Wednesday, September 30, 2020

This Day in Bovina for September 2020

Fifty-four years ago today, the September 1, 1966 Delaware Republican-Express reported in its Bovina column that "Mrs. Belle Dickson of Delhi is visiting her sister, Mrs. Helena Hilson."


119 years ago today, on September 2, 1901, as later reported in the Delaware Gazette, "The Bovina and Elk Creek teams played a good game of baseball on the Academy grounds…notwithstanding the rather unfavorable weather. At the close of the ninth inning the score stood at a tie. Consequently the tenth inning had to be played to settle the contest. It was closely contested, but the Bovina boys won the score, standing 10 to 9."


169 years ago today, James Renwick posted an ad dated September 3, 1851 to sell his farm: "The subscriber offers for sale the Farm on which he now resides, in the town of Bovina, containing about 180 acres. There are two good dwelling houses and three good barns and other out buildings. It is mostly fence with stone wall. Also, a large orchard of bearing apple trees - well watered and well calculated for a grain or dairy farm. Terms easy. For further particulars enquire of the subscriber. He would be willing to take a small farm in part payment." This farm was on what is now Pink Street, possibly around the area of Suits-Us farm. He had leased it from the Livingston family since about 1822.


151 years ago today, the Delaware Republican reported in its issue for September 4, 1869 under the headline "Lightning Raid on a Sugar Camp" that "The lightning struck a Maple Sugar Camp belonging to Mr. John T. Miller, Bovina, felling some fifty trees."


Sixty-eight years ago today, the Bovina column in the September 5, 1952 Catskill Mountain News reported that "Mrs. William Sellhorn Sr., accompanied by Mrs. William Sellhorn Jr., Monica and Renate Rabeler, grandchildren of the former Sellhorn, are leaving for New Bern, N.C. on Tuesday. They will return the two children to the home of their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Alex Rabeler Jr., after spending several weeks in the South. The Mrs. Sellhorns will visit here for some time before returning home."


Eighty-five years ago today, the September 6, 1935 Catskill Mountain reported in its Bovina column that "Bovina has several new students starting in this year at Delaware Academy."


114 years ago today, the September 7, 1906 Catskill Mountain News carried this item under the headline "Dr. Lee Back to Bovina:" "Will Spend the Remaining Years of Hist Life There. Rev. James B. Lee, D.D., for thirty-two years pastor of the United Presbyterian church in Bovina Centre, previous to 1888, was given a farewell reception at Franklinville, where he has been since leaving Bovina, Wednesday evening of last week. Dr. Lee had contemplated for some time spending the remainder of his life among the Bovina hills and with Mrs. Lee will soon take up his residence there. He will occupy rooms in George Gladstone's house, better known as the Kennedy House." Lee died in 1914.


134 years ago today, the September 8, 1886 Delaware Gazette reported that "The beautiful village in the town of Bovina, previously known as Brushland, will hereafter be known as Bovina Centre. Brushland was a misnomer for the place, for it was never a land of brush but always a land of cattle. We understand that it was through the personal efforts of Rev. Dr. Lee that the name has been changed from Brushland to Bovina Centre by the Postmaster General. We congratulate the inhabitants of our neighboring village on this change of names, for it certainly is much more appropriate." Brushland got its name from Alexander Brush, the first settler in what is now Bovina Center. Bovina Center was known as Brushland from 1849 to this reported change in 1886.


152 years ago today, on September 9, 1868, Margaret Ellen Strangeway was born in New Jersey, the daughter of the Reverend William Strangeway and Margaret T. Dunn. Her parents were from Delaware County but were living in New Jersey at the time of Margaret's birth. She was married to Oscar A. Felton in 1892 and they lived for some time in Bovina near Lake Delaware. She had two daughters, both of whom precedeased her. She died in 1943 in Walton and was buried in Bovina. Her husband survived until 1950.


107 years ago today, on September 10, 1913, as later reported in the Delaware Gazette, "…a Downsville man named W.C. O'Brien, who was employed in the blacksmith shop of Gideon Miller, Bovina Center, suddenly fell unconscious while at work in the shop. He did not revive and died about two hours later."


157 years ago today, on September 11, 1863, William McCune, trustee for Bovina School District Number 2 (Pink Street) signed this order to pay Elisabeth Colgan $18.12 for teaching in the school for a four-month period.  


120 years ago today, the September 12, 1900 Delaware Gazette reported that "Commodore Elbridge T. Gerry has ordered the manager of his estate at Lake Delaware to have the public highway between Bloomville and Bovina Center repaired, he himself paying for the same, preparatory to his coming to his country seat at that place, which will be in the near future. It is his purpose to come over the Ulster & Delaware railroad to Bloomville and from there by carriage to Lake Delaware."


