Wednesday, July 31, 2019

This Day in Bovina for July 2019

101 years ago today, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "The first allotment of boys arrived at the Gerry Camp in southern Bovina Monday afternoon [July 1, 1918]."

Seventy-seven years ago today, the July 2, 1942 Bovina column in the Delaware Republican reported that "Clark Lay of Wallkill spent from Wednesday until Friday of last week at his home being called here by the death of his brother, Charles. Evelyn Lay of the Aknusti estate was home from Monday until Friday." A later item in the same column reported that "Funeral services for Charles Lay were held on Tuesday afternoon at the home of his grandfather, George H. Miller."

108 years ago today, on July 3, 1911, Mrs. Walter G. Coulter was taken to the State hospital at Binghamton. As later reported in the Andes Recorder, she had been examined by Drs. Scott and Ormiston a few days earlier "as to her mental condition and found her mind unbalanced." The paper went on to note that "it is hoped by her many friends that the trouble may be only temporary." She did recover and lived in Bovina until her death in June 1953. She was the mother of Ruth Coulter Parsons and Celia Coulter.

131 years ago today, on July 4, 1888, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Stamford Mirror, "The leap year supper…was well attended. The ladies failed to respond to the toasts, as they were expected to do, and were helped out by some of their gentlemen guests. The pleasure of the occasion was somewhat marred by the firecracker fiend, who persisted in throwing crackers around the hall door, and at persons passing along the street."

138 years ago today, on July 5, 1881, as later reported in the Stamford Mirror, "during a heavy storm of wind and rain, just before night, while Duncan Ballantine's team was being driven home from Strangeway's to Andes, a poplar tree was blown over and one of the limbs struck just between the team and the driver, breaking the wagon pole off, but doing no injury to either the man or the team, while the top of the tree struck in front of and around the team."

111 years ago today, at a town board meeting held July 6, 1908, it was reported that the highway fund was expended "and that there was $494.96 still due the workmen for work already performed." A resolution was passed to borrow "on the faith and credit of the town" $500 at six per-cent interest.

139 years ago today, on July 7, 1880, as later reported in the Stamford Mirror, "Rev. J.L. Scott, of Matteawa, delivered his popular lecture on Oliver Cromwell. It was very interesting."

Seventy-six years ago today, the Bovina column in the July 8, 1943 the Delaware Republican reported "Funeral services for Mrs. Everett Jocelyn, who died at the Delhi Hospital on Thursday night, were held at the home here on Saturday afternoon…Burial was made at Halcottville. Mrs. Charles Hyatt and sons Ralph and Everett of New York City attended the funeral but had to return to New York on Saturday evening as both boys are in the armed services and had only a 24-hour leave."

114 years ago today, on July 9, 1905, lightning struck Alexander Burns' wagon house in upper Bovina, but it did not catch fire.  One corner was slightly damaged, and the horses were stunned.  The Alexander Burns farm is at the end of Crescent Valley Road and is now owned by the Goggins family (and Alexander Burns is my great great grandfather).  That same day lightning struck a horse belonging to Will Maynard, while it was grazing in a pasture, but the horse survived.

Eighty-three years ago, the July 10, 1936 Binghamton Press reported on the plans to flood "eighteen hamlets" as part of New York City's plan to use water from the East Branch of the Delaware. The article noted that "beginning at Little Delaware, establishment of a reservoir would flood out the Hook and Bovina Center."

167 years ago today, on July 11, 1852, "an outraged was committed…in the town of Bovina upon the person of a young girl…" The story was reported in the Delaware Express and in turn was in the Albany Evening Journal. The girl, "between 12 and 13" was Nancy Cunningham. She was the niece of a local tavern keeper, Mr. Davis. The crime that was committee on her "for human baseness, can hardly find a parallel in the annals of crime." She had gone to Mr. Davis's barn to feed a pet calf and was seized from behind, her mouth covered, and a cap pulled over her eyes. She was dragged into the woods where she thought she heard more than one man. She lost consciousness, possibly from chloroform and had no further recollection of what happened. Her friends found her early the next morning "entirely insensible." Bovina's Dr. McKenzie visited her and "after an examination, pronounced her person to have been violated…" She was insensible for some time but "has now pretty much regained her reason, and it is thought will recover."  The article concluded that "it is sincerely hoped that the fiends who committed this diabolical outrage will be discovered and punished as they deserve, by being separated for the future from a civilized community."

