LEMMON S. BOYER. A resident of Kansas since 1878, Lemmon S. Boyer has gone through life with his eyes open, ready to accept the experiences and the duties of the world, and he has been a participant in a varied range of activities since as a boy he did his share of patriotism in the ranks of the Union armies during the Civil war. For many years he has practiced law at Scott City and is also in the abstract business there.
He has an interesting family record. He is of the old Pennsylvania German stock. The Boyer family really originated in France. From there some of its members emigrated to Germany because of religious persecution. They located in Bavaria, where the family name became changed to Beyer. The great-grandfather of Mr. Boyer was Johannas Nicholas Beyer. He was born in 1753 and in 1755 came with his parents to America. They located in Berks County, Pennsylvania. They belonged to the Lutheran Church. Johannes N. Beyer was a soldier of the Revolution, serving in the Third Regiment of the Continental Line. He helped fight for independence about a year. While in the army his gun burst and planted powder specks all over his face. Some of them remained as long as he lived. After the war he resided near Spiece Church in Alsace Township of Berks County, where he died in June, 1823. His first wife was a Miss Wentzel and his second was Amelia Catherine Wentzel. Altogether he was the father of nineteen children.
Rev. Joshua Boyer, a son of the Revolutionary soldier and grandfather of L. S. Boyer, was born in Berks County, Pennsylvania. February 12, 1805, and died at Dayton, Ohio, October 28, 1884. As a boy he became a carpenter and was working at his trade at Reading, Pennsylvania, when General Lafayette passed through on his second visit to the United States. Later Joshua Boyer became a minister, first with the Lutheran Church and later with the Evangelical Association. He married Susanna Buck. Their children were: Henry B.; Mrs. Catherine Smith, who died at Dayton, Ohio; Jonathan, who died at Freeport, Illinois; Daniel, who died at Eldora, Iowa; Susanna, who died at Dayton; and Hannah, who died unmarried in Stephenson County, Illinois.
Henry B. Boyer, father of L. S. Boyer, was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, September 26, 1825. About 1848 he moved to Seneca County, Ohio, and afterwards to Dayton. He followed throughout his active career the trade of stone mason. He was a member of the United Brethren Church, was first a whig in politics, then became identified with the Know Nothing organization, and finally drifted into the ranks of the republicans. In 1848 he married Cassie Smith, who died in 1856, leaving one child, Lemmon S. Boyer. Henry B. Boyer married for his second wife Catherine Gingrich. Their children were: David H.; Daniel; John S.; Andrew; William; Susan E., who became the wife of Richard High; Rebecca, who married John Peat; and Mrs. Elizabeth McCamon. Henry B. Boyer died near Shannon, Illinois, in 1898.
Lemmon S. Boyer was born in Seneca County, Ohio, December 23, 1849. When a small boy he went with his father to Carroll County, Illinois, and grew up on the farm owned by his father in that locality. He had the advantages of the common schools and also acquired some academic training. Mr. Boyer was one of the youngest soldiers ever enrolled in the Union army. He possessed an ardor for military life which could not be quenched, though his father and the rest of the family did everything possible to keep him out of the ranks. Mr. Boyer claims that as to age at the time of enlistment he was the youngest private soldier of the Civil war in the State of Kansas. His age at the time of enlistment was fourteen years and four months. He became a member of Company D, under Capt. Heman A. Todd in the One Hundred and Forty-second Illinois Infantry. He had twice before tried to enter the army as a drummer boy, although he was not able to drum a single note. It was through the influence of the first lieutenant of his company that he was finally permitted to enter the hundred day service. During that enlistment he was in Mississippi and Tennessee and the regiment was kept out six months. He took part in one engagement, with Forrest's Cavalry near Memphis. He was discharged at Chicago. Having been in the service once, he found no special difficulty in re-enlisting. This time, about two months after his discharge, he entered Company I of the Fifteenth Illinois Infantry as a recruit, and was seat to Camp Fry, Chicago. He joined his regiment at Georgia, and was with Sherman's victorious troops on their march to the sea. He went up through the Carolinas and through Virginia, participating in various battles with the Confederates, and his only important absence from active service was when he was in the hospital with the measles. He marched in the Grand Review at Washington, and at the close of the war his regiment was sent by boat from Wheeling, West Virginia, to Leavenworth. It required a month to make this trip. The regiment was then stationed around Fort Kearney in Nebraska, guarding the frontier against the Indian hostilities. The only engagement with the Indians was with a force of Pawnees on the south line of Nebraska, when the Indians tried to stampede the mules of the regiment. After three months on the plains the regiment returned to Springfield, Illinois, and was mustered out and discharged about October 1, 1865. Altogether Mr. Boyer had been in service about eighteen months, and received no personal injury. He has ever since been a loyal member of the Grand Army of the Republic, and has long been affiliated with Winfield Scott Post No. 216 at Scott City. He was appointed aide de camp on the staff of one of the Kansas commanders.
