Obituary Details

Mary Jane Boyles

(07/02/1853 - 01/02/1944)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 01/06/1944

Death Takes Pioneers During Past Week

Mrs. Mary Jane Boyles, 90 years of age, and a resident of the Kirtley community for 45 years, passed away at the home of her son, Hill Boyles, on Sunday, January 2, after an illness of only two days, altho she had been in declining health for several years.

Funeral services were held in the Kirtley Hall on Tuesday afternoon, with Rev. Johnson of the Methodist Church of Harrison officiating.

Music was furnished by Miss Yvonne Vogel and Miss LaVerne Johns, with Mrs. J. P. Watson at the instrument. The songs sung were "We Shall Know," "Sweetly Resting," and "In the Sweet Bye and Bye."

Funeral arrangements were in charge of the Peet Mortuary of Lusk and interment was made in the Kirtley cemetery.

Mary Jane Boyles was born in Williams County, Ohio, July 2, 1853, the daughter of Ephriam and Amy Shatto, and passed from this life January 2, 1944, having attained the ripe old age of 90 years and 6 months.

She was married to George W. Boyles at Tipton, Iowa, November 26, 1869, and resided near the same place until after his death, which occurred in 1896. To this union twelve children were born. Three died in infancy, and of the nine growing to manhood and womanhood, the five surviving are two daughters, Mrs. James H. Christian and Mrs. Francis Church of Kirtley, and three sons, Walter of Casper, Roy of Lusk, and Hillburn of Van Tassell. Two daughters, Mrs. Amy Petty and J. D. Williams of Kirtley, and two sons, Ephriam of Lusk and Oscar of Casper, preceded their mother in death. She also leaves to mourn her passing, 26 grandchildren and 39 great-grandchildren, and one brother, Hill Shatto of Douglas, Wyo., and a host of friends. Mrs. Boyles was also a mother to a motherless grandson, Millard Petty, rearing him from an infant of six weeks to manhood. He has remained at home with her, and has been her devoted companion in her declining years.

Her life has been a long and useful one, as well as eventful. She had the true spirit of the pioneer, and has experienced the hardships as well as the rewards of those with courage to launch out into the untried realms where opportunity for herself and her loved ones called. After the death of her husband, left with a large family to rear, with a vision of the promise the West offered, she came to Wyoming, making the trip from Iowa in true pioneer fashion, in a covered wagon, and settled in the Kirtley community. She filed on a homestead and here they built the family home. Here the latchstring was always out for any one who needed shelter. After her family grew up and scattered, Mrs. Boyles disposed of her land, and made her home with her youngest son, Hill, twelve miles north of Van Tassell.

Mrs. Boyles has also experienced the stress and strain of four wars in which our country has been drawn during her lifetime, and in three of them she has seen members of her family march away to bear arms for their country. She was herself a war widow, a war mother and grandmother. Her father and brother fought on the Union side in the Civil War, and the man she married a few years after the close of the conflict was also a veteran of that struggle. Her son, Hill, and a grandson, Elmer Petty, are veterans of World War I, and this same grandson is now a member of the Army Medical Corps in World War II.

Mrs. Boyles was small of stature, and frail in appearance, but had great endurance, and was an untiring worker, industrious to a fault. Her hands were never idle and her life was one of service to others. She was possessed of a kindly disposition, and a thoughtfulness for those around her that endeared her to all who knew her. She became a member of the Methodist Church when a young girl and was strengthened and guided by its teachings throughout her longlife. During the last years, when she was not able to leave her home, she found great spiritual consolation in talking with her pastor, and in the hymns he sang for her. Her favorite was "Crossing the Bar," and she expressed the wish that when she embarked on her last great adventure that the words of this famous poem be her parting message.

Images & Attachments

Photo courtesy of photographer Chuck James

Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
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