Monday, October 31, 2016

This Day in Bovina for October 2016

Here's the compilation of the daily entries I post on Facebook for October 2016:

Ninety five years ago today, on October 1, 1921, Jennet Isabella Doig died. She was born in 1867, the daughter of William S. Doig and Margaret Miller.

134 years ago today, on the evening of October 2, 1882, as later reported in the Stamford Mirror, "Ella June Meade gave entertainments in the U.P. Church, Brushland. Her range of voice is wonderful, and in personating characters she is perfect. Every one was pleased with her in the character of a young lady who recited at a Fourth of July celebration at Jonesville." She repeated the performance the next night. The people attending the performance that night were disturbed by a prank reported below.

134 years ago today, on the evening of October 3, 1882, as later reported in the Stamford Mirror's Bovina column, "Some of our young men amused themselves by running horses through Brushland…." The action was "severely condemned by people generally…," partly because it was done "while people were on their way to Miss Meade's entertainment…" There also was damage to Dr. Telford's fence and several people were injured. "It is to be hoped that such a thing may not occur again."

130 years ago today, on October 4, 1886, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Stamford Mirror, "Madison McFarland, James L. Ormiston and Miss Addie Scott started for Missouri…going via Arkville and New York. Mr. Ormiston will return in a few weeks." It appears that at some point Madison McFarland also returned home, dying in Margaretville in 1914. Addie Loughran Scott did stay, marrying James H. Morrison in 1890.

136 years ago today, the Bovina column of the October 5, 1880 Stamford Mirror reported that "Dr. Dickson purchased a building lot of Rev. J. Kennedy, adjoining A.F. McPherson. Which of the fair ones are interested in that transaction?" This lot is where within the next year the building that is now the Brushland Eating House was constructed.

195 years ago today, on October 6, 1821, Nancy Armstrong Miller was born, the daughter of John Armstrong and Isabella Coulter. She married John Thomas Miller in 1849. They would have six children, one of whom died in infancy. Nancy died in 1868, leaving five children, ranging from 14 to 2 years old. Her last surviving child was Elizabeth, known later in life as Lib Blair. Lib died in 1965 when she was just shy of 99 years old. And in the interest of full disclosure, Nancy Miller is my three greats grandmother. She also was the great grandmother of Agnes Burns.

118 years ago, the October 7, 1898 Andes Recorder Bovina column reported that "George Forman, who lives at Abram Brandow’s, while out hunting recently, found Alex. Hilson’s money drawer which was taken from his safe when his store was robbed." It was found in the area of East Bramley Mountain Road. The robbery had taken place over a year and a half earlier in March 1897.

Fifty-two years ago today, the Bovina column of the October 8, 1964 Delaware Republican-Express reported that "Mr. and Mrs. Russell Ryder of the Bronx spent the weekend at their summer home here." This is now the home of Dario and Briana Riera.

128 years ago today, the October 9, 1888 Stamford Mirror reported that "D.J. Miller, of Bovina, has filled a 70 ton silo, the first one in that town."

187 years ago today, on October 10, 1829, Andrew Archibald, the ancestor of the Archibalds in Bovina, died at the age of 83. He was born in Lanarkshire, Scotland in 1745. He married Grace Hart in Scotland in 1778 where their children were born. Andrew is buried in Bovina in the Associate Presbyterian Church cemetery at Reinertsen Hill Road.

111 years ago today, the Delaware Gazette for October 11, 1905, reported that "Dr. Young of New York has purchased the practice of Dr. Rabuck, Bovina Centre, and taken possession. He will occupy Dr. Rabuck's furnished apartments in J.W. Coulter's house for the present. Dr. Rabuck will not practice for a time on account of nervous trouble." For more information on Drs. Rabuck and Young, visit the Bovina History Blog at

Sixty-five years ago today, the Bovina column of the October 12, 1951 Catskill Mountain News reported that "Robert Reinertsen of Corinth spent the weekend at the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Reinertsen."

105 years ago today, the Bovina column of the October 13, 1911 Andes Recorder reported that "Thomas E. Hastings is having his wagon house and barn re-shingled." The same column also reported another home improvement: "Sloan Archibald has had a new tin roof put on his veranda this week."

