Monday, February 29, 2016

This Day in Bovina for February 2016

109 years ago today, on February 1, 1907, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "David Ballantine was here Friday from Andes consulting with the business men with a view of starting a private bank here.  He secured the names of several of the business men and the creameries will decide later.  He will lease the McCune grocery building if he decides to start a bank here."

Ninety one years ago today, on February 2, 1925, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "….Sloan Archibald received a box of oranges from his son, Russell Archibald, who is spending the winter in Florida."

Sixty-four years ago today, on February 3, 1952, as later reported in the Delaware Republican-Express, "Clayton Thomas and George Storie motored to Forest City, Pa."

195 years ago today, on February 4, 1821, John Fuller died. The death notice in the Delaware Gazette: "In Bovina…after a short illness, which he bore with christian fortitue and resignation, Mr. John Fuller, aged 20 years, son of Mr. Elihu Fuller."

165 years ago today, on February 5, 1861, this report of accounts for the 10 common school districts in Bovina was certified as correct by the town board. 

Eighty two years ago today, on February 6, 1934, Archibald Phyfe died. Born in 1848, he spent his whole life in Bovina, most of it on the family farm. He married Mary Ormiston in 1875 and was widowed 10 years later. His sister Sarah moved in with him to help raise his two daughters. On February 4, 1928, Archie and his sister were overcome by coal gas. He survived but Sarah died. More about the tragedy involving Sarah can be found in the Bovina NY History Blog at

148 years ago today, on February 7, 1868, the town auditors of Bovina pass a resolution to pay to Peter Clark $12 from the dog fund to cover "damages sustained by him in June 1860 for sheep killed by unknown dogs." 

Ninety five years ago today, on February 8, 1921, David Sloan of Crested Butte, Colorado passed away. The Andes Recorder reported his death under the headline "Former Bovina Man is Dead." The paper noted that Sloan was the "assistant sergeant at arms of the state senate…" He died "at the home of his daughter, Mrs. James M. Gladstone, with who he resided during the session of the legislature." He died of pneumonia and was buried in Gunnison, Colorado. Born in Ireland 77 years earlier, he settled in Bovina where he was a shoemaker for a number of years. His shop was at the entrance to the Bovina creamery on what is now the home of Dick and Carol Brannen. He went to Colorado in the 1890s where "for a long period was employed as watchman for the Colorado Fuel and Iron Col at its Crested Butte mines." He was a widower, survived by a son in Iowa and three daughters all in Colorado.

152 years ago today, on February 9, 1864, Michael Miller signed this oath of office as town clerk for the Town of Bovina. He would serve for one term. 

118 years ago today, Maggie Coulter recorded the following in her diary for February 10, 1898: "Cloudy this morning rained a little this forenoon. Fogy this afternoon & evening. Liddle's stayed all night here. Went over to Steven Russell's for dinner. Had potatoes, scalloped oysters, pressed chicken & Bread first course. Second course biscuits, 4 kinds of cake, peach cauce and oranges. Present at Russell's were Rev. Samson, Rev. Slater, Mrs. Samson, Frank & Addie Russell, Mary Coulter, Mrs. David Oliver Sen., John A. Russell wife and sons, Frank Armstrong, Mary Armstrong, Walter Coutler, Herman Coulter, Edwin Russell, Lena Russell, Mary Anne Russell, Mrs. John G. Russell, Will Russell, George Russell, Steven Russell, Mary Russell, Joe McNally, Maggie Russell." Maggie later married J. Russell Boggs and died in 1951. Thank you to her granddaughter, Barbara Boggs Ide for donating her grandmother's diaries.

Sixty seven years ago today, the February 11, 1949 Bovina column in the Catskill Mountain News reported that "William Parsons was in the Margaretville hospital two days last week for a checkup. He has not been in his usual health all winter." Bill recovered, surviving until 1962.

