Saturday, February 29, 2020

This Day in Bovina for February 2020

Here are the entries on the Town of Bovina Historian Facebook page for February 2020:

130 years ago, the February 1, 1890 Delaware Republican had a couple of items in its Bovina column on Bovina butter: Some of our farmers who were dreaming of 25c for their butter last September, are now selling for 15c. ''Tis true, 'tis pity; pity 'tis, 'tis true.'"  The column went on to note later "The way some of our farmers hang on to their butter is rather suggestive of the grippe."

Ninety-five years ago today, on February 2, 1925, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "….Sloan Archibald received a box of oranges from his son, Russell Archibald, who is spending the winter in Florida."

Sixty-eight years ago today, on February 3, 1952, as later reported in the Delaware Republican-Express, "Clayton Thomas and George Storie motored to Forest City, Pa."

199 years ago today, on February 4, 1821, John Fuller died. The death notice in the Delaware Gazette: "In Bovina…after a short illness, which he bore with Christian fortitude and resignation, Mr. John Fuller, aged 20 years, son of Mr. Elihu Fuller."

200 years ago today, on February 5, 1820, bills were reported on petitions in the New York State Legislature. One bill, reported by Mr. Storrs, was "An act to erect a new town by the name Bovina…in the county of Delaware."

Eighty-six years ago today, on February 6, 1934, Archibald Phyfe died. Born in 1848, he spent his whole life in Bovina, most of it on the family farm. He married Mary Ormiston in 1875 and was widowed 10 years later. His sister Sarah moved in with him to help raise his two daughters. On February 4, 1928, Archie and his sister were overcome by coal gas. He survived but Sarah died. More about the tragedy involving Sarah can be found in the Bovina NY History Blog at

152 years ago today, on February 7, 1868, the town auditors of Bovina passes a resolution to pay to Peter Clark $12 from the dog fund to cover "damages sustained by him in June 1860 for sheep killed by unknown dogs."

Ninety-nine years ago today, on February 8, 1921, David Sloan of Crested Butte, Colorado passed away. The Andes Recorder reported his death under the headline "Former Bovina Man is Dead." The paper noted that Sloan was the "assistant sergeant at arms of the state senate…" He died "at the home of his daughter, Mrs. James M. Gladstone, with who he resided during the session of the legislature." He died of pneumonia and was buried in Gunnison, Colorado. Born in Ireland 77 years earlier, he settled in Bovina where he was a shoemaker for a number of years. His shop was at the entrance to the Bovina creamery on what is now the home of Dick and Carol Brannen. He went to Colorado in the 1890s where "for a long period was employed as watchman for the Colorado Fuel and Iron Col at its Crested Butte mines." He was a widower, survived by a son in Iowa and three daughters all in Colorado.

152 years ago today, on February 9, 1864, Michael Miller signed this oath of office as town clerk for the Town of Bovina. He would serve for one term. 

122 years ago today, Maggie Coulter recorded the following in her diary for February 10, 1898: "Cloudy this morning rained a little this forenoon. Fogy this afternoon & evening. Liddle's stayed all night here. Went over to Steven Russell's for dinner. Had potatoes, scalloped oysters, pressed chicken & Bread first course. Second course biscuits, 4 kinds of cake, peach cauce and oranges. Present at Russell's were Rev. Samson, Rev. Slater, Mrs. Samson, Frank & Addie Russell, Mary Coulter, Mrs. David Oliver Sen., John A. Russell wife and sons, Frank Armstrong, Mary Armstrong, Walter Coutler, Herman Coulter, Edwin Russell, Lena Russell, Mary Anne Russell, Mrs. John G. Russell, Will Russell, George Russell, Steven Russell, Mary Russell, Joe McNally, Maggie Russell." Maggie later married J. Russell Boggs and died in 1951. Thank you to her granddaughter, Barbara Boggs Ide for donating her grandmother's diaries, now housed at the Delaware County Historical Association.

Seventy-one years ago today, the February 11, 1949 Bovina column in the Catskill Mountain News reported that "William Parsons was in the Margaretville hospital two days last week for a checkup. He has not been in his usual health all winter." Bill recovered, surviving until 1962.

Eighty-three years ago today, the February 12, 1937 Otsego Farmer reported that "A Delaware County jury in Supreme Court at Delhi on Wednesday night, valued a human life at $2,250 when it returned a verdict after six hours' deliberation in favor of Mrs. Minnie Hansen of Bovina for the death of her son, Claude Hansen, fatally injured in an accident near Shavertown more than a year ago." The paper went on to report that her son Walford received $1,282 for injuries received in the same accident. He was incapacitated for over nine months. Claude had died in December 1935 and was buried in the Bovina cemetery. His mother passed away in 1960. The Hansens had come to Bovina from Colorado in the 1920s.

138 years ago today, Alexander Storie wrote in his diary for Monday, February 13, 1882 the following: "Thawed all last night. The fields are partly bare. Rained heavy most of the day. High water in PM. Wind S."

