Sunday, January 31, 2021

This Day in Bovina for January 2021

180 years ago today, on January 1, 1841, the Trustees of Bovina school district number 3 (the Mountain Brook area) provided this document showing the books in the school's library. Books included Scott's History of Scotland, Lives of Early Navigators,  American Husbandry, and Russells History of Palestine." The document was submitted by trustees James M. Hastings and John Miller.

118 years ago today, the January 2, 1903 issue of the Andes Recorder included these Bovina items: David Sloan, of Colorado, is renewing old acquaintances in town. Aaron Whitney, who went to Illinois last spring, has returned to Bovina. Mrs. F.R. Coulter has purchased a large monument from Woodburn & Smyth, which will be erected in the Bovina Centre cemetery, to the memory of her late husband.

Forty-one years ago today, on January 3, 1980, Bovina Supervisor Charlie LaFever signed this oath of office for his second term as Bovina Town Supervisor. 

Seventy-nine years ago today, January 4, 1942, this telegram was delivered to Marjorie Russell while she was taking a train back to her home in Madison, Ohio where she was teaching. It appears she was planning to leave the train in Erie but was being advised to take the train on to Painesville where she would be met by Rae Storie.  Madison is between Painesville and Erie. 

135 years ago today, the Bovina column in the January 5, 1886 Stamford Mirror reported that "A donation for the benefit of Rev. Mr. Deming was held in Dickson's Hall on Wednesday eve. Dec. 30. Owing to the fact that the hall was formerly used as a skating rink, or, perhaps, because it is located so far above the earth, only a few were in attendance, and the proceeds amounted to only about twenty dollars." I'm not 100% sure but I think Dickson's hall was the second floor of what is now Brushland Eating House.

164 years ago today, the January 6, 1857 issue of the Bloomville Mirror carried this memorial poem composed on the death of Mrs. J. Lewis. Mrs. Lewis was Jane Wyear, born 1769 in Scotland. She had four children. Her husband, John, had predeceased her in 1853. She is buried in the old Reformed Church cemetery at County Route 6 and Bovina Road. 

Thirty-five years ago today, the Bovina column of the January 7, 1986 issue of the Stamford Mirror Recorder, reported that "The Rev. Karen Patricia. Miss Marjorie Russell and Dr. and Mrs. Allen Russell of Concord. Massachusetts were all Christmas Day dinner guests of Miss Enid Carter at the Old Home Place." The Old Home Place was the name Enid's mother, Edna, had given to their home on Pink Street.

Forty-six years ago today, the Bovina column of the Stamford Mirror Recorder for January 8, 1975 reported that "Mr and Mrs. Raymond Rabeler and family were last Thursday dinner guests of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Alex Rabeler, Sr., before returning home to Homer [NY]." The same column reported that "Mrs. Walter Reinertsen and daughter, Andrea, of Rome, [NY] were guests for several days of last week at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Clark Lay." And another report from the column: "Misses Jean and Judy Tator of Oneonta spent Christmas day with their parents, Mr and Mrs. Burt Tator."

137 years ago today, the January 9, 1884 issue of the Delaware Gazette reported under the headline  "Elegant India Ink Portrait." the following: "A. L. Dreyfus has just had completed two large, life-size portraits, one of the late David Black, the other of the late James Coulter, both of Bovina. These pictures, for beauty of finish, cannot be excelled by any other house in tbe State. Mr. W. T. Black, and Mrs. James Coulter, for whom the pictures were made, express themselves very highly pleased with the work, and many others say they are the finest-made pictures they ever saw. A great many of you, no doubt, are familiar with the name of David Black, he having served his town for eleven consecutive years as Supervisor, the longest term of this office held by any man in his town, with the exception of the late Judge Cowen, who served for sixteen consecutive years." I do not know where these portraits exist now, if they do at all. If anyone knows, contact me.

125 years ago today, the January 10, 1896 Andes Recorder in its Bovina Column had the following commentary:  "Your correspondent thinks if parents would keep their children in off the street and out of the stores a little more there would be less fault to find about children being mean and saucy.  They are allowed to go where they please from morning until late at night and no one knows what mischief they are into."

