Here is the monthly compilation of entries on the Town of Bovina Historian Facebook page for December:
145 years ago today, December 1, 1873, Alexander Home Gillie passed away. Born in Berwickshire, Scotland in 1805, he married Martha Lewis in 1838 in Bovina. They had four children, one of whom, son William, would die in the Civil War in August 1863.
John William Storie, son of Alexander Storie and Esther Cowan was born 158 years ago today, December 2, 1863. He was the last child of Alexander and Esther Storie. Alex and Esther had five children in total, but the two eldest died within a few days of each other in October 1862. John would marry Jennie Laidlaw in 1890 and have two sons, William and George. He died in 1944 when he was 80.
106 years ago today, on December 3, 1912, John Raitt was born in Southern Bovina, the son of Thomas Raitt and Mary Ann King. He was married to Helen Winter in 1941. John worked for the US Post Office and served in military postal services in the European theatre during the Second World War. John retired from the post office in 1972. John was the Delaware County Historian from 1981 to 1995. His wife Helen died in 1997. John died in 2004 and is buried in Bovina.
Ninety-three years ago today, the Bovina column of the Andes Recorder for December 4, 1925 reported that "Mrs. Walter G. Coulter had her toe severely injured when a soap stone fell on it." Mrs. Coulter was Margaret Strangeway and was the mother of Ruth Coulter Parsons and Celia Coulter. She passed away in 1953.
182 years ago today, December 5, 1836, John Reed, Tailor, submitted this advertisement to the Delaware Gazette: "RESPECTFULLY returns thanks to the inhabitants of Bovina and its vicinity, for the liberal support tendered him since he commenced business and begs leave to inform them that he has opened a Shop on his new premises with a complete assortment of Trimmings, adopted to the texture and form of the garments of his customers. He has brought up from New York, Draughts, Plates and Reports of Fashions for the season and no expense will be spared to render his establishment commensurate with the growing taste and respectability of the community."
James A. Hoy was born in Bovina on July 22, 1909, the son of William A. and Robena (Gow) Hoy. He suffered a back injury as a child which affected him the rest of his life. In 1935, he married Margaret Laidlaw. They were the parents of three children. Jim died in August 1956. This chauffeur license photo was taken by Bob Wyer in May 1949. Courtesy of the Delaware County Historical Association.
On December 7, 1914, 104 years ago today, there was a fire at the Howard McPherson residence. Here's how the Andes Recorder reported it: "A small fire about midnight Monday night did about $15 damage in the residence of Howard McPherson, adjoining Elliott Thomson's blacksmith shop. During the evening the chimney had burned out but at 11:30 everything was apparently all right. Half an hour later Mrs. McPherson heard something fall and ongoing upstairs found the rooms filled with smoke. Mr. McPherson was not at home and she aroused the neighbors. The fire was in the partition and was put out by the use of several pails of water." This is now the Kim and Marcelo Riera residence.
Ninety-six years ago today, the December 8, 1922 Andes Recorder had the following item in its Bovina column: "Mrs. Glen Taylor, of Beach, South Dakota, who will be remembered here as Minnie Ruff, has gone to Los Angeles, California, for the benefit of her health." She stayed in California and died in Los Angeles in 1945 at the age of 62.
Ninety-one years ago today, December 9, 1927, Mrs. Mary Phinney was buried in Bovina. As reported in the Andes Recorder, "Her death occurred at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Albert Sarles at Sand Point, Idaho." Born Mary Archibald in 1853, she married Dr. Lehman Phinney in 1881. Phinney was a doctor in Bovina for a number of years. He died in 1901.
128 years ago today, on December 10, 1890, Gilbert Jardine posted this notice advertising the sale of his farm in the Delaware Republican. Born in Scotland in 1822, he married Nancy E. Tuttle in 1856. Gilbert died in November 1893 and his wife a bit over a year later. The farm was on Townsend Road in the Bramley Mountain area.
Sylvan LaFever (my great uncle) was born in 1912, the son of Sylvan A. LaFever and his second wife, Alice Smith. He spent some of his life in Bovina in the 1940s, working on the Gerry estate. He was a veteran of World War II and spent some time on occupation duty in Germany. He married a native of Germany in 1946. Sylvan died in Maryland in 2004 at the age of 91. This Bob Wyer chauffeur license picture was taken in April 1942. Image courtesy of the Delaware County Historical Association.
Ninety-eight years ago today, the Bovina column of the December 12, 1920 Andes Recorder reported that "The dairies and barns of the 73 patrons of the Bovina Center Co-Operative Creamery were examined and inspected the past week by Dr. Irvine and H.C. Burgin. The Dry Milk Co. claim they cannot find the last inspection reports."
103 years ago today, December 13, 1915, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "More than a foot of snow fell during Monday afternoon and night. Tuesday morning the teamsters started out for their Delhi trip but soon turned back. Traffic was much delayed and mails did not arrive."
Eighty-one years ago today, December 14, 1937, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Mrs. James Ackerly died at her home in Bovina Center … after a long illness at the age of 82 years. Her maiden name was Velma Barnhart and she was born at Shavertown. She was twice married, her first husband being Eugene DuMond. She is survived by her husband, James Ackerly, and a daughter, Mrs. Delbert Dickson, by her first marriage. The funeral will be held Friday with burial in Andes."
