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Remembering Paul “Bear “Hogan, from Plum Street in Bolivar NY


This son of Bolivar graduated in 1962, and passed away in 1987 after a work accident

From the Bolivar NY Fan Page,

PAUL “BEAR” HOGAN, Class of 1962 at BCS, was a “son of Bolivar” who was long on likability. His life was tragically cut short, however. If you were too young (or far away) to have known him, this is your chance to register him in your memory’s “Bolivar files.” And if you were a contemporary who knew Bear Hogan, it’s your chance to provide a little remembrance and maybe add to his basic history here.

Born in 1944, Paul was the oldest of the six kids who grew up in the Bill and Mary (Sherwood) Hogan household at the top end of Plum Street – four boys and two girls. “Filling out” in his teens left him average in height but solid and strong thanks to his interest in athletics and physical fitness. That earned him the nickname “Bear” from his peers. But being naturally soft-spoken, amicable and easy-going, he was a gentle and likable “bear.”

In high school, Paul was a formidable member of the football team (at center) and a shot putter on the track team – a natural at launching a small cannon ball. Besides using the BCS weight room, in the Hogans’ basement he kept in solid shape lifting weights, etc., and he shared his exercise wisdom with his buddies. (Two related photos – in the comments.)

Sometime after graduating in ’62, Paul expanded his weightlifting and workout gym by occupying a site in the north block of First Street and opening it to aspiring muscle builders of his age and younger. It was a tin-sheathed warehouse that once stored inventory for the Oil Well Supply Company’s store on Main Street near Plum. Into the early 1970s, “the Bear” was mentoring guys in physical fitness in his gym called the “Tool Dressers Club.”

No doubt Paul did engage in oilfield work during his Bolivar years, including on the Hogan lease on the Obi side of the Daggett Hollow Road. But in the Seventies he left for employment with an elevator installation and servicing company, and it was in that work that he lost his life in an industrial accident.

It was a sad week in the area when, at age 43 in 1987, “the Bear” was brought back to Bolivar to be laid to rest in St. Mary’s Cemetery, just south of the village where he grew up and was so highly regarded.

*Paul Hogan was the brother of Anne Hogan Barnes of Wellsville, married to Allegany County Legislator Gary Barnes.

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