Wednesday, December 31, 2014

This Day in Bovina for December 2014

141 years ago today, December 1, 1873, Alexander Home Gillie passed away. Born in Berwickshire, Scotland in 1805, he married Martha Lewis in 1838 in Bovina. They had four children, one of whom, son William, would die in the Civil War in August 1863.

Ninety six years ago today, on December 2, 1918, Mrs. John Irvine moved to Maple Avenue into the house now owned by Norma and Tony Gabriele. Elizabeth's husband had died New Year's Day, having committed suicide.  Mrs. Irvine lived in this house until her death in 1940.  Living with her for much of that time was her son-in-law and daughter, Cecil and Isabell Russell, and their daughter Marjorie.

Ninety-six years ago, on December 3, 1918, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Mr. and Mrs. H.A. Ayres, accompanied by Cora Hennings as nurse, went to Ithaca … where Mrs. Ayres will undergo an operation.  Mr. Ayres has given up his position with the government.” H.A. Ayres was Henry A. Ayres. He worked for several years at the Bovina Center Coop Creamery as the buttermaker. He was set to go to Washington, DC in 1918 for a position there but as the paper noted, gave it up when his wife became ill. She was operated on two days later on December 5. The nature of the operation was not revealed. Subsequent issues of the Recorder noted that she "continues to improve." Whatever happened to her, it appears she recovered. The family moved away from Bovina around 1920 and in 1930 she and Henry were still alive and living in Erie County, New York.

Eighty-nine years ago today, the Bovina column of the Andes Recorder for December 4, 1925 reported that "Mrs. Walter G. Coulter had her toe severely injured when a soap stone fell on it." Mrs. Coulter was Margaret Strangeway and was the mother of Ruth Coulter Parsons and Celia Coulter. She passed away in 1953.

Robert L. Gerry, Jr was born 103 years ago today, December 5, 1911, the son of Robert Gerry and Cornelia Harriman. A veteran of World War II, he died in December 1979 and is buried at the Gerry cemetery in Lake Delaware.

Ninety-six years ago today, on December 6, 1918, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "A party was held at A.P. Lee's." The paper noted that "dancing was indulged in."

Sixty years ago today, in its December 7, 1954 issue, the Catskill Mountain News reported the following: "Gus Manes, who has been employed by the Spagnoletti Construction Co., has finished his work for the winter and will leave for Mt. Vernon this week. We hope Gus will return here in the spring when they reopen the bridge construction work here. One bridge is to be built and the large bridge is to be completed and opened to traffic in the spring. The bridge at the Thomas garage will be opened to traffic this week." The large bridge referenced likely is the one at the lower end of the Bovina Center hamlet, built to replace the stone bridge. The bridge was indeed finished and opened to traffic the following spring.

Ninety-two years ago today, the December 8, 1922 Andes Recorder had the following item in its Bovina column: "Mrs. Glen Taylor, of Beach, South Dakota, who will be remembered here as Minnie Ruff, has gone to Los Angeles, California, for the benefit of her health." She stayed in California and died in Los Angeles in 1945 at the age of 62.

Eighty-seven years ago today, December 9, 1927, Mrs. Mary Phinney was buried in Bovina. As reported in the Andes Recorder, "Her death occurred at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Albert Sarles at Sand Point, Idaho." Born Mary Archibald in 1853, she married Dr. Lehman Phinney in 1881. Phinney was a doctor in Bovina for a number of years. He died in 1901.

124 years ago today, on December 10, 1890, Gilbert Jardine posted this notice advertising the sale of his farm in the Delaware Republican. Born in Scotland in 1822, he married Nancy E. Tuttle in 1856. Gilbert died in November 1893 and his wife a bit over a year later. The farm appears to have been somewhere in the Bramley Mountain area.

Dr. Gilbert Scott, ninety seven years ago today on December 11, 1917, caught a chill which subsequently turned into pneumonia. He died on December 27. For more about Dr. Scott, go to the Bovina NY History blog at

Ninety-four years ago today, the Bovina column of the December 12, 1920 Andes Recorder reported that "The dairies and barns of the 73 patrons of the Bovina Center Co-Operative Creamery were examined and inspected the past week by Dr. Irvine and H.C. Burgin.  The Dry Milk Co. claim they cannot find the last inspection reports."

Ninety-nine years ago today, December 13, 1915, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "More than a foot of snow fell during Monday afternoon and night.  Tuesday morning the teamsters started out for their Delhi trip but soon turned back.  Traffic was much delayed and mails did not arrive."

Seventy seven years ago today, December 14, 1937, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Mrs. James Ackerly died at her home in Bovina Center … after a long illness at the age of 82 years.  Her maiden name was Velma Barnhart and she was born at Shavertown.  She was twice married, her first husband being Eugene DuMond.  She is survived by her husband, James Ackerly, and a daughter, Mrs. Delbert Dickson, by her first marriage.  The funeral will be held Friday with burial in Andes."

