Crawford County, Iowa, IAGenWeb


History of Boyer


Boyer General Store and Post Office, ca 1917

We are a friendly town with friendly people working together with the farming community as one.

From the 1911 History of Crawford County we read that Boyer was located in Stockholm Township and was a junction point where the Mondamin line of the Northwestern joined the Wall Lake Division. This gave the village considerable importance as a transfer point. Mr. C. S. Johnson was the chief merchant and the town had an excellent hall, good schools, and together with Deloit, supported a Methodist church of which Rev. Wall was pastor.

Today Boyer is a town of 36 people, nine houses and the Country Pumpkin restaurant, named after the railroad line that used to come through there called the "Punkin Vine". Boyer has not had a Post Office since 1967 when it was deemed too small to support a post office.

Boyer celebrated its diamond jubilee Saturday, July 20, 1974.

The Beginning

It all started in 1898 when the Chicago Northwestern Railroad built a spur line, the "Punkin Vine", from Denison to Wall Lake. The junction of the lines was located in eastern Stockholm Township, two miles south of the Sac County line. In the latter part of that year, The Mondamin line went west to Kiron and points beyond including Schleswig and Ricketts. This line was also called the "Punkin Vine".

The junction where the spur line met the main Chicago Northwestern line was called Boyer Junction. Six passenger trains and four freights came through Boyer every day and the exchange of passengers gave the village importance as a transfer point. Residences, two lumber yards, a mercantile store, a blacksmith shop, a depot and section house were built along the railroad at the crossing.

Two wells were dug, one of which was used by the trains, and the other belonged to John Koch. A windmill was used for power, which forced the water up the hill, supplying several homes and businesses with water.

Later, an elevator, stockyards and corn cribs were built so farmers could bring their grain and livestock to town for shipment to Chicago. In 1908 a town hall and the Swartz Hotel were built. The hotel provided the train passengers with meals while the train was stopped for water and fuel or to load and unload freight. A horse drawn dray was used to haul provisions from the depot.

The General Store

The general store was built in 1899 and was owned by Dick Newman and Adolph Turkenhagen. C. S. Johnson purchased the store in 1903 and in 1911 he was the chief merchant in the town. He sold the store to Charlie and Ben Petersen in 1917. Three others owned the store until it was destroyed by fire Thanksgiving night, 1945, along with the post office which was located in the store. The owner at that time, E. J. Leeds, bought an empty building from Ed Kropf and moved it to the old site and restocked the store. Leeds sold the store to Mr. And Mrs. David Fineran who in turn sold it to Mr. And Mrs. Henkelman.

The School

Boyer belonged to school district No. 4 of Stockholm Township, commonly called the Wulf School. The children attending school had to cross both railroads and the Boyer River bridge to great concern on the part of the parents. A new district was organized 1917 and Boyer had its own school. The school was closed in 1954 and Boyer became a part of the Odebolt-Arthur school system and the school lands were returned to the Anderson's who had originally donated them for educational purposes.

Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911, and various other articles.

Photo submitted by Richard Krayenhagen.