OF BOLIVAR'S PEOPLE.
Richard L. Andrus, son of Elisha N., born in Tioga, Pa, Sept. 11, 1835, came with
his father to Ceres in 1844, attended common schools and Richburg Academy, became a popular teacher, and, after
teaching district schools for several years, was assistant teacher of Richburg Academy for seven terms. He was
school commissioner six consecutive years, has been supervisor, town clerk and highway commissioner, has been a,
merchant for 25 years and is an oil producer, owning 18 wells, and with his sons conducts a clothing store. He
has been a member of the M. E. church for many years, and superintendent of the M. E. Sunday school of Bolivar
32 years. He married, first, in 1858, Amelia, daughter of S. W. Thomas, who died in 1881. Children: Ralph and Claire.
His second wife was Kate Thornton of Ashland, Ore. Children: Don and Lowell.
Wakeman Beers was born in Walton in 1818. He came to Bolivar about 1850. He married Clarinda, daughter of Alva
Withey. They settled on a farm half a mile east of the village where Mr. Beers, a carpenter by trade, engaged in
farming. He held the office of assessor 3 terms. During the oil excitement he sold his farm to an oil company,
and removed to Hinsdale, purchased a faun and resided there until 1887, when he returned to Bolivar, where he died
Sept. 4, 1888. His 2 sons were John H., a farmer at Hinsdale, and George A. George A. Beers married Frances, daughter
of Edwin and Miranda Smith. He is engaged in farming, has held the office of assessor 9 years, and is a member
of Macedonia Lodge of Freemasons at Bolivar, and is also High Priest of Bolivar Chapter, No. 280, R. A. M. Alva
Withey, son of Stephen Withey, who, it is said, was an early settler of Friendship, married Clarissa Hitchcock.
They had 9 children. Alva was a shoemaker and carpenter. He lived in Wirt several years, and in 1834 settled in
Bolivar. His wife died about 185o. He died in 1869. They were members of the Methodist church. Their children were
Clarinda, widow of Wakeman Beers, Narissa (Mrs Martin Shaw), Charles, of Tiona, Pa., William H., of South Dakota
(he was major in 89th Regt., N. Y. S. V., was taken prisoner and passed several months in a rebel prison), Eliza
J. (Mrs. Jonas White of Wisconsin), Amelia (Mrs. Wm. Hulbert, dec.), Fanny (Mrs. James Durfee, dec.). Fayette (dec.),
was captain in 189th Regt., and Mary S. (Mrs. Calvin Clark, dec.)
Valentine K. Boyer, son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Reed) Boyer, was born Sept. 9, 1834, in Schuylkill, Pa. From his
eleventh year till his seventeenth he worked in coal mines, then for three and a half years as a moulder, then
was engaged for five years in coal and mercantile business. In October, 1861, he enlisted in Co. F, 7th Pa. Vol.
Cavalry, was in the Army of the Cumberland, and took part in every general engagement in which his regiment served.
He was promoted from private to first lieutenant, and was in service till March, 1865. From June, 1879, he has
been in the employ of the Tide Water Pipe Line Co. In 1891 he became a resident of Bolivar. In 186o he married
Elizabeth Partridge (daughter of Henry). She died in 1866. They had one child, Dora L. By his second wife, Emma
L. Murkle (daughter of Michael), who died in 1881, he had one child, Claude. His third wife was Sarah L. Martin.
Children: John, Elsie, Albert, Elizabeth and Gertrude.
J. B. Bradley, son of Hiram, a native of Connecticut, was born in 1826 in Cussawago township, Crawford Co., Pa.
He is one of the pioneer oil operators. In 186o he drilled, in Mecca, Ohio, one of the very first wells sunk in
that state, then went to Oil Springs, Canada, where he built a large oil refinery, one of the first ever built.
In 1864 he went to Rouseville, Pa., and has since operated there. He came to Bolivar in 1881 and established the
Empire Gas and Fuel Co. in company with Wm. and F. P. Kneeland. He and his brother, E. C. Bradley, soon bought
out the Kneelands and are the sole proprietors. They were also half owners and the founders of the Keystone Gas
Co. Mr. Bradley married Naomi Cook, of Crawford Co., Pa., a lady extensively known from her prominence in W. C.
T. U. work. They have 3 sons, George H., general superintendent of the Empire Gas and Fuel Co. and of Cuba Gas
Co., Justin B. and John C.
William Cochran, son of Allen, was born in Geneva, N. Y., in 1861. His father commenced operating in oil on Oil
Creek in 1863. When only 15 years old he began pumping for his father, and when 17 took an interest in the business.
