Thursday, January 31, 2019

This Day in Bovina for January 2019

Eighty-nine years ago today, the January 1, 1930 Delaware Republican carried this Bovina Center column.

The January 2, 1920 Bovina column of the Andes Recorder reported ninety-nine years ago today that "Wallace Hyatt, who has completed a four-year enlistment in the United States Navy, has received his discharge and is at his home here."

Ninety-seven years ago today, January 3, 1922, several Bovina people headed to New York City. As later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Mrs. George Baldwin, Miss Caroline Dickson, C.L. Dickson and Miss Jane Hilson left via Delhi, Tuesday morning for New York City, to resume their different labors." Mrs. Baldwin was the former Mary Dickson. She was the sister of her fellow travelers Caroline and C. Loughran Dickson. They grew up in Bovina in what is now the Brushland Eating House.

115 years ago today, January 4, 1904, Civil War veteran Berry Shaw Miller attended the installation of officers of England Post of the Grand Army of the Republic in Delhi.  The GAR was the Civil War veterans group.

Ninety-eight years ago today, on January 5, 1921, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Andes Recorder, "about a dozen relatives of Sloan Archibald gathered at his home….to help him celebrate his 76th birthday." From all available records, this actually would have been his 73rd birthday. The party likely took place in the house that I now own. A month after this party, Sloan and his wife sold the house. Sloan would live another seven years, dying in 1928 at the age of 80.

Ninety-five years ago today, on January 6, 1924, Mrs. Gilbert D. Miller celebrated her 80th birthday. As later reported in the Andes Recorder, "she wishes to thank the donors." Born Mary Jane Banker in 1844, she married Gilbert D. Miller, a Civil War veteran. This would be the last birthday she celebrated. Mrs. Miller died in December 1924. Her husband survived, dying in 1931. 
This is Gib and Mary Jane Miller in 1919 at their 50th wedding anniversary.
These photographs of brothers Dave and Ron Russell were taken in April 1944 by Bob Wyer. Sons of Ernest and Dorothy Russell, they grew up in Bovina. Ron passed away in 1985. Dave lives in the Syracuse area. Photograph courtesy of the Delaware County Historical Association. 

111 years ago today, on January 8, 1908, "Mr. and Mrs. George Gladstone celebrated the 40th anniversary of their marriage at the home of their son, Christopher Gladstone on the homestead farm.  Forty were present, among them Dr. Lee, who performed the ceremony 40 years ago, and T.C. and J.L. Strangeway, Thos Gladstone and Mrs. Maggie Palmer who were at the wedding.  The couple were presented with two chairs."

Ninety-nine years ago, in its January 9, 1920 issue, the Andes Recorder Bovina correspondent reported that "The Dry Milk Company is harvesting ice from Lake Mahiken, on Mabon farm this week."  One of the men working on moving the ice, Charles T. Fuller, "met with an accident on the ice at Lake Mahikan. His foot was caught in part of the machinery that was moving the ice up to the road.  The injury was very painful one, but he is improving." Lake Mahikan is on Route 28, now known as Silver Lake or Coles Lake. Charles Fuller (1881-1952) likely is the son of Thomas Fuller and Abigail Seacord.

128 years ago today, as later reported in the Stamford Mirror, "Charles Bramley Jr, formerly of this town, but for the past 11 years a resident of Jetmore, Kansas, was in town on Saturday, Jan 10, [1891], calling on friends." By 1900, Charles was back in Bovina, widowed and living with his nephew Fred Bramley. He died at his sister's home in Davenport in 1912 and is buried in Bloomville.

112 years ago today, the January 11, 1907 Catskill Mountain News reported that "J.S. Cathells, a former resident of Bovina, now bookkeeper for A. Wells & Co. of Divid, Colorado, recently had a narrow escape at the hands of three desperadoes who held up the store of his firm. Mr. Cathells who walked in on the robbers was compelled to open the safe with a gun pressed to his stomach. He was then tied, chloroformed and put in a corner." More about the Cathels family is on the Bovina NY History blog at

181 years ago today, on January 12, 1838, Davina Laidlaw was born in Scotland, the daughter of David Laidlaw and Helen Knox Hart. She came to Bovina with her parents as a child and married Archibald Foreman, Sr. in 1861. Widowed in 1908, she died 10 years later in 1918 and is buried in Bovina.

