Friday, May 31, 2019

This Day in Bovina for May 2019

Sixty-four years ago, on May 1, 1955, Marshall Thomson resigned his position in the Bovina creamery. Marvin Archibald took over his job.

Fifty-eight years ago today, on May 2, 1961, the annual meeting of the trustees of the Bovina School District number 4 was held. The trustees voted to close the village school after the school year and send all pupils to adjoining central schools. The building later became the Bovina Public Library.

129 years ago today, the May 3, 1890 Stamford Mirror in its Bovina column reported that "a case of scarlet fever was reported to the Board of Health last week and the family of William B. Lull was placed under quarantine, but fortunately it turned out to be only a scarlet rash."

156 years ago today, on May 4, 1863, Edward O'Connor, one of the major figures of the Anti-Rent War, died in Michigan, five years, almost to the day, after his wife Janet's death. For more information on O'Connor, read the Bovina NY History blog at and

122 years ago today, the May 5, 1897 Delaware Gazette had this ad for the sale of 65 cows in Bovina from two farmers, Thomas Hoy and A.F. Maynard.

Fifty-four years ago today, the Bovina column of the May 6, 1965 Delaware Republican-Express reported that "Mr. and Mrs. Dan Waltzwer of New York spent the week-end in their summer home here in up town Bovina." This is not a name I recall. I'm wondering if anyone remembers this family.

130 years ago today, the May 7 1889 Stamford Mirror reported that "While Russell McFarland, of Bovina, was working at getting out a large stone the other day the lever slipped from his hand, striking him on the ear, causing a severe concussion of the brain, and he sustained other injuries to such an extent that he is confined to his bed and is under the doctor's care." This likely was Thomas Russell McFarland. Born in 1845, he survived this accident and died in 1915. Russell McFarland owned the first car in Bovina:

124 years ago, on May 8, 1895, as later reported in the Andes Recorder Bovina column, "James S. Gill of Margaretville was in town with a Scotch Granit monument which was placed in the new cemetery to the memory of his father and mother." Here's the monument
Photo by Ed and Dick Davidson

Eighty-nine years ago today, the May 9, 1930 issue of the Delaware Express reported that "David Draffen is confined to his bed with heart trouble." David and his wife, the former Agnes Burns, lived on what is now known as the Bindler place up Crescent Valley. David lived over another decade, dying in 1942. David and Aggie were my dad's great uncle and aunt.

152 years ago today, on May 10, 1867, Andrew T. Doig was born, the son of Walter Doig and Jane McNair. From 1893 to 1918 Doig was the proprietor of A.T. Doig's general store. He sold it to Cecil Russell at the end of 1918. Andrew died in 1924.  Here's an A.T. Doig bill to John Ruff from 1909. 

Sixty-eight years ago today, the May 11, 1951 issue of the Catskill Mountain News reported on new books at the Bovina Public Library. Titles included Dusty and His Friends; Rocket Shop to Mars', Johnny Appleseed; Care and Training of Husbands; Squirrely of Willow Hill; Body, Boots and Britches (this was a book of 'Folktales, Ballads and Seech from Country New York, written in 1939); Lou Gehrig; The Story of Lassie; and Anne of Green Gables.

Sixty-six years ago today, on May 12, 1953, Mrs. Ida McCune died in Binghamton following an operation. She was 82. She was born in 1870 and spent most of her life in Bovina. The daughter of Peter and Elizabeth NcNair, she married John McCune in 1896 and was widowed in 1942. Among her many community activities while in Bovina, she served for a number of years as the librarian at the Bovina Public Library. Her obituary in the May 22, 1953 Catskill Mountain News was entitled "Ida McCune Dies After Life of Good Deeds."

Fifty-eight years ago today, on May 13, 1961, as later reported in the Delaware Republican Express, "Mrs. Ray Jardine and daughter, Marian went to Brockport…where they visited Martha who is attending College there." The paper noted that they returned to Bovina the next evening.

Fifty-four years ago today, on May 14, 1965, as later reported in the Delaware Republican Express, a "Fire of undetermined origin…levelled the large overshot barn on the former William Parsons farm, Boggs Road, Bovina." The article went on to note that the "present owner, Edward Aniero, was unable to give an estimate of his loss, which is covered by insurance." As well as the barn, lost were "two sheep, a car, bicycle, a snow blower and some tools." The Bovina Fire Department responded to the fire, "under the direction of Fire Chief Floyd Aikens…but were unable to save the building due to a scarcity of water."

116 years ago, the May 15, 1903 Bovina column of the Andes Recorder reported that "The water in the streams is very low."

123 years ago today, on May 16, 1896, as later reported in the Andes Recorder Bovina column, "Mr. Muller was taken with a poor spell Saturday, but is again in about his usual health which is very poor." This was Jost Urban Müller. He died in August 1897. More information about Muller and his family can be see at the Bovina NY History blog at

116 years ago today, May 17, 1903, Margaret Isabel Doig was born in Bovina, the daughter of Robert W. Doig and Isabelle King. She married Jesse Nichols in December 1933 as his second wife. She was a school teacher in Walton for 44 years. Widowed in 1946, Margaret would live to be almost 100, dying in August 2002. She is buried in the Bovina Cemetery near her parents.

