Monday, April 30, 2018

This Day in Bovina For April

189 years ago today, on April 1, 1829, Thomas Elliott Hastings was born, the son of James Hastings and Elizabeth Elliott. He became a prominent merchant in Bovina and built the building that is now Russell's store.

Seventy-six years ago today, the April 2, 1942 Delaware Republican reported in its Bovina column that "Mr. and Mrs. Dave Roberts of Sidney were here two days last week as guests of her aunt, Mrs. Kate Birdsall." Dave was working for Scintilla at the time, as were some other Bovina residents. Scintilla was booming because of the Second World War.

121 years ago today, on April 3, 1897, "The catalogues have been printed and the Bovina Public Library was opened to the public… It contains many valuable books for both old and young." The library at that time was located in the basement of the Bovina United Presbyterian Church. The church had started a library in 1879, but it ended after about a decade. In 1896, E.T. Gerry donated $100 and Mr. H.C. Frick, of Pittsburg, $50 to starting up the library again.

102 years ago today, at the primary election held April 4, 1916, only 34 people voted - 18 Republicans, 13 Democrats and 3 Prohibitionists.

123 years ago, Andes Recorder cast some disparaging remarks concerning certain people in Bovina and how they spend their money. In its April 5, 1895 issue, the Bovina correspondent reported that "About thirty people in town purchased a copy of the Biographical Review, which shows that there are at least thirty fools in town." The Biographical Review of Delaware County has proven to be an invaluable tool for genealogists, but this comment does confirm what I have done for years - take these biographies with a grain of salt. The full text of the Review is on the Delaware County Genealogy website at

Seventy-four years ago today, the Bovina column in the April 6, 1944 issue of the Delaware Republican-Express reported that "James Burns has bought W.J. Storie's farm. Mr. Storie will move to his father's farm up 'Pink street.'" It appears that this information is a little backward. James Burns purchased what was the Storie farm on Pink Street, not the William J. Storie farm on County Route 6 (now the Behrer home).

200 years ago today, on April 7, 1818, voters in the Town of Stamford voted down an attempt to form a new town from parts of Stamford. It was determined that the resolution to form the town was "so vague and unexplained that the town cannot act on said notice. Put to vote and carried in favor of said motion." This was the first attempt to create what is now the Town of Bovina.

Seventy-five years ago, the April 8, 1943 Delaware Republican-Express reported in its Bovina column that "Mr. and Mrs. James Burns and children were here from Sidney last week."

Thirty-seven years ago today, on April 9, 1981, Edna Carter passed away at the age of 88. Born in 1892, she was the daughter of David Champ Worden and Harriett Boyd.

Fifty-three years ago today, on April 10, 1965, as later reported in the Delaware Republican-Express's Bovina column, "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…"

107 years ago, on April 11, 1911, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Mr. and Mrs. Robert G. Thomson commenced housekeeping Tuesday in rooms in J.W. Coulter's house." This likely is Robert Gow Thomson, the son of W. Elliott Thompson and Mary Gow. Born in 1888, he married Nelle Moore. The marriage was short lived - Nelle died in 1917. Robert remarried and survived until 1949.

120 years ago, on April 12, 1898, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Andes Recorder, "the Standard Oil wagon was here…"

Seventy-eight years ago today, on April 13, 1940, as later reported in the Delaware Republican, "Mr. and Mrs. Robert Boggs and children Bobbie and Barbara, were at Delhi on Sunday afternoon and called on her sister, Mrs. William Sanderson and her baby, Shirley Bell."

107 years ago, the Andes Recorder in its April 14, 1911 issue, reported in the Bovina column news the following: “John Miller has secured a position as telegraph operator with the Union Pacific railroad, and has been ordered to report for duty at Omaha, Nebraska. It is not known to what place he will be assigned. He has just completed a special course at Cincinnati." This likely is John Clifford Miller, the son of David and Charlotte Miller. Miller married Doris McIntyre and lived until the age of 96, dying in Schenectady in 1986. He is buried in Bovina.

118 years ago today, on April 15, 1910, Mrs. John G. Thomson died at her home in Bovina from an aneurysm of the abdominal aorta at the age of 72. As later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Her maiden name was Anna White and she was born and had always lived in Bovina." Her husband survived her by more than a decade, dying in 1921.

Seventy-six years ago today, the Andes column of the Delaware Republican for April 16, 1942 had this item about a Bovina resident: "Alen(sic) Johnson of Bovina, son of Mr. and Mrs. George Johnson, who has been in the aviation branch of the U.S.A. for over two years, made his first trip home last week for a very few days. He has been stationed at Panama and is now going to a field in Texas to become a flying cadet. We are not privileged to have only a few minutes interview with him but find him looking fine but very dark complexion from the sun and climate of Panama. Due to his short stay at home he was unable to give us a history of his past two years but promises to write from Texas and will then be able to perhaps give the readers more of a description of his past two years." Johnson later became even more newsworthy when he was shot down over France and managed to escape imprisonment. See the Bovina NY History blog at for more about this story.

