* We are under obligations to Mr. C. M. Williams and Mr. Victor Hammond for valuable
information used in this history. - PUBLISHERS.
BOLIVAR is the southeast town of the Holland Purchase and is distinguished in the survey of that land as "Town
One, Range One." It is one of the southern tier of the towns of the county and borders on the state of Pennsylvania.
An elevation taken in front of the Newton House in the village of Bolivar shows that its altitude there is 1,250
feet above the level of the sea, and that of the hills is in some places several hundred feet more. The highest
altitude of the county (2,500 feet) is claimed for the hills in the southeastern part, near Stony Lonesome. It
contains 22,600 acres of land and its equalized value of real estate is (1895) $553,811, and its total equalized
valuation of real and personal estate is $613,206, of which $89,284 is assessed to corporations. The amount of
taxes spread on this valuation is $5,527.25. The total amount of taxes for 1895 was $6,056. The population in 1830
was 499; 1835, 752; 1840, 408; 1845, 517; 1850, 708; 1860, 959; 1870, 959; 1880, 1,029; 1890, 2,233; 1892, 2,219.
There are eight school districts which will receive in 1896 public school money amounting to $1,719.43, apportioned
thus: Dist. 1, $938.32. Dist. 2, $110.52. Dist. 3, $106.32. Dist. 4, $107.64. Dist 5, $104.66. Dist. 6, $130.80.
Dist. 7, 116.70. Dist. 8, $104.47.
The surface of the town is broken and irregular, consisting of high, steep and disturbed hills and their narrow
picturesque valleys. There are but two valleys of marked width in the town, one of which, that formed by Little
Genesee creek, runs southwesterly from Wirt through the village of Bolivar and across the northwest corner of the
town into the town of Genesee. The other valley is the southeastern part of the town, and has from the earliest
white visitations, and perhaps from the days of Indian occupation, been known as Honeoye valley. Horse creek, a
small tributary of Honeoye creek, flows through the southwest part.
The town lies almost entirely in the Mississippi valleys, as all its streams are tributaries of the Allegany which
flows into the Ohio and that into the Mississippi. The northeast corner is an exception to this as the water there
runs into the Genesee valley streams, and this portion of the town is therefore a part of the St. Lawrence valley.
The "divide" is not far from Allentown, and in coming along the road between that village and Bolivar
the change of the direction of the streams is hardly discernible. The soil of the valleys is mostly a gravelly
loam with some alluvial flats, that of the bills a tenacious red clay loam. The agricultural facilities of the
town tend strongly to dairying, which has in some places attained considerable proportions. Since the development
of the Allegany oil field, however, the town has been more noted for its oil production and the industries arising
from its development than for its agriculture. Of some parts of the rough land it has been said, "It is too
valuable to use for farming purposes."
The town was formed from Friendship, Feb. 15, 1825, and named from the noted Gen. Bolivar, the South American "Liberator,"
who was at that time, like the Cubans of today, largely the recipient of American sympathy. The first town organization
of which the territory of Bolivar formed a part was the old town of Whitestown, which was created in 1780 and included
all of Western New York west of a line drawn north and south through what is now the city of Utica. Later towns
of which Bolivar has formed part have been Leister, formed March 30, 1802, one of the original towns of Genesee
county. The name was soon changed in compliment to Leicester, son of Oliver Phelps, and became Leicester. Then
came Angelica, formed Feb. 25, 1805, Caneadea, created March 11, 1808, and Friendship, organized March 24, 1815.
From a part of Bolivar and a portion of Friendship Wirt was organized April 12, 1838.
