Tuesday, July 31, 2018

This Day in Bovina for July

136 years ago today, on July 1, 1882, the Delaware Republican reported that "Andrew Brown, of Bovina, has been making a six weeks trip through the west, visiting his sons in Iowa and relatives in Michigan. He returned last Saturday." Andrew was born in Bovina in 1816. He was married twice and was the father of about 15 children, many of whom died in childhood. The sons he was visiting in Iowa likely were James and Andrew, sons from his first marriage. Andrew died a little over a year after his trip west in November 1883 from blood poisoning caused by a hog bite.

100 years ago today, on July 2, 1918, the Bovina Town Board resolved "to lease a Ford one ton truck of the value of $775 from the dealer … and pay for it at the rate not to exceed $10 a day for every day that it is used…"

130 years ago today, the Bovina column of the July 3, 1888 Stamford Mirror reported that "Henry Brush, of Wisconsin, son of Alex. Brush a former resident of this town, is visiting relatives here."

Sixty-three years ago today, on July 4, 1955, Cecil and Isabell Russell celebrated Independence Day with Cecil's brother and sister-in-law Charles and Hildreth Russell. As Isabell later reported in her diary, "we ate on the side lawn had our new picnic table. Had hot dogs & hamburgers, scalloped potatoes. I made white cake & had Ice cream." She reported that they later took a drive to the dam, likely meaning the newly constructed Downsville Dam, which created the Pepacton Reservoir. Marjorie likely took this picture, taken during the picnic on the side lawn of their home.

107 years ago today, on July 5, 1911, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Daniel Calhoun, in southern Bovina, had three cows killed by lightning…."

Seventy-eight years ago, on July 6, 1940, as announced in the Delaware Republican, "the appraisal of the estate of the late William T. Miller.." was held. The appraisers were John Thompson and Maurice Hall. Miller died the previous month in Bovina at the age of 70. He was a widower, his wife having died in 1926. He was the last surviving child of Michael Miller and Sally (McCune) Miller. And he was my great great uncle.

135 years ago today on July 7, 1883, as later reported in the Stamford Mirror, George Cable won the Bovina glass ball shooting match. "This badge is a gold one of beautiful design, and is contended for at each meeting by members of the club." Glass ball shooting orginated in the mid 1860s.

These two chauffeur license pictures of Ernie Russell were taken by Bob Wyer in May 1949 and May 1952. Ernest Coulter Russell was born in 1905, the son of Francis and Adalaid (Coulter) Russell. He was a second cousin of Cecil Russell. Ernie married Dorothy Drew in 1933. They had two sons, Ronald (1839-1985) and Dave. Ernie passed away in 1969. Wyer images courtesy of the Delaware County Historical Association. 

Ninety one years ago today, on July 9, 1927, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "The Ford car of Ralph Hafele and the Overland of Wilford Barnhart collided … at the Dennis corner in Bovina Center." This corner is where Bramley Mountain Road comes out onto County Route 6. The newspaper went on to report that "the corner is a dangerous one." Hafele, traveling with his wife and child, were driving down the main street while Barnhart and his family were coming down the steep pitch at the end of Bramley Mountain Road. The paper noted that while both cars were badly damaged, with "the Ford getting the worst of it." There were no injuries other than "slight bruises."

Sixty-six years ago today, the July 10, 1952 Delaware Republican Express reported in its Bovina column that "Mr. and Mrs. Edward Coleman of New York City were Saturday night guests of her sisters, Janet and Elizabeth McKenzie. They closed their house and left on Sunday for Newark, N.J., where on Friday they leave by Transatlantic Airway for Scotland."

160 years ago today, on July 11, 1858, Isabella Aitkin Archibald was born, the daughter of George and Jane (Anderson) Archibald. She married Alexander A. Hilson on February 9, 1887 and was the mother of six children, including John Hamilton Hilson, the grandfather of a number of Hilson family members still in Bovina. Isabella was widowed in 1923 and died in 1934.

137 years ago, on July 12, 1881, the Delaware County Clerk sent a letter to Bovina's Town Supervisor, David Black, concerning a mistake made in establishing a trial jury list for the town. 

Ninety seven years ago today, on the morning of July 13, 1921, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Charles A. McPherson was coming to the creamery" when "the hold back strap broke on the Myers pitch and let the wagon onto the horse." He was able to stop the horse near Hilson's store. The paper noted that he did this "without colliding with any of the numerous teams and no damage was done."

