Thursday, December 31, 2015

This Day in Bovina for December

104 years ago today, the December 1, 1911 Andes Recorder reported in its Bovina column that "180 barrels of dry milk were shipped from the Dry Milk plant here, to Vienna, Austria."

105 years ago today, on December 2, 1910, the Delaware County tuberculosis crusade held "two sessions at Bovina Center…, one for the benefit of the school children in the afternoon, the other in the hall at 7:45 in the evening."

109 years ago today, on the evening of December 3, 1906, Mrs. Agnes J. Scott Thomson died. As later reported in the Delaware Gazette, she "died suddenly….at her home in Bovina, aged 56 years." The paper went on to report that "she was in her usual health until the day of her death and was sticken that morning with a shock which caused her death that night. She was unable to speak after being stricken and did not rally at all from its effect." Her funeral was December 6, with burial in the Bovina cemetery. She was the widow of D. Lyle Thomson, who died 16 years before. She was survived by four children, a sister in Bovina and four brothers, including Robert Scott in Kansas City, MO and Rev. John Scott in Philadelphia.

103 years ago today, the December 4, 1912 issue of the Delaware Gazette reported that "DeWitt C. Sharpe, Jr., a Bovina farmer living on the old Elisha B. Maynard place, filed a voluntary petition in bankruptcy Saturday with liabilities of $2438 and no assets except those claimed as exempt. There are about 20 in Bovina including Johnson Brothers who have a claim for $1,100. The other creditors are located in Bloomville, Stamford and Bovina Center."

293 years ago today, on December 5, 1722, Bathsheba Brush was born. She was the mother of early Bovina settler Alexander Brush. She came to live with her son later in life and died in 1803. She is buried in the Brush cemetery next to what is now the library.

155 years ago today, on December 6, 1860, James Doig posted the following notice in the Delaware Gazette: "WATCH FOUND: About the middle of November a Watch was found in the road from Brushland to Andes. The owner cand have it by proving property and paying charges on application to the subscriber in Bovina."

110 years ago today, on December 7, 1905, as later reported in the Delaware Gazette, "Fred J. Henderson of Walton, and Miss Nellie J., daughter of Thomas Hilson of Bovina, were married at the First Presbyterian parsonage [in Delhi]….by Rev. J.H. Robinson. They will reside in Bovina." They were married just shy of 68 years when Fred died in December 1971. Nell died a few months later in 1972. The Walton Reporter's November 11, 1969 issue reported on their 64th wedding anniversary. 

105 years ago today, on December 8, 1910, as later reported in the Delaware Gazette, "Two yearlings, part of a dairy of Wm. Smith, a large farmer of this town [Bovina] died last night of Paris green poisoning and four or five other cattle are sick, but it is expected they will recover. The Paris green was part of a can which had been used last summer and was placed on a shelf above the stanchions in the stable by Larry Mitchell, a farm hand in the meploy of Smith. Mr. Smith did not know that the Paris green had been placed in the stable and as greatly surprised when he found that his cattle had eaten the poison. It appears that the can had been knocked off the shelf and the contents got into the feeding buckets."

Sixty three years ago today, the Catskill Mountain News had the following item dated December 9, 1952 concerning Bovina and a cookie swap. 

Sixty-five years ago today, on December 10, 1950, as later reported in the Catskill Mountain News, "Mrs. Richard Crosley held a party for her music students and their parents at the [Bovina] church parlors… Twenty five were present. Much credit is due Mrs. Crosley in her untiring efforts to further her class in their talents of music." Mrs. Crosley lived on Cape Horn Road.

Eighty nine years ago today, on December 11, 1926, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Bovina defeated Bloomville at basketball here Saturday [Dec 11] evening by the score of 26 to 20."

111 years ago today, on December 12, 1904, as later reported in the Delaware Gazette, Jacob Bailey of Bovina died quite suddenly. The paper noted that "we have been able to get but few particulars, but he seems to have been quite seriously afflicted with asthma of late and his ailment is thought to have been complicated with heart trouble that resulted fatally." The paper went on to note that Bailey had lived on his farm near Lake Delaware for many years. He had just sold the farm and had only about a week before moved into Bovina Center. The death notice concluded by noting that Jacob "has always been regarded as a good neighbor, a faithful friend, an exemplary husband and father, one of the best citizens of that town."

138 years ago today, on December 13, 1877, Andrew H. Archibald was born, the son of Barbara H. Archibald. There is no information as to who his father was. His mother died nine days later. Her son only survived her by about three months, dying in March 1878.

176 years ago today, on December 14, 1839, Walter Coulter, the Bovina Commissioner of Common Schools, submitted this report of monies received from the County Treasurer for use in the twelve Bovina school districts. 

Ninety four years ago today, on December 15, 1921, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Bovina had a double wedding last Thursday evening, December 15.  The contracting parties were Miss Viola Russell and Winifred Barnhart, both of this town, and Alfred Russell, of Bovina, and Miss Katherine Oliver, of Delhi.  Mrs. Russell is a granddaughter of the late Walter Amos of southern Bovina."

101 years ago today, on December 16, 1914, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "    Dr. Goodrich, of Delhi, was called here... in consultation with Dr. Whitcomb, in the case of Herman Coulter, who has pneumonia." Unfortunately, Herman did not survive his pneumonia and died on Christmas Day at the age of 35. He left his wife Julia and two children.

148 years ago today, on December 17, 1867, Jeremy Terwillger Barnhart was born in the Town of Hardenburg, Ulster County. He came to Bovina probably in the late 1880s and was married in December 1890 to Katherine Miller, who had grown up in Bovina. They had four children, including my grandmother, Anna Bell. Jeremy died in New York City in November 1916, about two weeks after surgery to remove a cancerous growth. 

193 years ago today, on December 18, 1822, Thomas H. Johnston was born, the son of Andrew Johnston and Mary Hamilton. His father would die when he was only 15. His mother took over management of the Johnston Woolen Mill. Thomas would take over when he was an adult. He married Violet Hamilton and had four children. Thomas was one day past 70 when he died in 1892.

