Sunday, April 30, 2023

This Day in Bovina for April 2023


115 years ago today, on April 1, 1908, William Telford died.  The Andes Recorder provided the details: "William Telford, who lived on the Alex Johnson farm in upper Bovina, died suddenly Wednesday morning, April 1.  He was in the barn milking and had milked two cows when his wife noticed that he was very pale.  He sat down on his milking stool in the driveway and in a few minutes fell on his face on the floor and expired instantly.  He had been suffering with neuralgia and it is supposed that it went to the heart. Mr. Telford, who was a son of Rev. Walter Telford, was 48 years old and most of his life has been spent in Bovina.  He is survived by his wife who was Miss Ella Winter, of New Kingston.”  Ella survived her husband by 35 years, dying in 1943.


Eighty-one years ago today, the April 2, 1942 Delaware Republican reported in its Bovina column that "Mr. and Mrs. Dave Roberts of Sidney were here two days last week as guests of her aunt, Mrs. Kate Birdsall."


Seventy-four years ago today, on April 3, 1949, a small plane crashed in Bovina. A Beechcraft plane piloted by George P. Kingsley landed on Frank McPherson's flat at the lower end of Bovina Center. There was little damage to the airplane and none to the pilot, nor the dog that was traveling with him. The Catskill Mountain News reported the crash: 1949-04-08 CMN crash

130 years ago, the April 4, 1893 Stamford Mirror reported the following: "At a meeting of the village school district, Bovina Centre, it was voted to purchase, at a cost of $300, a site on the Hasting's farm, recently purchased by Wm. Hoy, upon which to erect a new district school house. A new street will be laid out. A one-story building with two departments, to be built after one of the most approved modern plans, to cost $1,500, will be erected as soon as possible." Construction took place later that year. The building still stands today and is now the Bovina Public Library.


The Andes Recorder reported that 122 years ago on April 5, 1901, “Mrs. G.J. Dickson went to New York City…to buy her stock of millinery goods.”


204 years ago today, April 6, 1819, a vote was taken in Stamford for annexing a part of the town, with a part of Delhi and Middletown, for the purpose of forming a new Town. Seventy-one voted in favor, sixty-four against. The town which was created the following February was Bovina.


143 years ago today, on April 7, 1880, Nancy Bailey Hoy died. Born in Ireland in 1795, she was the daughter of Alexander Bailey and Nancy Forsythe. She married Robert J. Hoy Sr and would have five children before she was widowed in 1865.


122 years ago, on April 8, 1901, Alex Hilson was headed to New York City to purchase new goods for his store.


Forty-two years ago today, on April 9, 1981, Edna Carter passed away at the age of 88. Born in 1892, she was the daughter of David Champ Worden and Harriett Boyd. Edna grew up in Bovina, attending school at what is now the Bovina library. Edna was married three times. Her first marriage was tragically brief. She married John Henderson in February 1914 in Pittsburgh, married by the pastor they knew when he was in New Kingston. Henderson caught the measles from one of the pastor's children. They came back to Delaware County just as he became ill. He went outdoors before he was completely recovered from the measles and caught a cold. He died about 10 weeks after the wedding. Edna came back to Bovina to teach but two years later, she married James Tolley in Colorado. That marriage ended in divorce in 1926 in Oklahoma. In 1927, she married George Carter in Bovina. They lived in Nebraska where their two children, Marquerite and Enid were born. She was widowed in 1945. She returned to Delaware County, living in Margaretville, where she taught elementary school. She came back to Bovina upon retirement.


127 years ago today, the Bovina correspondent for the Andes Recorder in its April 10, 1896, reported that "They are just whooping it up at Lake Delaware.  Nearly all the students who attended school there have the whooping cough."


141 years ago today, the April 11, 1882 issue of the Stamford Mirror reported in its Bovina column that "It is expected that a telegraph line to Brushland will be built within three weeks."


104 years ago today, on April 12, 1919, Helen Anderson Hastings died in Saranac Lake. The Delaware Republican reported that she had been in the Adirondacks eight or nine years "battling…to overcome the inroads of consumption."  She was the daughter of Andrew and Margaret Anderson and was 49 years old at her death. She, her husband Elmer and her daughters Lulu Jean and Pauline moved together to Saranac. The paper reported that "the change evidently prolonged her life, but the end came all too soon for those who loved her, and the number was legion."  She was buried in Bovina. Her husband survived her by over 20 years, dying in 1945.


