END NOTES: 1890-1899

Dan Royal The Stump Ranch

      You can't believe how many drafts I've done to get this posted. Its not finished still so I'm hoping you'll check back to see it updated. Basically I've been asked to explain what happened to the fourteen children of Lewis Alexander & Olive Boyd after she died in 1897 at the early age of 43. These END NOTES follow the end of "The Boyd Family History" by Mabel Boyd Royal-Steen.

      By the time Mabel Florence Boyd came into the world here in Birdsview, 13 November 1891, her oldest brother Archie was 21 years of age. He even appears on the 1892 school returns, Birdsview; boarding with another family but seems to have left Skagit Co. permanently for quite a while after this- a bachelor for many more years. Shortly thereafter and interestingly enough, Archie returned to Nebraska to attend college at the University of Nebraska. He must have been fond of the mid-west or possibly had a sponsor. Though Archie had been reported by some who knew him when they were children; to have been mean and irritable, there is evidence that both he and Jim were pranksters and had a good sense of humor.
      Brother James Torrey Boyd appeared to drop off the face of the earth as of the 1892 State Census returns for Skagit County. Jim went from Skagit County to Tacoma in Pierce County to work for Puget Sound Shingle Co., as a knot sawyer, packer and shingle weaver by 1893 and worked in various mills in the Tacoma area during the 1890's. I imagine his work with his father at the Birdsview Minkler/Savage Mill prepared him for this life. He must have been really good at what he did as, according to: Seattle's First Great Depression by J. Kingston Pierce- "three quarters of the shingle plants operating in the state would be closed within two year,"
      In 1895 he married Elsie May Corbin of Michigan; their first and only child Frank James was born December 1896. Jim seems to have been instrumental in bringing his father, Alex to Tacoma from Skagit County after the death of the children's mother in 1897. Before passing away at 92 years of age in January 2003, Norman Johnson shared some fun stories about his Uncle Jim and Aunt May who were total opposites- apparently Jim's humorous high jinxes were too much for May, many a time.
      Oldest sisters Annie and Jane married a year before Mabels birth to brothers Joe and Sam Hoyt -respectively in 1890. They both kept their own childbearing years to three children each and I imagine it was partly due to watching what happened to a mother who bore fourteen children. Father Alex always encouraged his daughters not to have as many children as his beloved wife, he believed it contributed to her early death- this annoyed all the Boyd girls to no end the whole of their life.
      Excerpt from Joe and Annie Boyd Hoyt, Skagit River Journal by Noel Bourasaw… "The logger was, of course, Joseph Hoyt from New Brunswick. Joe told his children and descendants a story about how he and his brothers Sam and Charles hop-scotched across the country, starting in 1884-85, working as river-rafters and in logging camps along the way, mainly in Michigan. The brothers arrived in Skagit County in about 1886-87, where they quickly found work as river-rafters on the upper Skagit and streams like the Nookachamps. Later they worked in sawmills and shingle mills in the area south of the river where Montborne would become a town in 1888 and Mountain View/Clear Lake would be born in 1890. Annie probably first met Joe when he was rafting logs down the Nookachamps and she must have made quite an impression. We can only imagine how much Clarissa worried about her three pretty teenage daughters. Apparently, Annie went on to play matchmaker with her younger sister Eva Jane and Joe's younger brother, Sam. After a year or so, Charles decided to return to New Brunswick, but Linda Jo Cruse, a Hoyt descendant, discovered that Joe and Sam became naturalized U.S. citizens in 1888. They decided to stay and marry the Boyd sisters. On March 15, 1890, Riverside Baptist minister B.N.L. Davis married Sam, age 25, to Jane, who was not yet 16. Five months later, on Aug. 6, 1890, Davis married Joe - who turned 27 just three days before, to Annie, who was 17."
      Ed. Note: L.A. Boyd appears to have called his wife-Olive C. Boyd in all official documents- Mary in memory of his late mother. Norman called her Mary in his written history on the family, as did a couple other siblings. The various names do get confusing at times as I have mentioned in the section on her Torrey family. Marietta Creek and Marietta Falls on the south side of the Skagit River were named for the two-sisters Mary Boyd and Georgetta Savage. Hereafter in End Notes; Lewis Alexander and Olive Clarissa Boyd will be called Alex and Mary.

