Wednesday, August 31, 2016

This Day in Bovina for August 2016

Ninety seven years ago today, the August 1, 1919 Catskill Mountain News reported that "there is being planned the Bovina annual Community Picnic for the last Thursday of August. This fact has been announced in the churches." The paper went on to report that "Efforts will be made to secure a good speaker, and there may be a band to furnish music. There will be a formal program of speech in the morning, then a picnic dinner, then a number of athletic events to shake down the dinner, also a ball game." The event did take place as planned and was a success.

Seventy seven years ago today, on August 2, 1939, Jane Loughran Dickson died, a week shy of her 77th birthday. The daughter of James Loughran and Caroline Carman, she married Dr. Gilbert Dickson. She was widowed in 1912. For a number of years, she was Bovina's de-facto postmaster (her son held the actual title). Jane is buried in the Bovina Cemetery.

109 years ago today, the Bovina column in the August 3, 1908 Delaware Express reported that "A party was held at Mrs. Muller's in honor of her granddaughter, Louise, Wednesday afternoon. The people report a fine time." Mrs. Muller was Alouise, the widow of Urban Muller. Louise likely was Louise McCumber, the daughter of her daughter Jennie Muller McCumber.

Aggie Bell Armstrong, the three day old daughter of Frank Armstrong and Jeanette Burns, died 144 years ago today, August 4, 1872.

112 years ago today, the Bovina column of the August 5, 1904 Andes Recorder reported that "One day last week Millard, the young son of John Blair, [was] sent to the pasture to catch a horse.  He was bare footed and in some manner he fell from the horse and it stepped on both of his feet cutting and bruising them."

Fifty-two years ago today, the August 6, 1964 Bovina column of the Delaware Republican reported that "Barbara Hoy of Hobart is spending a couple of days with her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Lester Hoy, and Mrs. John Hilson."

126 years ago today, on August 7, 1890, the Delaware Republican reported that, "We had a pleasant call from John Hilson, of Brushland… He looks as if the improvement received from his last year's trip to his native land still continues and he is hoping to see auld Scotia again another season. His descriptions of the scenes there and especially his experiences with their barbers at a penny a shave are graphic, and the latter amusing to all, except the ones who fell into the barber's hands."

Seventy-six years ago today, on August 8, 1940, the Bovina column of the Delaware Republican reported that "Miss Catherine Hastings of Amsterdam, N.Y., is visiting her uncle, Milton Hastings." The same column also noted that "Mrs. James Coulter of New Wilmington, Pa., is spending some time at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Russell."

122 years ago tonight, August 9, 1894, a social hop was held at W.S. Thompson's.

216 years ago today, on August 10, 1800, Elizabeth Coulter was born, the daughter of Francis and Nancy (Glendenning) Coulter. It is not clear whether she was born in Scotland or in Delaware County. Elizabeth died in June 1847 and is buried in the Associate Presbyterian Church cemetery at Reinertsen Hill Road in Bovina.

105 years ago today, the Bovina column of the August 11, 1911 Andes Recorder reported that "Mrs. Ella Telford has engaged to keep house for J. Alex Stott on the Turnpike."

134 years ago today, on August 12, 1882, James Coulter died unexpectedly, "having been sick scarcely 24 hours." He left a wife and four young children. He was 38 years old. James was the son of Walter Coulter and Margaret Storie. He married Mary Rotermund in 1868. Mary survived her husband by almost 50 years, dying in 1931 when she was 86.

Sixty four years ago today, on August 13, 1952, as later reported in the Catskill Mountain News, "Forty-eight descendants of Francis and Nancy Coulter held their 30th reunion at the Fish and Game clubhouse on Wednesday….A picnic lunch was enjoyed by all. The president, William Cash, of Delhi presided. The following officers were elected for the coming year: Myron Coulter of Walton, president; Robert Hall of Bovina, vice-president; Mrs. David Roberts, secretary-treasurer; Mrs. Myron Coulter, dinner committee chairman." The Fish and Game club was on Coulter Brook and was where Francis and Nancy Coulter settled in Bovina around 1802.

Ninety seven years ago today, on August 14, 1919, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Postmaster Lauren Dickson went to New York last Thursday and his sister Mary Dickson, who has been attending summer school at Columbia University, returned home with him."

134 years ago today, the Bovina column of the August 15, 1882 Stamford Mirror focused totally on the status of the hay crop. "Haying is nearly finished over here. The crop is considerably larger than that of last year." The column went on to report that "perhaps the most prolific grass farm in the county is that of Mr. Robert McFarland, of the 'Butt End,' which yielded on an average from two and a half to three tons of hay to the acre - something unprecedented even in this section."

