Robert Boyce

Esteem and veneration is due to Robert Boyce not only for what he has achieved along agricultural lines and for the financial successes which have come to him but also for the service which he rendered his country at the time of the Civil war, for he is one of that fast disappearing band of volunteers who willingly offered his life in order to preserve the unity of a nation. A native of Pennsylvania, Robert Boyce was born in McKean county, August 23, 1841, a son of Samuel and Betsy Ann (Hall) Boyce. Both parents were natives of County Armagh, Ireland. The father always followed agricultural pursuits and in his early manhood became a resident of Pennsylvania where he resided about one year before coming to Iowa. Here he located at Garnavillo, Clayton county, where he remained only about a year when he died. The mother subsequently married again, her second husband being Charles Lord, and they soon thereafter came to Allamakee county and settled near the mission house in Linton township. Later they came to Franklin township and there Mr. and Mrs. Lord resided on the farm which is now part of our subject's holdings. Both spent their latter lives retired in Monona, where they passed away. Robert Boyce is fifth in order of birth of the six living children born to his mother's first marriage. On the second marriage there were born three children, all of whom have passed away. Robert Boyce attended school in Clayton county, receiving his lessons in the district school of Reed township, and later continued his lessons in the district school of Franklin township. When eighteen years of age he bought forty acres of his present farm from his father and engaged independently in agricultural pursuits until on February 18, 1862, he enlisted with Company H, First Battalion, Sixteenth United States Regular Regiment, as a private. He valiantly served his country for three years, enduring the hardships of the campaign and the dangers of battle and camp until he was mustered out at Lookout Mountain, Tennessee. He was never wounded but contracted sickness, spending some time in a hospital at Keokuk, Iowa. After being discharged from the service he returned to the farm and has continued here ever since, having increased his holdings as prosperity has come to him and now owning one hundred and eighty acres. His fields are under high cultivation and his buildings are kept in good repair. The most modern machinery has been installed upon the place and his methods have resulted in a gratifying degree of prosperity to him. Mr. Boyce also owns valuable property in Monona. He is a stockholder in the Citizens Bank of that place and has other interests.

On September 11, 1866, occurred the marriage of Mr. Boyce to Miss Mary Jane Tapper, who was the first white child born at Fort Atkinson, Iowa, her day of birth being January 16, 1841. She is a daughter of James and Ellen (Irwin) Tapper, the father a native of England and the mother of Ireland. The father was one of the pioneers in this section and for many years was in the employ of the United States government as Fort Atkinson as a carpenter. He was prominent and highly esteemed in his locality, holding several township offices, serving as trustee, justice of the peace and supervisor. Although Mr. Boyce has never aspired to public office, he has been prevailed upon to serve as trustee of Franklin township and in that capacity discharged his duties with conspicuous ability. His political faith is that of the republican party and he ever upholds its candidates and principles. He keeps in tough with his comrades of the battlefields of the south as a member of the Grand Army Post, No. 445, at Monona. The spirit of patriotism which led him to follow the flag at the time of the great civil conflict has never left him and he is today, in times of peace, as much a force for good as he was when he upheld the Union cause in the south. He is ever interested in worthy public enterprises and ever ready to give of his means and influence in the support of the same. Such prosperity as has come to him is but the natural result of well applied labor and there is none who begrudges him but the natural result of well applied labor and there is none who begrudges him his present affluence. On the contrary, he is highly respected for what he has achieved and is venerated and beloved for his sterling traits of character.

-source: Past & Present of Allamakee County; by Ellery M. Hancock; S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.; 1913; pgs. 277-278
-transcribed by Cathy Joynt-Labath

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