Monday, December 31, 2018

This Day in Bovina for December

Here is the monthly compilation of entries on the Town of Bovina Historian Facebook page for December:

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

John William Storie, son of Alexander Storie and Esther Cowan was born 158 years ago today, December 2, 1863.  He was the last child of Alexander and Esther Storie.  Alex and Esther had five children in total, but the two eldest died within a few days of each other in October 1862.  John would marry Jennie Laidlaw in 1890 and have two sons, William and George.  He died in 1944 when he was 80.

106 years ago today, on December 3, 1912, John Raitt was born in Southern Bovina, the son of Thomas Raitt and Mary Ann King. He was married to Helen Winter in 1941. John worked for the US Post Office and served in military postal services in the European theatre during the Second World War. John retired from the post office in 1972. John was the Delaware County Historian from 1981 to 1995. His wife Helen died in 1997. John died in 2004 and is buried in Bovina.

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

182 years ago today, December 5, 1836, John Reed, Tailor, submitted this advertisement to the Delaware Gazette: "RESPECTFULLY returns thanks to the inhabitants of Bovina and its vicinity, for the liberal support tendered him since he commenced business and begs leave to inform them that he has opened a Shop on his new premises with a complete assortment of Trimmings, adopted to the texture and form of the garments of his customers. He has brought up from New York, Draughts, Plates and Reports of Fashions for the season and no expense will be spared to render his establishment commensurate with the growing taste and respectability of the community."

James A. Hoy was born in Bovina on July 22, 1909, the son of William A. and Robena (Gow) Hoy. He suffered a back injury as a child which affected him the rest of his life. In 1935, he married Margaret Laidlaw. They were the parents of three children. Jim died in August 1956. This chauffeur license photo was taken by Bob Wyer in May 1949. Courtesy of the Delaware County Historical Association. 

On December 7, 1914, 104 years ago today, there was a fire at the Howard McPherson residence. Here's how the Andes Recorder reported it: "A small fire about midnight Monday night did about $15 damage in the residence of Howard McPherson, adjoining Elliott Thomson's blacksmith shop. During the evening the chimney had burned out but at 11:30 everything was apparently all right. Half an hour later Mrs. McPherson heard something fall and ongoing upstairs found the rooms filled with smoke. Mr. McPherson was not at home and she aroused the neighbors. The fire was in the partition and was put out by the use of several pails of water." This is now the Kim and Marcelo Riera residence.

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

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

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

Sylvan LaFever (my great uncle) was born in 1912, the son of Sylvan A. LaFever and his second wife, Alice Smith. He spent some of his life in Bovina in the 1940s, working on the Gerry estate. He was a veteran of World War II and spent some time on occupation duty in Germany. He married a native of Germany in 1946. Sylvan died in Maryland in 2004 at the age of 91. This Bob Wyer chauffeur license picture was taken in April 1942. Image courtesy of the Delaware County Historical Association.

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

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

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

107 years ago this morning, December 15, 1914, thermometers registered 2 above zero.  The following morning, the temperature was zero.

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

Ninety-eight years ago today, the illness of a child put off a golden wedding anniversary celebration.  The Andes Recorder reported that "Ralph, the 10-year-old son of James Mabon was operated upon Friday, December 17, 1920, at Delhi for appendicitis.  Because of his illness, the celebration of his grandparents 50th anniversary (James and Ellen Mabon), scheduled for December 21, was postponed."

120 years ago this afternoon, December 18, 1898, Mrs. Charles F. Smith died at the age of 90.  The Andes Recorder, when reporting her death, noted that "Her maiden name was Christina Lamont and she came to this town [Bovina] over 40 years ago.  She was an excellent woman, a good neighbor; always cheerful and she will be missed in this community as well as in her home.  On Tuesday the funeral was held, the sermon being preached by Rev. Samson, and the interment was in the Bovina cemetery."