107 years ago this morning, December 15, 1914, thermometers registered 2 above zero. The following morning, the temperature was zero.
157 years ago today, on December 16, 1861, this receipt was issued for payment made for "work done on the Bridge by Robert C. Scotts." This likely is the bridge at the lower end of the hamlet. While it was a stone bridge, it probably was not the one that was well known and was demolished in the 1950s. That bridge had at least one predecessor that proved to be poorly built and had to be rebuilt in 1873.
Ninety-eight years ago today, the illness of a child put off a golden wedding anniversary celebration. The Andes Recorder reported that "Ralph, the 10-year-old son of James Mabon was operated upon Friday, December 17, 1920, at Delhi for appendicitis. Because of his illness, the celebration of his grandparents 50th anniversary (James and Ellen Mabon), scheduled for December 21, was postponed."
120 years ago this afternoon, December 18, 1898, Mrs. Charles F. Smith died at the age of 90. The Andes Recorder, when reporting her death, noted that "Her maiden name was Christina Lamont and she came to this town [Bovina] over 40 years ago. She was an excellent woman, a good neighbor; always cheerful and she will be missed in this community as well as in her home. On Tuesday the funeral was held, the sermon being preached by Rev. Samson, and the interment was in the Bovina cemetery."
141 years ago today, on December 19, 1877, the Bovina Methodist Episcopal Church reopened after having been closed for repairs. There was a sermon at 11, a reunion service held at 2:30 and another sermon at 7 pm. When the church issued a notice for this service, the Andes Recorder included the following: "We would earnestly commend to the attention of those in this vicinity the services above announced. They will be very interesting, and profitable to all who may attend. Revs. A.K. Sanford and J.E. Gorse are earnest warm-hearted Christian men, and the service conducted by them, and stamped with Divine approval will be blessed for good. The church societies of the towns surrounding will, we hope, take a warm interest in this meeting, and encourage the Brushland M.E. Society by their presence and means. 'The liberal soul shall be made fat; and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself.'" The church was located across from where the Bovina Community Hall now stands.
John Walter Blair was born 152 years ago today on December 20, 1866, the son of James and Hannah Blair. He married Lib Miller in 1889. They farmed in Bovina for many years. John was killed in August 1945 when his team of horses ran away with him. He was dragged by the horses and fatally injured when his head struck a rock. He is buried in Bovina.
205 years ago today, on December 21, 1813, Joel Brush, son of early Bovina pioneer Alexander Brush and Nancy Griffith Brush, died. He is buried in the Brush cemetery next to the library. Born in 1786, he was married to Elizabeth Maynard, daughter of another early Bovina pioneer. They had two children before his untimely death at the age of 27.
Ninety-six years ago today, the December 22, 1922 Bovina column of the Andes Recorder reported that "There will be no more Sabbath evening meetings at the United Presbyterian church until coal is more plenty."
Eighty-three years ago today, December 23, 1935, as later reported in the Catskill Mountain news, "The community Christmas tree was held in the hall…with the different schools furnishing the entertainment."
This Bob Wyer picture of Marjorie Russell in the basement of the United Presbyterian Church was taken in March 1956 at the wedding of Norma Burns and Fred Phillips. Image courtesy of the Delaware County Historical Association.
129 years ago today, on December 25, 1889, Alexander Storie, a farmer on Pink Street (now the Tom Burns farm) wrote the following in his diary: "Calm warm and pleasant in the morning. Clear calm and sunshine all day. We all went to Mary Ann's for our Christmas dinner. Mrs. Mary Coulter and children, Mrs. Jane Liddle and Samuel Storie and family were there also to dinner. There was fifteen in all."
Ninety-nine years ago today, the Bovina column of the December 26, 1919 Andes Recorder reported that "The tax collector is on the war path."
106 years ago, the December 27, 1912 issue of the Andes Recorder reported in its Bovina column that "Collector Geo H. Miller has commenced taking taxes. The first taxes paid were James B. Thomson’s"
132 years ago today, the Bovina column of the December 28, 1886 Stamford Mirror reported that "D.L. Thomson, Member of Assembly, has been at Albany this week looking the ground over preparatory to the commencement of his official duties." David Low Thompson was born in Bovina in 1831. David's career in the Assembly would be fairly brief. More about David’s political career will show up in the Bovina NY History Blog in March 2019.
Walter A. Doig died 116 years ago today, on December 29, 1902. Born in Bovina in 1827, he was the son of Andrew and Margaret (Sanderson) Doig. He married Margaret Armstrong in 1851. They had 10 children. This photo of Walter came from the collection of Celia Coulter.
199 years ago today, December 30, 1819, Nancy Jane Hamilton was born, the daughter of Thomas Hamilton and Elizabeth Arneil. She married Archibald Erkson in 1839. They would have five children. Nancy died in 1899 when she was 79 years old. Her husband survived her by five years, dying in 1904.
182 years ago today, on December 31, 1836, Adam Scott was killed in a riding accident. For more information on this accident, go to the Bovina NY History blog at http://bovinanyhistory.blogspot.com/2014/01/stories-from-bovina-cemeteries-adam.html.