JEFFERSON COUNTY ILLINOIS
BIOGRAPHIES

Dr. William Harold Boswell

In the four years he lived after I was born, I never heard my grandfather
called anything

except "Doctor."  That was the name my grandmother, Mary Ida Inman Boswell, called
him.  His daughter, Mary Ruth Boswell, referred to him as "Daddy."  What he was called
as a child in Mount Vernon, Illinois I have no idea. 

Born March 12, 1865 in Mount Vernon, Illinois to Isaac Street and Margaret Baker
Boswell, William Harold Boswell was the seventh of eleven children.  There had been a
set of twins and another infant who died at birth.  I've been told there was a Boswell
School in Jefferson County because there were so many Boswell children there!  Isaac, or
Ike as he was sometimes called, was seventh in a family of fourteen children born to
Samuel Boswell and Elizabeth Taylor.   At one time it must have seemed that everyone
in Jefferson County was related to the Boswells.  Some of those families include:  Dare,
Dalby, Hamilton, Green, Wallace, Duckworth, Wilfong, Feagin, Hagle, Davis, West,
Black, Mendenhall, Reynolds, Carpenter, Kelley, Bagley, Peavler and more.

William Harold Boswell married Rosa Hutchinson  on May 11, 1888.  They had one
child, Rollyn, born August 4, 1889.  I believe Rosa died in childbirth.  Widower and son
were living with Isaac Boswell  at 1101 Prairie Ave., Mt Vernon, Ill. in the 1900 Census. 
Rollie remained with his grandfather until his father remarried in 1901.

"Doctor" became part of my grandfather's name in 1891 with a medical degree from
Marion-Sims College of Medicine.  He also received a degree from Barnes Medical
College in 1893.  Both were in St. Louis, Missouri.  The archives or Washington
University School of Medicine have the following listings: 

1896         1208 N. 17th St., St Louis, Mo.
1900          Mt. Vernon, Ill.
1902          Bayou Meto, Arkansas County, Ark. and Hagler, also in Arkansas County.
1909-1920 Almyra, Arkansas .  Listed as licensed in Arkansas in 1905.  Also listed as 
                  "Druggist."
1921-23     Ulm, Prairie Co., Ark.
1927-29     Hunter, Woodruff Co., Ar.
1931-40     North Little Rock, Ark.

The Arkansas Medical Society indicate that Dr. W. H. Boswell was a member from 1910
through 1915 and that he was President of the Ark. Co. Medical Society from 1911 to
1913.  Arkansas County records show that Dr. Boswell filed his credentials as a "Dr. of
Medicine" with the County Clerk in 1901. 

When Almyra, Ark. was officially incorporated, the list of names of residents on the
petition listed "Dr. W. H. Boswell."  He was subsequently elected Almyra's first Mayor. 
"Doctor" and his second wife, my grandmother, had two children, Samuel Harold, and
Mary Ruth.  At some point, Samuel changed his name to William and became "Junior." 
Aunt Ruth told me it was because he felt Samuel was a 'sissy' name.  She did not
remember him ever being called Samuel, though early photographs are labeled "Samuel
Harold Boswell."  My father, Bill as he was later called, was born June 5, 1903 and died
September 9, 1945.  Ruth was born December 4, 1905 and died November 16, 1984.  Dr.
and Mrs. Boswell are buried at DeWitt, Ark. as is Ruth.  Bill is buried in Fort Smith, Ark.
Dr. William Harold Boswell died in North Little Rock, Arkansas October 26, 1941. Submitted By: Jerry Boswell Barber


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