132 years ago today, at the annual town meeting held on February 12, 1884, this slate of officers was elected to local offices. Also during this meeting, a resolution was passed to elect only one overseer of the poor. This document has an error that first started sometime in the 1840s. The mention of the act of the legislature is a reference to the creation of Bovina on February 20, 1820. At some point after 1840, someone's handwriting confused later clerks, who misread 1820 as 1840. 

134 years ago today, Alexander Storie wrote in his diary for Monday, February 13, 1882 the following: "Thawed all last night. The fields are partly bare. Rained heavy most of the day. High water in PM. Wind S."

Ninety five years ago today, February 14, 1921, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Mrs. John Hilson gave a Valentine party to 16 friends…"

Sixty five years ago today, the February 15, 1951 Bovina column in the Delaware Republican-Express reported that "Last week the Bovina Center Co-Operative Dairy, Inc. again paid a thirteenth check to its patrons for milk delivered. A total of $19,410.00 or $.02 1/2 per dollar value of all milk delivered at the plant during the year 1950 was paid." The paper went on to note that "Over the period of the past eight years the Bovina Center Co-Operative Dairy, Inc. has paid its patrons  total of $290,000.00 in thirteenth checks and special premiums or an average of $.234 per cwt. for all milk delivered at the plant during that time."

122 years ago today, the February 16, 1894 Andes Recorder in its Bovina column reported that "The plasterers are at work on Peter McNair's new home." This home is on Maple Avenue, now owned by Steve and Maureen Roberts. The same column also reported that "J.P. Dennis intendes (sic) putting in a shingle mill in the near future. Bovina already has one shingle mill."

191 years ago today, on February 17, 1825, Margaret McCune was born in Bovina, the daughter of John McCune (1794-1850) and Catherine McNaught (1796-1874). She married John Bramley in 1847 and had nine children. She died a little over two weeks after her husband in the fall of 1899, survived by four of her nine children.

Ninety years ago today, on February 18, 1926, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Andes Recorder, "Mrs. Isaac Mitchell underwent an operation for appendicitis at the Delhi hospital…"

Sixty two years ago today, on February 19, 1954, the Bovina Fire Department held its annual pancake supper in the church parlors, with serving starting at 6:30 p.m.

Forty-one years ago today, the February 20, 1975 Delaware Republican-Express had as a front page story entitled "Bovina's Country Cupboard: Reflective of Community." The article reported on the Bovina Historical Society's cookbook, entitled Bovina's Country Cupboard. The article included this photograph of some of the committee members, namely, Ann Finn, Marjorie Russell, Marie Burns and Barbara Hilson. The committee also included Bea Thomson.

173 years ago today, on February 21, 1843, Walter Stott, Jr, the Commissioner of Common Schools in Bovina certified an alteration in school district 10, transferring James Aitkins from district 10 to district 2 (which was located in the area of Pink Street). 

171 years ago today, on February 22, 1845, James Coulter signed this oath of office as town supervisor. It was notarized by Edward McKenzie, the Town Clerk. Both men later in the year would get involved with the Anti-Rent War and would be present at the shooting of Undersheriff Osman Steele. Coulter was arrested and McKenzie was brought in to testify at the subsequent trial.

186 years ago today, on February 23, 1830, Isaiah Laing, the 19 year old son of Rev. Robert Laing, pastor of the Associate Presbyterian Church, passed away. He is buried in the cemetery that was next to the church where his father served as pastor.

Sixty five years ago today, on February 24, 1951, as later reported in the Bovina Column of the Delaware Republican-Express: "Boyce Rosmann moved his family…to Mable Thomson's house. Charles LaFever is now living in the home of his brother, Howard LaFever." The house that my dad moved into was my childhood home. Mom and Dad would live there the rest of their lives.

Fifty one years ago today, on February 25, 1960, the Bovina column of the Delaware Republican-Express reported that "The LaFever Brothers have tapped their sugar maples, ready for the first sap run."

Seventy-four years ago today, on February 26, 1942, Fletcher Davidson found himself appointed clerk protem at a meeting of the town board to discuss the purchase of a truck.  Here are Fletcher's notes written on the stationary of the Supervisor Charles Lee.

