Friday, March 5, 2021

Some New Old Pictures of Bovina

I've been reviewing some recently acquired images and want to share some of them with you.

Tom Davidson recently sent me an envelop of pictures from his late father, Ed Davidson. Included were two images of Bovina Center that I have not seen before. Unfortunately, they are not dated, but likely come from the early 20th century. 

Looking east on Main Street. The house to the left is the historic Alexander Brush home, now the home of Tim and Tamara McIntosh. You can see Russell's Store in the background (at the time probably A.T. Doig's store). 

Looking west on Main Street. That's the current Russell's Store on the right. The angle of the shot interests me. Likely taken from the lawn of what is now Joe and Connie Dibble's home. 

Two more interesting pictures hail from Lake Delaware. The Delaware County Historical Association, where I'm the archivist, has a collection of glass plate negatives taken by Edna Georgia Benedict of East Meredith in the early 20th century. It was a bit of a surprise to find two images of the construction of Aknusti, the home built by Robert Gerry. The photos are dated 1913. 

The house was a summer home for Robert and his family until February 1953 when a fire badly damaged it. Here are two postcard views of the house in its heyday. 

The final image I recently uncovered came from images from the Monroe Family. Henry Monroe's sister was Martena Monroe Kellam. Her daughter gave images to former County Historian Pat Grimes. The current county historian turned them over to me. This image was labeled on the back "Raising barn upper Coulter Brook, Bovina NY....Next to my grandfather Coulter's farm." I figured out that this barn likely was built by Charles Tuttle in May 1894. The farm went through several owners, including William Doig, Fernando Hunt, Frank Eraczek, Walfred (Wally) Hansen, James Henderson and Eric Saubart. The barn is now gone but I think it was still standing in the 1980s. 

Sunday, February 28, 2021

This Day in Bovina for February 2021

Forty-three years ago today, the February 1, 1978 Walton Reporter carried this photograph from a retirement dinner held for four retiring Bovina town officials. 

100 years ago today, the February 2, 1921 issue of the Delaware Republican carried this item: “The blacksmith shop owned by Mrs. Logan, in Bovina Center, was destroyed by fire on Wednesday morning about 1 o'clock. Loss about $500, besides about $300 on stock owned by the lessee. There was a hot but successful contest by the bucket brigade to save Mrs. L's barn, which stood within a dozen feet of the burned shop. Several persons had their faces severely scorched. The place is fortunate in having its buildings generally separated, as in case of fire its facilities, except buckets and running streams, are very limited. But they always seem to use the means at hand with promptitude, judgment and resolution. The insurance on the shop, we learn, had recently expired; but the liberal people of the town have already subscribed over $300 to assist in rebuilding the property.”


Seventy-seven years ago today, the Bovina column in the February 3, 1944 Delaware Republican-Express reported that "Mr. and Mrs. John W. Blair observed their fifty-fifth wedding anniversary last Sabbath. They are both in good health and able to be about. Their daughter, Mrs. Marshall Thomson, is with them at present." John would die in August of the following year. His wife, the former Lib Miller, would survive him by almost 20 years, dying in May 1965 at the age of 98.


Thirty-five years ago today, the Bovina column of the February 4, 1986 Delaware County Times carried this item:  

137 years ago today, the Bovina column of the February 5, 1884 Stamford Mirror carried this item: "The pupils of the Brushland district school, are preparing for an exhibition to be given at the close of the winter term."


Seventy-nine years ago today, on February 6, 1942, Jennette Ellen Hoy Archibald died. Born in 1859, she was the daughter of John R. and Isabella [Miller] Hoy. She also was the sister of David F. Hoy. She lived most of her life in Bovina. In 1915, she married a widower, Sloan Archibald. She was in turn widowed at his death in 1928.


125 years ago today, on February 7, 1896, Alexander Storie died at his home in Bovina at the age of 83. The Delaware Republican noted that "he was one of the staunch, judicious and reliable men of [Bovina], for a number of years its supervisor, whose judgment was seldom at fault and who always had the courage of his convictions and the nerve to carry them into effect, if possible. A venerable land mark and pioneer, warm friend and excellent and thrifty citizen is removed by his decease." This is his portrait from Munsell's History of Delaware County. 


