Sunday, April 30, 2017

This Day in Bovina for April 2017

187 years ago today, on April 1, 1830, Priscilla Brush was born, the daughter of Alexander Brush, Jr. and Jane Storie (and the granddaughter of early Bovina settler Alexander Brush). Priscilla would die at the age of 4 in 1834 and was buried in the Brush cemetery.

Seventy-three years ago today, on April 2, 1944, Elizabeth Hastings Bramley died at the age of 86. born in Bovina in 1858, she was the daughter of John Hastings and Jeanette Scott. She married William Bramley in Newburgh in 1893. She was widowed in 1923.

106 years ago today, on April 3, 1911, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Andes Recorder, "Rev. H.B. Speer and family started Monday for their new home at Omaha, Nebraska." Speer had been the pastor at the Bovina U.P. Church since 1906 and had resigned in 1911 to become pastor of a church in Omaha.

Fifty-two years ago, the April 4, 1965 Delaware Republican-Express Bovina column reported that "Mr. and Mrs. James Hoy of Bainbridge were Sunday guests of his mother, Mrs. Margaret Hoy, and son Thomas."

Nineteen years ago today, on April 5, 1998, this photograph was taken of the Bovina U.P. Church choir. The members are (left to right) Pat Parsons (Miele), Marie Burns, Marge Burgin, Leona LaFever, Lois Monroe, Anna Lounsbury, Frances Burns, Lauren Monroe, Thelma Barlow, Joe Dibble and Enid Carter.

Eighty-three years ago today, the April 6, 1934 Delaware Express reported that the "Bovina girls ended their season of basketball Friday night, playing South Kortright. Bovina girls won."

Fifty-six years ago today, on April 7, 1961, the Bovina 4-H Diary Club held its monthly meeting at the home of Frederick and Lawton Rabeler. Here's the full article in the Delaware Republican-Express for April 13. The report was submitted by Beverly Rabeler. 

127 years ago today, the April 8, 1890 Stamford Mirror reported in its Bovina column that "Frank Palmer has moved to rooms in Charles F. Smith's house, Henry Thomson to rooms in Strangeway's store building." Charles F. Smith's house is the Jardine residence. Strangeway's is the former garage now owned by Tom Hetterich.

Eighty-seven years ago today, on April 9, 1930, this voucher was issued for $125 to pay Bovina school district number 4 for tuition for pupils from Bovina school district number 10. District 10. located on East Bramley Mountain Road, had not run a school house in several years, sending its students to the Bovina Center school. 

Fifty-two years ago today, the Bovina column of April 10, 1965 Delaware Republican-Express reported that "Mr. and Mrs. H.F. Davidson, Mrs. W.J. Storie and Mrs. Edna Carter attended the meeting of the Delaware County Historical Association at Masonville…"

135 years ago today, the Bovina column of the April 11, 1882 Stamford Mirror reported that "Alex. Hoy has taken possession of the place bought by him from Wm. Richardson." This is now my house.

Ninety-eight years ago today, the April 12, 1919 Bovina column of the Delaware Republican reported that "Hale Elliott, who has been laid up several weeks with injuries received by a fall in the dry milk plant, has returned to his work there." He was born in 1890 and died in 1980.

134 years ago today, on April 13, 1883, David F. Hoy was paid $58.50 for teaching at the Bovina school that stood at Miller Avenue and Lee Hollow, Bovina District 5.

194 years ago, on April 14, 1823, days of highway work were assessed for property owners in Bovina highway district 14. Before the imposition of road taxes in the early 20th century, roads were maintained by assessing days of work on the property owners around the roads. They either had to carry out the work or hire someone to do it. Where this district was located cannot be precisely determined, but it may have been in the area of Pink Street.

169 years ago today, on April 15, 1848, Charles Oscar Boggs was born, the son of William H. Boggs and Elizabeth McKenzie. He married Mary Archibald in 1881. They had two children before his death at the age of 43 in 1891. His widow survived Charles by over 50 years, dying in 1945. They are both buried in Bovina.

