Wednesday, November 30, 2016

This Day in Bovina For November

Here are the November daily Facebook entries for the Town of Bovina Historian page:

Eighty-seven years ago today, the Catskill Mountain News on the front page of its November 1, 1929 issue printed an article that originally appeared in the Delaware Republican with the headline "CITY ENGINNERS PLAN DAM ON THE LITTLE DELAWARE." The paper noted that if the plans reached fruition, "properties at the 'Hook' including the beautiful St. James' chapel and community house erected by Miss Angelica Gerry…" would be flooded. The article went on to note that "nothing may come of all this…." but noted that "there may be 'more truth than fiction' in the rumors of the Little Delaware dam project; the fact may be nearer than we think."

117 years ago today, on November 2, 1899, Margaret McCune Bramley died. Her death was reported in the Andes Recorder: "The widow of the late John W. Bramley was found dead in bed Thursday morning. She had not been feeling well for a few days and had complained of her stomach. The doctor was there Wednesday but it was thought she would be better in a few days. Thursday morning her son Fred, went to her room about 4 o’clock and spoke to her and receiving no answer, thought she was asleep. About an hour later he went back and found her dead. She was cold and must have been dead when he was in the first time. She was 72 years old.  Her husband died just two weeks ago."

192 years ago today, on November 3, 1824, this "true canvass and estimate of the votes taken at an election held in the town of Bovina" on November 1, 1824 was issued. The votes were for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, senator and member of congress and two members for assembly. Note that Erastus Root, who it is claimed named Bovina, received only 45 votes as Lieutenant Governor as opposed to 93 votes cast for his opponent. Root was the running mate of Samuel Young. Young and Root lost statewide to Dewitt Clinton and James Tallmage. 

136 years ago today, the Bovina column for the Stamford Mirror, dated November 4, 1880, reported that "Election day passed off quite lively with us. A great deal of excitement prevailed all day."

153 years ago today, on November 5, 1863, this receipt for a bounty payment made to Charles Wycoff was audited. Wycoff received $140 in bounty payment for volunteering during the Civil War. Wycoff had enlisted in the 72nd NY Excelsior Regiment in December 1861 but was discharged within three months for disability. One source states he later re-enlisted in the NY 144th but no further information about him can be located.

Eighty-seven years ago today, the November 6, 1929 Delaware Republican in its Bovina Center column reported that "Delbert Dickson had his car badly damaged driving into a hole on the Liberty road which is under construction."

137 years ago today, on November 7, 1879, Andrew Boyd died. Andrew was married to Ellen McBurney. They had eleven children, most of whom survived their father. His widow died in 1893.

134 years ago today, on November 8, 1882, as later reported in the Stamford Mirror Bovina column, "A night-cap party was held in Hasting's Hall, on Wednesday evening for the purpose of raising money to lay sidewalks through Brushland. The result was about $11 in cash and a splendid assortment of night-caps."

Seventy-seven years ago today, the November 9, 1939 Delaware Republican, in its Bovina column, reported that "Mrs. Clinton Marks a former resident of this town is visiting Mrs. Fred Thomson." The same column also reported that "Mr. and Mrs. Claude Erkson have moved into Miss Calla Bogg's house at the turn onto the Bramley Mountain Road." This like is the residence of the late Hugh and Pat Lee.

118 years ago today, on November 10, 1898, Alex Hilson presented this bill to the Town of Bovina for his services as Bovina Town Clerk, using his store's bill head.

204 years ago today, on November 11, 1812, Deborah Maynard died. She was the daughter of one of Bovina's first settlers, Elisha B. Maynard. She is buried in the Brush Cemetery.

109 years ago today, November 12, 1907, "The second number of the Bovina Entertainment Course" was Judge Alden.  When advertised, the judge was promoted as "an interesting speaker."

Sixty-four years ago today, the Bovina column of the November 13, 1951 Delaware Republican-Express reported that "Mrs. Agnes Draffin, who has been assisting her brother, John Burns, since early summer, has returned to her home in town for the winter." Her home is now the residence of the Pelletier family.

