Biography of James Henry Boice

James Henry Boice. In 1877 the late F. S. Boice arrived at Galena, and from that time forward was actively engaged in the mining operations that have always formed the basis of the prosperity of that city. For fully forty years the family has been prominently represented at Galena both in the mining industry and in mercantile and other affairs, and the work which was begun by the late F. S. Boice has been continued along even broader lines by his son James Henry.

This is a family whose origin was in Scotland. From that county the father of F. S. Boice came in the early days, became a merchant in Ohio, and died in that state. F. S. Boice was born in Ohio in 1838, was reared and married there and while in that state gained a knowledge of the furniture and undertaking business. A few years after the close of the Civil war he determined to seek a new location in Kansas. His destination was Fort Scott. In the absence of a railroad he reached that town by stage coach. He soon afterward opened a stock of furniture, and extended his business by handling agricultural implements. Then in 1877 he removed to Galena, and was identified with the mining and business affairs of that city until his death in 1909. He was one of the organizers of the Citizens State Bank of Galena, and for many years served as its director. Politically he was a republican and was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He married Margaret Mahala Ross, who was born in Ohio and died at Fort Scott in 1874. Of their four children James Henry Boice, the youngest, and who was born at Waverly, Ohio, April 29, 1863, is the only survivor. The oldest child, William, died at the age of three, Annie died when six years old, and Libby died at the age of four.

James H. Boice spent his early years in Fort Scott and also in Galena, and his education was acquired in the Fort Scott public schools. When only thirteen he left school to work in the mines, and from 1877 to 1900 he was one of the active men in the Galena mining district, at first as an employe and afterwards as an independent operator. Mr. Boice had the first sludge mill on Short Creek, at the location that is now the City of Galena. In the management of his business affairs he has been highly prospered. He was one of the originators of the Wyandotte land and still owns that tract. He is director and secretary of the Citizens Bank of Galena, owns 340 acres of mineral lands, in Cherokee County, and has considerable city property, including his home at 500 Joplin Street at the corner of Fifth Street; a dwelling at 907 Wall Street and another at 600 East Fifth Street, and also one at 205 East First Street, and others at the corner of Twelfth Street and Bellevne Avenue and the corner of Third Street and Galena Avenue.

Since 1898 Mr. Boice has been one of the merchants of Galena, and has conducted the leading furniture store of the town. He also owns the building in which his store is situated at the corner of Sixth and Main streets.

In matters of politics he is independent. He served three terms without opposition as treasurer of the school board. He is a member of the Galena Fire Department, and fraternally is affiliated with Lodge No. 677 Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and has been chairman of its house committee for the past seven years; with Galena Lodge No. 194, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; with Galena Lodge No. 195, Independent Order of Odd Fellows; Mineral Lodge No. 3, Knights of Pythias; Anrie No. 266 Fraternal Order of Eagles; Camp No. 804 Modern Woodmen of America; with the Woodmen of the World, with the Sons and Daughters of Justice, the Kansas Fraternal Citizens, the Degree of Honor, and the Pythian Sisters.

In December, 1887, Mr. Boice was married at Empire a locality now known as Galena Heights, to Miss Emma Garner. She is a daughter of A. J. and Rebecca (Cole) Garner. Her father, now deceased, was a pioneer miner and mine owner, in this section of Kansas, and during the Civil war had served as first lieutenant of the Second Arkansas Volunteer Cavalry. Mrs. Boice’s mother is living with her daughter Mrs. Boice. They have one child, F. Garner Boice, who was born September 20, 1892, was graduated from the Galena High School in 1909, spent two years in the University of Kansas at Lawrence and is now assisted with his father in business. This son is a member of Galena Lodge No. 194, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and Boxter Springs Chapter No. 78, Royal Arch Masons.



Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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