He came to Bolivar in 1882. In 1883 went to Bradford, where he was in business until 1890, when he returned to
Bolivar. In 1883 he married Hattie E. Northrup. a Vermont lady, who died Jan. 13, 1892. Children: William Harold
and Allen Leroy. Mr. Cochran has assisted in drilling 85 productive wells in the Allegany field, and is now a partner
with Allen Cochran and John and Allen, Jr.
The Cowles family descends from John Cowles, an Englishman, who came to Massachusetts in 1635, and settled at Hartford,
Conn., from 1636 to 1639. Timothy Cowles, one of his descendants in the sixth generation, settled in 1819 in the
southwest part of Bolivar, coming from Otsego Co. in the spring to Friendship, and in the summer to Bolivar where
he bought land and built a log house into which he moved in December. He was a noted hunter and trapper, a shoemaker,
a carpenter and a farmer. He married Anna Wilbur, had to children, and died Nov. 11, 1855. Mrs. Cowles died May
26, 1853. Their son, Merrill Cowles, was born in Otsego Co. in 1806, came to Bolivar in 1819, was a farmer and
lumberman, captain in the militia, supervisor of Bolivar, justice and postmaster two terms. He married Susan, daughter
of Alvan Richardson. Children: Abigail (Mrs. D. A. Newton), Walter, Edgar W. and Harriet (Mrs. Dr. Dorr Cutler).
Merrill Cowles died April 17, 1864, his wife in May, 1890. Edgar W. Cowles, son of Merrill, was born Jan. 23, 1837,
and, after attending Richburg Academy, when 17, entered the store of D. A. Newton as clerk, and continued there
until 1859, when he became a farmer with his father. In August. 186r, he enlisted, but failing to get transportation
from Harrisburg returned home, and in October again enlisted, joining the band of the 85th N. Y. Regimental bands
were abolished and discharged in 1862, and Mr. Cowles returned to farm life until Feb. 1, 1865, then for 3 months
was a member of a brigade band. In 1866 he was a member of the firm of Kenyon & Cowles, tanners and manufacturers
of harnesses, etc. From 1880 to 1887 he was a harness maker. From 1888 to 1893 he was engaged in leasing oil lands
and getting rights of way for pipe line companies in New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and is now the junior
member of the firm of E. W. Cowles & Co., undertakers. He has been justice of the peace 8 years, justice of
sessions 2 terms, and supervisor of Bolivar z terms. He belongs to Macedonia Lodge, F. & A. M. (was its master
two years), and to Bolivar Chapter. He is also a member of H. C. Gardner Post, G. A. R. He married, Feb. 22, 1863,
Angelia, daughter of George Kenyon. Children. Marcia (Mrs. F. M. Lowry) and Susie (Mrs. T. J. Connors), both of
Asa Cowles, a brother of Timothy, was an active and important early settler, built the town's first gristmill,
held important offices and died in 1829. He married Juda Wilbur. Children: Lovisa, Curtis, Almond W. (first white
child born in Bolivar), Edna and Warren. Erastus Cowles, son of Timothy, born June r9, 18r9, married, first, Betsey
Wilbur (died May, 1855). second, Nancy M. White (died in i865). Their daughter Ada (Mrs. L. M. Curtis) lives in
Oil City, Pa. Benjamin F. Cowles, son of Daniel, was born in Andover, Conn , Aug. 12, 1803. He settled in Bolivar
in 1824, and in 1828 married Elvira P. Phillips. Of their 5 children, are living Minnie (Mrs. S. Hovey) and Porter.
Warren Cowles died in August, 1894.
Alvin T. Cowles, son of Timothy, was born in 1808 at Unadilla, and came to Bolivar with his father in 1819. He
married Aurelia Mix, of their 5 children. 4 attained maturity. Mr. Cowles was a carpenter by trade.
Thomas Crandall, son of Stephen, was born in Alfred in 1832. In 1854 he married Mary A., daughter of Hiram and
Almira B. Beers, and settled in Bolivar and was an agriculturist. He died in 1891. Mrs. Crandall survives him.
Hiram Beers, son of Daniel, was born in Steventown, came to Bolivar in 1832 and and settled near Genesee on his
lot of of wild land, which he took up, cleared and cultivated Later he lived in Friendship for some years. He died
in Cuba in 1884. His wife, Mrs. Almira B. Beers, died in 1880. Of their 9 children 5 are living.
John H. Crandall, son of Jairus, was born March x8, 1843, in Genesee. July 6, 1861, he enlisted in Co. L 27th N.
Y. Vols. Three months later he was discharged on account of pulmonary disease. Aug. 6, 1862, he enlisted in Co.
A, 136th N. Y., was orderly sergeant 2 years, commanded his company at battle of Averysburgh and Bentonville, N.
