Through struggles to triumph seems to be the maxim which holds sway for
the majority of our citizens and, though it is undeniably true that many a
one falls exhausted in the conflict, a few by their inherent force of
character and strong mentality rise above their environments and all which
seems to hinder them until they reach the plane of affluence. It is not the
weaklings that accomplish worthy ends in the face of opposition but those
with nerve and initiative whose motto is, "He never fails who never gives
up," and with this terse aphorism ever in view, emblazoned on the pillar of
clouds, as it were, before them, they forge ahead until the sunny summits of
life are reached and they can breath a breath of the purer air that inspires
the souls of men in respite. Such has been the history of Frank A. Boynton
and in his life record many useful lessons may be gained.
Mr. Boynton was born four miles east of Salem in Stevenson township, April 18, 1861, the son of John Boynton, a native of Haverhill, Scioto county, Ohio, who came to Illinois about 1859, settling on the farm on which his widow now resides. John Boynton was a prosperous and influential farmer all his life. He ably served as school director of Stevenson township for many years, and after a very successful and useful life he passed away in 1900.
The grandfather of the subject on his paternal side was Asa Boynton, who was anative of Haverhill, Massachusetts, who migrated to Ohio in an early day and settled on the French "grant" in Ohio, and the place where he settled was named Haverhill, after the Massachusetts town from whence he came. He was, like many of the early pioneers, a man of sterling qualities, brave and a hard worker.
The subject's mother was Eliza Copenhagen, born near Ironton, Ohio, on the land where the town is situated. Her people came from Virginia, having been among the fine old Southern families who migrated from that state to Ohio in the early days. She has made her home on the old homestead in Stevenson township from that time to the present day, and there she is held in highest esteem by a host of acquaintances and friends. Eight children were born to Mr. and Mrs. John Boynton, six of whom are living at this writing (1908). Their names are: Asa died when fourteen years old; Frank, our subject; Elmer, of Salem, Illinois; Lucy who passed to her rest in 1905; Loren K., of Ruleville, Mississippi; John Ellis, who lives with his mother in Stevenson township; Delmont, who lives in Stevenson township on a farm joining the parental homestead; Ida, who lives with her mother.
Frank A. Boynton, our subject, spent his boyhood under the parental roof and received his primary education in the Brubaker school in Stevenson township. He worked on the farm during his young manhood and he has always been identified with farming interests; he now owns a fine farm, highly improved and very productive, located in the northern part of Stevenson township. It consists of over five hundred acres, and no more choice land is to be found in this locality. He went to Wheeler, Jasper county, Illinois, in 1891, and was a storekeeper and gauger there where he remained for two years, making a success of his enterprise, but he returned to his farm in Stevenson township and in about 1903 came to Salem and is now engaged in the real estate and loan business with offices in L. M. Kagy's law office. He helped organize the Salem State Bank of which he is a heavy stockholder and director. He operated a threshing machine for twelve years with great success in Stevenson township, and he has been a stock shipper the greater part of his life.
Thus we see that Mr. Boynton has been a very busy man, and also one that had unusual executive ability else he could not have carried to successful issue so many extensive enterprises.
Our subject was married in 1892 to Anna Stevenson, daughter of Samuel E. Stevenson, a well known family of Stevenson township. One winsome child was born to this union, Gladys. At the time of his marriage Mr. Boynton was living on his farm. His first wife was called to her rest February 16, 1897, and our subject was again married May 17, 1906, his last wife being Ethel Stevenson. No children have been born to this union. Mrs. Boynton presides over their modern, commodious, beautiful and elegantly furnished home on South Broadway with rare grace and dignity, and she is frequently hostess to numerous admiring friends of the family.
Possessing the executive skill and pleasing personality that our subject does, it is not surprising that his friends should have singled him out for political preferment, consequently he has been honored with numerous local offices, all of which he has ably and creditably filled to the entire satisfaction of all concerned. He has served as Clerk of Stevenson township and later served two terms as Supervisor of that township. He is now city Alderman from the Second ward of Salem. Useless to say our subject is a loyal Republican, and he was at one time the nominee of his party for Sheriff, and at another time for Treasurer, but was defeated. He, however, made a most excellent race, being defeated by only a few votes, although the county is strongly Democratic. He is, indeed, a public-spirited citizen and witholds his co-operation from no movement which is intended to promote public improvement. What he has achieved in life proves the force of his character and illustrates his steadfastness of purpose. He is now one of the men of affluence and his advancement to a position of credit and honor in the business circles of Marion county is the direct outcome of his own persistent and worthy labors, and it would be hard to find a more popular or congenial gentleman in this section of the state than Mr. Boynton.
Extracted 05 Jun 2017 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 78-79.