Sunday, December 31, 2023

This Day in Bovina for December 2023


108 years ago today, December 1, 1915, the Hilson Bros new feed store was dedicated "by a dance with 57 numbers." This is photo of the feed store taken in the 1980s.  


113 years ago today, on December 2, 1910, the Delaware County tuberculosis crusade held "two sessions at Bovina Center…, one for the benefit of the school children in the afternoon, the other in the hall at 7:45 in the evening."


Seventy-four years ago today, on December 3, 1949, Marjorie Russell received this letter from Bresee's Department Store in Oneonta: 


111 years ago today, the December 4, 1912 issue of the Delaware Gazette reported that "DeWitt C. Sharpe, Jr., a Bovina farmer living on the old Elisha B. Maynard place, filed a voluntary petition in bankruptcy Saturday with liabilities of $2438 and no assets except those claimed as exempt. There are about 20 in Bovina including Johnson Brothers who have a claim for $1,100. The other creditors are located in Bloomville, Stamford and Bovina Center."


301 years ago today, on December 5, 1722, Bathsheba Brush was born. She was the mother of early Bovina settler Alexander Brush. She came to live with her son later in life and died in 1803. She is buried in the Brush cemetery next to what is now the library.  


Forty years ago today, the December 6, 1983 Stamford Mirror-Recorder carried this story about the resolution of a boundary dispute between Bovina and Andes. 


Sixty-seven years ago today, the December 7, 1956 Walton Reporter carried this item in its Bovina column: "Eighteen friends held a surprise party for Mr. and Mrs. Clark Lay at their home Thursday evening in honor of their 10th wedding anniversary. Out-of-town guests were Mr. and Mrs. Frank Swantak of South Kortright, Mr. and Mrs. Edwin LaFever of Unadilla, Ida Lay and Mrs. Maude Rockwell of Oneonta. The honored couple received a purse of money." Here's a wedding picture of Clark and Gladys taken by Bob Wyer. 


113 years ago today, on December 8, 1910, as later reported in the Delaware Gazette, "Two yearlings, part of a dairy of Wm. Smith, a large farmer of this town [Bovina] died last night of Paris green poisoning and four or five other cattle are sick, but it is expected they will recover. The Paris green was part of a can which had been used last summer and was placed on a shelf above the stanchions in the stable by Larry Mitchell, a farm hand in the employ of Smith. Mr. Smith did not know that the Paris green had been placed in the stable and was greatly surprised when he found that his cattle had eaten the poison. It appears that the can had been knocked off the shelf and the contents got into the feeding buckets."


116 years ago today, on December 9, 1907, Mary Brown was born, the daughter of James Brown and Nancy D. Coulter. She married Edwin M. 'Ted' Burgin in Delhi in 1925. They farmed for many years on the Burgin homestead at Route 28 and County Route 6. Mary was widowed in 1993 and passed away in 2004 at the age of 96. Here's a picture of Mary as a young woman. 


Seventy-three years ago today, on December 10, 1950, as later reported in the Catskill Mountain News, "Mrs. Richard Crosley held a party for her music students and their parents at the [Bovina] church parlors… Twenty-five were present. Much credit is due Mrs. Crosley in her untiring efforts to further her class in their talents of music." Mrs. Crosley lived on Cape Horn Road. Born Ruth Daley in Colorado in 1907, she and her husband Richard spent about 20 years in Bovina before moving to California in 1965. She died in 1984.


Ninety-seven years ago today, on December 11, 1926, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Bovina defeated Bloomville at basketball here Saturday [Dec 11] evening by the score of 26 to 20."


119 years ago today, on December 12, 1904, as later reported in the Delaware Gazette, Jacob Bailey of Bovina died quite suddenly. The paper noted that "we have been able to get but few particulars, but he seems to have been quite seriously afflicted with asthma of late and his ailment is thought to have been complicated with heart trouble that resulted fatally." The paper went on to note that Bailey had lived on his farm near Lake Delaware for many years. He had just sold the farm and had only about a week before moved into Bovina Center. The death notice concluded by noting that Jacob "has always been regarded as a good neighbor, a faithful friend, an exemplary husband and father, one of the best citizens of that town."


