Monday, May 31, 2021

This Day in Bovina for May 2021

The compilation of the daily postings on the Town of Bovina Historian Facebook page:

139 years ago today, on May 1, 1882, 13-year-old Jane Isabell Boggs died. She was the daughter of Thomas R. Boggs and Jane Archibald.
Sixty-three years ago today, the May 2, 1958 Daily Star carried an article about one of the last one-room schools in Bovina, the Maynard School. Go to the Bovina NY History Blog at to see the article.
134 years ago today, the May 3, 1887 Stamford Mirror in its Bovina column had this item: "Alex Hilson has bought D.C. [Champ] Worden's farm of 55 acres, at $2800 [This is the former Hilson farm by the Bovina creamery]. D.C. Worden has bought Ira J. Worden's place, containing 34 acres at $1900 [This was somewhere on Pink Street]. Ira has rented Mrs. Ellen Boyd's house and lot in Bovina Centre and proposes to run a livery business." Ellen’s house was located about where Tom and Betty Hilson’s house is located. The original house burned in 1916. Ira Worden was the father of Champ Worden. Ellen was Champ's sister-in-law.
Sixty-eight years ago today, on May 4, 1953, the Bovina Library reported on a number of books given to its collection. This is the report as published in the Catskill Mountain News on May 15. 
Sixty-six years ago today, the Bovina column in the May 5, 1955 Stamford Mirror-Recorder included this item: "Marshall Thomson resigned his position in the Bovina Creamery on May 1. Marvin Archibald is now employed in the creamery here."
135 years ago today, the May 6, 1886 issue of the Andes Recorder in its Bovina column reported that "Thomas H. Johnson has added to his extensive machinery a new loom of an improved pattern, which is probably the best one in the county.  He and his sons are capable of doing a large amount of work with the machinery at their command. They not only make all kinds of woolen cloth, but grind feed, saw lumber, etc." This would have been for Johnson's Woolen Mill, which was located near the Mountain Brook area.
108 years ago today, the May 7, 1913 Delaware Gazette had this item concerning a possible railroad coming to Bovina yet again: "The recent visit to Andes of R. B. Williams and Jos. Jermyn of Scranton, has made people in that vicinity wonder if Jermyn & Williams are still interested in the extension of the Andes branch [of the railroad] to Bovina and possibly to Delhi. Surveyor Howland informed us a few years ago that when the branch was built it was the intention of the company to extend it to Bovina, and that was why the road went into Andes village at such a high grade, in order to strike the road bed of the defunct Andes & Delhi R. R."
Ninety-five years ago today, on May 8, 1926, the town clerk certified that a resolution was adopted authorizing the issuance of a Certificate of Indebtness to allow for the purchase of a stone raking machine. 