132 years ago today, the February 14, 1888 Stamford Mirror reported in its Bovina column: "Rev. J.B. Lee has sold his place, it is reported, to someone in Delhi, but as the name of the purchaser has not been disclosed, it is exciting a great deal of curiosity and guessing as to who the party is." This is the house to the right of the Bovina UP Church, now owned by Amy Burns.

Sixty-nine years ago today, the February 15, 1951 Bovina column in the Delaware Republican-Express reported that "Last week the Bovina Center Co-Operative Dairy, Inc. again paid a thirteenth check to its patrons for milk delivered. A total of $19,410.00 or $.02 1/2 per dollar value of all milk delivered at the plant during the year 1950 was paid." The paper went on to note that "Over the period of the past eight years the Bovina Center Co-Operative Dairy, Inc. has paid its patrons  total of $290,000.00 in thirteenth checks and special premiums or an average of $.234 per cwt. for all milk delivered at the plant during that time."

200 years ago on February 16, 1820, Samuel Adee was born in what became Bovina only nine days after his birth. He was the son of Darius Adee and Harriet Jewell. He later married Anna Barker. Samuel died April 2, 1896 and is buried in Bovina.

195 years ago today, on February 17, 1825, Margaret McCune was born in Bovina, the daughter of John McCune (1794-1850) and Catherine McNaught (1796-1874). She married John Bramley in 1847 and had nine children. She died a little over two weeks after her husband in the fall of 1899, survived by four of her nine children.

Ninety-four years ago today, on February 18, 1926, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Andes Recorder, "Mrs. Isaac Mitchell underwent an operation for appendicitis at the Delhi hospital…"

Sixty-six years ago today, on February 19, 1954, the Bovina Fire Department held its annual pancake supper in the church parlors, with serving starting at 6:30 p.m.

200 years ago today, on February 20, 1820, Jennette Black was born, the daughter of William Black and Margaret Halliday. She was married twice, first to James R. Thomson and later to Matt Russell. She died December 17, 1893 and is buried in Bovina.

177 years ago today, on February 21, 1843, Walter Stott, Jr, the Commissioner of Common Schools in Bovina certified an alteration in school district 10, transferring James Aitkins from district 10 to district 2 (which was located in the area of Pink Street). 

175 years ago today, on February 22, 1845, James Coulter signed this oath of office as town supervisor. It was notarized by Edward McKenzie, the Town Clerk. Both men later in the year would get involved with the Anti-Rent War and would be present at the shooting of Undersheriff Osman Steele. Coulter was arrested and McKenzie was brought in to testify at the subsequent trial.

190 years ago today, on February 23, 1830, Isaiah Laing, the 19 year old son of Rev. Robert Laing, passed away. He is buried in the churchyard that was next to the church where his father served as the church's first pastor.

Sixty-nine years ago today, on February 24, 1951, as later reported in the Bovina Column of the Delaware Republican-Express: "Boyce Rosmann moved his family…to Mable Thomson's house. Charles LaFever is now living in the home of his brother, Howard LaFever." The house that my dad moved into was my childhood home. Mom and Dad would live there the rest of their lives.

200 years ago today on February 25, 1820, the New York State legislature passed an act creating the Town of Bovina. Happy Bicentennial Birthday to Bovina!

175 years ago today, the February 26, 1845 Delaware Gazette reported "More Outrages" in the Anti-Rent War, including this item: "We…understand that constable Edgerton [of Delhi] was molested and his business demanded by men in disguise, while staying Friday night at a house in Bovina. He refused to tell his business, and was not further molested; in neither case had the officers any business connected with the rent matters."

Seventy-two years ago today, the Bovina Center column of the Catskill Mountain News for February 27, 1948, reported "William J. Storie has resigned his position as secretary of the Bovina Center creamery. Miss Beatrice Thomson will take over the work on March 1."

Thirty-one years ago today, on February 28, 1989, the Delaware County Times carried this article about Ed and Donna Weber's farm and an award they received. 

156 years ago today, on February 29, 1864, William B. Laidlaw and David A. Elliott signed these statements requesting to have the $350 owed to them by the town of Bovina as a bounty for enlisting paid to relatives. William's was to his uncle Ebenezer. David's payment was to his brother John A., himself a Civil War veteran who was discharged for disability the month before. David was captured in June 1864 and died in Andersonville prison in three months later.  

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Bovina Bicentennial Celebration, Update 14

NOTE, February 26: My apologies - this was supposed to have posted yesterday and in the flurry of activities I dropped the ball on this. I'm posting as originally intended. 

Today is Bovina's 200th Birthday. It was on this day in 1820 that the New York State Legislature enacted the legislation creating the town of Bovina. The act is recorded in Chapter 39 of the proceedings of the 43rd session of the New York State Legislature. That same act also created the towns of Wheeler in Steuben County and Beekmantown in Clinton County. 

