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August 14, 2011

Fourth Generation:
The Family of George B. Boyer

of Easton, Pennsylvania

           This section focuses on George B. Boyer, the fifth child of David Boyer and a member of the fourth generation of the family of the immigrant Johann Friedrich Boyer. George Boyer moved from Orwigsburg to Easton, Pennsylvania,about 1873. See the section on George's son, Lewis Elmer Boyer (1869-1948), of Easton, as well as the Photo Gallery of the Boyers of Easton. This section  includes:


Neil Boyer's Home Page

Boyer Family of Orwigsburg Home Page

Origins of the Boyer Family

Association of American Boyers

The Immigrant Johann Friedrich Boyer

Children of Johann Friedrich Boyer

David Boyer of Orwigsburg

George Boyer's Son, Lewis Elmer Boyer

Photo Gallery of the Boyers of Easton

Waltman Family of Northampton County

Young George

        The fifth child of David Boyer was George B. Boyer, apparently named for his grandfather. (One family member believed that the initial B stood for Beck, his mother's maiden name, but no proof of that has been located.) George was born in Orwigsburg on October 29, 1839, when his father was 33.[1] The certificates of baptism and confirmation for George, once in the possession of a grandson, Walter Stanley Boyer, were written in German and have been translated into English.

        The baptism certificate reads:

This certifies that, to David Boyer and his true wife Hannah, having been born Beck, a son was born into the world on the 29th day of October in the year of our Lord, l839. This son was born in Orwigsburg in Schuylkill County in the state of Pennsylvania in North America and preserved through salvation. Baptized with the name George on the 17th day of March in the year 1840 by the Rev. Mr. Thomas L. Kroll. The baptismal witnesses were the parents and Mrs. Kroll.

        The confirmation certificate, written when George was 16, reads:

This is to certify that Mr. George Boyer, having been duly instructed in the doctrines and duties of the Christian religion, as confessed, taught and believed by the Evangelical Lutheran Church, and having formally professed faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and vowed obedience to His Gospel, was received into full communion, with St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Orwigsburg, Pa. by the solemn rite of Confirmation, on the 7th day of April in the year of our Lord 1856. Rev. Joel Grim, Pastor.

Sarah Dreher Boyer's Birth Certificate Lizzie Boyer's Birth Certificate
Birth Certificate for Sarah Dreher,
who married George B. Boyer:

Sarah Ann, daughter of William B. Dreher and wife Elizabeth, daughter of Abraham Feagley, was born on the 3rd day of August 1843 in West Brunswick Township, Schuylkill County. Baptized October 8, 1843. Sponsors were Elizabeth her self.
Birth Certificate for
Elizabeth (Lizzie) Hannah Boyer:

To these two parents George B. Boyer and his wife Sarah A. Boyer, daughter of William and Elizabeth Dreher, was born a daughter on the 27th day of September 1864. This child was born in North Mannheim Township, Schuylkill County, in the State of Pennsylvania in North America, and was baptized on the 18th day of December by the Reverend Jacob Stein and received the Name of Elizabeth Hannah Boyer. Witnesses present were the parents George B. and Sarah A. Boyer.

        Apparently, in his youth George worked with his father in the gunsmith trade. The 1860 census for the family of David Boyer, 53, who is identified as a “master gunsmith,” includes “George Boyer, 20, apprentice gunsmith.” A family member told rifle researchers that a son of David, probably named George, assisted his father, although no guns bearing George's name have been uncovered. This report seems corroborated by a record showing the enrollment of men liable for military service in the Civil War. The record lists a "George Boyer of Orwigsburg," identified as a gunsmith, who was 22 years old in 1862; that would have been the correct age for David's fifth child.[2] There is no indication of whether George served in the Civil War. George was the recipient of an award for "best rifle" at the 1860 Schuylkill County fair, but George was only 20 at the time and it is presumed (perhaps incorrectly) that he was exhibiting a gun made by his father.

        Before moving the family to Easton, George served as sexton for St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Orwigsburg. The church ledger book shows payments to George B. Boyer "for sexton salary" from October 1858, when George was 19, through January 1862. The pay apparently was $10 a month.

George Boyer's Family

        On February 1, 1862, George married Sarah Ann Dreher. This is noted in the records of St. Paul's Church. She was 18 and he was 22, the same age as in the gunsmith report. The certificate of marriage, surfaced by Walter Stanley Boyer, was written in small German script and signed by the Rev. William Hoppe. At age 19, on April 5, 1863, a year after their marriage, Sarah was confirmed into the Lutheran Church by the same Rev. Hoppe.[3]

        Sarah Ann Dreher had been born in West Brunswick Township on August 3, 1843, and baptized on October 5 of that year by a Reverend Mayer. She was one of seven children of William B. Dreher and Elizabeth Feagley (or Fegley), the daughter of Abraham Feagley. According to records of St. John's Reformed Church in Orwisgburg, William was the son of Peter Dreher and Mary (Polly) Boyer (relationship not determined). He was born on December 14, 1818, and married Elizabeth on August 22, 1840. He died on March 1, 1881, at the age of 62. Elizabeth, born on February 10, 1822, died on December 26, 1904, when she was 82 years old. The Drehers were among the original settlers in Orwigsburg, and the Red Church records are replete with the Dreher name. (In mid-1825, three Dreher children aged 10 months to 30 months died within six weeks of each other.)[4]

