Biography - W. P. Boyd

W. P. Boyd, who was for many years a prominent druggist and chemist of Arcola, was Born in Flemingsburg, Kentucky, January 6, 1847, and was a son of William P. and Susan E. Boyd. His father was a prominent lawyer and served in both branches of the Kentucky Legislature.

W. P. Boyd received his early education at the old Bethel school in Kentucky, and subsequently attended the university at Bloomington, Illinois. In 1875 he was married to Miss Emma Wyatt Hamilton, of Lexington, Kentucky, a step-daughter of Alexander Hamilton (her real parents being Edward, and Annie (Smith) Wyatt, natives of England). To Mr. and Mrs. Boyd were born four children, namely: William H., deceased, Wyatt, Anna M. and Wilson P.

In 1867 Mr. Boyd commenced the drug business for himself in Arcola and until 1884 had the only exclusive drug store in the county. He was a successful business man and remained in charge of the store until a few weeks before his death, November 17, 1899, when he disposed of it to A. Magnusson. He was one of the first movers in the state for the organization of suitable legislation for the elevation of the drug trade in the state. He was an active worker in the Illinois Pharmaceutical Society, and was president of that body one year and a delegate to the national convention in 1884. Never in all her history has Arcola known a more public spirited man, a better leader in every progressive movement, or a truer sympathizer in every just and noble cause. He held many positions of trust and honor, such as member of the school board, alderman, chief of the fire department, and chairman of the board of supervisors. In offices he regarded the trust and the duties devolving upon him as sacred, and acted accordingly. In politics he was a Democrat, and he served his party faithfully and conscientiously.

He was a member of several lodges, but allied his interests more closely with the Masons that any other order. The poor and needy have lost a true friend, and one from whom they had learned to expect sympathy and aid. Never a Christmas passed by but that every poor family received something from him, and his charity was not confined to Arcola alone, but reached for miles around. He was a lover of children, and the child learned to expect some token of remembrance from him, nor was it ever disappointed. His life furnishes us many expressions of good which show the real character of the man. His life was made up of little things well and faithfully performed. But after all it is the little things that give us the true index to the real character of the man. His home relations were the most pleasant, and he remained true and devoted to his home fireside and altar until the close of his career. The town has lost a foremost man, the lodges a faithful member, the home a true head, the poor a sure and helping hand, and the world one of her noblest men.

Extracted 30 Jun 2017 by Norma Hass from the Historical and Biographical Record of Douglas County, Illinois, published in 1900, pages 166-167.

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