument has been erected in the Center cemetery to memory of John and Barbara Lewis." Here's the stone today. Photo by Ed and Dick Davidson. 

Eighty years ago today, November 7, 1935, Anna Bell Barnhart LaFever observed her 42nd birthday by giving birth to her youngest son, George. 

134 years ago, the Bovina column for the Stamford Mirror for November 8, 1881 reported that "Dr. Dickson has had workmen from Binghamton, putting slates on his new drug store." This building is now the Brushland Eating House.

141 years ago today, on November 9, 1874, John Murray submitted this account of his expenses as overseer of the poor in "examining Margaret Mackessy, the mother of a bastard…" His expense was $2.00. 

Sixty-three years ago today, on November 10, 1952, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Delaware Republican Express, "Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Aitken moved on Monday from the Ackerly house to the apartment over the garage of Clayton Thomas."

112 years ago today, on November 11, 1903, John Irvine submitted this statement of his expenses in his campaign for Town Supervisor. His expenses amounted to $5.50 for cigars he gave  "to different parties.." He noted that he did not know the names of the recipients. Irvine was the father of Isabell Russell. He was supervisor until 1907.

140 years ago today, on November 12, 1875, Elizabeth Raitt Black died in Philadelphia. She was born in Bovina in 1840, the daughter of Thomas Raitt and Jennet Thorburn. She married Rev. James E. Black in Mississippi in 1870. At her death, she was survived by her 19 month old daughter and her husband. Elizabeth was buried in Bovina. Her husband survived her by over 50 years, dying in Oklahoma in 1929.

132 years ago today, the November 13, 1883 Stamford Mirror briefly reported that "Brushland wants a select school." A select school, as defined in Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary, is "a privately supported and administered elementary or secondary school whose student body is selectively chosen usually on a sectarian, social, or economic basis."

104 years ago today, on November 14, 1911, as later reported by the Andes Recorder, "Robert B. Jardine died … from Bright's disease, at his home on the Arbuckle farm on the eastern slope of Glenburnie, just over the Bovina line, aged 55 years." Under the headline "Native of Bovina Dead," the paper noted that he was born in Bovina, the son of Gilbert Jardine and Nancy Tuttle. He was married twice and was survived by his second wife and a son and daughter from his first marriage. He was buried in the Bovina Cemetery. Here's his headstone. Note that it gives a death date of November 13, but the newspaper clearly says the 14th. Not sure which one is correct.

150 years ago today, the Delaware Gazette for November 15, 1865, reported the following: "Who can beat it? - Robert Tilford [probably should be Telford] of Bovina, the other day, killed a two year old Ewe which weiged (sic) alive 200 lbs. The four quarters, dressed meat, weighted 130 lbs., the pelt 18 lbs, and the tallow from the entrails 16 1/2 lbs. We say again, who can beat it?"

109 years ago today, the Bovina column of the November 16, 1906 Andes Recorder reported that the Bovina U.P. Church was considering getting an organ. It was noted that while James L. Coulter was leader of the choir, one wasn't necessary. "The removal of Mr. Coulter to Margaretville leaves the choir without anyone to 'start the tunes' and the congregation will have to dispense with singing or put in an organ.  A few years ago the opposition to an organ was strong but now there is very few opposed to it.  A petition has been presented to the session by the choir asking that they take action."

134 years ago today, on Thursday evening, November 17, 1881, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Stamford Mirror, "A party of young people from the Scotch Mountain and Little Delaware, had a dance at Hastings' Hall…"

114 years ago today, on November 18, 1901, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "T.C. Strangeway, R.A. Thompson and William J. Archibald were at Margaretville … on business relating to the opening of a new road.  The matter was adjourned." I have yet to determine what road is meant by this.

166 years ago today, on November 19, 1849, Peter Rutherford, the 18 day old son of Walter Rutherford and Sarah Delamater, died. He was buried in the Reformed Presbyterian Church cemetery. His grave is on Find A Grave:

159 years ago today, on November 20, 1856, Margaret S. Doig was born in Andes, the daughter of William S. Doig and Elizabeth Armstrong. She married J. Douglas Burns in 1879 and lived in Bovina, where she gave birth to her five children, four of whom survived to adulthood, including Bill Burns, grandfather of a number of the Burns family. She died in 1925. Her husband survived her by 9 years, dying in 1934. Both are buried in Bovina.

One hundred ninety four years ago today, on November 21, 1821, the following notice was posted in the Delaware Gazette: "Public notice is hereby given, that the personal property of Adam Kezie, late of the town of Bovina deceased consisting of Horses, Cattle, Sheep, and Farming Utensils, will be exposed to sale at public auction for cash, on Thursday the 6th day of December next, at the house formerly occupied by the said Adam Kedzie deceased. Mary Kedzie, administratrix; James Kedzie, William Kedzie, Administrators.