195 years ago today, this audit of the overseers of the poor for Bovina, dated February 27, 1821, was issued, noting a balance due of $65.81 to the town. 

Sixty-three years ago today, on February 28, 1953, the Ladies Auxiliary of the Bovina Fire department held a bake sale at Russell's store.

152 years ago today, on February 29, 1864, William B. Laidlaw and David A. Elliott signed these statements requesting to have the $350 owed to them by the town of Bovina as a bounty for enlisting paid to relatives. William's was to his uncle Ebenezer. David's payment was to his brother John A., himself a Civil War veteran who was discharged for disability the month before. David was captured in June 1864 and died in Andersonville prison three months later.  

Monday, February 22, 2016

The 1884 Diary of David Fletcher Hoy of Bovina, New York

John W. Hoy, my fifth cousin, has very graciously given me permission to place on my blog a transcript he has done of David Fletcher Hoy's 1884 diary. D.F. Hoy, John's great grandfather, provided crucial information about the history and genealogy of Bovina, without which I would find my work as town historian much more challenging. Davy Hoy grew up in Bovina but would spend most of his life in Ithaca. (For more information about Davy's life in Ithaca, visit this blog at for an entry from October 2014.)

I will be sharing the diary in monthly installments through the rest of this year, starting in March with the January entries. Given that Davy did not write in the diary at all in October and barely any time after that, the monthly entries will not line up with the month of the blog entries.

This month's blog entry is John's 'discussion' about his great grandfather. I did some editing to reduce the size a bit, but John provides very interesting information about David F. Hoy's ancestral background, as well as a good summary of what the diary will say, so I left most of it in.
David F. Hoy in 1887, courtesy of David F. Hoy III and John W. Hoy
Transcription and discussion of the 1884 Diary of David Fletcher Hoy by John W. Hoy (January 2016)

David F. Hoy (1863-1930) was known for his enthusiasm for baseball, Cornell University, stamps, genealogy and his native Bovina. He was sociable and cared for friends and family. In 1887 he would graduate from the Delaware Literary Institute; in 1891 he would earn both his BS and MS from Cornell. After receiving his degrees, he headed the registrar's office until his retirement in 1930. He married Silence Burr Howard (1872-1952) on August 8, 1895. Early in the 20th century, he contracted for and helped design their house at 225 Fall Creek Drive in Ithaca (just across the gorge from the Cornell art museum). Ultimately, the Cornell baseball field and Hoy Road on the campus were named for him.

The 1884 diary reflects that he was detail-oriented and regular in his habits at 20 years old. Late spring he finished "14 weeks" as a local teacher in "my school," as he describes it (February 15) "This is the last day of my school I have taught 14 weeks at $5 per week and board." D. F. Hoy may have worked with another teacher, traveling with another to and from the school, without that specific individual identified. Speculating from the family names mentioned, "his school" was likely one of the Bovina District schools in the northwest part of town, corresponding to schools 2 (in District 2, etc.), 4, 5 or 6. Davy also worked for neighbors and family members, generally mixed carpentry attached to his father's business in local construction, but he also did farm work in the area, particularly during the harvest season—mowing, thrashing, cutting oats and driving wagons. Diary entries provided one way he could document the number of days he taught or just how many days he was working at a particular site. In one entry he describes posting what might be a business proposal, a natural extension of work for his father, John Robertson Hoy (1831-1901). The family house is identified on the Beers 1869 map of Bovina (available at along the Little Delaware River, at the main road above the "Bovina Valley" label. This map indicates two structures "J. R. Hoy"; the one along the main road is likely the storage and work structure J. R. Hoy mentioned in his diary in earlier years.

  During his stint teaching, Davy stayed with neighbors and friends in the evenings, presumably to allow more space at the house for other family members in their house, but it was also a way local families could help pay for the school; he might stay a week with any one family. After he finished teaching that spring, he continued the practice of staying with others in the community for some days of nearly every week. As a young man essentially out in the working world earning his keep, he was trusted to look after himself.