      After both Annie and Jane were married at the home of their parents on the Nookachamps in 1890, a new problem occurred for Alex and Mary by late 1890 or early 1891. During good times, Alex took out a mortgage for improvements and animals on the Nookachamps property. Mount Vernon founder Harrison Clothier called in the loan. It could not be paid and the Nookachamps property was lost to the family, a new frustration for Mary.
      Alex's thought turned to the vacant Minkler/Savage Mill in Birdsview and he negotiated a lease to make a go of the mill as he had oldest sons Archie and James to help him with the work. This is how Mabel came to be born in Birdsview during the start of what would turn out to be an extremely cold winter that 1891. Mabel's cousin Catherine Jane Savage came into the world in LaConnar the coming February 1892. She was the last child born to Mary's sister and brother in-law; George & Georgetta. The mill was costing the family more than it was worth so Alex packed up the family once again and they spent the winter at their abandoned home on the Nookachamps.
      Lewis Alexander Boyd's political aspirations began anew in 1892 when he ran for Sheriff in that year's election. According to the 1906 Illustrated History [page 181] "The year 1892 marked the advent of the People's party upon the political stage…Reform and more extended participation in the business and social life of the country by municipalities and the central government were the slogans of this new third party. However, the People's party in this county in 1892 did not rise above third place…" L.A. Boyd placed third with 674 votes behind E.H. Vaughn, Republican, 996 and James O'Loughlin, Democrat who won with 1207 votes.
      A curiosity to me is that Alex waited so long to try his hand at politics again because he had been a county road commissioner in Nebraska nearly the whole 12 years they lived there. It was unfortunate Alex lost the race in 1892 as the following years a desperate economic depression not only hit Skagit County but the whole of Washington state and the nation.
"In the spring of 1893, a precipitous drop in the United States gold reserves triggered a national depression…the depression of '93 was partly the fault of federal policy. Under President Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893), a Republican-led Congress had profligately spent away $100 million Treasury surplus, mostly on enrichment programs for wealthy industrialists."
The country had been changing from a farm (agrarian) economy to an industrial one; the big cities had become overwhelmed with immigration from Europe. Most folks who lived off of their farms or who lived on very little probably felt little effect.
      By the time the fourth and last son John Boyd came into the world January 1893, the family seemed to have just enough cash to pay for 2 ½ acres in Clear Lake from the area pioneer Bartyl family. Alex found what work he could in the local mills. But they were making a meager living to be sure. Mary and her oldest daughters still living at home would cook for and take in laundry for the local loggers and mill workers to bring in some extra cash.
      Grace Boyd was the next daughter to marry 15 March 1894 to Charles Pederson in the same Nookachamps area as had her older sisters. She continued school at Orilla until 1897 and had the first of five children by Charles with first daughter Hazel born July 28, 1895. They moved to the area known as Baker and Cement City, later to become the town of Concrete. Charles got work at the Whitney Hotel [?] and Grace had two sons before the century was to end.
      Around the time the 14th and last child; Eleanor Clarrisa was born February 1896, Alex would run for office again with the People's party in what was termed "the spectacular, epoch-making campaign of 1896". This time for County Clerk beating out Republican F.B. Lipponcott by 500 votes on 3 November 1896. After "posting bond and making Official Oath to the office of County Clerk and Clerk of the Superior Court in and for the County of Skagit and State of Washington." L.A. Boyd was duly sworn into office 30 December 1896. The wage of $100.00 a month bolstered the confidence of not only Alex but also the family and he moved them to a very nice home in Burlington that he felt his wife deserved.
      The Skagit County Courthouse was built in 1893, right after the second county seat fight. It stands on the corner of First and Pine. Skagit Settler, Skagit County Historical Series pg. 108
      Alex was not quite in the middle of his elected two-year term as County Clerk [1896-1898] when Mary died. Alex was pretty torn by the death of his beloved wife Mary that 7th September 1897. At the time of her death her sister Etta Savage was at the Equaility Colony [above the Bow area] with her husband and children. Etta had to have felt a great loss as she had been so instrumental in bringing her sister and family to the Skagit Valley. Olive Clara Boyd was laid to rest and her original marker at the Burlington cemetery read "Mary Olive Boyd." Alex then moved the children from Burlington to Mt. Vernon to make the commute to the courthouse a little easier. He charged the responsibility at home to Gertrude and Lillian, with taking care of youngest children; Norman, Tom, Mabel, John and Eleanor.
      Daughter Mary Olive married John Johnson 7 December 1897. "He belonged to the Odd Fellows Lodge and She, the Rebecckas. They were married at the Lodge in Burlington." A couple months following the death of their mother, Mary who had the nickname Mollie when she was young but following her marriage to John, was forever known as Maud. Gerty (short for Gertrude) and Lillian would always blame their sister Maud for tattling on them to father Alex for going out with a couple of Mt. Vernon boys, Alex did not care for. Maud was considered quirky by some and her own son Norman B. Johnson admitted that was being generous. Maud was also very giving and helpful to people in need.
      Gerty went on to marry one of those Mt. Vernon boys, James Jackman 11 March 1899 in Mt. Vernon, Lillian stayed with them for a short time. James was the son of Joseph & Susan Jackman who had come to the Skagit Valley with his brother Andrew Jackson [Jack] Jackman by way of California; Joe and Andrew had originally come from the state of Maine. Jackman Creek just east of the town of Concrete was named after Andrew who was married to a local Indian woman named Mary Ann Harry and held a claim on property there.
      Alex started to feel the raising of the younger children was too much of a task for Gertrude and Lillian to handle and began looking at surrogate parents for Norman, Tom, Mabel, John and Eleanor. He was also interested in trying his hand at the Gold Rush happening up in the Alaskan Klondike after his term of office finished. His daughters persuaded him to leave that idea to the young men. He may have also been looking for excuses to be free of child rearing as that had always been left to his wife and his children later admitted he had no talent for it.
      Norm and Tom seemed to have had a run in with Sheriff O'Laughlin so were sent to stay for a short time with Joe and Annie (though they don't show up on any census reports with Joe and Annie). I suspect Norm and Tom were probably a hand full; Tom appears to have been a scrapper and became a pugilist later, possibly Joe Hoyt had no tolerance for it, but tried to keep them busy at his shingle mill. Norm shows up in a lot of photos with the Hoyt family between 1899-1910 and is remembered fondly by Hoyt descendants. Tom can be found in 1903 at age 18 going to school in Prairie, but was probably working at Joe Hoyts shingle mill.
      Mabel went to live with sister Maud and new husband John Johnson and probably helped care for their first son Walter born 1898. They were in the same vicinity at the time with Joe & Annie Hoyt. Mabel and her cousin Earl Hoyt - a year younger- seemed to have been archrivals during this time period and as Mabel was very much the tomboy, she was fiercely independent and cousin Earl may have been testing her limits as children do. If pushed she would definitely push back. I would compare some of her antics growing up to Tom Sawyer/Huck Finn hysterics. I say this lovingly as she probably didn't think of the comparisons when she wrote her stories.
      John was put up with Warren Lincoln Savage and wife Mary (McGibbons) of Mt. Vernon. Mary's sister Kate, both of Ireland, was married to Lincoln's nephew- Leslie George Savage. Linc or Lincoln as family called him was the youngest brother of George Savage, he was born in 1860- named for the new president Abraham Lincoln. Young John was the only child given the surrogate parents name, though not adopted by Linc and Mary, the school he attended recorded him as John Savage. Sadly, Lincoln Savage passed away December of 1902 and left John without a father figure.
      Eleanor was still an infant when her mother died September 1897, born February 1896, she changed her name from Ellen to Nellie as a child, was put up with the E.L. Stephenson family of Mt. Vernon Riverside area. Mrs. Stephenson a friend of Olive Boyd -as Mary Savage was- had children of her own but they all appeared to be in their late teens at this time.
Skagit County Times Oct. 1898 Excerpts… "A good thought is a beautiful flower of the richest perfume, plucked from the spiritual garden of our Lord, and he who has many such, exhales an odor of sanctity that delights the souls of men. Clearlake has certainly its share of good-looking girls. ...Miss Maggie Boyd is visiting relatives and friends at Prairie"
      Maggie had lived first with sister Grace and new husband Charles, then with Annie and Joe where she met, fell in love with Jim Conlin who worked for Joe in Prairie. He apparently took mill work as a shingle weaver in the Deming area east of Bellingham. They married in Bellingham August 1899.
      "The sun of the People's party reached its zenith in 1896, however, and Politically, the year 1898 is noted as marking the beginning of its decline." 1906 History