The first town meeting of Bolivar was held at the store of Hollis B. Newton March 21, 1825. This store stood on
the site of the Clark House of today, and a part of the hotel as used today was then standing. At this meeting
the new organization of Bolivar took form by the election of these officers: Supervisor, Asa Cowles; town clerk,
Austin Cowles; assessors, Pliny S. Evans, Jonah French and Eli LeSuer; collector, Elijah Fuller; overseers of the
poor, Jonathan Hitchcock and Simeon Wightman; constables, Elijah Fuller and Philip Appleby; school commissioners,
Levi Appleby, Alvan Richardson and Ebenezer Kellogg; overseers of highways - district No. 1, Elijah Fuller; district
No, 2, Asa Cowles; district No. 3, John Scott; district No. 4, Philip Appleby; district No. 5, N. R. Bliven; district
No. 6, Simeon Wightman; district No. 7, E. Rogers; district No. 8, William Kellogg; district No. 9, M. R. Randolph;
district No. 10, Samuel Frost; district No. 11, N. B. Scott; district No. 12, Joshua Chapman.
The settlement of the town can be directly traced to Zephaniah Smith, a resident of Unadilla, Otsego county, who
in 1816 here built a hunting camp of logs (with a loft in which to sleep out of the way of prowling beasts) which
he covered with birch bark. He made this his headquarters for hunting and trapping operations for several months
in each year until 1819. It stood almost directly across the road from the Baptist church now standing on the Ackerman
farm in the southern part of Richburg. Mr. Smith made such representations of this section in Otsego county as
to attract the attention of some of its enterprising citizens and the result was that a number of families from
that section ultimately made new homes here. Mr. Smith was never a resident, but his log but was the first residence
of several of the newcomers and was at last burned by the Indians.
EARLY SETTLERS. - The first permanent white settler was Timothy Cowles, a native of Vermont, who came from his
native state to Otsego county, and then to Bolivar, arriving December 8, 1819. He went west and died there in the
year 18-. He brought with him two sons, Alvin T., born in Otsego county in 1808, and Erastus, born in Friendship
in 1819 while the family were enroute for Bolivar. Asa came to Bolivar in February, 1820. He served as the first
supervisor of the town in 1825, 1826 and 1827. In 1820 he and his brother Austin built and occupied a house together
until 1821, when Asa built himself a house. Asa immediately became identified with the business interests of the
town and was a useful and intelligent settler. He built a gristmill on the site now used by C. and E. Smith, and
a part of the old frame is the timber put into its foundation by Asa Cowles in 1824. He died in Bolivar Oct. 21,
1829, and was buried in the old burying ground, now a part of the present cemetery. At the head of his grave stands
the first tombstone erected in the town. It is in a good state of preservation and an object of historical interest,
being erected in 1830.
Jonathan Hitchcock, properly called the second permanent settler, came in 1819, locating on a part of lot 48, and
occupying the but vacated by Smith, enlarging and rebuilding the same. Mr. Hitchcock was the first settler to move
his family into the town which arrived at Bolivar on February 15, 1820, from Unadilla, N. Y. When Mr. Hitchcock
first came he was accompanied by his two step children, Samuel and Polly Buckley. He left his wife and four small
children in Unadilla. In November, 1819, he concluded to return for them, and left Samuel and Polly with their
uncle Azel Buckley who had settled in Wirt. Before his return to Otsego county, Mr. Hitchcock cleared and sowed
about five acres of wheat, rolled himself up a log house and became a permanent settler. So Bolivar was practically
settled in 1819 by Timothy Cowles and Jonathan Hitchcock as the first two settlers, and there are some now living
in this town that have personally listened to their oft repeated stories of their hardships as pioneers. Benjamin
F. Cowles, a direct descendant of the family of Timothy Cowles, was born in 1803, came here in 1824, and is a familiar
figure on the streets of Bolivar, being ha Le and hearty, and a fountain of information in regard to the early
Christopher Tyler came from Friendship in the winter of 1819, and was accompanied on the route from Otsego county
to Friendship by two brothers of Timothy Cowles, viz., Asa and Austin Cowles who came from there to Bolivar in
1820. When Mr. Hitchcock concluded to return to Otsego county he did not vacate the Smith but but left nearly all
his household goods there, so when Tyler arrived and found the but nearly empty he moved in and was living there
when Hitchcock and family returned. Both families then occupied the house until Tyler built a log house the following
season. Tyler was a native of Rhode Island. He was followed by quite a number of relatives; some settled here while
others went west or returned to Otsego county or Rhode Island. Luther Austin came from Friendship in 1821 and settled
on the farm now occupied by Rowland Burdick immediately north of the village on the "Salt rising road."
