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Fayette County, Iowa  

 Biography Directory


Portrait & Biographical Album of Fayette County Iowa

Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of

Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County

Lake City Publishing Co., Chicago

March 1891


~Page 642~

Mrs. John Boale


Mrs. John Boale, widow of one of the pioneers of Fayette County, lives on section 6, Union Township. Her husband, John Boale, was born in County Down, Ireland, December 5, 1822, and was a son of John Boale, whose father bore the same given name and was a farmer by occupation. John Boale, the father-in-law of the lady whose name heads this sketch, and who is known in the family as Grandfather Boale, was married in Ireland to Miss McWha, who became the mother of seven children, all born on the Emerald Isle. In 1838 he came with his family to America, settling in Mercer County, Pa., where with the aid of his sons he developed from the wild land a good farm. Fourteen years were spent in the Keystone State by the family and in 1852, they came to Iowa, settling in Union Township, Fayette County, Iowa, where the survivor still resides. Grandfather Boale located on a farm of forty acres where he lived until his death, which occurred seven years later on March 6, 1859. His wife died November 5, 1860, and was laid to rest by his side in the Boale Cemetery, which is located on the homestead farm.

Among the seven children of this worthy couple was John with whom this sketch mainly deals. He was sixteen years of age when he emigrated with his parents to Pennsylvania in 1838. He had received an excellent education in Ireland and grew to manhood on his father's farm in Pennsylvania. In 1850, he married Miss Martha Gabie, their union being celebrated in Down County, Ireland, whither he had returned. The lady, a daughter of John and Jane (McGee) Gabie, was born in that county. Accompanied by his bride, Mr. Boale again came to America and in 1852 emigrated to this county in company with his parents. He purchased two hundred and twenty acres of land on which his family now live, only fifteen acres being then under the plow, while the only improvement was a log cabin, in which he and his wife began housekeeping. At that time the city of West Union consisted of a liberty pole, six or eight log houses and a grocery store, whose stock of goods would not more than fill a wagon. Mr. Boale continued to improve that farm until 1870, when in order to give his children better school privileges he removed to his farm in Dover Township, near Auburn. Twelve years were spent by the family there, during which time, on July 19, 1876, Mr. Boale closed an active, successful and well spent life. He was a faithful, liberal and consistent member of the Presbyterian Church of West Union, of which he was one of the first Elders, and was always ready to do his part in any enterprise calculated to advance the best interests of the community. In his dealings he was upright and honorable and the success which crowned his efforts was but the reward of industry and good management. He took an intelligent interest in public and political questions, but was never an office-seeker though he held several minor positions after being earnestly solicited to do so by his friends. In political sentiment he was a Democrat all his life, but if he believed the candidate of the opposing party to be a better man he had independence enough to give him his support. He left his family in comfortable circumstances, his landed possessions comprising some four hundred acres acres. From the earliest days of his settlement in the county until his death no word of reproach was breathed against his character, but by all he was honored and esteemed and the life which he led is one well worthy of emulation.

In the family of Mr. and Mrs. Boale are six sons and two daughters: Jemima, born February 21, 1852, is the wife of William Hewett, of Belvedere, Ill.; Malcolm*, born April 1, 1854, is a druggist of Maynard, Fayette County; John, born October 17, 1856, now has charge of the home place; Grace, born June 5, 1859, is the wife of William Lower, a farmer residing in West Union; William B., born September 12, 1861, is residing in Kansas City, Mo.; Allen J., born September 3, 1864, is a miner of Deadwood, S. D.; George H., born January 24, 1867, is living in Belvidere, Ill.; James D., born February 26, 1870, died November 30, 1889. With the exception of the eldest all were born in Fayette County, Iowa. Their excellent educational advantages they have improved and an intelligent and cultured one is the Boale family. The comfortable home is filled with many pieces of artistic and delicate needle work, beautifully wrought by Mrs. Boale; the old family Bible, one hundred and thirty-nine old occupies an honored place among their treasures and in their home where happiness and good will abound, their many friends delight to gather. John has charge of the farm, having operated it since his father's death, and the appearance of the place shows him to be a successful and enterprising young business man. The mother is a faithful Christian woman, a member of the Presbyterian Church and is beloved by all who know her.




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