143 years ago today, the July 12, 1876 Delaware Gazette reported the tragic death of Edward Seacord on July 3, who "was fatally injured by the falling of heavy timbers on his head from the loft of his barn." The article went on to report "Mr. Seacord was engaged in re-silling his barn, in company with four other persons, at the time. The heavy sleepers of the upper-loft, on which there was about a ton of hay, became loosened, probably by the spreading of the frame, and fell, injuring Mr. Seacord so that he survived but about one hour after the accident. The skull was no doubt fractured, as, after being restored to consciousness, vomiting followed until his death."

Seventy-nine years ago today, on July 13, 1940, as later reported in the Delaware Republican, "Miss Caroline Dickson of Long Beach, L.I., Mrs. Mary D. Baldwin of Ossining and Mr. and Mrs. Harold Curran and small son, Roger, of Washington, D.C., arrived here on Saturday for the summer vacation." Caroline, Mary and Mrs. Curran (Anna) were the daughters of Jane Loughran Dickson.

114 years ago today, on July 14, 1905, as later reported in the Andes Recorder's Bovina column, "Frank T. Miller had a narrow escape Friday while drawing in hay.  He had just driven into the barn with a load of hay when without warning the sleepers of the floor beneath the horses gave way and they went down with the floor.  One horse fell to the stable a distance of 17 feet but aside from bruises was uninjured.  Every whit of harness except the collars was stripped from the horses.  The floor where the wagon stood did not go down."

157 years ago today, on July 15, 1862, James Miller swore in a statement that he was unfit for military duty. Specifically, he said "that he is afflicted with a complaint of the lungs…" Miller's was one of several filed in this time period.

198 years ago today, on July 16, 1821, Archibald Armstrong was born. The son of John Armstrong and Isabella Coulter, he died in October 1829 when he was eight years old.

139 years ago today, on July 17, 1880, as later reported in the Stamford Mirror Bovina column, a serenade was given to a Bovina couple. It is the earliest reference I’ve located to the term 'Pink Street.' "Norman tenders his sincere thanks to the 'Pink Street' band for the serenade which he says was given him and his girl on Saturday evening, July 17th."

117 years ago today, the Bovina column of the Andes Recorder for July 18, 1902, reported that "The well borers at the Centre creamery are now down about sixty feet.  Thus far they have been boring through gravel with an occasional layer of clay. How much further they will have to go to strike rock and good water is a matter of conjecture.  There has been no lack of water so far such as it is." Within the week, they struck water at about 85 feet.

170 years ago today, the July 19, 1849 New York Tribune reported on several Anti-Rent meetings in the Delaware County area, including one in Bovina.  A resolution was passed at this meeting, that read in part: "That we consider the tenants the only true possessors, and that our possession should never enure to the benefit of the landlord who fraudulently imposed his leases upon us; and that, in order to bring this cause speedily to an issue, we call upon those who have it in charge to forward the aforenamed suit as speedily as possible, in order to determine us in our course and quiet the minds of so large a community." The resolution went on state that "we, the injured, defrauded and oppressed people will wage perpetual warfare against that accursed system, until it is eradicated root and branch, and call upon every well-wisher of society, every lover of liberty, and every officer wielding influence, either Executive, Legislative or Judicial, to aid us in the just cause we have commenced."

109 years ago today, on July 20, 1910, as later reported in the Andes Recorder Bovina column, "…a dryer for the Dry Milk plant was hauled from Delhi and installed. It weighs five tons and two teams were used to bring it up." The Dry Milk plant was part of the Bovina Center creamery in the hamlet.

117 years ago today, on July 21, 1902, the well borers at the site of the Bovina Center creamery finally struck water at about 85 feet. That done, the well-boring machinery was moved to Mr. Sharpe's on the Elisha Maynard Farm (probably near what is now Christian Ingvordsen's place near Cape Horn).

