The Richburg-Wirt Historical Society Endowment Fund


Francis G. and Beatrice S. Bartoo – The Richburg-Wirt Historical Society Endowment Fund

The Richburg-Wirt Historical Society Endowment Fund is held and managed by the Allegany County Area Foundation. This fund was created by Francis G. and Beatrice S. Bartoo. Their vision, tireless efforts and financial support made the Richburg-Wirt Historical Society and Museum a reality back in 2001. The earnings from this endowment fund will benefit this organization for many years to come.

Inside this unique museum visitors will find many items that will help to bring the history of Richburg alive. These include such items as a working model of a drilling well built by LaVerne Jordan. Did you know that back in 1881 Richburg became an oil “boom town” after an investor group drilled a well on the Reading Farm. That well produced 70 barrels on the first day. Within ten months of drilling that successful well there were 7,000 people living in Richburg.

Visitors will also find the original sign from the Richardson Inn built back in 1882 on the corner of Park Row and Main Street. There is even an old gum ball machine on display which was invented in Richburg in 1918 by Rev. Wallace Mason. This museum is filled with many, many more interesting artifacts from the past.

Beatrice S. “Betty” Bartoo Obituary

Beatrice S. “Betty” Bartoo, 90, of 150 Main St., passed away Thursday (Aug. 13, 2009) in the Heritage Park Nursing Home in Gerry following a brief illness.

Born April 20, 1919, in Olean, she was the daughter of Fred and Florence Mix Sherwood. She married Francis Bartoo Aug. 24, 1943, in Louisville, Ky. Mr. Bartoo preceded her in death April 4, 2006.

She was a graduate of Richburg Central School, graduate of Geneseo State University with a bachelor’s degree in library science and received her master’s degree in education from St. Bonaventure University.

Betty was employed for many years as the school librarian for Bolivar Central School, retiring in 1976. She was a member of the Richburg First Day Baptist Church, 50-plus-year member of the Star of the Eastern Chapter 109 O.E.S., Bolivar, Richburg Literary Club, Little Genesee Garden Club, Sigma Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Teachers Sorority, Bolivar Retired Teachers Association and Kenyon Andrus Post No. 772 American Legion Auxiliary, Bolivar. Along with her husband, she founded the Richburg-Wirt Historical Society and served as the Town of Wirt historian.

Surviving are four daughters, Bonnie (Peter)?Hatalla of Laurens, JoAnne (Larry)?Brickley of Jamestown, Barbara (Alfred)?Wilson of Cleveland, Ohio, and Carol (Roger)?Ellsworth of Rochester; 13 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; one brother, John (Elaine)?Sherwood of Jamestown; and several nieces and nephews.