151 years ago today, on December 19, 1864, Close Light died. Born in 1792, Light was a War of 1812 Veteran. More information about Light can be seen at the Bovina NY History blog at

120 years ago today, the December 20, 1895 Bovina column in the Andes Recorder had the following item: "There is some talk of holding a meeting to see about establishing a creamery at this place.  Why not start one?  It is what is needed."

134 years ago today, the December 21, 1881 Delaware Gazette reported that "Thomas Johnson, of Bovina, has made 260 barrels of cider the present season."

106 years ago, on the evening of December 22, 1909, William McNee died suddenly. He was 60 years old. The Andes Recorder reported his death: "Mr. McNee had worked all day at the Center creamery assisting in putting in the ice and his part of the work was to take the cakes as they came on to the platform and get them to the elevator.  After completing his work there he went home and cleaned the sidewalk and then went to the outhouse.  Mrs. McNee, after keeping supper waiting for half an hour or more, became alarmed and went to see what was the cause of the delay and he was found lying just inside of the door of the outhouse, and he had apparently dropped dead as he entered. It was known that Mr. NcNee had valvular trouble of the heart and it is supposed that the over exertion of handling the heavy cakes of ice was responsible for his death. Mr. McNee was born on Scotch Mountain but for many years has been a resident of this town.  He married Euphema Doig, youngest daughter of the late William Doig and she, with three sons and a daughter, survives him."

111 years ago today, the Bovina column of the December 23, 1904 Andes Recorder reported that "Civil Engineer W.W. Hoy is visiting his mother, Mrs. John R. Hoy. He has just returned from India, where he has been employed." William Wilson Hoy was born in 1872 in Bovina. He lived for some time in Pennsylvania before settling in California, where he died in 1967 at the age of 94.

125 years ago today, on December 24, 1890, as later reported in the Delaware Gazette, "The Bovina Centre Brass Band will give a concert Christmas eve and the evening following."

Seventy four years ago today, the December 25, 1941 Catskill Mountain News reported on the American Red Cross's appeal for a "fifty million dollar War Relief fund.." The paper noted that the "Bovina-Lake Delaware branch had its Red Cross Victory Christmas tree ready to decorate…" It was decorated with crosses, each one representing "$50 given to the War Relief fund." The campaign chair, Tom Wallis, "announced that farmers were being asked to contribute a can of milk to the fund on Christmas day." The paper noted that "although some of the farmers do not have the ready cash to contribute to the fund just at this time, they are giving orders on their January milk checks."

154 years ago today, the December 26, 1861 edition of the Delaware Gazette published the annual accounts for all the towns in Delaware County, presented and audited at the annual meeting of the Board of Supervisors. Here's Bovina's:

195 years ago today, on December 27, 1820, Robert Scott posted the following notice in the Delaware Gazette: "Strayed or Stolen, From the Farm of the Subscriber in the town of Bovina, some time since, a number of young CATTLE. - Any person who will give information where the same may be found, shall be liberally rewarded."

Seventy-eight years ago today, on December 28, 1937, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "The Bovina Center basketball team suffered defeat Tuesday night at the hands of the Unadilla town team by a score of 28 to 23, on the winner’s court.  The Unadilla girls defeated the Bovina girls 23 to 15.”

194 years ago today, on December 29, 1821, Jonathan Adee was born. He married Henrietta Kipp and they had three children and a farm on Cape Horn Road for many years. Jonathan died in 1902 at the age of 80.

107 years ago today, the December 30, 1908 Delaware Gazette reported the following: "Elmer Doig, of Bovina, the 7 year old son of Milton Doig, recently harnessed a pair of horses and drove three miles to the Center and returned home with a load of grain."

136 years ago today, the December 31, 1879 Delaware Gazette reported that "Dea[con] Thomas McFarland, of Bovina, one of the best farmers in America and a veteran subscriber to the Gazette, was in town [Delhi] yesterday. It is never a bad day when the Deacon is in town."

Monday, December 21, 2015

Faces of Bovina - Ruth Rabeler

Ruth Rabeler has the distinction of being one of three women to appear on Bovina's World War II honor roll. The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Alex Rabeler, Sr., she grew up in Nebraska and came to Bovina in 1939.  In September 1942, she enlisted while visiting in Nebraska, taking her basic training at Des Moines, Iowa.  She went to the Cooks and Bakers School, graduating as 2nd Lieutenant on March 3, 1943.  She was stationed in several locations, including Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia; Fort Lewis, Washington, and Camp Beale, California, where she took charge of the Officers Club.  She was then transferred to the Presidio in San Francisco to the 6th Army Cook and Bakers as an instructor and head of the mess hall.  She was discharged in 1946 but went back into service in California.  In 1952 she was married to James Donohue at the Presidio and left the Army in 1953.  Ruth passed away in October 1974 in California and is buried in Fair Oaks, California.
She posed for this photograph by Bob Wyer on May 17, 1943. Courtesy Delaware County Historical Association

Cousins Paul and Ruth Rabeler in service sometime during the war.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

December 1915 - 100 Years Ago in "That Thriving Town"

From the Andes Recorder
Two couples celebrate Silver Wedding anniversaries and one a Golden in December.

December 3, 1915
•Mrs. G.J. Dickson is having her store decorated for the holidays. [This is the Brushland Eating House.]
•A community social will be held at Town Hall on Friday evening of this week.
•Hilson Bros new feed store was dedicated Wednesday night [Dec 1] by a dance with 57 numbers.
•The Hose company was out Monday evening for practice. The church bell was used to sound the alarm.
•Mrs. Christopher S. Gladstone was taken to Delhi on Thursday to undergo an operation for appendicitis.
•Dixon Thomson has commenced remodeling the interior of the Phinney house, preparatory to moving thereto.
•Work has been suspended for the winter on the stone road being put in by the Gerry’s to change the highway across their estate. About half of the road is completed and the remainder is in various states of construction.

December 10, 1915
•Alva Shultis moved this week from the big Dickson house to Margaretville.
•Fred Bramley has hired A.Todd, of Bloomville, to work for him and he has moved here.
•Wednesday [Dec 8] the car of Watson Fowler, of Hamden, collided with the side of the Scott bridge, bending the front axle of the car.

