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.