C., receiving a personal greeting from Gen. Slocum for bravery. He was in 31 battles and was mustered out in June,
1865. In 1870 he married Laura O. Finch, daugter of Jason of Bolivar and settled in Genesee as a lumberman and
farmer. In November, 1881, he removed to Bolivar and has held various business relations, and stood high in the
esteem of his townsmen. He is member of H. C. Gardner Post, G. A. R., was its second commander, serving three years.
He was supervisor of Genesee two years, postmaster of Bolivar from September, 1890, to March, 1894, supervisor
of Bolivar in 1894, collector two years, excise commissioner six years. Children, Mary E. (Mrs. H. D. Hazzard of
Wirt), Belva D., Jessie G. and Hazel L.
Allen L. Cranston, son of William H. and Alice V. (Prosser) Cranston, was born in Genesee, May 31, 1865. He was
educated at Corry, Pa., and at Willimantic, (Conn.) high school. He learned telegraphy, and was an operator at
Willimantic and Philadelphia. In 1892 he married Inez L., daughter of DeWitt Clinton Hill of Willimantic (chief
engineer of a large manufacturing company there), and came to Bolivar, where he is now engaged in breeding blooded
horses. His children are Allen L., Jr., born May 19, 1893, and Alice A., born Nov. 13, 1894.
John A. Dempsey, son of Dennis, was born in 1858, at Binghamton. Dec. 25, 1886, he married Maggie Murphy. Their
children are John, Frank and Catharine. Mr. Dempsey learned the trade of a boiler maker at Binghamton and Bradford,
Pa., and established the business at Richburg and Bolivar. He has a branch shop at Allentown. His brother, Daniel
S. Dempsey, is associated with him, and, in 1881, one Coppinger was in company with them. In 1882 they had a shop
at Bolivar which was burned in 1884. The Allentown branch shop is conducted by Dempsey Bros. & Co. In 1892
the Bolivar firm was changed to Dempsey Bros. They employ several men, and attend principally to repairing of boilers.
Timothy Devlin was born in Dublin, Ireland, Oct. 17, 1844. In 1867 he emigrated to America and made his home in
Rochester for two years, when he went to Petroleum Centre, Pa., and entered the employ of his brother James as
an engineer in the oil field, and continued two years. In 1871 he commenced dealing in oil wells for himself, and
in 1881 located in Richburg. After a year and a half there he came to Bolivar and for several years was associated
with D. O'Connor as an oil Producer. In 1890 they dissolved partnership, and Mr. Delvin is in business alone. He
has held the office of assessor for 5 years, and school director for several years. In 1880 he married Agnes A.
Wood of Oil City, Pa. Their children are Georgia, Mary and Theodore. The family are members of the St James Catholic
Bernard S. Dunn, son of Michael, was born in Honesdale, Pa., in 1860. In 1882 he came to Richburg and was employed
in the office of the Allegany Central railroad about 1 year, then was clerk to the general passenger agent at Friendship
a year, afterward 3 years station agent at Richburg, for about 1 year was billing clerk for the Erie railway at
Addison. Since then he has been station agent of the Central New York and Western railroad at Bolivar, and agent
of the American Express Co. He has served as trustee of the village of Bolivar, and was its treasurer in 1893.
Joshua Dunning, son of Lewis, was born in West Almond March 3, 1843. He received a common school education, worked
on the farm until he was 19, then went to Wisconsin and engaged in lumbering. In 1864 he came home and enlisted
in Co. I, 188th N. Y. S. V. and served until the close of the war. He was discharged July 25, 1865. He is a member
of H. C. Gardner Post No. 247, and has been commander a year. For 3 years subsequent to the war Mr. Dunning was
rafting on the Allegany river, then for several years be was a fanner. From 1880 to 1891 he was teaming for the
Oil Company in Bradford, since then he has dealt in hay and produce. His residence has been in Bolivar since 1882.
In 1871 he married Ella A. Brown of Millport, Pa., and has 5 children.
Ernest M. Emery was born in Crawford Co., Pa., in 1854. His father, Samuel Emery, died when Ernest was 7 years
old. His mother then settled in Jamestown, Pa. When 17 years old he learned the jeweler's trade, and, after 5 years
in that business, in 1877 he entered the Pennsylvania oil field and was dressing tools until 188o, when he went
to Bradford and was employed in drilling. In 1882 he came to Bolivar and drilled a few wells, and in 1886 located
permanently in the northeast part of the town where he has a lease of several wells. Mr. Emery married Elizabeth
Chelson William Furnald, son of John Hill Furnald, was born in Vermont in 1820. In 1823 his father came to Wirt,
purchased a small farm in the south part of the town, where he settled and cleared and cultivated his land. Chelson
W. married Electa, daughter of Willard Phillips. They had 4 children, Marcus A., Willis P. (dec.), Adolphus W.
(dec.), Nellie E. (Mrs. A. J. Remington of Whitesville). He removed to Allentown in the town of Alma where he died.