Sixty-nine years ago today, on November 22, 1946, a game and card party was held at St. James' parish hall to benefit the Women's auxiliary.

110 years ago today, at high noon on November 23, 1905, Bessie Armstrong was married to Wm. A. Gladstone. Here's the article from the November 29, 1905 Delaware Gazette. 

Fifty five years ago today, on November 24, 1960, as later reported in the Massena (NY) Observer it's "Louisville Events" column that "Mr. and Mrs. Charles LaFever and family of Bovina Center spent Thanksgiving with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Benson LaFever. Benson LaFever is working in Plattsburgh as a carpenter on a building project."

105 years ago today, readers of the Catskill Mountain News for November 25, 1910 learned that "Mrs. Elizabeth Hewitt of Bovina has bought the Dr. Ward Young house, Bovina Centre, and John W. Hewitt takes the homestead farm in upper Bovina." The Dr. Young house was later owned by Millie Reinertsen (42.2623°N 74.7833°W). The Hewitt homestead is on Mountain Brook Road and is now owned by Tom Groves.

137 years ago today, the November 26, 1878 issue of Stamford Mirror reported on two items in a brief entry : "Mrs. Miller, wife of William Miller, has become insane and a home will have to be found for her in some insane asylum.  John. G. Bramley, who has been engaged on the State Survey during the past summer, will spend the winter at home and teach the school in which he was formerly a pupil."

119 years ago today, the November 27, 1896 Andes Recorder, in its Bovina column, reported that "A fine monument has been erected to the memory of the late John Hilson.  Dauley & Wright, of Oneonta, furnished it.  They also erected a tomb stone to the late Mrs. John Phyfe."

Twelve years ago today, on November 28, 2003, Edith Archibald died. Born in England in 1928, she was married to Leonard Archibald in Lincoln, England, in May 1952. While in England, Edith served in the RAF.

134 years ago today, the Bovina column of the November 29, 1881 Stamford Mirror reported that "Thos. Johnson has made 260 barrels of cider this season." The same column also reported that "About $70 has been expended in improving the appearance of the cemetry (sic) grounds."

Ninety five years ago today, on November 30, 1920, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Andes Recorder, "Robert G. Thompson was at Delhi…and traded his Buick roadster for a five passenger 1921 Buick."

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - Margaret and Jen Get Their Tonsils Out

The Andes Recorder in June 1920 reported that, "Mrs. Christopher S. Gladstone and Mrs. Fred Thomson were operated upon Tuesday (June 15, 1920) at the home of the last named for the removal of their tonsils. Dr. Goodrich and Ormiston were the surgeons."

Mrs. Gladstone was born Margaret J. Coulter in 1879, the daughter of Dixon Coulter and Margaret Elliott. Mrs. Thomson was Jennie Oliver, born in 1885, the daughter John Oliver and Stella Dumond. These two women were second cousins once removed, both being descendants of early Bovina settler Francis Coulter. We likely can assume they must have at least known each other enough for Mrs. Gladstone to be comfortable having her tonsils removed at someone else's home. They both were members of the Bovina United Presbyterian Church and likely socialized through the group in that church.  

They survived their tonsil surgery by a bit over 40 years and, amazingly, died the same day and in the same place. Both women passed away at the Delhi Hospital on November 18, 1960. They both were attended by by Dr. Orin Q. Flint. Margaret died of a stroke and Jennie of heart disease. Margaret had been widowed for seven years while Jennie had been widowed less than three months. The two women were buried a day apart, with Margaret buried November 21 and Jen the next day. 
Grave of Christopher and Margaret Gladstone
Grave of Fred and Jen Thomson

Note: A confusing element in this story is that Jen Thomson had a sister-in-law named Margaret Gladstone! Fred's sister, Margaret King Thomson, married Edward Dunn Gladstone, a first cousin once removed of Christopher Gladstone.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

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

From the Andes Recorder
Cecil Russell's brother gets married and a Hook and Ladder Company is organized in Bovina. And Andrew Coulter had car trouble on a trip to Andes.

November 5, 1915
•The Dickson store has been improved by a new dress of paint [This is now the Brushland Eating House].
•Frank Hobbie will move from Colchester to the Joshua Hobbie farm which for some time has been occupied by a Pollock.
•Alex Myers is painting the new Fire House. This building makes a very substantial addition to the appearance of that section of the town.