Bovina Farmer Breaks his Leg 
Charles A. McPherson, who lives on the S.G. Bramley farm, had his leg broken below the knee Friday. Mr. McPherson is preparing to build a barn next season and was engaged in drawing out logs when in some way he was caught under the log and both bones of the leg were broken. William Strangeway, a brother-in-law, and another man were in the woods with him but some distance away and it was some time before he could make them hear. They removed the log from his leg and covered him with their coats, and then went to the house and got the sled and drew him home. Fortunately when the accident happened the horses got loose from the log or Mr. McPherson might have more severely injured. [Charles was the father of Marian, Frank and Lester McPherson. Born in 1873, he died in 1949.]

December 17, 1915
•The tax collector next.
•Thos C. Strangeway, who has been suffering from the shingles, is now able to be up part of the time.
•More than a foot of snow fell during Monday [Dec 13] 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.
•A meeting was held at the home of Rev. Thomas Graham for the purpose [of] organizing a singing class which will be taught during the winter by Rev. Graham. Bovina has a great deal of latent local talent which should be developed and trained.

December 24, 1915
•Wallace Hyatt has enlisted in the United States navy.
•A private dance is scheduled to be held at the town hall on the evening of December 29.
•The receipts of the oyster supper last Thursday evening for the benefit of the firemen, amounted to $38.75
•A surprise party was held last week for Mrs. E.E. Hastings, of Saranac, at the home of Mrs. Douglas Davidson. About twenty ladies were present and charades were played. To use the expression of one of the ladies they had “the best time ever regardless of the blizzard outside.”
•Mrs. Rebecca Scott was stricken with paralysis Sabbath morning, at the home of her brother, Jas A. Scott at Hobart, where she has been visiting for some time. She was walking down stairs and had reached the bottom step when she was taken with what she supposed was a fainting spell and fell to the floor. Her condition was soon found to be serious.

Celebrated Silver Wedding
Friday, December 17, was the twenty-fifth anniversary of the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. J.T. Barnhart, and 60 of their friends and neighbors made them a surprise visit at their home up Pink street. As a memento of the occasion the company presented the host and hostess with a sum of money and a set of silver knives and forks. [Jeremy Barnhart and Kate Miller were married in 1890 and would have four children, Ralph, Anna Bell (my grandmother), Edith and Wilford. Sadly, Jeremy and Kate would not celebrate another anniversary – Jeremy would die in November 1916.]

December 31, 1915
•A thimble party was held with Mrs. Mahaffey on Tuesday.
•Mrs. John H. Ruff is very ill and no hopes are given for her recovery. [She would die the following month on January 23, 1916.]
•Next Friday evening there will be a supper in the U.P. church parlors for the benefit of the new organ fund.
•At the dance held Wednesday evening in the town hall there were 35 numbers. Meade’s orchestra failed to appear.
•The Christmas tree held Friday evening in the town hall was largely attended and all the children were made happy by gifts from Santa Claus. The exercises by the children were finely rendered and reflected great credit on the teachers who had trained them.

Double Wedding Celebration
Thomas R. Boggs and wife celebrate golden and Thos Ormiston and wife Silver Wedding Dec 25.
Saturday, December 25, in upper Bovina there occurred the rare event of the celebration of a golden wedding and a silver wedding in the same family and both falling on the same date.
On Christmas Day fifty years ago Thomas R. Boggs and Jane Archibald embarked upon the unknown sea of matrimony and for half a century have followed the devious ways of life together. Twenty five years ago, also on Christmas Day, their eldest daughter became the wife of Thomas Ormiston.
Last Saturday 75 relatives and neighbors assembled at the Boggs home to celebrate the double event and it was a day or rare good cheer. As a memento of the occasion Mr. and Mrs. Boggs were presented with a purse of money and a small gold clock.
On the Thursday evening previous the neighbors of Mr. and Mrs. Ormiston made them a surprise visit at their home and left them a set of silver knives and forks.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Pearl Harbor and Bovina

Seventy four years today, on December 7, 1941, "A date which will live in infamy..." the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and plunged the United States into World War II. I wanted to find any references in records to the immediate reaction in Bovina. Unfortunately, I didn't have a lot to go on, but did find a couple of items in the records of the Cecil Russell family.

Isabell Russell kept a diary off and on for many years. Interestingly, she had a five year diary that included 1941 but much of 1941 and early 1942 are blank. For what reason I do not know. There were scattered entries for 1941 up to September 24, then they were blank until December 7, when she recorded the attack on Pearl Harbor: "Nice today. We went to church. Word came over radio tonight that Japan had attacked Pearl Harbor." There was one more entry for 1941 toward the end of the year but otherwise there were no follow-up posts to the news about the attack. You'll see that the rest of the entries that would have covered 1941-45 are blank. I've noticed in this diary that the latter part of each year tends to have less in it than the early part. In later life, Isabell tended to write more in her diaries.

Here's Isabell's diary entry for December 7, 1941. 
When the attack happened, Isabell's daughter Marjorie was teaching in Madison, Ohio. Her good friend Celia Coulter wrote to Marjorie a few days after the attack on December 11. That was the day that Hitler declared war on the United States. Most of the letter was about different things going on in Bovina and was not heavily focused on the war, but she did say "We certainly get a grim set of facts from the news these days, don't we? I've just been knitting some on Auntie's sweater, while listening to the 'March of Time.'" Celia also noted that the U.P. Church's minister, Rev. McClellan, was leaving - "It looks as if 'the dominie' is really going to depart soon." Dominie was an old Church of Scotland term for schoolmaster but also a Dutch term for pastor. McClellan's departure was a direct result of the U.S. going to war. He had wanted to leave a few months before because he wanted to become a Naval chaplin, but the church talked him out of it.  With the U.S. actually at war, the elders felt in good conscience that they couldn't refuse him. Celia noted that McClellan "expects to be at the Naval Hospital in Brooklyn...."

Here's the beginning of Celia's December 11, 1941 letter to Marjorie.
She concluded the letter hoping she hadn't bored her too much and noting that between her various chores "I listen to the news. Hope it takes a turn for the better soon."

And here's the closing of the letter.
Here's the envelope - note the Christmas seal.

Monday, November 30, 2015

This Day in Bovina for November

114 years ago today, the November 1, 1901 Andes Recorder reported that Bovina veteran "Frank Gowanlock, late of Co., E., 144th Regt., has been granted a pension of $6 per month, with back pay from July 1900."

