Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Bovina 150 Years Ago - the 1870 Federal Census of Bovina

William Stott conducted the 1870 Federal Census for the Town of Bovina from June 17 to July 4, 1870. Stott was born in Bovina in 1829, the son of George and Ellen Stott. He was married to Jennie McNee for, tragically, only six months. Married in March, she died in September 1866.  I have yet to work out when he passed away, but he was on the 1880 census for Bovina.

Here are some of the numbers that came out of that census from 150 years ago.

·  The population was 1022, a drop of 220 people from 1860. In 1880, the population would be about the same.

·  Oldest person in Bovina was Nancy Russell Thomson, who was eighty-nine. She was born in Scotland, the daughter of James and Sarah Russell. She married James Thompson in 1805. He died in 1867. She would live until 1873.

·  The town had nine people who were eighty or older, and twenty-two people under the age of one. 343 were age sixteen or under.

·  884 Bovina citizens were born in New York. Over half of that number had at least one parent of foreign birth, while 322 had both parents of foreign birth. Another ten were born in other states in the United States. 104 were Scottish born, another twelve were born in Ireland, eight in England and one from Switzerland.

·  Bovina’s population included 191 farmers (with 27 others listed as farm laborers), 35 domestic servants and 28 laborers. Bovina had eight teachers, eight carpenters, five stone masons and four each of coopers and shoemakers. Bovina had three each of dry goods merchants and millers and two each of such occupations as wagon maker, dress maker, tailoress, clergyman, blacksmiths and teamsters. Bovina also had one physician (Charles Frisbee), a Cattle Broker (John Hastings), a saloon keeper (Alex Kinmouth), and a tea peddler (Edward Boggs).

·  The town had 275 school children. Bovina’s residents were well educated, with only four people of school age or older who could not read or write.

·  Two town residents were labeled as ‘idiotic.’ One was blind and one was listed as ‘deaf and dumb.’

·  There were more cows than people in Bovina, with 2201 dairy cows. And there were slightly more sheep than people, with 1113 (five years later, the population of sheep would drop by half).

·  276 Bovina residents were male citizens of the United States (women could not vote at this time).

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