        George and Sarah Ann had six children, three boys and three girls. Walter Ellsworth Boyer was born in Orwigsburg in 1862; the next two children, Elizabeth Hannah Boyer (1864) and Emily Augusta Boyer (1866), were born in North Manheim Township in Schuylkill County, for which Orwigsburg was the county seat. Sometime after that, however, the George Boyer family moved. Lewis Elmer Boyer, the fourth child, was born in 1869 in Gordon, located in Butler Township, about 15 miles northwest of Orwigsburg. He was baptized in Ringtown, part of Union Township, about 10 miles further from Orwigsburg, north of Gordon. Two years later, in 1871, the fifth child, Sarah Ann (Sallie) Boyer, was also born in Butler Township. The last child, William James Boyer, was born in Easton in 1874. See more on the children below.

        The 1870 census for Butler Township in Schuylkill County, noting that the nearest post office was in Ashland, reported this family:

George Boyer, 30, laborer, owning real estate valued at $200 and holding personal property worth $175.
Sarah Boyer, 27, keeping house.
Walter E. Boyer, 7
Elizabeth Boyer, 5
Emeline Boyer, 3
Lewis Boyer, 7 months.

        The family moved to Easton sometime between February 24, 1872, when Sarah Ann was baptized in Butler County, and September 22, 1874, when William James was born in Easton. The obituary of George's wife Sarah Ann reported that the move came in 1873, and that the previous Boyer home was actually in Gordon. A report on George's brother, William B. Boyer, indicated that William moved to Easton about 1872.[5] Since both William and George were railroaders and both went to work for the Lehigh Valley Railroad in Easton, the move from Schuylkill County could have been a joint decision. In any event, the move of two of the children of David and Hannah Boyer from the Orwigsburg area to the Easton area brought about a major change in the locus of the history of this branch of the Boyer family.

George Boyer Family, 1880

George Boyer's Family, 1880:
From left, Lew, Sarah, Emily, Sally, Elizabeth, George

      Birth certificates for the children of George and Sarah Boyer were quite elaborate. The one for the first child, Walter Ellsworth Boyer, described as "truly a work of art" by Walter Stanley Boyer, was signed on "April 30, 1864, the third year of the Great American Rebellion and the establishment of the Mexican Empire." The certificate apparently took 15 months to prepare, since the baptism took place on January 24, 1863. The certificate indicates that baptism was a family affair. The witnesses were Walter Ellsworth's grandparents, David and Hannah Boyer; David would then have been 56, and father George would have been 24.[6]

        Similarly, the birth certificate for the second child of the family, Elizabeth Hannah Boyer (apparently named for her grandmother), was prepared by the same person, John H. Guertler, and signed with the same instinct for history, on "April 23rd, 1865, and near the close of the Great American Rebellion, the surrender of Richmond, of the Rebel General Robert E. Lee and the dissolution of the Confederate cabinet of Jeff. Davis."

        George and family are listed in the 1880 census for the 2nd Ward of South Easton. No address is given on the relevant census page; it probably was Centre Street. The report shows this family:

George B. Boyer, 40, railroad fireman
Sarah A. Boyer, 36, wife
Elizabeth H. Boyer, 15, daughter
Emily A. Boyer, 13, daughter
Lewis E. Boyer, 10, son
Sally A. Boyer, 8, daughter.

        The Easton City Directory, in annual editions, gives these changing addresses for George and family:

1875-76          Berwick and Delaware Streets
1881-82          65 Centre Street
1883               78 Wilkes-Barre Street
1885               546 Wilkes-Barre Street
1887-1894     620 Wilkes-Barre Street

        The family, unfortunately, did not maintain good health. Walter Ellsworth died in 1870, at the age of 8, before the family moved to Easton; George was only 31 at the time. Walter Ellsworth was buried in Orwigsburg, the rest of the family in Hay's Cemetery, Easton. William James, born in 1874, lived only three years before he died in 1877. Daughters Emily and Lizzie both died in 1886, apparently of tuberculosis. Emily was 19; Lizzie, only recently married to George B. Schrantz, was 22.

        Their mother, Sarah Ann, died early herself, in Easton, on September 10, 1890, at the age of 47, just four years after daughters Emily and Lizzie. The newspaper account attributed the death to "consumption," a current euphemism for tuberculosis. The obituary in the Easton Express, of September 11, 1890, read in part:

Mrs. George B. (Sarah Ann Dreher) Boyer

Died September 10, 1890 (Thursday)

After an illness of a year from consumption, Mrs. George Boyer died yesterday morning at her home on Wilkes-Barre street, aged about 47 years. Deceased had resided in this place for 17 years, coming here with her husband from Gordon, Schuylkill county. She was a consistent member of the Lutheran Church and was loved and esteemed by all who knew her.

