Wednesday, April 30, 2014

This Day in Bovina for April

106 years ago today, on April 1, 1908, William Telford died.  The Andes Recorder provided the details: "William Telford, who lived on the Alex Johnson farm in upper Bovina, died suddenly Wednesday morning, April 1.  He was in the barn milking and had milked two cows when his wife noticed that he was very pale.  He sat down on his milking stool in the driveway and in a few minutes fell on his face on the floor and expired instantly.  He had been suffering with neuralgia and it is supposed that it went to the heart. Mr. Telford, who was a son of Rev. Walter Telford, was 48 years old and most of his life has been spent in Bovina.  He is survived by his wife who was Miss Ella Winter, of New Kingston.”  Ella survived her husband by 35 years, dying in 1943.

108 years ago today, on April 2, 1906, Thomas Gordon and his wife and son William went to New York city by train, “taking advantage of the Ontario & Western excursion.”  They went to visit his son, John L. Gordon, who is on the police force.

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

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

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

The April 6, 1923 issue of the Andes Recorder reported in its Bovina column: " The dry milk plant of the Bovina Center Co-operative Creamery is now in operation.  The company is experimenting in the making of cocoa which only requires the addition of hot water to make it ready for use.  One sample shipment has been made."

Ninety-eight years ago today, on April 7, 1916, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, the members of the Bovina Center Fire department, by a majority of one, "voted to keep the smaller of the two bells sent on approval. This bell was made of bell metal and the larger bell was of a new composition of cheaper metals and was only warranted for five years."

113 years ago, on April 8, 1901, Alex Hilson was headed to New York City to purchase new goods for his store.

It was ninety four years ago today, on April 9, 1920, that Elizabeth Murdock Doig passed away. The Andes Recorder reported her death under the headline "Last of Her Generation." The paper went on to note that "she was born in Bovina 81 years ago and her entire life had been spent in the town.  The funeral was held Monday from the U.P. church of which she had long been a member.  She was the last of the family of the late Andrew Doig."

118 years ago today, the Bovina correspondent for the Andes Recorder in its April 10, 1896, reported that "They are just whooping it up at Lake Delaware.  Nearly all the students who attended school there have the whooping cough."

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

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

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

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

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

The Andes Recorder reported 146 years today today in its April 16, 1868 issue, the following:  "Ho! For California – the following persons left for California on Monday last.   Mssrs Robt. Smith, Daniel Smith and Jas. Armstrong, of Delhi, Mr. James Miller, of Bovina, and James Davidson of Andes, with their families; and Mr. John B. Scott of Bovina.  They will sail from New York on the 15th, by the North American Line, for San Francisco.  We wish them a safe passage and a pleasant journey." Robert and Daniel Smith likely were the sons of Robert Smith and Christiana McFarland. Daniel died in Salinas in 1886 and Robert in Fresno in 1903. James Miller probably is the son of James Miller (1802-1878) and Agnes Coulter (1802-1869). He appears to have settled in Gilroy, Santa Clara County, California. His cousin Libbie Miller married Robert Smith and traveled with him to settle in California. [I was not able to clearly identify James Armstrong, James Davidson or John B. Scott.]

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

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

Seventy four years ago today, on April 19, 1940, as later reported in the Delaware Republican, "Postmaster and Mrs. Thompson and Mr. and Mrs. David Draffin attended the show "Gone With the Wind" in Delhi.

Thirty years ago today, on April 20, 1984, James Archibald Hilson died at the age of 89. He was the son of Alexander Hilson and Isabella Archibald. Jim was one of the six children born to Alex and Isabella. Only three of those children survived to adulthood - John (1888-1956), Jane (1891-1967) and Jim. "Uncle Jim" was the last of their family to pass away. He was the uncle of Alex, Louise (Mole), Jack and Jane (Hoy) Hilson, the children of his brother John.

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

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

132 years ago today, on April 23, 1882, Bovina saw two of its citizens pass away.  Adelia Lee died at the age of 82.  She was the daughter of Phineas and Hannah Howland and the wife of Alphonso Lee.  They had seven children.  Adelia had been a widow for 21 years. Sarah (Sally) Elizabeth Hobbie was 71 at her death.  She was the daughter of Stephen Reynolds and Eunice Hilton.  She had married Joshua K. Hobbie and had 16 children, losing at least eight as babies. Sally had been widowed for 22 years at her death.  Both are buried in the Bovina Center Cemetery.

107 years ago today, on April 24, 1907, there was a burglary in Bovina at Strangeway's store.  It was reported in the Binghamton Press for April 26: "The general store of Andrew J. Strangeway, in Bovina Center, was burglarized Wednesday night. Fortunately, Mr. Strangeway had taken all of the money that was in bills to his home that night, so the burglars secured only what change was in the money drawer, a small quantity of cigars and a few other articles. There is no clue to the burglars. Bovina Center is a small village situated eight miles from Delhi and not far from Andes, on the D & E Railroad."

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

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

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

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

123 years ago, on April 29, 1891, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Miss Jennie Miller’s school entertainment….was a good one, the children gave evidence of careful training."  The paper also noted that "The temperance entertainment [the next] night was also good. Both were quite well attended."

The Bovina column in the Andes Recorder for 117 years ago today, April 30, 1897, reported that "Quite a number in town are suffering with the grip."

1 comment:

  1. Ray --- Thank you for all of these pieces of local history. We appreciate your writings. Jeff Weiser