Where in the world is Birdsview, Wa.? Right here at...

The Stump Ranch

Family & Community History
of the Upper Skagit Valley
Archie Gordon Boyd
(Royal Stump Ranch 1927)
  • Archie explains life from Nebraska to Birdsview in 1882 for the Boyd Family here at the "Skagit River Journal" website. This is not the first time this article has been published, it first saw print in "Skagit Memories" page 38 in 1979 from the Skagit Co. Historical Society Series #6.
  • The following obituary below was published directly following his death 8May 1952 in the Courier Times, Sedro-Woolley, Wa. and offers a brief profile of his younger years. I'm currently researching to find more on his life as an adult as there is little information and he left no heirs. He was an honorary member of the Territorial Daughters, [an all female group who are daughters and descendants of Skagit Co. pioneers] his sisters Annie, Jane and Mabel were members.

          Archie Gordon Boyd, Skagit County pioneer, passed away in Snohomish May 8, 1952. This story of his coming to Skagit Valley was written at the request of the Sedro Woolley chapter of the Territorial Daughters, who are indebted to him for much information of the early years in this part of the state.
          Archie Boyd was one of nine children that accompanied his parents, Mr. and Mrs. L.A. Boyd, from their farm in Antelope County, Nebraska in October, 1881 [1882] to Skagit County, where they settled first at Birdsview. L.A. Boyd had farmed a section of land in Antelope County, had taught school and been county commissioner, but had turned west when a prairie fire finally burned them out after they had battled Nebraska blizzards, grasshoppers, and drought over a period of years.
          Archie Boyd was the oldest of the nine children who came west in 1881 [1882], and his sister, Lillian, just nine months old was the youngest. The family came to San Francisco on an emigrant train consisting of about thirty freight cars and nine old yellow emigrant cars, aboard which mothers did the family washing and hung garments out the train windows to dry, and where a small stove in each car provided necessary heat for "light cooking".
    Archie Boyd 1950
    Snohomish, Wash.
    A lake near Snohomish

          From San Francisco the family took passage on the old side- wheel steamer Dakota, reaching Seattle seven days later. They left Seattle the following morning on the stemwheeler Josephine, of which Capt. W.K. Merwin was master. They reached Mann's Landing at the mouth of the Skagit river at dark, tied up there until morning and reached Mount Vernon late that second day Archie, 11 [12] his brother, Jim 7 [10] and their father left the family in Mount Vernon and, accompanied part of the way by Adolph Behms [Behrens], who carried the mail on his back from Mann's Landing to Birdsview, made the trip to that up river settlement over such trails as there were at that early day, many times passing over huge fallen trees by means of steps cut up one side of the trunk and down the other. The trip, much of it made in a downpour of rain, took three days.
          After making arrangements for housing the family at Birdsview the father, accompanied by an uncle, George Savage and one of the latter's sons in the Savage's canoe, and followed by a number of Indians, returned to Mount Vernon via the Skagit river. The Boyd family was placed aboard the Savage canoe and thier baggage and other household items were loaded aboard Indians' canoes for the trip upriver to Birdsview.
          There was no school at Birdsview, so Boyd, determined that his children and those of his neighbors should have an education, assisted B.D. Minkler in building the first school house of boards sawed in the Minkler mill. The first pupils at the school included six Boyd children, five Savage and four Pressintin children. L.A.Boyd was the teacher.
          Two or three years later the family moved to Sterling where the father worked as a millwright in one of the first mills built in Skagit county. He bought a farm on the Nookachamps, and the family lived there for many years in a huge log house. It was only recently torn down to make room for more modern homes.
          Archie Gordon Boyd was born July 1870, at Neligh, Nebraska; he is survived by his wife Denna of Snohomish; five sisters Mrs. Annie L. Hoyt of Sedro Woolley , Mrs. Margaret Conlin of Puyallup, Mrs. Maud Johnson of Sumner, Mrs. Gertie Burns of Seattle and Mrs. Mabel Steen of Concrete; one brother Norman Boyd of North Bend, and a number of nieces and nephews.

    The Stump Ranch ®
    The Stump Ranch On-Line Magazine ®
    Dan Royal, Editor & Webmaster
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