He was a millwright, built a mill with and for Asa Austin and Timothy Cowles and later disposed of his interest
and removed to Pennsylvania. Eli LeSuer settled here in the fall of 1821, coming also from Otsego county, N. Y.
He returned and brought his family the following winter, arriving at Bolivar in January. He was born at Unadilla
Nov. 25, 1796, and died at Bolivar. On his arrival at Bolivar he also constructed a log house and made it ready
for his family. This house stood near the present residence of his son, Cyrus E. LeSuer, about one half mile south
of the village.
Samuel Davie, a well known character, came March 23, 1823, from Unadilla, he having moved there with his parents
from New Jersey, where he was born Feb. 14, 1794. He, too, constructed a log house, and returned for his family
the following June, arriving with them in July, 1823. He first settled on the farm now owned by E. R. Kilbury,
across the creek, sometimes called the Wilber farm. Some claim there was a log house already built on the farm
on which he settled, but the writer is convinced that such was not the case. On his return from Unadilla he brought
the first span of horses owned in Bolivar. When Mr. Davie was first at Friendship he bought the farm above mentioned
of persons representing themselves to be agents for the Philadelphia Land Company, but about five years afterward
the true agents of the company satisfied Mr. Davie that he had been imposed upon, and that his title was worthless.
Mr. Davie had to part with this span of horses as a part payment of the second purchase. The true agents however
refused to take more than the original price for the land, $3 per acre. Mr. Davie considered this a generous act,
as land had considably advanced by reason of settlers coming in and the fact that he made great improvements upon
his farm. He died at the residence of A. G. Williams in Bolivar village, April 20, 1875. William Davie, son of
Samuel, born in Cherry Valley in 1821, came to Bolivar in 1823, later married Angenette Montrose. Their children
were: Carey D., a lawyer and surrogate of Cattaraugus Co., resides at Salamanca; Frank C., a physician of Oneonta;
Luella (Mrs. A. Stillman.), of Alfred.
In September, 1823, came Ebenezer Kellogg from Otsego county. Abel Root came here from Scio. He had also come from
Otsego county about 1821 with three boys, Abel Jr., David C. and Freeman B. Of Mr. Root's children born in Bolivar
one is James H. Root, of the drygoods firm of J. H. Root & Son, who was born in Bolivar in 1821 and is believed
to be the oldest living male child born in Bolivar alive at this writing.
Lucius Daniels, son of Leonard and Abigail (Kellogg) Daniels, was born in Butternuts, Otsego county, July 6, 1822.
Leonard Daniels came to Bolivar in the spring or summer of 1830 and sent for his family (who arrived here Oct.
18, 1830), and was a farmer for a year or two and then purchased a sawmill of Leonard & Wellman. This mill
was situated on the Kenyon mill site exactly on the line between Little Genesee and Bolivar. The Daniels family
(4 boys and 2 girls) lived in a house near the mill. One day in April, 1834, while the son Alexander, 8 years old,
was running on the logs in the millpond he fell into the water, his mother hastened to the place, waded into the
water up to her neck and tried to grasp her boy but could not do so. The father, who was about 80 rods away, ran
with all his speed, and being an expert swimmer ran out on the booms as near his floating boy as possible, plunged
into the water to save first his wife (already being assisted by a man named Mills, who had caught hold of her
clothing and sitting astride of a log was slowly but surely carrying her to the shore), Mr. Daniels then turned
his attention to his boy who was farther in the pond, and swam again to the boom, raised his hands as if to pull
himself upon the boom, when he sank and was drowned, his body not again coming to the surface. At this time Merrill
Cowles arrived and assisted in getting Mrs. Daniels out of the water, and then rescued the body of the boy, which,
strange to say, had never sunk. It was hard to make Mr Cowles believe that Mr. Daniels was in the water, but at
last he took a pike pole, went to the place where the body sank and succeeded in catching it with the pike pole
and hurried it on shore where physicians had arrived but they failed to resuscitate his body. In 1837 Lucius Daniels,
then 15, went into the tannery to learn the trade and worked in the same place 28 years. He has always lived in
Bolivar and occupies the same farm he has occupied for about 35 years.