106 years ago today, the April 13, 1917 issue of the Andes Recorder in its Bovina column reported that "Frank Miller has sold his farm on the hill above the old cemetery to a Norwegian named Jenson.  He retains 40 acres below the road. The farm was formerly the Andrew Thomson place and by him was called 'paradise.'" This is the old Reinertsen farm at the end of Reinertsen Hill Road.  It appears that this news item is reporting the purchase by Andrew Reinertsen and while they got the nationality right, they got the name wrong, though the actual purchase by Andrew didn’t happen until 1919.


112 years ago, the Andes Recorder in its April 14, 1911 issue, reported in the Bovina column news the following: “John Miller has secured a position as telegraph operator with the Union Pacific railroad, and has been ordered to report for duty at Omaha, Nebraska. It is not known to what place he will be assigned. He has just completed a special course at Cincinnati." This likely is John Clifford Miller, the son of David and Charlotte Miller.  Miller married Doris McIntyre and lived until the age of 96, dying in Schenectady in 1986.  He is buried in Bovina.


113 years ago today, on April 15, 1910, Mrs. John G. Thomson died at her home in Bovina from an aneurysm of the abdominal aorta at the age of 72.  As later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Her maiden name was Anna White and she was born and had always lived in Bovina." Her husband survived her by more than a decade, dying in 1921.


Eighty-one years ago today, the Andes column of the Delaware Republican for April 16, 1942 had this item about a Bovina resident: "Alen(sic) Johnson of Bovina, son of Mr. and Mrs. George Johnson, who has been in the aviation branch of the U.S.A. for over two years, made his first trip home last week for a very few days. He has been stationed at Panama and is now going to a field in Texas to become a flying cadet. We are not privileged to have only a few minutes interview with him but find him looking fine but very dark complexion from the sun and climate of Panama. Due to his short stay at home he was unable to give us a history of his past two years but promises to write from Texas and will then be able to perhaps give the readers more of a description of his past two years." Johnson later became even more newsworthy when he was shot down over France and managed to escape imprisonment.  See the Bovina NY History blog at for more about this story.


127 years ago today, April 17, 1896, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "The thermometer registered over eighty in the shade…  How is that for April weather."


141 years ago today, the April 18, 1882 issue of the Stamford Mirror reported that "Jehiel Dibble, at the 'Hook' sent us last Saturday a pullet's egg that measured 7 x 8 1/2 inches, the weight of which was nearly 4 1/2 ounces."


Ninety-five years ago today, the April 19, 1928 Stamford Mirror-Recorder reported on elections held for the Bovina Center fire company. 


Seventy-nine years ago today, the Bovina column of the April 20, 1944 Delaware Republican-Express reported that "The 4-H held a bake sale last week with Miss Marian McPherson in charge of it." The same column reported that "Cpl. Leonard Archibald is enjoying a furlough with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. A.T. Archibald."


112 years ago today, the April 21, 1911 Andes Recorder's Bovina column reported that "for some time the machinery at the Dry Milk plant has been causing considerable trouble, and a machinist is now here from Philadelphia to put it in working order."


121 years ago, a musical entertainment was scheduled at Strangeway's Hall.  The Andes Recorder reported that on Tuesday eve., April 22[, 1902] there will be a musical and literary entertainment in Strangeway’s Hall, given by the Fortnightly Club and its friends.  There will be music by the children, Phonograph, quartets, choruses and by Zobo band.  There will be also recitations and a pantomime presentation of 'Hiawatha’s Wooing.'  This is the last entertainment of the season and a cordial invitation is given to all."


Eighty-three years ago today, on April 23, 1940, Elizabeth Fowler McNair died in Binghamton. The Catskill Mountain News reported that "she was 86 years of age, the widow of the late Peter McNair." The paper went on to note that "she has many friends here who extend to the family their sympathy to the loss of a good mother and friend."


