Biography of Hon. L. B Boggs of Filley, Nebraska

Hon. L. B. Boggs. Prominent among those who have assisted in building up the town of Filley is the subject of this sketch, a man of wealth and influence, and one whose natural abilities have won for him a high place among the financiers and business men of this part of the county. His portrait may be seen on the opposite page. He traces his ancestry back to Ireland, where his paternal grandfather, Andrew Boggs, was born, in 1759. Upon immigrating to America he settled in Virginia, and spent the remainder of his life there.

James Boggs, the father of our subject, was born in Virginia, where he lived until a young man twenty years of age. Upon leaving home he migrated to the embryo town of Newcastle, Ind., where shortly afterward he was married to Miss Martha Stinson, who was born in East Tennessee, Oct. 26, 1806. Her father, John stinson, with his wife, was also a native of that State, and they spent their last years in Henry County, Ind.

The parents of our subject continued residents of Indiana, where the father carried on farming until his death occurred Nov. 7, 1842. The mother survived a period of ten years, and died at the old homestead, March 6, 1852. Their family included seven children, six sons and one daughter, of whom the following are living, namely: L. B., the subject of this sketch: Milton M., a physician of Lincoln, Ind.; Anthony, a farmer of Argus, Marshall Co., Ind.; Joel L., a merchant of Argus, Ind., and William J., who is farming in the vicinity of Saline, Kan.

Hon. L. B. Boggs was born Sept. 3, 1828, at Newcastle, Ind., and was but fourteen years of age at the time of his father’s death. He was thus thrown upon his own resources, and for two years following worked for his board and clothes, and attended school three months in the winter. He was always recognized as a bright and ambitious lad, and determined to have an education. He followed farming in the manner already described until twenty years old, and was then so fortunate as to be able to enter Wabash Valley College, in his native State, where he took a full classical course, including three years of Latin, and one year of Greek, besides the common English branches, and natural science.

At the close of his college course your Boggs was employed in an elevator one year in Michigan City, and then took up the study of medicine, at Leesburg, Ind. Three years later he entered upon the practice of his profession at North Manchester, where he was located until the fall of 1858. He then changed the scene of his labors to Neponset, Ill., where he operated until 1865. From there he removed to Argus, Ind., where he followed his profession until 1870, and then on account of failing health turned over his practice to his brother, and for a year served as Deputy Marshal of the Third District of Marshall County. At the expiration of the year he resumed practice, and continued in Indiana until September 1871, when he traced his steps to this county.

Dr. Boggs, soon after landing in Southern Nebraska, purchased 185 acres of land in what is now Filley Township, but what was then designated as “Mud Creek.” For this he paid $4.50 per acre, intending to continue to commence stock-raising, but as soon as it became known that he was a physician he was induced to resume his profession. He, however, did not abandon his stock operations, in which he was ably assisted by his sons. His practice in a short time extended for twenty miles in different directions, his farm being his office and headquarters.

Dr. Boggs, in 1887, feeling that he had done ample service in the professional field, and having educated one of his sons to succeed him, retired from active practice, and is now for the most part giving himself up to the enjoyment of the ample fortune which he has secured by his energy and perseverance. He has given his children a liberal education, and finds great pleasure in establishing them in business, and watching their careers, which there is very reason to believe will be but the reflex of his own. He has not been without his reverses, having like his neighbors fought the grasshopper scourge, and upon the occasion of one of the severe storms frequently visiting this region suffered the loss of a fine barn, which was struck by lightning and burned.

Our subject has dealt considerably in real estate, and besides giving a farm to each of his six sons has 265 acres of good land in Filley Township. He usually keeps a herd of fifty cattle and thirty head of horses and colts. In August 1884, Dr. Boggs and a number of other gentlemen interested in the temperance work organized a publishing company, of which the Doctor was made Vice President, and began the publication of the New Republic, with which our subject remained associated until 1887. He then retired from its management, although not from any lack of interest in the work, which he believes to be one of the most important on the face of the Globe. He was born and reared a Democrat, and continued one until after the election of Pierce. From that time until the organization of the Republican party he was an Abolitionist until this party had accomplished its object by the extinction of slavery. In 1880 he identified himself with the Prohibition party, and in 1884 was one of the presidential electors on the Prohibition ticket. In 1876 he was elected by the people of Gage County as their Representative to the Nebraska Legislature, and assisted in that most important measure, the adoption of the new constitution. In the House of Representatives he was the same industrious and engergetic spirit that he has been always, and served on the Judicial Committee, besides being called upon for aid in the settlement of various vexed questions outside the province of this committee.

During the term of Dr. Boggs as a member of the House occurred the Senatorial contest, which resulted in the election finally of Alvin Saunders, and in which contest the Doctor bore no unimportant part. In his township and county there have always been offices at his command, but he has preferred the quiet of home surroundings, and to give his attention to his farm and his family.

Socially, he belongs to the Masonic fraternity. He is a stockholder and one of the directors in the bank at Filley, and to various enterprises intended for the advancement of the people around him has ever lent cordial and generous support.

The marriage of L. B. Boggs and Miss Virginia R. Fraser was celebrated at the home of the bride in Indiana, Oct. 26, 1854. Mrs. Boggs is the daughter of James and Sarah (Campbell) Fraser, who were natives of Washington, D. C., and are deceased. Mr. Fraser was born in Alexandria, Va., July 3, 1798, and died July 4, 1884, in Indiana. His wife, Sarah, was born in Washington, D. C., in 1808. They were married in Washington, and in the year 1834 emigrated to the vicinity of the embryo town of LaPorte, Ind., where Mr. F. followed farming. There the mother died in October 1866. They had a family of eight children, of whom Mrs. B. was the third in order of birth. Six only of these children are now living:

Catherine is the wife of Thomas K. Armstrong, a farmer of Johnson, Mo.; Noval W. is superintendent of the broom department of penitentiary at Lincoln, Neb.; Virginia R., Mrs. Boggs; Mary, Mrs. William Shumaker, is the wife of a well-to-do farmer and merchant of Chilhowee, Mo.; Joseph R., of LaPorte, is engaged in merchandising, and Cornelia, who lives there also, is unmarried.

Mrs. Virginia Boggs was born in LaPorte County, Ind., March 28, 1836, where she was reared and educated, and remained under the parental roof until her marriage. Of her union with our subject there have been born thirteen children, eleven of whom are now living, namely: James F., born Jan. 7, 1856, and now carrying on farming in Filly Township, this county; Charles S., born June 19, 1857, and practicing medicine in Filley; Eva L., born Nov. 19, 1858, and now the wife of P. E. Plumb, a telegraph operator of Drummed, Wis.; Mary Ellen, born Aug. 5, 1860, and the wife of William H. Andrew, a lumberman of Table Rock, this State; Luther H., born April 16, 1862, a liveryman of Filley; Thomas W., born March 8, 1864, and farming in Filley Township: Benjamin F., born March 16, 1866, and assisting on the home farm; Alice C., born March 4, 1868; Virginia Belle, Dec. 20, 1870; Lewis W., Nov. 4, 1875, and Midge, Feb. 11, 1881. The younger children are all at home with their parents. The fine family of children, the beautiful and comfortable home where plenty reigns, the standing of a capable and energetic man in his community, form a picture pleasing to contemplate, and suggest the true object of man’s creation, namely, to glorify the Author of all good, and benefit the world around as opportunity occurs.

Source: Portrait and Biographical Album, Otoe Co., Nebraska 1888

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