Isaac Case and son Bradford W. moved from Onondaga county with an ox team and located in the southeast part
of Wirt in January, 1822. In January, 1825, they removed to lot 16 in Bolivar. Bradford was a mechanic and millwright.
In 1827 Thomas Wait from Otsego county settled in Bolivar, and Peter Ayers came from Wirt in 1827. David Thurber
from Cayuga county in March, 1829, settled on lot 46, where he died in February. 1845. Jeremiah Burdick, in 1830,
was a settler on lot 55. Asa P. Stetson settled about 1828 and became a leading real estate operator. About 1850
he removed to Allegany. In 1831 Elias Scott, originally from Genesee county, located on lot 39. Charles Cowles
from Steuben county, and James Davie from Otsego county, settled here in 1833. The next year John Phillips from
Vermont located on lot 24. In October of the same year Clark Millard from Otsego county settled on lot 60. He later
lived in Genesee. His son Nelson remained here. Azel Buckley, born in Massachusetts, came to Friendship in 1814,
settled in the part now Wirt, bought 100 acres of land, made the first clearing and built a log house. He lived
there until 1828 when he settled in Bolivar near Richburg. He married Mary Rowley and had a family of 11 children.
Moses J. Chapin came in 1831 and only lived 4 months. He married A. Sherman. Of their 4 children the only one living
is Mrs. Joseph Davie. Mrs. Chapin built the first two story house in Bolivar and was the first tailoress here.
She carried on that business for 25 years and died in 1852. Joseph Muilkins came here from Otsego county in 1834.
He was born in 1802 in Connecticut. He married Hannah Giles, their children were Amos, Alonzo and Hannah. Mr. Mulkins
died in 1838, and his wife in 1837. Hiram Mead, son of John, a farmer, about 1836, married Hannah Mulkins. They
had 7 children. He died Feb. 27, 1838. George W. Kenyon, born in December, 1799, in Hopkinton, R. I., married Sally
Masson, and, about 1828, settled in Genesee. They had 5 sons and 5 daughters. In 1838 he made his home in Bolivar.
He died May 5, 1882, his wife died Sept. 17, 1878. Mr. Kenyon was a tanner and currier, a shoemaker and a carpenter.
The Wellman brothers Isaac and William came to Bolivar from Vermont in 1829. They were students of medicine, and
settled on lot 16 in the northeastern portion of the town where they were the first settlers. They removed in after
years to Friendship.
A very important citizen, one whose personality and descendants furnished a large proportion of the "bone
and sinew" of Bolivar, was Hollis B. Newton. He hailed from Madison Co., and moved to this town in 1824. We
find him with Austin Cowles building and opening the first store in Bolivar. He engaged in the manufacture of furniture
at an early period. He was the builder and proprietor of the first hotel in Bolivar in 1831. This building, remodeled,
is now the Clark House by reason of passing at one time into the hands of a Mr. Clark of Scio. Mr. Newton was twice
married, first to Miss Rhoda Lyons, a native of New Jersey, who died in 1856; afterward to Phoebe Smalley of Friendship.
Mr. Newton died Feb. 19, 1873. His son, D. A. Newton, was born Dec. 25, 1829. He was engaged in various industries
and was one of the citizens to forward new enterprises and promote the interests of the village and the vicinity.
The large hotel, The Newton House, was built by him during the oil excitement. The site of the Catholic church
was his gift to the Catholic society. He married in 1852 Miss Abigail Cowles of Bolivar. Several children were
born to them, one of whom, F. L. Newton, acted as cashier of the Bolivar Bank for a term of years and now occupies
a responsible position in Buffalo. When D. A. Newton's death occurred the whole town had cause to mourn the loss
of a patriotic, enterprising citizen, one of the chief promoters of Bolivar's prosperity.