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

John Walter Blair was born 152 years ago today on December 20, 1866, the son of James and Hannah Blair. He married Lib Miller in 1889. They farmed in Bovina for many years. John was killed in August 1945 when his team of horses ran away with him. He was dragged by the horses and fatally injured when his head struck a rock. He is buried in Bovina.

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

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

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

This Bob Wyer picture of Marjorie Russell in the basement of the United Presbyterian Church was taken in March 1956 at the wedding of Norma Burns and Fred Phillips. Image courtesy of the Delaware County Historical Association. 

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

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

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

132 years ago today, the Bovina column of the December 28, 1886 Stamford Mirror reported that "D.L. Thomson, Member of Assembly, has been at Albany this week looking the ground over preparatory to the commencement of his official duties." David Low Thompson was born in Bovina in 1831. David's career in the Assembly would be fairly brief. More about David’s political career will show up in the Bovina NY History Blog in March 2019.

Walter A. Doig died 116 years ago today, on December 29, 1902. Born in Bovina in 1827, he was the son of Andrew and Margaret (Sanderson) Doig. He married Margaret Armstrong in 1851. They had 10 children. This photo of Walter came from the collection of Celia Coulter. 

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

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

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Grandma's First Husband - Life After James

In November 1918, after only 11 months of marriage, my grandmother, Anna Bell Barnhart Calhoun found herself a widow. She struggled to cope with the news. In a December 12, 1918 letter to her sister-in-law Anna Mabon, she said "I cannot get over James death. I feel at times that we may hear good news yet, and again at times it is almost unbearable. It does seem strange that James should be the one who had to be taken."

For a few months, James' widow wrote to a number of people trying to get confirmation about what happened to James. She received what had to be perplexing stories that a local person from Andes was with James when he was killed. In a letter to her sister-in-law, Mrs. Archibald Calhoun, written in January, she said "someone told Wilford that one of your brothers saw James when he was killed...."

On February 3, 1919, Anna wrote to her mother-in-law, reporting that she had heard from someone in France who knew James. He reported that James was killed while he and a lieutenant were sleeping in a fox hole. They were hit by a shell, killing both James and the lieutenant. The correspondent said "he had already recommended James to attend the officers school and was sure he would have succeeded..." She went on to write "What a shame that James couldn't have been spared a little longer then he would have been safe."

Anna continued to live on the family farm with her mother and brothers. Her sister Edith was married in 1919. Both of her brothers were married in 1921. Wilford took over the family farm, hiring two brothers to work on the farm, Benson and Clarence LaFever. This likely is how my grandmother met her second husband. Benson and Clarence are mentioned with some frequency in her 1921 diary. Also mentioned in 1921 was the return of James' body to the United States. 

She received a telegram on August 28 saying "James' body at Hoboken." In the same entry she mentioned going to church with Ben. On September 10, she got another telegram that his body was on its way to Delhi. On September 14, James was buried in Bovina with full military honors. My grandfather late in life told me that he was at that service.
Ben and Anna Bell LaFever shortly after their marriage in May 1923

By the end of 1921, Anna Bell had bought a house just outside the Bovina Center hamlet and moved into it with her mother. On May 31, 1923, Anna Bell was married in her home to Benson LaFever. My grandparents lived in her house until 1928, when the moved about a mile up the road. They had four sons, Howard (ironically born on what would have been grandma's seventh wedding anniversary to her first husband), David (who died in 1930), Charles (my dad) and George, born on his mother's 42nd birthday. 

One of the few pictures I have found of my grandparents with their three surviving sons - Howard, Charles, Benson, George, Anna Bell.

Ben and Anna Bell with their three sons on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary in May 1973.
Grandma's life continued to have its challenges. In late 1929 and early 1930, she lost her niece, her mother, her sister and her son. She and my grandfather saw major challenges in their marriage in the 1950s, but they reconciled and settled in Northern New York, where they were very successful strawberry farmers. Through the 50s until her death in 1980, grandma suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, ending up having to use a wheel chair much of the time. But she continued to keep house, bake, knit, and help manage their farm. I even saw her turn a mattress once. My grandmother was sweet but didn't put up with misbehavior from her grandchildren. Just because she was in a wheelchair didn't mean she couldn't give us a swat if we acted up!
This is the only picture of just me with my grandparents, taken in November 1974 by my sister Diane.
Grandma died in March 1980 at the age of 87. She was buried next to James in the Bovina Cemetery. When my grandfather died two years later, he was buried next to his wife Anna Bell.