        A paid notice read:

BOYER – In South Easton, on September 10th, Sarah A., wife of George B. Boyer, aged 47 years, 1 month and 7 days.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend the funeral, from the residence, 620 Wilkes-Barre street, on Saturday, at 2 p.m. Services at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. Interment in Hay’s Cemetery. Casket will not be opened in church.

        Thus, by 1890, George Boyer, at the age of 51, had buried his wife and four of his six children. In addition, George's father, David, had died in 1883, and his mother, Hannah, died in 1891. Only his children Lewis Elmer Boyer, 20, and Sallie Ann Boyer, 18, survived. George outlived his first wife Sarah by 17 years.

The Move to Easton

        What led George Boyer and his family to Easton in 1873 is open to speculation. But the period was a boom time for the area at the confluence of the Lehigh and Delaware rivers. Easton itself had been laid out in 1751 and became the Northampton County seat. South Easton at that time was primarily a large farm owned by Melchior Hay, founder of the famous Hay family of Easton and undoubtedly related to the creation of Hay’s Cemetery. Hay conveyed some 300 acres of this land to Jacob Eyerly in 1796. The Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company acquired the land in 1833 and laid out the town of South Easton. The borough was incorporated on July 8, 1840.

        The Lehigh Canal, along the Lehigh River, made possible water power and attracted small industry to the area. The first manufacturing venture, according to one account, was a saw mill, erected in 1832 by James McKeen and A. Abbott. In 1833 34, Bush and Faling opened a bucket factory, although it went out of business in 1836 and was converted into a grist mill. Amos Rogers opened a blacksmith shop in 1834, and until 1870 he made picks and tools for use in Wilkes-Barre Street, Boyers lived on left side, 1896excavation at the Glendon Furnace. The first house carpenter in the borough was said to be a man named Joseph Waltman, who built a home there in 1834. It would be 59 years later that Joseph Waltman's granddaughter Henrietta would be married to Lew Boyer, the only surviving son of George B. Boyer.

        Activity in the borough began in earnest in April 1846, with the opening of the Lehigh Valley Railroad. The new trade and prosperity meant that there were 133 homes and 1,511 people in South Easton by 1850. Shops and roundhouses for the railroad brought in more people. The Packer, Utt and Seitz families subdivided their farms and sold lots for houses at low prices. By 1876, there were more than 4,000 people in South Easton, and 500 homes. By this time there were three wire mills, three rolling mills, one cotton mill, one weaving mill, a grist mill, two blacksmith shops, three carpet weaving factories, six grocery stores, a coal yard, a lumber yard and four hotels. It was into this atmosphere that George Boyer and his family moved, obviously seeking new fortune as the industrialization of the area began.[7]

        According to the Easton City Directory, the Boyer family lived on Berwick Street, near Delaware, in 1876; at 65 Center Street in 1882; at 78 Wilkes-Barre Street in 1883, and at 620 Wilkes-Barre Street, beginning in 1887. George went to work for the Lehigh Valley Railroad, and city directories from 1875 through 1894 gave his occupation as a "fireman."  The photo at left, apparently taken about 1896, shows the house at 620 Wilkes-Barre Street; the Boyers lived on the left side.


The Apgar Connection

        Marriage to Adeline Apgar.  When his wife Sarah died in 1890, George Boyer was only 51. He stayed on Wilkes-Barre Street a few more years and then left Easton and railroading and went to run a farm and a blacksmith shop in Lebanon, New Jersey, about 25 miles from Easton. He and Adeline Apgar were married on February 21, 1895, at the Lebanon Reformed Church, at Brunswick Avenue and Maple Street in Lebanon, by the Reverend William E. Davis. He was 56 and she was 51 (she had been born on January 29, 1844).

        How George Boyer met Adeline Apgar is not known, but it may be speculated that George was led to Lebanon by his acquaintance with her brother David Kline Apgar, born in 1840, only a year after George, and a fellow railroader. “Kline” was foreman of a steamshovel crew that laid tracks for the Lehigh Valley Railroad in New Jersey. Kline and Adeline were two of ten children of George A. Apgar (1808-1896) and his wife Martha Tiger Apgar (1819-1893), and they were among the many Apgars who lived in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. Kline and most of his siblings were reported born in or near the town of Clinton, New Jersey.

        Judging by Lew Boyer's 1898 diary entry about visiting "Papa's peach orchard" in Lebanon, George and Adeline must have lived in Lebanon for some time.
In George's will, written in 1899, he identified himself as a resident of Lebanon, in Clinton Township, Hunterdon County, New Jersey, and he referred to the "homestead" where he and Adeline lived. George did not appear in Easton City Directories after 1894. The 1894 diary of his son, Lew Boyer, recorded an address for George in Lebanon, "in care of Oscar Apgar." This appears to have been a reference to Adeline's youngest brother (see the family listed below). Lew's diary also related that in 1898 he took the train to visit his father in Lebanon. There they visited "Oscar's farm" and "Papa's peach orchard." They also spent quite a bit of time in a blacksmith shop, and the impression is given that it was George Boyer's own blacksmith shop. Lew Boyer's diary also made several references to visits to his home by "Papa and Adeline," but never any acknowledgement of their marital status. George and Adeline had no children.

