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Elmore F. Boyles


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"Spokane and The Spokane Country - Pictorial and Biographical - Deluxe Supplement." Vol. II. The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1912. (No author listed.) pgs. 124-127.

       GREAT have been the obstacles and difficulties which Elmore F. Boyles has overcome in winning his way from a most humble and prosaic position in the business world to a place of affluence. Today he and his brother are the owners of Granby Court, one of the finest apartment buildings in the city and a monument to one of the best pieces of financiering ever done in the north-west. His life record is another illustration of the old adage that, "Where there is a will there is a way."
       Iowa numbers Mr. Boyles as one of her native sons, his birth there occurring February 20, 1864. His parents, Edward F. and Nancy (Rowland) Boyles, were both natives of Ohio and the former was of Irish descent. He was born in 1825 and his life, which was devoted to the carpenter's trade, was terminated in death in 1885. He had for thirteen years survived his wife, who passed away in 1872. In their family were three sons and two daughters, the brothers of our subject being: Page, who has always been associated with Elmore F. in business projects; and John, who is connected with the Washington University at Seattle. The sisters are: Alice, the wife of Walter Reynolds, of Los Angeles, California; and Emma, the wife of Tom Gray, one of the first commissioners under the commission form of government in Keokuk, Iowa. After acquiring his education in the country schools of his native state Elmore F. Boyles went to Arizona where he was employed as a miner and engineer in connection with the mines and afterward be-came boss of the company boarding house at Tombstone, Arizona. He there continued from 1886 until 1891, and in the latter year came to Spokane, bringing with him five thousand dollars which he had saved from his earnings. Soon all of this was lost and in 1896 he went to the mines on a prospecting trip, there continuing until 1899. He then returned to Spokane with his brother Page and their combined capital consisted of about five cents. The two brothers have never been separated, have had but one bank account and have ever worked and shared together in a rare example of brotherly love and devotion. Elmore F. Boyles has always taken the initiative, but Page Boyles has the executive ability, and thus the labors of each forms a complement to the labors of the other. They have shared together almost untold hardships and difficulties, and it was an arduous fight to gain a start after their return to Spokane, but in April, 1899, they established a diamond drill business under the name of the Inland Empire Cooperative Mining Company. The original members were to take interests in property and drill prospect holes, assessing their own stock for the purpose of paying for the work. By the first of August they had ten thousand dollars in bank subject to check. After two years of failure to develop anything of value, the stock-holders decided to put up no more money and the Boyles brothers turned to contracting with their outfit. They have since engaged in this undertaking and have built up a large business, bringing them in about eighteen thousand dollars annually. Operating under the name of the Boyles Brothers, they are known throughout this section of the country as men of marked business calibre and enterprise, resourceful far beyond the majority.
       The process of the business development of Elmore F. Boyles and his brother is most interesting. As previously stated, he takes the initiative and his brother the executive management. In 1891 he sold some stock for A. L. White in the Old Ironsides mine, receiv-ing as his commission two thousand shares. He regarded it practically as worthless but held it until 1900, in which year it became valu-able. At the solicitation of Page Boyles, who has the utmost faith in the ability of his brother to accomplish whatever he sets out to do, Elmore F. Boyles in 1903 decided to erect a building. His cash capital, consisting of only fifty dollars, was put up in an option on of lots part, 4, 5 and 6, block 25, Glover's resurvey addition to Spokane on Madi-son street, a half block south of Riverside. The price of the property was four thousand dollars. He sold Old Ironsides stock for twenty-five hundred dollars, and at that time was drawing a salary of fifteen hundred dollars as manager of the Diamond Drill Mining Company. He paid for the lot and with seventeen hundred dollars which came to him from his wife he immediately contracted for the building of the basement of the property for twelve hundred dollars. It seemed that luck was with him, and yet it was because those who became his associates in the business project felt faith in his ability and indefatigable industry. About that time through the agency of Andrew Shaw he met a man from the Pacific States Investment Company who decided to put up the money for the Boyles Brothers for the erection of a two-story brick building covering part of the ground, the cost to be sixteen thousand dollars. Through George Braley they were enabled to obtain furniture from the Grote Rankin Company to the amount of seven thousand dollars, Mr. Braley standing his security. The rental of the building and the wages of the brothers enabled Mr. Boyles to develop the property until it is one of the finest apartment buildings of this city, known as Granby Court, so named in compliment to the Granby Company, whose stock was really responsible for the building. This is now a three-story and basement structure, containing seventy-five rooms, with all modern improvements, representing an outlay of forty-two thousand dollars for the building and fifteen thousand dollars for the furniture. In this enterprise, Elmore Boyles has justified the faith of his brother as to his ability. He and his wife are conducting the house, which is one of the most desirable apartment houses of Spokane. Thus from comparative poverty and obscurity Mr. Boyles has steadily worked his way upward until he is now well known in the business circles of the northwest.
       On the 24th of May, 1904, Mr. Boyles was united in marriage to Mrs. E. A. DeVol. In politics he is a republican, active in the work of the party and liberal in its support. The day on which he attained his majority he signed a petition for admission to the Masonic fraternity, which was acted upon that same night in Clayton county, Iowa. A committee was immediately organized and in thirty days he was accepted and initiated. He has since been a loyal representative of the craft and is now affiliated with Spokane Lodge, No. 34, F. & A. M. He is also a life member of the Spokane Athletic Club, of which he became an early representative. He is a contributing member to the Chamber of Commerce and is also a steady and liberal contribu-tor to charity, accomplishing much good in this way. Moreover, he is ever ready to extend a helping hand to those who are attempting to make their way upward. He remembers his own struggles and is quick to encourage and assist young men of enterprise, determination and honorable purpose.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton

* * * * Notice: These biographies were transcribed for the Washington Biographies Project. Unless otherwise stated, no further information is available on the individuals featured in the biographies.


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