Sixty four years ago today, on August 16, 1952, as later reported in the Catskill Mountain News, "Mr. and Mrs. Robert Boggs and Mr. and Mrs. Charles LaFever were Saturday night and Sunday guests of the girls' mother, Mrs. John Edwards, at Turnwood."

The Delaware Republican Bovina column from seventy seven years ago today, August 17, 1939, reported two real estate transactions. The first was that "James Lane has purchased the Hadley farm on the Pink street road." The second one appears to be related - "Mrs. Minnie Hadley has purchased the Everett MacPherson property at the head of the village." This house likely is now the residence of Wayne Morris and Victoria Scott.

142 years ago today, on August 18, 1874, Frederick McFarland was married to Phebe A. Reynolds in the Town of Middletown. They were married by Rev. J.D. Hubble. The marriage ended in 1889 with Frederick's suicide. His wife died two years later. More about Frederick is at the Bovina NY History blog at

Fifty-one years ago today, the Bovina column of the August 19, 1965 Delaware Republican-Express reported that "Mrs. Sophia Reinertsen, accompanied her son and daughter-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Reinertsen, to Missouri, and Madison, Wisconsin, where they are visiting relatives of the family."

126 years ago today, the August 20, 1890 Delaware Gazette reported that "the Bovina Band serenaded some of the prominent citizens of the town, and among them Mr. and Mrs. A.F. Maynard. The band were invited in and Mrs. Maynard served refreshments in elegant style, and her husband presented the boys an envelope containing a $20 bill. Their hospitality as well as generosity were fully appreciated."

128 years ago today, the August 21, 1888 Stamford Mirror reported in its Bovina column that "The friends of Ed O. Hanlon were much alarmed, a few days ago, by the report that he had suddenly died at Delhi, while having some decayed teeth extracted. Happily the report proved untrue. Ed says he knew it was a lie as soon as he heard it."

104 years ago today, on August 22, 1912, Therese "Que" Aitken was born, the daughter of John Bauer and Frances Deitz. She married Floyd "Steve" Aitkens and was widowed in 1982. She died in February 2003 at the age of 90. This passport photo of Que was taken by Bob Wyer in May 1947 (courtesy of the Delaware County Historical Association).

134 years ago today, on August 23, 1882, as later reported in the Delaware Gazette, "Mrs. Peter Calhoun, the mother of Dr. Calhoun, of this village [Delhi], died at her residence in Bovina, Aug. 23. Mrs. Calhoun was born in the year 1799, in the Parish of Luss, Dumbarton Shire, Scotland. She came to America in 1834, and settled in Bovina in 1835, where she resided until her death. In 1835 she united with the Presbyterian church in Andes, of which she was a faithful and consistent member during her life. She was a kind and loving mother, a faithful wife, and a much esteemed neighbor."

Seventy seven years ago today, on August 24, 1939, the "Bovina Centre" column of the Delaware Republican reported that "Mr. and Mrs. Jack Myers, Mrs. Anna Thompson and Ledge Myers of Binghamton visited Mr. and Mrs. Alex Myers over the weekend."

The Brookfield (NY) Courier ninety-six years ago today in its August 25, 1920 issue reported under County and State News Paragraphs on an illness impacting Bovina's dairy cows: "Several cows in Bovina dairies recently attracted attention by giving small messes of milk, and the suspicion of trouble was intensified when the next morning about thirty cows in the dairy of Mrs. Kate Barnhart were very ill, several of them being unable to rise, and one dying during the day. Inspection by Drs. Irvine and Wheeler developed that some powerful physic had been eaten by the animals. Wednesday most of the cows were on their feet again, and suspicion being directed to feed which all had eaten, the stomach of the dead cow and some of the grain were sent to the state agricultural college for analysis."

132 years ago today, the Bovina column in the August 26, 1884 Stamford Mirror reported that "Oats are being harvested, and are an excellent crop."

127 years ago today, the August 27, 1889 issue of the Stamford Mirror reported that "An Uncle Tom's Cabin troupe scooped $80 in Bovina." These shows were common in the latter part of the 19th century, basically presenting some stage version of the famous novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe. With lax copyright laws, these stage versions varied considerably.

Ninety-two years ago today, on August 28, 1924, the Bovina annual town picnic took place. As later reported in the Andes Recorder, "The Delhi band furnished the music."

103 years ago today, on August 29, 1913, the Bovina correspondent of the Andes Recorder reported that "James G. Seath recently had a finger nearly bitten off by a horse." Seath was one of Bovina's Civil War veterans, born in 1840. He died in 1916.