        The census for 1900 for Clinton Township, Hunterdon County, New Jersey, included these two people:  George B. Boyer, 60, head of household, born Oct 1839 in Pennsylvania, married 5 years, renting a house, occupation landlord.  Margaret A. [for Adeline], 56, born Jan 1844 in New Jersey, married 5 years.[8]  Although George and Adeline lived in Lebanon, when he died in 1907, it was at the home of his daughter, Sallie Boyer Apgar, and son-in-law George A. Apgar, in Allentown.         

        There were many Apgars in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, apparently coming from different lines of ancestors. The genealogy of Adeline's branch of the Apgar family appears to be as shown in the lists below.  These are derived from numerous submissions of family trees to, as well as extensive research by members of the Apgar family.  See this link to the Apgar Family History.

        The short list of descent is this, with more details below:

Friedrich "Fritz" Egpert, b. 1708
Johannes Peter Apgar, 1747-1820

Frederick Apgar, 1772-1856
George A. Apgar, 1808-1896
Adeline Apgar Boyer, 1844-1915

        Friedrich "Fritz" Egpert, believed by some to be the patriarch of the Apgar family, was born about 1708 in Westerwald, in what is now the German state of Rhineland-Pfalz. According to the website of the Apgar Family Association,, he arrived in Philadelphia in 1740 aboard the Samuel & Elizaabeth. It is believed that he traveled by water up the Delaware River and settled in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, near Cokesbury. 
 Hunterdon County lies across the Delaware River from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, about 50 miles north of Philadelphia and 60 miles west of New York. In 2008, it considered itself part of the growing New York metropolitan area. It is believed that he had 12 children.

        The key player of the Adeline Apgar chain of descent was  Johannes Peter Apgar, one of the children of Fritz. He is mentioned in different accounts as simply "Peter" or even as "Hans Peter." One account said that he was born about 1737 and died in 1792, while another said the dates were 1747 and 1820.  One estimate is that Peter and his wife Catherine Clover had 13 or 14 children.  One of them was Frederick Apgar, who was born on August 31, 1772, in Cokesbury, about 25 miles east of Easton. Frederick died in Hunterdon County on April 10, 1856, and all of his children were born there. Frederick was married to Ann Aller (1777-1854), and they had at least nine children.

Peter A. Apgar, born 1798
Henry Apgar, 1801
William A. Apgar, 1804
Frederick A. Apgar, 1806-1866
George A. Apgar, 1808-1896
Anna Apgar, 1809
Sarah Apgar, 1812
Isaac Apgar, 1813
Winegarner Apgar, 1816-1858

        In 1986, George D. Apgar (1910-1993), a great- grandson of George A. Apgar, one of the children named above, discovered a family Bible belonging to Frederick "Apker" (1806-1866), a brother of George A. Apgar. One of the findings in that Bible was a note that Frederick had written about their youngest brother, who had died at the age of 42: "Winegarner was good," he wrote, "but only God knows when." This may be related to the fact that Winegarner had minor children when he died, and Frederick served as bondsman for their protection.

        Of these nine children of Frederick Apgar, listed above, George A. Apgar (1808-1896) married Martha Tiger (1819-1893).  It is understood that they had these ten children:

Sarah Ann Apgar [Cregar], 1836-1915
Jacob T. Apgar, 1838-1894
David Kline Apgar, 1840-1914
Mary Elizabeth Apgar, 1842-1863
Margaret Adeline Apgar [Boyer], 1844-1907
Ruth A. Apgar, 1847
John A. Apgar, 1847-1929 (twins)
Theodore Risler Apgar, 1850-1888
Louisa Jane Apgar [Cregar], 1852
Oscar L. Apgar, 1854-1918

George and Martha Tombstone, Lebanon Ref Church Adeline Apgar Boyer Tombstone, Lebanon Ref Ch
Lebanon Reformed Church Cemetery:
George A. and Martha Tiger Apgar
Adeline Apgar, wife of George Boyer. Top, her sister Mary

        George and Martha Apgar lived in the toll house at the entrance to the village of Lebanon. According to Apgar family history,[9] George suffered a stroke ten years before his death and was unable to work during that period. In the meantime, his wife supported the family by selling cookies to stagecoach passengers plying the Brunswick Pike between Easton and New Brunswick. (They were, perhaps, called toll house cookies!) 

        Two of the brothers in this family suffered tragic deaths in rather spectacular accidents. On March 14, 1888, Theodore Risler Apgar, an engineer on the Lehigh Valley Railroad and resident of Easton, was in the lead engine of a train consisting of four engines and two cars. The train was engaged in clearing snow from the tracks and re-opening the railroad following the infamous Blizzard of '88. The train proceeded from Easton into New Jersey. Near Three Bridges, it went too rapidly into a curve in a deep cut where there was snow on one track but not on the other. Pressure of the snow caused the tracks to spread. The first three engines left the track and tumbled into a ditch, and Theodore was "terribly crushed under the engine," according to the Flemington Republican. He was only 38. Two others also died in the crash, but some 200 snow shovelers in the two cars were spared when the engineer in the trailing engine shifted into reverse and prevented the rest of the train from plunging into the ditch.[10]