153 years ago today, on October 14, 1863, Robert Dysart died on Folly Island, South Carolina of typhoid fever while serving in the 144th NY Infantry. William Richardson reported Robert's death in his diary. More information about Robert can be found at the Bovina NY History Blog at

142 years ago today, on October 15, 1874, as later reported in the Delaware Gazette, "Mr. Alexander Liddle, of Bovina, was using his new horse power thresher at the barn of Mr. John O. Liddle, of Andes, in feeding the machine his right hand came in contact with the knives of the revolving cylinder, and was instantly torn into shreds, as high as and above the wrist. Amputation of the arm was rendered necessary, and was performed the same evening by Drs. Wight and Crawford, while the patient was narcotized by ether. - Mr. Liddle was able to ride home the next day, and at last accounts was doing as well as could be expected." This Alexander Liddle likely was the son of John O. Liddle. Alexander was a Civil War veteran. He would survive this accident 44 years, dying in 1918.

134 years ago today, the Bovina column dated October 16, 1882 and later published in the Delaware Gazette reported that "Apples are plenty, but small." Later in the column, it was reported that "The farmers have gathered their apples earlier than usual, as they have not forgotten how many applies were 'cooked' by the frost last fall." In a final apple related item, "Cider is the order of the day. Johnston's mill is a very popular resort."

Seventy-six years ago today, on the Bovina column of the October 17, 1940 Delaware Republican reported that "John McCune has been ill the past week. David Roberts has been caring for the U.P. Church in his stead." John McCune died in 1942.

126 years ago today, the "Bovina Centre" column of the Delaware Republican for October 18, 1890 reported that "The band have postponed their concert till about Christmas. By the way, our neighboring towns are commencing to realize the fact that we have a band and you can spell it with a big B. every time."

The Catskill Mountain News reported the arrest of "'Billy' Reed of Bovina' 104 years ago on October 19, 1912. He was arrested "on the charge of public intoxication and sentenced … to 30 days in Delhi jail…" The paper went on to note that this "must seem like going home to 'Billy'" Reed in the 1910 census was listed as a servant in the home of Frank and Agnes Coulter.

104 years ago today, October 20, 1912, Harold Lounsbury was born. He married Mary Isabella Burns in 1938. They ran the Burn-Lou Century Farm for many years on Crescent Valley Road. Mary died in 1971. In 1973, Harold married Anna Boggs Hobbie. He died in June 1982.

Ninety-five years ago today, the Bovina column of the October 21, 1921 Andes Recorder reported that "Thos C. Strangeway has the frame up for his new residence in Bovina Center." This is now the house of Jim and Peg Hilson.

127 years ago today, the October 22, 1889 Stamford Mirror had the following item: "Alexander White, an extensive farmer at Belle Plaine, Iowa, has been visiting friends in Bovina, it being nineteen years since he was home last. He expects to bid his aged mother a last farewell. She is the oldest lady in Bovina, being upwards of ninety years of age. In return home, he expects to visit, in Chicago, his cousins, the Rev. John Graham's sons." Mrs. White, born Anna Graham in Scotland in 1799, survived her son's visit by almost 4 years, dying in 1893 when she was 94.

120 years ago today, the Bovina column of the October 23, 1896 Andes Recorder reported that "W.L. White has returned from the West where he has been with cows."

Eighty seven years ago today, on October 24, 1929, as later reported in the Bovina Center column of the Delaware Republican, "Adam Laidlaw and family, Mr. and Mrs. Humbert of New York were at Howe Caverns on Thursday."

107 years ago today, on October 25, 1909, as later reported in the Catskill Mountain News, "Mr and Mrs. E.G. Gladstone and Mr. and Mrs. William J. Doig of Bovina Centre were guests at the home of James Coulter on Wednesday [in Margaretville] while enroute to Colorado where they will reside hereafter."

Seventy-seven years ago today, the Bovina column in the October 26, 1939 Delaware Republican reported that "Mr. and Mrs. C.S. Gladstone and Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hall of Oneonta attended the World's Fair at New York City last week." The same column also reported that "Mr. and Mrs. Henry Monroe and family were at New York City attending the World's Fair."

105 years ago, the Bovina column of the Andes Recorder for October 27, 1911 reported that "Miss Jennie E. Hoy is visiting Andes relatives." She wasn't the only person reported as going to Andes. The same column noted that "J.T. Barnhart made a trip to Andes early in the week." Also reported in Andes during the past week were Mrs. Alex Crosier and daughter and Thomas C. Strangeway. The latter was there to purchase two cows.