Marcus A. Furnald, son of Chelson W. and Electa (Phillips) Furnald, was born July 1 1845, in Wirt. He attended
common schools and Alfred University. In 1863 be enlisted in Co. B, 189th Regt. N. Y. S. V., and served through
the war. He is chaplain and was a charter member and commander of H. C. Gardner Post No. 247. In 1868 Mr. Furnald
married Leonora, daughter of Roy Coats, and has 4 children. He has been engaged in teaching most of the time since
the war. He learned photography at Cuba in 187o and is now engaged in that business at Bolivar, where he has resided
John C. Gadsby, son of George, was born in Butternuts, Otsego Co., Jan. 2, 1838. In 1857 he came to Allegany county
and for several years was engaged in farming, and was also employed in a sawmill. In 1861 he married Abigail, daughter
of Stephen Chapel. They have 2 sons, William and John H. In 1863 Mr. Gadsby purchased the farm where he now resides,
built a fine residence, and is one of the substantial farmers of the town. His farm comprises 199 acres. Mr. Gadsby
is also an oil producer. He has held the office of assessor 15 years and is a member of Macedonia Lodge, No. 258,
F. & A. M. of Bolivar.
Benjamin Garthwait, son of Daniel, was born at Marcellus, N. Y., in 1812. When a young man he came to Alfred and
married Phebe Crandall. In 1841 they located in Allentown, two years later he returned to Alfred, and in 1851 permanently
made his home in Bolivar. He had 8 children, Christopher C. Garthwait, one of these children was born Dec. 27,
1835, married Elizabeth Root, and was a farmer until 1838, since then a merchant. Children: Emma (Mrs. F. A. Hulbert),
and Elmer C. Elmer C. Garthwait, son of Christopher C., born in Bolivar, April 8, 1861, attended Friendship Academy,
married Millie R. Hill of Angola, N. Y., June 18, 1884, is a dealer in carriages and wagons, agricultural implements,
etc., is an oil producer; was in trade with his father for 9 years as a grocer, is member of these Masonic organizations:
Macedonia Lodge No. 258 and Bolivar Chapter No. z8o at Bolivar, and St. Johns Commandery No. 24 at Oiean. He has
one son. Glen E., born Feb. 22, 189o. John S. Garthwait (son of Daniel who settled in Marcellus, N. Y., in a ro)
was born Nov. 25, 1807, married Dorcas Streeter in 1829 and came to Bolivar in 1847. Children: Harriet, Henry,
John and Perry P.
John Wesley Hamsher, son of Henry, was born at Sparta, March 12, 1844. In 1864 he went to Oil Creek, Pa., and was
engaged in repairing wells. In March, 1865, he entered the employ of the Old Columbia Oil Co., and has since been
continuously with the company. working the first two years at carpentering, then as foreman for 7 years. In August,
1873, he went to Butler county and was there until 188o, developing in that oil field. In August, 188o, he went
to Duke Centre, remained z years, and then located at Bolivar where he now resides. In August, 1893, he was appointed
general superintendent of this company's oil operations. Mr. Hamsher is a member of the lodge of F. & A. M.
of Oil City. April 19, 1870, he married Jennie, daughter of Peter Milholland of Mt. Morris. Their 2 children died
John P. Herrick, son of Joseph M. and Melissa (Collins) Herrick, was born at Muskegon, Mich., Jan. 27, 1868. His
early education was received in the public schools of Cameron Co., Pa. He left school when 15 and passed 2 years
in the lumber woods of Potter county, as jobber, clerk, and later, as a teacher. In May, 1886, he established the
Sharon Leader at Shingle House, and in July, 1886, he founded the Ceres Courant at Ceres, Pa. In 1888 the Leader
and Courant were consolidated and the new paper became the Oswayo Valley Mail. In August, 1891, he established
the Bolivar Breeze. The day after the first number of the Breeze was issued the Mail building, a handsome two story
structure, was totally destroyed with all its contents, entailing a heavy loss. All of the newspaper files and
the office library were burned. Three months later the Ceres Mail appeared, printed from new type, handsomer than
ever. In 1894, a fine new building was erected for the Mail at Ceres. Mr. Herrick has been very successful in his
newspaper enterprises. He takes an active interest in the affairs of the community. He is an ardent Mason, a member
of Macedonia Lodge and Bolivar Chapter, and of St. John's Commandery, No. 14., of Olean, and of Ismailia Temple,
A. A. O. N. Mystic Shrine of Buffalo. He is president of the Allegany County Publishers Association, and a member
of the New York Press Association. He is president and a director of the Home Natural Gas Company of Ceres and
is interested in other local enterprises.