128 years ago, the December 13, 1895 issue of the Andes Recorder reported that "A club called 'Patrons of Industry' has been organized at Bovina, with Sloan Archibald, president and A.T. Russell, vice president.  It is proposed to establish a store at the Butt End and buy their supplies at wholesale, and thus dispense with the profits of the middlemen."  It is not clear how long the organization operated, or even if it did. The Franklin based Delaware County Dairyman the following week had a letter to the editor disputing that this store was being established, noting that "the Patrons have never held a meeting in the town of Bovina…" The Andes Recorder in January 1896, however, reported that "the Bovina Patrons of Industry have received their first lot of groceries, and have several car loads of feed at Delhi. We trust that the farmers will stick together and make the undertaking a success." At the end of January, the paper reported that James A. Gow had been hired to run the store. How long the store operated, I have yet to determine.


184 years ago today, on December 14, 1839, Walter Coulter, the Bovina Commissioner of Common Schools, submitted this report of monies received from the County Treasurer for use in the twelve Bovina school districts. 


102 years ago today, on December 15, 1921, as later reported in the Andes Recorder, "Bovina had a double wedding last Thursday evening, December 15.  The contracting parties were Miss Viola Russell and Wilfred Barnhart, both of this town, and Alfred Russell, of Bovina, and Miss Katherine Oliver, of Delhi.  Mrs. Russell is a granddaughter of the late Walter Amos of southern Bovina." Wilford and Viola Barnhart lived on Pink Street and had six children. They would be married until Wilford's death in 1979. Alfred and Katherine Russell had four children and were married until Alfred's death in 1957. Viola and Alfred were brother and sister.


Eighty years ago today, the December 16, 1943 Delaware Republican published this relatively brief "Bovina Centre" column. 


Eighty-one years ago, the December 17, 1942 Bovina column of the Delaware Republican reported that "The body of Mrs. Ella Cable was brought here from Delhi on Friday for burial. Mr. and Mrs. Fred Thomson, Mrs. John Hilson, Mrs. Aggie Draffen and others from here attended the funeral at Delhi." Ella Cable was Ellen Forest. Born in 1860, she was married to George Cable in 1882 and had a daughter, Nelle. Ella was widowed in 1930.


201 years ago today, on December 18, 1822, Thomas H. Johnston was born, the son of Andrew Johnston and Mary Hamilton. His father would die when he was only 15. Mary Johnson took over management of the Johnston Woolen Mill until Thomas became an adult. He married Violet Hamilton and had four children. Thomas was one day past 70 when he died in 1892.


159 years ago today, on December 19, 1864, Close Light died. Born in 1792, Light was a War of 1812 Veteran. More information about Light can be seen at the Bovina NY History blog at


144 years ago today, the December 20, 1879 Delaware Republican had this item: "A correspondent of the Unadilla Times, says: The prize speaking on Friday evening, in chapel hall, Franklin, did credit to the participants and was listened to with attention by a large audience. The 1st prize was awarded to James Hastings, of Bovina…." This probably was James Blair Hastings (1860-1920). More about James' life is on my blog at


Seventy-nine years ago today, the Bovina column in the Delaware Republican Express for December 21, 1944 reported that "Isabelle Monroe, who is attending Westminster College at New Wilmington, Pa., is spending her holiday vacation with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Monroe." Isabelle would marry Arthur 'Tex' Deter in 1951. She passed away in June 2018 at the age of 92.


114 years ago, on the evening of December 22, 1909, William McNee died suddenly. He was 60 years old. The Andes Recorder reported his death: "Mr. McNee had worked all day at the Center creamery assisting in putting in the ice and his part of the work was to take the cakes as they came on to the platform and get them to the elevator.  After completing his work there he went home and cleaned the sidewalk and then went to the outhouse.  Mrs. McNee, after keeping supper waiting for half an hour or more, became alarmed and went to see what was the cause of the delay and he was found lying just inside of the door of the outhouse, and he had apparently dropped dead as he entered. It was known that Mr. NcNee had valvular trouble of the heart and it is supposed that the over exertion of handling the heavy cakes of ice was responsible for his death. Mr. McNee was born on Scotch Mountain but for many years has been a resident of this town.  He married Euphema Doig, youngest daughter of the late William Doig and she, with three sons and a daughter, survives him."