142 years ago today, on April 16, 1875, the five-year-old son of James Dean died in a tragic accident. The accident was later reported in the Delaware Gazette: "…a little son of James H. Dean, of Bovina, together with one William Herkimer, who has been at work for Mr. Dean for some time, went into the chamber of Mr. Dean's house to cut off a string from a piece of leather. While there, Herkimer was on his knees in the act of cutting the leather, when in some way the boy fell over on to the knife in Herkimer's hand. The blade of the knife penetrated the boy's left side immediately under the heart. He lived only fifteen minutes. The boy was in his 5th year." The child's first name was not provided, but I believe it was James' oldest son, Alexander.

107 years ago today, on April 17, 1910, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Wilson McFarland died in upper Bovina …. at 7 a.m. He was taken with lagrippe on Friday and this was complicated by heart trouble. He was born in town of Roxbury in the Plattekill valley 71 years ago April 2. When only about a year old his mother died and he was taken by his grandfather, James Thomson at the 'stone house' and had always remained there. He is survived by an aunt, Miss Lydia Thomson, one sister, Mrs. Nancy Jane Ackerly, of Margaretville, and a half-brother, Milton McFarland, of Delhi." The funeral took place on the 19th and he was buried in the Bovina cemetery.

Seventy-seven years ago today, the Bovina column in the April 18, 1940 Delaware Republican reported that "Rev. and Mrs. Norman Spear went to New Castle, Pa., Wednesday of last week; he has been called to preach there. Miss Marjorie Ormiston accompanied them, and the school in Bovina Centre is closed for a week."

163 years ago today, on April 19, 1853, Mary Jane Forrest was born in Bovina, the daughter of Thomas Forrest and Helen Raitt. She was the second wife of Edward L. Coulter, marrying in 1883. She would have two children and passed away in 1920. Her husband survived her by 12 years, dying in 1932.

136 years ago today, on April 20, 1881, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Stamford Mirror, "The household goods of the late Mrs. Kendall were sold at public auction…. Dan Franklin auctioneer." This likely is Jane Tuttle Kendall, who died in February 1881 at the age of 61. She was the daughter of William Tuttle and Sarah Carman and was married to Charles Kendall. I cannot determine when she married him. Her will file uses her maiden name with a reference to being also known as Jane Kendall.

106 years ago today, the April 21, 1911 Bovina column in the Andes Recorder reported that "Charles A. Tuttle has leased the rights of the stream flowing thru his farm to the club owning the new lake built on the Thos Mabon farm, for a year. The stream flows directly into their lake." This is now known as Coles Lake or Silver Lake and is on Route 28.

Fifty-two years ago, the April 22, 1965 Delaware Republican Express reported that "Bovina maple producers have had a poor year up to now, but the last few days they have had a splendid run of good quality syrup, which will help out a lot to bring the run up to near average."

149 years ago today, on April 23, 1868, Jane Black Murray died. She was born in Scotland in 1789, though we don't know who her parents were. She married William Murray in Scotland and would have nine children, most of whom were born in Bovina. Her husband survived her by 4 years, dying in 1872. They are both buried in the Associate Presbyterian Church cemetery on Reinertsen Hill Road.

Seventy-eight years ago today, on April 24, 1939, Ronald James Russell was born, the elder son of Ernest and Dorothy Russell. He was joined by a brother David in 1941. Ron died in 1985 at the age of 45, after battling diabetes and kidney disease. [This shot of Ron and Dorothy Russell was taken in front of what is now Bill and Joan Foster's, just down from Hilson's Store.]

Seventy-seven years ago today, the April 25, 1940 issue of the Delaware Republican reported in its Bovina column that "Word that Mrs. C.A. McPherson is able to be up in a wheel-chair has been received from the hospital in Cooperstown." This likely was Mrs. Charles A. McPherson, born Rosa (or Rose) Strangeway in 1875. She died in December 1947. She was the mother of Frank, Lester and Marian McPherson.

