BOYD, William A.
Portrait & Biographical Record Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1892, pp 1109-1110
William A. BOYD, M. D., at present residing in Rockford, [Winnebago County, IL] is held in high esteem by all who know him. He was born in Linlithgowshire, Scotland, 11 Dec 1841, and is the son of John BOYD, who was also born in that shire, as was his father, John BOYD, Sr. The latter-named gentleman was a descendant of Lord BOYD, of Kilmarnock [a town in Ayrshire, composed of two parishes, Kilmarnock and Riccarton], who espoused the cause of Charles Stuart [Prince Charles Edward Stuart], in consequence of which his estate was confiscated and he was beheaded [on 18 Aug 1746].
The grandfather of our subject was a farmer and spent his entire life in Scotland. The maiden name of his wife was Janet Ellen BOYD, who although bearing the same name was no relation; she departed this life in Scotland. John BOYD, Jr., learned the trade of a shoemaker, which business he carried on for upwards of 40 years, spending his entire life in his native land. In 1839 he embarked on a vessel bound for America, which was wrecked and 80 lives lost; he never attempted the voyage again. The maiden name of the mother of our subject was Janet ALLAN; she was born in the same shire in Scotland as was her husband, and there spent her last days. She was the daughtter of John and Janet ALLAN, and bore her husband the following children: Margaret, John, Janet, George, William, Marlon, and Mary. Of these, Janet, George, William, and Mary came to America.
William A. BOYD of this sketch was reared in his native shire and remained with his parents until reaching his 18th year, when, 27 Mar 1861, he set sail from Liverpool on the steamer "City of Edinboro" and landed in NY the [p 1110] following month. He remained in Brooklyn six weeks, then came West to WI, where his uncles, McNair, James and Thomas BOYD, resided. He worked for the former-named gentleman until October, when he enlisted for three years in the 1st WI Infantry. Among the important battles in which he was engaged were Stone River, Chickamauga, and all the engagements of the 14th Army Corps, up to and including the siege and capture of Atlanta. He was appointed Orderly Sergeant in 1864, and was honorably discharged at the expiration of his term of service, when he returned to Milwaukee and attended school for three months. On 30 Jan 1865, however, he enlised in the 9th Regiment U. S. Veterans, and served his adopted country until 30 Jan 1866.
At the clost of the Civil War, the original of this sketch returned to his native land, where he remained two years amid the scenes of his boyhood, but feeling that he could gain both fame and fortune for himself, he again came to Milwaukee, determined to make a success of his life in the New World. He was appointed letter carrier, and continued in the service of the Government in different departments for ten years, during that time being appointed to the position of Superintendent of carriers. He resigned that office in 1878, in order to devote his time and attention to the study of medicine, it being his desire to become a physician.
Dr. BOYD began his medical studies under the instruction of Dr. Willis DANFORTH, of Milwaukee, and in the fall of 1878 entered the Chicago Homeopathic College, being graduated in the fall of 1880. He commenced the practice of his profession at Baraboo [Sauk County], WI, where he remained for two years, and then came to Rockford, where he has been a continuous resident. In 1880 Dr. BOYD was married to Mary A. LEAMON, a native of OH.
The Doctor is a member of Nevius Post No. 1, G. A. R., and is also prominently connected with the IL and State Homeopathic Associations. He is a member of Star of the East Lodge No. 166, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, Winnebago Chapter No. 24, and Crusader Commandery No. 17, Knights Templar. He is at the present time Health Commissioner of Rockford, and for four years was a member of the Board of Pension Examiners. Dr. BOYD stands very high in social circles and is the incumbent of the postion of President of the Burns Club.
In regard to the Doctor's politics, we extract the following from an interview published in the Gazette: "No sir, I am not a Democrat," said Dr. BOYD to the reporter. "I have a liking for the term Mugwump, which our Republican friends invented for us last year. I think I am a Mugwump in politics, medicine, and religion. If in politics to be a Mugwup is to prefer principle above party, and integrity of character rather than political regularity, then I am a political Mugwump. If in religion to be a Mugwump is to prefer honest investigation, rational conclusions, and that which goes to the making of better men and women, then I am a Mugwump; and in medicine, if to be a Mugwump is to prefer that which seems to be for the best interest of the patient without stopping to inquire to what school it belongs, then I am a Mugwump in medicine."
Submitted by Cathy Kubly.