John C. Holcomb, son of John H., was born April 26, 1838, in Greene, Chenango county. When he was 2 years old
his father moved to Friendship, and after a residence there of 2 years removed to McKean Co., Pa., where he died
in 1884. John C. Holcomb enlisted in Co. E, 1st McKean Rifle Co., later known as the "Bucktails," in
April, 1861. After serving 3 months he re-enlisted in the 85th N. Y. S. V. He was wounded in the leg at the battle
of Fair Oaks, received a scalp wound at Kingston, N. C., was taken prisoner at Plymouth, N. C., April 20, 1864,
was a prisoner until he escaped from the cars while in transit Feb. 22, 1865, and when he reached the American
forces, March 5th at Newbern, N. C., his weight was 89 lbs. He was honorably discharged. He is a member of Richburg
Post. In 1865 he married Erzelia Fay. She died Aug. 8, 1886, his second wife is Florence Taylor. They have one
child, Bertha E. Mr. Holcomb has served as highway commissioner 7 terms, and excise commissioner 3 years.
Lucius Hover, son of Solomon, was born at Candor in 1829. He was in the employ of Brown & Co. for to years.
In 1852 he settled in Bolivar. where he purchased a farm of 146 acres. This farm is mostly leased for oil and gas.
Mr. Hover married Irene Smith and has 2 children, Frank S. and Lula I. He has served as justice of the peace.
Nelson Hoyt, born at Old Well, near Norwalk, Conn., Jan. 6, 1799, learned the potter's trade, married, Jan. 6,
1820, Betsey McDougall, at Sandy Hill, Saratoga Co., where they lived until 1826, when they came to Clarksville,
bought a small farm, made the first clearing and built a log house In 1829 Mr. Hoyt established a pottery in Cuba.
Three years later he became clerk for Wm. Colwell in Friendship. In 1834 he removed to Richburg where he opened
a general store. In 1836 he started a store at Bolivar which he kept until his death, Feb. 7, 1858. He was postmaster
for years. He gave the site for and largely aided to build the Bolivar M. E. church, and he and his wife were leading
members. The first Methodist meeting in Clarksville was held at their house. Mrs. Hoyt died in December, 1882.
Children: Amanda, Mary A., John W., George H., James Sumner. James S. Hoyt. son of Nelson, was born Nov. 8, 1841,
and when 16 years old entered his father's store as clerk. After his father's death, four years later, he formed
a partnership with R. L. Andrus in general merchandising. In 1863 he bought out Mr. Andrus and has always since
been in trade alone. He has been town clerk 6 years, supervisor 3 terms, and postmaster 18 years. He married, in
1863, Adelaide R., daughter of Thomas Bee of Ceres. Their only child, Grace B. (Mrs. Charles Baker), resides in
Oil City, Pa.
William J. Hunt, son of Samuel, was born in Beaver Co., Pa., in 1856. When a boy he learned the trade of a harness
maker and was in the business one year. In the spring of 1877 he commenced dressing oil tools. In the spring of
1890 he went to Knapp's Creek and worked by the day drilling wells for a year. In 1880 he commenced drilling on
contract, and in 1882 he located in Genesee and was employed by Merrill & Perrin for 4 years as foreman. Subsequently
he was in Little Washington, Pa., for a year, then came to Richburg where he purchased several wells, and in 1889
he located in Bolivar where he has been engaged in producing oil. He has been foreman for Star Oil Co. since 189o.
In 1885 Mr. Hunt married Cora V. Hale of Cooperstown, Pa.
F. S. Huver was born near Buffalo in 1842. In 1865 he went to Tarr Farm on Oil Creek and began drilling wells.
Going later to Pitthole, he became an oil producer and has since been in all parts of Pennsylvania, West Virginia,
Ohio and Indiana, where oil and gas are found. In 1882 he located at Bolivar, and, in company with T. P. Thompson
of Bradford, drilled 22 oil wells. He is interested in the Portville, Ceres and Indiana gas plants. In 1872 Mr.
Huver married Lucy A., daughter of Lieut. Gov. Lucius L. Beston of Chariton, Iowa. Their son, Harry B., received
his medical education at Buffalo Medical College.