135 years ago today, the August 30, 1881 Stamford Mirror reported in its Bovina column that "There are a number of severe cases of sickness in town at present. Mrs. Orr, [Mrs.] Sloan and Mrs. Ira Worden are considered most critical." Though not clear, Mrs. Sloan may have been Sarah Collins Sloan, who died September 15, 1881 at the age of 78. Mrs. Worden survived this illness but died in 1888 when she was 44 years old.

Sixty-two years ago today, on August 31, 1954, as later reported in the Catskill Mountain News, "the Bovina Fire Department boys won a ten dollar prize for most men in line in proportion to membership at the Walton Fair…."

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Sixty Years Ago - Bovina Celebrates Old Home Day

During the late teens and most of the 1920s, Bovina held an annual summer celebration called 'Old Home Day.' These celebrations ended after 1928, caused in part by the Great Depression and World War II. After a 28 year hiatus, on August 18, 1956, Bovina held an Old Home Day celebration, with Charles McIntosh’s flat as the venue. The day included a parade, picnic dinner and a greased pole. Parade participants included the Bovina Fire Department, a team of chestnut horses driven by Ferris Todd, and the Bovina Fire Department’s Ladies Auxiliary. A number of organizations sponsored floats including the United Presbyterian Church, the Lake Delaware Home Bureau, the Bovina 4-H Happy Hearts, the Bovina Home Bureau, and the Bovina Recreation Club. Other parade participants included a two wheeled decorated cart, propelled by Margaret Hilson and Simone Duphilly, and ridden in by Nancy, John, and Christine Hilson and Shirley Hammond. The prizes were given by Assemblyman Edwyn Mason, who represented the judges. Mrs. Clarence Burns was general chairman of the event.

Just recently, Roger Robson shared with me photos taken by his dad of this celebration:

Peg Robson modeling the Bovina Fire Auxiliary uniform. 

The Bovina UP Church float heading to the parade start.

Bovina Fire Department Auxiliary float. The red-headed woman on the float is Ruth Coulter Parsons.

Lake Delaware Home Bureau

Bovina Recreation Club

Monday, August 15, 2016

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

From the Andes Recorder
August 1916 in Bovina was not a good month to be on the road. A truck went through a bridge, two Ford vehicles collided, a horse ran away while drawing a milk wagon and another Bovina wagon was hit by a train in Hobart.

August 4, 1916
•           Thomas Ormiston had four cows killed during a recent thunder storm.

Bovina Minister Has Accident
Auto of Rev. J.A. Mahaffey Collides With Culvert-Badly Smashed
            Friday while J.A. Mahaffey of Bovina, was on his way to Roxbury by auto and running on the State road above Stamford, he ran into a culvert with disastrous results to the car.  The radiator and engine were forced well back to the front seat of the car and Rev. Mahaffey was thrown thru windshield.  He escaped with injury to one leg and a few bruises.  The brim was taken off his derby hat as clean as if cut by a knife, and this no doubt saved him from receiving cuts from the glass.  The car is fit for the junk heap.

Truck Thru Bridge
            The big Alco auto truck of Thos H. Johnson, of Bvoina, broke thru the covered bridge near the Stone School House at Dunraven about noon Thursday and was hanging suspended from the solid parts of the bridge.  The bridge cross ties did not break but the sleepers gave way.  The truck was loaded with hardwood lumber and the driver escaped injury.

August 11, 1916
•           Hilson Bros have received their new auto truck.

Horse Ran Away
            Saturday the horse of Frank Kinch which was driven by his daughter ran away. The horse was hitched to the milk wagon and in coming down the “school house hill” at J.D. Burns’ the hold back strap broke and let the wagon onto the horse.  Miss Kinch was thrown out and sustained an injury to one hip and ankle.  The horse was caught at F.W. Hyatt’s and no milk was spilled.

August 18, 1916
•           John A. Irvine has purchased a five passenger Chalmers automobile.
•           Mason W. Pressley, a former pastor of the United Presbyterian church, now retired, and wife were here Saturday.
•           Saturday morning Carleton Miller, the young son of Gideon Miller fell a few feet from an evergreen tree and hit the ground on his forehead.  He went to the house and soon afterwards became unconscious and remained in that condition for several hours.  He has now recovered.
•           Mr. Brush, of Maryland, and two ladies were here this week.  He is a grandson of Alex Brush from whom Brushland got its name.  They had the Brush house, now occupied by Wm. Armstrong, pointed out and took the inscriptions on Brush tombstones in the old cemetery in the village.
•           Saturday night while Floyd Rockefeller and a party of young ladies, were going by auto from Bloomville to Delhi in his Ford car he collided with the Ford of Harry Bosthwick, of Bloomville.  The accident happened near the Hoag Crossing.  The mud guard on the Rockefeller car was torn off and the car otherwise damaged.

