Friday, September 10, 2021

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

September 1921 saw a couple of property changes in town while the spat between Hadley and Lifgren up on Pink Street continued.

September 2, 1921

The schools of the town will open next Tuesday.

Wilson Monroe spent the past week with cousins in New York city.

Attorney and Mrs. Ernest Bergman and son, of New York, are visiting his sister, Mrs. William T. Russell.

Miss Margaret Gordon who has spent the summer vacation at the Scott homestead in Fall Clove, has returned home.

Mr. and Mrs. Felix Crevier, of Paterson, NJ are now in possession of the Edward L. Coulter farm on the turnpike, which they have purchased together with the personal property.  The price is reported to be about $13,000.

The Bovina Town Picnic

The Annual Affair Well Attended Last Thursday

There was a large crowd – about 1,000 – at the annual picnic for the town of Bovina held last Thursday [August 25] and the day was an ideal one.

Following the picnic dinner Rev. F.N. Crawford, the president of the day introduced Assemblyman Lincoln R. Long of New Kingston, and he was followed by Rev. Marvin J. Thomson, of Troy and both gave fine addresses.

The sports included a peanut hunt by the small boys, a wheelbarrow race, tug of war, races and broad and high jumping.  A ball game between the married and single men resulted in favor of the married men.  

September 9, 1921

Edward L. Coulter, who recently sold his farm, is storing his household goods in the small Dickson house in the Center.

Postmaster Lauren Dickson has returned from a trip to New Haven, Connecticut.

Mrs. G.J. Dickson has gone to Ossining, N.Y. to visit her daughter, Mrs. George Baldwin.

A thorobred Jersey heifer disappeared last week from the pasture of Will Storie and it is thought to have been stolen.

Thomas C. Strangeway has commenced digging the cellar for a new house on his lot just at the rear of the hotel building which he now owns.

The Hadley-Leftgren [Lifgren] feud still continues and the latest trouble was caused by Hadley’s calves straying onto the Leftgren land and he shut them up.

Bovina students who have entered high school at Delhi are: Mary Brown, Helen Gladstone, Jennette Laidlaw, Ruth Coulter, Beatrice Hoy, Francis Bell, Gladys Worden, Margaret Gordon and William Gordon.

At Rogers Cottage

Joseph Rogers, wife and son, and William Gordon and nurse, Miss Flyshour, of new York, arrived at the Rogers cottage at Lake Delaware last Thursday to spend a few weeks.  Mr. Gordon is slowly recovering from an illness of several months from blood poisoning and rheumatism.

September 16, 1921

John Blair, John Hilson and Will Archibald are attending the State fair at Syracuse this week.  

Alex Myers is painting the residence of James A. Gow, which stands nearly opposite the U.P. church.

Last week it cost A.E. Hadley $10 to get his calves which had strayed to the land of Gustave Lefgren.  Hadley has now has supreme writs served on Lefgren and his son.

The body of James D. Calhoun, who was killed in France during the world war, arrived here this week and burial was made Wednesday in Bovina Center cemetery.  Members of Calhoun post of Andes, acted as bearers.

Bovina Farm Sold

Walter G. McDivitt has sold his 228 acre farm up Coulter Brook, in the town of Bovina, to Paul C. Furhmann of Brooklyn.  The sale includes stock, tolls and crops, and possession is given October 1.  The place was formerly the William T. Miller and Robert Biggar farms.

September 23, 1921

Sheffield Smith has purchased another truck.

Mrs. Elliott Thomson picked a dish of ripe strawberries last week.

Sloan Archibald is building a new barn at the rear of his residence.

Paul Furhmann, who recently purchased the farm of W.G. McDivitt up Coulter Brook, arrived with his household goods Tuesday.

Thos C. Strangeway has the cellar completed for his new house and Al Boggs is putting up the forms for the concrete foundation.

Ford Over the Wall

Last Friday two women, strangers in town, whose names could not be learned, went off the road and over the stone wall in a Ford car, near where the Coulter Brook road meets the uptown road.  The car was upset but the women escaped injury.  Help was secured and the car gotten back on to the road and the women went on their way.

Bovina House on Fire

The farm house of John Thomson, up Pink Street was damaged by fire on Wednesday.  During the forenoon the chimney burned out and soon after noon fire was discovered in a partition.  Help was summoned by telephone and in addition to neighbors three or four cars went from the village and the fire was put out with comparatively small damage.  

September 30, 1921

George Cable and wife moved this week to Bainbridge, and have rented their hosue here.

Lauren Dickson will leave this week for New Haven, Connecticut, to take a course in the Yale Law School.

Jacob Gerkins, who has been on the Alex Bryden farm for the past two years, will vacate the place October 1.

William Gordon has purchased a Ford for the use of himself and sister in going back and forth to school in Delhi.

Galie Hafele will work with Al Boggs at the carpenter trade.  He has rented W.A. Hoy’s tenant house in Bovina Center.

