Saturday, May 31, 2014

This Day in Bovina for May

103 years ago today, on May 1, 1911, yet another horse was a runaway in Bovina. As later reported in the Andes Recorder, "G.D. Miller's horse got frisky Monday….It was attached to a sled and while left standing worked its head under the end of the thill and this caused it to fall and the sled was upset. The horse managed to get to its feet and freeing itself of the sled ran to Scott's bridge, where it was caught. One thill and the harness was broken."

116 years ago today, on May 2, 1898, as later reported in the Andes Recorder,"The boys had a celebration…over the victories achieved by Commodore Dewey’s fleet at the Philippines Islands." The same night, it was noted that the "ringing of bells, booming of the cannon, etc. of the celebration at Andes Monday night over the surrender of Manila, could be plainly heard…" in Bovina.

113 years ago today, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Andrew G. Thompson, one of Bovina’s substantial farmers, died at his home near Tunis Lake, Friday, May 3, [1901] with the measles in the 67th year of his age." The report noted that "in the winter of ’67-’68 he married Miss Anna King, who with five sons and a daughter survive him."  Andrew was the son of George Thomson (1798-1873) and Elizabeth Thompson (1806-1892). His widow surived him about seven years.

On May 4, 1894, 120 years ago today, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Two persons, who had the appearance of tramps and looked as if they might have deserted from Coxey’s army, passed through town last Friday." Coxey's army was a protest march on Washington, DC, by workers left unemployed by the economic depression that started in 1893. The march took place in the spring of 1894.

Eighty-one years ago, on May 5, 1933, Bovina school children celebrated Arbor Day by "cleaning up of the grounds and planting of shrubs" of the village school.  After their work, the children went on a nature study trip and a picnic lunch.

128 years ago today, in its May 6, 1886 edition, the Andes Recorder reported about the new school house under consideration in Bovina Center: "At Brushland improvements are being made but the great theme is the new school-house project.  At a special school meeting it was voted 25 to 4, to build a new schoolhouse, suitable for a school of two departments, and change the location to a site on the flat of John Hastings, immediately adjoining the cemetery; also to raise by tax $500 for the site and $1,500 for the building.  After this action the proposed site was fenced and a small building moved thereon.  The case is now before the State Superintendent, who is asked to set aside the action taken at said special meeting for numberous reasons prominent among which is that of insufficient notice being given to some of the legal voters.  Numerous affidavits have been made on each side, and the papers forwarded to the Superintendent, were very voluminous.  His decision is awaited with much interest, of course.  Brushland, like Andes, has long needed enlarged school facilities, as all must admit." It was seven years before the building, now the Bovina Public Library, was actually constructed.

114 years ago today, on May 7, 1900, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "James L. Ormiston and family started Monday morning for their new home near Philadelphia."

Ellen McBurney was born 188 years ago today, May 8, 1826, the daughter of Francis McBurney and Margaret Boyd. She married Andrew Boyd and would have 11 children, most of whom made it to adulthood. She was widowed in 1879 and died in February 1893. She is buried in the Bovina Cemetery.

117 years ago today, in its May 9, 1897 edition, it was noted by the Andes Recorder that five brothers were seen at the same church in Bovina. What made this so remarkable was that the youngest was over fifty years old. The paper did not note what family this was, though it could be the Miller family. At this time, the six sons of William Miller still were alive and all lived locally.

112 years ago, on May 10, 1902, Bovina and Delhi ball teams played in Bovina, with Bovina winning 17 to 12.

101 years ago, on May 11, 1903, James F. Scott died at Delhi. The Bovina correspondent noted that "He was a native of Bovina and the first 20 years of his life was spent here.  His death recalls the death of his three sisters, Mrs. Hastings, Mrs. Laughren and Mrs. Thompson, within as many weeks with pneumonia a few years ago." Scott was the son of John Scott (1797-1873) and Nancy McNaught (1802-1876). The three sisters who died within a few weeks of each other in 1889 were Jeanett Marshall Scott Hastings, who died March 31, Mary Jane Scott Black, who died April 4, and Augusta Scott Lauren, who died April 11. The newspaper mixed up one of the sisters. It was Margaret Scott who married Andrew Thomson. She died in 1891.

103 years ago today, on May 12, 1911, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Dr. G.T. Scott moved his family here from Davenport.." Scott would be an active doctor for only about a year. In May 1912 he had a stroke and never fully recovered, though he was the town health officer for some time after that. He died in 1917 at the age of 63.

116 years ago today, the Andes Recorder Bovina correspondent in the paper's May 13, 1898 issue reported that "The Hobart Independent is authority for the statement, that since beginning the practice of dentistry at Stamford, Dr. H.S. Wood has made and inserted 520 sets of artificial teeth for residents of the town of Bovina."