151 years ago today, the April 24, 1872 Delaware Gazette carried this item: "We learn that Mr. Elliott, of Bovina, whose store and goods were consumed by fire on the night of the 9th inst., was in embarrassed circumstances, and has since absconded; and it has come to light that he has been using the names of some friends rather freely. Forgeries to the amount of $3,000 have been discovered. Alexander Kinmonth and Andrew Gladstone are the principal victims. It is now quite clear how the store came to burn. Mr. Elliott is a former Supervisor of Bovina." This is James Elliott, Jr. Interestingly, Alexander Kinmouth was his father-in-law. He does appear to have left the area, settling in Chicago, where he died in 1896.


148 years ago today, on April 25, 1875, Lester T. Hoy was born. The son of Thomas Hoy and Julia Tuttle Hoy, he would die in 1897 at the age of 22. When his brother William's wife had her third child, a son, in 1899, he would be named for his deceased uncle. This Lester lived in Bovina in what is now Tim and Tamara McIntosh's home. He died in 1978.  


Sixty years ago today, on April 26, 1963, Robert Russell Boggs 3rd was born in Georgia. When later reported in the Delaware Republic Express, the paper noted that his father "Robert is a former Bovina boy and has just been away from Bovina about two years."


Fifty years ago today, on April 27, 1973, I reported in my journal the delivery of my dad's new tractor. This likely was the tractor that was in the Bovina Bicentennial parade last summer.


112 years ago today, the April 28, 1911 Andes Recorder Bovina column reported that "The surveyors are at work making the survey for a State road from the Turnpike up to and thru the Center. The preliminary survey was made in 1909, and the present survey is for the setting of grade stakes and defining of limits of highway so that the contractors may submit bids."


125 years ago today, April 29, 1898, readers of the Bovina column of the Andes Recorder learned that "The United Presbyterian church is to be recarpeted. It takes 260 yards." The same column also reported that "Several of our farmers have their oats sown and a few have some potatoes in."


Sixty-eight years ago today, on April 30, 1955, the Bovina Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary held a bake sale and skating party. The Catskill Mountain News reported that thirty-five dollars was realized from the sale. The money was given to the Red Cross blood bank at Delhi.




Thursday, April 20, 2023

Bovina Bicentennial Art Project, part 2


As part of the Town of Bovina’s Bicentennial Celebration, Brooke Alderson enlisted a group of ten local artists to create paintings of Bovina Landmarks. The artists were invited to paint their own interpretations of photographs of different Bovina buildings that are no longer in existence or have been altered. The resulting ten paintings were mounted on easels by Brooke and Scott Hill and were displayed throughout the hamlet during the Celebration at the site where the original structure stood (or still stands).

Over the next few months, I will be doing a series of entries highlighting the buildings and the paintings. The paintings are on display at the Bovina Public Library, where you can order prints of any that catch your fancy for $80, all proceeds going to the library. And stay tuned for an auction of the original works being planned for this fall. 

Kennedy Hotel, painted by Sandra Finkenberg

The History

It is not clear when this house was built but it was owned by Rev. Joshua Kennedy, pastor of the Bovina Reformed Presbyterian Church in the late 1860s. It was used as a boarding house for many years. George Gladstone owned from 1904 until 1919 when it was bought by John Aitkens in the 1920s. 

The building in 1947, when it became the Center Inn.

From the May 16, 1947 Walton Reporter

In May 1947, Edward Burton Cornell and his wife Ethel opened a restaurant and bar in the building, calling it the Center Inn. The Cornells were experienced restauranteurs. People were attracted to the inn not only by the bar but by the food. 

But the bar became an issue almost immediately, spurring an effort by citizens in the town to vote for Bovina to become a dry town. The Center Inn caused problems with traffic in the hamlet. And some families simply didn’t like having it there, seeing it as a distraction for husbands and fathers. When Delhi debated whether to stay dry in the 1940s, the example of Bovina’s situation was brought up. “A prominent Bovina man told me that the residents of Bovina Center are thoroughly ‘fed up’ with conditions created by the recent advent of the saloon there… Pleasure cars, trucks and old jalopies bring customers to the Bovina bar, filling the limited parking space nearby, causing traffic congestion and confusion; children are seen going in and out of the place, and the noise continues until late at night.” 

The local option to go dry passed in November 1947 by a two to one margin. Cornell had until about the fall of 1948 before he had to stop the sale of alcohol. He sold the contents in October of that year. The building became derelict and was demolished in December 1960.