Miss Louise Dennis is again confined to her bed and her niece, Miss Emma Dennis, of Walton, is here helping care for her.

Rev. and Mrs. Charles Lay and four children, who had spent two weeks with her parents, Mr and Mrs. George Miller, returned to Mundale o Friday.

A number of the lady friends of Mrs. John A. Irvine and Mrs. John McCune made them a surprise visit last Friday evening at the home of the first name.  The occasion was birthday of the two ladies – one falling on Friday and the other on Saturday.

Death of Infant

The two weeks old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Bye died in southern Bovina last week of intestinal poisoning.  The mother will be remembered as Mary Mason.


Tuesday, August 31, 2021

This Day in Bovina for August 2021


Agnes Bell (Aggie) Armstrong was born 149 years ago on August 1, 1872, the daughter of Frank C. Armstrong and Jennette Burns.  Sadly, she would die only three days later.  She is buried in the Bovina Cemetery.  Three years less one day after her death, the Armstrongs had another daughter that they named Agnes Jeanette.  Sadly, she too would die young, dying when only two months old.


Ninety-one years ago today, August 2, 1930, this article appeared in the Binghamton Press.  Gilbert D. Miller was Bovina's last surviving Civil War veteran.  He would die a few months later on March 13, 1931.


Seventy-seven years ago today, the August 3, 1944 issue of the Delaware Republican Express including two items about the McKenzie family: "Miss Elizabeth McKenzie of Newark, N.J., returned to her work on July 30th, having spent a month's vacation here with her parents, Rev. and Mrs. Peter Mckenzie." Another item appeared about Elizabeth's brother: "The Rev. Gordon McKenzie of Scranton, Pa., was in town last Tuesday. He brought his daughter Janet and a friend to join her mother and sister Elizabeth, who are spending the summer in the Callie Boggs house (now the home of Harlo and Donna Bray)."


106 years ago today, the August 4, 1915 issue of the Delaware Gazette carried this article about three deaths in Bovina: 


Fifty-four years ago today, on August 5, 1967, Fred Ganger died unexpectedly at his home in Delhi. A native of Germany, he had a farm for a number of years on Cape Horn Road before retiring to Delhi.


Fifty-seven years ago today, August 6, 1964, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Delaware Republican Express, “Mr. and Mrs. Charles Rabeler and her mother, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Rabeler, and two daughters, Richard Jardine and sister Martha, and Tanya Lay took the bus from Delhi to the Worlds Fair at New York….."


112 years ago today, on August 7, 1909, the barn of William H. Maynard burned down. I believe this farm was about a mile off Cape Horn Road and was once the Warren Farm near the Bovina/Stamford town line. The foundations of the farm still exist. Here's the news article about the dramatic fire from the August 12, 1909 Binghamton Presss and Sun Bulletin: 


126 years ago today, August 8, 1895, there was a 'theft' at the home of Rev. Hayes. It was briefly reported in the Andes Recorder: "At the reception at Rev. Hayes' last Thursday evening some one borrowed two cakes."


129 years ago today, on August 9, 1892, as later reported in the Delaware Republican, "T.A. Archibald had one of his nice gray horses killed by lightning…"


194 years today, on August 10, 1827, George Laidlaw was born in Scotland, the son of David Laidlaw and Helen Knox Hart.  He came to America as a child and married Janet Hume in Delhi.  They would have five children.  George died at the age of 49 in 1877 and is buried in Bovina.


123 years ago today, on August 11, 1898, the Board of Railroad Commissioners of the State of New York held a public hearing on the application of the Delaware Railroad Company to lay a railroad from Delhi to Andes, with a spur to Bovina.  Here's the Public Notice as published in the August 6 Delaware Republican.  And there are a series of entries in the Bovina NY History blog, starting with March 5, 2011, about this most serious attempt to get a railroad into Bovina:


Seventy-eight years ago today, the Bovina column in the August 12, 1943 Delaware Republican reported that "Miss Kate Birdsall, who is in nurses' training at Vassar Hospital, Poughkeepsie, is home on vacation." She likely also was home for the wedding of her cousin, Catherine Banuat. The same column reported that Marjorie Russell gave a shower in honor of Catherine.


