SAMUEL BOYD, though not yet classed as an old man, had reached that point in his fortunes where he was able to retire from his strenuous activities as a farmer and stockman, which brought him fortune in Pawnee County, and was living in Larned when death claimed him the 3d of January, 1918. He proved his effectiveness as a mixed farmer, and only gave up his rural home in 1916. He and his numerous sons planted the seed for a well-developed country community and witnessed it germinate and develop into the flower of their ideals. Their efforts seem to have been directed wisely always, and a harvest of good things attended them.
Mr. Boyd was a settler in Garfield Township of Pawnee County in 1889. He came to the county with perhaps a better equipment than most of the early settlers. When all things are considered, it seems, too, that he directed his efforts more wisely than many of his contemporaries. At any rate, there was never a time in all these years when he felt especially despondent or discouraged to a point where he was ready to give up and move elsewhere.
Mr. Boyd was a native of the City of Brotherly Love. He was born in Philadelphia January 2, 1854, a son of James and Catherine (Milliken) Boyd, both of whom were born in Belfast, Ireland. They were of Scotch-Irish stock. After their marriage in Belfast they came to the United States in 1850. James Boyd moved west from Pennsylvania to Illinois, and spent his last years as a farmer. He died in 1875, at the age of forty-seven. His widow survived him over forty years and passed away at Larned February 23, 1917, aged eighty-seven years, six months. Their children were: Samuel; James, who died in Pawnee County, leaving two children, and Robert, who divides his residence between Larned and Long Beach, California.
When Samuel Boyd was ten years of age his parents moved West to Illinois. He grew up and received his education in Washington County of that state. The country schools educated him. He was a part and factor in the home until his marriage.
Mr. Boyd was married in Illinois August 15, 1876, at the age of twenty-two, to Miss Isabel Torrens, a daughter of Robert and Caroline (Curtis) Torrens, the former a native of County Antrim, Ireland, and the latter of Ohio. Robert Torrens came to the United States when he was a young man and spent the rest of his career as a farmer in Washington County, Illinois, and died in the '70s, at the age of fifty-eight. His widow passed away in 1893, at the age of seventy-two. Their children to grow up were: Frank, who died in Clay County, Kansas; Miss Mary J., a resident of Washington County, Illinois; Robert James, of Larned, Kansas; William John, of Lyons County, Kansas; Mrs. Boyd, who was born August 21, 1858; Rebecca, wife of Robert J. Cunningham, of Perry County, Illinois; Todd, of Washington County, Illinois; Joseph, of Lyon County, Kansas, and Elizabeth, wife of Robert Fox, of Lyon County.
After his marriage Mr. Samuel Boyd began farming on his father's place. Before he left that state he had a farm of his own. In the meantime a family of children were growing up and he felt the necessity of providing better opportunities for them than could he found in the high-priced lands of Illinois. He made a tour of investigation of Kansas, coming out in 1886 by railroad and bringing his family with him. He had expected to buy a team, but the price of horses was so high that he returned to Illinois and secured the team he had used on his farm and then drove across the country to Lyon County, Kansas. He bought a farm in Lyon County and farmed it for three years. Selling out, he removed to Pawnee County, where, as already stated, he arrived in 1889.
Mr. Boyd did not enter a claim, but acquired a relinquishment and proved up the southwest quarter of section 8, township 23, range 18. On that land he built his first home in the county. This home was constituted of two small houses he bought in Garfield and moved out to his land. With some additions the home sufficed as long as Mr. and Mrs. Boyd remained on the farm. Besides a little surplus money Mr. Boyd brought with him to Pawnee County two teams and wagon and thirty head of cattle, and he thus had a nucleus which was sufficient to fortify him against all the adversities which dry weather, grasshoppers and other plagues and calamities could bring down upon his head. For a number of years he zealously promoted his live stock interests, and that insured him a living, whereas many of the early settlers pinned their faith to wheat and corn and went bankrupt or to the verge of it. After the range was settled up Mr. Boyd began restricting his efforts as a stock man and accentuating the emphasis placed upon the growing of wheat. He had shown his confidence in the country as a wheat growing district from the first, but had not overdone the matter. After getting his improvements well under way on his homestead Mr. Boyd looked around for additional lands, and in time accumulated eight quarter sections and 120 acres in Pawnee County, and another tract of 800 acres in Meade County. This land he acquired so that his sons might have farms of their own, and two of his sons now occupy the large ranch in Meade County.
While Mr. Boyd took a citizen's interest in politics, he confined his official service to membership on the school board. His home was in District No. 8. He began voting as a republican and cast his first ballot for Rutherford B. Hayes for President in 1876. He took up the Alliance movement in Kansas, gravitated into the populist party, and for a number of years exercised an independent judgment in casting his ballot. He voted for Mr. Wilson twice. He was an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, as is also his wife.
Some brief mention should now he made of Mr. and Mrs. Boyd's children. Robert James, the oldest, is a successful farmer in Pawnee County and by his marriage to Rosa Fair has three children, John, Ellis and Russell. William B., the second son, is a farmer in Garfield Township. He married Monta Mills, and their children are Owen, William and Blanche. Samuel, also a Pawnee County farmer, married Maggie Hudson, and their children are Walter, Ralph, Ora May and Louise. One of the sons engaged in farming in Meade County is Todd. Thomas is a farmer in Pawnee County, and by his marriage to Anna Carlson has a daughter, Alice. Francis is a farmer in Pawnee County, married Margie Shafer, and their children are Arthur and Alvin. Edward Boyd, the next in age, is a farmer near Fowler, Kansas. He married Mary Burke and has two children, Irene and Clyde. Elma married Claude Giddens, of Truesdale, Kansas, and has children named Ellis, Ethel and Marguerite. Ellen is the wife of Violet O. McBeth, of Winfield, Kansas. Catherine is still pursuing her studies in the Winfield High School. Isabel married Victor Mostrom, of Garfield Township. Kenneth, the youngest child, is a student in the Larned schools.
Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p.,  leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.
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