IAGenWeb Project - Allamakee co. Li'l Bits

A tale of romance?
...... or was it a scandal?

Chillicothe Constitution - Evening edition
Chillicothe, Missouri, January 22, 1892

Romantic.  The Difficulties Experienced by a Runaway Couple From Chillicothe.
Trenton (Mo.) Tribune - Trenton was treated to a real live romance, yesterday, which had all the features of one you would read from a nineteenth century novel.  The hardships and worry of a couple of fair lovers and their subsequent joy and happiness were things to be seen and not read.  The story is true and not the dreaming of some love-sick author.  The facts are as follows:

Night before last a young gentleman accompanied by a young lady arrived in town and put up for the night at the Hotel Peery.  Yesterday morning the young gentleman went to the recorder's office and applied for a marriage license for Fred. O. Boomer, of Boston, and Miss Stella Seeley, of Chillicothe.  Recorder Carnes questioned him regarding the age of the young lady but could not find sufficient proof of her being over 18 years old to warrant him in granting the license.  The young lady stoutly affirmed that she was past 18 but this would not satisfy the officer so he asked for further proof.  The young couple looked around but finding no one to identify them at length concluded to telegraph the lady's father, Rev. Seeley, of Chillicothe, for his consent to the marriage.  This was done and in a few hours an answer saying that the young lady was past 18 years old, arrived.  With the assurance of the legality of the proceeding Recorder Carnes granted license to wed.  The couple repaired at once to the parsonage of the M.E. church, where in the presence of a large number of the traveling companions of the groom they were made one.  Congratulations were then in order and the blissful happy young couple were surrounded by their friends, who wished them a long and happy life.  One can imagine the relief of the contracting parties after having spent almost a day in the effort to secure a marriage license to at last come off victorious.

The groom is Mr. Fred D. Boomer, of Boston, Mo., who is engaged as traveling salesman, fur and cloak house.  The bride is the daughter of Rev. H.B. Seeley, a retired Methodist preacher, who resides at Chillicothe.  The couple entertained a number of their friends at 6 o'clock dinner at the Peery, last evening, and departed this morning for Chillicothe.


Chillicothe Constitution - Evening edition
Chillicothe, Missouri, January 25, 1892

Boomer on a Boom - A Chillicothean Boards a Freight Train With Disastrous Results.
Special to the St. Louis Republic
Burlington, Io., Jan. 23 -- "I'll kill him, I'll kill him!" were the words that startled Press Operator Morlock of the Western Union Telegraph Company's office early this morning, as a tall well dressed man, literally covered with blood, which streamed from an ugly looking gash in his forehead, staggered into the room.  The fellow was quickly placed in a chair and a doctor sent for to dress his wounds.  He was half intoxicated and told a story of a fight to the death he had with a brakeman on a freight train.  The police investigated the matter and found that the man, who proves to be F.O. Boomer of Chillicothe, Mo., and a traveling man, in company with a fellow traveller named Gehegan, from Denver, Colo., had attempted to board a fast freight going west this morning.  The rear brakeman ordered them off, and Boomer, being drunk, struck the brakeman a blow that knocked him down.  Springing up, the brakeman grabbed an axe and struck Boomer over the head with it, inflicting a severe gash, but fortunately not seriously injuring him.  Both men then left the train and went to the telegraph office, Gahegen half carrying Boomer.  Both men were arrested and placed in jail, but released on bail to appear his morning for trial.  Boomer jumped his bail and disappeared. Gahegen was fined $5 and costs.  Boomer claims to be the son of a millionaire living in some Iowa city, the name of which he would not disclose.  He is a powerful fellow, and claims to be something of a pugilist.  He appeared to be well educated and used to plenty of money, and it is suspected that he is a prominent person who is on a quiet "tear" under an assumed name. 
[Ed.  Constitution - Mr. Boomer is the man who recently married Miss Stella Seeley, of this city, at Trenton, Mo., an account of which appeared in this paper last Friday.]


Chillicothe Morning Constitution
Chillicothe, Missouri, January 27, 1892

The Boomer Case - Chapter III
A letter from Benj. Boomer, the father of F.O. Boomer, of Waukon, Ia., states that he has induced Fred to quit the road and to settle down to business.  Also that Mrs. Fred Boomer shall be dealt with as a wife should. A letter from Mr. F.O. Boomer to his wife denies the statement that he was in Burlington after leaving here.  He says he went from here to Cedar Rapids and from there to Dubuque, where he is at present.  Mr. Boomer's father is a banker at Waukon, Iowa, and is a reliable and wealthy man, and thinks that everything will come to an agreeable focus soon.


Chillicothe Constitution - Evening Edition
Chillicothe, Missouri, February 4, 1892

Booming Boomer - The Prodigal's Return Followed by Scandalous Denouments.
From the Waukon (Ia) Democrat, Feb. 3 - Fred Boomer returned last week from his single handed wedding tour, but there was no brass band at the depot to welcome him as he no doubt anticipated there would be, judging from his lordly and pompous boering since his return.  Fred's trip took in the city of Burlington where some of the railroad boys gave him a warm reception and some of the city officials also entertained him for a short time; but owing to circumstances of a pressing character he could not remain with them a great while and was obliged to take an informal leave of them, after having his name duly registered on their official record.