The oldest pioneer now in Bolivar is "Uncle" Ben Cowles, who is 92 years of age. He came to the town
in 1824. He has a good memory and has many anecdotes of the "times gone by." He has killed deer where
now stand the derricks on the hillsides about the village. "Once," he relates, "I tracked two deer
up to the second bench on one of these slopes, after spying them I crawled up to within 35 rods and saw one lying
down asleep, and the other standing chewing his cud. I fired at the one standing and killed him so dead he never
kicked." The sleeping deer jumped up, but finding its comrade lying peacefully on the ground, concluded that
all was well, until a second bullet from Uncle Ben's rifle laid him low. Mr. Cowles now resides with his son and
daughter, P. W. Cowles and Mrs. M. E. Hovey.
Stephen W. Thomas is a prominent pioneer of the town. He moved from Angelica to Bolivar in 1834. He began life
as a clerk for Hoyt & Co., at Richburg, afterward he became a partner of Mr. Hoyt. His life has been passed
mostly in the mercantile business, and he has been one of Bolivar's leading merchants for many years.
EARLY MILLS AND MANUFACTURES. - Owing to the plentiful supply of pine and hemlock the sawmill has from the earliest
pioneers been a flourishing institution. The larger amount of this natural wealth was taken away, the Allegany
river furnishing means of transporation, but considerable lumber has always been manufactured in and about Bolivar.
The first sawmill was erected in 1822 by a number of the pioneers. It was located just below Bolivar village on
lot 55. The motive power was furnished by Little Genesee creek. Another early mill was located in Kansas Hollow,
three miles south of Bolivar. Of this mill there remains no trace. In 1824 Asa Cowles erected a gristmill in the
village. Up to this time the settlers were obliged to take their grain either to Friendship or Ceres, a considerable
distance with no roads to speak of only forest paths. In 1829 Mr. Cowles died, and the mill passed into the hands
of A. P. Stetson, who operated it until 1850, when two brothers named Burdick purchased it. In 1876 steam power
was used instead of the old fashioned water wheel. Soon after the mill came into possession of Curtiss Smith who
operated it until his death in November, 1895. After oil operations commenced in Bolivar natural gas was used as
fuel for the boiler. In 1835 Mr. Stetson, who owned the gristmill, built a small tannery which he operated until
1844. This business was then conducted by different parties until 1866 when the owners, Kenyon & Cowles, added
the manufacture of harnesses to the tanning industry. The trade in harnesses flourished and gradually the larger
tanneries crowded out the smaller ones until the owners relinquished tanning and turned their attention entirely
to harnesses. The building was destroyed by fire the winter of 1894-95. An article universally manufactured by
the early settlers was black salts. A ready market for cash was found in the larger villages, Cuba and Friendship
being the point where most was sold. Maple sugar was made for home use also, it being the only sugar easily obtained.
Another article of value was the skins of wild beasts and fur bearing animals, deer skins especially. These and
venison, and the black salts trade were the only sources for obtaining money during the pioneer times.
SOUTH BOLIVAR. - About four miles south of Bolivar village is a small settlement and postoffice known as South
Bolivar. Here are some thrifty farmers, one of whom, Mr. Hay wood, owns the cheese factory located at this point.
This was built in 1887 by C. and E. Smith. It produced 43,000 lbs. of cheese in 1893 and uses the milk of over
150 cows. At the present time the oil developments are becoming quite extensive. Some of the wells in this vicinity
starting at thirty barrels per day. A hotel or tavern also is located near the postoffice. Some of the earliest
settlements were made at this place and it also served as headquarters for lumbermen. The hills about here were
once covered with a magnificent growth of pine and hemlock. To saw the necessary lumber used in the vicinity portable
mills were erected at various points. At present there is one in operation about a mile above the corners, which
is owned by E. A. Root, of Bolivar village. The E. Sherwood sawmill on the California branch in South Bolivar was
built in 1873. It has a circular saw and cuts 30,000 feet of lumber annually. Chapel's sawmill and turning lathe
was put up about 1860. Its product is bedslats and table legs. But a hill clothed with the beautiful dark green
of the pine and hemlock is a rare sight now. The beech and maples have taken the places of these valuable evergreens.