        Oscar Apgar -- apparently the owner of "Oscar's Farm," which was mentioned in Lew Boyer's diary -- died in an explosion at a corner store in Lebanon on December 30, 1918, when he was 64. A group of men had gathered in the store at Main Street and Cokebury Road for a meeting. One of them went to the basement to investigate the smell of gas. When he lit a match, the building exploded. The walls blew out, and the roof collapsed, trapping most of the men, including Oscar, under the burning debris. Oscar's son Leslie, thrown out of the building by the initial blast, died of burns 19 days later.[11]

        David Kline Apgar (the friend of George B. Boyer) and his wife Anna Maria Scheirer, had their home in South Easton while Kline worked for the railroad. However, Kline's work kept him traveling much of the time, and each of his children -- Charles, George, Edith and Walter Apgar --  was born in a different place.[12] At one time, this branch of the Apgars was living at 714 Wilkes-Barre Street, not far from the Boyer household at 620 Wilkes-Barre. Edith Apgar and George Boyer's daughter Sarah Ann (Sallie) Boyer were best friends.  Another result of this proximity was that, in 1891, David Kline Apgar's son George A. Apgar married George Boyer's daughter Sallie. (An element of family confusion was introduced when Kline gave one of his sons the same name as his father -- George A. Apgar.) Thus, in 1895, when George B. Boyer married Kline's sister, Adeline Apgar, they established another important aspect of the relationship between Boyers and Apgars. 

David Kline Apgar and Anna, 1903 George and Sallie, Wedding, 1891
David Kline Apgar, 1903, with granddaughter Anna Apgar George A. Apgar and Sallie Boyer
Apgar on their wedding day, 1891

Edith Apgar and Sallie Boyer, about 1890 George and Sallie Apgar with Anna, 1903
Edith Apgar and Sallie Boyer, about 1890 George A. and Sallie Boyer Apgar with Anna, 1903
        See more about the links between the Boyers and Apgars in the chapter on Lewis Elmer Boyer and the other children of George B. Boyer.

The Later Years

        Very little is known of George Boyer's activities after 1894. Lew Boyer's diary records one occasion on which George "came home from Orwigsburg," where he apparently was visiting relatives. When Lew became ill in 1893, at the age of 24, and stayed ill for five straight years, George Boyer occasionally visited and helped with heavy jobs around the house: putting hinges on the chicken brooder, fixing a cabinet for chemicals, tending to the vinegar, andGeorge B. Boyer, about 1890 putting weatherstrip around the back door. George also made occasional financial contributions to Lew, to help him get to the hospital in Philadelphia and to maintain his membership in the lodges that were making regular support payments to Lew and his family. In short, George seemed to be a good father.

        George apparently was also something of a character. Stories passed down through Lew Boyer's children recall that George chewed tobacco. On occasions when visiting or staying with Lew Boyer and family on Lincoln Street, he would throw his tobacco plug in the direction of the spittoon and often miss; a real spendthrift, he would then offer his grandchildren a penny to pick it up and throw it away. In his later years, George also suffered from a disease which prevented him from walking directly forward; it was reported that he would take four steps forward and then three steps backward, and therefore moved rather slowly.

        When George died, on a Wednesday evening, February 6, 1907, it was at the home of his daughter and son-in-law, Sallie and George Apgar, at 437 Tilghman Street in Allentown, where George had been living. He was 67.  The death certificate said the cause was "cardiac paralysis." Funeral services were held in the Apgar home, in Allentown, and then, as befitted a former railroader, George's body was taken to Hay's Cemetery in South Easton aboard a Lehigh Valley train. The newspaper announced that services would be held in Hay's Chapel, within the cemetery grounds, at 11:30 a.m. on February 9, or "upon arrival of 11:16 a.m. Lehigh Valley train."

        The Easton Free Press ran this obituary on February 7, 1907:

George B. Boyer

George B. Boyer died at the home of his son-in-law, George A. Apgar, No. 437 Tilghman street, Allentown, on Wednesday evening, after a lingering illness with a complication of diseases, aged 67 years. Deceased was a native of Schuylkill county. He is survived by his second wife, Adeline Apgar Boyer, and two children, Lewis E. Boyer, of South Easton, and Sallie Boyer Apgar, with whom he resided. These brothers and sisters also survive: William Boyer, South Easton; Lawrence Boyer, Indiana; Joseph Boyer, Orwigsburg; Mrs. Matilda Elliot, of Tower City; and Mrs. Annie Gerber, of Lehighton.

Rev. C. D. Huber will conduct short funeral services at the home of the son in law, George A. Apgar, in Allentown, on Saturday morning at 9:15 o'clock. The funeral cortege will take the 9.47 train for Easton, where regular services will be held and internment made.

       The Easton Express gave these reports on February 9 and February 10, 1907:


BOYER - In Allentown on February 6, 1907, George B. Boyer, in his 67th year.

Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend the funeral services at Hay's Church, Saturday, February 9th at 11.30 a.m. (upon arrival of 11:16 a.m. Lehigh Valley train).