Bovina Farmer hit By Train
            William B. Smith, of Bovina, who lives on the hill toward Hobart, sustained two broken ribs and minor injuries about 10 o’clock Thursday morning, when the milk wagon he was driving was struck by the eastbound passenger train on the U.& D. at the Smith creamery crossing.  Mr. Smith did not hear the approach of the train and his wagon was squarely on the track when the locomotive hit it, and he was thrown from the wagon, but held to the lines and prevented the horses from running away. He was taken to the office of Dr. Hubbell at Hobart and his wounds dressed.  The wagon was wrecked.

August 25, 1916
•           Miss Jennie Miller is having her residence re-shingled.  John Muir, of Andes, is doing the work.
•           The following have purchased Ford cars; Charles Hafele, William Oliver, William A. Hoy, George Decker and Alfred Russell.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

The 1884 Diary of David Fletcher Hoy - July and August 1884

Here are the July and August entries in the 1884 diary of David Fletcher Hoy. Hoy was living in Bovina in 1884. The diary was transcribed by his great grandson, John W. Hoy. Thank you to John and to his dad, David F. Hoy III for allowing me to share this diary.


TUESDAY 1.             
I went to James Gill to day
Came home at night

I am at James Gills to day

We finished at James Gills to day and went home

I am at J T Miller [D.F. Hoy's uncle John Thomas Miller, half-brother of Isabella Wilson Miller] to day
I was at Brushland at night

SATURDAY 5.          
I am at  J T Millers to day

I went to church to day
I was at Prayer meeting at night

MONDAY 7.             
I was at Palmers at forenoon and at J T Millers in the afternoon

I am at John Miller to day

WEDNESDAY 9.      
I am at John Miller to day
I am at John Millers.
I came home at noon and cleaned out the well

FRIDAY 11.             
I am at J Millers to day

I came down to Jim Davidsons to day

SUNDAY 13.       
I went to church to day.
Mr Howie preached

I am at Jim Davidsons
Jim & I put up a driveway into the barn

TUESDAY 15.         
I am at Jim Davidsons to day fixing driveway to barn

I am at Davidsons
We commenced haying to day
We did not hay it in afternoon

THURSDAY 17.       
We hoed the potatoes this forenoon and the afternoon worked in the hay

We worked in the hay to day

SATURDAY 19.       
We worked at the hay to day

We went to West Delhi church to day
We got our dinner at Henry Scott's.

MONDAY 21.          
We worked in the hay to day

We worked in the hay today

WEDNESDAY 23.   1884.
We worked in the hay to day
It rained at evening
We was down to Wm Alstures [?] at night

We worked at the hay
It rained at night

FRIDAY 25.             
We worked at the hay to day

We worked at the hay to day

SUNDAY 27.            
We went to church to day
Mr Doig preached
It rained to day

Jim & Kate went to Walton today
I mowed in the afternoon

TUESDAY 29.          
We all went over to Peter Wakefield to day
It rained all day

We finished mowing to day
Jim & I went over to Dick Millers
at night
It is Jim's birth-day
Will Elliott died to day

THURSDAY 31.       
It rained to day and I came home
I was at a concert given for the Fresh Air children

[This refers to the fund created to benefit needy NYC children by granting them time in the country. According to Wikipedia, it began 1877, then grew quickly. The note in accounts later specifies $.20 spent July 30 at the M.E. Church, which quite possibly was the site of the concert.]


I went over to Will Elliott funeral to day

I am at home to day

I went to church to day

I am at home.

I am at home.

I am at home.

I am at home.

I am at home.

I was at home in the forenoon and afternoon went up to Uncle John's [J.T. Miller?]

We are working at D. Burns to day

We finished at Doug Burns to day

I went to Andes to day
I took Dougs team and Ed Burgin went with me.

I did not go to church to day

I worked at home today.

I helped Ed Burgin to cut oats to day

I helped Ed Burgin to cut oats today

I helped Ed to cut oats to day Came up home at night.

I helped Ed Burgin to cut oats to day.
I came up to Doug's and stayed all night

Father & I worked in the river at the wall to day
We had Dougs team

I went to church today.
Sermon by J B See on Harvest time

I helped Ed. Burgin with his oats to day

I helped Doug to cut oats to day

I helped Doug to bind oats to day
He cut my hair at night

I helped Uncle John to draw in oats to day
We drawed until 10 o clock at night

I worked at Uncle John wagon house to day

I worked at Uncle John wagon house to day

I went to church to day