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.