136 years ago today, the Bovina column of the September 13, 1890 Delaware Republican reported that "Rev. Mason W. Pressly is expecting a windmill, and intends to have running water in his house."


156 years ago today, on September 14, 1864, Supervisor Alexander Storie issued this receipt to pay Miss Jeanette Wilbur for teaching in the District 11 school (Coulter Brook).


141 years ago today, on the afternoon of September 15, 1881, Mrs. Orr Sloan died at the home of her son-in-law, James Aitkin in what is now Bovina Center. She was born Sarah Collins in Belfast, Ireland.


Sixty-seven years ago today, on September 16, 1953, as later reported in the Catskill Mountain News, a school fair was held at the Bovina Center school. Here's the article which appeared on the front page of the paper. 


186 years ago today, the September 17, 1834 Delaware Gazette had the following item: "Prolific - Mr. Robert Mitchell of Bovina, in this county, has raised, the present season, three calves from one cow. It is seldom that an instance of this kind occurs, particularly where the calves all live and do well, as in this case."


Forty-six years ago today, the Bovina column in the September 18, 1974 Stamford Mirror Recorder reported that "Burns Brothers have donated an eleven-week-old calf to be raffled off as a benefit for the Bovina fire department. The winner may decide to have the calf cut and wrapped or on the hoof. Tickets may be purchased from any fireman for $1 donation. The drawing will be held at the "Oktoberfest” on Oct. 13 at Catskill ski slope."


131 years ago today, the September 19, 1889 Hobart Independent reported "Bovina is a great town for accidents happening to those who go 'sparking.' Recently, a young man, after bidding his sweetheart a fond adieu, fell down stairs. People in the neighborhood thought it was an earthquake, but it was only 150 pounds falling about ten feet."


117 years ago today, on September 20, 1903, as later reported in the Delaware Gazette, "Stephen Russell died at his residence…in the 82d year of his age. He had always lived in Bovina, being born in that town January 1822. Mr. Russell was a very substantial farmer and one of the excellent citizens of the locality. His wife died a few years ago, but he is survived by a family of several children."


110  years ago today, the September 21, 1910 Delaware Gazette reported on "An Unhappy Matter" concerning a former Bovina resident. "Charles Oliver, with a very large family, recently moved from Bovina into a house on the rear of the Pitcher block [not sure, but likely this was in Delhi]. Their habits were soon found not very creditable. Sunday evening about a dozen chickens, two ducks and a saw were stolen from John Strangeways. Monday evening Sheriff Austin and Police Justice Hewitt went to the Oliver house. When they rapped at the door the light was put out. The sheriff demanded entrance and they were admitted. They found the saw, and the chickens were on the table. Oliver admitted that he stole the saw and five chickens but denied as to the rest. He is notorious for not being willing to work. In Bovina a notice was tacked on the door to move out or go to work, signed White Caps. It is said they are preparing to go to Walton. There are seven or eight children living, and it is said a dozen or fifteen have been born."


Sixty-seven years ago today, on September 22, 1953, the Democrats and Republicans in Bovina held their primaries and selected these slates for town office


Fifty-five years ago today, the Bovina column of the September 23, 1965 Delaware Republican Express reported that "Mr. and Mrs. Jack Hilson and Christine attended the World's Fair the past week-end." The same column also reported that "Mrs. Agnes Burns visited a few days at the home of Dr. and Mrs. Fred Phillips in Latham (Norma Phillips is Agnes' daughter).


Fifty-six years ago today, the September 24, 1964 issue of the Delaware Republican-Express carried this article about the hiring of Gus Pelletier to teach English at Delhi Tech (now SUNY Delhi). 


150 years ago today, on September 25, 1870, Margaret Miller Doig gave birth to twin boys, James Lee and John Timothy Doig. Their father was William S. Doig. Margaret died when the boys were 23 years old. James Lee Doig married Emma Louise Smith in 1916 and died in 1953. John Timothy died in Detroit, Michigan in 1923. Both brothers are buried in Bovina.


112 years ago today, on September 26, 1908, as later reported in the Delaware Gazette, "there arrived in Delhi….from Montana, an antelope 3 months old. It appeared to have been well taken care of on its long trip, and was quite a curiosity to a good many of our citizens, especially the children. It was sent to the father of Mr. Ed. Russell, in Bovina, on the Andes stage Monday morning."