Monday, December 10, 2018

December 2018 - 100 Years Ago "in That Thriving Town"

The first full month of peace in Bovina saw the continuing routine of life. People changed houses, had surgery and cases of influenza continued.

December 6, 1918
·   A concrete floor has been laid in the sugar plant.
·   George Barnes has moved into the house with his brother-in-law, Henry Haynes, on the Thos Hoy farm.
·   John Elliott moved last Friday to the Thomas Miller house.  Mrs. John Irvine moved Monday to the Elliott house, which she recently purchased.
·   Mr. and Mrs. H.A. Ayres, accompanied by Cora Hennings as nurse, went to Ithaca on Tuesday, where Mrs. Ayres will undergo an operation.  Mr. Ayres has given up his position with the government.

Supporting the Right - Bovina Boys Who Are In France and In Camp

Killed in action.

Miller, Clark G., Bovina Center. 

Men Overseas.

Ayers, Webb W., Bovina Center.
Blair, Millard, Bovina Center.
Burgin, Homer C., Bovina Center.
Davidson, Fletcher, Bovina Center.
Gow, Millard, Bovina.
Irvine, Clifton, Bovina Center.
Lee, Donald H., Lake Delaware.
Lee, Clarence, Lake Delaware.
Miller, John C., Bovina.
Myers, John L., naval aviation.
Schabloski, Frank A., Bovina.
Starley, Ernest C., Bovina.
Thomson, Howard, Bovina.
Van Duesen, Leon, Bovina Center.

Army in U.S. and Navy

Aitkens, Wm., navy
Archibald, Lieut. Laughran, army.
Archibald, Wilbur T., army.
Gow, Willard A, Bovina.
Hyatt, Wallace H., navy.
Munroe, James H., navy.
Rogers, Scott, army.
Rockefeller, Henry, merchang marine
Russell, Alfred, merchant marine.
Russell, Everett, army.
Russell, Robert, army.
Schabloski, Frank A., army
Robinson, Harold, army.
Rockefeller, Silas, army.

Total, 28.  Killed in action, 1. Men overseas, 14.

[James Calhoun was on the Andes list]

December 13, 1918
·   Mrs. Alex Crosier has gone to Stamford to spend the winter.
·   A party was held at A.P. Lee’s last Friday evening.  Dancing was indulged in.
·   Mrs. Marshall Thomson and her mother, Mrs. John Blair are both quite ill.
·   The primary department of the village school is closed on account of the illness of the teacher, Miss Ruth Ormiston.
·   Word has been received from Mrs. H.A. Ayers that she was operated on last Thursday at Ithaca.  The operation was successful and she is doing nicely.
·   On account of the great amount of sickness prevailing here, there no services at the United Presbyterian church Sabbath evening.  The attendance at the mid-day service was very light.

Where Drifts Lie Deep

Ralph Barnhart and sister, Mrs. Anna B. Calhoun, and G.D. Miller and wife, of Bovina Center, were in Oneonta on Thursday.  The ride to this city in the early morning was not devoid of incidents, one of them being that their vehicle passed through snow drifts four feet deep on the Swart Hollow road between this city and the Ouleout valley. – Oneonta Star

December 20, 1918
·   The latest word from Mrs. Ayers states that she continues to improve.
·   Fred Whitehead is on the sick list with influenza.  The others who have had it are all on the gain.
·   Miss Jane Hilson is home from Long Island, her school being closed for four weeks on account of influenza.
·   The final settlement of the estate of J.W. Coulter at Delhi on Monday was attended by several of the legatees from Bovina and Andes.
·   George H. Russell, who for several years has been employed by Mrs. Ada Russell on her farm on Russell Hill, will move to Bovina Center and occupy part of Harvey Burgin’s house.

December 27, 1918
·   Mrs. Mary C. Forrest was the first to pay her taxes this year in Bovina.
·   Elliott Thomson has been having a new shingle roof put on his residence.
·   Hugh Gillispie, who has spent three months at Lake Delaware for his health, returned to his home in New York city this week.

Will Erect Church at Lake Delaware

Miss Angelica L. Gerry will erect an Episcopal church at Lake Delaware on the plot of ground lying between the state road and the road leading to the Lake.  The edifice will be built of imported stone.  A house will also be erected for the use of the rector.

Friday, November 30, 2018

This Day in Bovina for November 2018

Four years ago today, on November 1, 2014, these five Bovinians were part of a group visiting Scotland. Here are Pat Miele, Peg Hilson, Jim Hilson, Jean Parsons Merenberg and Ray LaFever at the Scottish Borders Archives in Hawick. A number of early Bovina settlers came from the Scottish Borders, including Francis Coulter and John "Old Jock" Hilson. 

Evan Russell was photographed by Bob Wyer in October 1950. Evan was born in Bovina in 1923, the son of Alfred and Katherine (Oliver) Russell. He grew up in Bovina and in 1944 enlisted in the Marine Corps, serving in the Pacific theatre in World War II. He married in Ella Shaver and was living in Kirkwood in Broome County at the time of his death in 1981. Photo courtesy of the Delaware County Historical Association. 

115 years ago today, on November 3, 1903, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, a "meeting against secret societies" took place in the Covenanter church in Bovina (the church was located where the fire hall now sits). One of the speakers spoke against the Grand Army of the Republic (the GAR), the Civil War veterans group. The speaker, who claimed to be a Civil War veteran, said "he would not belong to such an order." The Recorder went on to say "we don't want such a man in our order, so he need not bother himself about it. The order is better without such as he."

120 years ago today, the November 4, 1898 Bovina column of the Andes Recorder noted that "out of seventeen cows which John M. Miller has had come in this fall, eight have had milk fever, and four have died." Miller's farm was on Pink Street, the farm later known as Suits Us Farm.

116 years ago today, on November 5, 1902, the family of E.T. Gerry, after spending several weeks at their summer home at Lake Delaware, returned to their home in New York City.

119 years ago today, on November 6, 1899, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Andes Recorder, "Merritt Reynolds was in town….selling patent neck yokes."

168 years ago today, on November 7, 1850, William D. Thompson, son of David Thompson and Jennette Hume, married Agnes Murray, the daughter of John Murray and Jennet Scott. They would have 4 children, but only one would survive to adulthood, William Henry Thompson. William and Agnes would be married over 51 years. William died in 1902, Agnes three years later.

123 years ago today, the Andes Recorder in its November 8, 1895 edition reported that "There is every prospect of a telephone to the upper part of the town, with an instrument at J.E. Hastings, Johnson Brothers, Post office, Mrs. Hewitt's, McFarland Brothers, A.F. Maynard's and at W.B. Thomson's."

128 years ago today, the November 9, 1894 Bovina column of the Andes Recorder reported that "Gossips say there is to be a case of matrimony on Pink street soon." No further information appears in subsequent papers to identify this couple. There were two couples married in Bovina not long after this notice. Hope Chamberlain married Jennie Mabon on November 28, 1894, but the Mabons lived in Lake Delaware (and I'm not sure from where Chamberlain came). On December 5, 1894, Andrew C. Seacord married Elizabeth Loughran. This may be the couple mentioned in the gossip, but we can't be sure. The gossip also could have been totally wrong.

Gladys Cairns was photographed by Bob Wyer in November 1942. He took a portrait of her sister Louise in January 1945. They were the daughters of James and Mae (Fisher) Cairns. Gladys was born in 1924, Louise a year later. They both were born in Andes. Gladys married Salvatore Platania in 1943 and was widowed in 2011. Louise was married twice. She married Willard Chase, who died in 1973. She later married Maurice Winner. Louise died in 2013 at the age of 88. Louise and Gladys also had a sister, Dawn, and two brothers, Walter and Leonard. 

Sixty-six years ago today, on November 11, 1952, the Bovina Home Bureau held the second meeting on "Self-Help in Case of Accidents." A third meeting was scheduled at the community hall for November 25.

157 years ago today, November 12, 1861, Rachel Atkin died. We don't know much about her ancestry other than that her maiden name was Miller. She married Charles Atkin and they had seven children. She was 58 at her death.

115 years ago today, on November 13, 1903, as later reported in the Andes Recorder Bovina column, "….some miscreant broke into William Crosier’s barn and stole some furs, oats, etc.  Some others think they had a visit from them."

109 years ago today, on Sunday, November 14, 1909, the pastors of the Bovina United Presbyterian, Reformed Presbyterian and Methodist churches all preached sermons against dancing.

Oed Esketh and his first wife Ruth were photographed by Bob Wyer  in December 1942. He was born in Norway in 1916. He was a World War II veteran, serving in the US Army in Europe. He served in the Air Force for many years. He and his second wife, Marie both died in 2005. She died in February and Ode died from a brain injury after a fall in June. Photo courtesy of the Delaware County Historical Association. 

Ninety-seven years ago today, on November 16, 1921, Thomas C. Strangeway submitted this statement of expenses as a candidate for town supervisor (he won and served one term). 

Margaret Sanderson Doig died 146 years ago today on November 17, 1872 of typhoid fever.  Born in Washington County, NY in 1807, she was the daughter of Patrick Sanderson and Nancy Hodge.  She was married Andrew Doig and would have nine children.  Andrew died in 1865.

Eighty-two years ago today, on November 18, 1936, Lester Foreman was selected to become superintendent of schools in Rochester.  Forman was hired to fill the unexpired term of the previous superintendent, who had passed away.  Foreman was 32 years old and a native of Bovina.  Born in Bovina in 1904, he was the son of Robert Foreman and Dora Alice Boggs.  He graduated Cornell in 1926 and taught in the Rochester area until 1931 when he became an agriculture teacher in the Williamson High School.  Foreman died in Pittsford, NY, outside of Rochester, in 1969.

121 years ago this evening, on November 19, 1897, as later reported in the Bovina Column of the Andes Recorder, Bovina saw two weddings barely a half hour apart. Both ceremonies were performed by the same clergyman, W.L.C. Samson. The paper noted that "it made him hustle and he had to miss one wedding feast." The first wedding was that of Sylvan LaFever and Ella Burns, who were married at the bride's home. Ella was the daughter of Alexander and Nancy Burns. Sylvan and Ella would have three children: Benson, born 1900; Clarence, born 1902 and Ruth, born 1904. Ruth died in 1906 and Ella died in 1908 near Oneida Lake. The same evening of the LaFever/Burns wedding, William T. Miller was married to Mary Boggs. William was the son of Michael Miller and Sally McCune Miller; Mary was the daughter of Thomas Boggs and Jane Archibald Boggs. They would be married until Mary's death in 1926 and would have no children. Ironically, both grooms died in June 1940.

160 years ago today, on November 20, 1858, Maggie Thomson was born, the last of the eight children of John Thomson and Helen Armstrong. She was slated to have a short life, dying in February of 1867 at the age of 8.

William David Thomson (or Thompson, the records vary) was born 150 years ago today on November 21, 1868. He was the son of David Low Thompson and Eliza Murray.  He died in 1958 when he was 89 years old and is buried in Bovina.

118 years ago today, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "the old soldiers were invited to John P. Dennis' [on November 22, 1900], and spent an enjoyable evening together.  The inner man was well cared for and an excellent repast served." Old soldiers was a term for Civil War veterans.

122 years ago today, November 23, 1896, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Andes Recorder, noted orator Colonel H.W.J. Ham gave the first lecture in the fall lecture course in Bovina. "The speaker took for his subject, 'The Snollygoster in Politics' and his lecture far exceeded the expectations of the audience.  It contained enough humor to keep his hearers in the best of spirits, but the undercurrent of solid argument for the uplifting of the plane of American citizenship and fostering a patriotic sentiment that will drive out of politics the self-seeking, unprincipled place hugger – the snollygosters – who are feeding on the public and degrading the institutions of the land, made the thoughtful ponder on his words.  He closed with a touching picture of the need now so great in the country of the proper training of the young, and dwelt on the importance of surrounding the young man’s life with pictures of honor and faith."

Ninety years ago today, November 24, 1928, an accident took place in Bovina, later reported in the Andes Recorder:  "Hugh McPherson and Ledger Myers had a narrow escape Saturday night in an auto accident.  The young men had been at Henry Monroe's during the day cutting wood and coming home the lights on the car were poor.  When just below the intersection of the uptown and Coulter Brook roads a car left standing in the road without lights by the mechanic at Kaufman's garage in front of the LaFever house, where he lives, loomed up out of the darkness and there was a crash. McPherson who was driving escaped injury.  Myers was hurled against the windshield and it was shattered. Fortunately he was not thrown against the jagged edges of the glass and escaped with only a few minor cuts.  Their car was quite badly damaged." The LaFever house mentioned likely is the home of Leonard and Ann Cairns, owned at that time by my grandmother, Anna Bell LaFever. It was a couple of doors away from mine. Similar such accidents would happen at least twice during my childhood.

John and Elizabeth Burns had these portraits taken by Bob Wyer in December 1946. They were the parents of Agnes V. Burns and Mary Burns Lounsbury. John Sinclair Burns was born in 1888, the son of Alexander Burns and Nancy Miller Burns. He married Elizabeth Jane Carnright in 1913. Elizabeth died in 1952. John survived her by three years, dying in 1955. Photos courtesy of the Delaware County Historical Association. 

Ninety-seven years ago today, on November 26, 1921, the Methodist Church and parsonage in Bovina Center were sold.  The parsonage, now the Chuck McIntosh home, was sold to Gay Hafele for $1,025.  The church was bought by William Archibald for $775.  The church was demolished in 1926 and Archibald built a house in its place, until recently owned by Gert Hall.

Nineteen years ago today, on November 27, 1999, Edwin Milton Doig passed away. Born in 1905, Ed was the son of Milton and Jennie Thomson Doig. He married Gladys Biggar and had three children. Ed was in the army from 1926-29 and farmed much of his life on Pink Street.

116 years ago today, November 28, 1902, the Bovina column of the Andes Recorder reported that "Through the kindness of E.T. Gerry the five-year-old child of Fred Minister, who lives in the John R. Hoy tenement house, will soon be taken to New York for treatment. The child is afflicted with knock knees."

141 years ago today, in the Bovina News from the November 29, 1877 Andes Recorder appeared the following plea: "What has befallen the once agitated project of connecting us with the Andes and Delhi Telegraph Line? If only the proper effort were made this would easily be accomplished. The work should be done at once."

Ninety-nine years ago today, November 30, 1919, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Andes Recorder, "Dr. Norris B. Whitcomb with his wife and little daughter, who left here to become a medical missionary in Egypt, arrived safely at Naples, Italy." Whitcomb would stay in Egypt until his death in 1935 from septicemia. He is buried in Egypt.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Grandma's First Husband - "...your loving husband has been called home."

As reported in last month's blog entry, my grandmother, Anna Bell Barnhart, lost her first husband in the First World War. It was a month before she got the word of his death. She received numerous expressions of sympathy after the death of her husband. Not just cards either, but letters.  Probably the very first letter was written the day she got the news.  It came from her future brother-in-law, James Boggs, dated November 15, 1918. 