Sixty-nine years ago today, the February 8, 1951 Catskill Mountain News reported in its Bovina column noted that "Howard Currie of Delhi has commenced a job on our church. He will do a good bit of remodeling, add cloak and rest rooms and change the doors leading into the auditorium. There will be other changes." The same column reported the arrival from Italy of Mrs. Frances Bomanico, the "sister of John Bellino," who was visiting her brother and trying to learn English. It was noted that "She finds it difficult."


162 years ago today, on February 9, 1859, this document was filed with the town clerk from the town's commissioners of highway petitioning voters in the town to raise an additional $750 in highway monies to cover the cost of creating a new road "from Bovina to the Town line leading to New Kingston."  

141 years ago today, the February 10, 1880 Bovina column in the Stamford Mirror, reported that "After an illness of about fourteen weeks, Mrs. McDonald, widow of the late Henry McDonald, died at her residence near Brushland, on the morning of [February 3], aged 83." Born in Scotland in 1797, the former Margaret Donald married Henry before coming to the US in the 1830s. Henry had died about five weeks earlier. She had six children, who survived her. She is buried in the Bovina cemetery. The house in which she died is now my house.


142 years ago today, the Stamford Mirror in its February 11, 1879 issue, reported under the headline "Fire in Bovina" that "The house of Mr. Charles H. Bramley in Bovina was burned on Tuesday night last week. The family were away making an evening visit and arrived just in time to see the house fall in ruins. No insurance. Mr. Bramley and family will have the sympathy and pecuniary assistance of his townsmen and many friends." This Charles likely was the son of Henry Bramley and  had a farm on Bramley Mountain. Because of the fire, Bramley sold his herd of 21 cows and other animals, as well as farming implements on February 28.


132 years ago, on February 12, 1889, the Stamford Mirror reported that "Bovina people want a new U.P. church, just like the one recently dedicated at South Kortright. They are going to solicit about $3,500 and fix up the old church with new-fashioned notions. Let them go ahead." The renovations were carried out in the church that fall, making it look very much like it does today.


136 years ago today, on February 13, 1885, this bill was submitted by T.F. McIntosh of the Delaware Republican for printing 200 quarantine notices for the Town of Bovina. The notices were for the diphtheria epidemic that hit Bovina Center in late 1884 and early 1885. More about the 1884/85 diphtheria outbreak in Bovina is at

138 years ago today, the February 14, 1883 Delaware Gazette reported that: "Rev. J.B. Lee, of Bovina, has received a $100 check from Hon. E.T. Gerry, to be used for the benefit of the 'Young People's Christian Association.' On a former occasion Mr. Gerry presented the Association with $50 worth of books for their library."


Seventy years ago today, the Bovina column of the February 15, 1951 issue of the Delaware Republican-Express included the following: "The Bovina Home Bureau unit is holding a 'Winter Fair' Feb. 2 in the Bovina Community Hall at 8 pm. There will be a fish pond, snack bar, sweet shop and fancy work shop, as well as a variety of games. Come and visit with your neighbors and have an evening of fun. There is no admission charge; save your money until you get inside."


135 years ago today, the February 16, 1886 issue of the Stamford Mirror in its Bovina column reported that "The household goods of John Shanks, wagon maker, late of New Kingston, arrived in Brushland on Thursday, the 11th inst., and he will occupy the rooms, and carry on the business, in the shop lately occupied by J. Dietrich."


110 years ago today, the Bovina column of the Andes Recorder reported in its February 17, 1911 issue that "C.J. Marks, who for two years has been the buttermaker at the Center creamery and was hired for this year, has thrown up the job and hired to make the butter at the up-town creamery. He will move to the house near the creamery."


Eighty years ago today, on February 18, 1941, as later reported in the Delaware Express, "Mrs. William J. Archibald and Miss Emily Archibald received medical advice in New York….They and Henry Monroe made the trip with the Rev. Harvey H. McClellan. Mr. Monroe visited an uncle in the Bronx."


Ninety-one years ago today, the Bovina column of the February 19, 1930 Delaware Republican reported that "Lancelot Thompson was taken ill last Wednesday night and Dr. Sarle was with him for three hours. He is better at this time." Thomson survived this 'attack' but died a few months later in June at the age of 81.


131 years ago today, the February 20, 1890 issue of the Hobart Independent reported the following: "Bovina farmers have hired help for the coming season at $25 per month for men and $4 a week for girls, in some cases. Bovina farmers can stand this if anybody can, but the price is quite out of proportion to the price of farm products."


185 years ago today, on February 21, 1836, Elizabeth Jane Fuller was born in Bovina, the first born child of Richard and Ann Fuller. She died at the age of 21 in 1857 and is buried in the Nichols cemetery on Cape Horn Road.


134 years ago today, the Bovina column in the February 22, 1887 Stamford Mirror reported that "The R.P. Church is being re-kalsomined [whitewashed] and repaired. A social for the benefit for the church was held at the house of David J. Miller, on the night of the 16th, and about $18 was raised." This church stood about where the Bovina fire hall and the playground are located. It was taken down in 1943.


Twenty-seven years ago today, the Bovina column of the February 23, 1994 Walton Reporter reported that "The Bovina Library is sponsoring a craft and hobby night on Feb. 23 from 7:30-9 pm at the library. The program will be displays and demonstrations of crafts and hobbies. Janet Stewart will provide musical entertainment. Refreshments will be served. Call Hugh Lee if you have crafts or hobbies you wish to share."


171 years ago today, on February 24, 1850, Matilda Loughran Phyfe died at the age of 23. She was the daughter of Alexander Loughran and Sara Maria Card. She married John Phyfe in Roxbury in May 1847. She likely died in childbirth, giving birth to her daughter Sarah. John would marry twice more, and was widowed each time, dying in 1901.


Sixty-one years ago today, on February 25, 1960, the Bovina column of the Delaware Republican-Express reported that "The LaFever Brothers have tapped their sugar maples, ready for the first sap run."


106 years ago today, the February 26, 1915 issue of the Catskill Mountain News carried an article under the headline "Stops Slander Suit." "The slander suit, in which $25,000 damages were asked of Rev. James B. Lee, pastor of St. Paul's Presbyterian church in Philadelphia, by Charles W. Wilkins, has been withdrawn, the plaintiff having reached the conclusion that he could not sustain his case. This suit is of local interest from the fact that Mr. Lee was born in Bovina and spent his boyhood there. He is a son of the late Rev. Dr. J. B. Lee, who was for many years pastor of the Bovina Centre United Presbyterian church. The plaintiff in this action, Mr. Wilkins, who was an elder and also treasurer of St. Paul's church, was charged by the pastor with having misappropriated church money, and then having embezzled money belonging to a trust fund." Rev. Lee's father, J.B. Lee, was involved in a slander suit back in 1870. More about this suit may be found in the Bovina NY History Blog from March 2013:


127 years ago today, on February 27, 1894, Shirley Ada Miller was born, the daughter of John and Bertha Miller. She grew up on Pink Street on the family farm (the farm that later became Suits-Us Farm). She later became a dental hygienist and passed away in 1973 in Walton.


Seventy-three years ago today, on February 28, 1948, R. H. Lewis and Sons of Delhi sold to the Bovina Rural Fire District the recently created Bovina Fire Department's first fire truck. The truck was sold in 1987 and recently purchased by current Bovina Fire Chief Kevin Brown.

Photo by Bob Wyer

Same truck in September 2020


Saturday, February 20, 2021

The Burns and the Boggs' Celebrate their Golden Wedding Anniversaries (1921)


100 years ago this month, in February 1921, two Bovina couples celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversaries one day apart. On February 15, Alex and Nancy (Miller) Burns celebrated at their home (now the home of Michael and Heidi Goggins on Crescent Valley Road) with about 100 attending to enjoy a dinner and music. The couple received a number of gifts, including a gold watch to the bride and several gold coins. The next day, William and Alice Boggs planned a quiet family party that turned into a party of 125, including Alex and Nancy, fresh from their celebration the day before. Also attending were William’s brother Thomas and his wife, the former Jane Archibald, who were married 55 years and Gib and Mary Jane (Banker) Miller, married 52 years. 

Left to right: William Boggs, Alice Boggs, John Miller, ?? B. Thomson, Sarah Phyfe, Alex Burns, Gib Miller, Archibald Phyfe, Jane Boggs, Nancy Burns

An article appeared in an unidentified magazine (likely a publication from the Presbyterian Church) about these two couples and others in Bovina who had been married over 50 years.


Alexander Burns was born in December 1848 on the Burns family farm in upper Bovina, the son of John Burns (1807-1896) and Nancy Ormiston (1813-1877). He was the next to youngest son out of a family of seven children. He lost a brother, Sinclair, in the Civil War. On February 15, 1871, he was married to Nancy Miller, the daughter of John Thomas Miller (1822-1900) and Nancy Armstrong (1821-1868), their eldest child of six children.

Alex and Nancy had four children, three of whom grew to adulthood. Agnes Bell Burns, born in 1872, was married to Dave Draffen. Widowed in 1942, she died in 1964, the last of Alex and Nancy’s children (and the eldest). Their daughter Ella (Ellen Miller Burns), born in 1874, was married to Sylvan LaFever in 1897. She had two sons and a daughter (who died at the age of 2) before she died from a miscarriage or stillbirth in 1908. Ella is the ancestor of the LaFevers in Bovina. Alex and Nancy had a son, John Sinclair Burns in 1888. He was married in 1913 to Elizabeth Jane Carnright. They had two daughters, Mary and Agnes.

William Fountain Boggs was born in October 1844, the son of William Hill Boggs (1806-1892) and Elizabeth McKenzie (1807-1883). He married Alice Jane Russell on February 16, 1871 in New Kingston. Alice was born in 1847, the daughter of John Russell (1822-1902) and Jane Chisholm (1815-1886). William and Alice had two sons. Harry G. Boggs, born in 1873, died in 1891. Their son John Russell Boggs was born in 1878 and was the father of Don, Bob and Norrie Boggs.

William and Alice Boggs would celebrate two more anniversaries before Alice’s death in June 1923. William died just over 10 years later in 1933. Alex and Nancy would go on to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary in 1931. Nancy died three months later in May 1931. Alexander survived his wife by over eight years, dying in October 1939 at the age of 90.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

February 1921 - 100 Years Ago in "That Thriving Town"

From the pages of the Andes Recorder 100 years ago this month. The cold weather was helping to fill ice houses.

February 4, 1921

Leon VanDusen has purchased a Reo army truck.

Mrs. Marshall Scott is suffering from erysipelas in the face.

Mrs. John McCune and Ed Doig are the latest victims of the measles.

The schoolteachers of the town were at Bloomville attending a conference Wednesday, adding more useless expense on the districts.

John Aitkens, collector for the town of Bovina, settled with the county treasurer Tuesday and was the first to make settlement.  He had only $66 uncollected taxes.

Daniel Franklin is having ice hauled this week from Lake Mahiken to fill the ice house of the Up-Town Creamery. He is also putting up a large building at Lake Mahiken and will fill that with ice.

…Bovina Center Co-Operative Creamery Co….Dan Franklin has the creamery for a year.

February 11, 1921

Ice nearly two feet thick is being harvested from the Johnson pond uptown.

Drs. Goodrich and Ormiston operated upon Floyd and John Aitkens Sunday afternoon, for the removal of their tonsils.

Robert G. Thomson who was manager of the Dry Milk Co plant here until it closed has gone to Michigan to work for the same company.

Sloan Archibald has sold his house (the old McDonald place) on the outskirts of the village, and the small farm adjoining to David L. Liddle who takes possession March 1.  Mr. Archibald has purchased the Jennie Miller house. [The ‘old McDonald’ place is now my house. While Sloan was the home’s owner, he added the second story to it.]

February 18, 1921

Mrs. John Hilson gave a Valentine party to 16 friends Monday evening.

The Winslow company gave an excellent entertainment here Tuesday evening.

A milking machine expert from the State College of Agriculture will be at a diarymen’s meeting in Bovina Center next Monday.

February 25, 1921

Dr. Wakeman of Andes, was here Wednesday and purchased Sloan Archibald’s horse.

John Lunn and wife, of Ithaca, are at Lake Delaware to spend the remainder of the winter with his aged mother. 

Gustave Leftgren, whose house was burned a few weeks ago, had the misfortune to have his leg broken while getting out logs for lumber for a new house.

Abram Brandow Forman, who last fall enlisted in the U.S. navy, is spending a twenty-day furlough with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Geo Forman on Hobbie mountain.  He is just out of the hospital at Norfolk, Virginia, where he was ill for 36 days with measles, tonsillitis and pneumonia in succession. 

An Old Violin

Mrs. Ann Bouton, of Lake Delaware, has in her possession a violin of interest to many.  Her father, Sandy Gillie (for many years court crier) bought the violin from Alva Belcher, the well remembered fiddler of his day, for his son, William Gillie, who died while serving his country in the civil war.

Sunday, January 31, 2021

This Day in Bovina for January 2021

180 years ago today, on January 1, 1841, the Trustees of Bovina school district number 3 (the Mountain Brook area) provided this document showing the books in the school's library. Books included Scott's History of Scotland, Lives of Early Navigators,  American Husbandry, and Russells History of Palestine." The document was submitted by trustees James M. Hastings and John Miller.

118 years ago today, the January 2, 1903 issue of the Andes Recorder included these Bovina items: David Sloan, of Colorado, is renewing old acquaintances in town. Aaron Whitney, who went to Illinois last spring, has returned to Bovina. Mrs. F.R. Coulter has purchased a large monument from Woodburn & Smyth, which will be erected in the Bovina Centre cemetery, to the memory of her late husband.

Forty-one years ago today, on January 3, 1980, Bovina Supervisor Charlie LaFever signed this oath of office for his second term as Bovina Town Supervisor. 

Seventy-nine years ago today, January 4, 1942, this telegram was delivered to Marjorie Russell while she was taking a train back to her home in Madison, Ohio where she was teaching. It appears she was planning to leave the train in Erie but was being advised to take the train on to Painesville where she would be met by Rae Storie.  Madison is between Painesville and Erie. 

135 years ago today, the Bovina column in the January 5, 1886 Stamford Mirror reported that "A donation for the benefit of Rev. Mr. Deming was held in Dickson's Hall on Wednesday eve. Dec. 30. Owing to the fact that the hall was formerly used as a skating rink, or, perhaps, because it is located so far above the earth, only a few were in attendance, and the proceeds amounted to only about twenty dollars." I'm not 100% sure but I think Dickson's hall was the second floor of what is now Brushland Eating House.

164 years ago today, the January 6, 1857 issue of the Bloomville Mirror carried this memorial poem composed on the death of Mrs. J. Lewis. Mrs. Lewis was Jane Wyear, born 1769 in Scotland. She had four children. Her husband, John, had predeceased her in 1853. She is buried in the old Reformed Church cemetery at County Route 6 and Bovina Road. 

Thirty-five years ago today, the Bovina column of the January 7, 1986 issue of the Stamford Mirror Recorder, reported that "The Rev. Karen Patricia. Miss Marjorie Russell and Dr. and Mrs. Allen Russell of Concord. Massachusetts were all Christmas Day dinner guests of Miss Enid Carter at the Old Home Place." The Old Home Place was the name Enid's mother, Edna, had given to their home on Pink Street.

Forty-six years ago today, the Bovina column of the Stamford Mirror Recorder for January 8, 1975 reported that "Mr and Mrs. Raymond Rabeler and family were last Thursday dinner guests of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Alex Rabeler, Sr., before returning home to Homer [NY]." The same column reported that "Mrs. Walter Reinertsen and daughter, Andrea, of Rome, [NY] were guests for several days of last week at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Clark Lay." And another report from the column: "Misses Jean and Judy Tator of Oneonta spent Christmas day with their parents, Mr and Mrs. Burt Tator."

137 years ago today, the January 9, 1884 issue of the Delaware Gazette reported under the headline  "Elegant India Ink Portrait." the following: "A. L. Dreyfus has just had completed two large, life-size portraits, one of the late David Black, the other of the late James Coulter, both of Bovina. These pictures, for beauty of finish, cannot be excelled by any other house in tbe State. Mr. W. T. Black, and Mrs. James Coulter, for whom the pictures were made, express themselves very highly pleased with the work, and many others say they are the finest-made pictures they ever saw. A great many of you, no doubt, are familiar with the name of David Black, he having served his town for eleven consecutive years as Supervisor, the longest term of this office held by any man in his town, with the exception of the late Judge Cowen, who served for sixteen consecutive years." I do not know where these portraits exist now, if they do at all. If anyone knows, contact me.

125 years ago today, the January 10, 1896 Andes Recorder in its Bovina Column had the following commentary:  "Your correspondent thinks if parents would keep their children in off the street and out of the stores a little more there would be less fault to find about children being mean and saucy.  They are allowed to go where they please from morning until late at night and no one knows what mischief they are into."

Ninety-three years ago today, the January 11, 1928 Stamford Mirror-Recorder reported the death of Elmer G. Gladstone:  "On Wednesday, January 4th, word was received of the death of Elmer George Gladstone at his home, Farr, Col[orado]. The cause of death was pneumonia. Mr. Gladstone was a native of Andes and was 62 years of age. His earlier years were spent in Andes and Bovina, living here for a number of years where he was a carpenter by trade. He left Bovina nearly 20 years ago." More about Elmer can be found in the Bovina NY History blog at

Ninety-two years ago today, the Bovina column in the January 12, 1929 Delaware Republican reported that "Mrs. Jane L. Dickson is taking a vacation with her daughters at Port Jervis and Poughkeepsie, also at Washington, DC"

141 years ago today, the January 13, 1880 Stamford Mirror reported in its Bovina column that "We have been informed that Mr. Black, our Supervisor, kept 2 1/2 percent of the school funds for his trouble paying over the same. Black is more for self than for the schools." This was refuted a couple of weeks later. A statement, published in the Utilitarian, reads: "Mr. Editor - That report in regard to Mr. Black retaining a percentage of the school moneys is false. I was wrongly informed. As I did not intend to injure Mr. Black in any way. I take this opportunity to correct the mistake, and say that there is no truth in the report." The Delaware Republican, which republished this statement, noted "No one acquainted with Mr. Black believed the story in the first place, and all fair ment regarded his denial as conclusive. The person who made a direct charge, so capable of being refuted by the records, was probably the dupe or tool of some person who wished to injure Mr. Black without burning his own fingers."

Seventy-two years ago today, the January 14, 1949 Catskill Mountain News carried this Bovina column: 

Sixty-seven years ago today, January 15, 1954, as later reported in the January 21, Bovina column in the Stamford Mirror, Mary Anne LaFever celebrated her 7th birthday at her home. Here's the full report of who attended. 

Fifty-five years ago today, the January 16, 1966 Delaware Republican Express reported the following: "Mr. and Mrs. James Barnhart spent a few days last week at the home of their son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Francis Ruff, of New Kingston." The same column also reported that Edwin Hall of the Orange Community College of Middletown was home for the weekend."

139 years ago today, the Bovina column of the Stamford Mirror for January 17, 1882 included this item: "John Coulter, of Georgetown, Colorado, was in town a few days this week. Mr. Coulter is a member of the Colorado Legislature and the originator of the famous "Indian scalp and skunk skin" bill. More about John can be found on the Bovina NY History blog at

134 years ago today, the Bovina column in the January 18, 1887 Bloomville Mirror included this item: "Jim knew we were going to have cold weather after New Years. So he prepared to face the cold blasts of winter by getting a large stock of mittens, on hand. Jim is long sighted." As to who is meant by 'Jim' I have yet to work out. The major merchants in Bovina at that time period were John Hilson, Thomas Strangeway and Thomas Hastings.

109 years ago today, the January 19, 1912 Binghamton Press reported the death of a Bovina doctor, under the headline "Dr. Dickson of Bovina Center Dies Suddenly of Apoplexy." The article went on to report that "Dr. Gilbert J. Dickson, an esteemed physician of Bovina Center…died suddenly at his home Wednesday morning. Apoplexy was the cause of death. He had been in his usual health Tuesday, having driven with several members of his family to the train, where they started for Syracuse University. On his return he attended some patients and went to the stable to look after his horses. He was found in a semi-conscious condition later, and died in a few hours. He was well known in Oneonta where his brother, James Dickson conducts a pharmacy." Dr. Dickson built and lived in the building that is now the Brushland Eating House. He left behind his widow, the former Jane Loughran and five children. Dickson is buried in Bovina.

Seventy-one years ago today, the January 20, 1950 Catskill Mountain News reported in its Bovina column that "Mrs. Frank Pindar of Grand Gorge visited her daughter, Mrs. Charles McIntosh [aka Eva], Saturday." The same column reported that "Some of our townspeople are taking advantage of the adult education classes held in the Delhi central school."

Seventy-eight years ago today, the January 21, 1943 Delaware Republican carried a rather brief Bovina column with 4 items: 1) Miss Elizabeth Strangeway recently passed away at the Fox Hospital in Oneonta, where she was taken with a broken hip on January 10th. 2) Mrs Fred DeSilva is going to store her furniture and take a position in Sidney. 3) Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Russell were at Andes on business Monday afternoon. 4) Mrs. William Hissman was in town Thursday and Friday of last week.

123 years ago today, on January 22, 1898, the voters of the Prohibition party met at the home of Thomas Miller and nominated this slate of candidates for town office. 

191 years ago today, on January 23, 1830, George Nesbitt was paid $12.25 for services as town clerk performed in 1829.

Seventy-seven years ago today, January 24, 1944, this invitation to the wedding of Glenn Hobbie and Anna Boggs was postmarked and sent to Cecil and Isabell Russell and their daughter Marjorie. 

173 years ago today, on January 25, 1848, the Commissioners of Excise for the town of Bovina issued this license to "Alexander Kinmouth to retail Strong and Spiritous Liquors…" His tavern was located at the former Clark Lay residence in Bovina Center, now the home of Betty Powell.

120 years ago today, on January 26, 1901, the Bovina Board of Health adopted a resolution quarantining the entire "herd of cows on the farm of T. Ormiston…" because of the prelevance of tuberculosis. 

110 years ago today, the Bovina column of the January 27, 1911 Andes Recorder reported that "James A. Gow has decided not to go to Andes as manager of the Andes Creamery Co. plant and will probably continue as manager of the co-op plant here."

Fifty-six years ago today, the Bovina column of the January 28, 1965 Delaware Republican Express reported that "Mrs. Jack Hilson's father, Malcolm Hotchkin, was taken to Cooperstown to the Bassett Hospital for further treatment last Monday. Mrs. Hilson was up to see him Friday and his condition was about the same." Malcolm passed away a little over a month later on March 13.

181 years ago today, the January 29, 1840 issue of the Delaware Gazette included this notice about a medical partnership involving Solomon Green and John Ferguson. For more information about these early Bovina physicians, check out the Bovina NY History blog:

142 years ago today, the January 30, 1879 Andes Recorder had this very brief item: "Bovina has the measles, and a town fire insurance company."

Forty-eight years ago today, on January 31, 1973, this letter was sent to the Board of Directors of the Bovina Center Cooperative Dairy. The letter noted that "on the basis of current product operation…that the cash flow will be exhausted about July 31, 1973." Given this situation, the creamery was closed two months later on March 31, 1973. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Two Men Killed in Bovina, January 1894


127 years ago, readers of the Delaware Gazette for January 17, 1894 read this sad story about the deaths of two Bovina men.