137 years ago today, the April 26, 1890 Bovina column of the Delaware Republican reported that "D. Dickson is in New York this week buying goods." I'm not 100% sure who this is, but it might be a reference to Dr. Gilbert Dickson, who ran a store in the building that is now the Brushland Eating House.

138 years ago today, on April 27, 1879, Hanna Halstead died. She was born in 1801, the daughter of William Halstead. Unfortunately, we don't know a lot about her except that she was living for a number of years with her brother John. In the 1860 census, she's listed as the head of household. She is buried in the Bovina Center cemetery.

106 years ago today, the Bovina column of the April 28, 1911 Andes Recorder reported that "Jardine Hafele is home from Albany and will assist his father on the farm during the summer." This may actually be Gailie A. Hafele, the son of Charles G. Hafele and Lillian Jardine. Born in 1889, he died in 1947 and is buried in Bovina.

160 years ago today, the April 29, 1857 Delaware Gazette reported on a late snowstorm that hit "the Western and Southern States." New England was spared but apparently not New York. The Delaware County area was reported as having a "full seven feet, and some think nearer eight feet of snow ... during the two storms." There was mild weather between the two storms, allowing some of the snow to melt and settle. "Some ten or twelve barns and sheds in this village [Delhi] and vicinity were crushed in…A Mrs. Snooks, of Bovina, lost three cows and had another badly injured, by the falling of a barn." Mrs. Snooks' farm was on the lower end of Lee Hollow just above the Hook.

140 years ago today, on April 30, 1877, Jane Patterson Dysart died. Born in 1804, she married Peter Dysart and would have two children, both of whom would predecease her. Her son Robert died in October 1963 of typhoid on Folly Island in North Carolina while with the NY 144th Infantry. She lost an infant daughter in 1850. She was survived by an illegitimate grandson. More about her son Robert may be found at the December 20 2013 Bovina NY History blog.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Centennial of US Entry into World War I

On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson asked in a joint session of Congress for a declaration of war against Germany. Congress declared war on April 6, bringing the United States into the Great War.

Bovina would lose two men in the war. Clark Miller, uncle of Clark Lay, died in April 1918. James D. Calhoun, my grandmother Anna Bell Barnhart's first husband, died in October that same year. A third man, Clarence Lee, would die in 1922 from injuries received during the war.

I plan over the next few months to report on some of Bovina's soldiers from the Great War - I'm still working on creating a list of all of Bovina's World War I vets. So far, I have a list of 38 men. It may grow (or even shrink) as I verify these.

Some past blog entries about the war:

I did one in November 2010 about my grandmother Anna Bell Barnhart's first husband, James D. Calhoun: I will be starting a new blog in November sharing some of the letters my grandmother and James exchanged during their 11 month marriage.

James D. Calhoun (1889-1918)
This is James's service information from the New York State Abstracts of World War I Military Service, 1917–1919. Adjutant General's Office. Series B0808. New York State Archives, Albany, New York.
In March 2011, I reported on the death of the last World War I vet and noted that Fletcher Davidson was Bovina's last surviving World War I vet. I've since realized that Bovina had at least one vet who survived Fletcher - Donald Lee died in 1995 at the age of 99.

H. Fletcher Davidson (1895-1987)
This is Fletcher's service information from the New York State Abstracts of World War I Military Service, 1917–1919. Adjutant General's Office. Series B0808. New York State Archives, Albany, New York.
These cards are accessible through and through the New York State Archives website.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

April 1917 - 100 Years Ago "In That Thriving Town"

The Andes Recorder in April 1917 reported more deaths in Bovina, including natives of Germany and Switzerland, and a death by suicide.

