The late Reverend John Boggs was one of the most influential and best known men in the vicinity of Clyde. A learned and scholarly man whose brain was a veritable store house of knowledge. This reverend gentleman was born in the Baptist parsonage in the village of Hopewell, New Jersey, May 12, 1810. The town of his nativity is situated in the beautiful and fertile Hopewell Valley which is noted for its fine fruits and vegetables and celebrated for being the seat of Rugers College, Nassua Hall, Princeton Theological Seminary; and also renowned for the Revolutionary battles of Princeton, Trenton and Bond Rock.
Elder Boggs' father and grandfather both bore the name of John and were Baptist ministers. His grandfather was born in East Nottingham, England April 9, 1741, and was a captain in the Revolutionary war. In his earlier life he was a Presbyterian minister but in 1771 he embraced the Baptist sentiments and in 1781 was ordained a minister of that faith at Welsh Tract, Delaware, where he died of paralysis in 1802; his wife who was Hannah Furness before her marriage was born in 1737 and died January 31, 1788. John B., the second,, and father of our subject as born at Welsh Tract, Delaware, January 20, 1770. For their son Joseph the fond parents had mapped out the career of a clergyman, "but John," they said, "was cut out for a farmer;" but Joseph became a lawyer and John developed into both an excellent farmer and a gifted dispenser of the gospel. Elder Boggs' paternal grandmother was Eliza Hopkins, the only child of an English Quaker family whose parents, Isaac and Margaret Hopkins, resided in Burlington county, New Jersey, from the time they came to America until their deaths, which took place during her childhood, leaving their daughter in the hands of an unworthy uncle who defrauded her of considerable property.
Charles Hopkins who was a pastor of a New York City Baptist church for many years was a cousin of Elder Boggs twice removed. W.C. Cooper, of Philadelphia, a brother of Commodore Porter, formerly of the United States navy, married Fannie Hopkins, a cousin of the same removal. Isaac Hopkins, a brother of Fannie Hopkins, was the father of seventeen children including three pairs of twins. Elder Boggs was three times married. His third wife was Mary Hunt; their two daughters, Elizabeth and Mary Jane established and were proprietors of the Ladies' Seminary at Hopewell, New Jersey, where their father was pastor for nearly forty years. Elder Boggs' mother was Hannah Dewess. Her father's house, Colonel Dewess, was the home of the Baptist ministers. She was distinguished for her many personal charms and amiability. She died May 5, 1827, of paralysis at the Baptist parsonage in Hopewell. They were the parents of six children, four living to maturity and rearing families.
Elder Boggs served as chaplain of the one hundred and eighteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and from that period on labored in his "Master's vineyard" until his advanced years would no longer permit; and when his work was finished he undoubtedly received the welconie plaudit, "well done thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joys of thy Lord." Had Elder Boggs lived until the following September, the sixty-seventh anniversary of their marriage would have been celebrated. His aged wife survives him at the age of ninety-one years, but the sands of her life are almost run and a few years at the best can but elapse ere she will have gone to join her companion of more than three score years.
Elder Boggs was an extensive traveler, also a voluminous writer, and contributed many articles to the press, many of them of acknowledged worth. In 1888, he made an extended missionary trip through Nevada, Wyoming, California, Oregon, Washington Territory and Colorado. He was loyal to Kansas and upon his return from his tour vigorously asserted, "there was no place like his cottage home in Kansas." Although Elder Boggs' farm is situated just over the line in Washington, his labors were almost exclusively in Cloud county. Several years prior to his demise he had changed his religion to the Christian faith and established the Clyde congregation at the Boggs school house with the understanding that when a church was erected in Clyde the society would be transferred to that point, and in accordance with his request this was done.
Mrs. Boggs lives with her daughter, Mrs. Lottie Hakes at the old home. "Tri Gable Cottage," as it is called is one of the most desirable homes in the vicinity, nestled in the midst of a perfect bower of trees and flowering shrubs that denote much care from the hands of its owners; a fine apple orchard that yielded two hundred bushels the present year. The proceeds of the sales of their crop of early cherries this year exceeded $30. The angel of death never having visited their family, Elder and Mrs. Boggs have three children, all of whom are useful, honest, and upright citizens.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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