Wednesday, January 31, 2018

This Day in Bovina for January 2018

Seventy-six years ago today, the Bovina column of the January 1, 1942 Delaware Republican reported that two students were home for the holidays: "Miss Rae Storie, student at Muskingum College is spending the holiday season with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. W.J. Storie." Her cousin, Ed Davidson, "a student at Elmira Aviation School" spent Christmas with his parents, Fletcher and Lois Davidson. The same column also reported that two teachers were home. "Miss Marjorie Russell, teacher at Madison, Ohio, is spending the holidays with her parents…" A teacher from East Orange, N.J., Miss Jane A. Hilson, "is at her home here for the holidays."

Bovina lost a Civil War veteran, Frank Gowanlock, 100 years ago on January 2, 1918 at his home on the outskirts of Bovina Center. He was 76 years old.  He had been in poor health for several years and a few days earlier had had a heart attack (or possibly a stroke), or, in the parlance of the time, "suffered a shock."  Born in Bovina, he spent most of his life there and was a stone mason by trade.  In 1862, Frank enlisted in Co E, 144th Regt and served until the end of the war.  He married Jane Liddle in 1875 - she predeceased him in 1916.

One hundred and five years ago today, January 3, 1913, a heavy wind blew over John Irvine’s smoke house at his farm on Coulter Brook.

103 years ago today, on January 4, 1915, Mrs. George Hewitt, of Margaretville, died at the home of Stephen R. Seacord in southern Bovina. She had arrived a few days earlier to attend the January 1 marriage of Stephen Seacord's daughter Rosanna to John Sweet. On December 28 she became ill with paralysis and never recovered. Mrs. Hewitt was born Cornelia Adee in Bovina 64 years earlier. She first married John Hewitt in 1876. He died in 1887. About eight years later, she married her late husband’s brother, George. She was the second of George’s four wives.  Cornelia’s funeral was held in the Methodist church (where Gert Hall’s home now stands) and she was buried in the Bovina cemetery.

116 years ago, on January 5, 1902, William Wilson Hoy and his wife were guests of his mother, Mrs. John R. Hoy, in Bovina.  Three days later, on January 8, William sailed from New York for London, where he had accepted a position as chief engineer of the Burmah Oil Company of London.  As later reported in the Andes Recorder, “From London he will proceed to India, where he will remain until surveys are completed, and has to report again at London in September. He receives $500 a month and expenses.”

119 years ago today on January 6, 1899, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Anna, little daughter of Edwin C. Burgin died…. Her death was a particularly sad one, as she die[d] under the influence of ether, which had been given her to perform an operation on her leg." Anna was seven years old. She was a sister of Edwin 'Ted' Burgin (1904-1993), the father of Cliff Burgin. Obviously, Ted never knew this sister, given she died five years before he was born.

121 years ago today, on January 7, 1897, Mrs. Thomas Gordon died.  The Andes Recorder reported that "This community was shocked to learn of the death of Mrs. Thomas Gordon.."  She was 46 years old and had just lost her daughter, Maggie, six weeks earlier.  The Recorder noted that "It is seldom that so sad an event is recorded.  The husband and son have the sincere sympathy of the entire community."   Mrs. Gordon was Mary Jane Oliver.  She married Thomas Gordon in 1871 and had two children.  In June 1899, Thomas Gordon would marry as his second wife Mary Richardson Scott and would have two more children, including daughter Margaret, who taught Social Studies at Delaware Academy for many years from the 1940s to the 1970s.

129 years ago today, the Bovina column in the January 8, 1889 Stamford Mirror reported that "J.N. Laing, Andrew Doig, and Jennet E. Hoy are going to California." James Nevin Laing was 29 when he made his trip, but he came back and settled in the area, dying in Delhi in 1943. The Andrew Doig who went with him probably was Andrew Archibald Doig, who als was 29 when this trip took place. He settled in Kansas. And Jennett probably was Jennette Ellen Hoy, who had just turned 30 when this item appeared. She too came back to the area and later in life married Sloan Archibald. She died in 1942.

117 years ago today, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, " The annual meeting of the Bovina Center Telephone company was held Monday [January 9, 1911] and directors elected are as follows: Thomas Ormiston, O.W. Hill, A.T. Archibald for three years; John W. Blair, M. Every, Fred W. Thomson, for two years. At a meeting of the board of directors Thomas Ormiston was chosen president and general manager, and Walter G. Coulter, secretary and treasurer."