These two photos of Herbert Huggans were taken by Bob Wyer almost a decade apart. The first in May 1943, the second in May 1952. Herbert was born in 1902, the son of Byron and Dorra Huggans. His sister was Josephine Huggans Noonan. Herbert operated a farm on Bramley Mountain for many years. He died suddenly in 1964, leaving his wife Julia and son Richard, as well as his sister Josephine. Wyer images courtesy of the Delaware County Historical Association. 

Seventy-five years ago today, July 15, 1943, the Bovina column of the Delaware Republican Express reported that "Several children from here are availing themselves of the opportunity for swimming instruction offered to them by the Red Cross at Silver Lake."

Catherine McNaught McCune died 144 years ago today on July 16, 1874. Born in Scotland in 1796, she married John McCune, who died in 1850. She had ten children, including Sarah Ann (Sally) McCune, who was my great great grandmother. Catherine is buried in the Bovina cemetery (her husband's grave is in South Kortright).

103 years ago, on July 17, 1915, Herbert Olmstead, a Bovina farmer, was injured when he was cut by a mower machine. The accident was later reported by the Otsego Farmer (Cooperstown) newspapers: "Herbert Olmstead, a Bovina farmer, was taken to the hospital at Delhi Saturday night by Drs. Scott and Whitcomb of Bovina Center suffering from severe cuts on both lower legs. While mowing with a machine late in the afternoon Mr. Olmstead backed his team to turn a corner, when one of the horses caught a reign under its tail and without thinking of the danger Mr. Olmstead stepped in front of the cutbar to loosen the rein. At that instant the horses started and the sharp knives caught him near the ankles, cutting into the bones of the left foot and making a bad gash in the right foot." Olmstead was born in 1888. He appears to have recovered from this accident, though the injury kept him from service in World War One. Olmstead moved around in New York. By 1920, he was living in the Syracuse area. By the time of his death in 1971, he was living in California. He is buried in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood. (A number of noted movie and television personalities are buried here.)

Sixty-six years ago today, the July 18, 1952 Catskill Mountain News reported in its Bovina column the following: "Four fresh air children have arrived in Bovina. They are Kenneth and Tommy Lee of New York city, for a two-week vacation with David Roberts; James Benites of the Bronx, guest of Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Archibald; Joseph Maraldo of Queens,k guest of Mr. and Mrs. Francis Schabloski."

Sixty-seven years ago today, on July 19, 1951, as later reported in the Catskill Mountain News, Bovina firemen were hosts to the Tri-County firemans association annual meeting…." The meeting took place at the Fish and Game club on Coulter Brook Road.

110 years ago today, on July 20, 1908, this statement was issued by the Bovina Cooperative Creamery Company for the estate of the late William L. White, who died in 1907. White's farm was on Coulter Brook Road and must still have been in operation. The Bovina Cooperative Creamery was located on New Road on what was then the McFarland Farm. The creamery closed sometime in the 1920s. 

Fifty one years ago today, July 21, 1967, a cloud burst caused considerable damage to the roads on Bramley Mountain. As later reported in the Walton Reporter, "Clark Lay, Bovina highway superintendent and his men, had a big job of replacing water courses along the road and restoring driveways, but early this week he was pretty much on top of the job with a big assist from county highway workers who turned out to help him Monday."

138 years ago today, on July 22, 1880, the Stamford Mirror reported the following in its Bovina column: "A young man, known among his intimate friends by the name of 'Beecher,' proposed to go to 'Bragg Hollow' a few evenings ago, but was seriously annoyed by some wicked fellows who hid his sulky, and also threw a pail of water upon him, wetting his good clothes." Bragg Hollow is now known as Crescent Valley Road.

Last month we featured George Trimbell. This month is his wife's turn. These photographs of Anna Trimbell were taken by Bob Wyer in May 1971. With her husband she ran Crescent Valley Farms for many years. Anna Schoenwolf first married Otto Kriesel, by whom she had her son Robert. Otto died in an accident in 1945. She married George Trimbell in 1947. They had three sons, Linnell, Byron and Derwood. She died in 1989 at the age of 71. Wyer images courtesy of the Delaware County Historical Association.

104 years ago today, on July 24, 1914, Jane Maynard died. Born in 1849, she was the daughter of Hector and Esther Cowan. She married Archibald Maynard in 1875. She would have four children, but only one, her son William H. Maynard, would survive to adulthood. Jane was widowed in 1900.

