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.

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