Sixty-two years ago today, the October 28, 1954 Delaware Republican-Express reported that "Former Bovina Pastor Dies." Rev. W.L.C. Samson, who had been pastor of the Bovina UP Church from 1895 to 1906, died "in Pittsburg, Pa., where he had preached until he was past 90." After he left Bovina, he was in California until 1914 then moved on to Pittsburgh.

Eighty-seven years ago today, the Bovina column of the October 29, 1929 Delaware Republican reported that "Fred Thomson has his new building for the postoffice nearly completed." 

181 years ago today, a notice dated October 30, 1835 was posted in the Delaware Gazetter: "Application will be made to the next Legislature of the State of New York, by the Directors of the Bovina Subscription Library, for an act of incorporation." It was signed by Adam Scott, Samuel Gordon and Andrew McFarland.

184 years ago today, on October 31, 1832, as later reported in the Delaware Gazette, "the Rev. John Graham was ordained to the office of the holy ministry, and the pastoral inspection of the Association Presbyterian Congregation of Bovina." The paper reported that ministers from Johnstown, Florida (NY), and Albany conducted the services. The paper went on to note that "it being the only ordination which had ever taken place in Bovina, the anxiety to see and to hear brought numbers from different quarters at an early hour, so that the Meeting-house was crowded to excess the whole day…." Graham would stay until the 1850s. More about John Graham can be seen on the Bovina NY History blog at

Friday, October 21, 2016

The 1884 Diary of David Fletcher Hoy - September 1884 and conclusion

Here are the September and November entries in the 1884 diary of David Fletcher Hoy. Hoy stopped writing in the diary after September 18, with the exception of one entry for November 22. Hoy was living in Bovina in 1884. The diary was transcribed by his great grandson, John W. Hoy. Thank you to John and to his dad, David F. Hoy III for allowing me to share this diary.


MONDAY 1. 1884.
I went to Uncle John's and then went and helped Dave J. to bind oats.
Jim Laing Rob Thomson Miss Martha Armstrong and Mrs F. D. Armstrong was at J T Miller's at night

Father and I worked in the stone quarry to day
It is very warm

WEDNESDAY 3. 1884.
We worked in the stone quarry to day

Father is sick to day
I worked at the wagon house

FRIDAY 5. 1884.
I worked on the wagon house to day
D W Miller [David William, 1855-1892, son of J.T. Miller and Nancy Armstrong?] & I went over to the Lake at night

I worked at the wagon house to day

THURSDAY 11. 1884.
I am at home to day This is the last day of the fair
We saw the balloon go by Miss Thurston [? Thorston?]
I was down at D. J. Miller's [David James Miller, son of David Miller and Christiana Porteous Miller? b. 1858, m. 12/28/1883 to Elizabeth Campbell] at night

I went to Andes and got some tools to day

SATURDAY 13. 1884.
I helped Dave J [Miller?] to thrash and I helped Doug in the after noon

I did not go to church to day

MONDAY 15. 1884.
I helped Doug to thrash a little and then trimmed out some brush
I took a Siddle[? not "saddle"] horse piower ["plower"?] up town at night

Doug was up and we drawed some stone.
I helped Dave W. [Miller?] to draw in some oats.

WEDNESDAY 17. 1884.
We are working at C. T. [?] Smith

We finished at Smiths to day
I helped Scotts to thrash a little at night

[From this day onward, blank, no entries, until November.]

I stayed in the house all day to day
I was up to Uncle John's a little while at night

Saturday, October 15, 2016

October 1916 - 100 Years Ago in "That Thriving Town"

From the Andes Recorder
The Bovina Center Creamery saw a temporary uptick in milk delivered dued to a milk strike. Progress was being made on the new Hilson home and summer resident Peter Gerry was nominated for the U.S. Senate.

October 6, 1916
The hunting season opened Saturday.
William Storie is having a furnace installed in his farm residence.
Mr. Henry, who recently purchased the William S. Boggs, farm in upper Bovina, is having a milking machine installed.
Miss Angelica L. Gerry, who has been spending the summer at Lake Delaware, has gone to Newport, R.T., for a few weeks.
The Bovina Center Co-Operative Creamery received milk from 37 dairies Monday in addition to their regular patrons on account of the milk strike.  These dairies come from South Kortright, Bloomville, above Delhi, on the Little Delaware and Glenburnie, and will remain here until the question of milk prices is settled.

