Wednesday, June 30, 2021

This Day in Bovina for June 2021

Twenty-eight years ago today, the June 1, 1993 issue of the Delaware County Times carried this picture of former Bovina resident, Theresa Conklin. Theresa was born Theresa Hobbie in Walton in 1923, the daughter of William Hobbie and Elizabeth Mills. She came to Bovina when she was 9 years old and married to Howard Conklin in 1945. They farmed on Reinertsen Hill Road for over 30 years, retiring in 1978. Theresa died in August 1998 at the age of 75.   


190 years ago today, June 2, 1831, an arrest warrant was issued for John Rutherford and John Renwick: "Whereas complaint hath been made before me, John M. Landon, one of the Justices of the peace for [Delaware] county upon the oath of David W. Thomson of Bovina ... that John Rutherford and John Renwick did on the 11th day of May last violently assault and beat him the said David W. Thomson at Bovina … therefore in the name of the people of the State of New York to command you forthwith to apprehend the said John Rutherford & John Renwick of Bovina & bring them before me, to answer unto the said complaint, & further, to be dealt with according to law…" The October 12, 1831 Delaware Gazette reported that "John Rutherford, was tried on an indictment found at the last [Court of] Oyer and Terminer for an assault and battery on David Thompson, and found guilty. He afterwards presented to the court an affidavit in mitigation, shewing that he was not angry at the time of the commission of the offence, and was permitted to escape with the moderate fine of ten dollars." What happened with John Renwick I have yet to determine.

Fifty-one years ago today, the June 3, 1965 Delaware Republican-Express reported in its Bovina column that "Enid Carter of Schenectady spent the week-end with her mother in Bovina. Her mother [Edna Carter] had just recently returned from the hospital." The same column also reported that "Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Parsons and family enjoyed a picnic dinner at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Vitgo Skovsende at Andes."


162 years ago today, on June 4, 1859, Alexander Sylvanius Bramley, son of John W. Bramley and Margaret McCune was born. He would die only 21 days later on June 25. John and Margaret had a total of eight children, five of whom made it to adulthood. Alexander was their fifth child. This is his headstone, courtesy of Ed and Dick Davidson. 


143 years ago today, the June 5, 1878 Delaware Gazette, reported on Bovina's ranking concerning a number of aspects related to farming, noting that Bovina was 17th in the county in acres, in gross sales the thirteenth, in bushels of corn the 14th, in number of cows 14th, etc. The article also noted that Bovina was 10th in the pounds of butter produced and first in the butter produced per acre - 14 1/10 pounds. Here's the full article: 


192 years ago today, on June 6, 1827, the following advertisement appeared in the Commercial Advertiser


Fifty-four years ago, the June 7, 1967 Oneonta Daily Star carried this article about the fate of the school building in the Bovina Center hamlet. The building is now the Bovina Public Library.


117 years ago today, the June 8, 1904 Delaware Gazette reported: "Hon. E.T. Gerry expects to leave New York on Wednesday next, in his coach and four and drive to his Lake Delaware summer home. In making the trip sixteen relays of horses will be used, the distances of each section being from twelve to fifteen miles. He expects to arrive at Lake Delaware Thursday evening. Elmer E. Hastings of Bovina Center, went over the route and arranged the horses. The party will come up the east side of the Hudson River and cross at Kingston.”


172 years ago today, the June 9, 1849 issue of the New-York Daily Tribune reported on continuing Anti-Rent activity in Delaware County, four years after the infamous shooting of Osman Steele in Andes. "Two very spirted Anti-Rent meetings have been recently held in Delaware Co. Robert Scott, Esq. presided at the Equal Rights demonstration, held in Bovina on the 1st inst. The Delhi Freeman's Advocate says the meeting was held for the, purpose 'of reorganizing the town with the view of cooperating with the other towns in this county, that are laboring under the blighting curse of patroonery.'"


