biography from Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
Dr. EDMUND AUGUSTUS BOYER was numbered among those who were truly pioneers of Mahaska County, and his name will ever be held in grateful remembrance by all who appreciate what the pioneers had to undergo to make the wilderness a happy home for civilized man. Dr. Bayer was a native of Uniontown, Md., born March 13, 1816. At the time of his birth, and for some years afterward, his father was the owner of a number of slaves, but becoming convinced that slavery was a crime, and not wishing to rear his family where they would be surrounded by such evil influences, and where they would be dependent upon others, he liberated his slaves, after liberally providing for them, and moved with his family to Ohio. Here the Doctor grew to manhood and entered the medical profession. In 1840 Dr. Boyer was united in marriage with Miss Mary Wiley, of West Lake, Ind., but a native of Vermont, and immediately moved to Iowa, locating in Van Buren County, where he remained three years. In April, 1843, he came to Mahaska County, picked out his claim, and in May following, just as soon as the country was thrown open for settlement, moved his family here, becoming one of the first, if not the first, permanent settler of the county. Dr. and Mrs. Boyer reared a family of nine children, five boys and four girls, all of whom are living save Mrs. Anna Scott, wife of Dr. D. Scott, formerly of this county. The living children are: Mary R., wife of John R. Barnes, of Oskaloosa; William E., merchant, at Tracy, Iowa; Richard M., a farmer in Mahaska County; Frank D., a merchant in Oskaloosa; Ella, wife of Dr. E. B. Young, Red Oak, Iowa; Edmund A., Jr., a real- estate dealer in Dodge City, Kan.; Fannie, wife of Smith McPherson, for four years Attorney General of Iowa, now engaged in the practice of his profession at Red Oak, Iowa; Thomas H., at present United States Mail Messenger on the C. & N. W. R. R., residing in Belle Plaine. For fifteen years after coming to this county Dr. Boyer practiced medicine. In order to give his undivided attention to his farm and store he then retired from practice. He was a man of large resources, a great reader, and a deep and practical reasoner, and possessing a remarkable memory, it made him a leader among men. He was always a zealous politician, ever working for the success of his party and friends, yet never sought, nor would he accept public position himself. Reared as he was in a home of plenty, and used until nearly grown to all the luxuries and ease of plantation life, witb slaves to do his every bidding, yet he was ever self-dependent and free from taint of aristocracy, and always sought to exalt labor and honest self-dependence. In early life Dr. Boyer allied himself with the Whig party, but being strongly prejudiced against slavery, on the organization of the Republican party, he naturally found a home within its ranks. He was one of the first to espouse its cause in Mahaska County, and was numbered among its organizers here. The Republican party found in him a strong advocate until, as he thought. its mission was ended, and that living issues should be dismissed. The friend of the laboring man, and deeply desirous of doing all he could to advance his interests, when the Greenback Labor party was formed, he became one of its adherents and worked as faithfully in its behalf as ever he did in behalf of the Republican party. Strong in his political views, he made both friends and enemies, but all respected him as a men of sterling worth, true to his friends, kind and provident in his family, and always ready to extend a helping hand to the unfortunate. For nearly half a century he was a resident of Mahaska County. Every change that was made in transforming the wilderness into a thickly settled and prosperous country, he witnessed and participated in. The home which he founded was a hospitable one, and from it have been sent forth some who now occupy useful and honorable positions in town, county and State. Dr. Boyer, after an illness of more than one year's duration, died Feb. 6, 1886, at his farm in Scott Township, on which he first settled when he came to this county. The funeral services were conducted by Rev. J. M. Baugh, who spoke feelingly of the dead husband, father and friend. The body was then laid at rest in the churchyard at Olivet, there to wait the ressurrection morn.
Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy