Biography of Hugh E. Boyd

Hugh E. Boyd, born August 8, 1862, in Knox County, Ohio, was a notable figure in Richardson County, Nebraska. The son of John S. and Phoebe (McWilliams) Boyd, he moved to Nebraska in 1882, initially working in flour mills before transitioning to banking and mercantile pursuits. Boyd served as assistant cashier at the State Bank of Humboldt and later managed the Building and Loan Association and the City Mutual Telephone Company. He married Elizabeth A. Rouse in 1887, and they had three children. Boyd was also a county commissioner and active in local fraternal organizations and the Presbyterian church.

A public-spirited and successful man of affairs of Humboldt is Hugh E. Boyd, well known throughout Richardson county. He was born in Knox county, Ohio, August 8, 1862, and is a son of John S. and Phoebe (McWilliams) Boyd. John S. Boyd was born in Greene county, Pennsylvania, in 1825, and there spent his childhood, being twelve years old when his parents, John and Anna Boyd, brought him to Knox county, Ohio, the family locating on a farm near Martinsburg, and there by hard work and perseverance they developed a good farm of one hundred and sixty acres from the wilderness and there continued to reside until 1888, when the father of the subject of this sketch came West and located at Salem, Nebraska, buying eighty acres on which he engaged in farming until he retired from active life. His death occurred in Salem in 1912 at the advanced age of eighty-seven years. His parents were natives of Greene county, Pennsylvania, where they grew up, married and established their home. They were both of Irish descent. There were three brothers of the Boyd family to emigrate from the “auld sod” in colonial days, one of them locating in New York, one in Pennsylvania and one in Virginia. The mother of the subject of this sketch was born near Martinsburg, Ohio, about 1826, and her death occurred in 1911. She also reached a ripe old age. To John S. Boyd and wife five children were born, namely: Mrs. Lydia Huston, who lives in Salem, Nebraska; John W. makes his home at Mt. Vernon, Ohio; Robert is deceased; William B. lives at Salem, this state, and Hugh E. of this sketch, who was fourth in order of birth.

John S. Boyd, father of Hugh F. Boyd, was a soldier during the Civil War, having enlisted on September 10, 1864, in Company I, One Hundred and Forty-Second Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He was promoted to the rank of corporal. After serving one hundred days he was honorably discharged, December 15, 1864. Although the term of his enlistment was short he saw considerable service in the Shenandoah valley, Virginia, on the Peninsula and in the operations of the federal troops on the James river and around Petersburg and Richmond. His company especially distinguished itself at the battle of Monocacy Junction, Maryland, July 30, 1864, in which his company was entitled to national thanks.

Hugh E. Boyd was reared on a farm and he attended the district schools and the high school at Martinsburg, Ohio, also an academy. He came West in 1882 and was employed in the flour mills at Salem, Nebraska, having charge of the mill in 1883 and 1884. He then took a position as assistant cashier in the Bank of Salem, where he remained until 1897, when he came to Falls City, Richardson county, and was connected with the store of Gist, Greenwald & Company until 1902, when he took up his residence at Humboldt, and was assistant cashier of the State Bank of Humboldt until 1904, when he returned to Salem and engaged in mercantile pursuits until 1906, then formed a partnership with V. G. Lyford at Humboldt. In 1912 he again turned his attention to banking and was assistant cashier, of the National Bank at Humboldt for one year. Since 1913 he has devoted his entire time to the Building and Loan Association and the City Mutual Telephone Company, being manager of each, also secretary of the former. The pronounced success of these companies has been due very largely to his excellent management and close application. He also has other affairs and is owner of valuable city property at Humboldt, and owns a half section of land in the Kiowa valley, Colorado, within thirty-five miles of Denver. Two hundred acres of this land is planted to beans; Fred Boyd is now in charge of this farm.

Mr. Boyd was married on December 12, 1887, to Elizabeth A. Rouse, a daughter of Joseph and Marinda (Rice) Rouse,, both natives of England. The father was born, March 13, 1813, came to America when young and devoted his active life to farming in Winona county, Minnesota, where he settled in 1856, and there his death occurred, February 10, 1895. The mother of Mrs. Boyd was born July 7, 1826, and died, February 2, 1900.

Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Boyd, namely: Harry, an electrician, lives in Des Moines, Iowa; Gladys, who was graduated from the Humboldt high school, is now teaching in the second grade; Fred M., who has charge of his father’s farm in Colorado.

Mr. Boyd is an independent voter. On January 6, 1917, he was appointed county commissioner, which position he is holding to the satisfaction of all concerned. Fraternally, he belongs to Lodge No. 40, Ancient free and Accepted Masons, of which he was at one time master; he also belongs to the Ancient Order of United Workmen, of which he was at one time a trustee in Lodge No. 5. He and his family are members of the Presbyterian church.


Edwards, Lewis C., History of Richardson County, Nebraska : Its People, Industries and Institutions, Indianapolis : B.F. Bowen, 1917.

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