Ninety-six years ago today, on Friday, July 25, 1924, St. James Chapel at Lake Delaware was consecrated, two years to the day after the cornerstone had been laid. The chapel was built by Angelica L. Gerry as a memorial to her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Livingston. The Catskill Mountain News reported that this ceremony was to take place, noting that "Miss Gerry's outlay in time and money to provide this unique set of buildings is generally estimated to run into several hundred thousands of dollars."

Seventy-eight years ago today, the Bovina column in the July 26, 1940 Walton Reporter had these items: 1) About 50 people enjoyed a chicken roast at H.F. Davidson's Friday evening. 2) Mr. and Mrs. Arnie Reinertsen of Brookly are visiting his cousin, Mr. Andrew Reinertsen and family. 3) Misses June and Jean Schloss, twin daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Horace Schloss, and Misses Reta and Reva Smith, twin daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Smith, all of Walton, have been visiting their grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Smith. (The Smiths lived in the Mountain Brook area of Bovina.)

124 years ago today, the July 27, 1894 Andes Recorder noted in its Bovina column that "If the pathmaster of the road from the village to the turnpike would cause the stones to be thrown out, he would receive the thanks of the public."

107 years ago today, July 28, 1911, the Bovina correspondent of the Andes Recorder, reported that "G.D. Miller is exhibiting a ripe tomato, picked in his garden, that weights 1 1/2 pounds."

Bob Wyer took this license photo of Delbert Dickson in May 1956. Born in 1906, Del was married and widowed twice. His first wife, Grace, died of measles and other complications in 1929. He married Carrie Dumond in 1930. She passed away in 1972. Delbert worked for a number of years for the county highway department, retiring in 1967. He died in the Delhi Infirmary in December 1986. Wyer image courtesy of the Delaware County Historical Association. Image - Passport A3595 Dickson Del

Sixty-four years ago, on July 30, 1954, as later reported in the Catskill Mountain News, "The Ladies Auxiliary of the Bovina Fire department, who marched for the first time wearing their new uniforms at the Old Home day in Unadilla July 30, were honored by receiving first prize in appearance." Here’s Peg Robson modeling the uniform before the 1956 Bovina Old Home Day. 

Eighty-nine years ago today, the Bovina column in the July 31, 1929 Delaware Republican reported that "Charles A. McPherson had a narrow escape when he was thrown from a hay load, caused by the double whiffletree breaking when going in the barn. The wagon ran back down the bridgeway and he was thrown off." A whiffletree (sometimes called a whippletree or leader bar) is a device used for a horse drawn vehicle. It balances the pull from each side of the animal.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Grandma's First Husband - "There is much that I should like to write of but you know how I am situated."

James Calhoun continued to write from France to his wife, Anna Bell Barnhart Calhoun in July 1918. After July 11, he stops writing for almost three weeks, not writing again until early August. Likely, he was making his first major foray into battle.

The next two letters James wrote to his wife were received on August 7.

July 4, 1918

My dear Anna;
Have had no letters from you since I last wrote but will send you a few lines to let you know that I am getting along nicely and all is O.K.  I must beg your pardon at once because I have gotten a letter since I last wrote you.  The letter containing our pictures came and I cannot tell you how glad I was to get the picture.  I think it the best of any we have and I shall surely carry it with care. 
Just think this is July 4th.  I am not celebrating as much as I sometimes used to at home but now I am rather enjoying the rather quite day.  I expect you wonder if I have been in the lines and feel that I must tell you I have been there and out again.
This is a beautiful day and one of many that we have had since late in May.  It has not been very warm and always cool at night.
The picture surely brings back to my memory many happenings of the near past and so many memories of home and dear ones.  I can well remember the day it was taken and all that took place at the time.
It was strange that so many accidents should happen almost at once in town.  By good luck none of them were serious although painful for a time. 
I have forwarded another (3rd) installment of money.  The sum of $10. this time.  I wish I might send you more.  Every little helps you know and I know that you can enjoy its benefits even if I am not there to enjoy it with you. I am so glad that I can at least do this little service for you.
I was very sorry to hear of the death of Beatrice Forbes.  Rev Forbes will take her death very hard I know because there was a deep bond of love between them.  She always such a helpful person.
I am wondering how you are spending this 4th day of July 1918.  I can not imagine what you will be doing but I know that when your letter written on this date comes I shall know all.
Cora wrote me a beautiful letter; tell her please that I received it and was very grateful and hope to answer it before many days. Tell her for me that she must not wait until I write before writing again but to write real often.  It is sometimes difficult for me to write as many letters as I should like.  Then I must always see that you first of all gets letters from me.
Please write real often and I know you do and your letters are a real help and comfort to me.  God bless you.
Your most loving husband, James
PS - I am so glad that you sent a picture to mother.  JDC

