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Fayette County, Iowa
Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910
Author: G. Blessin
B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana
Vol. I, Biographical Sketches
WILBUR FISK BOYCE
The financial and commercial history of Fayette county would be incomplete and unsatisfactory without personal mention of those whose lives are interwoven so closely with the industrial and financial development of this portion of the state. When a man, or a number of men, set in motion the machinery of business, which materializes into many forms of practical utility, or where they have carved out a fortune or a name from the common possibilities, open for competition to all, there is a natural public desire, which should be gratified to see them as nearly as a word artist can paint them. The examples they furnish of patient purpose and steadfast integrity strongly illustrate what it is in the power of each to accomplish. Some men belong to no exclusive class in life; apparently insurmountable obstacles have in many instances awakened their faculties and served as a stimulus to carry them to ultimate success. The gentleman whose life history is here outlined lived to a good purpose and achieved a much greater degree of success than falls to the lot of the average individual. By a straightforward and commendable course he made his way to a respectable position in the business world, winning the hearty admiration of the people of his county and earning a reputation as an enterprising, progressive man of affairs, which the public was not slow to recognize and appreciate.
Wilbur Fisk Boyce was born on the 21st day of June, 1846, in Kendall county, Illinois, and was a son of Joseph Boyce. an early merchant and for many years a prominent citizen of Fayette, having retired in later life. In 1857 Mr. Boyce accompanied his parents on their removal to near Waterloo, Iowa, and in1861 accompanied them to Fayette and from that time up to the date of his death, which occurred on January 18, 1906, he was closely identified with Fayette county. At Fayette he passed from youth to manhood and became the clerk of his father, who was then carrying on a general store. When his father sold out, the subject remained as clerk for four years. He then, in 1876, entered business for himself, purchasing a lumber yard, which he continued to operate until his death, a period of about twenty-eight years. If you would know the history of his dealings in the lumber business, ask the hundreds of men who were his customers. He was a man of keen discernment and could generally calculate successfully the outcome of a transaction, his judgment being highly valued by his business associates and others with whom he had dealings. Shrewd and sagacious, he gave careful attention to every detail of his business affairs, and this was the keynote to his success. Honorable in his dealings with others, he earned and retained a high position in the esteem of all who knew him. Public spirited and progressive, he gave unstintedly his support and influence to every measure which had for its object the advancement of the best interests of the community, and much of the success of the Upper Iowa University was attributed to his valued services as a member of the board of trustees of that institution, in the welfare of which he was particularly interested.
Politically, Mr. Boyce was a Republican and he took all intelligent and active interest in the success of his party. He was converted when about twenty years of age and was ever after faithful to his religious duties. As time passed he was given positions of trust in the church, having served many years as chairman of the board of stewards and also as a trustee. For twelve years he served as a member of the town council and on the school board for a number of years. He was a good citizen in all the term implies and his death was deplored in all circles of society. His geniality was greater than the average and in his home life he was a model, and loved best of all the quiet of his own fireside. In all relations with his fellow beings he was an example worthy of emulation.
On October 19, 1869, Mr. Boyce was married to Julia Ann Robertson, daughter of James E. and Elizabeth (Alexander) Robertson, and to this union were born two children, Eva Louise, deceased, and George Edmond, an optician at Waterloo. Aside from his wife and son, Mr. Boyce left a sister, Mrs. Mattie Scobey, and a brother, J. H. Boyce, both of Fayette.
~transcribed by Cheryl Walker for Fayette County IAGenWeb
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