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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company; Elwood Roberts, Editor.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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HON. HENRY K. BOYER, ex-Speaker of the House of Representatives, ex-State Treasurer, and ex-Superintendent of the United States Mint at Philadelphia, was born at Evansburg, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, February 19, 1850.

The first ancestor of the Boyer family in America was of French Huguenot stock, and came to Pennsylvania during the colonial days. A large number of his descendants followed the trade of blacksmith, while others were farmers and mechanics. Jacob Boyer (great-grandfather) was a resident of Chester county, Pennsylvania. Henry Boyer (grandfather), a native of Montgomery county, followed the trade of a blacksmith during his active life, but spent his declining years with a son at Mont Clare, where he died. He was a Jeffersonian Democrat, but never aspired to political notoriety. He married Elizabeth Dull, whose Huguenot ancestors emigrated to this country in the earliest colonial times. Their children were: Manassah, a blacksmith by trade; Charles, and Ephraim D. Boyer.

The father of Mrs. Elizabeth (Dull) Boyer was a son of Christian Dull, who was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and was killed at the battle of Germantown. Mr. Dull (father) resided near Mont Clare, where he owned and managed a farm on scientific principles. It was known as the ornamental farm, was beautiful in many ways, and all of his attention was given to its cultivation. He resided on the same up to the time of his death. He was a member of the Lutheran church. He married Elizabeth Essick and the following named children were born: Mary, unmarried; Margaret, unmarried; Catharine, unmarried; Elizabeth (Mrs. Henry Boyer); Sarah (Mrs. E. Coates); Hannah (Mrs. Rev. John Davis), her husband being a Presbyterian minister; Theresa (Mrs. Samuel Custer); Charles, a stationery and paper merchant in Philadelphia.

Ephraim D. Boyer (father) was born in Limerick township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania. He was reared on a farm, chose the trade of blacksmith, and after his marriage became the village blacksmith at Evansburg, where he had a comfortable home, and where he died. His wife, Rebecca (Kline) Boyer, a native of Montgomery county, and a descendant of a German ancestry, bore him two children: Matilda (Mrs. J. K. Espenship), and Henry K., mentioned hereinafter. Gabriel Kline, father of Mrs. Boyer, was a prominent farmer and inn-keeper at Trappe, on the Philadelphia and Reading turnpike, his place of business being a widely known and popular hostelry, where now stands a farm house. At this inn he entertained all comers, among them statesmen, clergymen, professional men, farmers on their way to market, teamsters, and others of the traveling public. It was at this house that the name of the town (now borough) of Trappe, originated. He married a Miss Croll, and their children were: Sarah (Mrs. J. Espenship); Sophia, died unmarried; Henry, a bachelor; Kitty (Mrs. Longstreth); and Rebecca, aforementioned as the wife of Ephraim D. Boyer. The Croll family are among the best known residents of the upper section of Montgomery county. The name is variously spelled as follows: Krull, Crull, Croll, Kroll, Crall, and Krall.

Henry K. Boyer is a combination of French Huguenot and Pennsylvania German stock. He early developed qualities of leadership in politics which soon made him prominent in public life. He was educated in the public schools and in Freeland Seminary, now Ursinus College, at Collegeville, in the vicinity of which he was reared. At the age of sixteen he became teacher of a district school in the neighborhood of his home, and later went to Philadelphia, where he became teacher of a classical academy in that city, and subsequently taught school in the Quaker settlement of Byberry. He then accepted the position of principal of the grammar school at Kaighn’s Point, Camden, New Jersey, he having been granted a grammar school teachers’ certificate when only eighteen years of age. He remained in New Jersey until 1871, when he registered as a law student in the office of Benjamin Harris Brewster, late attorney-general of the United States under President Arthur. He was but twenty-three years of age when admitted to the Philadelphia bar in the fall of 1873. He confined his attention more especially to civil cases. In the meantime Mr. Boyer had transferred his voting place from Montgomery county to the seventh ward of Philadelphia. His growing inclination for public affairs led him in the spring of 1882 to attend a meeting of Republicans, of which Edwin S. Stuart was chairman, preparatory to choosing delegates for the state convention which nominated General James A. Beaver for governor. He was announced as a candidate for delegate from the seventh ward, and secured a very complimentary vote, although not elected. He was a candidate for member of the state house of representatives in the fall of that year, and was elected by a handsome majority, which was largely increased in 1884 and again in 1886. As a member of the legislature of Pennsylvania, Mr. Boyer at once took a very prominent position, having a large share in framing the revenue act of 1885. Other important legislation to the success of which he contributed included the board of health law, the Bullitt charter for Philadelphia, and the medical examiners’ bill, all of which were vigorously advocated by him. He offered the amendment to the Bullitt bill that postponed the operation of the new charter until the termination of Mayor Smith’s term.

