Allison, Nathaniel Thompson. History of Cherokee County, Kansas, and Representative Citizens. Chicago, IL: Biographical Publishing Co., 1904. Online index created by Carolyn Ward, instructor at USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, and State Coordinator for The KSGenWeb Project.


WILLIAM BOYER, a highly respected citizen and successful farmer of Ross township, is the owner of a finely improved farm of 160 acres in section 31, township 31, range 23. He was born in Guernsey County, Ohio, March 8, 1838, and is a son of Abraham and Catherine Boyer.

Abraham Boyer and his wife were born in Pennsylvania and went to Ohio shortly after their marriage. The mother died in 1848, aged 35 years, but the father survived until he reached the advanced age of 96 years. His second marrige [sic] was to Mary Norman, who was born and died in Ohio. Eight children were born to the first marriage, and six to the second. Aside from two who died in infancy, their names were as follows: Catherine, Julia Ann, Lavina, Rebecca, William, Levi, Alexander, John Henry, James, David, Samuel and Nancy. Lavina died at the home of her brother William. The father was a farmer throughout his active life. He was a member of the Lutheran Church. His interest in politics was only that the best man should be elected, irrespective of party.

When Mr. Boyer was a boy, many parts of Guernsey County were but sparsely settled, and the log school houses were far apart. He attended the school which was nearest his father's farm, which was two miles distant, but only during the three winter months when agricultural work was not pressing. The family was large, and when William had reached the age of 16 years, he decided to start out for himself, knowing that his practical knowledge of farming would easily secure him employment. He made his way to Mercer County, Illinois, and worked at farming in different sections for about 10 years. The opening of the Civil War aroused his patriotism and he entered the army, enlisting in Company E, 9th Reg., Illinois Vol. Inf., as a private, and serving until he received his honorable discharge at Springfield, Illinois, in July, 1865. He took part in many great battles, including Forts Henry and Donelson, Pittsburg Landing and Corinth, and then marched with Sherman to the sea. His command then moved to Richmond and took part in the Grand Review at Washington,—that spectacle no one can ever forget. Even those who were children at the time recall the thrill which came over them as they saw regiment after regiment of battle-scarred veterans pass by with thier[sic] tattered flags. Mr. Boyer's war record is one in which he may take a justifiable pride.

After his return from the army, Mr. Boyer spent a short time in Mercer County, and in 1866 came to Kansas with his bride, having been married in September of that year to Sarah Calhoun, who was born in Mercer County, and is a daughter of David Calhoun. They have one daughter, Maggie, who is the wife of James Boots, a farmer of Sheridan township, and has two children,—Lewis and Emma. The party traveling to Kansas consisted of Mr. Boyer and his wife and her father and his family. They drove across the country and settled together in Crawford County, where Mr. Boyer lived for eight years. In 1874 he came to Cherokee County, and bought 160 acres of wild land, of the railroad company. This he has since developed into his present valuable farm. He has been a hard worker, but has met with most satisfactory results. His land produces wheat, oats and corn abundantly, and he gives much attention to raising draft horses, Durham cattle and high-grade hogs. For some time he has had his property under rental.

Politically, Mr. Boyer is a Democrat, but he has never consented to hold any office. He is one of the well known citizens of his township who has been successful through his own energy and industry.

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