Saturday, July 31, 2021

This Day in Bovina for July 2021

Here's the compilation of the Town of Bovina Historian Facebook page daily entries for July 2021:

102 years ago today, on July 1, 1919, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Lloyd Oliver had a narrow escape …from going off the high wall at Alex Myers' in his car.  Something was wrong with the car and Terry, the garage man, towed it backwards to the top of the pitch and he started to coast down.  In front of the Myers house a rod dropped down careering the car into the air so that only one wheel was on the ground and when it righted itself it was on the wall and less than a foot from the edge.  Mr. Oliver who had no brakes, succeeded in guiding the car along the wall and it was stopped in front of Elliott Thomson's."


Forty-one years ago today, the July 2, 1980 Stamford Mirror Recorder included this item in the Bovina column, written by Ann Cairns: 

113 years ago today, on July 3, 1908, Norman Hawley was married to Edith Michelbach  in Bovina, with the Rev. Norman Speer officiating and Mrs. E.E. Hastings and John T. Coulter as witnesses.  About six weeks later, on August 18, Norman was arrested at the farm of John A. Irvine on Coulter Brook, where he was a hired hand, for having deserted from the regular army about a year previous while stationed in Vermont.  His wife was living in Binghamton at the time, probably with his parents.  The letters that passed between them led to his discovery.  What actually happened to him after his arrest is not clear, but by 1910, he was living in Binghamton with his wife and parents.  They later settled in Syracuse, where Hawley worked for the railroad.  His arrest for desertion does not appear to have had a major impact on his life.


Sixty-six years ago today, on July 4, 1955, Isabell Russell recorded in her diary "A grand day nice & clear but very hot. Charles was over and we ate on the side lawn had our new picnic table." Charles was Cecil's brother. I believe this photo is from that day - Hildreth Russell, Charles Russell, Cecil Russell and Isabell Russell. 


114 years ago today, the July 5, 1907 Andes Recorder Bovina column reported that: "The telephone service in Bovina is on the 'bum' and with no signs of anything better. It is stated that the central for the Rose lines will be at Hobart and in order to talk with Andes for example it would be necessary to call Hobart and then talk via Delhi. Certainly very convenient."


Twenty-eight years ago today, the July 6, 1993 issue of the Delaware County Times included this photo of Florence Thomas with one of her late husband, Clayt's, antique cars.



122 years ago today, the July 7, 1899 Andes Recorder in its Bovina column reported that "Quite a number of new mowing machines have been bought this year.  Besides those mentioned last week they are Walter Biggar, a McCormick; E. Burgin, an Osborn; James Coulter a Walter A. Wood and F.C. Armstrong, a Buckeye."


123 years ago today, the Bovina column of the July 8, 1898 Andes Recorder reported that "The forest worms are committing great ravages in many sugar camps.  In Stephen Russell’s camp they have many of the trees stripped of leaves, and in many other places are equally as bad."


Thirty-six years ago today, the July 9, 1985 Daily Star carried this article about Bovina native Enid Carter, who was retiring as a home economics teacher in Oneonta. 


109 years ago today, the July 10, 1912 Delaware Gazette carried an article about what later became Route 28: "RIGHT OF WAY SECURED. Tuesday, Chairman Dickson, with [town] Supervisors Johnson and Palmer went over the route of the Andes-Delhi State road in company with an engineer and completed the work of securing the right of way. The damages in Bovina, range from nothing to $200. Some of the trees at Lake Mahican will be saved by a slight change of plans."


102 years ago today, the July 11, 1919 issue of the Catskill Mountain News reported "William T. Miller of Pink Street, Bovina, who had ten head of cattle killed by lightning recently, had no insurance, and $114 received for the hides is the only recompense he will have for the stock."


160 years ago today, on July 12, 1861, as later reported in the Delaware Gazette, Robert A.T. Dean died of diphtheria. He was 27 years old the son of John Dean and Elizabeth Johnson. He is buried in the Bovina Cemetery. 