The war over, this veteran soldier, though still only a boy in years, went back to the farm in Carroll County, Illinois. Through his earnings he paid his tuition in school and finally qualified as a teacher. He attended a Collegiate Institute at West Irving, Iowa, going to that state in 1872. He spent two years there both teaching and attending school. He then went back to Illinois, and in Stark County of that state taught school until the spring of 1878.
On coming to Kansas Mr. Boyer located in Sumner County and here resumed his work as a teacher. He taught one year at South Haven, and then established himself at Hunnewell when that town was started. The railroad company appointed him the town agent in charge of the town site. He also performed the duties of notary public, justice of the peace and police judge about three years. On first coming to the state Mr. Boyer took an Osage Indian trust claim four miles west of Conway Springs, but sold this land when he moved to Scott County.
Mr. Boyer reached Scott County in July, 1886, and at Scott City entered the farm loan business. During succeeding years he made more farm loans than any other five men in the entire county. The business prospered until the hard times of 1893 and following years caused capital to become so timid that such investments were almost completely discouraged in Western Kansas. During the years of the hard times Mr. Boyer elected to remain in Western Kansas, and did what he could to keep himself afloat and give such service as he could to his friends and neighbors.
While in business he was admitted to practice law before Judge Grinstead. As a teacher he had read Blackstone, also had a correspondence law course, and continued his reading with Lawyer I. H. Kerr, who occupied the same office with Mr. Boyer in Scott City. The first case the latter had as a lawyer was a foreclosure case. Foreclosing was an important part of a lawyer's business for some years, until the mortgages in the county were either paid up or foreclosed. Later he got into the regular practice and for three terms served as county attorney, from January, 1903, to 1909. He was the successor of Paul Rochester in that office. Since retiring from that office he has continued a general practice as a lawyer and is also the leading abstractor. He has been writing abstracts since 1886, and is probably the best informed authority in Scott County on land titles. At present his associate in the abstract business is Miss Bertie M. Rathbun.
Mr. Boyer did not become a voter until several years after the war. In 1872 he cast his first presidential ballot in Iowa for General Grant. He was continuously aligned with the republican party until 1912, in which year he supported Mr. Roosevelt for president. He was also chairman of the County Central Committee of the progressive party in that year. In 1916 he gave his support to Mr. Hanley for president, but is now with the republican party. He has attended a number of republican state conventions and assisted in nominating Governor Morrill, Governor Bailey and Hon. A. W. Smith. He also helped nominate Congressman Hallowell and Victor Murdock. In 1890 he was himself elected to the Legislature, serving one term in the lower house. He was on the charitable institution committee and gave his vote to Ingalls for United States senator, though Mr. Peffer was elected in that year. Mr. Boyer is also one of the farmers of Scott County, has owned many different tracts of land in the county, and has invested considerable money and effort in improving his portions of the land.
In Stark County, Illinois, August 23, 1877, he married Miss Carrie A. Weston. Her father was a locomotive engineer and was killed while in the service of the New York Central Railway. Mrs. Boyer was born near Niagara Falls, New York, in May, 1854. She has one brother, older than herself, Alonzo Weston, now division superintendent of the New York Central Railway. Mr. and Mrs. Boyer have two children: Lem R., who is now in France, a member of Company F, Sixth Depot Brigade, Signal Corps; and Jennie J., a milliner at Kansas City, Missouri.
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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