      After Alex finished his term as county clerk, he moved to Tacoma with son James and family. Alex was introduced to a seamstress and remarried by 1899 to Mary Lou, [last name unknown] considered by folks in this time period as a spinster. Alex promised her she wouldn't have to raise his children. But Lillian was grown and lived shortly with father Alex and his new wife for a couple years, Lillie worked as a waitress in a Tacoma hotel. Alex got work at a pulley company, the company would soon relocated to Seattle (Ballard) where he soon came into a foreman position.
      Archie is currently believed to have graduated with a degree as an engineer in mining just in time to try his hand at the Alaskan Gold Rush in the Klondike area. [His future brother in-law James Leland Pape was already in the Dawson Creek area] He may even have grabbed brothers Norman and Tom on his way up which may be why they disappear for a while and were always fond of the state of Alaska. But I'm saving that for another story.

Source Material:
School Returns Dist. #22 Birdsview 1891-1892
"History of the Boyd Family" by Mabel Boyd Royal-Steen
"The Boyd Family" by Norman Lewis Boyd
Tacoma City Polks Directory 1893-1894
Washington State Vital Statistics- Death Cert. for James T. Boyd, Elsie M. Boyd, Frank J. Boyd
Oral History by Norman Boyd Johnson
Marriage Index, Skagit County
Marriage Index, Skagit County
Marriage Index, Whatcom County
School Returns Dist. #25 Orilla 1896
Census for Skagit County 1892
Property Deed for Clear Lake property; paid by Olive Boyd to _______Bartyl
Panic of 1893: Seattle's First Great Depression by J. Kingston Pierce, 1999
1900 U.S. Census Washington, Pierce Co. Tacoma
School Returns Dist. #22 Birdview
School Returns Dist. #38 Riverside
Headstone Marker - Burlington Cemetery
Obituary; Archie G. Boyd Snohomish County Tribune 8 May, 1952
Illustrated History of Skagit and Snohomish Co. 1906
Illustrated History of Skagit and Snohomish Co. 1906
Illustrated History of Skagit and Snohomish Co. 1906

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