July 8, 1918 (this letter is typed)

My dear Anna;
I have not heard from you for a few days but no doubt will receive more than one letter when I do get word as has been almost invariably the case. 
Our beautiful weather continues.  During the past month we have had but one or two light showers and the temperature has been right for comfort.  Our weather is no contrast to the warm rainy weather had in the states.
Bovina did fine on the “fund” proposition and I must say that as a town she is always ready when called upon for any service.  It seems as though you always get the soliciting work for the street and it because they know that the work is going to be performed if you are in charge and very few people seek such unpleasant tasks.  It is fine indeed that people responded so generously to the great work and it is now an assured success without a doubt.  As time passes the necessity of the work is going to be more fully impressed on the minds of the people than it ever has before in fact it is now coming home to them.
I am grateful to Eddie and his people for remembering me and I wish you would give them my kindest regards.  Also give my best regards to the people I know in good Bovina.
Am glad to know that your April check came OK.  You have been quite fortunate in receiving funds on time.  If I remember correctly this one has been delayed a trifle longer than those of pervious months.  You wrote that you received an order from me.  Did you get two orders of 15 dollars each, one made about April 23 and the second one May 23?  I sent an order for 10 dollars on July 4 but of course you will not have gotten that yet.  Please write the date that orders were made and the amount of each so I can know that you get all the money I send.
I can imagine those showers you are or rather have bene having over there.  They are certainly not pleasant to experience.  I do not at all blame Edith for the way that she felt about them but I do feel sorry for her.  Perhaps there will not be so many of them later. What we are doing here has nothing to do with it in the way that you mentioned, at least I do not think it does.
I am glad that you are finished house cleaning which must be a great responsibility removed.  With everything clean, spick and span and with your newly polished floors you surely must be quite in order.  Anna I know how you felt about taking down the arch.  I should have liked very much to have seen it again myself but of course you could not leave it there longer.  However I have a very strong mental picture of it and there are many fond memories attached to it that I shall not forget.  I pray that the day may soon come when we can lay some definite plans.  You are indeed appreciated by your people and I know that you are doing all you can to help them.  The time is coming when we can co-operate in helping them.  I wish we might have the opportunity to give them a good vacation and we surely will.  It would be just grand if we could. 
It will be nice and also convenient to have a good supply of apples.  Be sure and save a few for me just enough to make an apple pie you know.
I remember “Bluie” quite distinctly.  Hope the trad proves to be a good one.  I will say that the grain proposition is a hard one under the circumstances for Wilford.  As the eggs are hatching so very poor it is much better that you did not try to raise any chickens.
Please write as often as you can.  I must draw this brief note to a close,
Your most loving husband, James

The next letter was received two days after the previous two on August 9.

July 11, 1918

My dear Anna;
Your most welcome letters of June 13 and 16 came to me today.  They surely do help to make one keep cheered up.  I was glad indeed to get so many good news from home.  You may as well have written those news that you wished to talk to me of and Edith and Wilford can just as well write a note as not if all that is keeping them from writing is the fact that you mentioned.  My letters from you have always reached me just as you mailed them I feel that I owe both Wilford and Edith an apology for not having written to them and can scarcely expect them to write me when I have sent them no letters.
I received a letter each from Herbert, Archie, and Jas. Boggs.  Anna’s letter contained the pictures of the youngsters and was a good picture indeed.  Baby Grace surely must have grown wonderfully since I saw her.  James Boggs letter was surely fine and he is indeed a royal good fellow and a character that one can consider a great privilege to call a friend.  He surely has our sympathies.  I wish you might has(sic) his letter. 
It must have seemed good to have the cool weather, of which you have written after the very warm thundery weather which you endured. It remains cool here and the past two days have been cloudy with a little rain. 
Clark Miller’s death was a great blow to his people, no doubt. I know now how he could have received his wound.  It is fine that Fletcher keeps well.  I am O.K. to date and have hopes that the better days soon will come.
I was glad the policy came O.K. and that you have received your money O.K.  No, Anna, it doesn’t matter if my pay here is raised, the allotment to you remains the same.  I can save more money here than I did in America and if luck favors me I hope to save more to send home.
I am not surprised to learn of Hazel and Frank.  Yes it is quite right that we should open our pocket book and my only regret is that I can not be there to go with you.  Wish them the greatest happiness for me.
I do hope you will be able to get over and stay with Florence a few days but she would not expect you to work.  It will be nice for you both to get each others company and talk over affairs.
I am quite relieved that the order of things is changed this election and it will be a great responsibility removed from our men to have the help of the ladies to get the votes cast for the best results.
How I would like to get one square meal of that shortcake.  I did like to pick berries when I was a kid and I feel that I could succeed pretty well at it now if the opportunity should offer itself.
I am enclosing a souvenir postal that actually was made to order with the rude tools the native had in his possession.  I am not the native.  It is pretty good I think.  I will write more in a few days.  There is much that I should like to write of but you know how I am situated.  Give my best regards to our people.  I think of you a good deal and may Good’s blessing be with you . 
Your most loving husband James

