J[OHN] H. BOYDEN. — Benton county, has been the home of J. H. Boyden since September of 1855, and he was born in Onondaga county, now the site of Syracuse, in 1836, a son of William Boyden, born in Massachusetts in 1800, and of Sallie (Smith) Boyden, his wife, born in Upham, Vermont, in 1805, both being of English descent. Mrs. Boyden's father was a soldier in the war of 1812, and he died in Jefferson county, New York, and the paternal grandfather of J. H. Boyden died in Stephenson county, Illinois, at the age of eighty-seven years. William Boyden left the state of New York in 1843 and drove overland to Illinois, arriving at his destination in August of that year, and he afterward farmed in Kane county. He died in Stephenson county, that state, of cholera in 1851, and his widow afterward married Benjamin Butterfield, then a resident of Stephenson county, and he died there in the spring of 1856. With her family she then came to Benton county, Iowa, and during the last eighteen years of her life she was tenderly cared for by her son, J. H. Boyden. She was ninety-two years of age at the time of her death, and for five years she had been a cripple and for three years had been blind.
J. H. Boyden was the only son in the family of William and Sallie Boyden, but there were five daughters, and he is now the only surviving member of this once large family, while all but two lie buried in Benton county. He received but a limited educational training in his youth, and has made his own way through life, a farmer during his active business career and a successful man. On coming to Benton county in 1855 he located five miles south of Vinton in Eden township, in section 15, where his mother bought forty acres of land. At the time of the Civil war he owned eighty acres of land in Linn county, this state, near Fairfax Station. He continued his agricultural pursuits until 1887, living at that time in Canton township and operating a farm for Mr. John Young. He then bought a livery at Vinton, but after conducting that business for three years he sold it and in 1892 bought a furniture store, which he conducted some ten years and then again sold. Since that time he has lived retired, and although he has sold his farming land he still owns his home at Vinton. On the 7th of August, 1862, Mr. Boyden enlisted for the Civil war in Company A, Twenty-eighth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and received his discharge on the 29th of July, 1865. During those three years of service he was only absent from duty when slightly wounded in his left hand, May 16, 1863, at the battle of Champion Hills. He was absent from duty until the following 4th of July, returning then to his regular military duties, and he served until the close of the war, returning then to Eden township and to his family.
He married in 1860 Miss Lucira Leach, who died in 1867, leaving a son, Frank E. Boyden, the present city marshall of Vinton. In 1868 Mr. Boyden married Mary L. Miller, who died in 1899, leaving two children, Ella M., now Mrs. Miller and living in the state of Washington, and Willis W. Boyden, a railroad man at Ellensburg, that state. Mr. Boyden has always been a Republican voter, and he has served in some of the local offices. He is a member and a past commander of P. M. Coder Post, No. 98, G. A. R., at Vinton, and in 1888 in this city he joined the Masonic fraternity, affiliating now with the Blue Lodge, Chapter and Commandery.