119 years ago today, the Bovina column in the May 9, 1902 Andes Recorder reported that "Three butcher carts now come round with meat – Perry Shaw, of Bloomville, William McDivitt, of Andes, and Ward Coulter, of this place."
Twenty-six years ago today, the Bovina column of the May 10, 1995 Walton Reporter included this: "Plan to attend the Bovina Emergency Squad open house to celebrate 20 years of service to the community at the fire hall on May 21, from 2-4 pm. Cake and punch will be served. There will be exhibits of current equipment and information on plans for the future."
141 years ago today, the Stamford Mirror's Bovina column for May 11, 1880 reported that "Mrs. David Miller Sr., is seriously ill." This was the former Isabella Turnbull, the second wife of David Miller (1795-1883). She survived this illness, dying in May 1883.
Eighty-one years ago today, on May 12, 1940, as later reported in the Delaware Republican's Bovina column reported that "Mr. and Mrs. Sylvan LaFever of Florida were here and attended Church." This likely was Sylvan's last visit to Bovina for a month later on June 10, he died in Patterson, New Jersey. Sylvan was my great grandfather.
Seventy-eight years ago today, the May 13, 1943, the Bovina column of the Delaware Republican carried this item: "Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Ormiston and sons John and Mark were with his mother and brother and sisters Marjorie, Lois Davidson and Ruth Monroe and their families on Mother's Day."
132 years ago today, the May 14, 1889 Stamford Mirror reported in its Bovina column that "The family of John W. Bramley has been quarantined the past week, but Mr. B. thought this was 'free America,' and went to Delhi regardless of the Board of Health. There is some talk of enforcing the law."
145 years ago today, on May 15, 1876, Isaac Atkin died. His death was later reported in the Delaware Gazette under the title "Sudden Death in Bovina." The paper noted that "Atkins, after working on his farm…until near night, started to go for the cows, and was shortly after found by his son, dead in the road." Isaac was a lifelong resident of Bovina.
Fifty-six years ago today, on May 16, 1965, Lib Blair passed away. Born Elizabeth Jannette Miller in 1867, she was the daughter of John Thomas Miller and Nancy Armstrong. She was two years old when her mother died. A year later, her father remarried to Eleanor Thompson. Lib married John W. Blair in 1889 - he died in 1945. She had two children, son Millard and daughter Helen. Lib was 97 when she died. Her daughter Helen would exceed her mother's age by a decade, dying at 107 in 1997.
131 years ago today, the Bovina column of the May 17, 1890 Delaware Republican reported that "Our milliners have returned from the city with a large stock of head-gear, and now they are busy day and night rigging out the ladies with that mysterious ornament which adorns their top-knots. If a woman's bonnet is not a thing of beauty, it is a mysterious thing."
Sixty years ago today, the May 18, 1961 Bovina column in the Delaware Republican Express included this item: "At the local contest for beauty queen at Dairyland Festival, there were eight contestants. The winner was Reneta Rabeler, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Alex Rabeler jr. She is a student of South Kortright Central School."
Seventy-one years ago today, the Catskill Mountain News for May 19, 1950 had a front page article about the welcome given to the new pastor of the Bovina U.P. Church, Stanley McMaster and his family, under the title "New Pastor Presented With Pantry Shelves Full of Food." The article went on to describe the program presented in the church basement: "Program numbers included several Negro spirituals sung by pupils of the school directed Mrs. Frank McPherson, a piano solo by Miss Norma Burns, an instrumental number by Richard Roberts and James Hoy, a reading by Ronald Walley. The Hillbillies, Norris Boggs, William Davis, John Sulzer and Ernest Segar, played and sang. Rev. Charles McClung of Oneonta gave a welcome from Delaware Presbytery. The double quartet, accompanied by Mrs. Richard Crosley on the piano, sang two numbers. "The room was decorated with bouquets of daffodils and at one end were pantry shelves filled to overflowing with cans of fruit, vegetables and many other articles for the parsonage pantry. A clever presentation speech with the Mother Hubbard theme was given by Mrs. Eugene Vandenbord. Rev. McMaster responded by expressing their appreciation for the gifts and for all that had been done to make their arrival here a pleasant one."
136 years ago today, the May 20, 1885 Delaware Gazette carried this notice for the construction of a new school house at Lake Delaware.

Ten years ago today, on May 21, 2011, Marge and Cliff Burgin celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary at the Bovina Community Hall.

125 years ago today, the Bovina column in the May 22, 1896 Andes Recorder reported that "Slight showers have brightened up vegetation this week, but much more rain is still needed."
Sixty-eight years ago today, the May 23, 1953 Stamford Mirror-Recorder had several items in its Bovina column. Headlined "Vacation Trip has Mishap for Jane Hilson," the column went on to report that "Jane Hilson broke her arm while on a vacation trip through the southern states." The column also included two items about Floyd Aitkens: "Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Aitkens and sons, Billy and Alan, were in Binghamton on Monday for a check-up on Billy's arm." The column later reported that "Floyd Aitkens attended the New York State Bowling Tournament at Rochester on Saturday."
Eighty-six years ago today, the May 24, 1935 Delaware Express reported that "Dr. Whitcomb Dies in Egypt." The articled noted that "Dr. Norris B. Whitcomb, 47, a beloved physician who was formerly located in Bovina Center and for the past sixteen years a medical missionary at Assuit, Egypt, died last week, death, according to report being due to blood poisoning." He was survived by his mother, sister, wife and two children.
Eighty-two years ago today, the May 25, 1939 issue of the Delaware Republican published this photograph by R.R. DeGelleke of Jack Hilson in his High School shop class. 