He no doubt felt quite comfortable within the quiet village. It is easy to imagine that he listened to many stories and much lore about heritage and background while playing dominoes or walking in company. Many of his neighbors and cousins descended from Lowlands Scotland, primarily Roxburghshire, and he would have heard Scots flavors every day. His great grandfather James Hoy, a founder of the Coila church in Cambridge, New York, had emigrated in 1783 across the Atlantic from Jedburgh, Scotland, but he originally traced to Ettrick Forest and to a family mentioned specifically by James Hogg in his 1818 novel The Brownie of Bodsbeck; Hogg was in fact a distant cousin to the Bovina Hoy family, by marriage—the emigrant James Hoy (Davy's great grandfather) was brother-in-law to the sister of James Hogg's mother. David Fletcher's mother's uncle John Miller (1797-1874) had been a forester and factor for the Earl of Traquair in Innerleithen, Scotland, identified today as the "oldest continuously occupied house in Scotland"; John Miller had retired from the Traquair House staff in 1871. Through the Millers, David Fletcher belonged to the Laidlaw clan of Hawick and to a plausible great-great grandfather David Laidlaw mentioned by James Hogg in his printed notes to his most popular work, The Queen's Wake (first published 1813). According to Scots naming patterns, Davy's grandfather David Miller as second son would have been named for his mother's (Agnes Laidlaw's) father, very likely Hogg's specific David Laidlaw, and, following the same practice, David Fletcher himself as second son would have been named for his mother's father David Miller. The blood link would also give him distant cousinship with the famous Dr. John Leyden—also a descendent of this Laidlaw group.

In later years, David Fletcher exchanged letters with enthusiasts worldwide tracing genealogical nuance. He made a set of trips to Scotland very early in the 20th century, but closer to home he also documented family histories of Bovina families in a more general sense. He may well have kept a puritan streak about a number of social fascinations, including alcohol. Generally Bovina was inclined toward temperance, and there is no mention of alcohol of any kind in the diary.

Davy also did chores around the family homestead in Bovina. His older sister Jennette Ellen Hoy (b. 1859) may have been at home or working in the area, and she would be one of the Jennies mentioned in the diary. His younger siblings Margaret Jane (b. 1866) Milton Robertson (b. 1870) and William Wilson (b. 1872) may have been at home but are not mentioned in the diary except in passing. Milton Robertson Hoy would in a few years also assist John Robertson Hoy with construction of houses (the Dario and Briana Riera home, formerly owned by Russ and Dorothy Ryder, was built by Milton and his father, ca. 1887). David Fletcher Hoy had favorite friends whose names appear often in the diary. There is no mention of his missing the thumb of his left hand, following an accident with a shotgun at some uncertain date before or after these 1884 entries. According to family lore, reported by Davy's grandson D. F. Hoy, III, his father J. R. Hoy laconically recommended he find another profession that did not require that thumb.

John Robertson Hoy, a veteran of the Civil War with the NY 144th Volunteers (1864-65), was a carpenter, woodsman and sugar maker, tapping trees and boiling sap in the winter. Prior to the 1860s, J. R. Hoy served seven years with the local N.Y. State militia. The family had been stressed in 1883 by a set of deaths close to the Bovina family. David's older brother James Thomas died January 30, 1883, of unknown cause. David Fletcher's grandmother Isabella Turnbull died May 13, perhaps cared for by her two daughters, Isabella Wilson Miller (1831-1905, David Fletcher's mother), and Jennette Elliott Miller (1841-1925), who may have lived with her parents. David Fletcher's grandfather David Miller died July 2, mere weeks after the passing of his wife. Finally, David's oldest sister Mary Isabella and her infant died during childbirth three weeks later on July 22. Her husband Douglas(s) Davidson is mentioned often in the diary, and clearly, David Fletcher saw him as a friend as well as brother-in-law needing support with chores on his own place, though Davy apparently was paid for some, if not all, work he did. D. F. Hoy comes across as mature, straightforward and businesslike and simply does not make many personal remarks about others.

