The subject was born November 30, 1854, on the old Boggs homestead in Raccoon township, Marion county, the son of James Clark Boggs, who was born in Jefferson county, this state, April 3, 1828, and reared, educated and married in Marion county. He married Margaret Hicklin, who was born February 23, 1834, in Lincoln county, Tennessee. James C. Boggs was the son of Spruce Boggs, who married Martha H. Kell, January 21, 1825. They were of North Carolina. They were members of the Reformed Presbyterian church, and gave the land on which to build the church, and were active in church work. He was born May 9, 1808. They came to Jefferson county, Illinois, in the early twenties and were the first settlers in Rome township, the north part. He got wild land here, and in those days the Indians were quite troublesome and ate most of his crop the first year. There was an abundance of wild game then. He was a hard working, rugged man, and won success despite obstacles, through his agricultural labors. He and his wife died on the place. They were the parents of fourteen children, seven of whom grew to maturity. They are all now deceased. Those who grew up were: Thomas, Clark, William, John, Sarah, Joseph and Hugh. The subject's grandfather, William Hicklin, was a native of South Carolina. He married Ann Sloan, of that state. They went to middle Tennessee where they remained for a number of years after their marriage, and they went later to Randolph county, Illinois, and then to Marion county, settling in Raccoon township, where they secured wild land in section 27, having got eighty acres of government land, which they developed into a good farm, and on which they died. They were the parents of four children, John, Margaret, Betsy J. became the wife of T. B. Parkinson, of Raccoon township, this county; Florida A. lives in Raccoon township, the widow of Benjamin Cook. The subject's father received only a limited education. However, he was self-learned. When a young man he taught school. He was reared on his father's old homestead and lived at home until he was twenty-one years old, after which he was at different places for a while. When he bought eighty acres of land in section 34, Raccoon township, on which he made his home until in April, 1862, when he enlisted in Company H, Eightieth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He was in several engagements, among which was the great battle of Stone River. In fording the river there the troops had to wade the water up to their armpits. The subject's father was very warm at the time, and the cold water caused him to take a severe cold, which resulted in his death on April 6, 1863. He was buried in the National cemetery at Murfreesboro, Tennessee. His wife remained on the place until her death, September 3, 1893. They were members of the Reformed Presbyterian church. Mr. Boggs was a Justice of the Peace and a Republican in politics. Mr. and Mrs. James Clark Boggs were the parents of four children, namely: William, who died single at the age of nineteen; Franklin Gilbert, our subject; Mary A., the wife of E. R. Davis, who now lives on the old Boggs place in Raccoon township; Florida married Joseph C. Telford, a farmer in Raccoon township.
The subject of this sketch was educated in the home schools and lived at home until he reached the age of twenty-four years. He was united in marriage December 6, 1877, to Emma Norfleet, who was born in Tennessee, the daughter of Benjamin F. and Josephine (Hamlett) Norfleet, who now live in Raccoon township, and whose sketch appears in full in this work. Three sons have been born to the subject and wife, as follows: Vivian O., was born December 25, 1878. He is in the mercantile business in Mounds and Dongola, Illinois, making his home in the latter town. He married Anna May Eimer, of Bellville, Illinois, and they have one son, Leland. Vivian O. was a stenographer and teacher previous to going into the mercantile business. He attended school at Carbondale, Illinois, and took a business course at Centralia. He is a bright young business man. Victor, the subject's second child, was born September 30, 1880. He attended school at Carbondale, Illinois, and at the University of Valparaiso, Indiana, where he made a brilliant record for scholarship. He is a graduate in pharmacy. He is now in St. Louis, engaged in carpentry and building, also real estate. He buys lots and builds on them for investment purposes. He married Iva Wyatt on September 24, 1908. Earl, the subject's youngest son, was born August 22, 1887. He is a farmer and carpenter at Fruti, Colorado, where he is doing well. He attended the Centralia schools.
After 1877 the subject located on his present farm in section 34, Raccoon township, where he purchased forty acres. It was a new place, but the subject was a hard worker and soon developed a fine farm, well improved in every respect, and his home is one of the finest in Raccoon township. He does most all his own carpenter work, being naturally a skilled workman. He also owns one hundred and thirty-one acres of well improved and very productive land in sections 27, 34 and 35, in this township. He has a very valuable orchard. He raises fine fruits of all varieties, and he used to raise a great many strawberries. No small part of Mr. Boggs' income is derived from his livestock. He always keeps a good grade, his Duroc and Jersey hogs being especially well bred. He has also been extensively engaged in the poultry business for the past seventeen years, raising mostly Barred Plymouth Rock chickens. He carries on a general farming, and his place shows thrift, good management and industry, being all in all one of the most desirable farms in the township.
Mr. Boggs is a stanch Republican and a faithful member of the United Presbyterian church. He is well read on modem topics, and he makes all his friends and acquaintances feel at home when they visit him.
Extracted 05 Jun 2017 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical Review of Marion, Counties, Illinois, pages 360-362.