Remains Interred Here

The remains of George B. Boyer, who died in Allentown, were brought to this city this morning. Services were held at Hay's Chapel and were conducted by a Lutheran pastor of Alllentown and from Lebanon. The interment was made in Hay's Cemetery.

        The survivors listed in the Easton Free Press included brothers and sisters of George. See the chapter on George's father, David Boyer of Orwigsburg, for details on George's siblings.

        Beginning with burial of the immediate family of George, Hay's Cemetery became the locus of Boyer family burials. In 1987, within a short distance of George's grave, were the graves of his brother William, five of George's six children, two grandchildren and one great grandchild  --  representatives of four generations of Boyers. Close by were representatives of five generations of Waltmans. (See the listing and photos on Hay's Cemetery burials.) The only marker on the plot where George and his family are buried, almost illegible, is that of George's son William James Boyer, who died in 1877 at the age of three, 30 years before George died. Given that so many relatives lived in Easton and were buried nearby, and that Lew Boyer lived across the street from the cemetery at the time his father died, it is curious that no tombstone marks George Boyer's grave.[13]

        George's will, dated December 28, 1899, three days before the end of the century and seven years before his death, was filed at the Hunterdon County Courthouse in New Jersey, and recorded also at the Schuylkill County Courthouse in Pottsville. It indicated that George held property in both Lebanon and Orwigsburg. It gave to "my beloved wife, Margaret Adeline Boyer, the use during her life of the homestead lot, situated near the village of Lebanon," and after her death gave it equally to his son and daughter, Lewis E. Boyer of South Easton, and Sallie A. Apgar of Allentown. The will also left to all three of his heirs "my one quarter interest in the farm situated in the Borough of Orwigsburg." Since George moved to Easton at the age of 33, the farm may have been property inherited from his father, although no will of David has been located. What happened to this property is unknown.

        The will left to his three heirs "my Mortuary Benefit Fund, the son and daughter sharing alike, but my wife to have the equal of each and $300 additional." It also left to all three "such balance as may remain at my death of my Fireman's Brotherhood disability claim," to share and share alike. Administrators of the will were Lew Boyer and George Apgar. The will was witnessed by Oscar and William Apgar.[14]

        Adeline Boyer's Final Years. Adeline lived on for more than eight years after George's death in 1907. Apparently she moved back to Lebanon. The 1910 census shows her, at age 66, living in Clinton Township with her sister, Sarah Ann Creger. A diary of her brother David Kline Apgar relates that on May 20, 1909, he took Adeline by train from Lebanon to Allentown to visit the George Apgar family.[15] Soon after George Boyer's death, Lew recorded that he had been loaned some money by Adeline; possibly this was related to payment on his Lincoln Street house. Lew curiously recorded his debt as one to "Adeline Apgar," and did so for more than a year before acknowledging that the debt was to "Adeline Apgar Boyer." One possible conclusion is that Lew might not have been pleased with his father's second marriage.

        Adeline died "of paralysis" on September 2, 1915, presumably in Lebanon, at the age of 71, and was buried in the cemetery of the Lebanon Reformed Church. Reverend William E. Davis conducted the services. A tall tombstone records the burial of "Adeline Apgar, wife of George Boyer, Born Jan. 29, 1844, Died September 2, 1915." The same tombstone also marks the burial place of Adeline's parents, George and Martha Apgar, her sister Mary Elizabeth, and her brother Jacob T. and his wife Hannah T. Hoffman.[16] Adeline's brother Kline died three days before Christmas in 1914, at the age of 74, after suffering a stroke at the dinner table at the home of his sister Sarah, in Lebanon, where Adeline also was living. Kline and his wife were buried in Hay's Cemetery in South Easton.

        Adeline’s will was dated on August 25, 1915, just one week before her death. It left $250 each to her brothers John Apgar of Newark, and Oscar of Lebanon, and $100 to her nephew Nelson of High Bridge. All the rest was to be divided among her brothers John and Oscar, her sister Louise Creager of Lebanon, and the children of her deceased brothers Jacob L. Apgar, David K. Apgar, and Theodore R. Apgar (to take the shares of their fathers). The nieces and nephews were listed as Clarence Apgar of Detroit, George Apgar of Allentown, Charles Apgar of Pittsburgh, Walter Apgar of Easton, Edward Apgar of Easton, Clyde Apgar of Easton, Carl Apgar of Easton, and Edith Apgar Tilden (Tilton) of Easton.[17] It has not been possible to determine what happened to George's properties in Orwigsburg or in Lebanon.

