Saturday, December 31, 2022

This Day in Bovina for December 2022

149 years ago today, December 1, 1873, Alexander Home Gillie passed away. Born in Berwickshire, Scotland in 1805, he married Martha Lewis in 1838 in Bovina. They had four children, one of whom, son William, would die in the Civil War in August 1863.

John William Storie, son of Alexander Storie and Esther Cowan was born 159 years ago today, December 2, 1863.  He was the last child of Alexander and Esther Storie.  Alex and Esther had five children in total, but the two eldest died within a few days of each other in October 1862.  John would marry Jennie Laidlaw in 1890 and have two sons, William and George.  He died in 1944 when he was 80. 

110 years ago today, on December 3, 1912, John Raitt was born in Southern Bovina, the son of Thomas Raitt and Mary Ann King. He was married to Helen Winter in 1941. John worked for the US Post Office and served in military postal services in the European theatre during the Second World War. John retired from the post office in 1972. John was the Delaware County Historian from 1981 to 1995. His wife Helen died in 1997. John died in 2004 and is buried in Bovina.

Ninety-seven years ago today, the Bovina column of the Andes Recorder for December 4, 1925 reported that "Mrs. Walter G. Coulter had her toe severely injured when a soap stone fell on it." Mrs. Coulter was Margaret Strangeway and was the mother of Ruth Coulter Parsons and Celia Coulter. She passed away in 1953.

186 years ago today, December 5, 1836, John Reed, Tailor, submitted this advertisement to the Delaware Gazette. "RESPECTFULLY returns thanks to the inhabitants of Bovina and its vicinity, for the liberal support tendered him since he commenced business, and begs leave to inform them that he has opened a Shop on his new premises with a complete assortment of Trimmings, adopted to the texture and form of the garments of his customers. He has brought up from New York, Draughts, Plates and Reports of Fashions for the season and no expense will be spared to render his establishment commensurate with the growing taste and respectability of the community."

141 years ago today, the December 6, 1881 Stamford Mirror, in its Bovina column, reported that "Henry Coulter and Henry Thomson are attending school at Delhi Academy." The same column noted that "Berry S. Miller is preparing to build a house next summer." I think this house was somewhere on Bramley Mountain, but I'm not sure.

On December 7, 1914, 108 years ago today, there was a fire at the Howard McPherson residence. Here's how the Andes Recorder reported it: "A small fire about midnight Monday night did about $15 damage in the residence of Howard McPherson, adjoining Elliott Thomson's blacksmith shop. During the evening the chimney had burned out but at 11:30 everything was apparently all right. Half an hour later Mrs. McPherson heard something fall and ongoing upstairs found the rooms filled with smoke. Mr. McPherson was not at home and she aroused the neighbors. The fire was in the partition and was put out by the use of several pails of water." This is now the Kim and Marcelo Riera residence.

111 years ago today, the December 8, 1911 Bovina column of the Andes Recorder reported that "The chicken pie supper held Friday evening at the United Presbyterian parsonage and served by the men was a success and $59 was realized."

Ninety-five years ago today, December 9, 1927, Mrs. Mary Phinney was buried in Bovina. As reported in the Andes Recorder, "Her death occurred at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Albert Sarles at Sand Point, Idaho." Born Mary Archibald in 1853, she married Dr. Lehman Phinney in 1881. Phinney was a doctor in Bovina for a number of years. He died in 1901.

132 years ago today, on December 10, 1890, Gilbert Jardine posted this notice advertising the sale of his farm in the Delaware Republican. Born in Scotland in 1822, he married Nancy E. Tuttle in 1856. Gilbert died in November 1893 and his wife a bit over a year later. The farm was on Townsend Road in the Bramley Mountain area.

108 years ago today, on December 11, 1914, a horse owned by John Hilson and driven by James Hilson ran away while it was hitched to a cutter.  The horse took fright and ran from the street onto the flat below the creamery, causing some damage to the cutter.  Apparently, James and the horse were not hurt.

110 years ago today, on December 12, 1912, Bovina native David L. Gladstone was married to Mary Taylor in Crested Butte, Colorado. He was the son of George and Sarah Gladstone. This is the marriage notice that was sent the Hilson family. David L., also known as Leonard, moved to Colorado with his parents in 1909 and appears to have had a somewhat checkered life. He and Mary had one son, John Taylor Gladstone. Leonard and Mary were divorced in 1926. Both remarried, with Leonard divorcing again in 1931. He was in Minnesota in 1950, working for the Chicago and North Western Railroad. Mary died in 1964 in Colorado, Leonard in 1984 in Minnesota. 