156 years ago today, on November 2, 1859, Robert J. Forrest, the son of Robert and Elizabeth Forrest, died at the age of 4 years, 6 months and 19 days. He died as the result of being scalded. The hired girl had left a pail of water on the floor while getting more. The little boy was playing with the water in the pail when he heard the girl coming back. He was afraid he would be scolded and backed away from the pail, falling against a pot of boiling water which proceeded to spill on him. He lived for a couple of days after the accident.

119 years ago today, on Election Day, November 3, 1896, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Mrs. John Aitkin, over eighty years old…fell and was quite badly injured. She was unable to tell just how it happened." This appears to be Eliza Blish Aitkin. Born in 1816, she married John Aitkin in 1838 in Clovesville, NY. He died in 1888. She died about eight months after this accident in July 1897.

116 years ago today, on November 4, 1899, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Hector Cowan, son of James Cowan, who kept store in the centre many years ago, was in town.... It is 41 years since he was here." This store may have been located where Russell's Store is now located.

104 years ago today, on November 5, 1911, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Mr. and Mrs. Peter Gerry returned to New York…" The paper also noted that "Robert Gerry and family have arrived here."

107 years ago today, the Bovina column of the November 6, 1908 Andes Recorder reported that "A monument has been erected in the Center cemetery to memory of John and Barbara Lewis." Here's the stone today. Photo by Ed and Dick Davidson. 

Eighty years ago today, November 7, 1935, Anna Bell Barnhart LaFever observed her 42nd birthday by giving birth to her youngest son, George. 

134 years ago, the Bovina column for the Stamford Mirror for November 8, 1881 reported that "Dr. Dickson has had workmen from Binghamton, putting slates on his new drug store." This building is now the Brushland Eating House.

141 years ago today, on November 9, 1874, John Murray submitted this account of his expenses as overseer of the poor in "examining Margaret Mackessy, the mother of a bastard…" His expense was $2.00. 

Sixty-three years ago today, on November 10, 1952, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Delaware Republican Express, "Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Aitken moved on Monday from the Ackerly house to the apartment over the garage of Clayton Thomas."

112 years ago today, on November 11, 1903, John Irvine submitted this statement of his expenses in his campaign for Town Supervisor. His expenses amounted to $5.50 for cigars he gave  "to different parties.." He noted that he did not know the names of the recipients. Irvine was the father of Isabell Russell. He was supervisor until 1907.

140 years ago today, on November 12, 1875, Elizabeth Raitt Black died in Philadelphia. She was born in Bovina in 1840, the daughter of Thomas Raitt and Jennet Thorburn. She married Rev. James E. Black in Mississippi in 1870. At her death, she was survived by her 19 month old daughter and her husband. Elizabeth was buried in Bovina. Her husband survived her by over 50 years, dying in Oklahoma in 1929.

132 years ago today, the November 13, 1883 Stamford Mirror briefly reported that "Brushland wants a select school." A select school, as defined in Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary, is "a privately supported and administered elementary or secondary school whose student body is selectively chosen usually on a sectarian, social, or economic basis."

104 years ago today, on November 14, 1911, as later reported by the Andes Recorder, "Robert B. Jardine died … from Bright's disease, at his home on the Arbuckle farm on the eastern slope of Glenburnie, just over the Bovina line, aged 55 years." Under the headline "Native of Bovina Dead," the paper noted that he was born in Bovina, the son of Gilbert Jardine and Nancy Tuttle. He was married twice and was survived by his second wife and a son and daughter from his first marriage. He was buried in the Bovina Cemetery. Here's his headstone. Note that it gives a death date of November 13, but the newspaper clearly says the 14th. Not sure which one is correct.

150 years ago today, the Delaware Gazette for November 15, 1865, reported the following: "Who can beat it? - Robert Tilford [probably should be Telford] of Bovina, the other day, killed a two year old Ewe which weiged (sic) alive 200 lbs. The four quarters, dressed meat, weighted 130 lbs., the pelt 18 lbs, and the tallow from the entrails 16 1/2 lbs. We say again, who can beat it?"

109 years ago today, the Bovina column of the November 16, 1906 Andes Recorder reported that the Bovina U.P. Church was considering getting an organ. It was noted that while James L. Coulter was leader of the choir, one wasn't necessary. "The removal of Mr. Coulter to Margaretville leaves the choir without anyone to 'start the tunes' and the congregation will have to dispense with singing or put in an organ.  A few years ago the opposition to an organ was strong but now there is very few opposed to it.  A petition has been presented to the session by the choir asking that they take action."

134 years ago today, on Thursday evening, November 17, 1881, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Stamford Mirror, "A party of young people from the Scotch Mountain and Little Delaware, had a dance at Hastings' Hall…"

114 years ago today, on November 18, 1901, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "T.C. Strangeway, R.A. Thompson and William J. Archibald were at Margaretville … on business relating to the opening of a new road.  The matter was adjourned." I have yet to determine what road is meant by this.

166 years ago today, on November 19, 1849, Peter Rutherford, the 18 day old son of Walter Rutherford and Sarah Delamater, died. He was buried in the Reformed Presbyterian Church cemetery. His grave is on Find A Grave:

159 years ago today, on November 20, 1856, Margaret S. Doig was born in Andes, the daughter of William S. Doig and Elizabeth Armstrong. She married J. Douglas Burns in 1879 and lived in Bovina, where she gave birth to her five children, four of whom survived to adulthood, including Bill Burns, grandfather of a number of the Burns family. She died in 1925. Her husband survived her by 9 years, dying in 1934. Both are buried in Bovina.

One hundred ninety four years ago today, on November 21, 1821, the following notice was posted in the Delaware Gazette: "Public notice is hereby given, that the personal property of Adam Kezie, late of the town of Bovina deceased consisting of Horses, Cattle, Sheep, and Farming Utensils, will be exposed to sale at public auction for cash, on Thursday the 6th day of December next, at the house formerly occupied by the said Adam Kedzie deceased. Mary Kedzie, administratrix; James Kedzie, William Kedzie, Administrators.

Sixty-nine years ago today, on November 22, 1946, a game and card party was held at St. James' parish hall to benefit the Women's auxiliary.