134 years ago today, on April 17, 1884, as posted in the Andes Recorder, "Dr. Browne, of Delhi, will be at …Dr. Phinney’s office, Brushland, the 17th, for consultation and operation in dentistry. White’s celebrated Laughing Gas used for the painless extraction of teeth."

122 years ago today, April 18, 1896, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "H.G. Bramley was still making [maple] sugar…Sap was still running fairly well in his camp."

Ninety years ago today, the April 19, 1928 Stamford Mirror-Recorder reported on elections held for the Bovina Center fire company. 

Seventy-four years ago today, the Bovina column of the April 20, 1944 Delaware Republican-Express reported that "The 4-H held a bake sale last week with Miss Marian McPherson in charge of it." The same column reported that "Cpl. Leonard Archibald is enjoying a furlough with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. A.T. Archibald."

Sixty-three years ago today, on April 21, 1955, the Bovina Recreation Club presented 'Bovina Center, My Home Town." As later reported in the Delaware Republican Express, the program was "presented by pantomime, narrative and the projection of colored slides on a movie screen…" Unfortunately, I was unable to attend this event. I was considered to be too young at 14 hours old. More information about this event may be found in the Bovina NY History blog at

116 years ago, a musical entertainment was scheduled at Strangeway's Hall. The Andes Recorder reported that on Tuesday eve., April 22[, 1902] there will be a musical and literary entertainment in Strangeway’s Hall, given by the Fortnightly Club and its friends. There will be music by the children, Phonograph, quartets, choruses and by Zobo band. There will be also recitations and a pantomime presentation of 'Hiawatha’s Wooing.' This is the last entertainment of the season and a cordial invitation is given to all."

138 years ago today, on the April 23, 1880, someone passed through Bovina that aroused enough interest for someone to post in the Bovina column of the Stamford Mirror this notice: "Does any one know who that young man was, who passed through Bovina village, Friday evening, April 23d, riding a small bay horse, with a large white strip in its face."

Sixty-eight years ago today, April 24, 1950, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Catskill Mountain News, "The Bovina Home Bureau held its closet storage meeting…at the home of Mrs. Alex Rabeler. Mary Lounsberry was the leader who showed many ways to improve storage space. There were eleven items made, including shoe racks, step shelves, sliding drawers and others…"

Ninety-seven years ago today, on April 25, 1921, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "the little son of C.S. Terry had its leg injured while in the [Bovina] cemetery by one of the tombstones falling over and hitting him. The cement which held the stone in the base had loosened and a slight pull brought the stone out of the mortice. No bones were broken."

Ninety-seven years ago today, on April 26, 1921, the Bovina Town Board voted to have David G. Currie fill the unexpired term of town clerk Thomas Gordon, who had passed away on April 22. “On motion the Supervisor with Justice Strangeway be appointed a committee to assist the present Clerk to examine all papers and records in the private office of the late Town Clerk, and remove all that are of value to the Town, to the office of the Town Clerk.” My dad recalled that Thomas's daughter Margaret told him that she had to help the committee locate all the records in the house. Margaret was 13 at the time.

122 years ago today, on April 27, 1896, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "S.G. Bramley’s fine team of greys ran away Monday with the harrow and cut themselves up somewhat."

119 years ago, the April 28, 1899 Bovina column of the Andes Recorder reported that "David Finkle, of Lake Delaware, has been suffering for several months with sciatic rheumatism and through the kindness of Mr. Gerry he will receive treatment in a New York hospital."

Seventy-five years ago today, in the Bovina column of the April 29, 1943 appeared this report: "Miss Evelyn Lay and Mrs. Edythe Ward of Delhi spent from Monday until Wednesday of last week in New York City visiting Mrs. Ward's daughters, Mrs. Evelyn Davis and Miss Edyth Ward. While there they attended the comedy hit 'Blithe Spirit,' by Noel Coward at the Boothe Theatre. Mr. Coward now a member of the British Naval Intelligence wrote this play while on an eight day furlough in Wales. The play has enjoyed an immediate success, both in England and America. Mr. Coward has a genuine satisfaction at such a reception of his play as he wrote it to match the spirit of cheerfulness with which his countrymen are meeting the grim circumstance of war."

Sixty-eight years ago today, April 30, 1950, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Catskill Mountain News, "Milton Hastings visited Miss Lilly Happy at East Meredith on Sunday. He found her much improved in health. Sunday was her 87th birthday. She took great pleasure in reading many cards and letters which she had received in honor of her birthday." Miss Happy was Milton's housekeeper for many years. She had taken ill about a year before. In the summer of 1951, she was moved to the Delaware County sanatorium, where she died that October.

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