Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Stories from Bovina’s Cemeteries - The children of James and Nancy Coulter

In September 1836, the family of James and Nancy Coulter faced a crisis that was all too common for early settlers of Bovina – and just about anywhere else.  Their three children died in just two days.  On the 22nd, Elizabeth, who was a month shy of her fourth birthday and Nancy, who was two and a half, died.  The following day, their fourteen month old brother Andrew T. joined them in death.  Like the story of the Cathels family that was featured in this blog last November, we cannot identify what illness took these little children.  They are buried in the old Associate Presbyterian Church cemetery on Reinertsen Hill Road, next to their grandparents, Francis and Nancy Coulter.  Nancy D.'s stone is very hard to read.  Their brother Andrew's stone is no longer exists (or is unreadable).
Elizabeth Coulter's stone
Nancy D. Coulter's stone

So in the fall of 1836, James and Nancy found themselves childless.  That state of affairs did not last long. At the time of her children’s deaths, Nancy was pregnant.  She went on to have another ten children, all boys, including a second son named Andrew.  James and Nancy lost four more children during their lifetimes. Their youngest child, W. Lieper, died just short of a year old in 1855.  Thomas M. Coulter was eight at his death in 1858.  These children also were buried near their grandparents in the Associate Presbyterian Church cemetery.
W. Leiper Coulter's stone
Thomas M. Coulter's stone

Two of  James and Nancy Coulter's sons, John A. and Solomon G., served in the Civil War, and Solomon became a fatality of that war in 1864 (see this blog for February 12, 2012 for short biographies of these two brothers).  Their second Andrew died on New Year’s Day 1867 – in my house as it so happens - of consumption.  James and Nancy were survived by six of their thirteen children at their deaths - Nancy died in 1891 and James in 1898.  They are buried in the 'new' Bovina Center Cemetery, next to the memorial stone for their son Solomon.  Also buried in the Bovina Cemetery are four of their sons: the aforementioned Andrew, James (1837-1917 - the son born four months after the lost of his three siblings), Francis (1840-1902) and the last of their children to pass away, Edward (1851-1932).

For more about James and Nancy, see this blog for May 5 and 17, 2011. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Faces of Bovina - Man with fish

In the Bob Wyer collection at the Delaware County Historical Association, there are numerous photographs of men holding fish (I'd love to do an exhibit of these some day).  For this installment of my Faces of Bovina series, here is one of those photos.  The gentleman is Noel Gonyo, who was the brother of Florence Thomas.  Born in Nebraska in 1913, he was living in Bovina in the 1940 census.  Noel was a veteran of World War II, serving in Africa and the Middle East.  This photograph dates from May 5, 1948.
My main memory of Noel was in the late 70s when he went to Mexico for an arthritis treatment that made him a new man.  A number of people around Bovina followed suit, including Jim Burns, as did people from further afield, such as my grandparents, Ben and Anna Bell LaFever and my sister Susan's father-in-law, Ed Hughes.  Noel passed away in 1985.

A request (and what will be a reminder at the end of each of these Faces of Bovina entries) – I would love it for people who remember Noel to share their memories – incidents, small stories, whatever – through the use of the comments feature of this blog.  And I would appreciate it if you would include your name in your comments.  Most people who respond to a blog have some kind of alias or post anonymously.  For the historical record, I really would like to know who left the comment. Thanks. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Bovina in the Civil War - Soldier Biographies X

Adolphus E. Murray was born in 1842 in Delaware County, the son of Ira Murray and Maria Hoffman.  At the time of his enlistment in the 143rd NY Volunteers in October 1862 he was living in Neversink in Sullivan County.  Just over a year later, in November 1863, he was discharged at a hospital in Louisville, Kentucky due to fever and ague.  Murray would be plagued with these and with rheumatism the rest of his life.  He filed for a pension as an invalid in 1883. Sometime after his war service, he appears to have moved to Iowa, but by 1890 he was living in Bovina.  He died around 1916, but exactly when and where has not been determined.