110 years ago today, at high noon on November 23, 1905, Bessie Armstrong was married to Wm. A. Gladstone. Here's the article from the November 29, 1905 Delaware Gazette. 

Fifty five years ago today, on November 24, 1960, as later reported in the Massena (NY) Observer it's "Louisville Events" column that "Mr. and Mrs. Charles LaFever and family of Bovina Center spent Thanksgiving with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Benson LaFever. Benson LaFever is working in Plattsburgh as a carpenter on a building project."

105 years ago today, readers of the Catskill Mountain News for November 25, 1910 learned that "Mrs. Elizabeth Hewitt of Bovina has bought the Dr. Ward Young house, Bovina Centre, and John W. Hewitt takes the homestead farm in upper Bovina." The Dr. Young house was later owned by Millie Reinertsen (42.2623°N 74.7833°W). The Hewitt homestead is on Mountain Brook Road and is now owned by Tom Groves.

137 years ago today, the November 26, 1878 issue of Stamford Mirror reported on two items in a brief entry : "Mrs. Miller, wife of William Miller, has become insane and a home will have to be found for her in some insane asylum.  John. G. Bramley, who has been engaged on the State Survey during the past summer, will spend the winter at home and teach the school in which he was formerly a pupil."

119 years ago today, the November 27, 1896 Andes Recorder, in its Bovina column, reported that "A fine monument has been erected to the memory of the late John Hilson.  Dauley & Wright, of Oneonta, furnished it.  They also erected a tomb stone to the late Mrs. John Phyfe."

Twelve years ago today, on November 28, 2003, Edith Archibald died. Born in England in 1928, she was married to Leonard Archibald in Lincoln, England, in May 1952. While in England, Edith served in the RAF.

134 years ago today, the Bovina column of the November 29, 1881 Stamford Mirror reported that "Thos. Johnson has made 260 barrels of cider this season." The same column also reported that "About $70 has been expended in improving the appearance of the cemetry (sic) grounds."

Ninety five years ago today, on November 30, 1920, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Andes Recorder, "Robert G. Thompson was at Delhi…and traded his Buick roadster for a five passenger 1921 Buick."

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Stories from Bovina's Cemeteries - Margaret and Jen Get Their Tonsils Out

The Andes Recorder in June 1920 reported that, "Mrs. Christopher S. Gladstone and Mrs. Fred Thomson were operated upon Tuesday (June 15, 1920) at the home of the last named for the removal of their tonsils. Dr. Goodrich and Ormiston were the surgeons."

Mrs. Gladstone was born Margaret J. Coulter in 1879, the daughter of Dixon Coulter and Margaret Elliott. Mrs. Thomson was Jennie Oliver, born in 1885, the daughter John Oliver and Stella Dumond. These two women were second cousins once removed, both being descendants of early Bovina settler Francis Coulter. We likely can assume they must have at least known each other enough for Mrs. Gladstone to be comfortable having her tonsils removed at someone else's home. They both were members of the Bovina United Presbyterian Church and likely socialized through the group in that church.  

They survived their tonsil surgery by a bit over 40 years and, amazingly, died the same day and in the same place. Both women passed away at the Delhi Hospital on November 18, 1960. They both were attended by by Dr. Orin Q. Flint. Margaret died of a stroke and Jennie of heart disease. Margaret had been widowed for seven years while Jennie had been widowed less than three months. The two women were buried a day apart, with Margaret buried November 21 and Jen the next day. 
Grave of Christopher and Margaret Gladstone
Grave of Fred and Jen Thomson

Note: A confusing element in this story is that Jen Thomson had a sister-in-law named Margaret Gladstone! Fred's sister, Margaret King Thomson, married Edward Dunn Gladstone, a first cousin once removed of Christopher Gladstone.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

November 1915 - 100 Years Ago in "That Thriving Town"

From the Andes Recorder
Cecil Russell's brother gets married and a Hook and Ladder Company is organized in Bovina. And Andrew Coulter had car trouble on a trip to Andes.

November 5, 1915
•The Dickson store has been improved by a new dress of paint [This is now the Brushland Eating House].
•Frank Hobbie will move from Colchester to the Joshua Hobbie farm which for some time has been occupied by a Pollock.
•Alex Myers is painting the new Fire House. This building makes a very substantial addition to the appearance of that section of the town.

November 12, 1915
•Supervisor Thomas H. Johnson is at Delhi this week in attendance on the sessions of the Board. The town may rest assured that its interests will be well cared for.
•H.A. Ayres, buttermaker at the creamery, has moved from the Phinney to the Dickson house on Pink street. Dixon Thomson is moving to the house vacated, from up Pink street, leaving the farm in charge of his son.

A Pretty Wedding in Bovina
Miss Hildreth Tuttle and Chas Russell United in Marriage Nov. 10
  A pretty wedding occurred at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Tuttle in Bovina, Wednesday evening, November 10, when their only daughter, Hildreth, was united in the bonds of matrimony with Charles Russell, son of R.H. Russell, of Bovina, in the presence of about sixty guests.
As the strains of Mendelssohn’s wedding march, rendered by Miss Winter, pealed forth, the bride attended by Miss Isabel Irvine, and the groom with his brother, Cecil Russell, as best man, and preceeded by Mary Doig as ring bearer, entered and took their places beneath a beautiful evergreen and chrysanthemum arch.
The ceremony was performed by Rev. J.A. Mahaffey, with the closing prayer by Rev. Thomas Graham. “O Promise Me” was sun by Mildred Winter, of New Kingston, with piano accompaniment by Mrs. Robert hunt.
The bride was becomingly gowned in white charmouse, trimmed with white fur and pearl, with sleeves and overskirt of lace, and carried white roses. The bridesmaid was in pink crepe de chine and carried pink carnations. The ring bearer was also in pink.
The ceremony was followed by a six course dinner with Mrs. Jessie Thomson, of Delhi as cateress. The gifts received by the bride were numerous and included money, linen, cut glass, silver, rugs, etc.

November 19, 1915
•George E. Miller, of Andes, spent Sabbath at the home of his brother, Gideon Miller. Mrs. Miller, who has been on the sick list is somewhat improved.
•The following sums have been ordered levied on the Bovina Center fire district.  For bond No 1 and interest, $337.50; rent of fire hydrants $65, fire bell $65, furnishing firemen’s hall $30.