Children of George B. Boyer

        George and Sarah Dreher Boyer had six children.  Details are below.  In summary, the children were these:

1.  Walter Ellsworth Boyer (1862-1870)
2.  Elizabeth Hannah Boyer Schrantz (1864-1886)
3.  Emily Augusta Boyer (1866-1886)
4.  Lewis Elmer Boyer (1869-1948)
5.  Sarah Ann (Sallie) Boyer Apgar (1871-1924)
6.  William James Boyer (1874-1877)

        Details are these:

        1.  Walter Ellsworth Boyer, the first son, was born in Orwigsburg on September 10, 1862, "15 minutes before 1 o'clock," according to his birth certificate (as quoted by Walter Stanley Boyer). He was baptized on January 24, 1863, in the presence of his parents and his grandparents, David and Hannah. He died eight years after his birth, on December 16, 1870, before his parents moved to Easton. His tombstone can be found in the Lutheran Cemetery in Orwigsburg.[18]

Walter Ellsworth Boyer William Boyer, son of George
Walter Ellsworth
son of George B. and Sarah A.
Born Sept. 10, 1862
Died Dec. 16, 1870
Aged 8 Years, 3 Mos, 6 Days

He died before George and Sarah moved to Easton. The tombstone is in the Lutheran Cemetery in Orwigsburg, near that of his grandfather, David Boyer.
William James
son of George B. and Sarah A. BOYER
Born Sept. 22, 1874
Died Nov. 7, 1877
Aged 3 Yrs., 1 Mon, 15 Days

Tombstone is in Hay's Cemetery, South Easton, in the plot where George is buried. It is the only marker for the five family members buried there.

        2.  Elizabeth Hannah Boyer, the second child, was born in North Manheim Township, which adjoins Orwigsburg, on September 27, 1864. She was baptized on December 18, 1864, according to her certificate, in the presence of her parents. A confirmation certificate signed on December 19, 1880, when she was 16, shows she was received into full communion at St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in South Easton. The pastor was the Rev. J. D. Upp. The family Bible was inscribed in her name.

        Elizabeth (or "Lizzie," as she was called in Lew Boyer's diary) was married by the Rev. Upp on Tuesday evening, September 9, 1884, to George A. Schrantz of Phillipsburg, New Jersey. According to a newspaper notice, the wedding was at the home of Lizzie's father, George, at the corner of Centre and Wilkes Barre Streets. (A church record says the wedding was at St. Paul's Church.) A newspaper article said they couple went on a wedding trip to Philadelphia.

        Lizzie died at the age of 22, on December 26, 1886, two years after her marriage and just seven months after the death of her sister Emily. It is reported that both sisters died of tuberculosis (a death notice called it "consumption"). The obituary for Lizzie noted that "the coffin will not be opened." A notice in the Easton Express on December 27, 1886, read:

 SCHRANTZ – In South Easton, Pa., December 26th, 1886, Elizabeth H., wife of George A. Schrantz, aged 22 years and 8 months. The relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend the funeral on Thursday next. Meet at the house, No. 620 Wilkes-Barre street, at 2 o’clock. Services at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church at 2:30 o’clock. Interment in Hay’s Cemetery.

        George Schrantz was the son of Isaac, a carpenter, and Rebecca Schrantz of Phillipsburg and worked for the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad. In 1885 he was listed in the city directory as a brakeman, and in 1901 as an engineer; he lived on Brainerd Street in Phillipsburg. There is no mention of George after that date. Isaac apparently lived until after 1906.[19]

        3.  Emily Augusta Boyer, the third child of George and Sarah, was also born in North Manheim Township, on August 8, 1866. She was baptized on October 28, 1866, by the Rev John H. Eberman, with her parents as witnesses. A hand written note on her baptismal certificate indicated that she died on May 12, 1886, at the age of 19, in Easton. Lew Boyer's notes indicated the same date, as does the burial record in Hay's Cemetery. The cause was reported to be tuberculosis. An article in the Easton Express on May 13, 1886, read as follows:

BOYER In South Easton on May 12, 1886, Emily Augusta, daughter of George and Sarah A. Boyer, aged 19 years, 9 months and three days.

Funeral on Saturday at 2 p.m. from the residence, No. 546 Wilkesbarre street. Services in Hay’s Chapel. Interment in cemetery adjoining. All friends are invited to attend.

        4.  Lewis Elmer Boyer, the fourth child and the focal point of this work, was born in Gordon, Butler Township, about 25 miles northeast of Orwigsburg, on October 26, 1869, three days before his father's 30th birthday. The baptism on December 26, 1869, is noted in the records of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Orwigsburg.[20] The baptism suggested either that the family had moved from Butler to Orwigsburg in the short time following his birth, or that his parents were visiting grandparents David and Hannah when the baptism occurred. Lewis Elmer moved to Easton with the family around 1872, married Henrietta Waltman, and had seven children. Lew died in Easton on November 26, 1948, at the age of 79. Henrietta died 20 days later, on December 16, 1948, at the age of 73. (Full details of his life and of Henrietta’s family are in subsequent chapters.)

        5.  Sarah Ann Boyer, the fifth child of George and Sarah Boyer, born after Lew Boyer, was born in Butler Township, Schuylkill County, on December 18, 1871, "15 minutes before 1 o'clock." Sarah Ann, or "Sallie," was baptized on February 24, 1872, by the Rev. R. Deungen, and shortly thereafter the family moved to Easton. As indicated in the account above, she was married to George A. Apgar, and both were very close to her brother Lew. George died of nephritis on June 14, 1917, at the age of 47. Sallie died of tuberculosis in Allentown on August 26, 1924, at the age of 52. Lew's children remembered attending the funeral of "Aunt Sallie" in Hay's Cemetery. (See photos above. More details on Sallie and George Apgar are included in the chapter on Lew Boyer.)