We are launching our Bicentennial celebration this evening (February 25) with a pot-luck birthday party at the Bovina Community Hall from 6-9. Bring a dish to pass - refreshments (non-alcoholic) will be provided. You are welcome to bring your own refreshments (alcoholic or not). We will have a birthday cake by Lisa Stanton. And if you can't bring a dish to pass come anyway! There should be plenty.

Work continues on the big celebration for August 1 and 2, 2020 on McIntosh's flat in Bovina Center. We still could use volunteers for the parade and event under the tent committees.

We expect soon to have available rules and applications for parade entries. Start thinking about the kind of float you'd like to see in the parade and make it yourself!

Kristen Schneider is organizing a historic photo contest. We are looking for pictures of Bovina people, places, events and life from before 1970. 

In case you're curious, here's the section of the act that created the Town of Bovina:

Monday, February 17, 2020

1920 Census in the Town of Bovina

Over a 20-day period in January 1920, John W. McCune went from door to door as a census enumerator, collecting information on the citizens of Bovina for the 1920 Federal Census. McCune had been appointed enumerator the month before. He was 54 years old at the time he took on this task.

Here’s some of the information he found about the people of Bovina 100 years ago:

·  Bovina had 858 people in 1920. The town had a population of 912 in the 1910 Federal Census and 867 in the 1915 New York State Census. At the 1925 state census, the number would drop slightly to 850. By 1930, there would be a significant drop to 771.
·  Bovina had twenty-one children under the age of one. There were 255 children aged 16 or less. 174 of these children were attending school. 735 people could read and write (the vast majority of those who couldn’t were young children).
·  The town’s oldest resident was Robert R. Haynes, age ninety-one, living with Everett J. DeSilva. Robert was the grandfather of Everett’s wife, Katherine Haynes DeSilva. Robert would live another six years, dying in 1926 at the age of 96.
·  Bovina had 402 females and 456 males.
·  Bovina had 404 married people and 121 single people above the age of eighteen (a total of 399 were listed as single, including children). Bovina also had thirty-two widows and twenty-two widowers.
·  Forty-nine people were listed as naturalized (nineteen), alien (twenty-six) or papers submitted (four).
·  757 Bovina citizens were New York born. Forty-eight others were born in the United States outside of New York, including twenty-one from Pennsylvania. Forty-nine were foreign born, including ten from Canada. Other countries represented include Austria (five), Denmark (two), England (five), Germany (five), Holland (one), Ireland (two), Italy (three), Norway (three), Scotland (eight), and Switzerland (three). Two came from “Straits Settlements,” which were a group of British territories in Southeast Asia, including Singapore.
·  Bovina had 141 farms, the vast majority likely being dairy farms.
·  Under Trade or professions, Bovina had 144 farmers – the single biggest category of occupation. Bovina also had 118 laborers, eleven teachers and six carpenters. Some other occupations included five servants, two blacksmiths, three machinists, three drivers and three truck drivers, and one each had such jobs as barber, electrician, file clerk, and postmaster.

McCune, the census taker, died in Bovina in 1942.

Monday, February 10, 2020

February 1920 - 100 Years Ago "in That Thriving Town"

A number of people were sick in town and efforts were being made to get a town doctor.

February 6, 1920

·         There is considerable sickness from colds in town.
·         Alex Thomson, in upper Bovina, is having alterations and improvements made on the interior of his residence.  John Muir of Andes is the carpenter.

Voter enrollment numbers - Bovina: 62 Dems, 198 Rep, 39 Prohibitionists

February 13, 1920

·         The widow of Samuel Dean, aged 75 years, died at Bloomville, January 29.  The body was placed in the vault at Delhi and in the spring it will be buried in the Bovina Center cemetery.  She and her husband were former residents of this town.

February 20, 1920

·         Lent began Wednesday.
·         Mrs. William Crosier it very poorly at present writing.
·         The mail carrier was unable to get thru the snow drifts Monday [Feb 16].  The mail got thru Tuesday. 
·         Bovina has hopes of having a doctor locate here soon.  Rev. H.K. Galloway has been corresponding and has received replies from 20.
·         Allen S. Kelsey, who lives up-town, has purchased a Pine Tree Milking Machine thru H.F. Bouton, and it will be installed as soon as the weather will permit.
·         Much sickness prevails in Bovina.  At Mr. Kennedy’s on the Irvine farm up Coulter Brook there are four cases of pneumonia – three of the family and Elmer Doig, the hired man.
·         John M. Miller is seriously ill at his home in the village.  His son Howard Miller, of Mt. Vernon, was called home last week, and Leila Miller, who is attending school at Walton, came home Wednesday. [He died the day 

February 27, 1920

·         In one day recently Dr. Pace, of Andes, visited 20 patients in town.
·         Marshall Scott, who recently sold his farm up-town, has moved into the Methodist parsonage. [This is now the Chuck and Betty McIntosh home.]
·         The farmers are hauling coal in order to keep the Dry Milk plant running and the creamery open. 
·         The arch bridge near the Strangeway store in the Center will be replaced the coming summer by a new one of concrete.  The stones of the present structure are beginning to crush under the heavy traffic.