152 years today, on July 13, 1869, James Campbell filed with the town clerk a notice concerning a stray colt that showed up at his farm.  "Notice is hereby given that an iron grey horses colt came to my premises this morning, the owner is requested to prove property, pay charges and take the same away.  Dated July 13, 1869, James M. Campbell"  Campbell's farm was on Scutt Mountain Road. 


Fifteen years ago today, the July 14, 2006 Delaware County Times carried this article about the Bovina Library seeking books for the Ogden Library in Walton, which had been recently hit by a devastating flood: 


Ninety-five years ago today, on July 15, 1926, as reported in the Stamford Mirror, "Mrs. Belle Hilson, Miss Jane Hilson, Miss Elizabeth Strangeway and Miss Ruth Coulter left Thursday for the Pacific coast.  Mrs. Hilson and her daughter expect to visit points in California, while Miss Strangeway and Miss Coulter will attend the Young People's Convention in Seattle."  Belle Hilson was the widow of Alex Hilson and lived in the house now occupied by Chris and Mike Batey.  Elizabeth Strangeway was the aunt of Ruth Coulter.  Ruth would later marry Bill Parsons.


Margaret Doig was born 182 years ago today on July 16, 1839, the daughter of William Doig and Jane Forrest.  She died a month after her fourth birthday on August 16, 1843.


118 years ago, on July 17, 1903, as reported by the Ithaca Daily News, "Mr. and Mrs. David Hoy left for their vacation in Bovina." Hoy, the uncle of Fletcher Davidson and Vera Storie, among others, grew up in Bovina and became the Registrar of Cornell University for many years. He also is responsible for starting the extensive genealogy files referred to as 'Early Bovina Families.' I, for one, will always be grateful for his pioneering efforts in documenting Bovina's history.


174 years ago today, on July 18, 1847, two families with Bovina connections were bereft of children. Both children were about 3 years old.  Robert Forrest, the son of Thomas E. Forrest and Ellen Raitt, is buried in the Old Associate Presbyterian Church cemetery (more commonly known as the Reinertsen Hill Road cemetery). In that same cemetery there is a memorial stone to Robert Scott, the son of Robert and Ellen Scott. Robert died at sea.


103 years ago today, on July 19, 1918, Bovina was hit with a heavy storm that caused considerable crop damage and killed three cows.  Gardens and field crops, including William Archibald's buckwheat were destroyed by hail, some of the early stones being as large as plums (the Archibald farm was at the lower end of Bovina Center, what is now the McPherson farm).  The maple tree at the home of the Muller sisters (across from about where Hugh Lee's is located) was struck by lightning.  Lightning traveled into the house of Adam Laidlaw through the telephone lines but did no damage (Laidlaw is where Marie Burns lives now).  A.B. Phyfe, who had the farm now owned by Tim and Kristin Schneider, saw his entire dairy of three cows killed by lightning.


Eighteen years ago today, on July 20, 2003, I took this photograph of my dad, Charlie LaFever, with the Davidson brothers, Richard, Ed and Alan. It was the last time these four gentlemen would gather like this. Charlie and Alan died within a couple of weeks of each other in early 2004. Ed and Dick continued their annual trips to Bovina for about another decade. Ed passed away in 2019. Dick lives in California. 


Sixty years ago today, the July 21, 1961 issue of the Oneonta Star included this story about the family of baseball great Whitey Ford spending some time at Suits-Us Farm: 


138 years ago today, on July 22, 1883, Mary Isabella Hoy Davidson, wife of Douglass Davidson, died giving birth to an infant son, who also died the same day.  Five years later, Douglass was remarried to his late wife's sister, Margaret Jane Hoy.  They would have four children, two of whom, Vera and Fletcher, would survive to adulthood.


120 years ago today, on July 23, 1901, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "the first load of lumber was drawn for the creamery at the Centre…"


197 years ago today, on July 24, 1824, James Coulter posted the following notice to be published in the Delaware Gazette: "Six Cents Reward. Ranaway from the subscriber an indented apprentice named Thomas Freeman. All persons are hereby forbid harboring or trusting him on my account, as I will pay no deb of his contracting. The above reward will be paid by the subscriber to any person who may apprehend and deliver said boy to him but no charges will be allowed."


