The Kilbourne/Boyd/Dixon/Breithut /Ohaus Families:Information about Alexander Boyd
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Alexander Boyd (b. 03 Jul 1817, d. 02 Jul 1902)
Alexander Boyd (son of Charles S. Boyd and Elizabeth Dixon)23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 was born 03 Jul 1817 in New York City31, 32, and died 02 Jul 1902 in Princeton, IL33.He married (1) Elizabeth Merritt on 10 Mar 184234, 35, daughter of Elijah M. Merritt and Mariah Hopkins.He married (2) Anna J. Lewis on 23 Jan 1890 in Ohio Twp., Bureau County, Illinois36.
Notes for Alexander Boyd:
ALEXANDER BOYD was the oldest son of Charles S. and Elizabeth Dixon Boyd.In 1830, at age 13, he emigrated with his family to Springfield, Illinois.They later moved to Boyd's Grove and finally Princeton, IL.(See Charles S. Boyd for details).
When living in Springfield, they were the nearest neighbors of Mr. Todd, Abraham Lincoln's father-in-law.Alexander said he could well remember seeing Lincoln sneaking over to Todd's to see Miss Mary Todd, whom he afterward married.
In the spring of 1832, Alex Boyd had some experiences as a rider through the dangerous wilds and Indian coverts, bearing important messages from the commander to the fort at Peoria. Harrington tells the following story:One night during this summer (1832, when under fear of attack by Black Hawk and his tribe), James P. Dixon, son of John Dixon, in company with five soldiers, arrived at the Grove with important dispatches from Dixon to Fort Clark.The men being anxious to return as the Indians were in close proximity to Dixon, when they left they prevailed upon Alex's father to allow one of his boys to carry these papers to Fort Clark.Alex was called up and asked if he would take it.He replied if his father would let him ride "Kit" he would not be afraid.
His wardrobe was increased to a straw hat, breeches and a shirt.He was warned by his father what particular points to avoid, where to be on the lookout for covert red-skins, especially the old empty cabin of Joe Meredith's that stood near the road, cautioned to keep on the high prairie, and to ride as fast as his horse could go. One account says, " In the early twilight of the next morning, he started on this perilous journey of 40 miles, which he made safely in six hours."Another says "It was forty-five miles to Peoria, and the rider left Boyd's Grove at 1 P.M., and delivered the message to General Stillman, he thinks it was before sundown of that day."
On arriving he " hitched his horse outside the stockade and presented himself at the gate, requesting to see the head of command.The orderly conducted him to headquarters, where he delivered his messages and was kindly received and highly commended for his bravery.After scanning him closely - he was in his shirt sleeves, barefooted and wore a hat minus half of the brim - the officer ordered him to the commissary department for a new suit. . . . [T]he young hero appeared in a new outfit, perfect from hat to boots.After this transformation he was allowed to visit his mother and the younger children, who had been taken . .to the fort for safety, and the next day returned home."Many years later, the government granted him a small pension on account of his youth at the time of his making his perilous ride.
In April of 1833, being apprehensive of further trouble with the Indians, citizens of Bureau called a meeting to organize companies under the state militia law.All persons liable for military duty met at Boyd's Grove on April 18.Two skeleton companies were formed, one for Spoon River and the other for the Bureau settlement.Alex, who was fifteen at the time, was the Bureau Company drummer.
In 1841 he married Mrs. Elizabeth Chamberlain whose maiden name was Merritt, the widow of Oscar G. Chamberlain.
Alex continued working on the farm with his father and brothers, all taking the precaution of carrying their guns with them while engaging in the field.Sometimes one of the boys would stand guard while the others were at work, so he could give warning if the enemy approached.At night they would leave their cabins, carrying with them blankets and quilts, and sleep in the grove. (See notes for Charles S. Boyd for their encounters with Indians during this period).
Alex remained at home until after attaining his majority, and for five or six years was engaged in a general store in Princeton, going from there to Peru, La Salle County, where he was in the lumber business until 1844.While at Peru, he furnished the lumber for the plank road to Arlington, a distance of twelve miles from that place.The plank furnished was three inches in thickness and eight feet long, and the price contracted for was eight dollars and a half per thousand.At that time there was no lumber yard in Princeton, and much of his trade was from that place and in its vicinity.His business for some years was quite large.
Returning to Princeton in 1844, he sold dry goods for ten years in company with J. P. Baldwin.Just previous to this he had failed in business, but had the satisfaction of knowing that in time he paid every cent of his indebtedness, dollar for dollar.His mercantile business in Princeton, from 1844 to 1854, was quite profitable and very extensive.On closing out this line of trade, he engaged in the fire insurance business, and later secured the general agency for Illinois in the old Continental Life Insurance Company, which position he held for two years.When the company failed he had some five or six policies in it on his own life, and other members of his family were likewise insured in it, each of whom took out policies on his recommendation, much to his regret.
During the Civil War, under the first call for three months' men, Alex enlisted in the army as a private on April 24, 1861 in I company, 12th infantry.He served his time and mustered out on August 1, 1861.
The 1870 Census shows that at age 53, Alexander was a life insurance agent, with real estate valued at $10,000, and a personal value of either $7,000 or $1,000, the census taker's writing being difficult to decipher.He lived in Princeton, housing with him his three children, son-in-law, infant grandson and two additional individuals.In 1877, the Voters and Taxpayers' List shows him to still be an insurance agent.
The 1880 Census shows that at age 63, Alexander was married, retired and lived in Princeton, Bureau County, Illinois.His wife Elizabeth died in 1883 according to her tombstone."The Biorgraphical Record" of Bureau County states she died in 1891.In 1892, he married Mrs. Anna J. Lewis of Ohio Township, Bureau County.
"The Biographical Record" says about him: "Mr. Boyd has always fond of hunting, and until within a comparatively short time has made it a rule of his life to engage in this sport, and as a duck hunter would compete with the best.He is well known throughout Bureau County and enjoys the respect and confidence of all.To such men is due all the the present generation possesses in the way of comfort and the evidences of civilization and culture.Mr. Boyd was originally an old-time whig, but has been a stalwart republican since the organization of that party."
Alex died in Princeton in 1902 one day short of his 85th birthday.
More About Alexander Boyd:
Burial: Unknown, Oakland Cemetery, Princeton, IL.
More About Alexander Boyd and Elizabeth Merritt:
Marriage: 10 Mar 184237, 38
More About Alexander Boyd and Anna J. Lewis:
Marriage: 23 Jan 1890, Ohio Twp., Bureau County, Illinois.39
Children of Alexander Boyd and Elizabeth Merritt are:
- +Elizabeth (Lizzie) Boyd, b. 05 Dec 1845, Princeton, IL40, d. 02 Nov 1930, Kearny, NJ41.
- James S. Boyd, b. 21 Sep 185042, d. 29 May 1891, Princeton, IL43.
- Elijah Day Boyd, b. 11 Mar 185344, d. 01 Dec 188245.
- Charles S. Boyd, b. Abt. 1846, Princeton, IL, d. date unknown.
- Unknown Boyd, d. date unknown.
- Unknown Boyd, d. date unknown.