119 years ago today, the Bovina column of the December 23, 1904 Andes Recorder reported that "Civil Engineer W.W. Hoy is visiting his mother, Mrs. John R. Hoy. He has just returned from India, where he has been employed." William Wilson Hoy was born in 1872 in Bovina. He lived for some time in Pennsylvania before settling in California, where he died in 1967 at the age of 94.


167 years ago today, on December 24, 1856, Mrs. J. Lewis of Bovina died at the age of 88 years. The January 6, 1857 Bloomville Mirror published this poem in memory of her. 


Eighty-two years ago today, the December 25, 1941 Catskill Mountain News reported on the American Red Cross's appeal for a "fifty million dollar War Relief fund.." The paper noted that the "Bovina-Lake Delaware branch had its Red Cross Victory Christmas tree ready to decorate…" It was decorated with crosses, each one representing "$50 given to the War Relief fund." The campaign chair, Tom Wallis, "announced that farmers were being asked to contribute a can of milk to the fund on Christmas day." The paper noted that "although some of the farmers do not have the ready cash to contribute to the fund just at this time, they are giving orders on their January milk checks."


135 years ago today, the December 26, 1888 issue of the Delaware Gazette reported that "The school at Bovina Center was closed a few days on account of diphtheria, and at Bovina (Mountain Brook), on account of measles. Both schools have commenced again, there being no more cases."


141 years ago today, the December 27, 1882 Delaware Gazette reported under "Bovina Items" this item: "Rev. J.L. Scott and bride have been expected at Bovina for several days. We learn that there will be a family reception for them at his father's to-day, Monday. Happiness attend them." This is John Loughran Scott, who was married on December 20 in Fishkill, NY to Elizabeth Laurens. They had two children, both named Lauren. The first Lauren died as an infant. The second Lauren lived to the age of 23 but spent much of his life in an institution, dying in 1911. Rev. Scott died in Philadelphia in 1919, survived by his wife, and was buried in Connecticut near his son. I do not know when his wife died.


Eighty-four years ago today, on the December 28, 1939 Mexico (NY) Independent, carried the obituary of W. Elliott Thomson, who had died at his daughter's home in Mexico, Oswego County. Thomson was a blacksmith in Bovina for many years.  Here's the obit: 


202 years ago today, on December 29, 1821, Jonathan Adee was born. He married Henrietta Kipp (born about 1823). They would have three children and farmed on Cape Horn Road for many years. Jonathan died in 1902 at the age of 80. Henrietta died about four years later.


115 years ago today, the December 30, 1908 Delaware Gazette reported the following: "Elmer Doig, of Bovina, the 7 year old son of Milton Doig, recently harnessed a pair of horses and drove three miles to the Center and returned home with a load of grain."


144 years ago today, the December 31, 1879 Delaware Gazette reported that "Dea[con] Thomas McFarland, of Bovina, one of the best farmers in America and a veteran subscriber to the Gazette, was in town [Delhi] yesterday. It is never a bad day when the Deacon is in town."



Sunday, December 10, 2023

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

From the pages of the Andes Recorder 100 years ago

December 7, 1923

James Hilson and John McCune are attending court at Delhi this week.

Mrs. G.D. Miller has been under the doctor’s care for the past two weeks.

Miss Grace Erickson, of Frasers, was at Elliott Thomson’s the first of the week.

David Currie moved Saturday from the Strangeway store building to the Cable house. 

Miss Emily Archibald was home over Thanksgiving from Witney’s Point, where she is teaching.

Florence Strangeway spent over Thanksgiving with her aunt Mrs. C.A. McPherson and other relatives.

Albert Seaber and sister, Mrs. A. Heyart have moved from the Russell house to the Hilson house adjoining the store. 

Rev. and Mrs. F.N. Crawford were at Oneonta last week and Mrs. Crawford had an operation for the removal of her tonsils.

Professor and Mrs. Leon Taggart and children, of Oneonta, attended a family gathering at the home of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. T.C. Strangeway on Thanksgiving. 

A daughter was born recently to Rev. and Mrs. Thomas E. Graham, at their home near Pittsburg. Their two sons have scarlet fever. Rev. Graham was a former pastor of the Church of the Covenanters in Bovina.

The Junior Missionary Society and Whitcomb Circle met in the United Presbyterian church on Saturday for dinner and in the afternoon had a program and business meeting, when Ruth Gladstone, Grace Coulter and Isabell Raitt were received into the Whitcomb Circle from the Junior Society. 

