Friday, July 31, 2020

This Day in Bovina for July 2020

Here's the compilation of the postings from July on the Town of Bovina Historian Facebook page:

Eighty-one years ago today, on July 1, 1939, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Delaware Republican, the Bovina Boy Scout troop, accompanied by Rev. McClellan and Edward Schneider returned from a two-day trip to the World's Fair in New York City.

192 years ago today, on July 2, 1828, David Thomson posted the following ad in the Delaware Gazette: "Six Cents Reward. Ran away from the subscriber on the 1st inst. an indented apprentice of the Farming business, by the name of Mitchell McComb, in the 20th year of his age. All persons are forbid harboring or trusting him on my account as I will pay no debts of his contracting after this date. The above reward will be paid to any person who will apprehend and return said boy to me but no charges." Whether and/or how he was returned has not been determined but by 1840, McComb had his own farm in Bovina. Before 1850 he sold the farm and ended up in Delhi working as a laborer. He served in the Civil War and settled in Washington, DC after the conflict, where he died in 1880.

171 years ago today, in a Chattel Mortgage dated July 3, 1849, Zebulon Ashby mortgaged "the grass on the ground also the corn & potatoes, one yearling heifer red & white, one grey mare, one brown mare, nineteen sheep…one saddle & bridle & spirituous liquors & tavern furniture on the premises…" Ashby had a tavern at the Hook (Lake Delaware area). The mortgage was for $370.70.  The mortgage holder was William Schermerhorn.

194 years ago today, on July 4, 1826, was the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Bovina, like many communities, held celebrations of this event. More information about the Bovina celebrations can be found at the Bovina NY History blog at

115 years ago, on July 5, 1905, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Andes Recorder, "Claude Erkson and his aunt while returning from Hobart, met with an accident.  The passenger train rounded the curve just after they passed the crossing and the horse taking fright ran into the steep bank and upset the buggy.  Both occupants were thrown out and badly shaken up, but not seriously injured. Erkson held to the reins and stopped the horse."

Ninety-one years ago today, the July 6, 1928 Andes Recorder reported that "The new residence of Miss Angelica L. Gerry near Lake Delaware is expected to be ready for occupancy about September 1." This was Ancrum. The house would be demolished in 1963 after Miss Gerry's death. 

158 years ago today, on July 7, 1862, Charles F. Smith submitted this claim for exemption from military service "on account of ill health since he was afflicted with diphtheria…" The statement was sworn before Justice of the Peace James R. Douglas.

200 years ago today, July 8, 1820, the layout of the Town of Bovina school districts was documented in the town minutes. Here’s the first page from the minutes describing the first two districts – five districts were laid out in total. 

101 years ago today, July 9, 1918, as later reported in the Andes Recorder Bovina column "Will Roney, of Andes, and a representative of the International Harvester company were here … and sold 3-horse power kerosene engines to Al Thomson, Harry McCumber, Mr. Kelsey and Mr. Taft.

156 years ago today, on July 10, 1864, as later reported in the Delaware Gazette, the house of William Bailey and his wife burned down, while the family were at church. "How the fire originated is not known. Loss estimated at about $800. Whether there was any insurance, we have not been informed."

128 years ago today, a post card dated July 11th, 1892 from Ghent, NY was later published in the Delaware Republican: "Dear Sir:- Knowing the great value of the dairy interest of the town of Bovina, I am desirous of taking a census of the town; wishing to learn the value of the cows and their products. This census will be incorporated in the annual report of the New York State Dairymen's Association. Can you have the number of your cows, the amount of butter made, the amount obtained from sale of butter, calves, etc., the quantity of grain fed and the cost of keeping your dairy for the year ending July 1st, 1892, ready for me by the 23d of this month? This will be of great value not only to your town, but to the state as well. Please request your neighbors to do the same. I am, very truly yours, Geo T. Powell, Treasurer N.Y. State Dairyman's Association." This census was conducted later in 1892.

Two hundred years ago today, July 12, 1820, Thomas E. Forrest was born, son of William Forrest and Jane Wilson. He was married twice, first to Ellen Raitt, second to Margaret McEachron. He died March 12, 1887 and is buried in Bovina.

118 years ago today, on July 13, 1902, Miss Margaret Thomson died at the age of 84. As later reported in the Andes Recorder, "She had been suffering for some time with heart trouble and had been unable to lay down. On Thursday previous to her death she felt the atmosphere of the house oppressive and was moving toward the door assisting herself by shoving a chair before her. In some manner the chair slipped and she fell breaking her hip. She suffered greatly." The paper noted that she lived all her life in Bovina on the family farm. She was buried in the Bovina cemetery. 

141 years ago today, a letter dated July 14, 1879 came from Bovina farmer George Archibald to Johnson's Patent Iron Neck Yoke company. It was published in the Delaware Gazette a few days later: "Dear Sir: I have broken three wooden neck-yokes on my mowing machine within the past few years. The last one, the present season broke while turning around frightening one of my horses which threw the other horse on to the knives of the machine, cutting its leg so bad that I was compelled to kill it (a valuable one). I have now one of your iron neck-yokes, which stands the racket. I could have sold my horse for enough to buy your iron neck-yokes for all my neighbors, and many of them are and have been breaking the cheap yokes furnished with the machines."