Dear Friend Annabell;
I have just heard tonight of the news you have received that your loving husband has been called home.  My heart goes out to you in love and sympathy in this time of sorrow and bereavement.  I know you will be trusting in Our Heavenly Father who gave us our loved ones and also called them home.  Gods ways are not our ways, but we must say in all things “Thy will not mine be done.”
There is not much that I can say to comfort you.  I know you will see many lonely weeks and months and I know how much a little human sympathy means in a time like this.  I will remember you often in prayer and ask Him that He, who doeth all things well, will give you strength to bear it and that he will find up your broken heart with His unfailing love.  I know it will be well with James, he was always so kind and noble and true to everything on the side or right.  Give my sympathy to James’ mother when you see her and tell her for me that he was a clean and noble christian boy. 
Accept again my heartfelt sympathy for yourself and all your loved ones and may God bless and keep you in His love.
Sincerely your friend, James A. Boggs

Some of the letters she received were briefer than others.  Another future in-law, Viola Russell, sent a short note on November 22 expressing her sympathy.  Another fairly brief note came from Mary Oliver of Andes, dated November 18.  In it, she says that she “can’t helping think that you may hear good news yet.” 

A longer note was written November 22 came from Mrs. J.A. Irvine.  Her husband had committed suicide January 1, 1918:

My Dear Annabell
I wish to express to you our sincere sympathy in you[r] sorrow, but the Good Lord knows best his ways are not our ways.  Remember it was Jesus who said “Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be Comforted” and I for one know he is the only one to go to in time of trouble.  His grace is Sufficient.  Now Annabell when we get down in our new home you and Edith must come and see us.  May the good Lord comfort you and give you strength to bear your great sorrow.
Mrs. J.A. Irvine and family

A letter came from Arena with a November 26 postmark from her friend Blanche.  It has a different tone from some of the letters she received:

My Dear Old galie;
I am now writing you and telling you how my kind feelings to out for you dear in all your trubles as I saw by the paper you[r] brave husband was one of the unfortunate ones.  We are all so happy that it is over.  Now I have one soldier bro and one sailor bro one has been away from over a year and I never saw him.  We hear from them real often.  How are all of you people?  Is Edith married yet? & how about Ralph?  I must come up and stay long enough to visit all of my old friends again.  I am still the same Blanche.  Just as much as ever.  Wish I could see you to sympathize and cheer you are you with your mother’s now? How is Will’s people? Also Johns?  I hear that Cecil Russell has the store now.  How is his wife?
Write when you feel like it and tell me all the news.  Love Blanche 

On Sunday, November 24, the Bovina U.P. Church held a memorial service for James, joined by the Andes Presbyterian Church. 

Several local newspapers reported on James' death.

From the Andes Recorder

Likely from the Delaware Republican (Delhi)


From the New York Times

Monday, November 12, 2018

November 2018 - 100 Years Ago "in That Thriving Town"

Bovina 100 years ago this month was dealing with the influenza epidemic, celebrating the end of the First World War and mourning a few days later the loss in the war of James Calhoun. 

November 1, 1918
·   There are no new cases of influenza reported.
·   It is reported that the Amos farm in southern Bovina, has been purchased by the Gerrys.
·   Dr. and Mrs. N.B. Whitcomb are now considered out of danger and we hope to see them around as usual.
·   The questionnaires for the selected men are now being made received and filled.  Some of the first registrants were called to Delhi for examination Thursday.
·   The first death in town from the prevailing influenza epidemic occurred on Sabbath, October 20, when Mrs. Loron Maxim, passed away at her home on the Hewitt farm up-town.  The remains were taken to Hardenburgh, Ulster couty, their former home, for interment.

November 8, 1918
·   Mrs. James Calhoun and Mrs. Wm Storie were Delhi visitors Wednesday.
·   Mr. and Mrs. Alex Myers have heard from their son, John, who sailed for France 5 weeks ago.
·   T.W. Miller has secured Edward Lamb to work on his farm on Miller avenue, and he moved this week.
·   Robert Hunt and Lester Hoy, alto engage in a necessary industrial occupation have been classified A-1.
·   A letter from the front states that Millard Blair is in the hospital suffering fro poison in canned goods, but is improving.
·   About 100 of the 212 women voters voted Tuesday.  Their votes did not change results in the town except to swell the Prohibition vote by about 40.
·   Chancey Hyatt and little daughter of Wingdale, N.Y. has been visiting his father, F.W. Hyatt, this week.  His wife died recently and the little daughter will remain with the grandfather for the present.