Since the above was put in type we are reliably informed that Chillicothe, Mo., papers have been received here giving an account of the elopement and marriage some days ago of one F.O. Boomer, representing himself to be a traveling man from Boston, Mass., and a Miss Stella Seeley, the young daughter of a retired Methodist minister of Chillicothe.  The eloping parties, it is stated, went to Trenton, Mo., and after some difficulty succeeded in obtaining a license and they were married there, and the groom is said to have given quite a supper to a number of new made friends.  Can it be possible that the above named is our own highly moral and intellectual Fred?  Putting this, that and the other together it would seem so.

Still Later - The Plot Thickens.
Boomer seems to have started "hell bent for destruction" by the shortest and most expeditious route.  Last Monday Rev. W.C. Macurdy, pastor of the Methodist church in this city, received the following from the father of the girl:

"Chillicothe, Mo., Jan. 27, 1892.
Pastor M.E. Church, Waukon Iowa
Dear Sir and Brother,
I am a superanuated member of the Missouri Annual Conference, M.E. Church. Please as such do me the favor to give me such information of Mr. Fred O. Boomer, whom with his father, Mr. Benjamin Boomer, as we understand, are residents of your town.  The young Fred., after a comparative short acquaintance, married my daughter.  We were quietly making such investigations of his character as we though proper, when the young people, (both of age,) took snap judgment and came home married.  Please, therefore, quietly and confidentially tell us all you know of Fred., the old gentleman, family, business, etc.  I enclose paper as indicating not only my standing in conference, but that I have such endorsement by the general public that you can trust me fully. I have written to the Waukon bank, but get no answer.
H.B. Seeley."

The paper Mr. Seeley referes to is a copy of a lecture bureau publication under which the gentleman filled numerous engagments through out Iowa and he is mentioned by the press in very flattering terms.  His picture represents him as a large, fine looking gentleman.  He is an old soldier and prominent G.A.R. comrade, having served as a captain in a New York regiment, was wounded, captured by the enemy and spent several months in southern prison pens.  It is almost beyond explanation why a young lady brought up as the daughter of so prominent a man and having the advantage she possessed should take up with any one on so short an acquaintance and be so basely deceived by a wily and unpreposessing looking stranger, only to be deserted immediately after marriage.  And then to see the gall displayed by young Boomer in coming right back into this community where a few weeks ago, on the very hour the marriage ceremony was to be performed, he basely and cowardly deserts the expectant bride, flees to Missouri and slimily wins the affections of another respectable young lady, marries and deserts her, and has the audacity to try to mingle again in the society of young ladies who were thoughtless enough to permit his attentions before the disgraceful escapades of the past several weeks.

Note -- Rev. Mr. Seeley is a minister of the M.E. Church, on the retired list, and is an old and reputable citizen of Chillicothe.  His family are well known here and are very respectable people; and the daughter who has been so deeply wronged, is a young lady who stands high in the community and has many friends. (Ed. Constitution)


Chillicothe Constitution - Evening Edition
Chillicothe, Missouri, February 27, 1892

In Reference to Boomer
Mr. F.O. Boomer arrived here yesterday afternoon, from an extended business trip.  He will spend a few days here, during which time Mr. and Mrs. Boomer (nee Seeley) will be "at home" to their friends at 421 Wise St.  Mr. Boomer laughs heartily at the "canards" that have so freely been circulated in reference to him; and admits that, as the boys say, it looks like "a horse on him." But now that the joke is played out, if they'll all "smile" once with him, he'll say no more about it.


Chillicothe Constitution - Evening Edition
Chillicothe, Missouri, March 16, 1892

The Brookfield Gazette says: "Mr. and Mrs. Fred Boomer and Edith Seely came down from Chillicothe on a short visit to relatives.  Mr. and Mrs. Boomer are on their way to Waukon, Ia., their future home, where he goes into the banking business with his father.


- Notes about Fred & Stella -

Frederick O. Boomer (age 26, b. ILL) and Stella A. Boomer (age 21, b. MO) are found on the 1895  Iowa State census living in Waukon, Makee twp. Allamakee co. Iowa.  Fred's occupation is Stock Buyer.  No children are listed in the household.

Frederick O. Boomer (b. Feb. 1869 in IL) and Estella Boomer (b. Sept. 1873 in MO) are found on the 1900 federal census living in Waukon, Makee twp. Allamakee co. Iowa.  Fred's occupation is Stock Buyer.  No children are listed in the household.

I can't find either Fred or Stella together on the 1910 Federal census or Iowa State census after 1895.

Is this Stella? A married woman named Estella Boomer, age 49, is enumerated on the 1920 federal census, in the Cherokee State Hospital for the insane. She is still there on the 1930 census.  The 1930 census also indicates that she was first married at age 21.  So far I've been unable to find Frederick O. Boomer on either the 1920 or 1930 census.

Allamakee co. cemetery records show burials for F.O. Boomer, Mrs. F.O. Boomer in Oakland Main cemetery, Waukon.  Neither record has a date.  There is an infant Boomer 01/10/1893-03/10/1893 in this cemetery also.  I don't know if this may be the child of Fred and Stella.  Fred's father Benjamin F. Boomer 1842-1916 is also buried here.

- compiled by Sharyl Ferrall

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