134 years ago today, the Bovina column in the November 14, 1882 Stamford Mirror reported that "Mrs. Boylan, of Traer, Tama Co., Iowa, has arrived in town to visit her sisters (Mrs. J.G. Ormiston and Miss Sallie McFarland) and other friends in this vicinity."

Seventy-six years ago today, the following ad appeared in the November 15, 1940 Catskill Mountain News: "STRAYED-From Mary Weber pasture, Bovina, 8 heifers. Liberal reward for information. E.L. Foote & Son, Inc., Hobart, N.Y."

128 years ago today, on November 16, 1888, as later reported in the Stamford Mirror's Bovina column, "A small company of young people assembled at the Hall….and had a good time, all on account of Harrison's election, with 'Tommy' as 'chief mourner,' instead of 'actor,' as before election." The same article in the Mirror went on to report "We have heard, through our village gossips, that one of our young men has won the hand of a fair damsel by the result of election. 'Rats,' who is the lucky gent?"

Seventy-six years ago today, on November 17, 1939, Mr. and Mrs. Alex Myers celebrated their sixtieth wedding anniversary in the Bovina U.P. Church parlor. As later reported in the Delaware Republican, "those from out of town were their son and daughter-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. John Myers and their daughter, Mrs. Anna Thomson and Mrs. Myers' brother, John Laing all from Binghamton. Mr. and Mrs. James Laing of Hotaling Hollow also Lynn Dickson, Misses Kate and Freda Muller of Andes and Miss Mary Ormiston of Oneonta."

Sixty-four years ago today, in an article dates November 18, 1952, the Catskill Mountain News reported that "Bovina Center Hunters Shoot Several Deer." The report went on to note that lucky deer hunters in the Bovina area were Vincent Thimbell (sic), Jr., Herby Parsons, Ronnie Oelsner, Roy VanBuren's hired man, Charles Robinson, and a city visitor at the VanBuren home. Several deer were taken from this area by out-of-town hunters."

Sixty-three years ago today, the November 19, 1953 edition of the New York Times published the obituary for Sylvanus W. Bramley, who had died in White Plains hospital the previous day. He was the founder in 1926 of Bramley & Co, Inc, a White Plains jewelry firm. Sylvanus was born in Bovina in 1865, the son of Stephen G. Bramley and Mary S. Lull.

133 years ago, the November 20, 1883 Stamford Mirror reported that "Brushland expects to have street lamps and a town hall."

Seventy years ago today, the Bovina column in the November 21, 1946 Delaware Republican-Express reported that "Roy Worden had the misfortune last week to injure a leg so he is in bed at present. Will Forrest is doing his farm work for him."

135 years ago today, the Bovina column in the November 22, 1881 Stamford Mirror reported that "Thomas Gordon is teaching the school near the Bovina P.O.; Easton Phyfe in the Brushland district; James King the Coulter Brook school and George Gemmel at the 'Hook.'"

233 years ago today, on November 23, 1783,Jennett Graham was born in the Scottish Borders, the daughter of John Graham and Jane Grey. She married William Ormiston in Scotland in 1801. Shortly after the marriage, William and Jenett emigrated to America and settled in Bovina. They had eight children. Jennett died in Bovina in 1856 and is buried in the old Associate Presbyterian Church cemetery on Reinertsen Hill Road.

Sixty-nine years ago today, the November 24, 1947, Catskill Mountain News reported that: "Several attended the funeral of William Coons held at Halls funeral parlors at Delhi Monday conducted by Rev. W. Wade Miller. Mr. Coons lived in Bovina several years. He was a sawyer. About two years ago they moved their mill to Bloomville where he was employed at the time of his death."

131 years ago today, the November 25, 1885 Delaware Gazette reported that "Circulars from N.Y. city state that the butter from the towns of Roxbury and Bovina this year is inferior in quality to that from the same towns in former years."

138 years ago today, the November 26, 1878 Stamford Mirror reported in its Bovina column that "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."

133 years ago today, the Bovina column in the November 27, 1883 Stamford Mirror reported that "D.L. Thomson has finished his job of tinning the roof of the R.P. Church." This is the church that stood about where the playground and fire house now stand.