November 26, 1915
•Ward Baker, the violinist, is making an effort to organize a Band here.
•Arthur VanDusen has moved from the Margaret Hoy house to part of the tenant house of Ellsworth Tuttle.
•During the storm Friday [Nov 19] morning one of the large evergreen trees at the house owned by Mrs. Wm. S. Thomson on the corner opposite the Dennis house, was blown down. It landed on the house and did some damage to the cornice, smashing some of it.

Fire Dept for Bovina Center
Hook and Ladder and Hose Company Organized – Alex Myers Chief
A Fire Department of about thirty members has been organized in Bovina Center Fire District with the following officers: 

Chief – Alex Myers
Assistant Chief – Andrew T. Doig
Secretary – Thomas Gordon
Treasurer – Rev. Thomas Graham

    The officers of the Hose company are: John Aitken, foreman; Harry Robson, assistant foreman; Milton Hastings, secretary; Walter G. Coulter, treasurer.
The Hook and Ladder company officers are: James Hilson, foreman; David Currie, assistant foreman; Dr. N. B. Whitcomb, secretary; Robert hunt, treasurer.

Stole the Gas
Andrew Coulter, of Bovina, came to Andes Wednesday evening and left his auto standing at the curb.  When he went to start the car it would not go. Investigation revealed the fact that some miscreant had let out all the gas and stolen the wires connected with the spark plugs.

Friday, November 6, 2015

"This town is my birthplace, and in a poetic sense is the dearest spot to me on earth."

Rev. John Loughran Scott was born in Bovina on December 21, 1846, the son of Robert Scott and Martha Loughran. He married Elizabeth Laurens in Fishkill in 1882 and had two sons, both named Lauren. The first son died after only about a year. The second son, born in 1887 in Connecticut, survived to adulthood, dying in Philadelphia in 1911 (this second Lauren ended his life in some kind of asylum, being mentally incapacitated). 

In November 1882, Rev. Scott wrote a letter to the Delaware Republican, published in their January 13, 1883 issue, concerning his recollections of his boyhood home.

A Letter From Rev. J.L. Scott

  A great poet once said: “There is not a spot on this wide peopled earth, so dear to our heart as the land of our birth;” but poets have a license to say most anything, without regard to truth. The whole matter depends upon where you were born, and somewhat upon where we have been since. This town is my birthplace, and in a poetic sense is the dearest spot to me on earth; I am always glad to come and equally so to leave, which affords a double pleasure and confirms the poet’s assertion. This little town boasts the pastoral name of Bovina. General Root, a man of great note in his day, suggested it from the natural adaptation to grazing. It is the smallest of all Delaware’s nineteen towns, and has a few characteristics peculiar to itself. The question of temperance found a solution here long, long ago; there has been no license for many years; no place nearer than twelve miles where a free citizens of America can exercise his constitutional right of getting drunk; but there seem to be more devils than one, and cider, that harmless beverage of twenty years ago, has become an evil of no small magnitude; still this is the most temperate, the most churchly town in the county. It has but one inmate in the alms house, and for a long time none whatever – the people here live on their own farms and within a circle of mountains that surrounds them on every side. It is almost impossible to find a voter who would not be responsible for what he contracts; the rich men are worth $20,000, and the poor from $500 to $1000.

Here is a little village of one hundred inhabitants, with its three stores and three churches. If you will pardon me, I will write of the latter; perhaps this is a subject of which I may claim some knowledge. The smallest is the Methodists, a plant which nourishes fairly in this uncongenial Grampian soil. Then follows the United Presbyterian, a vigorous member of the great Presbyterian family, which boasts 80,000 strong in the whole country. They are by far the largest and the oldest; but its religionist has changed from what he was in my boyhood. Then he sang nothing but an old version of the Psalms, composed by one Rouse some two hundred years ago. He was a close communist. Each member received a “token,” a sort of ticket which entitled him to a seat at the Lord’s table. No organs were allowed in the service, nor even a choir. A precentor stood before the pulpit and led a medley which was called singing. I remember the strange way by which they run out the lines ending in “tion” – salvation, for instance, got terribly bent in the process. Then again no secret society members were allowed any fellowship, but this law was useless, as I do not believe a single Mason at that time lived within many miles of the church; aside from all this they accepted the Westminster standards as a whole. The preaching was forever, and twice a day at that. There was an interval of ten minutes, which formed “a narrow neck of land between two boundless seas.” I shall not recall it, my bones ache at the thought. The boys and girls went to church then, and sat crowded in straight back seats, listening to an hour’s discourse on the Mosaic law and its symbolic meanings. I once saw a poor woman stand alone in the congregation and receive a “rebuke.” She had sinned and returned to the church, asking restoration, but first she must arise and endure the darts of five hundred eyes shot deep within her heart, while the silence of death reigned everywhere; then the preacher, in serious tones, reviewed the wrong and hoped for her redemption. It was a custom transported from beyond the water, and should have been cast upon the angriest storm and left to the howlings of the sea. This was done in the name of Him who said, “I do not condemn thee; go and sin no more;” but the United Presbyterian Church has awoke to the fact that King James is dead and the war for the covenant is over. They have choirs, a new version of the Psalms, the old tokens are forgotten, and last of all, organs are now permitted – this is the triumph of the present year. There are congregations and individual members who cling to the shrouds of dead bigotry, but the world keeps turning and our father’s church is following on. I cast no reflections upon the past; but when any people transfer forms that were born out of war and in a country of persecutions, to this nation of religious liberty and universal peace, they mistake death for life.

The third and last denomination is the Reformed Presbyterian, a church which numbers 8,000 perhaps in all America. They are the organic descendants of the Covenanters or Cameronians of Scotland. They sing the old Psalms, have no instruments, are close communion, admit no members of secret societies, do not vote, and therefore not a very popular sect among the politicians. They are the element behind the National Reform Association, that is trying to incorporate the Trinity and the Bible in the constitution of the country; until this is done they will exercise no franchise right as Americans. It is strange how people combine contradictions; the Covenanters were loyal during the war, some fought for a constitution which they would not swear to support. They are good citizens and only talk against the government. It will be a long time before the Covenanters are where the United Presbyterians are now, but the latter are following fast after the great Presbyterian Church. The younger elements are more liberal, more broad in their faith.