134 years ago today, the June 10, 1885 Lancaster Intelligencer reported that "President Cleveland has appointed Isaac H. Maynard of New York to be second comptroller of the treasurer…The office is worth five thousand dollars a year. General satisfaction is expressed with the appointment." Maynard grew up in Bovina, born there in 1838. Maynard became a lawyer and served a term in the New York State Assembly. 


132 years ago today, the Bovina column in the June 11, 1889 Stamford Mirror reported the following: "Coulter Bros. are making post office boxes for Alex Hilson, the newly appointed postmaster. It is expected that the business of our post office will now be increased, at least to the extent of the patronage of the new postmaster, while the Lake Delaware office will lose its patronage, which it has enjoyed for many years."


193 years ago today, on June 12, 1828, Alexander Hoy was born, the son of Robert Hoy and Nancy Bailey. He married Elizabeth Hilson in 1863 and was widowed in 1887. Alexander died in 1906 and is buried next to his wife in the Bovina Cemetery.


Eighty-one years ago today, the Lake Delaware column of the June 13, 1940 Delaware Republican reported that "Miss Angelica Gerry has opened Ancrum House for the summer and has as her guest Saxham Deury of Newport, R.I." This may be a gentleman named Francis Saxham Elwes Drury (1859-1942).


102 years ago today, on June 14, 1919, as reported by the Andes Recorder, "Sergeant Donald Lee, a member of the Lightning division, who served over a year in France, arrived home ….having received his discharge."  Lee was born in Bovina in 1896, the son of John Bruce Lee and Lucy A. Hall.  The Lee family lived on Lee Hollow.  Donald was a US Army Sargent during World War I, receiving the Purple Heart.  Donald lived to see his 99th birthday, dying in Florida in May 1995, the last Bovina World War One vet to pass away. He is buried in Bovina.


185 years ago today, on June 15, 1836, the session of the Bovina Associate Presbyterian Church met and went through several items related the conduct of members of the church. "Christina Elliott appeared before session to answer do the sin of fornication and also her imprudent conduct in other reports for which she declared her sorrow…" She was willing to submit to a public rebuke and to be suspended for a time. Elders reported on several other issues, including discussions with Temperance Wooden and Elizabeth Coulter about dancing, with John Miller concerning his attendance at a Methodist service and Hellen Elliott for not coming to church.


121 years ago today, the Delaware Republican for June 16, 1900 reported  that Woodburn & Smyth, the monument dealers in Delhi, had sold several "fine monuments," including to "W.H. Bramley a Dark Barre Granite Sarcophagus of modern design, to be erected in Bovina Center, NY, to the memory of his father and mother who died suddenly last winter. This monument consists of cap, neatly carved and polished on four sides, die polished on four sides with Grecian border traced around the top; second base moulded and polished on four sides, bottom base rock finished and corners margined." [need to get photo of monument - row 3 plot 18


111 years ago today, the Bovina column of the June 17, 1910 Andes Recorder reported that "Dr. Ward Young and family expect to leave next Monday to spend two weeks at his old home in Canada."


Two hundred and forty-five years ago today, June 18, 1776, Thomas Elliott was born in Roxburghshire, Scotland. He married Magdaline Thomson and had six children. He died in Bovina in 1838 and is buried in the Old Associate Presbyterian Church cemetery in Bovina.


141 years ago today, a letter to the editor of the Stamford Mirror dated June 19, 1880 was received and published in the paper's next issue. It was written in response to this item in the June 15, 1880 Stamford Mirror: “Norman sometimes gets the neighbors dogs set on him, when he is going to see his girl.” The letter in response to this read as follows: “Brushland, June 19th, 1880. Mr. Mirror:- The author of Bovina items is mistaken about the 'neighbor's dogs.' The only shadow of reality lies in the attack of that barking one who calls himself your correspondent. Truly, N.B.A.”