176 years ago today, on November 28, 1840, Alexander Storie was deemed to be "well qualified in respect to moral character learning and ability to teach a common school in this town…." (document courtesy of the Delaware County Historical Association).

139 years ago today, the November 29, 1877 issue of the Andes Recorder in its Bovina column reported that "A literary society has been organized here.  President, Russell Stevens; Secretary, Thomas Gordon.  It numbers eighty five members and supports two papers, “The Star,” and “The Meteor” edited by gentlemen and ladies respectively. Orations, debates, select readings, etc. are also given.”

104 years ago today, on November 30, 1912, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "DeWitt C. Sharpe, Jr. living on the Elisha B. Maynard farm in upper Bovina, filed a petition bankruptcy Saturday with no assets except those claimed to be exempt and liabilities of $2,438. Johnson Bros will be the heaviest loses, their claim being $1,100. There are two or more other creditors."

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

“Found Dead in His Study With Heart Riddled With Shot” – The Death of Rev. Milligan

On August 28, 1908, Rev. O. Brown Milligan “was found dead in his study…with his heart riddled with bullets from a shotgun.” Rev. Milligan has a Bovina connection, though a relatively brief one. In June 1887, he was hired as the pastor of the Bovina Reformed Presbyterian Church, where he served barely a year before leaving in September 1888 for Pittsburgh.

He made news a couple of years later in 1890 when, with four other clergymen, he was suspended by the Pittsburgh Reformed Presbytery. The Delaware Gazette for December 17, 1890, reported on the case: "Five young clergymen, of whom the Rev. O.B. Milligan, recently of Bovina, seems to be a leader, were suspended by the Pittsburg[h] Reformed Presbytery last Friday. Their offense is in the setting forth their belief that the exercise of the right of suffrage is not sinful, and that they will not forbid members to vote. They made a powerful defense and will appeal to the synod. They claim that they will be supported there by about one third of the clergy. If they fall they will join the U.P. church, and claim they can take their congregations."

The Reformed Presbyterians believed that because the U.S. Constitution had no mention of God that members should not participate in any government activity, including voting. Milligan and his clergy colleagues continued their fight to allow members of the denomination to vote. In January 1891, members of his former congregation in Bovina presented him with $500 in gold to help him in his appeal of the suspension. He ultimately was not successful and after his appeals and two tribunals, he was expelled from the church in June 1891. Milligan carried out his threat and became a minster in the United Presbyterian church. At his death was pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Canton, Ohio. The local paper noted he was “an intimate friend of the late President McKinley.”

The Ohio Courier Crescent for September 1 reported his death. When Milligan was found, “he was seated in an easy chair with his feet resting on a child’s wicker chair. The butt end of the gun was braced against the back of the child’s chair, and the muzzle of the weapon pointed toward the dead man’s heart.” The circumstances were investigated to determine whether or not this was suicide, murder or an accident. “Just before noon Mr. Milligan told the maid to take care of the children in the afternoon, as he intended going to the Country club. Ten minutes later he lay dead in his study….” The maid noted that Dr. Milligan “had spent most of the morning cleaning his shotgun and that she supposed the shooting was accidental. Coroner March inclines to the same opinion.”

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

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

From the Andes Recorder

Three Bovina residents died in early November, two in Bovina and one in New York City. The gentleman who died in New York City, where he had gone for cancer treatment, was my great grandfather Jeremy Barnhart.

November 3, 1916
J.T. Barnhart underwent an operation for a cancerous growth at a New York hospital last week.
William Oliver and family and G.D. Miller and wife motored to Oneonta on Thursday in the former’s car.
Mrs. Clark Hogaboom has sold her house at Lake Delaware to Charles A. Lee and will go to live with her sister in Greene County.