163 years ago today, late the night before or early on September 27, 1857, as later reported in the Delaware Gazette, "the proceeds of a year's produce of the farm of John Bramley, of Bovina, was burned to the ground. It is believed to have been the work of an incendiary, but nothing has occurred to fix the crime upon any individual."


Sixty-three years ago today, on September 28, 1957, Rev. David Hamilton Murray died in Hancock. The last surviving child of Bovina natives Henry Murray and Elizabeth Coulter, he was born in Andes in 1872. He married Jessie M. Cheney. He is buried near his parents in the Bovina Cemetery.


212 years ago today, on September 29, 1808, James Coulter was born, the last child of early Bovina settlers Francis and Nancy (Glendenning) Coulter. He also was the last surviving child of Francis and Nancy, dying in 1898 at the age of 90. He married Nancy D. Thompson in 1832. She predeceased him in 1891. They would have 13 children, six of whom survived their father. James and Nancy lost a son in the Civil War (Solomon) and another to tuberculosis (Andrew).


Seventy-one years ago today, the September 30, 1949 Catskill Mountain News reported that in Bovina, "Rains which have benefitted pastures, meadows and lawns have not been sufficient to raise water where springs and wells have gone dry."


Thursday, September 17, 2020

Bovina Ex-Pats - the Irvine Brothers

John A. (1867-1918) and Elizabeth Richards Irvine (1866-1940) were the parents of five children, all born in Bovina on the Gerry estate, where Mr. Irvine was the superintendent of the estate.. They had four sons, William, Lester, John Clifton, and Edgar Lloyd and one daughter. The daughter was Isabell Irvine Russell, wife of Cecil Russell and long-time proprietor with her husband and daughter of Russell’s Store.

Clifton and William Irvine

I think these are the three older Irvine brothers: Lester, Clifton and William

Isabell and Lloyd Irvine

The Irvine family lived on the Gerry estate until late 1899 when John Irvine bought the Black family farm on Coulter Brook. The family had the farm for just under 20 years. John Irvine served as Bovina’s town supervisor from 1899-1907. He was the first farmer to bring his milk to the new creamery in Bovina Center in 1902. Tragically, John committed suicide on New Year’s Day, 1918, likely due to depression over health issues.

William Irvine

Three out of John’s four sons ended up moving west, settling in Washington State. William, Clifton and Lloyd (Isabell’s twin) all settled there.

William Irvine, the eldest, was the first to move west. He moved to Seattle in 1909, after graduating from New York State University as a CPA. He worked for the Fisher Trading Company, rising to the position of secretary and assistant to the president of the Fisher Flouring Mills. His obituary noted that he “occupied a commanding position in the world of business. As a personality he was no less a distinguished figure. He was interested in many things and active in many organizations. A man of unusual charm, his friends numbered legion…” In January 1922, he left the United States to travel to Japan and China and the Phillipines in his function as director of ceremonies for the Shriners. 

William became ill in 1925 when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He traveled to Rochester, Minnesota twice for surgery. As reported in the Andes Recorder in December 1925, “he was on the operation table three hours and went through a very painful and trying ordeal, only a local anaesthetic being used so that he was conscious during the entire time.” Bill was well enough the following November to travel east with his wife to visit his mother in Bovina. In August 1928, Irvine was back to the Mayo clinic for a second operation. His mother made a trip to Rochester, Minnesota to see him in September. Bill, with his wife and brother Cliff made the trip back to Seattle in October.

Unfortunately, all the effort to save Bill was for naught and he died on May 7, 1929 in Seattle at the age of 41. 


John Clifton Irvine, born in Bovina in 1892, grew up in Bovina and when he was 21, traveled to Seattle, Washington with his brother Will. Known as Clifton, he was living in Snoqualmie Falls, Washington during World War One, working for the Snoqualmie Falls Lumber Company. He was drafted into service and spent time overseas, returning to Washington after the war. When he went back west, his brother Lloyd accompanied him, as did Millard Blair (Helen Thomson’s brother). He married Anne Maloney in 1921. They had one son. Clifton died in March 1978 after a series of strokes at the age of 84.

As noted above, Edgar Lloyd Irvine, Isabell Russell’s twin brother, decided to join his brothers in the west, traveling with Clifton in the summer of 1919. He worked for Fisher Flouring Mills company in Seattle. At the age of 52, Lloyd was married and had four children. He died in January 1980, the last surviving Irvine brother.

Elizabeth Irvine made at least two visits to her sons in Seattle. She made a trip in December 1920, traveling with her sister-in-law, Mrs. W.T. Black. She went again after her son William’s second brain surgery in 1928.