December 14, 1923

Alex Myers visited his sister at Andes the first of the week.

Miss Mary Bonton, of Lake Delaware, spent Wednesday here.

Saturday afternoon a Home Bureau meeting was held with Mrs. Fred Thomson.

Bovina real estate transfers recorded are Margaret J. Davidson and another to Fletcher Davidson, $1.

Mary Davis has finished her work at John Hilson’s and returned to her home in Andes. Hamman Coulter has taken her place.

Bovina Dairymen have received notice that they must put in three ton of ice per cow.  Must want the milk made into ice cream.

A surprise party was held at Mr. and Mrs. Frank Brown’s last Saturday in honor of the birthday of their dauter, Mary, which occurred on Sabbath.

The A.T. Strangeway store property has been sold to a Mr. Hillis, of South Worcester, who has taken possession.  He will open a garage and has taken out the store front and put in wide doors.

Mueller Must Pay

Before adjourning court at Cooperstown last week Justice Rhodes imposed a suspended sentence upon Jean Herman Mueller, extradited from New Jersey, who pleaded guilty through his attorney to an indictment charging perjury.  It was the condition of the suspension of sentence that Mueller make restitution of $900 to Attorney Charles O’Connor. Mueller for several years lived on the S.G. Bramley farm in Bovina.

December 21, 1923

Hilson Bros. have purchased a new Franklin Sedan.

G.D. Miller was a visitor at the County Seat on Wednesday.

Ledger Myers and Marion Ormiston have been on the sick list.

A number of the lady friends of Mrs. Julia McPherson made her a surprise visit on Wednesday.

Edward Gladstone and family, from Andes spent Sabbath with his brother Robert R. Gladstone.

F.W. Hyatt, his housekeeper, Mrs. Hull, and Mrs. Milton Stratton were Walton visitors Tuesday.

A daughter was born to Mr. and Mrs. Earl Fisk, of Lake Delaware, at the Delhi hospital December 9.

C.H. Dayton, son-in-law of James W. .Thomson, of this place died recently at his home at Peekskill from shock.

Hugh McPherson, the young son of Mr. and Mrs. Howard McPherson, has been ill the past week with grip poisoning.

Supervisor Thos C. Strangeway is in Delhi this week attending the closing sessions of the Board of Supervisors for the year.

The Women’s and Young Women’s Missionary Societies joined with the up-town Willing Workers in an all day meeting with Mrs. Chauncey McFarland.

Bovina real estate transfers recorded are Andrew T. Doig and wife to Arthur Hillis, $1; Alex Hilson, executors of to Arthur Hillis, $1. This is the A.T. Strangeway store property. 

The team of Mr. Arnold, on the S.G. Bramley farm ran away Tuesday. The milk had just been loaded when being left alone they started and ran to John Blair’s where they were stopped by Frank Brown. No damage was done and the milk was not even spilled. 

December 28, 1923

William Gordon has been installing a radio.

William Thomson and wife, of Endicott, are visiting their parents here.

William T. Russell was in New York recently and purchased a seven passenger car.

IN Bovina twenty-two years ago the general tax rate was only $9.11 and there was no road tax.

A community Christmas tree and exercises were held at the United Presbyterian church Monday evening.

Mr. and Mrs. Willard Gow, of Elmhurst, Long Island, have been visiting his parents, Mr. and Mrs. James A. Gow.

Mr. and Mrs. Everett Joslin have gone to New York City to spend two weeks with their daughter, Mrs. Chas Hyatt.

Mr. and Mrs. James C. Mabon and son, Mrs. Hull, F.W. Hyatt and Gordon Stratton were at Andes on Thursday.

Rev. W.N. Hawkins and family, of Hobart, spent Christmas as the guests of Re. and Mrs. Edgelaw at Lake Delaware.

Mr. and Mrs. Frank Myers, and Mr. and Mrs. Jack Myers of Endicott, were over Christmas guests of their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Alex Myers.

Large trees of several varieties are being hauled considerable distance and set out on the grounds about the new church and rectory at Lake Delaware.

Notice – The Bovina Center Co-Operative Fire Insurance Co., will hold their annual meeting on the 8th day of January, 1924, at 1 o’clock p.m. at the Town Hall, Bovina Center, for the purpose of electing directors and transacting any other business that may come before the meeting.