125 years ago, the May 18, 1894 Bovina column of the Andes Recorder reported that "Some of our dairymen have commenced packing their butter in firkins."

Ninety-seven years ago today, the May 19, 1922 Andes Recorder in its Bovina column reported that "John R. Aitkins has purchases a new Durant car." In the same column, it was also reported that Clarence LaFever has traded his motorcycle with Sheffield Smith for a Ford car." Clarence was the brother of Benson LaFever.

Thirty-eight years ago today, the May 20, 1981 Oneonta Daily Star carried an article about the Bovina Quilt. The quilt, now housed in the Bovina Museum, was started in the late 70s as a fundraising project. Different families submitted square for the quilt. The photo in the newspaper shows Frances Burns, Mary Jo Doig, Mary Jardine and Marilyn Gallant sewing the edges of the quilt.

110 years ago today, the May 21, 1909 Bovina column of the Andes Recorder reported that "thus far this year only 15 hunting licenses have been issued in town."

Ninety years ago today, the Bovina column in the May 22, 1929 Delaware Express noted that "Several were at the funeral of Mrs. Wm. Redman on Friday. Her sister, who has been at the Redman home for some weeks, left Walton Saturday night for her home in the west. The family has many sympathizing friends." Mrs. Pearl Redman was the wife of Willam Redman. She was 39 at her death from cancer. She left not only her husband but four children.

141 years ago today, on May 23, 1878, as later reported by the Lake Delaware correspondent of the Andes Recorder, "…Robert L. Livingston, Esq., and family, arrived at their pleasant summer home at Lake Delaware." The recorder went on to note the arrival of "Mr. Gerry, accompanied by his family, and servants” a couple of days later, noting that they "came by special train from Rondout to Dean’s, making but one stop, in less than two hours." The paper expressed the hope "that their stay this season may be among the most pleasant of those they have enjoyed." Mr. Gerry was Elbridge T. Gerry, son-in-law of Robert Livingston.

124 years ago today, on May 24, 1895, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "the remains of Mrs. Walter Forrest were brought here for interment last Friday. She resided in this town in her younger days." Mrs. Forrest was born Margaret Telford in 1815. Married to Walter Forrest in 1839, she had four children and was widowed in 1878.

138 years ago today, as later reported in the Stamford Mirror, "A terrific hail storm visited this section Wednesday afternoon (May 25, 1881), breaking window glass, and cutting up vegetation generally."

136 years ago, on May 26, 1883, as later reported in the Stamford Mirror, "Herman, eldest son of A.G. Thompson, fell and broke his arm…." This probably was George Herman Thomson (1869-1915). A.G. was Andrew G. Thomson (1835-1901).

121 years ago today, the May 27, 1898 Bovina column of the Andes Recorder reported that "The usual Memorial Day exercises will not be held here this year, owing to the fact that no appropriation was made and there is no funds." The following week's column reported that "while the usual Memorial Day exercises were not observed…the graves of the fallen heroes were marked with the flag they loved so well and strewed with the sweet flowers of nature."

120 years ago today, on May 28, 1899, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Andes Recorder, "Thomas H. Luddington, one of the oldest residents of this town, died…with a complication of diseases, and was aged about 75 years, and has always been a resident of the town, living until after the death of his wife a few years ago, on the old homestead above the Hook, but has been a resident of this village for a short time.  The funeral was held Wednesday, Rev. H.F. Brown officiating."

107 years ago today, the May 29, 1912 Delaware Gazette reported that "The Gerry Boys' Camp on the Wright farm in southern Bovina is a busy place, getting ready for the summer. The new chapel is up and enclosed, and the large pipe organ in the Gerry summer residence at Lake Delaware, is to be taken down and installed in the chapel. A dining hall and kitchen will also be erected, and work has been commenced on a pond for a swimming pool."

Seventy-nine years ago today, the May 30, 1940 Bovina Column in the Delaware Republican reported that "Maurice Hall is ill at present writing with a bad cold. A number of our people are affected with colds." Maurice Hall would recover and live until 1974. He was 78 at the time of his death.

137 years ago today, May 31, 1882, Miss Elizabeth McFarland died at the residence of her mother. The funeral was held June 2d. She was the daughter of Andrew McFarland and Jane Russell McFarland. She is buried in the Bovina Cemetery. Here is her headstone (photo by Ed and Dick Davidson). 

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Bovina Bicentennial Celebration, Update 5

Couple of updates about the Bicentennial celebration.

1) The Bovina County Pie and Cake Auction will be held from 10 to 2 on Saturday, July 20th at the Bovina Community Hall, with Chuck McIntosh as the auctioneer. Proceeds will to go to the Bovina Bicentennial Celebration fund. Gift baskets also will be auctioned and there will be raffle items available. 