121 years ago today, the July 22, 1898 Bovina column of the Andes Recorder reported that "The weather the past week has been very close and hot. Rain is much needed." The Bovina correspondent also noted that "some have finished haying and have a big crop. Most of the barns are not large enough and stacking has had to be resorted to."

Eighty years ago today, on July 23, 1939, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Delaware Republican, "Miss Helen McDivitt had the misfortune to slip off a rock at her home here…and break her leg. She is in the Delhi Hospital."

149 years ago today, on July 24, 1870, as later reported in the Delaware Gazette, "A violent thunder storm passed over Scotch Mountain, in this town, and a portion of Bovina…For a short time it rained a perfect deluge, and we learn that the barn of Mr. George Close, residing near Fish Lake, Bovina, was struck by lightning and entirely consumed. It contained the hay crop just harvested and is a severe loss to Mr. C. who is not well able to suffer it."

121 years ago today, the Bovina column of the Andes Recorder reported that "this place was visited by a fine rain Monday night (July 25, 1898) and Tuesday morning." This was much welcome after a period of hot and very dry weather.

Ninety-one years ago today, the Bovina correspondent for the Andes Recorder reported in its July 26, 1928 issue that "William H. Irvine, of Seattle, Washington, son of Mrs. Elizabeth Irvine, of Bovina, recently underwent an operation for tumor on the brain by Mayo brothers, the famous surgeons at Rochester, Minnesota. He had a similar operation more than a year ago. His condition is favorable." Unfortunately, William would succumb to his illness in May 1929. He was one of the brothers of Isabell Russell.

Fifty-four years ago today, on July 27th, 1965, the Bovina Ski Club held a white elephant sale at the community hall.

108 years ago today, the July 28, 1911 Bovina column of the Andes Recorder reported that "Richard Smith, for many years a shoemaker here, died recently in California." Smith was born in England in 1827 and came to the United States in 1852. He was in Bovina for many years and didn't go to California until late in life, after 1905. He died in Santa Ana, California on July 11, 1911.

Ninety years ago today, on July 29, 1929, as later reported in the Delaware Express, "Mrs. Ray Thomson had the misfortune Monday to have a horse step on one of her hands, breaking one of her fingers."

Fifty-three years ago today, on July 30, 1966, Emily Elliott Burns died. The daughter of John Elliott and Ella Squires, she was born in 1887. In 1915, she married Bill Burns, who would survive her. They had five children, sons Robert, James and Clarence and daughters Eleanor, who married Marvin Archibald, and Kathryn, who married Jack Messina.

Sixty-seven years ago today, the Bovina column in the July 31, 1952 Delaware Republican-Express reported "Mr. and Mrs. Edward Coleman of New York City spent several days at the McKenzie cottage. While there, misfortune overtook Mrs. Coleman while preparing supper on an outside fireplace, when a loose brick at the base tripped her, causing her to fall. Her outstretched hand came in direct contact to a hot griddle, causing a deep painful burn. She was taken to Margaretville at once when Dr. Palen made her as comfortable as possible and she left for home on Tuesday."

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Bovina Bicentennial Celebration, Update 7

Our first big fundraising event, the Bovina Country Pie and Cake Auction, was a big success, with over $2500 raised. Thank you for everyone who helped with the pie and cake auction - Brooke Alderson, Pamela Benson, Briana Riera, Wendy Buerge and Maureen Krueger. And thanks to anyone who made a dessert. And also thanks to the assorted Riera kids who helped bring items to Chuck. And a huge thank you to Chuck McIntosh for sharing his auction skills.

I will be promoting the the Bicentennial Celebration at Delhi Telephone Company's annual community day event on August 7. 

I am still finalizing the order for the promotional poster. The plan is to offer a larger (18 x 24) high quality print version for $60, and a smaller version (12 x 18) for $15. I will be staffing a table at Bovina Farm Day to sell the posters. And by September, they also will be available via mail order, for an additional shipping and handling fee. When this happens, I will alert everyone through Facebook and this blog, with details of how to order.