110 years ago today, the May 26, 1911 Andes Recorder in its Bovina column reported that "Monday was the hottest May day ever known here - 95 degrees." The same column also reported that "Miss Helena Strangeway is visiting her sister, Mrs. Leon Taggart, at Potsdam."
Eighty-three years ago today, the Bovina column in the May 27, 1938 Andes Recorder reported that "A daily vacation school is being planned at Bovina Center during the summer."
106 years ago today, the May 28, 1915 Catskill Mountain News carried this item under the title "Bovina Center to Celebrate:" "There was a meeting of public spirited men in Bovina Center during the past week, in the interest of a ball team, a tennis club, and a Fourth of July celebration."
109 years ago today, the May 29, 1912 Delaware Gazette carried the following item: "Mr. and Mrs. Robert L. Gerry have been at Lake Delaware for a few days. The erection of a very fine mansion, on the farm he recently purchased, the making of a lake of considerable size, and the building of a new chapel and boys summer home requires careful supervision and he is neglecting nothing that may make it not only an ideal summer home, but also ideal for all of the other purposes that they have in view."
119 years ago today, on May 30, 1902, the Bovina column of the Andes Recorder reported that "Truant officer, B.S. Miller has been visiting the schools this week."
Twenty-six years ago today, the May 31, 1995 Catskill Mountain News reported that a 'Twister' had hit Bovina Center. Here's the article: 

Thursday, May 20, 2021

The Burns' Farm in Pictures

Back in the early 1990s, Agnes Burns donated a set of glass plate negatives to the Delaware County Historical Association. The images likely were taken by her grandfather, Alexander Burns or her grandmother, Nancy Miller Burns. It's possible her father, John also took these. None of the images are dated, but a couple of clues point to the first decade of the 20th century.

Most of the images were taken on the Burns family farm at the end of Crescent Valley Road and now the home of Mike and Heidi Gogins. Alex was the third generation Burns to have the farm. His grandfather, Moses Burns, was the first settler on the farm, coming at the start of the 19th century. Moses died young. He was 31 when he killed while helping to build a house in Bovina. The farm went to his son John, who, unlike his father, lived to a ripe old age, dying in 1896 at the age of 89.

Some of these images have been shared before in other venues. One of the best known is this shot of Alex and Nancy's daughter, Aggie, feeding various fowl:

I've also likely shared before images of my grandfather, Benson LaFever, and his brother Clarence on their grandfather's farm. They spent time with Alex and Nancy in 1908/09 after the death of their mother, Ella Burns LaFever. 

Here they are in their Sunday best - Benson and Clarence

Here they are feeding chickens

And here are two images of them with a cow. In the lower image, my grandfather told me that they were pretending the cow is a telephone

The collection includes several interesting farming images, including a steam tractor.

I don't know all the people in this shot, but the gentleman to the left with a pipe in his mouth likely is Alex Burns.
Here's the tractor being used to put hay in a silo. Before electricity came to rural areas, farmers in the early 20th century often used tractors to supply power for functions like this.

The Burns continued to use more traditional methods however, including this horse drawn reaper. That's Alex to the left and his son John sitting on the reaper.

The images included some scenic shots of the farm and Crescent Valley.
The farm in the distance is what was then the Ruff farm and is now the Weber farm.

Here are two images (above and below) of the Burns farm.

Monday, May 10, 2021

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

A century ago in Bovina, the Andes Recorder reported on farms being sold (at least once incorrectly) and common school district election for trustees.

May 6, 1921

Lancelot Thomson has resigned the office of town assessor.

David G. Currie has been appointed town clerk for Bovina to succeed the late Thomas Gordon.

William S. Thomson has sold his farm on Coulter Brook and the new owner is already in possession.

The name of the party to whom Wm. M. Johnston sold his farm, located in the upper part of Bovina, is R.E. Parsons, and he says “we are good old Connecticut Yankees.”

Bovina School Officials

Elected at Annual Meetings Held on Tuesday Evening

Below is the result of school meetings held Tuesday evening in the town of Bovina, so far as heard from:

Bovina Center – John Hilson, trustee; John McCune, clerk; David Currie collector.

Coulter Brook – Fine Hunt, trustee, Milton Doig, clerk, Robert E. Thomson, collector.

Butt End – Thos Archibald, trustee; Charles McPherson, clerk; Walter Wilson, collector.

Maynard district – John Burns, trustee; Rema Hobbie, clerk; Alex Thomson, collector.

