William B. Boyer

WILLIAM B. BOYER, a veteran of the Civil war, and an engineer on the Lehigh Valley Railroad, makes his home in Easton, where he has now resided for thirty-one years. He was born in Schuylkill county, Pennsylvania, April 29, 1844, a soil of David and Hannah (Beck) Boyer, the former a native of Schuylkill county, and the latter of Carbon county, this state. The father was a gunsmith by trade, and for a number of years followed that vocation exclusively, but in later years he lived on a farm which he purchased, and gave his attention to its cultivation.  He was a leading citizen of his community, and at one time held the office of councilman. Both he and his wife held membership in the Lutheran church, and he served as one of its deacons, and took a helpful part in its work. He died in 1884, and Mrs. Boyer passed away in 1890. Their family numbered nine children, seven of whom are yet living: Joseph, Lawrence, Mrs. Violetta Schock, Mrs. Matilda Elliard, George B., Willjam B. and Annie M. Gerber.

Under the parental roof William B. Boyer spent the days of his boyhood and youth, and in the public schools of his native county he acquired his education. He afterward learned the millwright's trade, beginning in 1859, and he followed that pursuit until after the beginning of the Civil war, when on the 17th of September, 1862, aroused by a spirit of patriotism, he enlisted in Company F, Seventeenth Regiment Pennsylvania Infantry. He was constantly with his command during its campaigns, and with the regiment was honorably discharged. In July, 1863, he again enlisted, this time becoming a member of Company B, Thirty-ninth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, for ninety days. This was an emergency regiment, and while not engaged in any decisive battle was yet active in sustaining the Union cause. In August, 1863, Mr. Boyer was again discharged.

Upon his return to civil life he once more resumed work at his trade, and in i865 he became an employee of the Schuylkill Navigation Company. In 1869 he entered the employ of the Reading Railroad Company, and in 1872, removing to Easton, he became connected with the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company as a fireman, from which position he was promoted to that of engineer in 1876, and is now running between Easton and Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. On the 8th of June, 1875, Mr. Boyer was fireman for Engineer Paul Reed, on engine 13, hauling the first passenger train run on the Easton & Amboy branch of the road. His first trip as an engineer was made September 17, 1876, on a run from Easton to Wilkes-Barre. In 1889 he was in a wreck in which two lives were lost, but in which he was altogether innocent of negligence. He is recognized by the company as a most careful and painstaking engineer, and one well worthy tile arduous and responsible position which he is now capably filling.

Mr. Boyer was raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason in Page Lodge, No.270, F. and A. M., and he is also a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, and McLean Post, No.576, G. A. R. On the 1st of January, 1864, he was married to Miss Martha A. Yeager, a daughter of Barnett and Hannah Yeager. The Yeagers are of an 01(1 and well known family of this part of tile state. Mrs. Boyer is a native of Pennsylvania, born December 27, 1843. By her marriage she has become the mother of the following named: Hannah L., Robert, Francis, Charles, Harry, David, Mamie, Oscar, Lillian, Edward and George. Harry is now foreman of the shops of the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company, at Sayre, Pennsylvania, and Charles, a graduate of the Jefferson College of Medicine, at Philadelphia, is now practicing his profession.  Mr. Boyer built his home in 1889--a beautiful brick structure, which stands as a monument to his labor, for it was built with his own honest earnings and it is supplied with all modern improvements. Mr. Boyer belongs to the Lutheran church, his wife to the Reformed church, and both are consistent Christian people.


From Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania.  John W. Jordan and Edgar Moore Green, editors.  The Lewis Publishing Company, 1905. Volumes I and II, page 166-7.

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