Thirty-seven years ago today, the August 13, 1984, Daily Star (Oneonta) carried this article about Stella McPherson and her wonderful flower gardens: 


Sixty-eight years ago today, August 14, 1953, this photograph was taken of the "Beacon Lights" Sunday School class. The class met to hold a surprise party for Mrs. William J. Storie in honor of 25 years teaching the class. The class held a program on the theme 1928, including a history in photographs, popular songs and a fashion parade. Unfortunately, this is the best quality copy I have of the photo. If anyone has one that is better, I'd love to know. Front:  Elizabeth Mabon, Marion McPherson, Marian Spear, Vera Storie, Mary Burgin, Helen Hall; Second: Stella McPherson, Marjorie Walley, Ruth McGowan, Eleanor Archibald, Bea Thompson, Helen Burns, Dorothy Russell, Margaret McPherson, Marjorie Russell, Celia Coulter, Grace Roberts, Helen McDivitt; Third:  Helen Forrest, Mrs. Stanley McMaster, her guest from Canada, Leona LaFever, Gladys Lay, Laura LaFever, Helen Tyrrell, Gladys Doig, Doris Rabeler, Margaret Gordon, Rae Vandenbord


133 years ago today, on August 15, 1888, Mr. Frank Armstrong of Bovina was married to Mrs. Mary Brown of Colchester. It was his second marriage. His first was to Jeanette Burns, who died in 1885. His second wife died in Bovina in 1911. Frank would get married for a third time, marrying Mary E. Niesh. He would be widowed a third time when that Mary died in 1924. Frank died in 1925. Mary Brown's history is interesting. She came into the marriage with a son, James Franklin Brown. His father is unknown. James married a Coulter and had several children, including Mary Brown, who married Edwin "Ted" Burgin. Here's a framed certificate commemorating Frank and Mary's marriage. 


Sixty-nine years ago today, on August 16, 1952, as later reported in the Catskill Mountain News, "An amateur show for the benefit of the Bovina library was held … at the Community hall. It was directed by George Duphily. Twelve others took part. There was selections of music, songs and two movies. About 75 were in attendance for which a nice sum was realized. Much credit is due Mr. Duphily and others who helped to make it a success."


141 years ago today, the August 17, 1880 Bovina column of the Stamford Mirror reported that "an ice-cream sociable, in the interest of the M.E. Church, was held at the house of Mrs. Loughran … proceeds amounting to $10.65."


128 years ago today, the following item appeared in the August 18, 1893 Andes Recorder - "Bovina is noted for its great butter - pure Jersey butter that is a strong competitor of Elgin [Illinois], and is growing in favor with the butter men every year.  A correspondent says: 'When we were young 100 pounds of butter per cow was a fair average; now from 300 to 400 pounds per cow does not satisfy the Bovina dairyman.  We expect, if they keep on grading their stock, by the time of the next centennial the Bovina cow will be giving butter instead of milk.'"


The Seventh Annual Coulter Family Reunion was held ninety-six years ago today on August 19, 1925 at three residences in Bovina Center, George Russell's (the Robson House),  James Thomson's (the Pelletier house) and Harvey C. Burgin's (the Jason and Lisa Stanton house).


102 years ago yesterday, on August 20, 1919, one hundred and fifty relatives attended the Archibald reunion held on Wednesday at home of William J. Archibald.


138 years ago today, the August 21, 1883 Stamford Mirror reported in its Bovina column that "Coulter Bros. have taken their portable sawmill to Shavertown to do a large job of sawing at that place."


119 years ago today, on August 22, 1902, the Bovina Fortnightly Club held an entertainment. 


151 years ago today, the August 23, 1870 Bloomville Mirror carried this plea concerning the post office in Brushland: 


Ninety five years ago today on August 24, 1926, William Gavett of Delhi, was severely scalded by steam Tuesday while employed at the Bovina Center Co-operative Creamery.


110 years ago, the August 25, 1911 Bovina column of the Andes Recorder included the following item: "Robert Graham, who went to Canada in the sixties, is visiting relatives in town. In his younger days he was a teacher and went to Canada to teach because wages were much better there. His last visit here was 25 years ago." Graham, born in Scotland in 1830, died in Canada in December 1925.


The descendants of David, William and Berry Miller held their annual reunion ninety-seven years ago today (August 26, 1924). The reunion was held at Belle Miller's (now Amy Burns' and Tom Lamport's house across from Russell's Store). Later newspaper reports said that about 75 people were present but that "several families were not represented."


Seventy-nine years ago today, the Bovina column of the August 27, 1942 Delaware Republican reported that "Mrs. Margaret K. Gladstone of Suffern, N.Y., is visiting relatives in town."


Ninety-two years ago today, on August 28, 1928, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, Bovina resident "Miss Caroline Dickson arrived home…from her European trip. Her sister, Mrs. Curran accompanied her here." Caroline had left for Europe on July 6. She had arrived back in New York harbor two days before on the "Carona," which had left from LeHavre on August 18. This is the passenger list from the Carona, downloaded from, showing her listing. 


113 years ago today, the August 29, 1908 Hobart Independent carried this report concerning the railroad coming to Bovina. This wasn't the first attempt but it was almost the last. The interest that was so strong when the major attempt took place in 1898 had waned considerably as the automobile came into being.


140 years ago today, the Bovina column in the August 30, 1881 Stamford Mirror reported that "Quite a number of our farmers have finished their oat harvests." The same paper also reported that "Rev. J.B. Lee has purchased a horse."


160 years ago today, on August 31, 1861, Alphonzo Lee died at the age of 54. As later reported in the Delaware Gazette, Lee was "respected and esteemed among those with whom he had business or social relations. Kind and indulgent as a husband and father, accommodating as a neighbor, and benevolent as a man and christian, his memory will long be held dear by those who have enjoyed his acquaintance and friendship." Lee was born in Connecticut in 1807 and came to Bovina likely in the 1820s.



Friday, August 20, 2021

Bob Wyer Goes to Camp, Part 1 - Lake Delaware Boys Camp

The twentieth century saw the advent of two summer camps for children in the Bovina township. The first was the Lake Delaware Boys’ Camp was established in 1911 by Robert L. Gerry. A little over a decade later Mr. and MRs. Aaron Mirski established a camp at Tunis Lake. 

This entry will focus on the Lake Delaware Camp. Next month I'll post an entry about the Tunis Lake camp.

Mr. Gerry started his camp at Tunis Lake in 1909, using tents. He decided to move the camp to his own property on Lake Delaware. The camp exists to this day – and continues to use tents for housing the campers, but it also includes a chapel and other structures. The camp organ, donated to the camp by Robert Gerry’s father, Elbridge, still is used today. It was built in 1877 by Hilborne Roosevelt, a cousin of Teddy Roosevelt. It is not electrified and still operates with a large wheel to provide the air needed. 

During his forty year career, Bob Wyer of Delhi came on two occasions to photograph the camp. 

Here are two images taken of the Lake Delaware Boys Camp August 1942. In the second photo, you can see Bob Wyer's shadow at the bottom of the image. 

And he went back to the camp in August 1947 for more pictures.

Images courtesy of the Delaware County Historical Association. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

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

In August 1921, Bovina saw lightning strikes that killed four cows, a house burn down, several reunions and a verdict in an assault case on Pink Street the previous month.

August 5, 1921

Frank Coulter and wife attended the Ward Reunion at Andes on Wednesday.

The party with whom E.L. Coulter bargained for the sale of his large farm has thus far failed to return with the money.

Mrs. G.D. Miller fell Monday while going down the stone steps at their home and struck her head, sustaining quite severe injuries.

Lightning in Bovina

Bovina has been visited by severe storms the past week.  Last Thursday [Jul 28] afternoon there were four heavy showers and heavy thunder and lightning.  James Robson had four cows killed Robert Robson two. Sabbath morning [Jul 31] during severe electrical storm, lightning struck the barns of Arthur Hoy, Gustave Liftgren and Fred Bramley up Pink Street but none of them were fired.

Bovina Lawsuit Adjourned

Entire Town Turned Out for Hadley –Leftgren [Lifgren] Assault Case

A stranger in Bovina on Wednesday might have thought that on old time town meeting was in progress.  The cause of all the excitement was the expected Hadley-Leftgren assault case set down for trial on that day before Judge Strangeway.  The hour for the trial came at last and with it disappointment for it was announced that Fred Youmans, the attorney for the defense had been detained in Delhi by the stern command a cruel doctor who told him he was sick.  The case was then adjourned until August 15, and then the men and women can again don their glad togs and come to see it or perhaps it might again adjourn – who knows.

August 12, 1921

John W. Blair is having his farmhouse painted.  Alex Myers is doing the job.

Mr. and Mrs. William C. Russell left last Thursday for Wisconsin to visit his brother.

Miss Jennie Miller went to the Butt End on Thursday, where she will board with Mrs. Walter Wilter Wilson.

Douglas Davidson and wife, Sloan Archibald and wife, Milton R. Hoy, Mrs. W.I. Storie, Fletcher Davidson and Lois Ormiston motored to Washington county and visited the old Hoy homestead.

Bovina Man Has Operation

John W. McCune was operated upon Monday [Aug 8] for a bad case of appendicitis.  The operation was performed by Dr. Latcher assisted by Dr. Goodrich and the appendix had burst.  Mr. McCune was taken sick Friday while working on the grading job at the high school building in Delhi.

Coulter Reunion

The Coulter re-union will be held at Frank Dickson’s on August 24, 1921.  Please bring enough sandwiches for your family and one other article, also cup spoon and for.  By order Com.

Lake Delaware House Sold

Charles A. Lee has sold his house and lot at Lake Delaware to Roscoe N. Brown for $1,500.  The place was formerly the old “Pent” Flowers store and Mr. Lee converted it into a dwelling.  Mr. Lee will go to Great Barrington and make his home with his dauter Mrs. F.D. M. Landon.

August 19, 1921

The Thomson re-union is scheduled to be held Friday at home of Ad Laidlaw.

John Aitken and family were at Delhi on Wednesday attending the Brown reunion.

Within the past two weeks Thomas Raitt in southern Bovina has had three cows and a horse die.

