William Boyd
Morris Co. Up

Biographical and Genealogical History of Morris County New Jersey. Illustrated. Vol. II., Lewis Publishing Company, New York and Chicago, 1899.


This exemplary citizen of Rockaway, living retired from business cares at his pleasant home, was at the time of his retirement one of the oldest railroad employes, in years of continuous service, in this part of New Jersey, having been thirty-nine years agent of the railroad company at this place, first under the management of the Morris & Essex Railroad Company, commencing in 1849, and then under the Atlantic & Great Western Railroad Company, Sir Martin Peto the general superintendent, and finally under the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad Company.

Mr. Boyd was born near Andover, in Sussex county, September 16, 1822, a son of Thomas and Mary (Stockdower) Boyd, also natives of that county. The education he received was that afforded by the common schools of the time, wherein he pursued his studies until his twelfth year. He then began working for Colonel Joseph Jackson in the rolling-mill, and was there but a short time when in 1849 he entered the service of the Morris & Essex Railroad Company, as foreman and station agent, continuing in this position, without the loss of a single day, until the road was sold in 1888! He used the first telegraph ever operated in Rockaway. Thus practically he has been employed only in two places in all his life-time!

He was married on the 24th of October, 1849, to Miss Elizabeth Cooper, of Denville, New Jersey, a daughter of William and Anna (Cole) Cooper, who were natives of Morris county. Her grandfather, William Cooper, was a representative of one of the pioneer families of this section of the state. Mr. and Mrs. Boyd became the parents of five children, namely: Mary A., who became the wife of William Bryan and died leaving one daughter, named Lina Maude; Elizabeth, wife of Joseph Bryan, of Springfield, Morris county, and has two children—Gussie and William H.; Rosena, who died at the age of five years; William Wallace, who died aged ten years; and Winfield Scott, who died when four years old.

Mr. Boyd casts his ballot independently of party ties, supporting the candidates whom he thinks best qualified for the office. He has served for two years as a member of the borough council of Rockaway, but has never been an office-seeker, preferring to devote his energies to his business. He was also town committeeman for two years and trustee and collector of Rockaway for two years,—honors that were conferred upon him in recognition of his ability and fitness for the office. Although seventy-six years of age, Mr. Boyd is well preserved, and with a capital that he acquired through his own labors he spends his declining days in his pleasant home in Rockaway, surrounded by the comforts and many of the luxuries of life. No one in the community is more widely known or has a larger circle of friends, and in the history of Morris county a place should be reserved for his life record. He retired to private life enjoying the utmost confidence of the railroad company and of all with whom he had any dealings. He has lived at his present home for fifty-two years.


This biography was contributed by Brianne Kelly-Bly.

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