120 years ago, on June 20, 1901, the Bovina 'uptown' cooperative creamery was organized.  As reported in the Andes Recorder, the "creamery will be built on the Andrew T. McFarlane [McFarland] farm," now the Schumann property.  Thirty farmers were to participate.  The trustees elected were Andrew McFarland, George T. Russell and Alexander Burns. The Recorder went on to report that "[t]he contract for the building and apparatus has been let to F.B. Floyd for $4,350 and it is to be ready for business by September 1."  This creamery was organized a couple of months before the Bovina Center Cooperative Creamery was organized.  The uptown creamery building is no more, though the foundation is still identifiable. Here's a recently identified photo of the creamery:


140 years ago today, the June 21, 1881 Stamford Mirror carried this somewhat cryptic item: "The Bovina 'Gossip' misquotes part of an item from the Mirror, and then makes an assertion concerning a 'schoolmarm' which the pupils attending the school taught by her say is a lie."


157 years ago today, on June 22, 1864, a vote was held in Bovina to pay a bounty of $500 to any man enlisting in the Civil War, to be credited to Bovina.  There were several such votes during the war, each time for a larger amount.  By the end of the war, it was up to $800.  This vote was the closest of the war, passing by only one vote, with 68 for and 67 against.


Fifty-seven years ago today, the June 23, 1964 Oneonta Daily Star carried this item about the Bovina Center Co-op Creamery:


Sixty-seven years ago today, the Stamford Mirror for June 24, 1954 reported that "Teacher Awards Prizes to Grade Students." The article: Prizes awarded to children in the Bovina Center grade school by their teacher, Mrs. Ray Jardine, were as follows: perfect attendance, Mary Anne LaFever, Jim Hilson, Jeanetta Erway, Norman Hall, Jean Damgaard, and Janet Hoy; most improvement during the year, Betty Conklin and Janet Hoy; and highest average in class, Stewart Rosa, fourth grade; Jean Damgaard, third grade; Steve Rosa, second grade and Linda Graham, first grade.


Eighty-five years ago today, June 25, 1936, Marjorie Russell received her high school diploma from Delaware Academy. 


Seventy-nine years ago today, on June 26, 1942, the Bovina town board passed a resolution choosing the Bovina Community Hall as "an Airplane Observatory for the duration [of the Second World War]." The town agreed to furnish a "telephone and all needed appliances" unless the County agrees cover these expenses.


Eighty-two years ago today, on June 27, 1939, the Delhi Grange met. As later reported in the Delaware Republican, Master Herbert Jensen "announced that all members from Bovina Grange, which surrendered its charter this week, are very welcome to join Delhi Grange; twelve names have already been received from Bovina." I know that my grandparents, Ben and Anna Bell LaFever, joined the Delhi Grange and were active in it their entire lives.


Ninety-two years ago today, in the Bovina column of the June 28, 1929 Delaware Express, it was reported that "Bovina was thoroughly watered Sabbath (June 23) night by the very hard rain which lasted several hours. The small flat back of Frank Miller's house [now Roger McIntosh’s house] was nearly covered with water."


126 years ago today, on June 29, 1895 (as later reported by the Andes Recorder) "Dr. Barnard was in town Saturday extracting teeth without pain." This likely is a gentleman named Homer H. Barnard from Milford in Otsego County. He shows up in several census records as a dentist.


Eighty-three years ago, on June 30, 1938 (as later reported in the Andes Recorder), "Rev. and Mrs. Peter McKenzie traveled to Newark to see their two daughters sail on a six-week trip to Finland." The McKenzies had three daughters, Janet, Elizabeth and Margaret. Which two daughters was not stated in the newspaper, though it probably was Janet and Elizabeth.