Photo by George LaFever, December 1960

More about this vote in 1947 may be found at this blog at: Bovina (NY) History: Bovina, Wet or Dry? - Part II (

The Artist

Sandra Finkenberg studied at the Carnegie Mellon School of Art in Pittsburgh and the Art Students League in New York. She has received numerous awards including 2nd place at the Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club (2003), Best of Show Cooperstown Regional(1997), and Best of Show and 2nd Place, UCCA  Oneonta (now CANO) (1993 and 1992 respectively). 

“My thoughts in painting The Kennedy Hotel: Nothing is permanent but what sticks in memory. My youth was marked by many changes spanning the country. By selling my art and living in Manhattan with my husband and 6 children we managed to stake out the old Chase farm in Bovina. Though I had no history in this Delaware County, its simple style evokes the lives of both grandparents who were rooted in Chemung and Cayuga Counties. Sometimes I find myself checking for accuracy with those soft old memories passed away yet mysteriously passed down.”

Monday, April 10, 2023

April 1923 - 100 Years Ago in "That Thriving Town"


A century ago, this is what was happening in Bovina from the pages of the Andes Recorder:

April 6, 1923
Frank VanDusen was a Margaretville visitor this week.
Mrs. John Aitkens visited her dauter at Pepacton last week.
Miss Marjorie Forman, of Delhi, is visiting Bovina relatives.
Mrs. Robert R. Gladstone was given a postal shower this week.
Mrs. Ralph Barnhart spent over Easter with her mother at Jefferson.
John W. Elliott visited friends last week at his former home at New Kingston.
Miss Emily Archibald is home from Elmira and Miss Jane Hilson from East Orange, N.J.
Mrs. Marshall Thomson, of Glen Spey, N.Y., is visiting her parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Blair.
William Armstrong was at Walton recently, called there by the illness of his father, F.C. Armstrong. 
Bovina is to have a new Linn Caterpillar tractor.  The town is allowed $800 for the old tractor in the deal.
Rev. Franklin Collins, pastor of the U.P. church at Bloomfield, Ohio, was a recent guest at the home of Rev. F.N. Crawford.
Tuesday at the annual meeting of the United Presbyterian congregation John Burns and Alex Thomson were elected trustees.
Communion services were held last Sabbath at the United Presbyterian church. There were three accessions to the membership.
The young ladies missionary society has contributed the sum of $50 toward the current expenses of the United Presbyterian church.
Charles J. Russell has purchased the stock of goods in the Co-operative store at Delhi and rented the building and will soon move there and conduct the business.
The making of cheese at the Bovina Center Co-Operative Creamery has been discontinued.  Isador Berschevsky and Walter Ware, who have been the cheese makers, have gone to Ashland, N.Y.
J.K. Russell, Mrs. Jas W. Thomson, and Mr. and Mrs. George Russell attended the funeral of Mrs. (Dr.) R. S. Moscrip at Oneonta last Friday. Her maiden name was Mary Russell and she was born in upper Bovina 47 years ago. 
The dry milk plant of the Bovina Center Co-operative Creamery is now in operation.  The company is experimenting in the making of cocoa which only requires the addition of hot water to make it ready for use.  One sample shipment has been made.

Appointed Patrolman
Howard McPherson, of Bovina, has been appointed patrolman for the Andes-Delhi and the Bovina State roads. He has had lots of experience, having for twelve years been town superintendent of highways in Bovina.

Building a House
Frank Graham, back from Lake Delaware, has commenced excavating the cellar for his new farm residence.  Charles A. Lee will be the carpenter in charge of the building.  Mr. Graham is fortunate enough to have gotten the great part of the lumber from his own woods.