Fred A. Hulbert, son of William, was born in Bolivar, Aug. 15, 1857, married Emma, daughter of C. C. Garthwait,
Sept. 23, 1880. Their children are Gerald F., Wayne C. and Elba W. Mr. Hulbert was clerk in the State Bank of Bolivar
for 4 years, and clerk 2 years in First National Bank of Brockport, N. Y. For several years he has been engaged
in the grocery business in Bolivar. In 1890 he was elected justice of the peace, he was president of the village
in 1891, and in 1893 was elected justice of sessions and supervisor. and elected justice of the peace the second
time in 1895. Mr. Hulbert is a member of Macedonia Lodge, F. & A. M., and of Bolivar Chapter, and St. John's
Commandery of Olean.
Wallace H Johnson, son of Hugh, was born in Hamburg, Aug. 27, 1832. He attended the common schools and Hamburg
Academy. When 18 years of age he went to learn wagon making. In 1858 he married Jeanie Van Derwater and settled
in West Randolph. In 1862 he enlisted in Co. A, 136th Regt., N. Y. S. V., and served through the war. He was mustered
out in June, i865. He is a member of H. E. Gardner Post, No. 247. Mr. Johnson resided in Franklinville after the
war until 1866, when he located in Bolivar, and was engaged in making and repairing wagons until 1887, when he
became a dealer in wagons and carriages. He has served the town as clerk for two terms and has been census enumerator
of Bolivar. His children are Jasper, who resides at Lincoln, Neb., and Kate (Mrs. H. A. Cudding) of Bolivar.
Thomas C. McGrath was born in the town of Lodi, Athens Co., Ohio, on the 26th day of August, 1840. He received
his education at the common schools. He enlisted about June 3, 1861, and did guard duty on the Marietta and Cincinnati
railroad near Marietta until July to, 1861, when he joined his regiment at Camp Dennison. He served with Co. K,
39th Ohio Vols., until July 10, 1865, when he was honorably discharged. He was in 37 regular engagements and escaped
without a bullet wound, only receiving as physical injury a broken ankle. He was married while at home on a veteran
furlough on Jan. 19, 1864, to Hannah Gray. After the war he went to Shell Rock township, Freeborn Co., Minn., bought
a farm and was engaged in farming for 7 years. Then he removed to Potter county, Pa., near Ulysses, and bought
a sawmill which he operated in connection with the lumber business for about eight years. In 1880 he went to Olean
and took a contract to roof iron tanks for the Standard .Oil Company. In 1891 he came to Bolivar, kept a meat market,
and actively engaged in building, erecting for himself a large hotel and skating rink; conducting a large business
during the excitement caused by the discovery of oil in the Allegany oil field. He is now a dealer in second hand
goods, and interested as patentee of a gas regulator which promises to be a success. He has held the office of
constable efficiently for several years. He is a charter member of H. C. Gardner Post, No. 247, G. A. R., of Bolivar.
John Mead, Sr., was born in Otsego county, N. Y., March 29, 1792. Eva (Schism) Mead, his wife was born in Otsego
county March 1,1795. Soon after marriage he enlisted in the War of 1812 and was stationed at and participated in
the battles of Sacketts Harbor. In the fall of 1836 he with his wife and family of 12 children came to Allegany
county and settled south of the village of Bolivar. They had a family of 7 sons and 7 daughters. He engaged in
the business of farming and lumbering and died Nov. 7, 1862. His wife died Dec. 10, 1872. Ten of this family of
children are at this time living.
John Mead, Jr., born at Cherry Valley, Otsego county. Oct. 30, 1817, came to Bolivar with his parents (John Mead,
Sr.) in 1836, he was married Sept. 15, 1839, to Clarrissa Cowles, daughter of Timothy Cowles, the first settler
of Bolivar. Mrs. Mead was the second child born in the town, the date of her birth being Dec. 27, 1820, and she
is now the oldest resident native of the town of Bolivar. Mr. Mead has tilled the soil for over half a century
and has also been engaged in lumbering during the winters. He has held the office of commissioner of highways.
James A. Mead, son of John Mead, Sr., and Eva Mead, was born in Bolivar April 29, 1838, and was educated in the
common schools. August 26, 1862, he enlisted in Co. A, 136th Regt., N. Y. S. V., and served until June, 1865, when
he was honorably discharged. He was in the Army of the Potomac about one year, was wounded at Gettysburg, and also
wounded at the battle of Peach Tree Creek. In 1863 the regiment went west and was made part of the loth Corps under
Gen. Hooker and participated in the battles of Missionary Ridge, Lookout Mountain, and all other battles of his
regiment. He was with Sherman's army from Chattanooga to Atlanta and from Atlanta to the Sea. He is a member of
H. C. Gardner Post, G. A. R., No. 247, of Bolivar. In 1866 he married Lucretia Spencer, daughter of Job Spencer.
He was a farmer until 1883 when he opened a wagon shop in Bolivar village.