We already have our first items that will be raffled off during the  Auction on July 20. Marcia McPherson Lichtman has graciously donated these two Bovina Bicentennial mugs she made with her own fair hands for our fundraiser.

2) If you are on Facebook, there now is a Town of Bovina Bicentennial 2020 page at  This page will be used to provide updates on all Bicentennial related events and activities.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Bovina Honors Hereos

In the June 9, 1916 issue of the Delaware Express, it was reported that Bovina only had five veterans in town and only two of them were fit enough to place flags on graves of their fallen comrades. These veterans were all veterans of the Civil War. Within 3 years, Bovina and the U.S. had gone through The Great War, meaning more veterans of combat. The May 31, 1919 issue of the Delaware Express reported a party given for Bovina's returned World War I soldiers:

"On Friday night, May 30th, there was held at the parsonage of the U.P. Church, a very largely attended and well conducted party for the returned Bovina soldiers. Although there were just nine soldiers present because there have been so many that have not yet come back and so many others who have come back but who are outside of town, yet this in no way dampened the fervor of the party. The soldiers were all formally presented to the crowd of guests and the guests responded with cheers and handclapping.

"Certain interesting contests followed. Prizes were given to the winners. Mrs. Harold Robeson won first prize for the ladies and Robert G. Thompson and Briceland Davis tied for the first place among the gentlemen. First class refreshments were served after the midnight hour arrived. It was a crowd of late but happy home-goers that left the parsonage at about 1:30 A.M. The party was a success in every way."

During the Second World War, a roll of honor was erected between the old fire house and what is now the Bovina Museum. To see a picture of this roll and an alphabetical index of the names, go to Thanks to Ed Davidson for providing the image and index.

Friday, May 10, 2019

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

As May arrived in Bovina, the village school house was preparing to install indoor toilets and a number of people were moving into or out of Bovina.

May 2, 1919

  • Canvassers report the Victory Loan progressing finely.
  • Herman Jocelyn is again able to drive the Dry milk truck.
  • The new catepiller tractor purchased by the town, arrived this week.
  • Mr. Howden, who formerly occupied the Jennie Miller place, will return to Bovina and occupy A.B. Phyfe’s house.
  • It is reported that Charles Hulbert, who purchased the Thomas Mabon or Lake Mahiken farm in this town, will stock the lake with trout.
  • Eugene Storie, who moved from Bovina to Hobart, has accepted a place in the garage of Chas T. Telford at Delhi, and has purchased a house in that village.

May 9, 1919

  • C.S. Terry, the garage man, has moved his family from Delhi to the house adjoining the Elliott Thomson shop.
  • William T. War, of Colchester Station, was in town last week.  He has sold the John Aitken farm to Gustav Lifgrin.

Will Install Sanitary Toilets

At the school meeting in this village district Frank T. Miller was chosen a trustee to succeed himself; John R. Aitken, collector, and Thomas Gordon clerk.  The trustees were authorized to raise enough money to furnish indoor toilets for the schoolhouse.

May 16, 1919

  • The V. Liberty Loan committee of Bovina, Succeeded in doubling their quota and a little more.
  • Clarence C. Lee has received his discharge and arrived last week at his home at Lake Delaware.  He was wounded in action with the 77th division. [Clarence would never totally recover from his wounds and died in 1922 from the effects of having been gassed in the war.]
  • The New Jersey parties, who purchased the farm of Fred Thomson in upper Bovina, have arrived.  They brought their goods thru in two vans.  Mr. Thomson has moved into part of G.D. Miller’s house in the Center.

Bovina Farm Sold

Jacob and Carl Stein, of McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, took possession last week of the Charles A. Tuttle farm located on the state road in Bovina.  The sale includes all personal property.  They will conduct it under the name of Stein Bros.  Mr. Tuttle has moved to Delhi.

May 23, 1919

  • Lancelot Thomson is confined to his home by the grip.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Aaron F. Harrington have moved into part of the Dickson big house.
  • John Howden has moved from South Kortright to A.B. Phyfe’s house in the Center.
  • Two inspectors are in town inspecting the milk delivered at the Center creamery; also the barns and cows of patrons.
  • Miss Ray Weaver of Turlock, California, is a guest of her friend, Mrs. William J. Storie.  Mrs. Storie and her guest were room-mates at Leland Sanford University.
  • Fred Whitebread moved this week from the Methodist parsonage to the house on the what is known as the John Oliver farm back of the Livingstone lake, and which is now owned by the Gerry’s.  He is employed on the Gerry estate.

May 30, 1919

  • William A. Hoy is having a milking machine installed, and will also have electric lights.
  • Chauncey McFarland has resigned as town assessor.  He was unable to secure help on his farm and had to give up the office.
  • James Ackerly, who is the carpenter on George Decker’s new house at Lake Delaware, has moved from Union Grove in order to be near his work.
  • Mrs. James Divitt, we understand will give up the Charles Hafele farm next week.  The family came here in November, 1917, from Oregon, and purchased the farm and the husband died last fall.  The eldest son commenced work this week in the dry milk plant.