Miss Louise Dennis has returned home from Walton, where he spent several weeks with her nephew, Joseph Dennis.

William Gordon of New York, the grandson of the late Thomas Gordon, who has been ill for several months, is able to be around his room.

George Decker has bargained for the sale of his farm (Purdy place) near Lake Delaware to Robert Hunt, taking the Hunt house in Bovina Center in part payment.

Announcements have been received by Bovina friends of the marriage in Seattle, Washington, of J. Clifton Irvine and Miss Annie Maloney.  The groom is a son of Mrs. John Irvine of this place.

Bovina Town Picnic

It is to be Thursday, August 25, 1921, and annually hereafter on the last Thursday in August.It is to be a Basket Lunch picnic at Bovina Center.  Bring your knife fork, spoon and drinking cup.

There is to be public speaking, band music, contests with prizes – This is free.

Base ball game, Bovina singles vs. Bovina married.  Adults 25c, children under 12 yr. 15c

Everybody – that includes you – invited.  Come. Put a few pennies in your purse for picnic goodies.

Bovina Assault Case Tried - Jury Renders Verdict of Guilty in the Hadly-Liftgren Scrap

The much heralded Bovina assault case of A.E. Hadley against Gustave Liftgren and his son Edward Liftgren finally came to trial on Monday in the town hall before Justice Thomas C. Strangeway and a jury.  The court room was packed with spectators anxious to hear the evidence.  The case consumed the entire day and about 11 o’clock p.m. the jury returned a verdict of guilty of assault in the third degree.  The court sentenced each defendant to pay a fine of $40 and Edward Liftgren was given an additional sentence of fifteen days in jail.

Recorder readers will remember that trouble arose a few weeks ago over a spring belonging to Gustave Lifegren, which was located on the farm of Mr. Hadley, and that Liftgren and his son went to the barn of Hadley while he was milking, Hadley charged that he was assaulted by the two defendants and pounded and had a broken finger.

August 26, 1921

Miller Homestead Farm is exhibiting millet 6 feet 9 inches in length.

Miss Mable Thomson is ill at the home of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Dixon Thomson, and a fever is feared.

The Archibald re-union was held at Thos Boggs’ on Tuesday and the Coulter re-union at Frank Dickson’s on Wednesday.

John W. McCune is recovering nicely from his operation for appendicitis, and his trained nurse, Mrs. Theobald, returned to Utica on Wednesday.

A large moving van from Paterson, N.J. arrived Wednesday with a load of household goods for the Italian who has bought the E.L. Coulter farm on the turnpike.

Announcements have been received of the marriage of Ralph Barnhart, eldest son of Mrs. Kate Barnhart, of Bovina, and Miss Anna Ruland, of Jefferson, August 10.  The newlyweds are moving into rooms in G.D. Miller’s house.

Bovina House Destroyed - House on the Albert McPherson Farm Burned Last Saturday

The house on what is known as the Albert McPherson farm, which is now a part of the S.G. Bramly farm, on the Bloomville road, and which is now owned by Jean Muller, was destroyed by fire Saturday forenoon together with most of the contents. The fire is said to have been caused by the explosion of the oil stove of John Miller who occupied the house.  Neighbors soon saw the smoke and the telephone brought several cars from the village, but the house was enveloped in flames by the time they arrived and nothing could be done to save it.  Few of the contents were saved. The house was built only a few years ago by Charles A. McPherson before he purchased the Bramley placed and united the farms.  It is stated that there is an insurance of $1,0900 on the building and $8,000 on the contents.


Saturday, July 31, 2021

This Day in Bovina for July 2021

Here's the compilation of the Town of Bovina Historian Facebook page daily entries for July 2021:

102 years ago today, on July 1, 1919, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Lloyd Oliver had a narrow escape …from going off the high wall at Alex Myers' in his car.  Something was wrong with the car and Terry, the garage man, towed it backwards to the top of the pitch and he started to coast down.  In front of the Myers house a rod dropped down careering the car into the air so that only one wheel was on the ground and when it righted itself it was on the wall and less than a foot from the edge.  Mr. Oliver who had no brakes, succeeded in guiding the car along the wall and it was stopped in front of Elliott Thomson's."


Forty-one years ago today, the July 2, 1980 Stamford Mirror Recorder included this item in the Bovina column, written by Ann Cairns: 

113 years ago today, on July 3, 1908, Norman Hawley was married to Edith Michelbach  in Bovina, with the Rev. Norman Speer officiating and Mrs. E.E. Hastings and John T. Coulter as witnesses.  About six weeks later, on August 18, Norman was arrested at the farm of John A. Irvine on Coulter Brook, where he was a hired hand, for having deserted from the regular army about a year previous while stationed in Vermont.  His wife was living in Binghamton at the time, probably with his parents.  The letters that passed between them led to his discovery.  What actually happened to him after his arrest is not clear, but by 1910, he was living in Binghamton with his wife and parents.  They later settled in Syracuse, where Hawley worked for the railroad.  His arrest for desertion does not appear to have had a major impact on his life.