Once his teaching was done in the spring, D.F. Hoy's time shifted to house and barn building and general work on local farmsteads, with some hint in the diary of how the business relationship with his father was organized. David Fletcher may well have been part of a team working on its own while his father J. R. Hoy was working at a different job site. Davy often mentions working with Tom Clark (1858-1943) and David Hoy (b. 1848, son of J.R.'s oldest sibling James Hoy and who had married Josephine Clark in 1873). Barn raising or other large tasks required community participation, one frame needing "50 men," for example. Skilled carpenters would be necessary to prepare for the new raising, to have primary timbers cut and assembled in a preliminary fashion. The frame members would then be raised and pinned by a large working party on a Saturday. The structure would be enclosed and finished by carpenters such as J.R. Hoy and his crew. References in the diary to quarrying, working at the river and "the bridge" suggest that during 1884 J. R. Hoy may have been working on the Stone Bridge in Bovina (photographed in 1941, still picturesque at that time, visible in the published calendar Our Town, Bovina 2000). It appears a set of major jobs were in process during the year, including the bridge, barns, a "wagon house", some site grading and at least one residential house.

The brown, leather-bound, stitched Excelsior Diary booklet, of 3" x 5" pages, was a quality product, printed for just such purpose as it was used, and D. F. Hoy may well have felt encouraged to keep and maintain it, for most of the year, anyway. The booklet is cupped in a way that suggests it was often carried in a back pocket. David Fletcher's handwriting could be tiny but clear, implying many hours practicing penmanship, in pencil, primarily, and a good knife for keeping the point sharp. Perhaps typical for such notebooks in the day, they functioned as comprehensive personal organizers, and the very last pages of this notebook provide a set of bookkeeping pages. Binding end papers reveal informal arithmetic computations in pencil.

At no point does David Fletcher write his own name in the diary [Note from Ray: this is incredibly common, making it hard or impossible to know who wrote a particular diary]. Only handwriting provides a way to make the identification certain, but even that presents challenges: his handwriting varied, and at times seems quite formal—not all that surprising, since he was often practicing the same skills he was probably teaching in his school. In the entries, D.F. Hoy was generally regular with his spelling, and he made some erasures to rewrite words. Our spelling of "today" is almost always separated into two words: "to day." He would not just visit, he or someone else might go "a visiting." On the other hand, he was irregular with his punctuation, often not marking possessives, though possessive noun forms here are generally unambiguous. Perhaps for a small diary, punctuation would be the first to be dropped. However, Davy usually identified individuals with middle initials in order to make clear just who it was, incredibly helpful for a later transcriber! It is very likely that he was clarifying for hypothetical later checking for a set of reasons: because he wanted make sure he could report precisely what he had accomplished in order to receive fair payment, because he was naturally devoted to his community, and because his nature led him to be exact with details, all of which might require and encourage good habits.

Some entries in the monthly account details at the back of the diary suggest he was occasionally lending small sums to family members and neighbors. The listing of money paid out also provides a picture of his interests, both casual and serious. He entered amounts spent "For Candy" or "For Cigar." He occasionally purchased a meal out, and toll charges on the road are also listed.

Davy regularly visited with others in the Bovina area socially, sometimes traveling substantial distances, such as to Walton or Delhi, for business or personal reasons. He seems to have walked a great deal, but occasionally he mentions getting rides—in wagons, presumably. He reports hearing of two instances of horse theft. David Fletcher was at least checking on the feasibility of purchasing a bicycle, given that he entered the address of the Pope Manufacturing Company, which had only a few years before begun making bicycles in Boston. For some carpentry jobs, he stayed nights with the house or barn owner.