Dist No 9 – Harry McCumber, trustee; Alex Kelsey, clerk

Armstrong district – George Forman, trustee; Ted Fuller, collector

Pink Street – John Storie, trustee; John Thomson, clerk; Wm. T. Miller, collector.

E.L. Coulter district – C.B. Hoolihan, trustee

May 13, 1921

Mrs. Lucy Coulter has had her lawn graded.

James Ackerly is moving to Harry Robson’s house.

Mrs. Thomas Gordon was a County Seat visitor Tuesday.

Mrs. Ida Burgin is ill with rheumatism and under doctor’s care.

Harry Robson took the Dry Milk truck to Bainbridge this week.

John McCune is at Delhi in charge of the grading of the new high school grounds.

Mrs. A.H. Russell is in Oneonta hospital taking treatment for an abscess back of her eye.

Fred Thomson has moved from part of G.D. Miller’s house to the Hilson house adjoining the store.

Mr. and Mrs. Herman Joslin have moved into the Lake cottage and will board the Gerry farm help.

Roscoe Brown is the newly elected trustee at the “Hook”.  Earl Fisk is clerk and John Quinn, collector.

Elmer Thomson, who is cashier of a bank on Long Island, spent a few days the past week with his father, John G. Thomson.

Miss Louise Dennis was taken ill Tuesday with intestinal indigestion and altho a  little improved is under the doctor’s care.

Frank Rupert, who last week bid in John M. Miller farm, has moved back to it from Delhi.  John Miller, who failed to make a go of it, has moved to the tenant house on the former Albert McPherson farm, and will work for Ted Fuller.

Bovina Blacksmith to Leave

B.C. Morrison, who for the past year has rented the blacksmith shop of Elliott Thomson, has purchased the blacksmith business of Charles Gregory at Bloomville, and will move there next week.  He was an excellent workman and Bovina is sorry to lose him.

Select School for Bovina

It a movement is on foot in Bovina to start a select school for student who are advanced enough to take high school work.  About ten pupils can be secured.

May 20, 1921

Ripe strawberries have been found the past week.

It is now expected that Bovina may soon have a doctor.

This place was visited by a severe frost Tuesday morning.

Mr. Barnes has moved onto the Dickson place up Pink street.

The reported sale of William S. Thomson’s farm proves to be untrue.

Mrs. J. Kennedy Russell saw a deer last week just above their house near Lake Delaware.

Mrs. Herman Sanford, of New Kingston, who has been caring for Louise Dennis, was taken ill and was taken home Wednesday.  Mrs. Joseph Dennis, of Walton, is now caring for Miss Dennis.

In order to provide more room for the choir at the United Presbyterian church the pulpit will be extended further into the body of the church and the front and probably the second row of pews removed.

May 27, 1921

F.W. Hyatt has had a DeLaval Milking Machine installed.

Wiliam McDivitt and wife have moved into William A. Hoy’s tenant house.

Mrs. William T. Miller, Mrs. James Boggs and Mrs. James Calhoun were Oneonta visitors Tuesday.

Mrs. Joseph Dennis returned to her home in Walton on Monday.  Mrs. George Cable is caring for Miss Louise Dennis.

David Liddle’s horse took fright at the creamery a few mornings since and ran to his home in the upper part of the village. [Note, Liddle's home was what is now my house.]

Laurie Terry, who has been employed by his brother the past year in the garage, has gone to work on the Gerry estate at the Lake.

Miss Nettie Doig has moved her household goods from a room at the old Doig farm at Tunis Lake and stored in the old Strangeway store.

Mr. Wilson, of Delhi, has commenced making concrete blocks for Thos C. Strangeway.  It is reported that Mr. Strangeway will build a new house.

Miss Edith Liddle, who for a number of years has taught up Coulter Brook, has hired to teach for next school year in the Ed Coulter district.

Sloan Archibald has had the Jennie Miller house, which he recently purchased, modernized by having a bath room fitted up and putting in stationary tubs and hot and cold water. [This is now the Dario and Briana Dario house.]

Bovina Man Takes a Wife

James Monroe, of upper Bovina, and Mrs. Julia Morrison, of Catskill, were married at Catskill, May 20.  The newlyweds arrived at his home Monday and the boys gave them an old fashioned skimmelton.