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., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.


Edward P. Boyle

EDWARD P. BOYLE. A very familiar name in the ranch and farm industry of Meade County is that of Edward P. Boyle, who was one of the first settlers here and for over thirty years has lived either on the townsite or adjacent to the county seat. A brief record of his experiences and achievements deserves a page in this history of Kansas.

Mr. Boyle was born in Somerset County, New Jersey, February 18, 1853. His people were identified with New Jersey for several generations, and he is the only member of the family to identify himself permanently with Kansas. His grandfather was Solomon Boyle, who spent his comparatively brief life in New Jersey. Solomon married a Miss Parcels, and their only child was John Ferdinand Boyle, the father of Edward P. Boyle, and was born in Morris County, New Jersey, and spent his life in that state as a farmer. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church, was a republican voter, and died when about seventy-five years old. He married Lydia Annin, daughter of William Annin. The Annin family has lived in New Jersey since colonial days, four or five generations having used the same homestead. Mrs. Lydia Boyle died at the age of eighty-two. She was the mother of twelve children, all of whom grew up.

Edward P. Boyle spent his early life on a New Jersey farm and secured an education in the district schools. When he left for the West he came direct to Kansas, his destination being Eldorado. There was not a line of railroad south of that place nor south of Wichita at the time, and he went to the county seat of Butler County on the branch line of the Santa Fe from Florence. He arrived there in February, 1878, and remained in Butler County during that year and then in the fall of 1878 entered land in Harper County. His claim was a preemption four miles southwest of Anthony. Mr. Boyle has never married and all his experiences as a home maker have been as a bachelor. His bachelor home in Harper County was a little box house 12xI4 feet. His equipment at the beginning consisted of an ox team, a pony, and only enough money to sustain him a few months after paying for his filing and building his shanty. He broke out some ground which he planted in corn and cane and subsequently sowed some wheat. His first crop was harvested in 1879 and was fairly encouraging. But altogether his farming failed to support him. He earned a living by freighting from Wichita to Anthony. He also picked up bones from the prairie and hauled this commodity to Wichita, and carried freight back to Anthony. He also did some breaking of the prairie land for other settlers. While in Harper County he took a bunch of sheep, on the shares, but his financial investment in this branch of the stock busines[sic] took all the profits he made from other labor. When he left Harper County and sold out he was little better off than when he settled there.

In the course of a prospecting tour in the summer of 1883 Mr. Boyle first saw the valley in which Meade is situated, and at that time decided upon it as a place of permanent settlement. He brought with him to Meade County four horses, a wagon and breaking plow. His entry was the southwest quarter of section 2, township 32, range 28. He proved up the north half as his home and relinquished the south half to the Government to enable the Meade Townsite Company to start the town. Mr. Boyle lived there and farmed until the spring of 1887. Then having sold his eighty acres he came to his present location in section 1, and his stock farm consists of 460 acres in that section and also a quarter of section 6, in township 32, range 27. At his new location his home was a sod house, but a few years later it was replaced with a small box house and that remained until 1915, when he constructed his present fine two-story nine-room frame building, which stands well protected against the south side of the ridge of mounds crossing his ranch. It is a very attractive spot for a home. His farm lands lie upon the flat east of him, and he has about 250 acres under cultivation,

Mr. Boyle early learned to profit by the experiences of other settlers and saw that the surest way to success and independence was through stock raising. In the early part of the '90s he made his beginning with about fifteen or twenty cows. They were of the common stock of the country, and he developed them by breeding Shorthorns and subsequently introduced the White Face strain. His present herd of from 150 to 250 distinctly show their Hereford ancestry. Mr. Boyle has never been a dealer or speculator in cattle and his stock is all the result of the gradual process of breeding on his own farm. From his profits he has invested in other lands, and owns 1,120 acres of pasture. in Sand Creek Township of Meade County and by leasing other adjacent tracts has a ranch of 1,500 acres devoted to his use as a summer pasture.

Undoubtedly the prosperity of Mr. Boyle is due to his conservatism in business. He has always kept within the limits of his ability and resources, and has never speculated. In other words, he has kept close to shore and with due consideration of his own abilities and outside circumstances has traveled in safe waters. The only outside investment he has is a small block of stock in the Farmers Elevator at Meade.

At the same time Mr. Boyle has manifested all the traits of a good and public spirited citizen. He has attended school meetings and though without a family of his own has given his time to improving the moral and educational welfare of the locality. At election time he responds with an independent vote in recent years, though for many elections he was a partisan of the republican faith. His political creed embraces the protection of infant industries, but does not extend to subsidizing such industries after they have become full grown to the point of monopoly. In national affairs he supported the republican policies until 1916, when he joined the strong trend from other parties to support Mr. Wilson. Mr. Boyle is a member of the Presbyterian Church and is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He has always been an exceedingly busy man, and when not engaged in business employs his time in keeping informed on local and world issues through newspapers and other current literature.


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., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.

Volume 4 - Table of Contents

Tom & Carolyn Ward
Columbus, KS

tcward@columbus-ks.com


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