Ethan Mix when a young man came to Belmont from Groton. He married Eliza, daughter of Joseph Flint. They had 8
children. He worked at his trade of shoemaking for several years, was then engaged in lumber business, and subsequently
bought a farm where he died about 1869. His wife died in 1874. Charles M. Mix, the only surviving son, was born
Jan. I, 1848. He attended the public schools of Belmont and Alfred University. June 3, 1873, he married Rose L.,
daughter of Joel Kenyon. They have 2 sons and 2 daughters. Mr. Mix is a farmer, an oil producer, a coal producer
in Tennessee, is an extensive breeder of horses, and owner of the celebrated stallion Oil Prince.
Alexander W. Nicholson was born in 1856. About 1880 he came to Richburg and entered the Allegany oil field and
has been an oil producer since. He has an interest in 60 wells. In 1883 he was united in marriage with Minnie McCrey.
They have one child, Margaret. The family are members of the M. E. church of Bolivar. Mr. Nicholson made his residence
in Bolivar in the eighties.
George H. Parker, son of Daniel and Priscilla Parker, was born in Orange county, March 4, 1845. When he was about
6 years old, his father moved to Friendship and here George attended the public schools. In 1863 he enlisted in
Co. D, 5th N. Y. H. A. and served until the close of the war. He is a member of H. C. Gardner Post, No. 247. After
the war he engaged in shingle manufacturing in Potter Co., Pa., and for about to years was in the employ of the
Gordon Lumber Co. at Portville. Since 1882 he has been in the mercantile business in Bolivar. Mr. Parker was appointed
postmaster in 1894. He is a member of. Macedonia Lodge F. & A. M., No. 258. In 1869 he married Mary A., daughter
of Dr. J. L. Cutler, and has two sons, Francis J. and Charles E. Mrs. Priscilla Parker died March 19, 1896. "She
had been a consistent member of the Baptist church for over half a century."
Horace H. Pratt, son of Smith Pratt, was born in Edwards, N. Y., in 1844. In 1866 he came with his father to Bolivar,
and they settled on the farm where he now resides. His father died in 1868. In 1877 Mr. Pratt married Carlie M.
Prince. Their 3 children are Dora, Earl and Henry. The family are members of the 'M. E. church of Bolivar. Mr.
Pratt keeps several cows and carries on his farm of too acres. He was justice of the peace for 8 years, highway
commissoner for one year, and has been a member of the excise board 3 years.
Ezekiel S. Richardson, yougest child of Alvan Richardson, Sr., and his wife A lethea Uran, was born in Unadilla,
Otsego county, and was but 14 months old in 1820 when his father took his family to the log cabin he had built
for them in what is now Richburg, then surrounded by the primitive forests. Here Alvan Richardson, the pioneer
of Richburg lived a useful life and died in 1857. [See Wirt]. Here Ezekiel S. Richardson passed his childhood days.
became a farmer, married in 1842 Caroline, daughter of Azel and Mary (Rowley) Buckley, who survives him. Their
children were Alice (Mrs. Spencer Ford), and Bella (Mrs. Brokau). Mr. Richardson dies December 3o, 1888.
Ira Sawyer, a son of Rev. John Sawyer, a Baptist minister, who was known as the blind preacher and settled in the
northeast part of Wirt some 6o years ago, was a native of Tompkins Co. Ira married Sallie Wightman; they had 6
children. Mrs. Sallie W. Sawyer died in the forties and Mr. Sawyer married, second, Miss Demaris Burrows, and resides
at West Candor, N. Y. William Sawyer, son of Ira and Sallie (Wightman) Sawyer, born in Wirt in 1846, married Helen
Withey, of Wirt, and has 3 children, Lena, Stanley and Paul. Mr. Sawyer passed several years in Bradford, Pa.,
manufacturing lumber and shingles, and was engaged in the McKean oil field many years. He then located in Friendship
where he was in trade 2 years. Since 1882 he has been an oil producer, oil dealer and oil refiner, and in 1892
established a refinery near Bolivar.