Sixty-six years ago today, on July 4, 1955, Isabell Russell recorded in her diary "A grand day nice & clear but very hot. Charles was over and we ate on the side lawn had our new picnic table." Charles was Cecil's brother. I believe this photo is from that day - Hildreth Russell, Charles Russell, Cecil Russell and Isabell Russell. 


114 years ago today, the July 5, 1907 Andes Recorder Bovina column reported that: "The telephone service in Bovina is on the 'bum' and with no signs of anything better. It is stated that the central for the Rose lines will be at Hobart and in order to talk with Andes for example it would be necessary to call Hobart and then talk via Delhi. Certainly very convenient."


Twenty-eight years ago today, the July 6, 1993 issue of the Delaware County Times included this photo of Florence Thomas with one of her late husband, Clayt's, antique cars.



122 years ago today, the July 7, 1899 Andes Recorder in its Bovina column reported that "Quite a number of new mowing machines have been bought this year.  Besides those mentioned last week they are Walter Biggar, a McCormick; E. Burgin, an Osborn; James Coulter a Walter A. Wood and F.C. Armstrong, a Buckeye."


123 years ago today, the Bovina column of the July 8, 1898 Andes Recorder reported that "The forest worms are committing great ravages in many sugar camps.  In Stephen Russell’s camp they have many of the trees stripped of leaves, and in many other places are equally as bad."


Thirty-six years ago today, the July 9, 1985 Daily Star carried this article about Bovina native Enid Carter, who was retiring as a home economics teacher in Oneonta. 


109 years ago today, the July 10, 1912 Delaware Gazette carried an article about what later became Route 28: "RIGHT OF WAY SECURED. Tuesday, Chairman Dickson, with [town] Supervisors Johnson and Palmer went over the route of the Andes-Delhi State road in company with an engineer and completed the work of securing the right of way. The damages in Bovina, range from nothing to $200. Some of the trees at Lake Mahican will be saved by a slight change of plans."


102 years ago today, the July 11, 1919 issue of the Catskill Mountain News reported "William T. Miller of Pink Street, Bovina, who had ten head of cattle killed by lightning recently, had no insurance, and $114 received for the hides is the only recompense he will have for the stock."


160 years ago today, on July 12, 1861, as later reported in the Delaware Gazette, Robert A.T. Dean died of diphtheria. He was 27 years old the son of John Dean and Elizabeth Johnson. He is buried in the Bovina Cemetery. 


152 years today, on July 13, 1869, James Campbell filed with the town clerk a notice concerning a stray colt that showed up at his farm.  "Notice is hereby given that an iron grey horses colt came to my premises this morning, the owner is requested to prove property, pay charges and take the same away.  Dated July 13, 1869, James M. Campbell"  Campbell's farm was on Scutt Mountain Road. 


Fifteen years ago today, the July 14, 2006 Delaware County Times carried this article about the Bovina Library seeking books for the Ogden Library in Walton, which had been recently hit by a devastating flood: 


Ninety-five years ago today, on July 15, 1926, as reported in the Stamford Mirror, "Mrs. Belle Hilson, Miss Jane Hilson, Miss Elizabeth Strangeway and Miss Ruth Coulter left Thursday for the Pacific coast.  Mrs. Hilson and her daughter expect to visit points in California, while Miss Strangeway and Miss Coulter will attend the Young People's Convention in Seattle."  Belle Hilson was the widow of Alex Hilson and lived in the house now occupied by Chris and Mike Batey.  Elizabeth Strangeway was the aunt of Ruth Coulter.  Ruth would later marry Bill Parsons.


Margaret Doig was born 182 years ago today on July 16, 1839, the daughter of William Doig and Jane Forrest.  She died a month after her fourth birthday on August 16, 1843.


118 years ago, on July 17, 1903, as reported by the Ithaca Daily News, "Mr. and Mrs. David Hoy left for their vacation in Bovina." Hoy, the uncle of Fletcher Davidson and Vera Storie, among others, grew up in Bovina and became the Registrar of Cornell University for many years. He also is responsible for starting the extensive genealogy files referred to as 'Early Bovina Families.' I, for one, will always be grateful for his pioneering efforts in documenting Bovina's history.


174 years ago today, on July 18, 1847, two families with Bovina connections were bereft of children. Both children were about 3 years old.  Robert Forrest, the son of Thomas E. Forrest and Ellen Raitt, is buried in the Old Associate Presbyterian Church cemetery (more commonly known as the Reinertsen Hill Road cemetery). In that same cemetery there is a memorial stone to Robert Scott, the son of Robert and Ellen Scott. Robert died at sea.


