MRS. ELIZA J. (TRABUE) BOGGESS, a well known resident of Girard, has lived in this county for fifty-six years and has been an intelligent witness of its growth and development from the wilderness to its present condition as a prosperous and flourishing community. She is of an old pioneer family and is a descendant of distinguished French ancestry. She was born in Logan County, Ky., May 29, 1820.
The father of Mrs. Boggess, Haskins Trabue, was born near Richmond, Va., in 1790, and was a son of Stephen Trabue, who was a native of the same locality. From the best information at hand we learn that the great-grandfather of our subject, whose name was John James Trabue, was a Virginian also, whose parents were born in France and came to America in Colonial times, locating in Virginia, where he spent the remainder of his life. The maiden name of his wife was Olympia Dupuy, and she was a native of Virginia. Her father, Bartholomew Dupuy, was born in Saintgue, France, in 1654. He was an officer in the household guards of Louis XIV. He was a Huguenot and there is a romantic story connected with his coming to America, a self-exile, to escape religious persecution in his native country. In 1864 he married Susanna, Countess Davillon, and the king graciously gave him leave of absence to spend his honeymoon at his villa. While there he learned of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes and immediately took measures to flee to Germany to escape the doom he well knew to be awaiting one of his religious belief. He ordered a suit of clothes for his page, who was the size of his wife, and with his bride attired as a page, with two of his horses and all his money and jewels, he started for the frontier. He managed to pass the guards successfully until near the line between the two countries, when he was fired upon the bullet lodging in a psalm-book in his wife's bosom. He showed a pass signed by the king, and without giving the guards time to see the date, demanded a guard the rest of the way. He arrived in Germany in safety and after remaining there two years emigrated to America and settled at Jamestown, Va., among the colonists, and passed his remaining days in quietness and peace.
Stephen Trabue, the paternal grandfather of our subject, married Jane Haskins, a native of Virginia. After marriage he removed to Kentucky, going thither with teams and flat boats. He settled in Greene County, of which he was an early pioneer. He secured quite a tract of land there and operated it by slave labor. He finally removed to Logan County, where he bought a much larger quantity of land than he had first purchased and he resided there until death closed his earthly career.
Mrs. Boggess' father was reared in Kentucky and after marriage he settled on land given him by his father in Logan County. In 1835 he, too, became a pioneer, coming to Illinois, accompanied by his wife and seven children. The removal was made with teams and the family took with them their household goods and cooked and camped by the way. After two weeks' travel they arrived in what is now Brushy Mound Township, where the father entered a tract of Government land. He erected a small log house, making the roof of rived boards, the floor of puncheon and the door of clapboards. There were but few signs of civilization apparent in this county at that time, as the settlers were few and far between and there were no railroads or markets very near, Alton being the most accessible point where the settlers sold their products and obtained their supplies.
In 1837 Mr. Trabue built a carding mill, the first carding mill erected in the county, and he also gave his attention to farming and developed a choice farm. His death in 1860 removed a valued citizen, one who had closely identified himself with the interests of his community and had been a useful pioneer in developing the resources of the county. His wife, whose maiden name was Olympia Wilson, also died in the same year that he did, her death occurring on the home farm. She was the mother of nine children.
Mrs. Boggess was in her fifteenth year when she came to Illinois from her early Kentucky home and she has a vivid recollection of pioneer life in this State. She lived with her parents until their death and was a stay and comfort to them in their old age. In 1864 her marriage was solemnized with Mr. Barnabas Boggess, who is represented elsewhere in this work. (Note: although this bio indicates there should be a bio for Mr. Boggess elsewhere in this book, he is not listed in the index and I have been unable to find one in the book).