The Boley Family

Submitted by Mary Lou Boley Snider.

     David Downer Boley settled in the area of Broad Run around the age of 40, between the years May 1851 to Oct. 1853. He was born in 1814 (or 1820) in Allegheny County, Pa. United in marriage April 1, 1834 to Elizabeth "Meanor" who was born in 1812 (or 1818) in Allegheny County, Pa. Occupations as listed in census reports were - 1840 Penna. Farmer, 1850 Ohio Farmer, 1860 West Virginia Cooper, 1880 West Virginia Farmer. The 9 children to this marriage were: 1 - John Nathan (m) Caroline Elizabeth Decker, 2nd (m) Mary M. Russell Johns; 2 - Julie Ann (m) Loyd Bailey; 3 - David Downer Jr. (m) Mary Oldfield; 4 - Elizabeth J., b. Pa. Sept. 1842-d; 5 -Anthony, b. Pa. 9 Oct 1844-d, (m) Emily Decker; 6 - Mary, b. 31 Jan 1846-d., (m) John Grimm; 7 - Jemima, b. Ohio 25 Dec 1849- d 13 Apr 1902 (m) George W. Meanor; 8 - Sarah, b. Ohio 28 May 1851-d (m) Thaddeous Oldfield; 9 - Esther, b. 22 Oct 1853-d (m) George W. Meanor (after her sister Jemima died.)

     David Downer was also in the Civil War, in Company 'K' 1st Regiment, West Virginia Volunteers and was honorably discharged on November 28, 1864 at Wheeling, WV. David filed for pension in 1879 due to exposure while in the army at Patterson Creek, Virginia on or about December 1, 1861. Personal Description listed - Height 6 feet, Complexion - Dark, Eyes - Black, Hair - Black.

     David died July 19, 1884 ("St. Mary's Oracle, Friday, August 1, 1884." David Downer an old citizen of this county died at home recently. Mr. Boley was about to receive a pension from the government but death cut short his application.) David Downer and Elizabeth are buried in the Boley Cemetery out on Gobler Nob off off Broad Run. Date of Elizabeth's death is October 4, 1870.

     David Downer and Elizabeth and children moved to St. Marys, West Virginia and lived in a log cabin. A Methodist Church, a Courthouse, a Post Office and a country store made up the town of St. Marys West Virginia, located along the Ohio River. The supplies were delivered by horse and wagon. The railroad and river boats supplied transportation. It was said during prohibition in West Virginia people would ride a boat to Marietta, Ohio and bring back a suitcase of whiskey. Some people depend on wild herbs and whiskey for medication. Old timers said it was good for snake bites. Taxes were paid once a year. Deeds and important records were recorded at the Pleasants County Courthouse.

    David's oldest son, John Nathan also served in Company 'K' 1st Regiment, West Virginia Volunteers, and was honorably discharged on December 26, 1864 at Wheeling, West Virginia, due to a gun shot wound of the left hand. He received a pension commencing on December 9, 1890 in the amount of $12.00. The last paid was in the amount of $24.00 in March 5, 1910. Personal Description listed Height - 6 feet, Complexion - Dark, Eyes - Black, Hair - Black. At age 24 John Nathan married Caroline Decker, age 19. Caroline died June 27, 1889 at age of 48 in St. Mary's and was buried in the Boley Cemetery off of Broad Run. On March 5, 1891 at age 56, John Nathan married Mary M. "Russell" Johns, age 31 a widow. Oil wells were drilled on his farm in 1895 with production lasting for several years. He was baptized in the Baptist Church several days before his death. John Nathan is buried in the Boley Cemetery with Caroline. His second wife Mary died March 15, 1936 in Barberton, Summit, Ohio and was buried in Greenlawn Cemetery.

    David Downer Jr. at the age of 18 married Mary Oldfield at age 15. She was a lifelong resident of Pleasants County and lived in a log home on Turkey Run. They had 7 Children: 1 - George (m) Emma Jane Miller; twins 2 - 1st John Biggs (m) Leonora J. Hart, 3 - 2nd Downer David (m) Alice Ann Oliver; 4 - James W. died at 10 months; 5 - Emma Mae (m) George Oliver; 6 - Walter Clarence (m) 1st Etta Mae ? and 2nd Armeda Pethtel; 7 - Luthur Floyd (m) Effie ?

    A lot of the Boleys worked as Farmers, Coopers (meaning barrel makers), Oil Field Workers, Labors, and Blacksmiths.

    The Boley Cemetery has been in use for over one hundred years, with at least four generations of Boley's buried there along with others related by marriage or friends who were provided for. The cemetery is on the old farm, homestead of David Downer Boley Sr.

(1) The History of Pleasants County, To 1980" - Article on David Downer Boley, Sr. submitted by Wendall Boley.