107 years ago today, December 13, 1915, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "More than a foot of snow fell during Monday afternoon and night.  Tuesday morning the teamsters started out for their Delhi trip but soon turned back.  Traffic was much delayed and mails did not arrive."

Eighty-five years ago today, December 14, 1937, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Mrs. James Ackerly died at her home in Bovina Center … after a long illness at the age of 82 years.  Her maiden name was Velma Barnhart and she was born at Shavertown.  She was twice married, her first husband being Eugene DuMond.  She is survived by her husband, James Ackerly, and a daughter, Mrs. Delbert Dickson, by her first marriage.  The funeral will be held Friday with burial in Andes."

105 years ago today, on December 15, 1917, Mrs. Robert G. Thomson arrived home with her husband, her mother, Mrs. Georgia More, and a nurse. Nelle Thomson had been in New York City for cancer treatments, treatments which were unsuccessful. The Andes Recorder noted that "she was brought home on a cot." She passed away a few days later on December 19.

161 years ago today, on December 16, 1861, this receipt was issued for payment made for "work done on the Bridge by Robert C. Scotts." This likely is the bridge at the lower end of the hamlet. While it was a stone bridge, it probably was not the one that was well known and was demolished in the 1950s. That bridge had at least one predecessor that proved to be poorly built and had to be rebuilt in 1873. 

102 years ago today, the illness of a child put off a golden wedding anniversary celebration.  The Andes Recorder reported that "Ralph, the 10-year-old son of James Mabon was operated upon Friday, December 17, 1920, at Delhi for appendicitis.  Because of his illness, the celebration of his grandparents 50th anniversary (James and Ellen Mabon), scheduled for December 21, was postponed."

124  years ago this afternoon, December 18, 1898, Mrs. Charles F. Smith died at the age of 90.  The Andes Recorder, when reporting her death, noted that "Her maiden name was Christina Lamont and she came to this town [Bovina] over 40 years ago.  She was an excellent woman, a good neighbor; always cheerful and she will be missed in this community as well as in her home.  On Tuesday the funeral was held, the sermon being preached by Rev. Samson, and the interment was in the Bovina cemetery."

145 years ago today, on December 19, 1877, the Bovina Methodist Episcopal Church reopened after having been closed for repairs.  There was a sermon at 11, a reunion service held at 2:30 and another sermon at 7 pm.  When the church issued a notice for this service, the Andes Recorder included the following:  "We would earnestly commend to the attention of those in this vicinity the services above announced.  They will be very interesting, and profitable to all who may attend. Revs. A.K. Sanford and J.E. Gorse are earnest warm-hearted Christian men, and the service conducted by them, and stamped with Divine approval will be blessed for good. The church societies of the towns surrounding will, we hope, take a warm interest in this meeting, and encourage the Brushland M.E. Society by their presence and means.  'The liberal soul shall be made fat; and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself.'" The church was located across from where the Bovina Community Hall now stands.

John Walter Blair was born 156 years ago today on December 20, 1866, the son of James and Hannah Blair. He married Lib Miller in 1889. They farmed in Bovina for many years. John was killed in August 1945 when his team of horses ran away with him. He was dragged by the horses and was fatally injured when his head struck a rock. He is buried in Bovina.

209 years ago today, on December 21, 1813, Joel Brush, son of early Bovina pioneer Alexander Brush and Nancy Griffith Brush, died. He is buried in the Brush cemetery next to the library. Born in 1786, he was married to Elizabeth Maynard, daughter of another early Bovina pioneer. They had two children before his untimely death at the age of 27.

111 years ago today, the December 22, 1911 Andes Recorder Bovina column reported that "The three churches will unite and hold a Christmas tree in the town hall Monday evening." The same column reported the return home for the holidays of two students - Clifton Scott from Westminster college and Jane Hilson from Oberlin.

Eighty-seven years ago today, December 23, 1935, as later reported in the Catskill Mountain news, "The community Christmas tree was held in the hall…with the different schools furnishing the entertainment."

102 years ago today, the December 24, 1920 Bovina column of the Andes Recorder reported that "William J. Archibald will install a Western Electric plant to light his farm residence and barn."

133 years ago today, on December 25, 1889, Alexander Storie, a farmer on Pink Street (now the Tom Burns farm) wrote the following in his diary: "Calm warm and pleasant in the morning. Clear calm and sunshine all day. We all went to Mary Ann's for our Christmas dinner. Mrs. Mary Coulter and children, Mrs. Jane Liddle and Samuel Storie and family were there also to dinner. There was fifteen in all."

103 years ago today, the Bovina column of the December 26, 1919 Andes Recorder reported that "The tax collector is on the war path."

125 years ago, on December 27, 1897, the thermometer registered sixteen degrees below zero at the Butt End.  This was the coldest so far that winter.