107 years ago this morning, on January 13, 1912, as later recorded in the Bovina column of the Andes Recorder, "The thermometer…registered from 24 to 32 ½ below zero."

170 years ago today, on January 14, 1849, Margaret Atkin was born in Bovina, the daughter of Isaac Atkin and Nancy N. Blair. She never married. She took care of her father after her mother's death in 1873 and her younger siblings after her father's passing in 1876. In later life, she was living with the James Ormiston family as a servant, first in Bovina and later in Oneonta. She died in Delhi in April 1925 and is buried in Bovina.

187 years ago today, on January 15, 1832, Mrs. McFarland died. What Mrs. McFarland I have not been able to determine. The paper noted that she was "a native of Ireland." This possibly was Mrs. James McFarland, born Elizabeth Cooke. James McFarland was a native of Ireland and was married around 1751 in Ireland (he died in 1812). The most remarkable information about this woman, if the news report can be believed, was that she was "aged one hundred and ten years."

Ninety-one years ago today, on January 16, 1928, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "A sleet storm Monday night made traveling difficult and dangerous."

Ninety-four years ago today, on January 17, 1925, J. Douglas Burns and his son, William C (Bill) Burns went to Delhi. As later reported in the Bovina column of the Andes Recorder, they went to the County Seat "to see their wives, who are both in the hospital, the wife of the first named for treatment and Mrs. W.C. Burns is recovering from an operation." J. Douglas's wife, the former Margaret S. Doig, died five months later in June. Bill's wife, the former Emily Elliott, was recovering from a hernia operation and returned home in early February.

This photograph of Herb Parsons was taken in June 1952.  Herb was born in 1933, the son of William and Ruth (Coulter) Parsons. He was married to Pat Thomas in 1955 and was in the army from 1955 to 1957. A self-employed builder in Bovina, Herb was active in the Bovina Fire Department. He also was an avid hunter. Herb died at the age of 52 in 1986. Image courtesy of the Delaware County Historical Association. 
Bob Wyer IMAGE Passport A1263 Parsons Herbert

119 years ago today, January 19, 1900, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "  Mr. and Mrs. Frank Gowanlock entertained the old soldiers Wednesday evening.  The inner man was satisfied by a fine lay out, cooked and served in a right royal manner by Mrs. Gowanlock and Mrs. Charles Boggs." 'Old soldiers' was the term at this time for Civil War veterans. Mr. Gowanlock himself was a veteran of the war, having served in Company E of the 144th New York volunteers.

104 years ago today, January 20, 1915, Bovina native Robert Scott died at Kansas City, Missouri at the age of 75.  Born in 1840, he married Jennette Hoy Ormiston in 1866 and moved west after the birth of their first child.  They would have five more children in Missouri, with at least three of the children predeceasing their parents. Robert was the son of Robert Scott and Martha Loughran. Robert's brother Adam Scott had died in Delhi three days earlier.

117 years ago today, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Andes Recorder, "Although rather late in the month the January thaw arrived Tuesday [January 21, 1902], also continuing Wednesday but caught cold Wednesday night.  An ice jam at the Centre forced the water out onto the flats."

111 years ago today, on January 22, 1908, "  A.M. Thomson, who went west in the hopes that his wife’s health might be benefited by California climate; arrived in Bovina on Wednesday.  Mrs. Thomson is with her people at Downsville."  Mrs. Thomas was Mary Elizabeth Liddle. Her health did not improve - she died on February 3, in Downsville from consumption.

Eighty-four years ago today, January 23, 1935, Isabella Laidlaw McPherson died. Born in Andes in 1844, she was the daughter of William Laidlaw and Isabella Liddle. She married Ferris McPherson and they settled in Bovina, where they raised their three sons. She was widowed in 1906.

Mrs. Charlotte Miller died 108 years ago today on January 24, 1911 at the age of 50. She had been ill for several months from anemia. Born Charlotte Gow, she spent most of her life in Bovina. She married David W. Miller, who died in 1892 at the age of 37. Charlotte was survived by one son, who, unlike his parents, lived into old age, dying at the age of 96 in 1986.