There was a political exclusiveness in this town which fortunately is also doomed to die. The entire vote would not exceed 300, out of which 80 perhaps were Democratic. The years made no change; it was the same monotonous majority for every candidate. A Democrat was a sort of Samaritan, a hopeless fellow with distant affiliations. Horace Greeley was the patron Saint of the Bovina farmer; he told him how to make butter and when to sell it. The oracle himself came to Delaware during the Lincoln campaign, and was the first great man I ever saw. A delegation met him at the depot, fifty miles away. The people came in multitudes, arches spanned the streets, and bands played many a welcome; but the philosopher disappointed his friends; his speech was dull, the outburst of oratory of which we had heard much were not there. Still he remained the St. Peter among all the Saints, and when nominated for the Presidency, had a following of honest friends. Since then, election returns are more uncertain, but this fall many broke away entirely, and for the first time voted the Democratic ticket. The law of variation is at work even in conservative Bovina.

We are now on the borders of winter. Last week snow fell some two inches and seems included to remain. Water is very low, and the farmers apprehend much trouble during the season. J.L.S.

Bovina, N.Y., November 22, 1882.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

This Day in Bovina for October

Fifty one years ago today, The October 1, 1964 issue of the Delaware Republican Express published a report about the local 4-H club, the Bovina Busy Boys. 

112 years ago, the October 2, 1903 Otsego Farmer (Cooperstown) had the following report: "Prosperous Delaware county creameries are those of the co-operative companies at Bovina Centre and Bovina. The one at Bovina Centre receives 17,500 pounds milk daily. Average test, 5.2. The patrons receive the skim milk back free if desired. Twenty-four and one-half cents was paid for butter fat for the month of August. At the Bovina co-operative creamery, 70 cans of milk are taken in each day, the average test is 5.2, and the price paid for butter was 22 cents a pound. Patrons are allowed both skim milk and buttermilk back free. The butter is put in one-pound prints for the Philadelphia market." The Bovina Center creamery is the one in the hamlet and has been sold to the Finns with plans to start producing cheese there. The Bovina creamery was on Bovina road and closed sometime in the 1920s. The building has been gone for some time.

151 years ago today, on October 3, 1864, as later reported in the Delaware Gazette, "A McClellan Club was formed in Bovina…and the following gentlemen elected as officers: F.McFarland, President; James McFarland, Michael Dickson, Vice-Presidents; E.A. Boggs, Secretary; R.F. Scott, Treasurer." McClellan clubs were formed to support the candidacy of General McClellan in the 1864 presidential election.

133 years ago today, on October 4, 1882, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Delaware Gazette, "a shameful - yes, disgraceful affair took place in town on Wednesday night. Two parties began the small business of running horses, kept it up until they reached the village, where it ended in a smashup, turnover and runaway. Two outside parties might have been killed, but fortunately escaped with knocks and bruises; children endangered; Prof. given a lively run to escape, and the doctor's fence badly demolished. Such a history should be a lesson to such young men."

191 years ago today, on October 5, 1824, Thomas Landon posted the following ad in the Delaware Gazette: "Merino Bucks for Sale. The subscriber has for sale at the Fish Lake [Lake Delaware], a number of full bred MERINO BUCKS, of pure blood as imported from Spain. Those who wish to purchase, must apply previous to the first of November, as on that day such as are unsold, will be removed to the eastward."

Ninety years ago today, on October 6, 1925, Frank Coulter Armstrong died at the age of 87. Born in Bovina, he was the son of John C. Armstrong and Isabella Coulter. He was married and widowed three times. He married Jennette Burns in 1863, with whom he had five children, three of whom had predeceased him. Jennette died in 1885. He was married Mary Brown in 1888 - she died in 1911. The following year, Frank married Mary Neish. She died a year before his death in 1924.

131 years ago today, the Bovina column of the October 7, 1884 Stamford Mirror reported "A grand banquet was held at the residence of A. Liddle one fine evening recently. Waterville was well represented and tripped the light fantastic until the wee sma hours had rolled around." Waterville was a briefly used term for the Butt End of Bovina.

107 years ago today, an ad appeared in the October 8, 1908 Catskill Mountain News: "For sale - The hotel at Bovina Centre with 4 1/2 acres of flat land adjoining. Only hotel in town. Possession given Nov. 1, 1909. J.L. Dickson, Bovina Center." This hotel was located where the Jim and Peg Hilson and Mark Schneider and Julie Hilson houses are located.

130 years ago today, on October 9, 1885, the "baseball clubs of Hamden and Bovina" were due to play the "last game for the best two in three on the fair grounds" in Delhi. The Delaware Gazette reported that "they have played two games…that at Hamden was won by the Hamden club, and the one at Lake Delaware by the Bovina club." The paper concluded "as they are quite evenly matched the game will be watched with interest." I have not been able to find any reports of how that last game came out.

Seventy-five years ago, the Bovina column of the October 10, 1940 Delaware Republican reported that "Mrs. Robert Boggs and son Bobbie are visiting her parents at Turnwood, N.Y. for a week."

150 years ago today, on October 11, 1865, a team from Delhi and Bovina played against a Hamden and Walton team at a game of Quoits in Hamden. It appears the Delhi and Bovina team prevailed. Here's the scoring from the Delaware Gazette:
(and here's the wikipedia entry about Quoits - it was a kind of ring toss game with many variations:

195 years ago today, on October 12, 1820, this bill was submitted for the surveying of the town of Bovina. The total was was $67, though it appears that there is a math error, since the total written looks like $77. The bill includes $2.25 for rum for the surveyors.

Fifty one years ago today, on October 13, 1964, as later reported in the Delaware Republican Express, "…Mrs. John Hilson was honored at a luncheon at the home of Mrs. William Storie by the King's Daughters' S.S. Class of the Bovina United Presbyterian Church. She has retired as a teacher after many years of faithful service…In the afternoon letters from absent friends were read, games were played and much time spent in reminiscing."