At thirty-seven years of age, Mr. Boyer was unanimously nominated in the Republican caucus for speaker of the house of representatives at the session of 1887, and his election was made unanimous after the formality of the Democratic members voting for their two candidates had been completed. At the close of his term as speaker, members of both parties testified that his rulings had always been fair and just, that he had displayed rare knowledge and ability as a parliamentarian, and that even when the partisan spirit ran high and controversy was acrimonious, he wielded the gavel of the speaker with justice and impartiality to all. A compliment that had not been bestowed on anyone since the adoption of the new constitution of Pennsylvania in 1874 was given to Mr. Boyer in his re-election to the speakership in 1889, the caucus nomination again being unanimous. At the end of his second term as speaker he enjoyed a repetition of the compliments paid to him two years previously, not only by his party friends, but also by his political opponents. The Republican state convention that year nominated him unanimously for state treasurer, and though it was an off year in politics, with Mr. Boyer the only candidate on the state ticket, his majority at the polls was 60,926.

During his term as state treasurer Mr. Boyer became the author of the revenue act of 1891, a very important piece of financial legislation, through whose agency the state treasury has been constantly replenished without imposing any undue burden upon the farmers and other real estate owners of the commonwealth. This statute, which is the law of today, was passed without the aid of a conference committee. It made possible the appropriation yearly of $5,500,000 to the schools, and has ever since provided ample revenue.

Retiring from the office of state treasurer in May, 1892, Mr. Boyer was returned as a member of the house of representatives at Harrisburg in November of that year. When the legislature met he was made chairman of the ways and means committee, the leading house committee.

In Mr. Quay’s contest for the state chairmanship against B. F. Gilkison, Mr. Boyer espoused the case of Senator Quay. He succeeded Frank Willing Leach at the head of the executive committee of the state organization, holding that position until Mr. Quay and his lieutenants agreed that the one man to be at the helm in the capitol during the legislative session of 1897 was, the ex-speaker. Mr. Elkin was elected chairman of the state committee, and Mr. Boyer was again elected representative from the seventh ward of Philadelphia in the fall of 1896, and having carried the caucus unanimously was elected speaker of the house the following years in spite of the fight between Wanamaker and Quay, this making his third election to that place, an honor never before conferred upon any man. In the house and senate caucus for the Republican nomination for United States senator, Mr. Boyer made the speech putting in nomination Hon. Bories Penrose, present senior senator. Other honors awaited Mr. Boyer. He was given the appointment of superintendent of the United States Mint at Philadelphia, and in order to accept this he resigned his membership in the legislature. He held the position during the construction of the new mint, which is equipped with all modern machinery, being the most complete money-making establishment in the world. When he manifested his desire to be released from the position it was no easy task to fill the place. He made three or four attempts to resign before he succeeded in having his resignation accepted by the President. He served four years in all, being relieved in 1902, since which time he has lived retired from the busy whirl of politics. His services were sought in every position which he has filled, his experience illustrating very fully the idea of the office seeking the man and not the man the office.

He has made several investments in real estate near his old home, purchasing the old Perkiomen Bridge Hotel and twenty-two acres of land. He has also bought farm lands from time to time, adding to his original holdings. He commenced with forty-one acres known as the Fry farm, having in his possession deeds continuously transferring the title from 1722 to the present time (1904). His farm now contains one hundred and sixty-seven acres. He has remodeled the farm buildings, adding to them a large barn with many modern conveniences, it being a model structure equipped with modern machinery for all purposes, operated by a gasoline engine. Everything about Mr. Boyer’s property is up-to-date, his farm implements being of the most improved kind. He has built a model creamery equipped with all the modern requirements, and has given much attention to the improvement of his dairy stock, having a large herd of cows, a number of which are thoroughbred Guernseys. He has one of the best and most fertile farms in the state of Pennsylvania. He has planted many forest and other trees, and has left nothing undone that is needed to bring his farm up to the standard of perfection attainable in that direction. Quiet and unobtrusive in his manners, he has strong social inclinations, causing his company to be much sought after and enjoyed. In his school days he was exceedingly apt in mathematics, and later he devoted himself to the study of literature and history. He displayed his knowledge of English literature in an address to the literary societies at the commencement at Ursinus College (his alma mater), in 1887. The faculty met immediately afterward and conferred upon him the degree of Master of Arts. In 1871, shortly after attaining his majority, he was made a Mason in Trimble Lodge, No. 117, F. & A. M., Camden, New Jersey. He served in all the offices from junior deacon up, and thus became a past master by merit, and a member of the grand lodge of New Jersey. About the year 1880 he was demitted and became a member of Philates Lodge, No. 527, at Philadelphia. Mr. Boyer is fond of fishing, gunning and other outdoor sports.

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This family biography is one of more than 1,000 biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company.  For the complete description, click here: Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

View additional Montgomery County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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