This was the last letter James would write for three weeks. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

July 1918 - 100 Years Ago "in That Thriving Town"

July 1918 in Bovina included a damaging storm that killed three cows and damaged several gardens. 

July 5, 1918
·       The first allotment of boys arrived at the Gerry Camp in southern Bovina Monday [July 1] afternoon. 
·       In Bovina, the total enrollment of women was 76 as follows: Republican 39; Democrat 5; Prohibition 32.

July 12, 1918
·       Misses Kate and Freda Muller spent the Fourth at William Russell’s.
·       Milton Hastings, who broke his leg several weeks ago, expects to soon be able to go about on crutches.
·       Alex Burns and wife and David Draffin and wife enjoyed a motor trip around by the Gerry estate and Andes on the Fourth of July.
·       Will Roney, of Andes, and a representative of the International Harvester company were here Tuesday [July 9] and sold 3-horse power kerosene engines to Al Thomson, Harry McCumber, Mr. Kelsey and Mr. Taft.

Insurance Paid

Mrs. Ida E. Miller, of Bovina Center, has received from the Travelers Insurance company, though W.C. Oliver’s agency, $1,000, being in full payment of policy held by her son, Clark G. Miller, who was killed in action in France last May.

July 19, 1918
·       Ed Craddock and family, of New York City, are staying at the hotel for a few weeks.
·       Herbert White, of Delhi, was here Monday [July 15] making repairs to a machine at the Dry Milk plant.

Will Go As Chaplain

Rev. Hugh B. Speer, a former pastor of the United Presbyterian church of Bovina, and who several months ago resigned his pastorate at Omaha, Nebraska, and has been at Hanover, Illinois, expects soon to sail for overseas as chaplain with the Red Cross.

July 26, 1918
·       A few of the farmers will finish haying this week.
·       Andrew T. Doig was in New York City this week.
·       Frances Ewing and family, of New York city have moved into the house on Mrs. Dickson’s farm.
·       Alfred Russell, son of W.C. Russell of this town has enrolled as a sailor in the Merchant Marine and left last week for Boston.

Heavy Storm in Bovina
Much Damage Sustained to Crops in Storm Friday [July 19]

During a heavy thunder and hail storm that swept over Bovina last Friday afternoon considerable damage was done by hail and lightning.  At Adam Laidlaw’s lightning followed in to the house on the telephone line but did no special damage. A.B. Phyfe had three cows killed – his entire dairy.  At the home of the Misses Muller a maple tree was struck.  Gardens were damaged by the hail.

In Bovina, the area of the storm passed over Bovina Center and for a mile west, being heavy at John Blair’s and William Archibald’s at the latter place cut his buckwheat to pieces.  Some of the first stones that fell were nearly as large as plums, but in the main storm they were larger than peas.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

The Opening of the Bovina Museum Forty Years Ago

Forty years ago (July 1, 1978) the Bovina Museum was dedicated as part of the Bovina Town picnic. The late Dot Ryder took a number of pictures of that day as did I.

Dot Ryder photo

Dot Ryder photo

Barbara Hilson at the dedication. Also in the picture on the left are John Kloepfer, Fletcher Davidson, Helen Thompson, Hugh Lee, Corine Loos, Gladys Wickswat, Harold Lounsbury, Lillian Ormiston, Frank McPherson and Enid Carter. (Ray LaFever photo)

Another shot of Barbara Hilson speaking at the dedication. To the right are Charles and Leona LaFever, Celia Coulter, Que Aikens and partially hidden Dot Russell. The reporter is Tom Coddington.(Ray LaFever photo)
Fletcher Davidson speaking at the dedication just before cutting the ribbon.(Ray LaFever photo)

The crowd at the dedication. (Ray LaFever photo)

Dot Ryder photo
Dot Ryder photo

Dot Ryder photo
Here are some photos of the museum I took the day of the dedication.