Runaway Accident in Bovina
William T. Ward, a well-known Bovina farmer, was quite severely injured in a runaway accident Monday shortly before dark.
Mr. Ward was coming down Pink street on his way to Bovina Center, after some feed, letting the team shack along and on the pitch at the Dickson place the horses jumped and just how it happened Mr. Ward does not know but after pulling up on them, the next he remembers he was lying in the ditch on the upper side of the road and the horses had disappeared.  The team ran to the village and went between the U.P. church and the Miller house and then swung back thru the orchard and below Doig’s store and were caught at Hastings feed store by W.C. Burns.  A party then started to find the driver and found him where he had been thrown a short distanced from where the team started.
Mr. Ward was taken to Dr. Whitcomb’s office where an examination showed that the left collar bone and one rib was broken and there were also minor bruises.  His injuries were dressed and he was taken home and is as comfortable as possible under the circumstances.
The team was not injured but parts of the wagon was strewed all along the road.

October 13, 1916
William C. Oliver has purchased a Ford car.
The V.I.S. [Village Improvement Society] will conduct a lecture course this winter.
Douglas Davidson will have a furnace installed in his residence.
John McCune is doing the grading about John Hilson’s new house.
J.A. Crandell, of Brookfield, has installed an acetylene gas machine at Thos C. Strangeway’s for lighting his house and barn.
William F. Boggs, who recently sold his farm in upper Bovina, has rented Mrs. W.T. Forrest’s house, recently vacated by Chas Mulleniex, who moved to Ilion.
Peter Goelet Gerry, who has a summer home at Lake Delaware, has been nominated for United States Senator by Rhode Island Democrats.  He is a representative in the present Congress.
A specialist from Albany has been here to see the eight-month-old child of Rev. and Mrs. J.A. Mahaffey who is a great sufferer from eczema.  He gave little encouragement but thought it might heal when the child was about a year old.

October 20, 1916
The number of voters registered on Saturday was 264.
The autos for W.A. Hoy and W.D. Oliver were delivered Monday.
The Bovina Co-Operative Creamery company is building a new ice house.
The Dubbins plumbers are installing a heating plant in A.T. Doig’s house.
The outside milk that has been coming to the creamery during the milk strike has all stopped.
A Mr. Benjamin, from Shandaken, has opened a barber shop in the house with Dennis Hughes.
The carpenter has finished the addition to Dr. Scott’s house.  The steps and walk cannot be completed until next spring.

October 27, 1916
Dr. Whitcomb went to New York on Saturday with J.T. Barnhart who is in the hospital for treatment. [Jeremy Barnhart had cancer and would pass away in November.]
Mr. and Mrs. Sloan Archibald spent Friday at Andes. Mr. Archibald will discontinue peddling milk November 1.
A stone crusher has been set up a[t] Lake Delaware to crush stone for the resurfacing of the Andes-Delhi state road.
Ward Baker, the violinist, who last spring sold his house here and moved to Margaretville, will probably spend the winter in the south.

Bovina’s oldest resident dead
Miss Lydia Thompson Passed Away October 25th

Miss Lydia Thompson died at her home at the “stone house” in upper Bovina, Wednesday morning, Oct. 25 at the ripe old age of 91 years, 9 months and one day.  She was born and had [line missing] died and was the last of her generation.  She had been remarkably active for one of her years, although a broken hip a few years ago curtailed her activities somewhat.  She had been in failing health during the past summer but had not been confined to her bed.  Her funeral will be held Friday with burial in the Bovina Center cemetery.

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Second Raising of Hilson's Store

On August 15, 1867, Andrew T. Strangeway recorded in his diary "Very rainy today. It faired up about noon an[d] went up to the Lake. Worked at the Lake 7 hours. It came on rain and we went to Brushland to the Raisin of John Hilsons Store. Worked at Lake 7 hours, 20."

Here's the entry:

The Lake he refers to is Lake Delaware, where he worked. But the part of most interest is the second part of the entry and the reference to Hilson's Store. Amazingly, because of this entry, we can pinpoint to the day the start of construction of Hilson's Store. 

Over the 149 years of its existence, several additions have been made to the store, including additions to the building's left and at the back. The store stayed in the Hilson family until recently, when it was purchased by John Finn with plans to turn it into a restaurant and inn. The building currently is undergoing a major renovation, part of which involved literally raising the store to construct a full cellar underneath. Here's what it looks like as of September 23.

If you are on Facebook, the Dry Town Tavern, the name of the inn, has a page, where you can see the progress being made. Here's a time lapse video made by Jessica Vecchione of the raising: This will take you to the Facebook page and suggest you join, but you can play the video without joining Facebook.