  D.F. Hoy attended church, sometimes twice on Sunday—church service in the morning and prayer meeting or Sunday school later on. He occasionally traveled to other churches to hear named visiting preachers, and on one occasion he noted the text on which the sermon was based. He also attended fund-raising "socials," recording the amounts of money raised though usually not the causes—with one exception: he paid .20 for a concert to benefit the "Fresh Air" children at the Methodist Church. He was diligent about listing money for church collections, but Davy may have been a communicant in the United Presbyterian Church—though the figures for collections dropped to a penny per week later in the year. He also mentions the Reformed Presbyterian Church (The "Covenanter Church") and the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Gaining sight of the many names referenced as well as trying to understand relationships means I have accessed much data and description prepared by others. D. F. Hoy himself championed preservation of family history, he researched and organized arcane details quickly and efficiently, and he preserved papers and some artifacts including his own diary from early years. The diary, along with other family documents, was preserved in turn by David's son David Fletcher Hoy, II and his grandson David Fletcher Hoy, III. Using family information, Bovina Burial Information (compiled heroically by Ed and Richard Davidson, grandsons of Douglass Davidson, finalized in 2007), as well as genealogical data originally organized and preserved by D. F. Hoy, then scanned by Richard Davidson, I have attempted to identify some of the names. The Delaware County NY Genealogy and History Site (, created by Joyce Riedinger, continues to make the data available to others; that site is linked through the Delaware County Historical Association ( and the H. Fletcher Davidson Library. Currently, the diary is in the possession of David Fletcher Hoy, III and his son John W. Hoy.

Monday, February 15, 2016

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

From the Andes Recorder
February 4, 1916
•           E.J. Turnbull’s workmen, from Andes, were at Hamilton Russell’s on Monday doing plumbing.
•           Charles A. McPherson, who had his leg broken nine weeks ago, has been able to get out a little this week.
•           John W. Blair has rented his farm, known as the John T. Miller place, to Harvey Hafele, of Colchester, who will take possession March 1. Mr. Blair will move to his house in the village, occupied by David Currie.[The J.T. Miller place is now the home of Jack and June Burns.]
•           Ward Baker, the violinist, has moved from Bovina to the H.L. Hewitt house in Margaretville.  He has rented his residence at the foot of Russell hill to Robert G. Thomson, manager of the Dry Milk Co., plant here.

Was Native of Bovina
            George W. Graham, a son of the late John F. Graham of Bovina, died in West Virginia, December 28, aged 70.  During the civil war he served in the 144th Regiment and became 2d lieutenant. After the war he opened a law office at Harper’s Ferry and served two terms in the West Virginia senate and was on the staff of Gov. Glasscock and Gov. Hatfield.

February 11, 1916
•           From an entertainment and social held last Friday evening, the Fire Department realized $42.
•           Howard McPherson, town superintendent of highways, attended the Good Roads meeting at Delhi on Wednesday.
•           H.B. Olmstead has purchased the barber-shop furniture and supplies which formerly belonged to Jacob Schlafer, late of Delhi.
•           James Cole, on the Gill farm near Tunis lake, expects soon to move to Delhi village.  He has purchased a tract of timber at the head of Glenburnie, and will soon move his mill there from Tunis Lake.
•           Thomas H. Johnson, who purchased the timber on Will Elliott’s farm in New Kingston, is setting up a mill on the place to saw it. Mrs. James Boyd has sold the timber on her farm to Mr. Johnson. We understand she receives $1,500 for it.

Farewell Party
            Miss Jane Hilson entertained five couples at a six course supper, at her home in Bovina Center, in honor of Millard Blair before his departure for Pittsburg.  The evening was spent in playing enjoyable games. The young people went home wishing “Stub” the best of success.