April 13, 1923
Bovina real estate transfers recorded are Martha Kelly to Arthur E. Hadley $474.10.
James E. Hastings, one of our oldest citizens, is confined to his bed with stomach trouble.
Rev. F.N. Crawford and Elder Thos C. Strangeway attended the spring meeting of Delaware Presbytery held at Delancey on Monday and Tuesday. 
A son was born April 3, to Mr. and Mrs. Clifford McMullin on the Little Delaware.  The father is a grandson of the late Gilbert Jardine of this town.
Archibald Scott Maynard, grandson of the late Archive Maynard of Bovina, and Miss Mary Kathleen Tuttle were married at Utica, March 21, by Rev. Peter McKenzie. Both reside at Canastota.
The remains of Mrs. Judson Borst, who died April 6, at the home of her son on Peak’s Brook, were brought here Monday for burial. She will be remembered as Nancy McCune, being a daughter of James McCune, and she was born just below Lake Delaware 49 years ago. 
George Forman, who lives on the Luddington farm above Lake Delaware is exhibiting a teacher’s certificate issued to his mother, then  Georgia Ida Brandow, on September 26, 1874, and signed by George D. Ostrom and Amasa J. Shaver, the then school commissioners of the county.  She was a daughter of the late Abram Brandow and has been dead for many years.

Bovina Farmer in Bankruptcy
William S. Redman, a farmer of Bovina has filed a petition in bankruptcy in federal court through Attorney Edward O’Connor of Delhi, showing liabilities of $33,927, of which $31,908 are secured, and assets of $27,000, of which William H. Maynard has an equity in a farm of 359 acres valued at $25,000.  Maynard, residing at Canastota, has a mortgage on the farm for $27,227 and is unsecured for $600.  The Federal Land bank has a first mortgage for $8,700 and Samuel F. Penfield is secured for $5,980.  Other creditors including Ralph Chaney, $200, and Reed Chaney, $100, wage claims.  The first National bank of Dryden claims $450 and Frank Hatch of Granton, $390.

April 20, 1923
Arthur Decker is now driving a new Buick.
John Hilson was at the County Seat on Friday.
Mrs. Mary J. Gill, of Andes, was here last Friday with a choice line of millinery.
John Northrup, on the Hoy farm, is confined to his home from the effects of a rupture.
Stephen Guzmits, who has been on the William Ward farm up Pink street will move to Pennsylvania.
Walter G. Coulter, town superintendent of highways, has commenced the scraping of the town roads.
About twenty-five young people made Misses Edna and Edith Russell a surprise party Friday evening.
Miss Mabel Fiero, of Bainbridge, and cousin, Mrs. Robert Hunt, of Delhi, were callers in town Saturday evening.
The Margaret Hoy house in the upper part of Bovina Center has been purchased by Miss Jennie Biggar. The price was $600. 
George Johnson and family, who have spent the winter, with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. Johnson, have returned to their home in Alberta.
William Storie purchased seven fine thorobred Jersey cows from his father-in-law, Douglas Davidson, and had them tuberculin tested. Every cow reacted.
The town will erect a building 30 x 64 feet on what is known as the Burns lot in the lower part of Bovina Center. It will be used for the storing of the road machinery of the town. 
Mrs. Stephen Guzmits was badly shaken up a few days ago by being thrown from a wagon. The front wheel of the wagon dropped into a hole in the road and she was thrown over the dashboard and landed behind the horses, which were stopped before the wheel passed over her. 

April 27, 1923
Mrs. Ella Telford was up from Delhi Friday.
C.S. Gladstone was at the County Seat on Tuesday.
Rev. McFeeters is preaching at the Church of the Covenanters.
Mr. and Mrs. Gideon Miller and two sons, of Hamden, were here on Sabbath.
Harry Robinson has been making changes on the interior of his residence.
Mr. and Mrs. George H. Miller and Mrs. G.D. Miller were Delhi callers Friday.
Mrs. F.W. Hyatt, Miss Grace Hyatt and Mrs. Joslin motored to Delhi on Tuesday.
Peter Robson and family spent the day Wednesday with relatives in New Kingston.
Miss Knox, who teaches up Pink street, spent over week end at C.S. Gladstone’s. 
George H. Miller will have a bath room installed in his residence and is also putting on a new roof.
Joe Ross, of Davenport, who was boss when the water works was put in, is here working on the town highways.
Mrs. William S. Boggs, Mrs. Alex Myers, Mrs. William Armstrong, Mrs. George Decker and Mrs. Arthur Decker were Delhi Shoppers last Thursday. 
A meeting is to be held at the R.P. church at which time the trial sermons of David Russell, of Glenburnie, and William Doig, of Walton, will be heard. 
Professor and Mrs. Leon Taggart and children, of Oneonta, spent several days last week with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Thos C. Strangeway. He is an instructor in the Normal School.