Flag of Our Union
By Douglas H. Shepard
There were at least three versions of the view of the Common painted by Julia Parker. One, now in Barker Library, has a flag on the Academy building. According to the conservator who worked on it, on the back in pencil is the title “Flag of [illegible].” Because it was painted in the early days of the Civil War, it may well have been called “Flag of Our Union.” The rest of the inscription is “Painted July 21st 1862 / by Julia Lovina Parker. / From the balcony of [illegible] Hotel [in July 1862 it would have been the Johnson House] / Fredonia, N.Y.”
A later note on the back, in ink, says it was: Repaired and cleaned by Edgar R. Boniface of Boniface Art Shop, 72 East Fourth Street, Dunkirk, N.Y. October 15th 1931. That was just prior to its being lent to the Historical Room of the D. R. Barker Library. The early catalogue, which assigned the accession number 201, notes that it was painted “from the steps of the old Johnson House” and was “loaned by Dr. Bozovsky and family Nov. 1931.”
There was another version of the same scene, without a flag and showing other minor differences. The two were given to the Museum by the family. But there was still a third version, again somewhat different, that must have stayed with the family. The Museum has only a photograph of it. The Historical Room Catalogue, Item 202 entry, is for a photograph of the painting, “Given by Dr. Bozovsky and framed by order of the Board of Managers, Nov. 1931.”
Julia L. and her twin, Julius J. Parker, were born in Fredonia on February 8, 1838, the children of Joel R. and Lavinia Scott Parker. She attended the Academy for nine terms, from the third term of 1852 through that of 1856. There is no reference in the Academy records to her having studied painting.
In both the 1855 and 1860 censuses she is found living “at home.” In 1862 she painted Barker Common. Whether all three versions were done close together in time is not clear. In 1863 she married Walter R. Wilcox, son of Major William Wilcox of Arkwright.
Julia and Walter Wilcox had three children: Lizzie, born April 1865, died June 1870; Louise born 1867, died 1917; and Walter born August 1869, died May 1870. In that same year, in August, Walter R. Wilcox, age 43, died, leaving his widow and the three-year old Louise.
In 1873, Saloma, wife of Sewell S. Clark died, and a year later, in June 1874, Mrs. Julia Wilcox married Mr. Clark.
In 1889 Louise graduated from the Normal School (where V. D. Bozovsky was then studying) and took a position teaching in the South.
Vacil D. Bozovsky was born in Bulgaria in 1865. After some preparation there, he came to Fredonia and entered the Normal School, where he studied from 1886, graduating in 1890 in the college preparatory program. In 1893 he and Louise Wilcox were married and they lived in Ann Arbor while he completed his M. D. degree. They then moved to Ohio for a time, finally returning to this area and settling in Dunkirk. Their children were the twins Vacil Wilcox and Elizabeth Katherine, Carol M., and Clara Louise.
In August 1917, Julia Parker Wilcox Clark died, and five days later she was followed by her daughter, Louise Wilcox Bozovsky. In September 1919, Dr. Bozovsky married Mrs. Elizabeth W. Tuthill.
His daughter Carol studied piano at the Normal School in 1918 and Clara Louise did the same in the following year. In March 1924 Clara married Frank G. Daggett, son of the Clayton Daggetts of Girard PA.
In October 1931 the family had at least one of the paintings restored, and in November 1931 two of them were lent to the Historical Room and a photograph of a third version was donated.
Dr. Bozovsky died in June 1933.