Monday, October 21, 2013

This Day in Bovina for July

I'm bringing you up to date on the daily entries on Bovina History I have been doing on the Facebook Bovina History group since June. I've been asked to share these on this blog.  I will start doing these monthly in November.  

Ninety-four years ago today, on July 1, 1919 (as later reported by the Andes Recorder), " The team of Mr. Ganger, on the Bouton farm up-town [on the upper end of Cape Horn Road], ran away Tuesday afternoon at Rema Hobbie’s [on Cape Horn not far from Crescent Valley]. Miss Ganger, who was driving, was thrown out and when found was lying by the roadside and unable to rise. A physician was summoned and found that her injuries were not serious and she was around the next day."

Ninety four years ago, on July 2, 1919, as reported in the Andes Recorder, "The town assessors met Wednesday to complete their roll. They succeeded in adding considerable personal property to the roll – 51 being caught. It is stated that the town of Hancock lets the personal slip and only has 3 assessed personal in the entire town."

105 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.

112 years ago on July 4, 1901, Bovina's 4th of July celebrations, as reported by the Andes Recorder, "passed off without mishap last Thursday [July 4] as advertised only the pig would not run." The paper also reported that "R.E. Bergman gave an excellent address and held the close attention of the audience. Some of the contests were close and exciting. A number from out of town were here to witness the events."  A somewhat noisier 4th happened in Bovina in 1919 - take a look at this old blog entry from 2009 about the "Wild West 4th of July" and find out what happened:

151 Years ago today, on July 5, 1862, James Cathels Jr claimed exemption from service in the Civil War because he had his ‘left arm fractured about two years since.”  He noted that it “renders me incomptent to perform many kinds of manual labor.”  See the Bovina NY History blog entry for November 30, 2011 for further information on the Cathels family:
1862-07-05 Military Exemption Cathels

The Bovina UP Church session met 155 years ago today on July 6, 1858.  One of the ‘cases’ discussed was the case of intoxication by William Mabon.   “Mr. Mabon admitted the facts charged, proffered his sorrow for the same and promised to comply hereafter with the rules of the church on the subject of temperance.”  He was admonished by the moderator “to continue in the course that he had promised… in the total prohibition of spirituous liquors.”  William Mabon was born in 1818 and lived on Route 28, not far from Tunis Lake. He died in 1893 and was buried in the Bovina Cemetery.

Ninety four years ago tonight, on July 7, 1919, as reported by the Andes Recorder, “Will Johnson, who lives up-town, left his auto standing into front of Hilson’s store Monday night and it was run into by the car of an out of town party, who did not stop to see what damage had been done.  The Johnson car sustained a smashed fender and the steering gear was bent.  The stranger was minus a hub cap.”

Seventy six years ago tonight, on July 8, 1937, as later reported by the Andes Recorder, “Ford Rush and Silent Slim, radio stars, appeared at Community Hall, Thursday evening.”

108 years ago today, on July 9, 1905, lightning struck Alexander Burns’ wagon house in upper Bovina but it did not catch fire.  One corner was slightly damaged and the horses were stunned.  The Alexander Burns farm is at the end of Crescent Valley Road and is now owned by the Goggins (and Alexander Burns is my great great grandfather).  That same day lightning struck a horse belonging to Will Maynard, while it was grazing in a pasture, but the horse survived. 

112 years ago, on July 10, 1901, a meeting took place at which the decision was made to build a cooperative creamery in Bovina Centre.  The goal was to have it up and running by September 1st.  Douglas Davidson, W.A. Hoy and Robert Thompson were elected trustees for the first year. 

Walter Coulter was born 209 years ago on today July 11, 1804, on the family farm on Coulter Brook. He was the son of Francis Coulter and Nancy Glendenning and would spend his whole life in Bovina.  He married Margaret Storie in 1823.  They would have 12 children, of whom four would die before reaching adulthood.  His wife died in 1864.  Walter died in December 1876 after having been declared insane a few months before.   

108 years ago, on July 12, 1905, Bovina resident Claude Erkson and his aunt had an accident with their horse and buggy while returning from Hobart.  They had just passed a railroad crossing when a passenger train rounded the curve.  At this, the horse took fright ran into the steep bank, upsetting the buggy.  Both occupants were thrown out and badly shaken up, but not seriously injured. Erkson held to the reins and stopped the horse.  Erkson, born in 1880, would live until 1951 and is buried in the Bovina Cemetery.  His aunt, Elizabeth Erkson (1842-1928) is also buried in Bovina and could be the aunt who was traveling with Claude when this accident happened. 

