John  M.  Boals

          John M. Boals, one of the prominent farmers of Brandywine Township, was born in Lycoming County, Pa., May 15, 1834. He was the second of three children -- one son and two daughters -- born to Seely and Jane (Murphy) Boals, the former a native of the State of New York, of English descent, and the latter, who was the daughter of  John and Jane (Porter) Murphy, was a native of Pennsylvania, of  Irish descent.  His two sisters are:  Martha J., the wife of  Solomon Toner, of Edinburg, and Mary, the wife of  Dr. Samuel McGaughy, of Acton, Marion County.  The subject of this sketch was but six months old when his mother died. His father then placed him in charge of an uncle and aunt and went to the east never more to see the son again. The latter, therefore, has no recollection whatever either his father or mother. While yet a very young child he accompanied his uncle, aunt and grandparents of Shelby County, where he was reared upon a farm. He continued with his uncle until his marriage, which occurred March 11, 1857, when  Margaret E. Williams became his wife. She was born in Brandywine Township, this county, March 4, 1837, and was the daughter of  Isaac and Hannah (Taylor) Williams, the former a native of Virginia, of English descent, and the latter a native of Burlington County, N.J., also of English descent.  Her paternal grandparents were  Hugh and Artemiss (Craig) Williams, native of Virginia.  Her maternal grandparents were  John and  Elizabeth (Lippencott) Taylor, both of whom were also native of Burlington County, N.J. Mrs. Boals had four brothers and two sisters, as follows:  John W.,  Mary E.,  Richard E.,  Thomas,  Caleb, and  Sarah C., all of whom are deceased except Sarah C., who is the wife of  George Dipple, of Hendricks Township.  Immediately after their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Boals settled upon a farm in Hendricks Township.  There they resided until 1868, when they emigrated to the State of Missouri, but shortly afterward they returned to this county, and again settled in Hendricks Township.  Two years later, or in 1871, they removed to Tipton County, in this State. In 1873, they returned to this county and located, temporarily, in Addison Township.  They removed to Brandywine Township, and settled upon the farm they now occupy, in the spring of 1874.  The life occupation of Mr. Boals has been that of a farmer, and as such he has had good success. He and wife are the parents of eight children as follows:  Mary B., born December 18, 1858;  Samuel E., born January 19, 1861, died December 3, 1863;  Thomas M., born October 11, 1863;  Hattie L., born December 3, 1866;  Albert W., born December 22, 1868;  Sadie E., born June 16, 1871;  Martha J., born February 15, 1875, died January 20, 1883, and a son that died in infancy, unnamed.*  Mr. and Mrs. Boals are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In politics, the former is a staunch Democrat.  He is an industrious farmer, and he and wife are among the worthy and esteemed citizens of the township. They have a fine farm of about eighty acres, sixty of which are in an excellent state of cultivation.  Their farm is fitted up with a very handsome frame residence, which, with other substantial improvements, makes it one of the most desirable locations in the county.
* Center/Old Union/Ray Cemetery readings show additional children [pmf].
History of Shelby County, Indiana, Chicago: Brant & Fuller, 1887, page 605-606.
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming

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