Stephen Chapel was an early settler in South Bolivar coming in 1835. He was preceded by Elisha Mix however who
came in 1830. Gilbert Chapel was postmaster of South Bolivar office over 30 years, and was succeeded in 1885 by
his son Leonard G. Jonathan Chapel had a wagon shop here for many years.
Sawyer & Company's Oil Refinery was established in 1893 by William Sawyer and Miner Wellman. It has a capacity
of 50 barrels per day, and is located 4 miles east of Bolivar at Sawyer's. "The most independent producers
today in the Allegany field are Sawyer Bros. When the market is low they refine the oil produced by the 50 wells
on their lease, and when it is high they sell the oil to the pipe lines. In this way they always get a good price
for the product of their wells." Ira and Isaac D. Sawyer, twins, are sons of Rev. John Sawyer, who about 1820
settled in the northeast corner of present Wirt. About 1857 the brothers became residents here. Isaac now lives
in Wellsville, where his son Rufus has kept hotel and is now a merchant.
SOLDIER DEAD. - E. C. Kellogg, enlisted Sept. 10, 1861; died Florence, S. C. Daniel B. Garthwait, 1861; died Aug.
20, 1861, Washington. Stephen Wilmouth, 1861; died Annapolis. Lieutenant Edward J. Davis, 1861, 85th N. Y.; died
Newport, N. C., April 11, 1862. Hiram Pierce, 1861; died Andersonville. Joseph Pierce, Aug. 20, 1862; died Andersonville.
John L. Weston, Sept. 5, 1863; killed. Hiram G. Wakeman, Aug. 12,1862; died Howard Hospital 1863. William S. Moore,
September, 1861; died Andersonville. Edward B. Griffith, Aug. 14, 1862; died Andersonville. David Cowles, Feb.
12, 1864; died Bolivar, Jan. 2, 1865. Hiram C. Gardner, Aug. 13, 1862; killed Lookout Mountain. Edwin R. Smith,
September, 1861; died Yorktown, May 4, 1862. William H. Stratton, Jan. 2, 1864; killed at the Wilderness. Alfred
Chapin, September, 1861; died Andersonville, August, 1864. James Visber, Sept. 16,1861; died Andersonville, June
1, 1864. Elijah C. Gilbert, 1861; died Andersonville, July 25,1864. Alvin White, August. 1861; killed at the Wilderness.
Esyor Day, January, 1864; died Washington, July, 22, 1864. David Crandall, Aug. 13, 1862; died Andersonville, Sept.
10, 1864. George W. Livingston, Jan. 4, 1864; died Bolivar, Nov. 20, 1864. George Smith, Feb. 15, 1864; died Morganzia,
La. J. Dry, Feb. 12, 1863; died Red river. John Keckhow, Sept. 8, 1861, 85th N. Y., died Andersonville, June 24,
1864. Charles H. Johnson, Sept. 8, 1861; died Andersonville, July 13, 1864. James H. Cranford, August, 1861; died
Andersonville, Aug. 16, 1864 Thomas Shields, record unknown. Asa W. Root, Sept. 9, 1861; died Andersonville. Henry
Baulsover, September, 1861; shot while escaping from the rebels; buried Florence S C Francis E. Brames, Sept. 11,
1861; died Florence, S. C. Sanford Davie; died Fairfax C. H.
RAILROADS. - Only one of the many railroads once known to Bolivar now exists. During 1881, '82 and '83 it was not
a surprising thing to awaken in the morning and find a new railroad in town. They were all of the narrow gauge
order, the rails being but three feet apart. The trains were remarkable for ability in climbing hills and rounding
the astonishing curves with which the roadbed abounded. It cannot be said that much attention was paid to the time
scheduled on the time table, but passengers were repaid for the time lost in the beauty of the scenery and the
novelties displayed by this style of railroading. During 1881 the Olean and Friendship railroad was built. This
was afterward extended to Angelica. The road is now in operation between Bolivar and Olean, running two trains
each way daily. This railroad has been burdened by a great number of names - enough to swamp anything but a narrow
gauge railway. It was first known as the Olean and Friendship, then as the Allegany Central, the Lackawanna and
Pittsburgh, then the Lackawanna and South-Western, and now rests under the title of Central New York and Western.