Henry S. Murray was born in Delaware County in 1836.  He enlisted in the 8th New York Battery as a private in September 1862.  In 1863, he re-enlisted as a Sergeant and was discharged in June 1865.  Murray married Elizabeth Coulter in Bovina in 1868 and settled in Andes where he was a tinsmith.  He died in 1905 and is buried in Bovina.

John Murray, Jr. was one of the eleven Bovina men to die in the Civil War.  Born in 1839 in Bovina, he was the son of John and Jennet Murray.  He enlisted on September 2, 1862 in Bovina for a term of three years.  A little over a year later, he was dead, dying of typhoid fever on October 19, 1863 at Folly Island, SC.  He was buried in the Beaufort Cemetery in South Carolina.  There is a memorial stone for John in the Bovina Cemetery.

David Nicholl was born in 1841 in Andes but was living in Bovina in the 1860 census.  When the Civil War broke out, he was at Jefferson College in Cannonsburg, Pennsylvania.  After his sophomore year, on September 8, 1862, he enlisted in the Union Army at Pittsburgh in Battery E Light Artillery Regiment of Pennsylvania.  David was wounded in the right shoulder in 1863 which resulted in a permanent disability to his arm and shoulder.  He was unfit for active service but after several surgeries was transferred into the newly-formed 147th Company of the Veteran Reserve Corps until after the end of the war.  David went on to finish college and enter the seminary in Monmouth, Illinois and then Newburgh, NY.  He was licensed to preach at West Delhi in June 1868 by the Delaware Presbytery. David moved to Iowa when he received a permanent call as pastor in DeWitt, Iowa.  He donated part of his farmland for a church and also acted as a representative from his county to the Iowa State Legislature.  He had married Isabella Brown from Delaware County in 1870 and they had four children.  Isabella died sometime after 1900.  David remarried in 1909 and died in October 1929.  He is buried in Red Oak, Iowa.

James S. Oliver was the son of James F. Oliver and Isabella Miller, born in 1842.  He was living in Delhi in 1860.  In January 1864 he enlisted in the 8th Independent Battery, but he never got out of New York.  James died at McDougall General Hospital in New York Harbor of disease on March 20, 1864.  He has a memorial stone in the Bovina Cemetery.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Bovina Honor Roll Unveiling

On Saturday, November 3 at 2 pm there will be a small ceremony to commemorate the installation of Bovina's World War II honor roll at the Community Hall.  I hope to have one of the surviving people from the roll do the unveiling.  And I will have a small exhibit of photographs of the men and women who are on the honor roll.

The Honor Roll, which once stood next to what is now the Bovina Historical Society Museum, has been in storage in the museum for at least 30 years.  The Bovina Town Board agreed to have the roll hung in the entryway of the Bovina Community Hall.  Bovina carpenter Dick Brannen agreed to do the carpentry work needed to stabilize the roll, put it in new protective housing and mount it on the entryway wall.  Former Bovina residents Jim and Tom Hoy have very generously donated the funds to cover the costs for the installation.  They are doing this in memory of two of their cousins who appear on the roll, 1st Lt. Robert J. Hoy, USAAF and S/Sergeant William A. Hoy.  Below are pictures of Robert and William Hoy on their respective wedding days. 

Robert Hoy was married to Shirley Sharkey on August 5, 1944 in Bovina.  Photo by Bob Wyer, courtesy of the Delaware County Historical Association.

Two weeks later, on August 19, 1944, his brother William Hoy married Jane Hilson, also in Bovina.  Photo by Bob Wyer, courtesy of the Delaware County Historical Association.

See my blog entries for June 3, 2011 for information and photographs of the roll.  I'm still looking for information on some of the people on the roll - see my blog entry for  May 18, 2012 for details.  And I will have a scanner available at the ceremony so if you have any pictures of the people on the roll to share, I can copy them right there. Come and see this important artifact from Bovina's recent past come back out in public again.