144 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”  James Campbell’s farm was on Scutt Mountain Road.

This poem appeared in the August 3, 1852 Bloomville Mirror dated July 14, 1852 that apparently has some kind of Bovina connection. 


Speak kindness to the sorrow-stricken heart,
Bowed down with grief, and ready to depart;
Let not an angry word increase the wound,
Already bleeding from its depths profound.

As man by nature’s law destined to weep,
While troubled visions o’er his bosom sweep;
And through this vale of tears still mourning goes,
Surrounded always by his bitter foes:

It ill becomes his fellow worm to smite,
Though he may seem to have the power and right,
Or rule him with despotic away, while he
With sorrow bends before him on his knee.

A word of kindness is a healing balm,
That sheds on all around a heavenly calm,
Dries up the tear ad heals the bleeding wound,
And lifts the sufferer from the lowly ground.

Kind words are angels sent from heaven to clear,
The weary pilgrim on his journey here.
And fit him for the life and heaven above
Which Christ has purchase by redeeming love.

Deal gently, then, with each desponding mind,
And cheer them on with worlds both true and kind.
For God delights in kindness, and will save
Those who are good, in life beyond the grave.

Bovina, July 14, 1852.  Vates.

87 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 174 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.

110 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. A transcript of this is available at

One hundred and sixty six years ago today, two families with Bovina connections were bereft of children. Both children were about 3 years old and both died on the same day, July 18, 1847.  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 on July 18, 1847.

Ninety five 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's I think was where Marie Burns lives now).  A.B. Phyfe, who had the farm now owned by Harans, saw his entire dairy of three cows killed by lightning. 

111 years ago today, on July 20, 1902, Bovina was hit with a heavy storm.  John Blair, on the farm now owned by Jack Burns, sustained the greatest damage.  Evergreen and other trees were torn up.  G.D. Miller’s butcher shop was literally torn to pieces.  The Andes Recorder reported that “In the village trees were blown down and some of the school house roof and chimney were smashed. In other parts of the town there was also a lot of damage.”

111 years ago today, on Monday July 21, 1902, the well borers at the site of the Bovina Center creamery finally struck water at about 85 feet. That done, the well-boring machinery was moved to Mr. Sharpe’s on the Elisha Maynard Farm (probably near what is now Christian Ingvordsen's place near Cape Horn).

130 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. 

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

179 years ago today, on July 25, 1834, William Seacord died, age 11 years, 3 months and 13 days.  William is buried in the Brush cemetery, next to the library.  That same day, Hiram Knapp was born.  Knapp actually spent most of his life in Andes, but he and both of his wives are buried in the Bovina Cemetery.  Hiram died in 1907. 

Seventy six years ago today, on July 26, 1937, Courtney Currie (1906-1977), who worked at the Bovina Center Co-operative creamery, had his arm broken twice at the wrist.   He worked in the dry milk plant and caught his sleeve in a piece of machinery at the plant.  Courtney was in the hospital until August 14. 

145 Years ago today, July 27, 1868, Thomas Brown of Bovina, left at the office of the Andes Recorder, “sixteen stalks or rye, each measuring seven feet and four inches in length.  The heads are six inches long, and the stalks at the lower end three-sixteenths of an inch in diameter.  The rye was not uprooted but cut off close to the ground.”  When this was reported a few days later in The Andes Recorder, the paper went on to “challenge Delaware County to beat it.  Come on gentlemen we are waiting for your ar-rye-val.  In the meantime our friends are invited to call at our office and examine this tall specimen.”

Seventy three 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.

Ninety four years ago today, on July 29, 1919, two events happened that were later reported (briefly) in the Andes Recorder.  One was that Superintendent of Schools Arthur Hamilton was in Bovina, collecting trustees reports from the different schools.  Hamilton was Superintendent of the Sixth Supervisory District and worked for the State Education department.  That night, David Champion “Champ” Worden had a sheep killed by dogs.  He had lost two other sheep, also killed by dogs, a few weeks earlier.  His farm was where Jason and Lisa Stanton now live.

Seventy nine 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.

233 years ago, on July 31, 1780, Nancy (Agnes) Russell Thompson was born in Scotland, the daughter of James and Sarah Russell.  She married James Thompson in 1805 in Bovina and died at the age of 92 in 1873.  She is buried in the Bovina Cemetery.

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