Here's what the poster will look like:


Tuesday, July 16, 2019

California Bound

151 years ago, the Delaware Gazette for  April 22, 1868 reported the following:

California Bound. —While taking a comfortable breakfast at Brinley & Steele’s Hotel, New York Tuesday of last week, in came a number of familiar faces which we recognized as Robert Smith, Jr., Daniel Smith, James Armstrong, and John Hart and family, including his mother-in-law, of Delhi, James Miller, of Bovina, and James Davidson of Andes, with their families, also John B. Scott, of Bovina, the whole party numbering twenty-five men, women and children. The two Messrs. Smiths were married on the Saturday previous, and Mr. Davidson on Monday after they had started on the journey. They were all looking hearty and full of hope for the future. May they not be disappointed. They sailed on Wednesday, the 15th, for San Francisco. They are as worthy and good citizens as ever emigrated to any country, and we are sorry to lose them.

The competing newspaper, the Delaware Republican, had reported the three aforementioned marriages:
April 11th at the Presbyterian parsonage by Rev. J.H. Robinson, Mr. Daniel Smith to Miss Nellie W. Gordon, both of Delhi.
At the same time and place, by the same, Mr. Robert Smith, of Delhi to Miss Elizabeth C. Miller of Bovina.
April 13th, at the same place by the same, Mr. Jas Davidson to Miss Bell Hutson, both of Andes.

Several of these people were related to each other. The Elizabeth Miller who married Robert Smith was a first cousin to James Miller. And Robert and Daniel Smith were brothers, the sons of Robert S. Smith and Christiana McFarland. They were later followed to California by their brother Alexander. And their sister Janet was married to James Miller.

So how did these folks do in California?

Elizabeth and Robert Smith settled in Salinas, California, where all four of their children were born. Robert Smith was a Fruit Stock Grain Farmer according to the 1900 census. By then, they were living in Fresno, where Robert died in 1903. Elizabeth died there in 1906. Both are buried in California. Elizabeth’s cousin James and his wife, Janet or Jeanette Smith, who he married in 1866, also settled in California in Santa Clara. They later lived in Fresno. James was a “stock raiser.” James and Janet had five children, three of whom survived. The couple both died in 1920 and are buried in the same cemetery as James’ cousin Elizabeth.  

James Davidson, who married Isabella Hutson, does not appear to have been related to Fletcher Davidson. I have not had any luck tracking this couple down. James Armstrong and John B. Scott have been equally elusive.

John Hart likely is the John Hart who was born in 1827 and was living in Delhi in 1860 with his wife, the former Janette Burnet. By 1865, the family had grown with four children. They had one more child before heading west. They had more children in California. John and Janette had a total of ten children, five of whom died before their mother did (some may have died before the family went west). John died in San Joaquin County, California in 1892 and is buried there. Janette still was living in 1900 in California. 

The newspapers weren't the only reports of these folks moving west. Walter Coulter in his diary particularly noted on Elizabeth Miller's getting married and heading to California.

Courtesy of the Delaware County Historical Association

Monday, July 8, 2019

July 1919 - 100 Years Ago "in That Thriving Town

July 4, 1919
·         Haying is in full blast.  Some day hands are receiving $5 per day.
·         The assessors found 150 dogs in Bovina this year.  Last year the number was 142.
·         Dr. N.B. Whitcomb has sold his house to Mrs. Hamilton Russell.  The price is said to be $3,000.
·         Miss Jane Hilson, who has been teaching at South Hampton, is attending summer school at Columbia University
·         William Archibald, at the arch bridge, is putting concrete driveway, cow beds and feeding floors in the stable of his barn.
·         Harold Robinson has leased rooms in George Gladstone’s (Kennedy) house and he and his bride will commence housekeeping therein.
·         The town assessors met Wednesday [July 2, 1919] to complete their roll.  They succeeded in adding considerable personal property to the roll – 51 being caught.  It is stated that the town of Hancock lets the personal slip and only has 3 assessed personal in the entire town.
·         The team of Mr. Ganger, on the Bouton farm up-town, ran away Tuesday afternoon [July 1, 1919] at Rema Hobbie’s.  Miss Ganger, who was driving, was thrown out and when found was lying by the roadside and unable to rise.  A physician was summoned and found that her injuries were not serious and she was around the next day. 

