Biography of James E. Boice of Central Lake Township, Michigan

For more than a score of years has Mr. Boice been a resident of Antrim county, and in his farm, which was partly covered with the native timber at the time of his securing possession of the same, he has wrought a wonderful transformation, making it one of the productive and valuable places of the county, while he is known as a reliable and public spirited citizen and as one of the substantial agriculturists of Central Lake township.

Mr. Boice is a native of the state of Michigan, having been born in Jamestown, in the vicinity of the city of Grand Rapids, on the 26th of January, 1858, and being a son of Judson A. and Mary A. (Odell) Boice, the former of whom was born in Massachusetts and the latter in Ohio, in which state their marriage was solemnized. The father of the subject followed the trade of harness-making for a number of years, residing in various places in the United States, and came to Michigan and located in Ottawa and Barry counties where his father passed the remainder of his life, having there been successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits. He was summoned to his reward in 1878 and his wife survived him by many years, entering into eternal rest in 1900, at a venerable age.

The subject of this review was reared to manhood in Barry county, where he assisted in the work of the home farm and in the meanwhile pursued his studies in the public schools, which he continued to attend until he had attained the age of twenty-one years. He continued to be identified with farming in that county until 1883, in the spring of which year he came to Antrim county and purchased forty acres of wild land, in Central Lake township. Here he established his home in a primitive little log house and then proceeded to reclaim his land, meeting with success as the years passed by, and eventually purchasing additional land, so that his estate now comprises sixty-six acres, all of which is available for cultivation with the exception of nine acres, while on the place is an excellent orchard of about eight acres, the trees having been planted by Mr. Boice, under whose direction the entire farm has been cleared and placed under cultivation, while he has made substantial improvements, having a large and specially well equipped barn, forty by forty-six feet in dimensions. The principal products of the farm are wheat, oats, potatoes, peas and hay. Mr. Boice has been indefatigable in his efforts, and the results of his labors are shown in the thrift and prosperity so distinctively in evidence about his farm. In politics he is a stanch Republican, and he has served as postmaster and as an officer of his school district, and fraternally he is identified with the Gleaners. Mr. Boice is an Adventist in religious belief, but attends the Baptist church, of which his wife is a member.

In 1889 Mr. Boice was united in marriage to Miss Altha W. Wilkinson, daughter of R. R. and Eliza (Sanford) Wilkinson, who came to Michigan from Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Boice have three children, Gladys, Mary E. and Grace.

Source: Biographical history of northern Michigan containing biographies of prominent citizens; Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen & Company, 1905.

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