120 years ago today, January 25, 1899, there was a celebration of Burns night in Bovina.  As briefly reported in the Andes Recorder: "A haggis eat was held at William Forrest’s Wednesday evening, in honor Robert Burns."  For more information on "Scotland's Favorite Son," go to

118 years ago today, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Robert Gowanlock died Saturday forenoon [January 26, 1901] at the home of his nephew, Frank Gowanlock, aged 80 years.  He was born in Scotland and came to this country in 1840 and has since been a citizen of Bovina, following his trade – a carpenter.  The funeral was held Monday in the United Presbyterian church, conducted by Rev. Samson." He was buried in the Bovina Cemetery.

117 years ago today, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Mrs. Stephen Russell died at her home near this village Monday morning, January 27, [1902] after a long illness, aged 74 years.  Mrs. Russell was the daughter of the late John Armstrong and was born in the town of Bovina, November, 1827, on the farm now occupied by F.C. Armstrong.  She was one of twelve children, ten of whom grew to manhood and womanhood.  Of these five are now living – three daughters and two sons.  In 1850 she was married to Stephen Russell.  She is survived by a husband, six sons and one daughter.  The funeral was held Wednesday at 12 o’clock in the Reformed Presbyterian church, Rev. T.M. Slater officiating.  The interment was in the Bovina Centre cemetery."

This license image of Walter Reinertsen was taken in July 1948. Walt, known also as Dowie, was born in 1930, the last child of Andrew and Sophie Reinertsen. He served in the Air Force during the Korean War and settled in the Rome, NY area where he was an airline mechanic for Allegheny Air Lines. He died at the age of 43 in 1974, leaving behind his wife Eleanor and daughter Andrea. Photo by Bob Wyer, courtesy of the Delaware County Historical Association.

Seventy-five years ago today, on January 29, 1944, John W. Storie wrote the last entry in his diary that he had kept off and on since 1890: "Cloudy & cool snow last night. I some better not outdoors yet. Geo started milker. Called to John Thomas chimney fire." After this entry there is a note in another handwriting: "This is last entry by John Storie who died Feb. 4, 1944." The Catskill Mountain News later reported that Storie had died in the Delhi hospital from pneumonia, having been admitted the day before. He was 80 years old. Born on the Storie homestead on Pink Street, he was the son of Alexander and Esther Storie. He married Jane Laidlaw and they had two sons, William J. and George.

116 years ago, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "William T. Russell and Miss Martha Bergman, were married Friday evening, January 30, [1903] at the home of the bride, on the Alex. Liddle farm, by the Rev. W.L.C. Samson."  William and Martha would have five children.  Martha was widowed after 22 years of marriage in 1925.  For several years, she ran a guest house on her farm on Russell Hill Road.  Martha died in 1943.

113 years ago, on January 31, 1906, Rosati’s Royal Italian Concert Band appeared at the Bovina UP Church.  They were originally scheduled to play in Strangeway’s Hall but because of the size of the crowd, the event was moved.  The Andes Recorder later reported "It was fine and pleased the entire audience." Alberto G. Rosati’s Band traveled around the country in the early 20th century but was slated to have a short life. Rosati died less than six months after giving this concert in Bovina, dying in June 1906 in Kansas City, Missouri following an operation for appendicitis.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Bovina Bicentennial Celebration, Update 1

This is the start of a monthly series about the upcoming Bovina Bicentennial Celebration in 2020. Here’s where we are at:

  • An ad-hoc committee met last year to brainstorm ideas for how to celebration our town’s 200th birthday.
  • The town of Bovina has put $1000 in my budget specifically as seed money to fund the 2020 celebration.
  • In the fall we launched a logo contest. Wendy Buerge, Rick Mills and Jack Burns served as judges and chose a design by Samantha Misa (design on top). We’ll be using it on anything related to the celebration. The judges also chose two other designs by Steve Burnett and Alexis Rockefeller (Chuck and Betty McIntosh’s granddaughter) to be used in other venues. Thanks to all who submitted designs. These will be displayed next summer on Bovina day (July 20).
  • I am working on having a poster made of the 1888 painting of Bovina Center to promote the celebration and as a fundraiser. Torkil Stavdal has graciously donated his time to photograph the painting for the poster. I will be applying for a Delaware County Tourism Promotion and Development Grant in February to help pay for the poster.
  • Chuck McIntosh has offered his auction skills to hold a pie auction to raise funds for the celebration. It will be on Bovina Day, July 20, 2019. A committee is being formed – if you are interested in being involved let me know.
  • Purple Mountain Press is going to publish my history of Bovina this year. Proceeds from the sales will go to the celebration.