Tuesday afternoon [January 9] Mr. Walter L. Doig and his son Milton, were cutting up a large maple tree that had fallen not far from the house on his farm. The top of the tree was supported by large limbs, and they had placed a crooked one underneath for the trunk to fall upon after it was sawed off. They used a crosscut saw and when it was severed the trunk fell upon the cooked limb and one end of it flew up, striking the father a terrific blow on the temple. He was immediately rendered unconscious and died shortly after being carried to the house.

Mr. Doig was one of the best men in the town of Bovina. He was about 56 years old and leaves a widow and four sons. The funeral was held on Friday at the Bovina U.P. church of which he was a member.

Wednesday another terrible accident occurred, and another man was suddenly killed. Mr. Charles Jardine was engaged in digging a cellar in the rear of John Oliver’s cooper shop. The digging had been continued under the frozen dirt that had been left as a sort of roof underneath which the work was being carried on. Our informant said the space that was thus undermined was about 14 x 10 feet. A stone boat was used for drawing away the dirt. While Mr. Jardine was at work the entire amount of frozen dirt thus undermined suddenly fell. It is estimated at some six or seven tons.

Mr. Jardine’s body was terribly crushed. His death must have been instantaneous, as his neck was broken and other organs of his body were so injured as would have caused almost instant death.

Mr. Jardine was unmarried and about 30 years old. He was industrious and very generally respected.

Walter Doig was born in 1837 in Bovina, son of William Doig and named for his immigrant grandfather, Walter, who was born in Scotland in 1767 and came to Bovina in the early 19th century. The Walter of this story was married to Jane McNair. She died in 1918. One of his sons, Archibald, died only a month after his father in Boston from an abscess of the gall bladder.

Milton, who was with his father when the accident occurred, died in 1953 at the age of 81. Milton was the father of Ed Doig, who farmed on Pink Street at Scutt Mountain Road for many years. Another of Walter’s sons, Andrew, owned what is now Russell’s Store, having bought it only a few months before the deaths of his father and brother. Andrew sold it to Cecil Russell in 1919.

The February 21, 1894 Delaware Gazette reported that “The Heirs of Walter S. Doig have received from the Washington Life insurance Co…$5,000 in settlement…The check was received three days after proofs of death were mailed.”

Both Walter and his son Archibald were buried in Bovina, as were Andrew and Milton after their respective deaths. 

Walter’s oldest son, William James, headed west with his wife and daughters in the fall of 1909, settling in Gunnison, Colorado. He died in 1939.

Charles J. Jardine was the son of Gilbert Jardine and Nancy Tuttle. Gilbert was born in Hawick, Scotland in 1822. He and his wife Nancy had seven children, all born in Bovina. Gilbert died a little over a month before his son’s tragic passing. Charles was survived by his mother and four of his siblings. His mother died at the end of 1894. Gilbert and his parents are all buried in Bovina. Charles is the great-uncle of Marion Jardine, Martha Musgrove and the late Richard Jardine.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Status of Bovina's Bicentennial Celebration

When I started thinking about Bovina’s Bicentennial celebration several years ago, I pictured a big parade, lots of music, good food and people coming from all over to celebrate this milestone in our community’s history. As 2020 rolled out, it was obvious that COVID-19 had other ideas and we postponed our celebration to 2021. Unfortunately, that does not seem realistic at this time. 

After discussions with the Bicentennial committee and town officials, we’ve decided to reschedule Bovina’s Bicentennial celebration to 2022. By moving the celebration into next year, our chances of having a celebration with few or no encumbrances caused by COVID-19 will be increased substantially. I know this is disappointing news to many (and I’m not exactly dancing a jig about it myself), but this option seems better than going through all the work for a celebration in 2021 only to have it cancelled or curtailed again. Rescheduling to 2022 makes it more likely that we can have the big grand celebration that Bovina richly deserves. 

We are planning the rescheduled celebration for July 30/July 31, 2022, using the same venue and scheduling the same or similar events, including a parade. 

I thank you all for your patience. In the meantime, please stay safe so we can all get together again for the big party in 2022.