April 6, 1917
·         The Center School will be closed next week for the Easter vacation.
·         There will be a sale of the furniture at the M.E. parsonage Saturday.
·         From a warm sugar social held Wednesday evening the Victor Class realize about $11.
·         John A. Irvine, who had an attack of pneumonia the past winter, started Monday for a trip to Florida.
·         Mrs. Ida Burgin has purchased a new Buick automobile and Marshall Thomson has purchased a new Dodge.
·         Lester Irvine, veterinary is examining the cows of patrons of the Bovina Center Co-operative Creamery Company.
·         Wilson Barker, a chauffeur of Delhi has been employed by Commodore Elbrige T. Gerry on his country estates at Lake Delaware.
·         William Armstrong has been re-appointed patrolman on the section of the State road from Thos C. Strangeway’s to Delhi.  The pay this year as been increased from $3 to $3.25 per day.
·         Jane Archibald and sister, Emily, have had an attack of jaundice.

April 13, 1917
·         John A. Irvine has returned from his trip.
·         The patrons of the Bovina Center Creamery are now required to take their milk every day.
·         James R. Honeywell, of Delhi, has bought of W.H. Cavin, the farm occupied by John W. Northrup in Bovina.  The price was $800, subject to the contract of Mr. Northrup.
·         The team of James Hastings took fright at a piece of paper at the creamery and ran to Hilson’s store where they were caught.  Mr. Hastings was thrown out but escaped without serious injury.
·         Frank Miller has sold his farm on the hill above the old cemetery to a Norwegian named Jenson.  He retains 40 acres below the road. The farm was formerly the Andrew Thomson place and by him was called “paradise.”

Death Claims Bovina Woman
            Miss Louise Muller passed away at the Muller home in Bovina Center on Saturday afternoon, April 7, aged 59 years. Death was due to chronic uraemic poisoning, and had been confined to her bed for three years, but was a patient sufferer.  The funeral was held at the U.P. church at 2 p.m. on Monday, Rev. J.A. Mahaffey officiating. Interment was in the Center cemetery.
            She was born in Switzerland in December, 1857 and came to Bovina with her parents 47 years ago. After their arrival she was sent to school for six months to learn the English language so that she could impart it to her parents.  For 21 years she was employed in the family of General Jacobs in Delhi, going from there to New York, where for 16 years she was housekeeper at Hotel Churchill, retiring three years ago on account of her health.  She leaves a brother, Wenner Muller, in Iowa, and four sisters, Mrs. Emma Roper, in Kansas, Mrs. Otis McCumber of Andes, and Kate and Frederika Muller in Bovina.

Bovina Farm Sold
            The Francis Coulter farm located in Coulter Brook, Bovina, was sold at partition, sale at Delhi on Monday and was bid off by James Monroe for $1,500.  Mrs. Elizabeth Adee first bid off the farm for $3,100, but could not pay the cash payment of 10 per cent. The farm was later put up again and Mr. Monroe was the only bidder.  There is some question as to whether the Court will confirm the sale or not.  The farm contains 300 acres.

Lake Mahikan sold
            What is known as the Lake Mahikan premises, formerly the Thos Mabon farm in the town of Bovina, was sold at partition sale at the front door of the court house in Delhi on Monday and was bid off by Ralph S. Ives, of Roxbury, plaintiff in the action, for $1,200 subject to a mortgage of $2,650.  The place was purchased some 9 or 10 years ago by Ralph Ives, Arthur Scott, Andrew Fenton, and James H. Hitt, of Margaretville, and a dam built flooding 22 acres and making a fine body of water.  George McNair, who has been occupying the place, has leased it for another year.

April 20, 1917
·         Wayne Marks is the proud possessor of a new bicycle.
·         W.W. Ayres, son of H.A. Ayres of this place, has enlisted in the regular army.
·         Herman Johnson, in upper Bovina, is having the interior of his residence re-modeled.
·         Douglas Davidson is having a bath room fitted up in his residence at the foot of Russell hill.
·         Frank Miller, who sold his farm last week, has rented rooms in the Kennedy house now owned by George Gladstone.
·         Town Superintendent McPherson was at Lake Delaware Tuesday shoring up the “Hook” bridge for the passage of the Gerry road machinery.
·         Word was received here Tuesday of the death of Charles Mullenex at Ilion N.Y. where he moved last fall. He had an attack of pneumonia a few weeks ago and was supposed to be improving.