        6.  William James Boyer, the last of the brothers of Lew Boyer, was born in Easton on September 22, 1874. His baptismal certificate shows that he was baptized on February 5, 1875, by the Rev. J. J. Cressman. William lived only three years, and died on November 7, 1877, in South Easton.

        NOTE: Except for Adeline Apgar Boyer and Walter Ellsworth Boyer, the first child, the entire family is buried in Hay's Cemetery, South Easton. Parents George and Sarah Boyer are buried with children Emily, Lizzie and William James, although the only tombstone is the marker for William James. Sallie is buried with the Apgars nearby. And a short distance away, Lew is buried with Henrietta. Nearby are Lew’s sons Elwood and Walter. (See the listing and photos from Hay's Cemetery burials.) George's second wife, Adeline, is buried in Lebanon. Her tombstone identifies her as the wife of George B. Boyer, but cemetery records make clear that he is buried in South Easton and not in Lebanon.

George Boyer Gravesite Wm James Boyer Stone, with Sabrina Boyer George Boyer Gravesite, from the Rear
The Hay's Cemetery plot -- Plot 545, Section B -- containing George, Sarah, Emily, Lizzie and William Boyer bears a marker only for William. Open surrounding space suggests other markers were there at an earlier time. The marker for William can be seen, center (taken 1986), with Sabrina Boyer, a great- great- granddaughter of George. Picture at left shows William's marker from the front, at right side of photo. The plot is not far from Packer Street (houses can be seen in the background) and near the Hay's Chapel. Picture at the right shows the marker from the rear (the small bright stone in the left center).


1 Discussion of the George Boyer family begins at page 605 in Volume II of American Boyers, 7th ed. (1986).

2 Kauffman, Henry J., The Pennsylvania Kentucky Rifle: Biographies, page 189. The George Boyer in the 1850 census in Orwigsburg is not this George B. Boyer, since he was only 10 at the time. Nor was it George B.'s grandfather, George Boyer, who died in 1847. The reference was rather to George D. Boyer (1817 1864), the politician, who was from a different line of Boyers. See American Boyers, Volume II (1986), page 261. Still another George Boyer in the area at about the same time (1822 1892) was the grandson of Johann Gottfried Boyer and the son of Abraham; that George lived at Landingville, not far from Orwigsburg. See American Boyers, Volume II (1986), pages 622-23.

3 Record of Births, Baptisms, Confirmations, Marriages, Deaths and Burials and Communion Services occurring from time to time in the History of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania, From the Years 1844‑1872, book maintained in the church office.  This book contains details which are not present in the typed manuscript entitled St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Orwigsburg, Schuylkill Country, Pennsylvania (1934), no author named, at the DAR Library, Washington. See page 48, for the marriage. Walter Stanley Boyer also had possession of the baptismal and confirmation certificates.

4 St. John's, page 48, for the Dreher family. St. John's official record book notes the death of Elizabeth. Children's deaths are cited in Weller, page 267.

5 Lehigh Valley, page 166.

6 Those present at the baptism are also recorded in St. Paul's, page 31.

7 Weiss, William, and Wright, James, "S. Easton Borough Founded on Industry," Easton Express, June 16, 1980, page 15.

8 The census records are viewable on the genealogical website Parts of them have been transcribed, but to obtain the full reading of the households surveyed, it is best to view the handwritten results of the census-takers notes, which are also available for each person named.

9 Johannes Peter Apgard and His Descendants, The Apgar Association (1984), Volume I, page 187.

10 Ibid, pages 189-90.

11 Ibid. page 191. The 1910 census record says that Oscar was born in 1857, and thus he may have been 61 when he died and not 64.

12 Conversations in December 1984 with Ruth Apgar Youngkin, of Easton, granddaughter of David Kline Apgar and daughter of Walter Apgar.

13 The plot is located in the northwest corner of the cemetery, about 40 yards from Packer Street and 50 yards from Lincoln Street. It may be found about half-way between Lincoln Street and the Packer Street entrance leading to Hay's Chapel. Facing Packer Street, the visitor will find tombstones for Hamilton, England and Mayer on the right of the George Boyer plot, for Thornton and Stocker on the left of the plot, and for Mutchler in front of the plot. The grave of George's brother William B. Boyer is in the same row about 30 yards to the left of George's grave, in the direction of Hay's Chapel.

14 Will Book 15, page 22, Schuylkill County Courthouse, Pottsville.

15 Letter of Ruth Apgar Youngkin, February 28, 1985.

16 Letters of Raymond Jachowski, Historian, Lebanon Reformed Church, January 11, 1985, and March 5, 1985.

17 Will Book 20, page 610, Schuylkill County Courthouse, Pottsville.

18 St. Paul's, page 31.

19 See Easton City Directories, 1885-1909, at Easton Public Library. Also see Bauer, Russell S., Church Record of the Lutheran Congregation at the Union Church of South Easton, Volume I (1973), Easton Public Library. Includes marriage record for Lizzie and death notices for Sarah, Emily and Lizzie.

20 St. Paul's, page 33.