Sunday, June 20, 2021

Brushland Rhymes

In March 2013, I presented in two parts the story of the lawsuit between Bovina's two Presbyterian Ministers. Rev. Joshua Kennedy of the Bovina Reformed Presbyterian sued J.B. Lee of the Bovina United Presbyterian Church for slander in 1869. Thanks to Samantha Misa's perusal of the Bloomville Mirror at the Delaware County Historical Association, we discovered some information from early 1868 that had escaped my earlier research. It starts with the January 28, 1868 issue. Dated January 16, it reads:

"Friend Champ: - Having passed through several towns in this County, about Holidays, I have been a little amused with the different sound of Church bells. In one place it said, “Come and be dipped! Come and be Dipped!” another said, “There is room for all! There is room for all!” and in the little town of B, there is one that puts the cap sheaf on all that I ever heard. It speaks very distinctly in this way: “Down with the Methodists! Down with the Methodists! Down with the Methodists! Down with the Methodists! Slander Mr. K! Slander Mr. K! Eternal Damnation! Eternal Damnation!” and so say the congregation, their Minister not excepted."

The letter is signed "Peace Maker." 

Three weeks later, the February 18 issue of the Mirror included on its front page a poem entitled "Brushland Rhymes." The writer of the poem knew details of the rumors involving Rev. Kennedy. The spreading of these rumors by Rev. Lee led to the slander suit. Here's the full poem:

Oh! howl and look ye demons all,
For Peace Maker has had a call – 
To blow some gas and write the news,
For other people to peruse;
‘Bout bells he writes, and blows his gas,
And brays just like some silly ass:
He’s heard a bell up in a steeple
When ringing loud to call the people.

“Come and be dipped!” it called aloud,
As coming from some distant cloud;
This seemed to smite his wicked heart,
So from this town he quick did start,
And made his way along the road
Bending beneath a sinner’s load;
He went around from town to town, 
And looked just like some awkard clown.

He soon did hear another bell
Which seemed to warn him of a hell,
He paused and listened to that call:
“There’s room for all! There’s room for all!”
Then to the town of B. he went,
As if by some foul demon sent,
To hear that far renowed bell
And hear the tale it had to tell.

“Down Methodists and Covenanters!”
And all such kind of weak dissenters,
Came from that bell up in the steeple
Alarming all weak-minded people –
And great damnation it did say, 
And “Slander, Slander Mr. K.!”

If really, Peace Maker is your name,
And you would rise high up to fame,
You’d better try some other way
Than blowing for this Mr. K.

If you will write, just write the truth,
And follow him up from his youth – 
And write of him in early days
And show to us his deeds and ways –
And of his acts to use relate
While living in the Keystone state,
And bring his deeds out to our view,
Then we can judge if he is true.

From Chambersburgh he once was going 
He looked quite wise and very knowing,
A lady, too, was by his side,
No doubt they had a pleasant ride!
He talked so fast and smiled so sweet,
(The horses were both strong and fleet)
She was enraptured by his smiles,
And quickly passed away the miles.

He put his arms around her waist
And her sweet lips he then did taste;
This seemed to chill her very heart – 
It pierced her soul just like a dart;
He kissed her o’er and o’er again,
She struggled hard, but all in vain.

“Oh dear!” she said, “if Mrs. K.
Was only here, what would she say?”
“But Mrs. K., she is not here,
So rest contented now, my dear;
And if she was she would not care – 
Your blushes now please try and spare.”

Another time while on the street,
A widow fair he chanced to meet – 
‘Twas very dark – he nearly missed her,
Soon in his arms he caught and kissed her.

Now, if Peace Maker wants to blow,
Just write again and let me know,
And through the Mirror we will write,
And bring some facts out to the light. 

I don't know who wrote the poem, nor can I tell who 'Peace Maker' is. But we do know who wrote the last part of this exchange. Two days after the poem appeared, Rev. Kennedy wrote a response to the Mirror, published in the March 3, 1868 issue:  

"Mr. Mirror – Will you pardon this freedom from one who is to yon an entire stranger, requesting that no article from the pen of any correspondent writing in my favor, appear in the pages of your interesting little sheet.

"Legal investigation will bring the facts of the case referred to, before the public in a manner I trust, that will be satisfactory to every lover of Truth and Justice in this community.