103 years ago today, on July 19, 1918, Bovina was hit with a heavy storm that caused considerable crop damage and killed three cows.  Gardens and field crops, including William Archibald's buckwheat were destroyed by hail, some of the early stones being as large as plums (the Archibald farm was at the lower end of Bovina Center, what is now the McPherson farm).  The maple tree at the home of the Muller sisters (across from about where Hugh Lee's is located) was struck by lightning.  Lightning traveled into the house of Adam Laidlaw through the telephone lines but did no damage (Laidlaw is where Marie Burns lives now).  A.B. Phyfe, who had the farm now owned by Tim and Kristin Schneider, saw his entire dairy of three cows killed by lightning.


Eighteen years ago today, on July 20, 2003, I took this photograph of my dad, Charlie LaFever, with the Davidson brothers, Richard, Ed and Alan. It was the last time these four gentlemen would gather like this. Charlie and Alan died within a couple of weeks of each other in early 2004. Ed and Dick continued their annual trips to Bovina for about another decade. Ed passed away in 2019. Dick lives in California. 


Sixty years ago today, the July 21, 1961 issue of the Oneonta Star included this story about the family of baseball great Whitey Ford spending some time at Suits-Us Farm: 


138 years ago today, on July 22, 1883, Mary Isabella Hoy Davidson, wife of Douglass Davidson, died giving birth to an infant son, who also died the same day.  Five years later, Douglass was remarried to his late wife's sister, Margaret Jane Hoy.  They would have four children, two of whom, Vera and Fletcher, would survive to adulthood.


120 years ago today, on July 23, 1901, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "the first load of lumber was drawn for the creamery at the Centre…"


197 years ago today, on July 24, 1824, James Coulter posted the following notice to be published in the Delaware Gazette: "Six Cents Reward. Ranaway from the subscriber an indented apprentice named Thomas Freeman. All persons are hereby forbid harboring or trusting him on my account, as I will pay no deb of his contracting. The above reward will be paid by the subscriber to any person who may apprehend and deliver said boy to him but no charges will be allowed."


Eighty-seven years ago today, on July 25, 1934, J. Douglas Burns died in Bovina at the age of 75. He was a lifelong resident of Bovina, the son of John Burns and Nancy Ormiston. He married Maggie Doig in 1879. They had five children, four of whom survived to adulthood - Arthur, Eva, Elizabeth and Willam C.


140 years ago today, the Bovina column for the July 26, 1881 Stamford Mirror reported that "The new boat on the pond at the coopershop is a source of attraction for the small boys, and some large ones."


Thirty-nine years ago today, this article appeared in the July 27, 1982 Delaware County Times about Russell's Store.  


Eighty-one years ago today, on July 28, 1940, Elizabeth Richardson Irvine passed away.  Mrs. Richardson lived in what is now Tony and Norma Gabriele's house.  She had been ill only a few days before her death.  Born in 1866, she married John Irvine and had five children.  Her husband John died in 1918 and she had lost a son, William, in 1929.  Elizabeth was survived by sons Lester, Clifton and Lloyd and daughter Isabell Russell.  Clifton and Lloyd were living in Washington State at the time of their mother's death, so they sent this telegram on hearing the news to their sister. 


105 years ago today, the July 29, 1916 Delaware Republican carried this Bovina column: 


Eighty-seven years ago today, on July 30, 1934, David Currie resigned as Bovina Town Clerk. James Hoy was appointed to fill the position. Hoy would hold the position for about a year when David Currie would resume it and hold it until 1945. James' wife, Margaret, succeeded David in the position, becoming the first woman to be the Town Clerk for Bovina.


Sixty-nine years ago today, the Bovina column of the July 31, 1952 Delaware Republican Express included this: "Mr. and Mrs. William Rockefeller and Mr. and Mrs. Clayton Thomas and daughter, Patty, enjoyed a trip to the Catskill Game Farm Sunday." The same column also reported that "Fred Henderson and Andrew Reinertsen began work Monday on a carpentry job on the Ralph Barnhart house in South Kortright." And finally, this item: "Jimmy LaFever of Unadilla is visiting at the home of his uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Leif Reinertsen."



Tuesday, July 20, 2021

A High Day for Family Quarrels in Brushland

The Stamford Mirror's February 17, 1880 issue had the following item under its Bovina column:

Last Sunday seems to have been a high day for family quarrels in Brushland. A row was begun that day by Charles Allen and wife, which resulted in demolishing the clock and a separation of the parties, Mrs. Allen going off with her father on Tuesday, taking her share of the household goods with her. A similar affair occurred between Robt. Agnew and wife. Agnew is a blacksmith by trade, and located here some time last fall. This worthy couple have been in the habit of quarreling occasionally ever since they have been here, and on Sunday (according to Mrs. Agnew’s story) Agnew shut her up stairs, and kept her there all day, with nothing but two cold griddle-cakes to eat. On Monday, she went up to Mrs. Boyd’s (a relative of Mrs. Agnew’s) and returned home on Tuesday. Agnew came from his shop in the evening, and finding his wife at home, the quarrel was again commenced, when Agnew put his wife out of doors, and threatened to kill her if she came in again. Soon after this, Thomas Miller was crossing the stone bridge, near Strangeway’s store, and heard a noise, as if some one was trying to break the ice, and going down the stream a short distance found Mrs. Agnew, who acted as if she intended to drown herself. She was then taken to M. Dickson’s, where she remained over night. The next day she went to Boyd’s, and is there at present, but is said that she intends to leave Agnew and go back to her mother, who we believe, lives in Scotland.