Ninety-three years ago today, the January 11, 1928 Stamford Mirror-Recorder reported the death of Elmer G. Gladstone:  "On Wednesday, January 4th, word was received of the death of Elmer George Gladstone at his home, Farr, Col[orado]. The cause of death was pneumonia. Mr. Gladstone was a native of Andes and was 62 years of age. His earlier years were spent in Andes and Bovina, living here for a number of years where he was a carpenter by trade. He left Bovina nearly 20 years ago." More about Elmer can be found in the Bovina NY History blog at

Ninety-two years ago today, the Bovina column in the January 12, 1929 Delaware Republican reported that "Mrs. Jane L. Dickson is taking a vacation with her daughters at Port Jervis and Poughkeepsie, also at Washington, DC"

141 years ago today, the January 13, 1880 Stamford Mirror reported in its Bovina column that "We have been informed that Mr. Black, our Supervisor, kept 2 1/2 percent of the school funds for his trouble paying over the same. Black is more for self than for the schools." This was refuted a couple of weeks later. A statement, published in the Utilitarian, reads: "Mr. Editor - That report in regard to Mr. Black retaining a percentage of the school moneys is false. I was wrongly informed. As I did not intend to injure Mr. Black in any way. I take this opportunity to correct the mistake, and say that there is no truth in the report." The Delaware Republican, which republished this statement, noted "No one acquainted with Mr. Black believed the story in the first place, and all fair ment regarded his denial as conclusive. The person who made a direct charge, so capable of being refuted by the records, was probably the dupe or tool of some person who wished to injure Mr. Black without burning his own fingers."

Seventy-two years ago today, the January 14, 1949 Catskill Mountain News carried this Bovina column: 

Sixty-seven years ago today, January 15, 1954, as later reported in the January 21, Bovina column in the Stamford Mirror, Mary Anne LaFever celebrated her 7th birthday at her home. Here's the full report of who attended. 

Fifty-five years ago today, the January 16, 1966 Delaware Republican Express reported the following: "Mr. and Mrs. James Barnhart spent a few days last week at the home of their son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Francis Ruff, of New Kingston." The same column also reported that Edwin Hall of the Orange Community College of Middletown was home for the weekend."

139 years ago today, the Bovina column of the Stamford Mirror for January 17, 1882 included this item: "John Coulter, of Georgetown, Colorado, was in town a few days this week. Mr. Coulter is a member of the Colorado Legislature and the originator of the famous "Indian scalp and skunk skin" bill. More about John can be found on the Bovina NY History blog at

134 years ago today, the Bovina column in the January 18, 1887 Bloomville Mirror included this item: "Jim knew we were going to have cold weather after New Years. So he prepared to face the cold blasts of winter by getting a large stock of mittens, on hand. Jim is long sighted." As to who is meant by 'Jim' I have yet to work out. The major merchants in Bovina at that time period were John Hilson, Thomas Strangeway and Thomas Hastings.

109 years ago today, the January 19, 1912 Binghamton Press reported the death of a Bovina doctor, under the headline "Dr. Dickson of Bovina Center Dies Suddenly of Apoplexy." The article went on to report that "Dr. Gilbert J. Dickson, an esteemed physician of Bovina Center…died suddenly at his home Wednesday morning. Apoplexy was the cause of death. He had been in his usual health Tuesday, having driven with several members of his family to the train, where they started for Syracuse University. On his return he attended some patients and went to the stable to look after his horses. He was found in a semi-conscious condition later, and died in a few hours. He was well known in Oneonta where his brother, James Dickson conducts a pharmacy." Dr. Dickson built and lived in the building that is now the Brushland Eating House. He left behind his widow, the former Jane Loughran and five children. Dickson is buried in Bovina.

Seventy-one years ago today, the January 20, 1950 Catskill Mountain News reported in its Bovina column that "Mrs. Frank Pindar of Grand Gorge visited her daughter, Mrs. Charles McIntosh [aka Eva], Saturday." The same column reported that "Some of our townspeople are taking advantage of the adult education classes held in the Delhi central school."