"The article from 'Peace Maker' was written and published without my knowledge or approval.

"Yours truly, J Kennedy"

The legal case was completed in early 1870 with the jury determining that Kennedy had been slandered. Go to my blog to read the rest of the story. Go to: Bovina (NY) History: Kennedy vs. Lee - Part I - Libel of Slander ( to see the first part of the story. Part II is at Bovina (NY) History: Kennedy vs. Lee - Part II - The Bed Was Badly Tumbled (

Thursday, June 10, 2021

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


The Bovina column in the Andes Recorder 100 years ago reported on work on the Bovina Center creamery and out of town visitors.

June 3, 1921

Mrs. G.J. Dickson was at Syracuse attending the graduation of her dauter Marjorie.

Joseph Rogers and Hugh Gillispie, of New York, were at Lake Delaware from Saturday until Monday.  Mr. Rogers reports that William Gordon, who has been very ill from blood poisoning following an operation, is very much better.  While he now has sciatica rheumatism his ultimate recovery is looked for.  He is a grandson of the late Thomas Gordon.

June 10, 1921

Mrs. Frank Russell, on Russell hill, is having her house re-shingled.

Mrs. George H. Miller has purchased an Overland automobile from Wm. T. Hyzer, of Andes.

Mrs. Hamilton Russell is ill with inflammatory rheumatism.  Her sister Mrs. Susan Adair, is staying with her. [Mrs. Russell, the former Margaret Doig, was the mother of Cecil Russell.]

William Johnson and wife, of Kansas, arrived at the home of his sister, Mrs. Alex Crosier, at the Butt End, on Sabbath evening.  They left home on May 23, and covered over 1,700 miles in their Maxwell car.

The mail route from Bovina to Bloomville, viz Bovina Center, has been let to James A. Liddle, for four years from July 1, at $1480 per year, which is $280 more than the first bid which the government rejected.

The smoke-stack was raised Saturday on the large boiler at the Co-Op creamery, which will be used to condense the skim milk.  Vats, a pasteurizer, etc. purchased from the defunct Delaware & Greene creamery at Arkville, were brought here this week.  

June 17, 1921

The assessors are on their rounds.

Miss Jennie E. Miller is visiting friends at Hamden.

A New York inspector is here inspecting milk and barns.

Miss Angelica L. Gerry has arrived at the Gerry summer home at Lake Delaware.

Alex Myers is painting the store occupied by Cecil Russell – the old Thos E. Hastings store.

The condenser for condensing the skim milk at the Bovina Center Co-Operative Creamery, was started up Tuesday [Jun 14].

Miss Carrie Dumond has gone to Stamford, where she will be employed during the boarding season at the Madison house.

Mr. and Mrs. Walter Lunn, from near Seattle arrived in town last Thursday to visit relatives.  Mrs. Lunn is a daughter of the late Robert Forrest of Coulter Brook.

Master Ledger Myers is the proud possessor of a pair of gold link cuff buttons as a result of winning the standing broad jump of the juniors at the recent field day at Delhi.

Nelson Reynolds is making alterations in the interior of the United Presbyterian church.  The first row of seats has been removed and the pulpit extended forward in order to give more room for the choir behind the pulpit.

June 24, 1921

Nelson Reynolds has gone to Meredith to work at his trade – carpenter.

Walter Huhn, of Brooklyn, has moved into R.B. McFarland’s house below the Hook.

Alex Myers has completed painting the Russell store and is now painting the house of Milton Hastings.

Charles A. Lee had both ankles sprained by a fall from a ladder while working at the home of his brother, A.P. Lee.

Dr. James Crosier, who has a dental office in Philadelphia, is visiting his mother, Mrs. Alex Crosier, in upper Bovina.

A reunion of the McNair Family will be held at W.S. Coulter’s, Andes, July 2.  Bring sandwiches for your family and one other thing to eat – each one also bring knife, fork, spoon, plate and cup and saucer.