Eighty-seven years ago today, on July 25, 1934, J. Douglas Burns died in Bovina at the age of 75. He was a lifelong resident of Bovina, the son of John Burns and Nancy Ormiston. He married Maggie Doig in 1879. They had five children, four of whom survived to adulthood - Arthur, Eva, Elizabeth and Willam C.


140 years ago today, the Bovina column for the July 26, 1881 Stamford Mirror reported that "The new boat on the pond at the coopershop is a source of attraction for the small boys, and some large ones."


Thirty-nine years ago today, this article appeared in the July 27, 1982 Delaware County Times about Russell's Store.  


Eighty-one years ago today, on July 28, 1940, Elizabeth Richardson Irvine passed away.  Mrs. Richardson lived in what is now Tony and Norma Gabriele's house.  She had been ill only a few days before her death.  Born in 1866, she married John Irvine and had five children.  Her husband John died in 1918 and she had lost a son, William, in 1929.  Elizabeth was survived by sons Lester, Clifton and Lloyd and daughter Isabell Russell.  Clifton and Lloyd were living in Washington State at the time of their mother's death, so they sent this telegram on hearing the news to their sister. 


105 years ago today, the July 29, 1916 Delaware Republican carried this Bovina column: 


Eighty-seven years ago today, on July 30, 1934, David Currie resigned as Bovina Town Clerk. James Hoy was appointed to fill the position. Hoy would hold the position for about a year when David Currie would resume it and hold it until 1945. James' wife, Margaret, succeeded David in the position, becoming the first woman to be the Town Clerk for Bovina.


Sixty-nine years ago today, the Bovina column of the July 31, 1952 Delaware Republican Express included this: "Mr. and Mrs. William Rockefeller and Mr. and Mrs. Clayton Thomas and daughter, Patty, enjoyed a trip to the Catskill Game Farm Sunday." The same column also reported that "Fred Henderson and Andrew Reinertsen began work Monday on a carpentry job on the Ralph Barnhart house in South Kortright." And finally, this item: "Jimmy LaFever of Unadilla is visiting at the home of his uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Leif Reinertsen."



Tuesday, July 20, 2021

A High Day for Family Quarrels in Brushland

The Stamford Mirror's February 17, 1880 issue had the following item under its Bovina column:

Last Sunday seems to have been a high day for family quarrels in Brushland. A row was begun that day by Charles Allen and wife, which resulted in demolishing the clock and a separation of the parties, Mrs. Allen going off with her father on Tuesday, taking her share of the household goods with her. A similar affair occurred between Robt. Agnew and wife. Agnew is a blacksmith by trade, and located here some time last fall. This worthy couple have been in the habit of quarreling occasionally ever since they have been here, and on Sunday (according to Mrs. Agnew’s story) Agnew shut her up stairs, and kept her there all day, with nothing but two cold griddle-cakes to eat. On Monday, she went up to Mrs. Boyd’s (a relative of Mrs. Agnew’s) and returned home on Tuesday. Agnew came from his shop in the evening, and finding his wife at home, the quarrel was again commenced, when Agnew put his wife out of doors, and threatened to kill her if she came in again. Soon after this, Thomas Miller was crossing the stone bridge, near Strangeway’s store, and heard a noise, as if some one was trying to break the ice, and going down the stream a short distance found Mrs. Agnew, who acted as if she intended to drown herself. She was then taken to M. Dickson’s, where she remained over night. The next day she went to Boyd’s, and is there at present, but is said that she intends to leave Agnew and go back to her mother, who we believe, lives in Scotland.