The president of the road is John Byrnes of Wall Street, New York City, who is also supposed to own a controling
interest in the stock; Frank S. Smith of New York City is vice president; M. S. Blair, superintendent; C. H. Hammond,
passenger and freight agent. The gentleman in charge of the Bolivar office is Barney S. Dunn, who has been in the
employ of the company many years; he has been in charge at Bolivar and Richburg during the past 8 years. There
is every reason to suppose that the road will be made a standard gauge the coming season and be extended to Hornellsville,
such at least seems to be the opinion of Supt. Blair.
During 1881 the Bradford, Eldred and Cuba road was built. The termini were Wellsville and Eldred. This road was
operated until 1888 when it was abandoned. In 1884 came the Tonawanda Valley and Cuba road with the terminal points
at Bolivar and Tonawanda. This road never paid running expenses. It soon passed into the hands of a receiver, Hon.
T. C. Platt being appointed. It was in this road that Gen. U. S. Grant owned stock. The narrow gauge road is an
institution peculiar to the oil country, and, as a rule, a ride over any branch is a novelty worth trying. The
time, owing to the steep grades and sharp curves, is necessarily slow. Between Olean and Bradford is a road running
in connection with the C. N. Y. & W., which for wild and picturesque scenery is equalled by few roads in the
CEMETERY ASSOCIATION. - This was organized March 30, 1869, and was duly incorporated with E. R. Kilbury as president,
A. G. Williams vice president, J. H. Root secretary. The grounds consisted of nearly 3 acres of land immediately
surrounding the old cemetery of about 4 of an acre, in which burials had been made from 1828, and are nearly one
half mile south of Bolivar village on the Ceres road. The lands were purchased of Eli and Cyrus LeSuer and James
Davie, and While beautiful by nature have been made much more so by the artistic hand of man.
SUPERVISORS. - 1825, '27, Asa Cowles; 1828, '29, Pliny S. Evans; 1830, '31, '37, Jonah French; 1832, '36, Warren
Wellman; 1838, 40, '42, Martin Butts; 1841 '45, '48, Asa P. Stetson, 1843. '52, G. W. Kenyon; 1844, S. G. S. Rowley;
1849, H. B. Newton; 1850, '51, A. Hosley; 1853, Merrill Cowles; 1854, S. J. Newton; 1855, '57, '62, '67,'78, '75,'81,
'82, '83, '88, '9o, J. M. Curtiss; 1858, '59 '62, A. A. Lewis; 186o, '70, J. L. Cutler; 1861, '63, H. R. Burdick;
1868, U. L. Davis; 1865, '66, '73; R. L. Andrus; 1868, '69, E. R. Kilbury; 1871, J. C. Reed; 1872; D. A. Newton;
1876, '77, '79, J. S. Hoyt; 1878, L G. Le Suer; 1880, J. L. Cutler, (S. W. Thomas was appointed Nov. 2, 188o, to
complete the term); 1885, '87, E. W. Cowles; 1886, L. J. Murphy; 1888, '89, C. H. Brown; 1891, '92, F. S. Gulick;
1893, F. A. Hulbert; 1898, J. H. Crandall (C. H. Le Suer was appointed Oct. 19, 1894 to complete the year); 1895
'96, C. E. Le Suer.
The town clerks that have had longest terms of service are I. J. Cooper, in office in 1880, '81, '89, '90, '94,
'95 and '96, and C. M. Williams, who served from 1882 to 1888 inclusive.
TOWN OFFICERS. - 1895, assessors, M. J. Crowley, A. Crandall, J. Dunham; collector, F. R. Spencer; town clerk,
I. J. Cooper; justices, L. Daniels, A. Keeney, C. M. Williams, S. S. Applebee; overseer poor, 5. A. Young; highway
commissioner, J. C. Holcomb.