Louis Seibert was born in Meadville, Pa., in 1860. He was clerk in a drugstore there for many years. In 1881 he
came to Bolivar, and was employed for 3 years in a drugstore, and in 1884 he formed a partnership with William
Cutler of Moravia under firm name of Seibert & Cutler. In 1886 Dr. J. L. Cutler purchased the interest of William
Cutler, and since the business has been continued under the old firm name. Mr. Seibert married Libbie Kearns, and
has 2 children, William L. and Lauretta. He is one of the largest real estate owners in Bolivar, and an active
Jonathan Smith, son of William, was born in Luzerne Co., Pa., May Io, 1815. About 1830 the family came to Cuba,
after remaining 2 years they settled in the south part of Bolivar. William Smith was a carpenter by trade and bad
a farm. Jonathan married Sylvia Ann Curtis and settled in Bolivar. (Mrs. Smith died Feb. 25, 1893). He was engaged
in farming and lumbering and served as justice of the peace for 20 years. His children were Wallace, Edwin, Curtis
and Ruby (Mrs. Austin Robinson of Bolivar). Wallace enlisted in 1861 in 1st Long Island Regt., served 3 years and
was honorably discharged. He died in 1881. Edwin enlisted in 85th Regt., N. Y. S. V., in 1862, and died near Yorktown
of typhoid fever in 1863. Curtis Smith, youngest son of Jonathan and Sylvia A. (Curtis) Smith was born June 29,
1845. In 1870 he went to Cuba, learned cheesemaking and was engaged in that business principally for several years.
In 1887 he moved to Bolivar and built a cheesefactory. In 1888, in company with Edwin Smith, be built a cheesefactory
in the south part of the town. In 1889 they bought the Bolivar Mills which they operated. November 27, 1871, Mr.
Smith married Nellie Amsden of Cuba. Their children are Belle, Ruthie A. and Wallace.
Wallace T. Smith, son of Jonathan, was born July 25, 1841. He was one of the many patriots who served in our Civil
War. He enlisted in April, 1861, in Co. I, 85th Regt., N. Y. S. V. He was wounded and was discharged in 1864 after
3 years' service. In 1865 be married Augusta. daughter of Menzo Jordan. They had 2 children, Marcus, who lives
in .Bowling Green, Ohio, and Burr, who resides in Bolivar. Mr. Smith died May 20, 1881. He served the town as justice
of the peace, constable and collector. The family belongs to the M. E. church.
Asahel C. Smyth, son of John B. and Rebecca (Armstrong) Smyth, was born in Beloit, Wis., May 18, 1845. He was educated
at common schools and Eastman Commercial College. In September, 1865, he went to Oil City, Pa., and drilled oil
wells. In 1871 he went to St. Petersburg, Pa., where he commenced 'operating in oil in partnership with Mr. Shackelton,
as Smyth & Shackelton, and had about 30 wells. In 1880 they came to Duke Center, drilled 5 wells, and in 188i
came to Richburg and commenced operating in oil. In 1886 Mr. Smyth purchased Mr. Shackelton's interest, and has
since continued the business alone. He has 26 wells in Allegany county and 5 in McKean county.
Stephen W. Thomas, son of Vial Thomas (see Angelica), was born Oct. 21, 1814, in Angelica. He received a good common
school education and came to Bolivar (locating at Richburg) in June, 1834. Entering the store of Nelson Hoyt as
a clerk he was in that capacity in Richburg two years. In 1836 Mr. Hoyt built a store in Bolivar village where
Mr. Thomas was clerk until 1840 when he became a partner of Mr. Hoyt in the mercantile house of Hoyt & Thomas.
After 3 years Mr. Thomas left the firm, bought and kept a hotel for some months, when, selling out, he engaged
alone in merchandising. Three years later he formed another partnership with Mr. Hoyt as S. W. Thomas & Co.
Two years later he sold to Mr. Hoyt and for 2 years kept store at Richburg. Mr. Hoyt then dying, Mr. Thomas sold
his Richburg store and purchased the Hoyt business and was in successful trade until he retired in 1881. February,
1839, he married Amanda Hoyt, daughter of Nelson. They had 3 children: Harriet A. (Mrs. R. L. Andrus), dec., Mary
R. (Mrs. D. L. Parish) of Portville, Jennie A. (Mrs. A. R. Van Tassel) of DuBois, Pa. The latter died in 1884,
leaving a son. Stephen T., who resides with Mr, Thomas. Mrs. Thomas died April 17, 1889. Mr. Thomas is an active
and prominent Mason. was a charter member, the first junior warden and the second master of Macedonia Lodge. He
was town superintendent of schools 3 years, assessor 6 years, town clerk 3 years, has been supervisor of Bolivar
and county superintendent of the poor. For many years Mr. Thomas has been a leading citizen of Bolivar, enjoying
the esteem and friendship of the entire community, and his range of acquaintance embraces the best element of an
Henry Young married Mrs. Betsey (Oviatt) Burdick and located in Scio, and afterwards settled in Amity. John A.
Young, son of Henry, was born March 1, 1846, and married Myra, daughter of Hamilton Russell. Their children are
Henry H. and Earl D. John A. Young located in Bolivar in 1881 where he is now engaged in the livery business.
[Also see History
of Bolivar, New York]