115 years ago, on January 10, 1903, Jacob Cook died at the home of F.C. Armstrong.  Little is known about him. He was single and had come to the United States from Switzerland about 30 years previously.  The report of his death in the Andes Recorder had his first name wrong, calling him "Joseph Cooke."  The paper went on to note that he died "with pneumonia" and that "the doctor was called Friday and saw that death must be the result."  He was about 55 years old and was working, as the Recorder noted "At different times … in Bovina."  He was "buried in the County House burying ground."

Sixty-seven years ago today, on January 11, 1951, Frederica Muller died in Delhi. She was born in Bovina in 1875, the youngest of 15 children. Her parents, Urban and Eloise Muller emigrated from Switzerland in 1870. Frederica was survived by one sister, Mrs. Jennie McCumber. Frederica was buried in the Bovina Cemetery. More on the Muller family can be found on the Bovina NY History blog at

Ninety-six years ago today, on January 12, 1922, James Ackerley fell down the cellar stairs at his home in the lower part of the village fracturing two ribs.

The Andes Recorder reported ninety years ago today, on January 13, 1928, that “Hilson Brothers will remodel their general store building. A cellar will be dug under it in order to install a furnace and changes will be made to modernize the store. Part of the present structure has housed the mercantile business of three generations of Hilsons.”

122 years ago today, on January 14, 1896, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, Robert C. Scott was seriously ill with erysipelas of the head.  The paper reported that on the 14th his condition was unchanged but that “slight hopes are entertained for his recovery.” Scott died the following Sunday, January 19.  He was 84 years old. Erysipelas is a strep infection of the skin and includes a high fever, chills and vomiting. Robert was the son of Robert Scott and Mary (Miller) Scott. He married Janetta Hamilton and would have seven children with her. Janetta died in 1883.

111 years ago today, January 15, 1907, while returning from the funeral of Frank Coulter in their horse and wagon, Mr. and Mrs. John A. Irvine, met Fine Hunt in the area where Coulter Brook Road comes onto present day County Route 6.  Irvine's horse became frightened at some logs that Hunt was dragging behind his wagon. The horse went off the bank and over a stone wall, taking the wagon and occupants with it.  Mrs. Irvine sustained slight injury and Mr. Irvine escaped uninjured.  The harness was broken and the dash-board smashed. The Irvines lived on Coulter Brook Road and were the parents of Isabell Russell.

110 years ago today, on Thursday, January 16, 1908, as later reported by the Andes Recorder, “a pretty wedding took place at the home of Mr. and Mrs. James B. Thomson, when their dauter, Pheba Mae, became the wife of Robert Tweedie.”  The Recorder went on to note that “This was the first marriage in town under the new law.”  This new state law required that all persons wishing to marry had to obtain a marriage license from the clerk in the village, town or city in which the marriage took place and present it to the clergyman or other official carrying out the marriage. Robert and Phoebe May had six children. Unfortunately, Robert and Phoebe had been married only 18 years when Robert died in 1926.  Phoebe died 20 years later.

Ninety-nine years ago today, on January 17, 1919, the Andes Recorder reported that Bovina's "Dr. Whitcomb has increased his charge for calls in the village to $1.50 and other calls accordingly."

121 years ago today, on January 18, 1897, Homer C. Burgin died in Binghamton at the age of 78. He was in Binghamton being treated for cancer, which had plagued him for several years. He was married and widowed twice and left a son and two daughters. Burgin is buried in Bovina.

Eighty-nine years ago today, on January 19, 1929, as later reported in the Delaware Republican, "Mrs. Grace Dickson, wife of Delbert H. Dickson, died at her home in Bovina Center…aged 28 years. Mrs. Dickson underwent a serious operation at the Delhi hospital last year and had since been gradually failing, a recent attack of measles followed by pneumonia proving more than her frail constitution could withstand. Her death occurred on the anniversary of her marriage to Mr. Dickson."