Mrs. Agnew showed up in the papers again in August 1880. It isn’t clear but it seems she may have overstayed her welcome at Dickson’s:  

Stamford Mirror, August 24, 1880: Michael Dickson having obtained a judgment against, Mrs. Agnew served, an execution on her Monday last, and levied on "three silver dollars, also the potatoes and apples in the garden at present occupied by her," and ordered her to vacate the premises within three days.  The three days have expired and she is still in possession of the premises, and says she has a club laid up to break Mike's head with if he troubles her again."  

I have found few clues as to who she was, but I think she was born either Margaret Jane Boyd or Margaret Jane Mcbirnie. Born around 1849 in Scotland, she was married to Robert Agnew, probably in Scotland. In 1871, she was living in Renfrewshire, Scotland with her husband and one-year-old son, also named Robert.

After her appearance in the news (and in the 1880 census), Mrs. Agnew disappears. Did she go back to Scotland as she threatened? We just don't know. 

Saturday, July 10, 2021

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

Bovina in the first full month of summer in 1921 saw a broken hip, a runaway horse, and a dispute between two farmers on Pink Street that led to an assault charge. 

July 1, 1921

James Monroe and wife motored to Andes on Wednesday.

The first installment of boys will arrive Friday at the Gerry camp in southern Bovina.

Mrs. Adam G. King, of Walton, who was visiting at Fred Thomson’s fell and broke her hip.  She had just returned from an auto ride and lost her balance and fell off the edge of the front steps as she was entering the house.  As her age is about 70 the accident is a serious one. [Actually, she was 81 when she had this accident and amazingly, given that a broken hip usually was a death sentence, she survived until 1928.]

July 8, 1921

Margaret Gordon visited at Walton last week.

Master John Gordon, of New York, is at Mrs. Thomas Gordon’s. [John Gordon was the step grandson of Mrs. Gordon.]

Bovina Boy Married

Everett Orr Russell, formerly of Bovina, and Ethel Harris, daughter of the late Dr. Harris, formerly of Andes and Walton, were married June 22, at Los Angeles, California. [Everett and Ethel lived in California the rest of their lives. He died in 1966, predeceased by his wife.]

July 15, 1921

Frank Miller is the first to finish haying.

Wednesday morning as Charles A. McPherson was coming to the creamery the hold back strap broke on the Myers pitch and let the wagon onto the horse.  Mr. McPherson succeeded in stopping the horse near Hilson’s store without colliding with any of the numerous teams and no damage was done.

July 22, 1921

C.S. Terry has been on the sick list the past week.

It is reported that the Ed Coulter farm has been sold to an Italian.

Master Frank McPherson, son of Chas A. McPherson, fell out of a tree last week and broke his arm just above the elbow.

Rev. and Mrs. Robb, who are missionaries to India, are enroute to Bovina to spend some time with relatives.  Mrs. Robb before her marriage was Jen Campbell. [Jen was the daughter of Duncan Campbell and Nancy Campbell. The Robbs settled in California. Jen died in 1948, Rev. Andrew Robb in 1953.]

A Bovina Scrap

Trouble Between Neighbors Results in an Assault Charge

Mr. Hadley, on the Marshall Thomson farm, swore out a warrant against Ed Leftgren [Lifgren] charging him with assault in second degree.  The trouble is said to be over a spring.  G. Leftgren lives just across the road on the Lyle Thomson place and has the deed to a spring on Hadley’s side of the road.  Friday afternoon when Hadley was in his barn milking Leftgren and his two sons went to the barn and it is alleged charged Hadley with cooling his milk in their spring, and Hadley claimed he only dammed the waste water.  In the trouble Hadley alleges that young Leftgren knocked him down and that he was pounded.  In support of his charge Hadley shows bruises and cuts and a broken finger.  The trial is set for Wednesday.

July 29, 1921

Bovina had heavy thunder storms Thursday afternoon.

Mr. Barnes will move onto the Fine Hunt farm up Coulter Brook.

Mrs. Estella Oliver has gone to Walton to help care for Mrs. A.G. King, who broke her hip a few weeks ago while visiting in Bovina.

An addition is being built onto the Bovina Center Co-Op Creamery building and preparations are being made to manufacture the skim milk into cheese.