Seventy-eight years ago today, the January 21, 1943 Delaware Republican carried a rather brief Bovina column with 4 items: 1) Miss Elizabeth Strangeway recently passed away at the Fox Hospital in Oneonta, where she was taken with a broken hip on January 10th. 2) Mrs Fred DeSilva is going to store her furniture and take a position in Sidney. 3) Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Russell were at Andes on business Monday afternoon. 4) Mrs. William Hissman was in town Thursday and Friday of last week.

123 years ago today, on January 22, 1898, the voters of the Prohibition party met at the home of Thomas Miller and nominated this slate of candidates for town office. 

191 years ago today, on January 23, 1830, George Nesbitt was paid $12.25 for services as town clerk performed in 1829.

Seventy-seven years ago today, January 24, 1944, this invitation to the wedding of Glenn Hobbie and Anna Boggs was postmarked and sent to Cecil and Isabell Russell and their daughter Marjorie. 

173 years ago today, on January 25, 1848, the Commissioners of Excise for the town of Bovina issued this license to "Alexander Kinmouth to retail Strong and Spiritous Liquors…" His tavern was located at the former Clark Lay residence in Bovina Center, now the home of Betty Powell.

120 years ago today, on January 26, 1901, the Bovina Board of Health adopted a resolution quarantining the entire "herd of cows on the farm of T. Ormiston…" because of the prelevance of tuberculosis. 

110 years ago today, the Bovina column of the January 27, 1911 Andes Recorder reported that "James A. Gow has decided not to go to Andes as manager of the Andes Creamery Co. plant and will probably continue as manager of the co-op plant here."

Fifty-six years ago today, the Bovina column of the January 28, 1965 Delaware Republican Express reported that "Mrs. Jack Hilson's father, Malcolm Hotchkin, was taken to Cooperstown to the Bassett Hospital for further treatment last Monday. Mrs. Hilson was up to see him Friday and his condition was about the same." Malcolm passed away a little over a month later on March 13.

181 years ago today, the January 29, 1840 issue of the Delaware Gazette included this notice about a medical partnership involving Solomon Green and John Ferguson. For more information about these early Bovina physicians, check out the Bovina NY History blog:

142 years ago today, the January 30, 1879 Andes Recorder had this very brief item: "Bovina has the measles, and a town fire insurance company."

Forty-eight years ago today, on January 31, 1973, this letter was sent to the Board of Directors of the Bovina Center Cooperative Dairy. The letter noted that "on the basis of current product operation…that the cash flow will be exhausted about July 31, 1973." Given this situation, the creamery was closed two months later on March 31, 1973. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Two Men Killed in Bovina, January 1894


127 years ago, readers of the Delaware Gazette for January 17, 1894 read this sad story about the deaths of two Bovina men.

Tuesday afternoon [January 9] Mr. Walter L. Doig and his son Milton, were cutting up a large maple tree that had fallen not far from the house on his farm. The top of the tree was supported by large limbs, and they had placed a crooked one underneath for the trunk to fall upon after it was sawed off. They used a crosscut saw and when it was severed the trunk fell upon the cooked limb and one end of it flew up, striking the father a terrific blow on the temple. He was immediately rendered unconscious and died shortly after being carried to the house.

Mr. Doig was one of the best men in the town of Bovina. He was about 56 years old and leaves a widow and four sons. The funeral was held on Friday at the Bovina U.P. church of which he was a member.

Wednesday another terrible accident occurred, and another man was suddenly killed. Mr. Charles Jardine was engaged in digging a cellar in the rear of John Oliver’s cooper shop. The digging had been continued under the frozen dirt that had been left as a sort of roof underneath which the work was being carried on. Our informant said the space that was thus undermined was about 14 x 10 feet. A stone boat was used for drawing away the dirt. While Mr. Jardine was at work the entire amount of frozen dirt thus undermined suddenly fell. It is estimated at some six or seven tons.

Mr. Jardine’s body was terribly crushed. His death must have been instantaneous, as his neck was broken and other organs of his body were so injured as would have caused almost instant death.

Mr. Jardine was unmarried and about 30 years old. He was industrious and very generally respected.