November 10, 1916
William H. Maynard has leased his farm in upper Bovina to Chas Mauer, of Kortright.
Miss Bessie Kinch, dauter of F.J. Kinch, on the Soper farm, was operated upon at 2 o’clock Thursday morning for appendicitis.  She had been complaining for some time and when Dr. Whitcomb was called Wednesday he hurried her to the Neal hospital at Delhi.
William R. Miller died at his home in Bovina Center, Thursday morning, November 9th, aged 62 years.  He was born and had always resided in the town and had been in failing health for some time. He leaves a wife, a son, Frank T. Miller and a daughter, Mrs. Charles McPherson, both by a former marriage. Funeral will be held Saturday at one o’clock.
Mrs. George Gladstone died early Monday morning, November 6, at the home of her son, C.S. Gladstone, on the homestead farm. She had been in failing health for two or three years.  She was a daughter of the late Christopher Strangeway and was born in Bovina 74years ago.  She leaves her husband and three sons.  The youngest son died several years ago. The funeral was held Wednesday with the interment in the Center cemetery.
Jeremy T. Barnhart died at the Post Graduate hospital in New York City on Monday, November 6, at the age of 49 years. He underwent an operation for cancer about two weeks previous to his death.  He is survived by his wife who was Kate Miller, daughter of the late Michael Miller, and two sons and two daughters.  The funeral was held Thursday afternoon from the United Presbyterian church with interment in the Center cemetery.

November 17, 1916
The Bovina Center Co-Operative Creamery is now receiving milk four days a week.

November 24, 1916
Thomas C. Strangeway has a new Dodge automobile.
Oscar Felton is putting up a garage in which to house a new auto.
Miss Shirley Miller has returned from visiting her brother at St. Paul, Minnesota.
During the past year it cost Bovina $154.66 for support of its poor at the County Farm.
Erastus Bramley has completed his work for Alex Hilson and is now employed at Ted Fuller’s.
The first number of the entertainment course, a male quartet, was given last Thursday evening.
Mrs. Robert A. Thomson, accompanied by Miss Calla Boggs, has spent the past week with her daughter, Mrs. Earl Shaw, in Albany.
Arthur Neish has resigned as herdsman on the Gerry estate and accepted a similar position on the Gayhead Gurensey Farms at Freehold, Greene county.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Stories from Bovina Cemeteries - "Who Died on His Passage to California"

For my October 22 cemetery tour, I told the story Walter Rutherford at the Reformed Presbyterian Church Cemetery. The stone itself tells us a fair amount, stating "In memory of Walter Rutherford, who died in his passage to California Mar. 11, 1852." It further notes that he was about 40 years old. The stone also memorializes two of his sons, Peter and Walter, who both died within days of their births in 1849 and 1851 respectively. 

Photo by Richard Davidson
Walter was born about 1812, the son of James Rutherford and Janet T. Thomson, who both survived him. He married Sarah Delamater in 1831. He departed Bovina probably in late 1851/early 1852, leaving his wife and one daughter, Sarah Jennett, aged about 6 years old, behind. Walter appears to have headed to Central America, likely via ship. At the end of February 1852, he departed from Nicaragua  on the “Isabella”. The vessel traveled via the Sandwich Islands (now Hawaii), arriving in San Francisco on May 28, 1852. Walter did not survive the voyage. He was the first of six people to die during the voyage, dying on March 11. He was buried in the Pacific Ocean. 

It was over a year later that his wife petitioned the Delaware County Surrogate Court for the granting of "special letters of collection on the estate of Walter Rutherford late of Bovina..." It appears that Walter made out a will, possibly while on his way to California. His wife noted that all the witnesses to his will are in California and that they likely would not return east any time soon to help in proving the will and making the final probate of the estate. Sarah sought these special letters so she could have access to her husband's estate, noting that she and her minor daughter are the sole heirs. She also applied to be made guardian of her daughter, which was granted. There are no other papers in Walter Rutherford's probate file, but it seems likely that Sarah got access to her husband's estate. 

Sarah never remarried, but did relocate to Margaretville not long after her husband's death, living with her daughter, who became known as Nettie. When Sarah died I have yet to determine, but it appears it was between 1880 and 1892. Her daughter stayed in Margaretville, working as a dressmaker, until her marriage to a widower, George Forsythe, in 1898. They settled in Franklin, NY, where Nettie died sometime after 1920.