Aged Man A Suicide in Bovina
            John Corbin committed suicide early Thursday morning, April 12, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. DeWitt Sharpe, on the Elisha B. Maynard farm in Bovina.
            The family had all been to the barn milking and when Mrs. Sharpe came to the house she missed her father.  A search was made and the body of Mr. Corbin was found hanging from the rafters in the attic over the kitchen.  He had evidently placed the rope around his neck and then stepped off a bed-stead that stood near.  He was cut down but life was extinct.
            He was born in Roxbury in 1838, and besides the daughter is survived by his aged wife.  Burial was at Bloomville on Monday.  The snow drifts had to be shoveled out before the funeral procession could get thru the roads.

Gerry’s Building Stone Road
            Tuesday evening 40 Italians and Russians arrived to work on the stone road on the Gerry estate in southern Bovina.  A large traction engine, stone crusher and other machinery has been brought by job by way of Delhi.

April 27, 1917
·         John H. Benjamin has been on the sick list and his shop has been closed for a few days.
·         The revival meetings which opened April 12, in the R.P. church, closed Monday evening.
·         It is stated that Lake Mahikan on the Thomas Mabon farm, will be drained and the land used for farming purposes.
·         Rev. Thomas E. Graham, pastor of the Church of the Covenanters, received word that a son- Paul Renwick Graham-had been born at Pittsburg, Penn., and left Tuesday for that city.
·         Mrs. H.A. Ayres returned home on Monday from Binghamton, where she has joined the Red Cross Ambulance Corps. She has gone to Columbus, Ohio for training.
·         The auction of the J.W. Coulter property Tuesday drew a large crowd and good prices were received.  The amount received from the sale was $3,250. The house and lot was purchased by Harvey C. Burgin for $1,800.
Bovina Man Died Suddenly
John Ruff Expired Thursday While Helping Neighbor Boil Sap
            John Ruff, who for about 22 years had resided on the Jonathon Adee farm in upper Bovina, was stricken with apoplexy about noon on Thursday, April 19, and died immediately.
            Mr. Ruff left home early that morning to assist Arthur Bouton, who lives on an adjoining farm, in the sap bush and worked all the forenoon.  About 12 o’clock while he and the other workers were at the sap house, preparing to go to dinner, Mr. Ruff was stricken and died almost instantly, Dr. Scott, the health officer, was summoned and pronounced the death due to apoplexy and issued a certificate.
            He was born in Germany 68 years ago and the third of the family to die suddenly-two brothers having been taken in a similar way.  His wife died last year, but he continued to live on his farm with his daughter and his son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. McCumber. Burial was in the Bovina Center cemetery Saturday.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Give my love to all my friends, and my best wishes to my enemies – The Slander Case of Margaret Bailey

In December 1856, Margaret Bailey, a 25 year old Bovina native living in New York City and working as a milliner, received a rather startling letter from her brother-in-law, James Cathels:

Margaret – I hope you will excuse me for the liberty I am about to take with you, concerning your character and conduct of late in New York City. There has a report reached the ears of your friends here, that you have fallen from the paths of virtue and chastity, to that of a common ---; such is the report.  By the request of your friends, I write you this, and ask you the following questions:  At what places have you worked since you came to York, and what houses have you lived or boarded at?  Please give us the name and number; their general reputation.  Have you cards printed with your name and number of your bed-room on them; have you ever given such cards to gentlemen from Delaware county; has said gents staid or stopped or had the use of you as a common ---.  Is this report true or is it a base lie? Such is the story; now tell us if it is true or false? I do not believe it, your friends don’t believe it; if it is all false, it is a base and damning slander on your character, and you have your remedy, for we know the person that has told it, and they are frequently responsible for heavy damages. Now, Margaret, if your conduct is all straight since you lived in York, and nothing can be proved to the contrary, you can get a handsome bill of damages, but if your conduct is not straight – enough said.