Ninety-seven years ago today, on December 15, 1917, Mrs. Robert G. Thomson arrived home with her husband, her mother, Mrs. Georgia More, and a nurse. Nelle Thomson had been in New York City for cancer treatments, treatments which were unsuccessful. The Andes Recorder noted that "she was brought home on a cot." She passed away a few days later on December 19.

153 years ago today, on December 16, 1861, this receipt was issued for payment made for "work done on the Bridge by Robert C. Scotts." This likely is the bridge at the lower end of the hamlet. While it was a stone bridge, it probably was not the one that was well known and was demolished in the 1950s. That bridge had at least one predecessor that proved to be poorly built and had to be rebuilt  in 1873.

102 years ago, on December 17, 1912, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Mrs. Elmer Close Succumbs to Cancer…" Born Priscilla Lidde, she was the daughter of John O. Liddle and grew up in Bovina. The paper noted that "She was twice married, her first husband, Robert Bryden, being killed in a runaway accident in which the horses went over an embankment in the night and he was caught beneath the wagon." She married Elmer Close, a widower, in 1886. She was 65 at her death. Elmer survived her by over 20 years, dying in 1935.

149 years ago today, on December 18, 1865, James K. White, the 18 year old son of Robert White and Anna Graham White died. He is buried in the Associate Presbyterian Church cemetery.

137 years ago today, on December 19, 1877, the Bovina Methodist Episcopal Church reopened after having been closed for repairs. There was a sermon at 11, a reunion service held at 2:30 and another sermon at 7 pm. When the church issued a notice for this service, the Andes Recorder included the following:  "We would earnestly commend to the attention of those in this vicinity the services above announced. They will be very interesting, and profitable to all who may attend. Revs. A.K. Sanford and J.E. Gorse are earnest warm-hearted Christian men, and the service conducted by them, and stamped with Divine approval will be blessed for good. The church societies of the towns surrounding will, we hope, take a warm interest in this meeting, and encourage the Brushland M.E. Society by their presence and means.  'The liberal soul shall be made fat; and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself.'" The church was located across from where the Bovina Community Hall now stands.

Ninety-six years ago today, the December 20, 1918 Andes Recorder reported in its Bovina column that "Miss Jane Hilson is home from Long Island, her school being closed for four weeks on account of influenza."

201 years ago today, on December 21, 1813, Joel Brush, son of early Bovina pioneer Alexander Brush and Nancy Griffith Brush, died. He is buried in the Brush cemetery next to the library. Born in 1786, he was married to Elizabeth Maynard, daughter of another early Bovina pioneer. They had two children before his untimely death at the age of 27.

The December 22, 1922, Bovina column of the Andes Recorder reported ninety-two years ago today that "There will be no more Sabbath evening meetings at the United Presbyterian church until coal is more plenty.”

Seventy-nine years ago today, December 23, 1935, as later reported in the Catskill Mountain news, "The community Christmas tree was held in the hall…with the different schools furnishing the entertainment."

Ninety four years ago today, the December 24, 1920 Bovina column of the Andes Recorder reported that "William J. Archibald will install a Western Electric plant to light his farm residence and barn."

125 years ago today, on December 25, 1889, Alexander Storie wrote the following in his diary: "Calm warm and pleasant in the morning. Clear calm and sunshine all day. We all went to Mary Ann's for our Christmas dinner. Mrs. Mary Coulter and children, Mrs. Jane Liddle and Samuel Storie and family were there also to dinner. There was fifteen in all.

Ninety-five years ago today, the Bovina column of the December 26, 1919 Andes Recorder reported that "The tax collector is on the war path."

102 years ago, the December 27, 1912 issue of the Andes Recorder reported in its Bovina column that "Collector Geo H. Miller has commenced taking taxes. The first taxes paid were James B. Thomson’s"

Ninety-nine years ago today at the December 28, 1915 town board meeting: “A motion was made and carried to authorize the Town Clerk and Justice Doig to purchase six chairs, a stove, a table and a cord of stove wood and some necessary shelving for the new Town Clerk’s office the whole expense not to exceed $16.”

Ten years ago today, on December 29, 2004, Clark Lay passed away while his daughter Marlene was singing "In the Garden" to him. Born in 1919, he married Gladys Reinertsen in 1946. They lived in Bovina most of their lives, raising their four daughters. Clark was the Bovina Highway Superintendent for many years.

195 years ago today, December 30, 1819, Nancy Jane Hamilton was born, the daughter of Thomas Hamilton and Elizabeth Arneil. She married Archibald Erkson in 1839. They would have five children. Nancy died in 1899 when she was 79 years old. Her husband survived her by five years, dying in 1904.

178 years ago today, on December 31, 1836, Adam Scott was killed in a riding accident. For more information on this accident, go to the Bovina NY History blog at

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