Mrs. Agnew showed up in the papers again in August 1880. It isn’t clear but it seems she may have overstayed her welcome at Dickson’s:  

Stamford Mirror, August 24, 1880: Michael Dickson having obtained a judgment against, Mrs. Agnew served, an execution on her Monday last, and levied on "three silver dollars, also the potatoes and apples in the garden at present occupied by her," and ordered her to vacate the premises within three days.  The three days have expired and she is still in possession of the premises, and says she has a club laid up to break Mike's head with if he troubles her again."  

I have found few clues as to who she was, but I think she was born either Margaret Jane Boyd or Margaret Jane Mcbirnie. Born around 1849 in Scotland, she was married to Robert Agnew, probably in Scotland. In 1871, she was living in Renfrewshire, Scotland with her husband and one-year-old son, also named Robert.

After her appearance in the news (and in the 1880 census), Mrs. Agnew disappears. Did she go back to Scotland as she threatened? We just don't know. 

Saturday, July 10, 2021

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

Bovina in the first full month of summer in 1921 saw a broken hip, a runaway horse, and a dispute between two farmers on Pink Street that led to an assault charge. 

July 1, 1921

James Monroe and wife motored to Andes on Wednesday.

The first installment of boys will arrive Friday at the Gerry camp in southern Bovina.

Mrs. Adam G. King, of Walton, who was visiting at Fred Thomson’s fell and broke her hip.  She had just returned from an auto ride and lost her balance and fell off the edge of the front steps as she was entering the house.  As her age is about 70 the accident is a serious one. [Actually, she was 81 when she had this accident and amazingly, given that a broken hip usually was a death sentence, she survived until 1928.]

July 8, 1921

Margaret Gordon visited at Walton last week.

Master John Gordon, of New York, is at Mrs. Thomas Gordon’s. [John Gordon was the step grandson of Mrs. Gordon.]

Bovina Boy Married

Everett Orr Russell, formerly of Bovina, and Ethel Harris, daughter of the late Dr. Harris, formerly of Andes and Walton, were married June 22, at Los Angeles, California. [Everett and Ethel lived in California the rest of their lives. He died in 1966, predeceased by his wife.]

July 15, 1921

Frank Miller is the first to finish haying.

Wednesday morning as Charles A. McPherson was coming to the creamery the hold back strap broke on the Myers pitch and let the wagon onto the horse.  Mr. McPherson succeeded in stopping the horse near Hilson’s store without colliding with any of the numerous teams and no damage was done.

July 22, 1921

C.S. Terry has been on the sick list the past week.

It is reported that the Ed Coulter farm has been sold to an Italian.

Master Frank McPherson, son of Chas A. McPherson, fell out of a tree last week and broke his arm just above the elbow.

Rev. and Mrs. Robb, who are missionaries to India, are enroute to Bovina to spend some time with relatives.  Mrs. Robb before her marriage was Jen Campbell. [Jen was the daughter of Duncan Campbell and Nancy Campbell. The Robbs settled in California. Jen died in 1948, Rev. Andrew Robb in 1953.]

A Bovina Scrap

Trouble Between Neighbors Results in an Assault Charge

Mr. Hadley, on the Marshall Thomson farm, swore out a warrant against Ed Leftgren [Lifgren] charging him with assault in second degree.  The trouble is said to be over a spring.  G. Leftgren lives just across the road on the Lyle Thomson place and has the deed to a spring on Hadley’s side of the road.  Friday afternoon when Hadley was in his barn milking Leftgren and his two sons went to the barn and it is alleged charged Hadley with cooling his milk in their spring, and Hadley claimed he only dammed the waste water.  In the trouble Hadley alleges that young Leftgren knocked him down and that he was pounded.  In support of his charge Hadley shows bruises and cuts and a broken finger.  The trial is set for Wednesday.

July 29, 1921

Bovina had heavy thunder storms Thursday afternoon.

Mr. Barnes will move onto the Fine Hunt farm up Coulter Brook.

Mrs. Estella Oliver has gone to Walton to help care for Mrs. A.G. King, who broke her hip a few weeks ago while visiting in Bovina.

An addition is being built onto the Bovina Center Co-Op Creamery building and preparations are being made to manufacture the skim milk into cheese.