Sixty-five years ago, on May 14, 1949, Harry Lifgren died. As later reported in the Catskill Mountain News, "Bovina was saddened…by the death of Harry W. Lifgren, a resident for more than 17 years. He had not been in good health for about a year, but kept cheerful." He was only 49 years old, the son of Gustav Lifgren, a Danish immigrant. Harry came to Bovina from Nebraska in the 1930s.

On May 15, 1895, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Miss Agnes Burns and Mr. Draffen were united in wedlock at the home of the bride's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Burns…" Agnes was the daughter of Alexander Burns and Nancy Miller. She was my father's great aunt and was always referred to as Aunt Aggie. Aggie was widowed in 1942 and lived until 1964, when she was 91.

One hundred and fifteen years ago today, May 16, 1899, Angie Robson, the 18 month old daughter of Robert Robson, was buried in the Bovina Cemetery. She had died the previous Sunday in a tragic accident at home when she fell over backwards into a pail of boiling water and was fatally burned.

110 years ago today, on May 17, 1904, "the new boiler for the Centre creamery arrived…"

114 years ago, on May 18, 1900, dogs killed six sheep and a lamb on the farm of Mr. Kinch.  The Andes Recorder reported that "Dogs have been making havoc with sheep in town." The paper noted that two days later, dogs "killed a lamb for Ed Coulter, and Monday injured some for Thomas Archibald so badly that they will probably die."

The Andes Recorder reported on May 19, 1905, 109 years ago, that "A Union Free School is being agitated for Bovina and has its friends and opponents.  A vote is proposed on the question soon and its supporters expect to have it in operation next fall." What the result of the vote and whether or not a school was opened I have yet to determine.

Sixty one years ago today, on May 20, 1953, as later reported in the Catskill Mountain News, Mrs. James Burns and Mr.s John Bellino and daughters, Rose and Joan, were Albany shoppers on Wednesday."

114 years ago today, on May 21, 1900, as later reported very briefly in the Andes Recorder, "Frost Monday morning."

103 years ago today, May 22, 1911, the temperature hit 95 degrees. The Andes Recorder later noted that this was "the hottest May day ever known here…"

Sixty three years ago today, on May 23, 1951, as later reported in the Catskill Mountain News, "Mr. and Mrs. Louis Woell left … for a visit with their daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Wals, at Staten Island, N.Y. They will atend the wedding of their cousin, Miss Jean Robinson." The Woells lived on Coulter Brook Road on what was later known as the Jim Henderson farm.

Sixty one years ago today, on May 24, 1953, as later reported in the Catskill Mountain News, "Mrs. John Edward[s] and son, Casper, of Turnwood were Sunday guests of Mr. and Mrs. Charles LaFever. Their daughter, Susan LaFever, who had spent the past week with her grandmother, returned home at this time." That same day, Mrs. LaFever's brother and sister-in-law, "Mr. and Mrs. William Sanderson and family of Delhi were Sunday guests at the home of her sister, Mrs. Robert Boggs."

Among deaths recorded in the May 30, 1878 Andes Recorder was one 136 years ago today, May 25, 1878, that of James Miller.  The death notice stated that he was 'aged eighty-five years, eight months and twenty-six days." The brief notice went on to say that "Mr. Miller was a citizen much respected - For seventy-three years he had held the office of Elder in the Reformed Presybterian Church."

The Andes Recorder reported 121 years ago today in its May 26, 1893 issue that "Richard Johnson of Bovina this season made 318 gallons of heavy maple syrup from 700 trees. This is equal to 2,544 pounds of sugar."

Sixty four years ago today, on May 27, 1950, Anna Bell LaFever was headed to Ottawa, Illinois for her annual check-up. The Catskill Mountain News had reported in its May 26, 1950 issue that Mrs. LaFever was expecting to leave the next day. It noted that "she goes every year for a checkup by a physician who has helped her much from the affliction of arthritis." My grandmother was afflicted severely from rheumatoid arthritis and tried a number of remedies, including making her only ever jet plane trip in 1979 to Mexico to try a treatment there. Grandma died the following year at the age of 86.

Eighty-five years ago today on May 28, 1929, as later reported in the Delaware Republican, "Fred Bramley had sixteen cows stunned so they fell down by the shock from the lightning which it is supposed following the water pipe in…"

Angelica D. Gerry, the daughter of Elbridge Gerry and Louisa Livingston, was born 143 years ago today on May 29, 1871. She built a summer home at Lake Delaware known as Ancrum. She also was instrumental in the building of St. James Church.

109 years ago, on May 30, 1905, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, baseball teams from "Lake Delaware and the Hook battled for supremacy on diamond Tuesday at the Centre and the score was 12 to 4 in favor of the former."

The May 31, 1895 issue of the Andes Recorder in its Bovina column included the following item: "Sylvester McFarland, who left this town over twenty years ago, and who had not been heard from since, suddenly made his appearance in town a few days ago." McFarland was born in Wisconsin in 1843 and died in Somerville, Massachusetts in 1914. He was a prison officer when in Massachusetts. It is not clear when he lived in Bovina. His father, James McFarland, was a Bovina native.

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