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Bolivar was formed from Friendship on Feb. 15, 1825. A part of Wirt was taken off in 1838. Bolivar lies upon the south border of the county, west of the center.

Timothy Cowles, from Otsego county, was the first settler in the west part of the town in 1819.  Christopher Tyler settled in 1819. Austin and Asa Cowles settled in 1820, in the west part of town -- all from Otsego county.  The first birth was that of Almond W. Cowles in 1820.  The first marriage was Daniel Kellogg and Sophia Hitchcock in 1825.  The first death, that of a child of Luther Austin in 1823.  The first school was taught by Austin Cowles in 1820-21.   Hollis B. Newton kept the first inn in 1831. Newtown & Cowles was the first store in 1825.  The first sawmill was built by Asa and Austin Cowles near the village on Genesee Creek in 1822, and the first gristmill by Asa Cowles at the village in 1824.  The first religious services were held by Austin Cowles (Methodist Episcopal) in 1820.  The first church (Methodist Episcopal) was organized in 1828.

[Source: J.H.French, Gazetteer of State of New York, 1860, p.168]

Hamilton Child's 1875 Gazetteer - Bolivar

Cities, Villages and Hamlets

Bolivar Village located in the northwest coner of the town, on Little Genesee creek. The first building on the site of the village was the log house erected by Asa and Austin Cowles in 1820.

Sawyer - hamlet east of Kossuth

Vosburg - on the east town line

Kossuth - hamlet in the center of town

South Bolivar - hamlet at the Pennsylvania border; also was known as Honeoye Corners and Honeoye Forks

Hoben - hamlet east of Sourth Bolivar on Brimmer Brook Road near south town line

Town Historian
Rosemary Feenaughty
7769 Forman Hollow
Bolivar, NY 14715
Telphone: 585-928-1796
Town Clerk

Christine Nunameker
252 N. Main Street
Bolivar, NY 14715

Telephone: 585-928-2234


  • Methodist Episcopal - 1828


  • Maple Lawn Cemetery - code #10-1; (Town 1, Range 1HC, lot 54-62), Rte. 17
  • St. Mary's Cemetery - code #10-2; (lot 54-62), Rte. 17

*code #s refer to the Allegany County Cemetery Index card file at the Allegany County Historical Society and LDS Family History Library microfilm. See Western New York Genealogical Society Journal, Vol. II, No. 1

Bolivar in the News


A Bit of Bolivar's History

Bolivar's 1880 4th of July Celebration

Booming Bolivar in 1881

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Last updated on December 10, 2001
© copyright 1999, Vivian Karen Bush
This page is part of the Allegany County, New York GenWeb Site and is not affiliated with any other society or organization.