LINKS
2019-03-20 / Columns

Stories from Old Bovina

The Three Scott Sisters

Almost 130 years ago, between March 31 and April 11, 1889, three sisters, all born in Bovina, passed away from pneumonia. These were not little children living together but adults with their own homes.

The Scott sisters were the daughters of John Scott and Nancy McNaught. John was born in 1797 in Cambridge in Washington County, while their mother Nancy was a native of Scotland, born in 1802. John and Nancy had 10 children. Their first two sons died while still children and their last daughter predeceased them in 1870. John died in 1873, Nancy in 1876. They are buried in South Kortright.

At Nancy’s passing in 1876, there were seven surviving children, including Jeanette, Mary Jane and Augusta. Jeanette, born in 1830, was married in 1854 to John Hastings of Bovina. The Hastings had four children, all of whom survived to adulthood. Two of their children lived to be 90. Mary Jane, born in 1833, married widower David Black in 1875 and was widowed in 1883. Augusta, born in 1839, married Charles K. Lauren in 1864 and was living in Oneonta in the 1880s.

Jeanette and Mary Jane passed away within five days of each other. Their deaths were reported in the Stamford Mirror: “Mrs. John Hastings died of pneumonia at her home in Bovina Centre, on Sunday morning, March 31st. Her sister, Mrs. David Black, died of the same disease at the same place on Thursday, April 4th.” Their sister Augusta Lauren had come to Bovina to care for both sisters and came down with pneumonia, too. The April 10, 1889 Delaware Gazette reported that she was “very ill with pneumonia in Bovina where she went to care for her sisters, Mrs. John Hastings and Mrs. David Black, both of whom recently died with the same disease.” Augusta died the day after this report appeared. All three sisters were in their 50s at their deaths. Jeanette is buried in Bovina. Mary Jane was buried in Delhi and Augusta in Hobart.

Less than two years after the three sisters died, their surviving sister, Margaret, died in January 1891 of the same illness that took her sisters, pneumonia. She was the widow of Andrew Thomson. The sisters’ three surviving brothers lived into the 20th century. James died in 1903 and Robert in 1909. The last surviving child of John and Nancy Scott was Edwin John, who died in Oneonta in 1927 at the age of 85.

Return to top