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Fayette County, Iowa  

 History Directory

Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910

Author: G. Blessin


B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana


Vol. I, Biographical Sketches



~Page 854~




"One of Fayette countyís native sons who has preferred to spend his life in his native community rather than seek uncertain fortune in other fields, thereby greatly benefiting himself and those with whom he has come into contact, is James Harvey Boleyn, of Wadena. He was born in Illyria township, this county, April 25, 1857, and is the son of Samuel B. and Sarah (Brown) Boleyn, the former born on July 15, 1827, in the state of Ohio, and the latter on June 28, 1832, in Pennsylvania. They were married in the last named state on May 15, 1853, and they came from there to Fayette county, Iowa, in 1855, locating on a farm where they spent the remainder of their lives, the mother passing away on July 19, 1892, and the father following her to the silent land on September 18, 1903. Samuel B. Boleyn had been previously married to Margaret Ann Rice, of Pennsylvania, who died May 14, 1852, leaving one son, Joseph M., who died in Fayette county, Iowa, leaving a family. He was born before the Boleyns left the old Keystone state. By his union with Sarah Brown, Samuel B. Boleyn had a family of one son and four daughters, all living; they are, Sarah Jane, now Mrs. Lewis Hummell, born in Pennsylvania, March 4, 1854; James Harvey, of this review, who was second in order of birth; Mary Ellen, now Mrs. Charles Lockard, was born in Illyria township, June 6, 1860; Margaret, who is the wife of Jesse Poor, was born April 3, 1865; Amanda, wife of William Frame, born January 28, 1878. All these children make their home in Illyria township, this county. Samuel B. Boleyn was a quiet, unassuming man, devoted to his domestic life and cared but little for public affairs except that they be administered honestly and thoroughly. No one doubted his honesty and integrity.


His father, Eli Boleyn, served in the war of 1812, in which service he lost all his toes by freezing. He organized and drilled a company at Elgin, Iowa, for the Civil war and shed tears when denied a commission by the governor, by reason of his advanced years. He died in Fayette county in 1869. He was a sterling character whom everybody respected. James H. Boleyn received his education in the public schools of Illyria township, and was reared to farm life and followed the plow until 1902, when he rented his farm and moved to a new house he had just finished in the town of Wadena. He bought a steam feed and saw-mill which he still owns and operates. He owns a farm of ninety-five acres near Wadena, and thirty-six acres of the old parental farm in this township. They are both well improved and yield rich harvests. He has been very successful in all his business undertakings and is rated as well-to-do and is an excellent citizen in every sense of the word.


Politically, he is a Democrat and, while he has never taken any leading part in political affairs, yet he has served on the school board and for four years as constable, each in a very commendable manner. Mr. Boleyn was married on December 21, 1886, to Eliza Jane Smith, daughter of David and Anna Smith, of Dubuque county, Iowa. The mother died when Mrs. Boleyn was two years old, the father, who is living in Wisconsin, was soldier in the Civil war. Eliza Jane was reared in the house of her uncle (by marriage), Thomas Brown, a brother of the subjectís mother, and these were the only "parents" she ever knew. After the death of his wife, Thomas Brown became a member of the subjectís family and so continued for five years and died here. Mrs. James H. Boleyn is a member of the Christian church. Both she and her husband are members of the Yeomen, an insurance organization, their daughter being a social member of the same. One child, Bertha Golden, was born to Mr. and Mrs. Boleyn on August 20, 1890; she was a talented and highly esteemed young lady, a graduate of the Wadena high school, a musician of some note for one of her years, a zealous worker in the church and Sunday school and a universal favorite with all who knew her. She was called to her rest on February 16, 1909, which was one of the saddest events in the recent history of Wadena, where she will long be deeply mourned and greatly missed.



~Transcribed for the IAGenWeb by Georgianna Gray




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