Tag Archives: VT

OBITUARY: Olive Thurber

This obituary was found in Bolivar, NY, at the Bolivar-Richburg Area Genealogy section of the town library. I saw a copy which was tagged with the date 12 Mar 1897. Apparently it was the Bolivar Breeze newspaper in which it was originally published on that date.



Former Resident of Bolivar Died at

Friendship, Tuesday, Aged 91 Years.

Resided In Bolivar Sixty Years

   Mrs. Olive Thurber died at Friendship, Tuesday, March 9, aged 91 years. Mrs. [Thurber] was born November 10, 1806 and resided in Bolivar over sixty years. She moved to Friendship shortly after the oil excitement came and since resided with relatives in that town. She will be well remembered by all of the older residents. She leaves two daughters, Mrs. John Mix of Bolivar and Mrs. David Cole of Friendship, and one son, Richard Thurber of Bolivar. She was a pious woman who won and retained the respect of all who knew her. The funeral was held at Friendship yesterday.

The second reference to Olive in the text of the obituary had the last name as “Thruber.” Since it was clearly a typo, I simply corrected it.

One of her daughters, Mrs. John Mix, was Nancy Ann (Thurber) Mix and was highlighted in a newspaper picture I featured of her and her husband on March 21, 2013 in this blog. (Originally published in the Potter Leader Enterprise (Coudersport, PA) Summer 1995)

Family tradition claims that OLIVE STREET in Bolivar, NY, was named after this beloved lady. I’ve found no evidence to verify that story, but I’ve driven on Olive Street dozens of times through the years, so I can at least verify the street is there with that name. I’d love to hear more if others know more.

As I’ve explored census records, I have found Olive in the 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 U.S. Census records. Thus far, I have not had access to other census records. Interestingly, some of the census workers must have had sloppy handwriting or poor notetaking skills. Check the place of birth in these four censuses:

In the 1850 census, Olive Thurber is listed as born about 1806in Virgin Isles” and living in Bolivar.

In the 1860 census, Olive Thurber is listed as born about 1809in Vermont” and living in Bolivar.

In the 1870 census, Olive Thurber is listed as born about 1806in New York” and living in Bolivar.

In the 1880 census, Olive Cowles is listed as born about 1806in Canada” and living at Friendship.

The Cowles surname threw me for awhile, but I’ve noticed on some of the family tree listings, done by various individuals, that Olive is referred to as Olive Richardson or Olive Cowles on a few trees (and Olive Richardson Cowles on one).

Many references list Olive’s husband as David Thurber, born 1805, but I have no evidence as proof.

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Posted by on December 31, 2016 in 1805, 1806, 1809, 1897, Uncategorized


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