Bramley Mt. Man Arrested - Muller Tells U.S. Commissioner of Lost Contracts

Jean Muller, of Bramley Mt., the story of whose arrest appears in the Recorder last week, was arraigned before United States Commissioner O’Neil at Binghamton on Monday, spring a surprise upon the court when he claimed to have lost two contracts, one by which the United States government owes him $40,000 and the other one by which the English government owes him $30,000, for valuable patents, and expert work done by him in developing warplanes. 

Muller is apparently a Swiss, who speaks German, and he was arrested at the request of the bureau of investigation, and it developed that he had only recently returned from France, and it was suspected that his recent trip to Europe means that he may also have gone to German quarters.  But up to the present time the chief thing materializing against him is that he failed to file his questionnaire. 

He told this story as to how he lost the contracts he had entered into with the United States and English governments: When he went away he had the needed passports, but somewhere they got lost and he had trouble getting new passports.  Accordingly, when he came back to Canada, he found it necessary to come right over the line when no one was looking.  Arrived on this side, he telegraphed back for the bag containing his private papers, and this bag was sent on to him without the valuable papers in question.  This happened right across from Lucy’s Point, on the Canadian order, and a quizzing of the United States and English authorities at Lucy’s Point fails to develop anything as to the whereabouts of the papers. 

November 15, 1918
·   Everybody rejoicing over the end of the war.
·   Bovina people are glad that Dr. N. B. Whitcomb will remain in town.
·   Robert G. Thomson, manager of the Dry Milk Company, was at Andes on business errands Thursday.
·   The sixth and seventh grades and the students taking high school work in the village school enjoyed a party Tuesday evening at the home of their teacher, Rev. Thos E. Graham.
·   Andrew T. Doig, who for a number of years has conducted a general merchandise business in the Thos E. Hastings store, has sold his business to Cecil Russell, who will take over the business January 1.

November 22, 1918
·   Wilber Archibald and Wilson Monroe have been home on furloughs.
·   Memorial services will be held at the U.P. church on Sabbath for James D. Calhoun.
·   Hilson Brothers are erecting a large concrete garage.  It is 48 feet long and constructed of concrete blocks.  Mr. Tweedie, of Walton, is boss on the job.
·   John Elliott has sold his house and lot in Bovina Center to Mrs. John A. Irvine.  Consideration $4,200, Mr. Elliott expects to move to the Thomas Miller house.
·   Mrs. John A. Irvine has sold her farm, the David Black place, up Coulter Brook, to Willis M. Kennedy, of Canada, and the new owner has taken possession.  The price paid was $20,000.

November 29, 1918
·   Ellsworth Tuttle had two cows die last week.
·   James Hilson was at Walton on Monday after a truck load of concrete blocks.
·   The Dry Milk company moved a large boiler from their plant here to Harpersfield.  The boiler weighs over four tons and three teams were used to haul it.
·   Miss Angelica L. Gerry has presented the St. James Chapel at Lake Delaware with a five branch candelabras, in memory of the late Rev. William A. Long.
·   The U.P church was filled to overflowing on Sabbath at the memorial services for Sergeant James D. Calhoun.  Rev. G.A. Forbs preached the sermon.  A delegation of Sheldon Rifles from Delhi were present.
·   Floyd, the 4-year old son of John R. Aitkins, was quite severely bitten by Harvey Hafele’s dog.  The child was playing with the Hafele children and they had been driving the dog which to escape further rough handling went under the porch.  Floyd went in after it with the result that he was severely chewed.  One ear was torn, one tooth narrowly missed the eye and a gash along the head above the ear required seven stitches to close it.