Fifty one years ago today, on January 20, 1967, Mr. and Mrs. James P. Cairns of Bovina Center were honored with an Open House to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. James Cairns was married to Mae Fisher on January 10, 1917 in Deposit, New York. The couple moved to Bovina in 1940. James worked on the Gerry Estate for many years, retiring in 1962. They had five children, including son Leonard. Mrs. Cairns died at the end of the year in December 1967. James passed away in 1972.

120 years ago, in the January 21, 1898 Bovina Column in the Andes Recorder reported the following:  "Politics are quiet in town. We do not have such spiteful people here as do some of our neighboring towns. The only candidate we hear mentioned for supervisor is W.L. White.  Thomas Gordon is mentioned for town clerk; John M. Miller and F.C. Armstrong are up for road commissioner.  The other offices are as yet in the dark."

Seventy-six years ago today, the January 22, 1942 issue of the Delaware Republican had in its Bovina column this item: "Miss Jane Davidson returned from Schenectady where she spent the past week with Miss Kate Birdsall."

113 years ago today, on January 23, 1905, Mrs. Isabella Hoy died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Douglas Davidson of pneumonia.  She was 73. The Andes Recorder reported that she had just returned a few days earlier from visiting her son at Oil City, Pennsylvania with a severe cold, a cold that "grew rapidly worse."  The Recorder noted that "Her maiden name was Isabella Miller and she was born in Bovina, in September, 1831. About 1855 she was united in marriage with John R. Hoy, and he died September 30, 1901. She is survived by three sons and two daughters……"

116 years ago, on January 24, 1902, an entertainment of the Bovina Centre Lecture Course was scheduled.  The Andes Recorder reported that "Among the promised features will be instrumental and vocal music, recitations and a debate, Resolved, 'that in civil affairs women should be allowed to vote on the same conditions on which men exercise the franchise.'” Unfortunately, the result of the debate was not reported.

157 years ago today, on January 25, 1861, Mary Margaret Archibald was born, the daughter of William Archibald and Margaret McDonald. She married Charles Oscar Boggs in 1881 and would have two children before she was widowed in 1891. Mary Boggs died in Bovina in 1945.

119 years ago today, on January 26, 1899, Norton Forrest was born, the son of William L. and Mary Lunn Forrest. The age of the mother made some impact on the Andes Recorder:  "Born to Mr. and Mrs. William L. Forrest, January 26, a son. Think of Abraham and Sarah." The reference to Abraham and Sarah does not so much relate to the age of the parents (William was 43 and Mary was 42) but the fact that when their son was born, their only other child, a daughter Irene, was 19 years old. Ironically, Norton would predecease his older sister, dying in 1957 (she died in 1970).

115 years ago, on January 27, 1903, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Miss Jennie E. Miller started Tuesday for Norfolk, Virginia, where she will be connected with the United Presbyterian college for the education of the Freedmen.  She has charge of the buying for the boarding department." The Jennie referred to here likely is Jennette Elliott Miller (1841-1925), the daughter of David and Isabella Miller.

110 years ago today, on January 28, 1908, farmers in the Pink Street area of Bovina held a meeting concerning telephone service. As later reported in the Andes Recorder, "The Rose line of which they are patrons, does not give satisfactory service and for some time there has been no central office in Bovina. Unless some other arrangements can be made the farmers propose to build a line of their own. Another meeting will be held Wednesday afternoon, February 5."

134 years ago today, January 29, 1884, this order was signed altering the road districts in Brushland (now Bovina Center). Rev. Kennedy's house was the open land next to Walker Pond's home. The Methodist parsonage was where Chuck and Betty McIntosh live. 

187 years ago today, on January 30, 1831, Loruhannah Henderson was born in New Kingston, the daughter of James Henderson and Hannah Sprague. She married Francis Coulter in Bovina in 1857 and would have five children. She was predeceased by at least two children. Her sons Walter and James died 11 days apart in March 1900. Loruhannah died in 1909. Her husband died less than six months later. Both are buried in Bovina.

138 years ago today, the "Bovina Locals" column in the Delaware Republican for January 31, 1880 reported that "The weather is very 'child-like and bland,' and how we are to tell when Spring commences, if this style of winter continues, is a question that perplexes the strongest minds, and all the reliable old weather sages, who in vain have prophesied the commencement of a hard winter at each change of moon for the past three months, have at least agreed that 'we will catch it sometime,' which remarkable conclusion is probably correct."

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