February 18, 1916
•           George Wiltsie has purchased a new auto. This makes 29 or 30 autos now owned in town.
•           The thermometers Monday morning registered 33 degrees below zero in some parts of the village.
•           The V.I.S. announce a Colonial Supper in the Town Hall on the evening of Washington’s birthday.
•           Mrs. Gideon Miller was operated on Tuesday in a New York hospital for the relief of chronic appendicitis.  At last report she was getting along nicely.
•           David G. Currie will move into the rooms vacated by Mrs. Elizabeth T. Miller and John W. Blair will occupy the part of his house vacated by Mr. Currie.
•           Mrs. George Russell is here packing up the household goods of her mother, Mrs. Elizabeth T. Miller, and they will be shipped to Colliersville, where she will in the future reside with the daughter.
•           Mrs. James Cole underwent a delicate operation at the hospital in Delhi last Thursday. The operation was performed by Dr. Latcher, of Oneonta, assisted by Dr. Whitcomb, of Bovina, and Dr. Ormiston, of Delhi.

February 25, 1916
•           The receipts of the supper given by the village Improvement Society on Tuesday evening amounted to $52.50.
•           Floyd Hyatt on the D.J. Miller farm has sold his dairy of cows to Howard Hall and they were taken away Wednesday.
•           Wednesday at Neupert sale on the Alex Bryden farm cows brought good prices, the highest selling for $75 and the lowest for $18.
•           Latest reports from Mrs. Gideon Miller, who was operated upon at the St. Elizabeth hospital in New York last week, state that she is doing well.  An unusual thing in the case was that the three surgeons and the nurse were all former residents of Delaware county.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

"Performance of one of Ballou's Patent Threshing Machines"

A notice dated February 7, 1825, appeared in the Delaware Gazette concerning mechanical progress made in threshing. Here's the text of the notice:

We, the subscribers, certify that we have this day viewed the performance of one of BALLOU's Patent Threshing Machines, erected in the barn of Mr. David Thompson, in the town of Bovina, in the County of Delaware, and that the said Machine, in our presence, threshed thirty six sheaves of Rye in seven minutes; and also the same number of sheaves of Wheat in the same length of time when turned by a two horse power; and that the grain was threshed cleaner from the straw, and more perfectly separated from the chaff, than is done by any mode of threshing with which we are acquainted. We further more certify, that one man and two boys performed all the labour in attending the Machine and removing the straw.

Charles Leet, Martin Keeler, John Hume, John McNaught, Duncan Turner, James H. Leal, Edward Sands, James Cowan, James Coulter, Francis Coulter, Cornelius Bassett.

The Patent Right for making the above Machine, is offered for sale by the subscribers residing in the town of Bovina.


The Cost of the Machines will be from 30 to 40 dollars.

Bovina, Feb. 7, 1825

This ad ran almost weekly for over two months. This machine was invented in 1821 by Seth Ballou from Livermore, Maine. It saw several patented improvements in a few years.

David Thompson was born in Scotland in 1780 and came to the United States as a young man, coming to Bovina it is believed around the War of 1812. He was married twice and died at the age of 51 in 1832. The farm appears to have been in the vicinity of what is now Reinertsen Hill Road when it went all the way to Jim Lane Road. Andrew Thompson (1778-1866) was David's brother. Jacob Brush was the son of Alexander Brush, one of Bovina's earliest settlers. Born on Long Island, he left Bovina sometime after this demonstration and was in Wayne County, New York at his early death in 1835.

Some of the gentlemen watching were likely neighbors or relatives (or both). James Coulter was the brother in law of Jacob Brush. Francis Coulter (no relation to the aforementioned James) was an early Bovina settler who had his farm on what is now Coulter Brook Road. John McNaught likely was the McNaught from the McNaught Hill area of Bovina, not far from David Thompson. James Cowan may be the James, born 1794, who married the daughter of another Bovina early settler, Elisha Maynard. John Hume and Charles Leet show up in early Bovina tax rolls but are gone by the end of the 1820s. James Leal likely is the Dr. Leal who was one of Bovina's first doctors. He lived on the Stamford/Bovina town line until his death in 1831. Several of the men were not from Bovina. Martin Keeler was from the Town of Kortright (where he was town supervisor in 1820), Duncan Turner was from Stamford, and Cornelius Bassett and Edward Sands were both from Andes.