Walter Doig was born in 1837 in Bovina, son of William Doig and named for his immigrant grandfather, Walter, who was born in Scotland in 1767 and came to Bovina in the early 19th century. The Walter of this story was married to Jane McNair. She died in 1918. One of his sons, Archibald, died only a month after his father in Boston from an abscess of the gall bladder.

Milton, who was with his father when the accident occurred, died in 1953 at the age of 81. Milton was the father of Ed Doig, who farmed on Pink Street at Scutt Mountain Road for many years. Another of Walter’s sons, Andrew, owned what is now Russell’s Store, having bought it only a few months before the deaths of his father and brother. Andrew sold it to Cecil Russell in 1919.

The February 21, 1894 Delaware Gazette reported that “The Heirs of Walter S. Doig have received from the Washington Life insurance Co…$5,000 in settlement…The check was received three days after proofs of death were mailed.”

Both Walter and his son Archibald were buried in Bovina, as were Andrew and Milton after their respective deaths. 

Walter’s oldest son, William James, headed west with his wife and daughters in the fall of 1909, settling in Gunnison, Colorado. He died in 1939.

Charles J. Jardine was the son of Gilbert Jardine and Nancy Tuttle. Gilbert was born in Hawick, Scotland in 1822. He and his wife Nancy had seven children, all born in Bovina. Gilbert died a little over a month before his son’s tragic passing. Charles was survived by his mother and four of his siblings. His mother died at the end of 1894. Gilbert and his parents are all buried in Bovina. Charles is the great-uncle of Marion Jardine, Martha Musgrove and the late Richard Jardine.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Status of Bovina's Bicentennial Celebration

When I started thinking about Bovina’s Bicentennial celebration several years ago, I pictured a big parade, lots of music, good food and people coming from all over to celebrate this milestone in our community’s history. As 2020 rolled out, it was obvious that COVID-19 had other ideas and we postponed our celebration to 2021. Unfortunately, that does not seem realistic at this time. 

After discussions with the Bicentennial committee and town officials, we’ve decided to reschedule Bovina’s Bicentennial celebration to 2022. By moving the celebration into next year, our chances of having a celebration with few or no encumbrances caused by COVID-19 will be increased substantially. I know this is disappointing news to many (and I’m not exactly dancing a jig about it myself), but this option seems better than going through all the work for a celebration in 2021 only to have it cancelled or curtailed again. Rescheduling to 2022 makes it more likely that we can have the big grand celebration that Bovina richly deserves. 

We are planning the rescheduled celebration for July 30/July 31, 2022, using the same venue and scheduling the same or similar events, including a parade. 

I thank you all for your patience. In the meantime, please stay safe so we can all get together again for the big party in 2022. 

Sunday, January 10, 2021

January 1921 - 100 Years Ago in "That Thriving Town"

Here's what was happening in Bovina 100 years ago this month, from the pages of the Andes Recorder

Bovina residents were continuing to embrace electricity, having it installed through the use of “electric plants.” 

January 7, 1921

Sheffield Smith has purchased another truck, making three he now has.

Dr. James Crosier, of Philadelphia, spent the holidays with his mother, Mrs. Alex Crosier, in upper Bovina.

About a dozen relatives of Sloan Archibald gathered at his home Wednesday to help him celebrate his 76th birthday.

William S. Thomson, who sustained a broken leg last fall by a fall from an apple tree, is now able to be around on crutches.

Frank Miller now has electric lights in his residence. The electricity is furnished by C.S. Terry from a plant in his garage.

William Archibald, at the stone arch bridge, is having a Western Electric plant installed this week for lighting his residence and farm buildings.

January 14, 1921

Hilson Bros have completed their annual inventory.

Town Clerk Gordon has issued 16 hunting licenses thus far this year.

During 1920 the overseer of the poor in Bovina spent nothing for poor purposes.

John Aitkens has cut part of the large evergreen trees along the front of his residence, (the old Kennedy Place)

L.D. Kennedy, who during the past year has been in Cortland, has returned to his farm, the Irvine place, on Coulter Brook.  Marshall Scott who has been in charge of the farm, has moved back to the Methodist parsonage in the Center [now the home of Chuck and Betty McIntosh].

