Search billions of records on


 Biographies Index  



California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


Alexander E. Boyes

Long identification with the agricultural and commercial possibilities and development of the west has given to Mr. Boyse a thorough knowledge of its resources and a sincere devotion to its welfare. Any study of his life-work is naturally divided into two parts. The first concerns his earlier spent in the central west and includes his service in the Union army as one of the youngest volunteers in the ranks. The second embraces the activities of maturity, dealing wholly with his life in the west and including his association with public affairs, his connection with progressive projects and his accumulation of a competence through energetic and judicious application. To the inestimable and permanent advantage of the west there have been drawn to it men of acumen and energy, not the last among whom may be mentioned the name of Mr. Boyse, whose residence in various parts of the Pacific coast region has given him an intimate familiarity with its enterprises, its growth and future possibilities.

The Boyse family comes from southern lineage. Alexander E. was born near Jefferson City, Mo., on the 22d of February, 1849, being a son of George W. and Susan Jane (Eaton) Boyse, natives respectively of Kentucky and Alabama, the latter deceased during the year 1897. Sturdy principles of honor characterized the paternal ancestors, nor were the Eatons less upright in character, less industrious in temperarment and less forcible in action. Supplementary to these inherited qualities the youth was given public-school advantages, and by study in boyhood laid the foundation of the broad fund of information he now possesses. When the Civil war broke out it was difficult for him to remain contented with his school tasks, for his heart was with the soldiers in camp and on battlefields. When only fifteen years of age he was accepted as a member of the Forty-eighth Missouri Volunteer Infantry and served until the close of the war in a company commanded by Captain Rice. Exposures on forced marches in inclement weather brought on rheumatism, and he has been troubled with this disease ever since the war.

Alternating work as a carpenter with farm labor the young ex-soldier passed the years immediately following the war, but in 1875 he severed all business relations in Misssouri and came to the west. After a short sojourn at Reno he removed to the Goose Lake valley, Modoc county, Cal., and there continued to make his home until 1908, meanwhile engaging in ranching and also filling a number of contracts among them those for the erection of two large mills. On leaving Modoc county he came to Sonoma county and bought a general mercantile business five miles west of Healdsburg, where he finds his time busily occupied in attending to the many details connected with such an enterprise. Of recent years he has not engaged in the building business, but has limited his attention to his store. Business and kindred enterprises have occupied his time throughout active life to the exclusion of fraternal associations, and he is not identified with any secret orders. Stanch in the support of Democratic principles, he has been prominent in local party work, and during the administration of Grover Cleveland he filled the office of postmaster at New Pine Creek, Ore. In addition he served as justice of the peace in Modoc county.

The marriage of Mr Boyse in 1876 united him with Miss Rosina E. Robnett, a native of Oregon and a member of a family identified with the earliest settlement of the Goose Lake valley. The Boyse family, originally numbering seven children, still has all but one living. The eldest, Lawrence, born in 1877, is engaged in business at Lambert with his father. Annie, born in 1879, married Lester Vernon, a native of Missouri; they have one son and one daughter and reside in Modoc county. Clarence, born in 1881, is a carpenter engaged at his trade in Modoc county. Leslie, born in 1887, lives in Modoc county. Lavona, born in 1889, married Oscar Smith, a native of California, and they now reside in Lake county, Ore., their family consisting of a son and a daughter. The youngest member of the family is Varena, born in 1896, and now a pupil in the local schools.

History of Sonoma County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: Tom Gregory
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1911)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011