The one brother who stayed east was Lester Irvine. He married Marie Hood in 1913 and they had one daughter, Eleanor (Eleanor married Don Volante and became the first, and to date only, female mayor of Delhi). Lester graduated from Delaware Academy and later graduated from the U.S. College of Veterinary Surgery in Washington, DC. He worked with Dr. Hamilton in Delhi and later took a post graduate course, starting his practice in 1918. His obituary noted that at the time of his death he was the oldest practicing veterinarian in years of service in Delaware County. Lester died in 1961 at the age of 71.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

September 1920 - 100 Years Ago "in that Thriving Town"

Here's what was going on in Bovina 100 years ago this month, as reported in the Andes Recorder. 

September 3, 1920
A storm here Tuesday accompanied by high wind did some damage.
A picnic was held at Lake Delaware Thursday under the auspices of the church.
Miss Elizabeth Thompson, is packing her household goods to be shipped to Pittsburgh, Penn.
Harry Robson is having his residence (the John R. Hoy house) treated to a new dress of paint.
Charles F. McPherson, in upper Bovina, had his foot badly injured recently by a large stone falling on it.
Mrs. Frances Whetmore, representative of the department of health, is in town this week giving health talks.
Miss Jennie Miller has sold her house and a few acres of land located just below Bovina Center to William Burns for $1,200.  The place was occupied by Uncle David Miller for many years.
Thomas Gordon will attend the dedication of the New York monument at Antietam on September 17, as a representative of his regiment the 79th.  The monument is for the 88 New York regiments participating in this important battle of the civil war.

Bovina Town Picnic
A large crowd of people – probably 1,000 – from the town of Bovina and from the neighboring towns enjoyed a community picnic last Thursday at Bovina Center.  Addresses were made by Assemblyman Long, Ernest Dann of the Farm Bureau and Ernest Bergman, a New York lawyer who spends his vacation with his brother, Arthur Bergman, in upper Bovina, a ball game in which Andes own, and races and sports of various kinds, were features of the day.

September 10, 1920
Born to Mr. and Mrs. Charles J. Russell in Bovina Center, September 3 a son.
Ernest Bergman, wife and son ended their vacation and returned to New York on Tuesday.
Mrs. John L. Gordon, who had spent six weeks at Thomas Gordon’s, return to New York on Tuesday.
Beatrice Hoy, Wilimina Archibald, Freda Joslin and William Gordon have entered Delaware academy, and Henrietta and Catharine Howden go to Andes.
Everett McPherson, who has been away from Bovina for a number of years, has purchased the Thomas Miller house and lot in the upper part of the village and will open a blacksmith shop here.
Mrs. Baldwin, formerly Mary Dickson, who has just returned from her wedding trip spent in Europe, visited her mother, Mrs. G.J. Dickson, the past week.  She and her husband will both teach near New York.
The schools of the town opened on Tuesday with teachers as follows, viz: Helen Knox and Ruth Ormiston, the Center school; Mrs. Benj Goodman at Lake Delaware; Margaret Reynolds in E.L. Coulter district; Edith Liddle, Coulter Brook; Elizabeth Strangeway, Miller avenue; Hazel Russell, Pink street; Miss Dean, Armstrong district; No 9 contracts with Maynard district.

September 17, 1920
Frank VanDusen is moving from the Ella Miller house to rooms in the old Strangeway store.
Thomas Gordon left this week to attend the dedication of the monument for the New York regiments at Antietam.
William Johnston in upper Bovina, is having his farm house treated to a new dress of paint.  The work is being done by S.D. Oliver and son.
Robert R. Gladstone has purchased the house occupied by the late Mrs. Ella Miller ad will move from the Jennie Miller house about October 1st.
John Aitkens has been laid up the past week with a carbuncle on his leg.  His son Harold, cut his knee on a piece of old tin and has had blood poisoning.
Mrs. James L. Coulter, of New Wilmington, Penn. Spent over Sabbath with old friends in town.  A surprise party with about 40 in attendance was held for her at the home of Mrs. Irvine Monday afternoon.

September 24, 1920
Everett Joslin has moved into part of Will Armstrong’s house, early opposite the Strangeway store.
Laurie Terry, of Hamden, has moved from Hamden, to rooms in part of the Dennis house. He will assist his brother in the garage.
There was no school Monday and Tuesday in the primary department of the Center school, owing to the illness of the teacher, Ruth Ormiston.
The Bovina Town Board held a meeting Saturday and voted to lease a roller at $20 a day. At the coming general election the question of buying the roller will be submitted to the voters for their decision.