Bovina Lad Has Narrow Escape

Lloyd Oliver had a narrow escape Tuesday [July 1, 1919] from going off the high wall at Alex Myers’ in his car.  Something was wrong with the car and Terry, the garage man, towed it backwards to the top of the pitch and he started to coast down.  In front of the Myers house a rod dropped down careering the car into the air so that only one wheel was on the ground and when it righted itself it was on the wall and less than a foot from the edge.  Mr. Oliver who had no brakes, succeeded in guiding the car along the wall and it was stopped in front of Elliott Thomson’s. 

July 11, 1919
·         James A. Gow has purchase a new Buick six roadster.
·         Sugar is scarce.  Hilson Brothers expect to have two tons August 1st.
·         Fred Thomson was at Oneonta this week taking an examination for chauffer.
·         Mrs. Betts, who was formerly Hannah Cathels, of Bovina, and her dauter, from South Dakota, are visiting in the vicinity of her old home up Pink street.
·         Henry Archibald, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Craddock and son, motored here from New York City and spent the past week with relatives.  On their return they were accompanied by Mrs. W.J. Crosier of this place, and James F. Forman, of Delhi.
·         Fire Chief Alex Myers wishes to give warning to the parties who on the morning of July Fourth broke out the glass over bell rope at the fire house and rang the bell, that further tampering with the alarm will lead to unpleasant consequences.
·         Will Johnson, who lives up-town, left his auto standing into front of Hilson’s store Monday [July 7, 1919] night and it was run into by the car of an out of town party, who did not stop to see what damage had been done.  The Johnson car sustained a smashed fender and the steering gear was bent.  The stranger was minus a hub cap.

Lots of Noise in Bovina

Dynamite Used – One citizen Frightened by Sheep in Bedroom.

If noise was an indication of a celebration Bovina had it in the early hours of the fourth of July.  As usual the fun resulted in damage to property by the use of dynamite.  At Gideon Miller’s a tree was ruined and at his blacksmith shop glass broken out.  At Mrs. W.R. Miller’s the glass was blown from the front door and panes of glass and flat stones at George Gladstone’s and much other damage done about town.

The joke of the morning was the taking of Rank Miller’s sheep and putting it into Dixon Thomson’s bedroom window. Mrs. Thomson was awakened by the noise of the sheep moving about and told her husband that there was someone in the house.  Mr. Thomson had the scare of his life when he reached out his hand and put it on something soft by the side of the bed and supposed that it was a burglar in a fur coat.

July 18, 1919
·         Harry Martin of the Dry Milk force went to Trout Creek on business Tuesday.
·         J. Clifton Irvine, his brother Lloyd, and J. Millard Blair, started for Seattle, Washington, on Tuesday [July 15], expecting to remain.
·         Bovina real estate transfers recorded are James R. Honeywell and others to Alfred E. Luckhurst, $250; Ralph S. Ives and wife to Elizabeth Cumming, $1.

July 25, 1919
·         The sugar famine has struck Bovina.
·         Arthur Kellam now owns a Ford runabout.
·         Robert Fiero of the Dry Milk plant, is on the sick list.
·         Miss Jean Hume is now the proud owner of a Dodge car.
·         Miss Jennnie E. Miller is confined to her home with a severe cold.
·         Harry Martin and family intend to move into part of Miss Louisa Dennis house.
·         William A. Hoy is having his residence, the Pressley house, treated to a new dress of paint.
·         Thursday, August 28th, has been decided upon as the date for the community picnic which Bovina people hold annually.

Last of Her Generation

Mrs. William B. Thomson died at her home in upper Bovina early Wednesday morning, July 23, from disease of the kidneys, at the age of 77 years.  Her maiden name was Nettie McEachron and she was the last of the family of Deacon Alex McEachron.  She was born on the farm now owned by Fred Henderson and had always resided in the town.  Besides her husband she leaves two sons, Alex Thomson at home and Dr. Leonard Thomson at Torrington, Conn.  The funeral was held Thursday. 

Bovina Girl Wins Scholarship

The scholarship for Delaware county at Cornell, which entitles the holder to four years of free tuition in Cornell University, was won by Miss Marjorie Dickson, of Bovina Center, a daughter of the late Dr. G. J. Dickson.  Her record was 271 ½ point.