The big celebration will take place the weekend of August 1 and 2, 2020. Details still need to be worked out, but I hope we can include a parade, town picnic and maybe fireworks. So mark your calendars and stay tuned for further developments.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Epidemic Influenza in Bovina

The 1918 influenza pandemic is believed to have infected 500 million people around the world, with 50 to 100 million dying, estimated to be about five percent of the world’s population. In the United States, it was estimated that about 28% of the population died. There were two ‘waves’ of the illness, though it seems Bovina saw mostly infections from the second, deadlier wave. Though deadlier, Bovina saw only two fatalities, while over forty people became ill.           

Local newspapers started reporting on cases of influenza in Bovina in October 1918, when “several mild cases” were reported. By the end of October, there was enough concern that the schools and local churches closed. Two of the people contracting the illness were Dr. and Mrs. N.B Whitcomb. He was the first Bovina resident to get the disease (his wife was the second). The full list is at the end of this entry.

They recovered, but October saw the first of the two Bovina fatalities when Mrs. Loron Maxim passed away on what was then the Hewitt farm in the Mountain Brook region. Mrs. Maxim was born Jennie Graham, the daughter of William and Eunice Graham. She was 30 years old at her death. Her illness lasted about five days. She was buried in Hardenburgh in Ulster County. Jennie and her husband had been in Bovina only a brief time. Loren remarried in 1920 and left Bovina.

The Bovina Board of Health reported thirty-eight new cases of influenza in December, but for January only eight new cases. One of the cases reported in January 1919 was Louise Hilson, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Hilson. She recovered, as did all the children who got the illness in Bovina. But in March 1919, the Andes Recorder reported that a “Bovina Boy Dies in West.” The article went on to state that “Floyd Ruff, son of the late William L. Ruff, of Bovina, died in Kansas City this week and the remains arrived here Thursday evening.  He had been ill for several weeks and it is reported had been afflicted with influenza and measles and typhoid fever.  He had lived with his sister, Mrs. Chauncey McFarland, and only went west last fall.”

As the epidemic faded, Bovina did see one more fatality. On April 21, 1919, Lucy Alta Lee died from the flu, after being sick for six days. Lucy was married to John B. Lee and was his second wife. She had five children, including a son Donald, who was in World War One and was still in France when his mother died. Her stepson Clarence also was a World War One veteran who was gassed in the war and died from its effects in 1922. At the time of her death, her husband and three of her children also were ill, but they all recovered.

Edward Schneider, brother of Lil Hilson, was the last survivor of the epidemic in Bovina, dying ninety-seven years after being ill in 2016 at the age of 102.

From the Bovina Board of Health records, the following were reported suffering from epidemic influenza (usually abbreviated as E.I.). They are listed in order of illness:

N.B. Whitcomb
Mrs. N.B. Whitcomb
Chas Russell (brother of Cecil Russell)
Mrs. Chas Russell
Mrs. Loren Maxim (the first fatality)
Edwin Scott
Mrs. Marshall Scott
Margaret Gordon (later social studies teacher at Delaware Academy)

The following people were all believed to have caught the illness attending a Thanksgiving Day church service and became ill the end of November/early December:
Mrs. Marshall Thomson
Miss Mable Fiero
Mrs. Geo Cobb
John Galloway
Mrs. Thos Graham
Mrs. Geo Russell

Other victims reported for December:
Arthur Russell
Hazel Aitken
Ernest Russell
Robert Hunt
Jannette Laidlaw
Jas. Hilson (brother to John Hilson and uncle to Alex and Jack Hilson)
Geo Russell
Mrs. D. Davidson (mother of Fletcher Davidson)
Fred Henderson
Burton Henderson
Robert Fiero
Ruth Coulter (later married Bill Parsons)
Helen Galloway
Mrs. John Blair
Mrs. John McCune
Miss Ruth Ormiston (later married Henry Monroe)
Marshall Thomson
Mildred Smith
Fred Whithead
Frank Miller
Marion Ormiston
Harry Robinson
Louise Hilson (child age 2)
Muriel Ruscoe
Jean Hume
Geo. Johnson
Mrs. Geo Johnson – Mrs. Johnson was reported as catching the illness on a train from Alberta, Canada, thus infecting her husband and a couple of her neighbors.
Annie McFarland
Mrs. Thos Archibald
Edith Erkson
Bessie Erkson (child, age 3)
Robert Erkson
Mrs. C. Erkson
Frank Pershall
Claud Erkson
Walter Wilson
Mrs. Ruscoe

January 1919
Fred Whithead
Mrs. Whitehead
Edward Schneider (child age 5)
Carl Doonan
Lew B. Locelyn
Helen McDivitt
John Quinn
Mrs. John Scutt

For some reason, any illnesses after January were not recorded, including the death of Lucy Lee (that information was noted in the newspaper).

Thursday, January 10, 2019

January 1919 - 100 Years Ago "in That Thriving Town"

The Andes Recorder's Bovina column reported at the start of the year the Bovina Fire Insurance Company's pay out of claims for several people, including John Miller's burned barn and several livestock deaths. The local doctor upped his charges for house calls and a Dairymen's league was created.

January 3, 1919

·         A New Years dance was held here on Wednesday night.
·         Cecil Russell, who recently purchased the general merchandise business of Andrew T. Doig at the old Thos E. Hasting store, took over the business January 1.  The inventory was taken the past week.
·         The team of Mrs. Rockafeller, driven by her son Floyd, ran away Saturday.  The lad had them hitched to a bob when they started and he was dragged some distance behind the bob before he could disengage his hands from the lines.  The team then ran to James Bramley’s and after circling around among Bramley’s cows, which were being watered, ran on a knoll and were caught.  No damage was done.

January 10 1919

·         George H. Russell has moved from Russell hill to part of H.C. Burgin’s house in the Center.
·         Mrs. Frank VanDusen received a German helmet from her son, Leon, who sent it from the front.
·         William R. Aitken of the U.S.S. Wanderer has been here on a five day furlough, to visit his parents, Mr. and Mrs. John R. Aitken.
·         Louise, the youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Hilson, is now improving rapidly from an attack of influenza under the care of Miss Muir as nurse.

January 17, 1919

·         Dr. Whitcomb has increased his charge for calls in the village to $1.50 and other calls accordingly.
·         Harry Barlow age 10 years, died on his birthday, January 14, at the home of his aunt, Mrs. Wm. B. Smith, from Bright’s disease an heart trouble, which dated from an operation for appendicitis last February. He was born in Colorado and after the death of his mother came to live with his aunt.

Bovina Fire Insurance Co

List of amounts paid:

John M. Miller, barn burned - $2,000
Mrs. JohnIrvine, cow killed - $50
Emler Close damage to house - $11.17
R.E. Thomson, cows killed - $350
A.B. Phyfe, cows killed - $150
M.W. Thomson, cow killed - $20
N.B. Whitcomb, horse killed - $25
Ellsworth Tuttle, sheep killed - $5
Salary of officers - $102
State organization - $3
T.W. Miller printer - $9

January 24, 1919

·         Sloan Archibald lost a valuable cow Saturday. It bled to death after being dehorned.
·         Calvin Russell has gone to New York City, where he has employment for the winter.
·         Mrs. John A. Irvine is having an electric lighting system installed in her residence on Maple avenue.
·         The Bovina Center Co-Op Creamery patrons received a dividend of their surplus amounting to $3,632.16. The stockholders dividend this year was 5 percent.
·         Harold Robinson is home, discharged from the army.  Homer Burgin, who is in the marines, is home from France on a 30 day furlough.  He was “over the top” four times. J.L. Myers of the Aviation Corps, is still enjoying a furlough.

League Formed in Bovina

At a farmer’s meeting held Tuesday about 44 names were enrolled as members of the Dairymen’s League, W.J. Storie was chosen president; A.T. Archibald, secretary, and Frank T. Miller, treasurer.  A good start for the League in Bovina.

January 31, 1919

·         Letters from the boys ‘over there” are beginning to sift in, to the great relief of anxious mothers and other relatives.
·         The officers of the R.P. church for the ensuing year are: Fred Henderson, superintendent; Kenneth Kaufman, assistant; Millard Russell, secretary and treasurer.
·         A party Tuesday evening at Mrs. Ida Burgin’s, in honor of her son, Homer, whose furlough will soon expire, was largely attended, a number from Andes being present.