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Fayette County, Iowa  

 Biography Directory


Portrait & Biographical Album of Fayette County Iowa

Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of

Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County

Lake City Publishing Co., Chicago

March 1891


~Page 665~


William Boyle

William Boyle takes rank among the leading citizens of Illyria Township, where on section 3, he devotes his energies to farming. He is a native of the Green Isle of Erin, having been born in County Langford, on the 17th of March, 1826. His parents, Michael and Mary (Cox) Boyle, were also born in the same county and never left their native land, but spent their entire lives in that neighborhood. Their family numbered six children, of whom William is the second in order of birth and the only one that ever crossed the ocean. His educational advantages were very meager and from early boyhood days he had to make his own way in the world. At the age of eighteen he worked for a year at stone cutting and then spent six months at the weaver's trade, after which he engaged as a farm hand until his emigration to the United States in 1852. He had heard favorable reports of this country and the advantages here offered to young men, and resolved to test the truth of these reports for himself by trying his fortune in the United States. He was twenty-six years of age at this time. After a voyage of thirty-four days he landed in New York City with only six cents in his pocket. It was either work or starvation, and as he did not care to try the latter and was not afraid of the former he soon secured a position in a paper mill which served to keep him in the necessities of life until he could get other employment.


Going to Oneida County, N. Y., Mr. Boyle worked as a farm hand for some time and in that county was married on the 11th of April, 1858, to Miss Rosanna Mannaha, who was born in County Meath, Ireland, August 15, 1835, and came to the United States in 1854, when a maiden of nineteen summers. Her parents were John and Bridget (Conner) Mannaha, and unto them were born eight children, seven of whom came to this country, while three are yet living as follows; Mrs. Mary O'Neal, who resides in Illyria Township; Rosanna, wife of our subject; and Michael, a resident farmer of Fairfield Township. The union of Mr. and Mrs. Boyle has been blessed with eleven children, seven sons and four daughters - William, a railroad employee; John J., who is engaged in agricultural pursuits; Peter E., who is operating the home farm; Francis No, who is working on a farm in the neighborhood; Charles H., who is employed by the month in the same capacity; Silas A., Mary, James B., Elizabeth A., Rosanna C. and Fannie E. This family is well known in the community and the children have received good common school educations.


The year succeeding his marriage, Mr. Boyle removed with his young wife to Rock County, Wis., and after two years spent in that State came to Fayette County, Iowa, in 1861. He made his home in Illyria and in 1882 settled upon his farm on section 3, Illyria Township, where he is now living. His possessions comprise two hundred and thirty-six acres of good land and are a monument to his thrift and industry. He began life a poor boy, came to this country penniless and in a strange land among strange people worked his way upward, winning the confidence and respect of all with whom he came in contact. He has now a comfortable property and is surrounded with all of the comforts and many of the luxuries of life. He cast his first Presidential vote for Stephen A. Douglas and has since supported the Democratic party. He served as Postmaster of Illyria and has held other positions of public trust, the duties of which he discharged with promptness and fidelity. He and his wife are members of the Catholic Church of Illyria.




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