Misses Edith and Edna Russell twin dauters of Wm. T. Russell, returned this week from New York, where they had spent five weeks at the home of their uncle, Ernest Bergman.

Was Native of Bovina

Mrs. Earl Shaw died at Southern Pines, North Carolina, Sabbath night, January 9, from tuberculosis. She went south a few weeks ago in the hope of benefiting her health and for a time seemed to be improving.  She was in the Oneonta hospital 40 weeks for diseased arm, before going south.  She was born in Bovina and was the only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert A. Thomson, who now reside at South Kortright.  The remains arrived at the home of her parents Wednesday night.

Assisting Game Keepers

Gamekeeper Marshall on the Gerry estate at Lake Delaware is to have two assistants this year.  Both are now at Lake Delaware and are just over from Scotland.

January 21, 1921

Abram Forman, son of Geo Forman at the head of Hobbie Mountain, who enlisted in the navy two months ago and went into training at Norfolk, Va., is recovering from measles.

Ralph, the ten-year-old son of James Mabon, who a few weeks ago underwent an operation for appendicitis at Delhi, was taken to the home of his grandfather, Jas C.Mabon in Delhi, the latter part of last week.

Mrs. W.T. Black, formerly of Bovina, who is spending the winter in Seattle, Washignton, had her tonsils removed recently in that city.  Surgeons were of the opinion that her eye trouble and other ill health was due to diseased tonsils.

The funeral of Mrs. Earl Shaw, who died at Southern Pines, North Carolina, was held last Friday afternoon in the UP church…..burial…Bovina Cemetery. Her age was 29 years and she is survived by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert A. Thomson, her husband and a young child.

January 28, 1921

During the year 1920, there were 66 hunting licenses issued the town of Bovina.

Miss Eleanor Campbell has accepted a position with the Rose Telephone company at Hobart.

The Bovina Center Co-Op Creamery company filled their icehouse this week from Lake Mahiken [later Silver and now Coles Lake on Route 28].

Bovina Farm House Burned

Residence of Gustave Leftgren [Lifgreen] Destroyed Monday Afternoon

The large farm house of Gustave Leftgren, located up Pink Street, in the town of Bovina, was entirely destroyed by fire Monday afternoon, January 24, but most of the contents were saved.

The family had company and were in the midst of a late dinner when the fire was discovered.  It apparently started about the kitchen chimney and had gained considerable headway when discovered.  Neighbors soon arrived and with their aid all the furniture was removed from the ground floor and also all that on the second floor except from two bedrooms. Everything was also saved from the cellar and even fixtures from the bathroom were removed.

The house was on what is better known to former residents as the Lyle Thomson farm and was a farm structure built many years ago, and burned very slowly, thus allowing time for the removal of the contents.  The structure had been re-modeled and modernized in recent years and was heated with a furnace and lighted with electricity.

Mr. Leftgren had an insurance of $1,000 on the building in the town company and there was $500 on the contents.  At present the family are staying with neighbors, and expect to have rooms in the house of Mr. Haddley [Hadley] located just across the road. [This is where the home of Molly Brannen is located.]


Friday, January 1, 2021

Bovina Bicentennial - Our Second Attempt

Welcome to 2021. As you should know, the COVID-19 pandemic caused the postponement of Bovina's big Bicentennial celebration. Planning for the celebration in August of 2020 was well underway when in May, we made the difficult but necessary decision to put off the celebration until 2021. Fortunately, a number of the steps we took for 2020 have been easily shifted to 2021.

The new celebration dates will be July 31/August 1, 2021, with McIntosh's flat as the venue. The 31st will be the day for the big parade, vendors and crafts under the tent and a musical program in the evening. On August 1, we'll wrap everything up with a community picnic. As the year progresses, we'll provide more details about the celebration. 

We will need to keep in mind that the pandemic is far from over and that our efforts for 2021 may be for naught. But for now, we move ahead with hope that conditions will allow us to belatedly celebrate Bovina's Bicentennial this year.