130 years ago today, the July 15, 1890 Stamford Mirror reported that "from a recent survey by E.W. Lindsley, the residence of George Brown, which has been recognized as standing in the town of Bovina, was shown to be in Andes." This property was near the Gerry estate and ultimately appears to have "stayed" in Bovina.

Seventy-eight years ago today, the Lake Delaware Column of the Delaware Republican for July 16, 1942 reported that "The Venerable A. Abbott Hastings, arch-deacon of the Diocese of Albany, was a guest of Miss Angelica Gerry the first of the week."

Sixty-eight years ago today, the July 17, 1952 Delaware Republican Express reported the following in its Bovina column: "A/Sgt Isabelle Johnston from W.A.C.T.C. Fort Lee, Va, made a surprise visit to the home of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. T. George Johnston Saturday and Sunday evening. She returned with Mr. and Mrs. William Wilson to Millbrook where Monday morning she left New York for her return back to camp. She reports it is very warm in Virginia." This photograph of Johnston was taken by Bob Wyer in September 1952.

Eighty years ago today, the Bovina column of the July 18, 1940 Delaware Republican carried this item: "Lester MacPherson (sic) fell from the hay load into the mow on Saturday. He was not seriously injured."

119 years ago today, the Bovina column of the Andes Recorder for July 19, 1901 reported that "The new creamery will be located on Alex Hilson's flat and will be 28 x 60 feet and two story." This was the Bovina Center Cooperative Creamery, which opened in 1902 and operated until 1973.

120 years ago today, the July 20, 1900 Andes Recorder reported that "the little town of Bovina has two nominees for county clerk - Republican and Prohibition. And the Democratic convention has not yet been held." The winner at the November election was the Republican candidate, William T. Black.

109 years ago today, the July 21, 1911 Bovina column of the Andes Recorder reported that Isaac Hauver from Lexington in Greene County "brought two sacks of wool to Johnson Bros' mill in Bovina to have it carded ready for spinning. He made the trip on foot carrying the wool on his back."

111 years ago today, on July 22, 1909, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, Bovina native William Irvine, son of John and Elizabeth Irvine (and brother of Isabell Russell) "started for Seattle, Washington, to attend the exposition and also with a view of locating in the west if satisfactory." William indeed did settle in the Seattle area. He later would travel to China, Japan and the Philippines as director of ceremonies for the Shriners. He was married to Hazel Price in 1922. In 1925 he became ill with a brain tumor and spent the rest of his life battling it, including having at least two brain operations in Rochester, Minnesota. He recovered enough after the first surgery to pay a visit to his family in Bovina during Thanksgiving 1926. William died in May 1929 in Seattle.

193 years ago today, on July 23, 1827, commissioners appointed by Judge Bostwick convened on the property of John Hastings to set damages for a private road built by David Thomson through the lands of Mr. Hastings. Damages were assessed at nine dollars. [1827-07-27]

124 years ago today, the July 24, 1896 issue of the Andes Recorder, in its Bovina column, had several entries concerning the poor hay and oats crop, reporting that "The worms are doing a great deal of damage in the oats and also in some pieces of corn. Some have quit haying and are cutting their oats to save them from the pests." The Bovina columnist also noted that "a good many have finished haying and the majority say they have only about half a crop, as compared with last year. There will be lots of cows to dispose of this fall."

101 years ago today, the July 25, 1919 Andes Recorder reported in its Bovina column that "William A. Hoy is having his residence, the Pressley house, treated to a new dress of paint." It was built in the 1890s by Bovina pastor Mason Pressley. It was owned for many years by Jim and Margaret Hoy, then by John and Margaret Hilson. It is now owned by Mina Takahashi and Marco Breuer.

Ninety-one years ago today, on July 26, 1929, the Rev. William M. Robb passed away in China. His wife, the former Orlena Russell, was from Bovina. Their children were living with Orlena's mother. As later reported in the Delaware Republican, "This is very sad news for them as well as the whole church. Rev. Robb was a speaker in Delhi while on his last furlough."

126 years ago today, the Bovina column of the July 27, 1894 Andes Recorder reported that "We learn that Bovina is to have a furniture store in the near future, Hoy's Hall having been hired for the purpose."

159 years ago today, on July 28th, 1861, George H. Lee, son of Charles R. Lee, died of diptheria in Brushland. Four days later, his sister, Margery Saloma also died of the same disease. Both children are buried in the Bovina cemetery. 

125 years ago today, on July 29, 1895, as later reported in the Bovina column of the Andes Recorder, "John Bramley was in town…after ice for the Andes meat market."

Fifty-four years ago today, on July 30, 1966, Callie Boggs Hastings died. Born in 1883, she was the daughter of Thomas R. Boggs and Jane Archibald. Callie was married to Milt Hastings in 1950. She was widowed in October 1964. Callie is buried in the Bovina Cemetery. [Note: Emily Elliott Burns died the same day as Callie.]

Augusta Lee, daughter of Alphonso Lee and Adelia Howland, was born 177 years ago today, July 31, 1843.  She would die two and a half years later and is buried in the Brush cemetery next to the library.

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