BOLIVAR VILLAGE. - Bolivar, like her sister villages of Southern Allegany is surrounded by picturesque hills. These
gradually grow higher and more abrupt in passing toward the southeast until they become mountains of the Appalachian
system. The elevation of these hills is greatest perhaps in the town of Bolivar than in any part of this county,
being in many instances over 1,800 feet above the sea level. These steep slopes are dotted with oil derricks and
the paraphernalia of oildom, while in the narrow valley northward from thevillage rest the mammoth iron tanks in
which during the past few years were stored immense quantities of crude petroleum, but which at the present time
are being fast emptied, owing to the small amount which is now produced. At the conjunction of two narrow valleys
rests the viallage
The place is similar to most country towns, one main thoroughfare with others branching off at right angles. In
Bolivar the principal street bears the customary name, Main street, and extends from north to south through the
central portions of the town. Branching westward from Main are Boss and Liberty streets. To the eastward are Olive,
South, Olean, Friendship, Wellsville and Plum streets. These last named are occupied principally by residences.
Friendship and Wellsville streets are called the most pleasant in the village. At the extreme end of Friendship
street lies the half mile track of the Bolivar Track Association. This village has that pecularity of oil towns,
love of fast horses. Most any pleasant day can be seen the "trainers" exercising theirs favorites on
the track and afterwards driving through the streets of the village exhibiting the paces and qualities of their
steeds amid the approving nods of the inhabitants. After an oil well, the genuine oil man loves a fine piece of
horse flesh, and Bolivar yet contains many thoroughbreds of both species. The architeclure of the buildings in
Bolivar betrays those unmistakable signs which speak of the times when fortunes were made and lost in a day, when
houses, hotels, and almost everything, sprang up with the mushrooms "in a single night," but, unlike
other oil towns, Bolivar has not yet suffered from that desertion generally following the rapid "boom."
Her streets, although not graced with many elegant residences, show very few vacant houses, and although the exterior
of many dwellings presents a somewhat rough appearance, this is amply counter balanced by the comfort and refinement
within. Bolivar has an extensive supply of natural gas, and the open fireplaces and well lighted streets are a
comfortable sight after a long cold drive on a bleak wintry evening. Some residences, however, are noticeable as
belonging to people who "have come to stay." The homes of E. C. Garthwait on Wellsville street, Geo.
Bradley on Boss street, Dr. Joe Cutler on Friendship street, C. R. Kilbury on Main street and H. L. Zimmerman on
South street, are models of neatness and modernconstruction. The business blocks were constructed mostly during
the season of rapid growth and consequently more attention was given to completing them in as short a time as possible
than to their general appearance. The building occupied by the State Bank of Bolivar and also the Masonic Temple
are substantial brick buildings. The village was incorporated in the early part of 1882. The first meeting of the
village board was March 23, 1882. D. A. Newton, president; J. E. Patridge, J. S. Kincade, I. J Cooper, trustees;
F. S. Gulick, clerk; J. H. Voorhees. street commissioner; H. D. Patridge, chief of police. The present officers
are: R. N. Andrus, president; W. J. Hunt, A. Wilbur, E. M. Strayer, trustees; B. S. Dunn, clerk; J. W. O'Day, F.
Davie, J. W. Hamsher, John Drake, J. Dunning, board of health; W. T. Bliss, corporation commissioner. D. A. Newton,
Alex Wilson and It. N. Andrus have been the village presidents. In 1890 the census gave the village nearly 1,500
The first oil well put down by O. P. Taylor in Bolivar was a dry hole on lot 37 on the Williams farm. Taylor and
Riley Allen then bought an interest in a well just started on the Sawyer farm by Charles Campbell, this was a fair
producer and soon the boom commenced.
This piquant description written by J. P. Herrick, the brainy editor of the Bolivar Breeze, for the Illustrated
Buffalo Express, tells neatly of a certain period of Bolivar's existence.
Also see A bit
of Bolivar's History.