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
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