This letter, as can be imagined, upset her greatly.  It impacted her work and she became so unwell that she needed to go into the care of a doctor.  She wrote a letter to her friends, William and Agnes Miller in February 1857:

New York, 121 West 27th St., [Feb]15th, 1857

Mr. & Mrs. Miller—I received your letter and have neglected answering it until now.  I was glad to hear from you all. I am always glad to get a letter from old Delaware, but I am sorry to say that they have not been of the pleasantest nature of late to me. I have been informed of the slanderous report concerning my character, and from some of my friends I learn that some of my false friends have been the beginer of the most of all that has been said, and from my knowledge of some of the characters in your village that it is nothing new for them to secretly slander their most intimate friends. But I trust that I have some true friends still left to speak a word in my behalf. I understand that some of my female friends think that I have read and knew too much for to be very virtuous, but for my own part, I think my knowledge is very limited compared with some of the ladies of the celebrated Brushland, for it was from them that I heard most of my information.

First. I am accused of not being virtuous, but I defy any person to bring proof to that effect, and if I am spared to return to Bovina, I will have it brought to an understanding, for I will have all face to face, for I do not suppose they will give me any other way of doing much about it, for they are so used to the work, that slander in Bovina is done in an underhanded way, so as they cannot be disturbed; but some of them has been brought in trouble, so as there has been some untruths told to make a way of escape, I am not ignorant to some of them.

Second charge against me is, that I left in such a manner.—I really do not know how I was to leave; must I have it published in the public papers, or what must I do. If they want an explanation upon my leaving, they can by going to Mrs. Bayruther; she wrote to me, which was the reason of my leaving at the time that I did, although I intended to come to the city in a very short time, at all events. And they go so far as to say even more, which is not worth while to mention, but they may go on, but there is a day of reckoning coming, and perhaps not so far off as they expect; and they will not get a card with my name and number, as represented is my practice. In conclusion I will say, I hope they will reap their reward.

Ag. write soon  Tell me all the news. I am well, and hope that you are all enjoying the same blessing. Give my love to all my friends, and my best wishes to my enemies.

She’s upset about what is being said, but from the tone of the letter, it is not clear whether or not she realizes yet that the source of these rumors is Mr. Miller. The slander seems to have started during the winter of 1856 when Margaret’s father, William Bailey, came to Miller’s blacksmith shop. When Miller asked him the whereabouts of Margaret, Bailey explained that she was “at Mrs. Abbotts” in New York City.  Miller said he understood that this was not the case and that she was instead at a whore house.  He told Mr. Bailey he had better get her out of New York and back home.

As the story began to spread and further details were shared, Margaret realized that Mr. Miller was the source of the slander and, urged on by her father, took him to court.  The trial took place on January 18, 1858 in Delhi. There followed a day of conflicting testimony as to whom Mr. Miller told his information and what other information he and others shared about Margaret’s situation and reputation. During the trial, the above referenced letters were read into the court record. 

Some witnesses testified that Miller said that a Mrs. Elliott had told his wife that she had seen a gentleman distributing her card, giving the address and the number of her bedroom.  The gentleman had been with her the night before and suggested that other men call on her.  Margaret’s sister Jane testified that Miller also told her these tales, including the fact that Margaret got $100 for men to stay with her.  Others testified of hearing Miller tell about catching Nathan Hilton in bed with Margaret Bailey at Hamilton’s hotel in Bovina after a dance there.  Miller denied spreading these tales, saying that he only told Mr. Bailey “in a friendly manner and told no one else.” He said he took him aside in the shop to have a private conversation. 

After all the testimony, the jury retired to consider its verdict.  It took them until 2 o’clock the next morning to come to their verdict, announced later that day, in favor of the plaintiff, Margaret.  She was awarded $275.

What happened between the Miller and Bailey families after this verdict is unknown. William Miller died in 1882 at the age of 58 in Hobart (his wife died in 1914).  Margaret Bailey married Mathew Shaw and died in 1892 at the age of 61.  She is buried in the Bovina cemetery.