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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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J. FRANK BOYER, head of the J. Frank Boyer Plumbing and Heating Company and the leading spirit in several other Norristown enterprises, is one of the youngest of Norristown’s business men. He was born March 2, 1867. He is the son of Michael C. and Mary A. (Ziegler) Boyer, the former deceased, both of them belonging to old Montgomery county families of German origin.

Mr. Boyer attended the public schools of Norristown, but did not continue longer at school after having reached the age of sixteen years, preferring to engage in active business. Immediately on leaving school he took a position with Frank W. Wilson, long since deceased, but then located on West Main street, Norristown, to learn the tin, stove and hardware business. Mr. Boyer began business on his own account at the age of eighteen years. He made a success of his venture from the start. In 1889 he located at the corner of Main and Green streets, Norristown, where he remained until his business had increased so much that it had entirely outgrown the accommodations, when he purchased a suitable site for an establishment of the kind he had projected for his growing needs, erected a substantial and well appointed building, and now occupies it fully in connection with the operations of the J. Frank Boyer Plumbing and Heating Company, the patrons of which are not confined to Norristown or even to Montgomery county. The new building is located on the west side of Main street, about midway between Green and DeKalb, and it contains samples of everything in the line of the company, which can be furnished at the shortest possible notice and at figures which will compare favorably with those of any Philadelphia establishment, however extensive. It is a favorite theory of Mr. Boyer that the customers of the firm should not be allowed to go to Philadelphia for any article in his line, and they very seldom do so. In every enterprise with which Mr. Boyer has been connected in his comparatively short but very successful career he has been an earnest and indefatigable worker. Among these may be included the Plumbing and Heating Company, the Hamilton Terrace Company, the Norristown Brick Company, and the Hamilton Apartment Company, in all of which he has filled the position of president. He is also a director of the Peoples National Bank of Norristown, of the Norristown Trust Company, and of the Norristown Steam Heating Company.

The Hamilton Terrace Company, which has recently gone out of business as a corporation, the assets in land and money having been divided among the individual members, was formed to develop the tract known as Hamilton Terrace, on which it laid out streets, graded them at enormous expense, erected fifty or more elegant and desirable residences, and made the entire transaction a paying investment, selling the houses to the best class of buyers-those who occupy them with their families. It requires genius to formulate and execute practical plans for enterprises of so extensive a character, and to carry them to a successful conclusion as in this instance, and the results attained may be regarded as highly creditable to the president of the company and to his coadjutors. Another instance of Mr. Boyer’s ability for organization was displayed in the formation of the Hamilton Apartment Company, which was planned, erected, and filled with the families who are among the best in Norristown, and all in the short space of six months. The mere task of equipping the establishment, after it had been erected, was no light matter, and most of it, as well as the arrangements to secure the occupants of the Apartment House, devolved upon Mr. Boyer. Without the highest kind of executive ability exercised in its management, the idea might have been a comparative failure, but, on the contrary, it became from the start a complete and overwhelming success.

In politics Mr. Boyer is a Democrat, but he is not a partisan. During his term as councilman, he being the youngest member of that body ever elected to the position, his action on matters coming before council for action was dictated solely by a desire to promote the public welfare, and not by mere partisan reasons. He is interested in all that relates to the well-being of the Norristown public, with whose progress he has from his earliest youth been so closely identified.

Mr. Boyer married, November 14, 1888, Miss Annie G., daughter of Patrick Curran, a well known and prominent citizen of Norristown.

Michael Boyer (father) was a native of Upper Salford township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, being the son of Philip Boyer, also of that township. He attended Washington Hall Collegiate Institute, at Trappe, and engaged for a time in the occupation of teaching. He was a Democrat in politics, and having secured his party’s nomination for sheriff of Montgomery county in 1852, he was elected to that office, and served very acceptably for three years. After the expiration of his term as sheriff, Mr. Boyer remained in Norristown, and was for many years one of its most active business men and manufacturers. He formed a partnership with William Schall for making nails, and afterwards became interested in the Norris Iron Works, a flourishing establishment that employed more than a hundred and fifty hands. Mr. Boyer was the inventor of many patentable articles, for more than fifty of which he secured patents, among them being Boyer’s Hoof Liniment, a company being organized to make and sell it. Mr. Boyer was born May 28, 1821, and died October 10, 1891, in his seventy-second year. Mr. Boyer gave considerable attention to building. For some years he resided with his family in a mansion on West Main street, which was afterwards occupied and owned by President John Slingluff, of the Montgomery National Bank, and after his death by his widow and daughter, and was recently purchased by Mr. Hervey C. Gresh. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Michael C. Boyer; Jesse, Katie, Wallace, Horace G., Wilson, Michael A., Howard C., Harry Z. Mary L., J. Frank, subject of this sketch, and Charles, several of whom are now deceased. Mr. Boyer’s mother, Mrs. Mary Boyer, is a resident of Norristown, and is highly respected by all who know her.

J. Frank Boyer is the president and organizer of the Norristown Brick Company, which is the successor of the Morgan Brick Company, as that was of the establishment of Shaffer Brothers. It may be said of this company that it very much improved the equipment of the plant at Forest and Sterigere streets, and produced a fine product which is rapidly replacing all other bricks heretofore used in Norristown and vicinity. The company are doing business strictly on business principles, and are operating very successfully. This enterprise may be said to be the first really successful brickmaking establishment in Norristown, and the most unbounded success may be predicted for it in the future, in view of what it has already accomplished.

Mr. Boyer is a member of the leading Norristown social club, the lodge of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He is a contributing member of the Hancock Fire Company of the West End, and is always ready to extend substantial aid to all deserving organizations that have been established in the community. He has traveled extensively from the Atlantic to the Pacific Coast of the United States, and is well informed as to the business situation throughout the country at all times. He is always interested in whatever promises to benefit Norristown from a business or other standpoint, and is generally recognized as one of the most enterprising as well as progressive citizens of the county seat of Montgomery. His genius for organization has been well displayed in the different corporations of which he is or has been the effective head, and their uniform success is the best possible testimony to the good sense and practical business views which guide him in every undertaking in life.

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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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