November 12, 1915
•Supervisor Thomas H. Johnson is at Delhi this week in attendance on the sessions of the Board. The town may rest assured that its interests will be well cared for.
•H.A. Ayres, buttermaker at the creamery, has moved from the Phinney to the Dickson house on Pink street. Dixon Thomson is moving to the house vacated, from up Pink street, leaving the farm in charge of his son.

A Pretty Wedding in Bovina
Miss Hildreth Tuttle and Chas Russell United in Marriage Nov. 10
  A pretty wedding occurred at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Tuttle in Bovina, Wednesday evening, November 10, when their only daughter, Hildreth, was united in the bonds of matrimony with Charles Russell, son of R.H. Russell, of Bovina, in the presence of about sixty guests.
As the strains of Mendelssohn’s wedding march, rendered by Miss Winter, pealed forth, the bride attended by Miss Isabel Irvine, and the groom with his brother, Cecil Russell, as best man, and preceeded by Mary Doig as ring bearer, entered and took their places beneath a beautiful evergreen and chrysanthemum arch.
The ceremony was performed by Rev. J.A. Mahaffey, with the closing prayer by Rev. Thomas Graham. “O Promise Me” was sun by Mildred Winter, of New Kingston, with piano accompaniment by Mrs. Robert hunt.
The bride was becomingly gowned in white charmouse, trimmed with white fur and pearl, with sleeves and overskirt of lace, and carried white roses. The bridesmaid was in pink crepe de chine and carried pink carnations. The ring bearer was also in pink.
The ceremony was followed by a six course dinner with Mrs. Jessie Thomson, of Delhi as cateress. The gifts received by the bride were numerous and included money, linen, cut glass, silver, rugs, etc.

November 19, 1915
•George E. Miller, of Andes, spent Sabbath at the home of his brother, Gideon Miller. Mrs. Miller, who has been on the sick list is somewhat improved.
•The following sums have been ordered levied on the Bovina Center fire district.  For bond No 1 and interest, $337.50; rent of fire hydrants $65, fire bell $65, furnishing firemen’s hall $30.

November 26, 1915
•Ward Baker, the violinist, is making an effort to organize a Band here.
•Arthur VanDusen has moved from the Margaret Hoy house to part of the tenant house of Ellsworth Tuttle.
•During the storm Friday [Nov 19] morning one of the large evergreen trees at the house owned by Mrs. Wm. S. Thomson on the corner opposite the Dennis house, was blown down. It landed on the house and did some damage to the cornice, smashing some of it.

Fire Dept for Bovina Center
Hook and Ladder and Hose Company Organized – Alex Myers Chief
A Fire Department of about thirty members has been organized in Bovina Center Fire District with the following officers: 

Chief – Alex Myers
Assistant Chief – Andrew T. Doig
Secretary – Thomas Gordon
Treasurer – Rev. Thomas Graham

    The officers of the Hose company are: John Aitken, foreman; Harry Robson, assistant foreman; Milton Hastings, secretary; Walter G. Coulter, treasurer.
The Hook and Ladder company officers are: James Hilson, foreman; David Currie, assistant foreman; Dr. N. B. Whitcomb, secretary; Robert hunt, treasurer.

Stole the Gas
Andrew Coulter, of Bovina, came to Andes Wednesday evening and left his auto standing at the curb.  When he went to start the car it would not go. Investigation revealed the fact that some miscreant had let out all the gas and stolen the wires connected with the spark plugs.

Friday, November 6, 2015

"This town is my birthplace, and in a poetic sense is the dearest spot to me on earth."

Rev. John Loughran Scott was born in Bovina on December 21, 1846, the son of Robert Scott and Martha Loughran. He married Elizabeth Laurens in Fishkill in 1882 and had two sons, both named Lauren. The first son died after only about a year. The second son, born in 1887 in Connecticut, survived to adulthood, dying in Philadelphia in 1911 (this second Lauren ended his life in some kind of asylum, being mentally incapacitated). 

In November 1882, Rev. Scott wrote a letter to the Delaware Republican, published in their January 13, 1883 issue, concerning his recollections of his boyhood home.

A Letter From Rev. J.L. Scott

  A great poet once said: “There is not a spot on this wide peopled earth, so dear to our heart as the land of our birth;” but poets have a license to say most anything, without regard to truth. The whole matter depends upon where you were born, and somewhat upon where we have been since. This town is my birthplace, and in a poetic sense is the dearest spot to me on earth; I am always glad to come and equally so to leave, which affords a double pleasure and confirms the poet’s assertion. This little town boasts the pastoral name of Bovina. General Root, a man of great note in his day, suggested it from the natural adaptation to grazing. It is the smallest of all Delaware’s nineteen towns, and has a few characteristics peculiar to itself. The question of temperance found a solution here long, long ago; there has been no license for many years; no place nearer than twelve miles where a free citizens of America can exercise his constitutional right of getting drunk; but there seem to be more devils than one, and cider, that harmless beverage of twenty years ago, has become an evil of no small magnitude; still this is the most temperate, the most churchly town in the county. It has but one inmate in the alms house, and for a long time none whatever – the people here live on their own farms and within a circle of mountains that surrounds them on every side. It is almost impossible to find a voter who would not be responsible for what he contracts; the rich men are worth $20,000, and the poor from $500 to $1000.

Here is a little village of one hundred inhabitants, with its three stores and three churches. If you will pardon me, I will write of the latter; perhaps this is a subject of which I may claim some knowledge. The smallest is the Methodists, a plant which nourishes fairly in this uncongenial Grampian soil. Then follows the United Presbyterian, a vigorous member of the great Presbyterian family, which boasts 80,000 strong in the whole country. They are by far the largest and the oldest; but its religionist has changed from what he was in my boyhood. Then he sang nothing but an old version of the Psalms, composed by one Rouse some two hundred years ago. He was a close communist. Each member received a “token,” a sort of ticket which entitled him to a seat at the Lord’s table. No organs were allowed in the service, nor even a choir. A precentor stood before the pulpit and led a medley which was called singing. I remember the strange way by which they run out the lines ending in “tion” – salvation, for instance, got terribly bent in the process. Then again no secret society members were allowed any fellowship, but this law was useless, as I do not believe a single Mason at that time lived within many miles of the church; aside from all this they accepted the Westminster standards as a whole. The preaching was forever, and twice a day at that. There was an interval of ten minutes, which formed “a narrow neck of land between two boundless seas.” I shall not recall it, my bones ache at the thought. The boys and girls went to church then, and sat crowded in straight back seats, listening to an hour’s discourse on the Mosaic law and its symbolic meanings. I once saw a poor woman stand alone in the congregation and receive a “rebuke.” She had sinned and returned to the church, asking restoration, but first she must arise and endure the darts of five hundred eyes shot deep within her heart, while the silence of death reigned everywhere; then the preacher, in serious tones, reviewed the wrong and hoped for her redemption. It was a custom transported from beyond the water, and should have been cast upon the angriest storm and left to the howlings of the sea. This was done in the name of Him who said, “I do not condemn thee; go and sin no more;” but the United Presbyterian Church has awoke to the fact that King James is dead and the war for the covenant is over. They have choirs, a new version of the Psalms, the old tokens are forgotten, and last of all, organs are now permitted – this is the triumph of the present year. There are congregations and individual members who cling to the shrouds of dead bigotry, but the world keeps turning and our father’s church is following on. I cast no reflections upon the past; but when any people transfer forms that were born out of war and in a country of persecutions, to this nation of religious liberty and universal peace, they mistake death for life.

The third and last denomination is the Reformed Presbyterian, a church which numbers 8,000 perhaps in all America. They are the organic descendants of the Covenanters or Cameronians of Scotland. They sing the old Psalms, have no instruments, are close communion, admit no members of secret societies, do not vote, and therefore not a very popular sect among the politicians. They are the element behind the National Reform Association, that is trying to incorporate the Trinity and the Bible in the constitution of the country; until this is done they will exercise no franchise right as Americans. It is strange how people combine contradictions; the Covenanters were loyal during the war, some fought for a constitution which they would not swear to support. They are good citizens and only talk against the government. It will be a long time before the Covenanters are where the United Presbyterians are now, but the latter are following fast after the great Presbyterian Church. The younger elements are more liberal, more broad in their faith.

There was a political exclusiveness in this town which fortunately is also doomed to die. The entire vote would not exceed 300, out of which 80 perhaps were Democratic. The years made no change; it was the same monotonous majority for every candidate. A Democrat was a sort of Samaritan, a hopeless fellow with distant affiliations. Horace Greeley was the patron Saint of the Bovina farmer; he told him how to make butter and when to sell it. The oracle himself came to Delaware during the Lincoln campaign, and was the first great man I ever saw. A delegation met him at the depot, fifty miles away. The people came in multitudes, arches spanned the streets, and bands played many a welcome; but the philosopher disappointed his friends; his speech was dull, the outburst of oratory of which we had heard much were not there. Still he remained the St. Peter among all the Saints, and when nominated for the Presidency, had a following of honest friends. Since then, election returns are more uncertain, but this fall many broke away entirely, and for the first time voted the Democratic ticket. The law of variation is at work even in conservative Bovina.

We are now on the borders of winter. Last week snow fell some two inches and seems included to remain. Water is very low, and the farmers apprehend much trouble during the season. J.L.S.

Bovina, N.Y., November 22, 1882.