152 years ago today, the October 14, 1863 Delaware Gazette reported on the premiums won at the county fair and awarded by the Delaware County Agricultural Society. Miss Minnie Graham of Bovina won $1.00 for "1 crayon sketch, 1 water color sketch, 1 oil painting."

148 years ago today, on October 15, 1866, Jane Archibald Boggs, wife of Thomas R. Boggs, gave birth to a daughter, Margaret E. Boggs. Margaret would marry Thomas J. Ormiston  on Christmas Day, 1890 and would have seven children, including two sets of twins.  Her daughter Ruth Ormiston married Henry Monroe on her parents 30th wedding anniversary and daughter Lois would marry Fletcher Davidson. Margaret was widowed in 1919 and would die in 1966, less than three months shy of her 100th birthday. Her grandchildren include Frances Monroe Burns and Ed Davidson, who both are 91 and still going strong. Must be those Ormiston genes. Here’s a four generation photo showing Lois Ormiston Davidson, Margaret Boggs Ormiston, Jane Archibald Boggs and Lois’s infant daughter Jane.

165 years ago today, on October 16, 1850, Bovina farmer John Laughran was nominated for the State Assembly as a Democrat. As later reported in the Delaware Gazette, he "was nominated against his wishes, but has consented to accept the nomination…." The paper went on to report that "he is a farmer of Bovina, possessed of good talents and a business man of the right stamp; just such a man as we need in the Legislature - fearless, upright and high minded…" In another item in the same issue, a letter from a democrat in Roxbury noted that "The nomination of Mr. Laughran, for Assembly, meets the warm approval of almost every Anti-Renter…He will carry this town by a large vote." Laughran ultimately lost the election, though the November 13, 1850 Delaware Gazette noted that Laughran "made a gallant run and well nigh upset his competitor. He may well feel proud of his vote."

172 years ago today, on October 17, 1843, a meeting of the commissioners of excise was held in Bovina. At this meeting, two tavern licenses were issued, one to John Seacord and John Reid. Here's the resolution issuing the licenses: 1843-10-17 Commissioner of excise meeting

128 years ago today, on October 18, 1887, Michael Miller received this bill as Bovina highway commissioner from T.E. Hastings for 300 feet of planking. The same day he received another bill from D.L. Thomson for another 240 feet of planking.

111 years ago today, on October 19, 1904, as later reported in the Catskill Mountain News, "Miss May Belle Logan and David G. Currie were united in marriage at the bride's home in Bovina Center, Wednesday evening at 8 o'clock. They are very estimable young people." David and May Belle would be married until May Belle's death in 1953. David died in 1958. Both are buried in the Bovina cemetery. Mrs. Currie's wedding dress is at the Bovina Museum.

163 years ago today, the October 20, 1852 issue of the Delaware Gazette reported in its list of premiums awarded by the Delaware County Agricultural Society at its Annual Fair that "Miss M. Laidlaw, Bovina" won a $2.00 premium for "worsted bureau cover, crotchet mats, worsted footstool cover, etc."

196 years ago today, on October 21, 1819, Mary Jane Dean was born, the daughter of James Dean and Jane McFarland. She was 69 at her death in 1889. She is buried in Bovina.

170 years ago today, on October 22, 1840, the Democratic Whigs of the Town of Bovina met at the home of P.G. Vanderberg. "Hon. James Cowan being called upon to address the meeting. [H]e prefered reading to the meeting the speech of W.H. Harrison delivered at the great meeting of the Whig at Chilicotha, Ohio." A committee of five was "appointed to draft resolutions expressing the sense of this meeting." The committee comprised A. Cowan, John Erkson, Jr., James Rich, Jr, Walter Coulter and A. Storie. Harrison was elected President of the United States the following month, only to die one month into his administration.

110 years ago today, on the evening of October 23, 1905, the Montauk Ladies Quartette gave a concert at the Bovina Methodist Church. The concert was part of a concert/lecture series held by the church.
Image of the Montauk Ladies Quartette from University of Iowa. Libraries. Special Collections Dept., Redpath Chautauqua Collection.
127 years ago today, the October 24, 1888 issue of the Delaware Gazette reported the following sad story: "William A. Amos, of Bovina, and Mrs. Matilda Gibbs, of Harpersfield were married October 3. She was soon taken ill with typhoid fever and died Oct. 10, aged 24."

160 years ago today, on October 25, 1855, as later reported in the Delaware Gazette, "Thomas Secord, of Bovina, crossed the Ferry from New York to Jersey City, intending to take the cars on his way home…..and in stepping from the boat his foot slipped and was caught between the boat and dock, crushing the leg from the knee downwards, in a shocking manner. He was taken to the New York Hospital, where, we are informed, he is doing well, with a prospect that the limb may be saved." Unfortunately, Thomas died on October 31st from his injuries.

105 years ago today, the October 26, 1910 issue of the Delaware Gazette reported that "Wm. H. Maynard of Bovina has purchased a gasoline engine and a dynamo and will install electric lights in his residence and other buildings."

129 years ago today, the October 27, 1886 issue of the Delaware Gazette printed the following letter from Bovina Center dated October 23, 1886: "Editors Gazette: - Can you explain why D.L. Thomson, the great temperance Republican, when challenged for a joint debate by the Prohibition candidate, has not a word to say? Yours for the right, Anti-Saloonist."

117 years ago today, on October 28, 1898, Allison Crosier died at the age of 90. Not much is known about her. She was born in Scotland and lived with the Andrew Chisholm family for many years, listed on various census records as the housekeeper. Andrew had been married to Annie Crosier, who died in 1843, so it's likely that Allison was a relative of Andrew's wife. She appears to have lived with the family until her death.

Ninety five years ago, the October 29, 1920 Bovina column in the Andes Recorder reported that "Voters in Bovina next Tuesday will receive four ballots - presidential, the state ticket, amendments and a town proposition."

Eighty-eight years ago today, on October 30, 1927, Charles Loughran Dickson died in Binghamton. Born in Bovina in 1887, he was the son of Dr. Gilbert Dickson and Jane Loughran Dickson. He went to law school and became an attorney in Binghamton. Here is his obituary from the November 4, 1927 Catskill Mountain News:

119 years ago today, on October 31, 1896, James A. Gow tendered this resignation as Justice of the Peace for the Town of Bovina.