136 years ago today, the Bovina column of the December 28, 1886 Stamford Mirror reported that "D.L. Thomson, Member of Assembly, has been at Albany this week looking the ground over preparatory to the commencement of his official duties." David Low Thompson was born in Bovina in 1831. David's career in the Assembly would be fairly brief. More about D.L. can be found in the Bovina (NY) History: “I don’t know whether I dare to go back to Bovina or not” – The Brief Career of Assemblyman David Low Thompson (

Walter A. Doig died 120 years ago today, on December 29, 1902. Born in Bovina in 1827, he was the son of Andrew and Margaret (Sanderson) Doig. He married Margaret Armstrong in 1851. They had 10 children. This photo of Walter came from the collection of Celia Coulter.

203 years ago today, December 30, 1819, Nancy Jane Hamilton was born, the daughter of Thomas Hamilton and Elizabeth Arneil. She married Archibald Erkson in 1839. They would have five children. Nancy died in 1899 when she was 79 years old. Her husband survived her by five years, dying in 1904.

186 years ago today, on December 31, 1836, Adam Scott was killed in a riding accident. For more information on this accident, go to the Bovina NY History blog at

Saturday, December 10, 2022

December 1922 - 100 Years Ago in "That Thriving Town"

December 1, 1922

Miss Angelica Gerry has spent the past week at the Gerry summer home at Lake Delaware.

Sloan Archibald is again grandpa – a daughter was born November 22, at Delhi to Mr. and Mrs. Russell Archibald.

The Farm Bureau will hold a community meeting in Bovina Center on December 19 and at Bovina in the evening.

Veterinarian Lester Irvine and Harvey Burgin are inspecting cows, barns and milkhouses of patrons of the Bovina Center Co-Op Creamery.  They are finding a few diseased cows as usual.

December 8, 1922

Mrs. Lucy Coulter is ill with the jaundice.

Mrs. Henry Monroe is giving sewing lessons to the girls of the Bovina Center school.

Mrs. Joe Ross will move from Mrs. Thos Gordon’s house and will board at John Aitken’s.

Mrs. Chauncey McFarland entertained her mother, Mrs. Anna Ruff, of Delhi, over Thanksgiving.

The smokestack on the old boiler at the Bovina Center Co-Op Creamery was blown down by the high wind this week.

Mrs. Glen Taylor, of Beach, South Dakota, who will be remembered here as Minnie Ruff, has gone to Los Angeles, California, for the benefit of her health. [Minnie spent the rest of her life there, dying in 1945.]

December 15, 1922

As its share of the dog license money the town of Bovina will receive $224.92.

Alexander B. Jardine underwent a serious operation at his home at Lake Delaware last week. [He survived this illness, dying 10 years later. Alexander was the grandfather of Marion, Martha and Richard Jardine.]

Thomas H. Johnson, who has been in a New York hospital for several week with a broken leg, has returned home.

While Mrs. James Monroe was en-route to Delhi one day last week the car skidded on the ice at Frank Dickson’s and turned around taking off two wheels.

December 22, 1922

Bovina tax rate, including highway tax, is $25.32.

Isador Berschevsky is in town looking after the cheese business.

A. Jones is here putting the machinery in the Dry Milk plant.

Douglas Davidson, who has been ill since early in the fall, was in the village Tuesday. [Douglass would pass away in October 1923. He was the father of Fletcher Davidson and Vera Storie.]

There will be no more Sabbath evening meetings at the United Presbyterian church until coal is more plenty.

A friend of the U.P. church, whose name is not revealed, recently presented the church with stereopticon lantern.

December 29, 1922

Walter G. Coulter has the job of putting in the ice at the Polley creamery at Frasers.

Charles F. McPherson, up-town, is having his barn piped for water and is putting in buckets for watering his cows.

Mr. and Mrs. Parson, who have been employed at Ale Thomson’s, went to Connecticut last week for a visit of a couple of months.

The Christmas tree and exercises at the U.P. church last Friday evening drew a full house.  Following the excellent exercises Mr. and Mrs. Santa Clause distributed the presents.

All the workmen on the church, chapel and rectory at Lake Delaware, had a vacation from Friday until Wednesday.  Superintendent Bell spent over Christmas at his home in New York.

Professor Baldwin and wife, of New York, Lauren Dickson, from Yale, Marjorie and Anna Dickson, from Cornell, and Caroline Dickson, of Boston, are spending the holidays with their mother, Mrs. G.J. Dickson.

Broke Several Ribs

Andrew Hall, employed by Arthur Bergman, up-town, is at his home in Walton with several broken ribs.  One night recently he started from the barn for the hog pen with a pail of swill and walked off the wall of the driveway falling about four feet.