Name: Creed H. Boswell
Birth: ABT 1801 in Franklin County, Virginia 1
Death: AUG 1876 in Middleport, Iroquois County, Illinois 2
Reference Number: 1784
NARRATIVE: CREED H. BOSWELL
By Frank D. Myers
Creed H. Boswell, apparently the youngest son of William M. and Mary Jane (Mason) Boswell, was born about 1801, most likely in Franklin County, Virginia. That birth year is based upon two census entries, the 1850 census of Wayne Township, Tippecanoe County, Indiana, which records Creed as 49 on the 20th of August; and the 1860 census of Onarga Township, Iroquois County, Illinois, which records his age as 59 on the 6th of July.
On the 1st of July 1827, when he was about 26, Creed married Irene Fargo in Mason County, (West) Virginia, according to an entry found in the online Ancestry.com database "Virginia Marriages, 1740-1850."
Census records show that Irene was born in New York and suggest that her birth year was about 1809. She was recorded as 41 in the 1850 census of Wayne Township, Tippecanoe County, Ohio, entry dated 20 August; and as 51 in the 1860 census of Onarga Township, Iroquois County, Illinois, entry dated 6 July.
Irene is identified as a daughter of Eusebius and Abigail (Streeter) Fargo by Patricia Dissmeyer Goff in her online database "Onarga (Illinois) Families," citing H. H. Beckwith's "History of Iroquois County, Illinois" (H.H. Hill & Co., Chicago: 1880). Several derivative online databases identify Eusebius as a son of Aaron and Elizabeth (Reed) Fargo and state that he was born 4 September 1777 in Norwich, New London, Connecticut. The Eusebius Fargo family was enumerated in both the 1820 and 1830 federal censuses of Mason County, (West) Virginia, suggesting that the Boswells and the Fargos could have been neighbors.
Creed H.'s father, William M. Boswell, apparently died intestate during the summer of 1828 and Creed was named to administer is estate, producing on 29 August of that year an inventory that included a modest accumulation of livestock and household goods plus a list of ferriage accounts. Among William M. Boswell's inventoried assets was a quarter interest in five slaves that remained within the estate of one Catherine Sullivan, deceased prior to 11 September 1824, until 1829 (Mason County, (West) Virginia, Deed Book G, Page 182).
Creed H. also served as administrator of the estate of his mother, Mary, who apparently died during 1829. On 5 March 1830, Creed H. filed an inventory of his mother's estate which consisted of the $84 she had received for a one-eighth share interest in Catherine Sullivan's slaves --- presumably inherited from William M. --- who had, finally, been sold.
The fact that Creed administered his parents' estates and also seems to have been involved in some way with ferriage suggests, but does not confirm, that he may have been the child who assumed responsibility for his parents and perhaps assisted with William M.'s ferry business.
When the 1830 census of Mason County was taken, Creed "Bozzel" was recorded as head of a family that included six people, as follows:
1830 CENSUS, MASON COUNTY, (WEST) VIRGINIA
Head of household: Creed Bozell
2 males of 20 and under 30
1 male under 5 (Probably son William A. Boswell, born 29 July 1830)
1 female of 40 and under 50
1 female of 20 and under 30 (Probably Irene)
1 female of 5 and under 10 (Possibly a daughter who died young)
Creed and Irene would make their home in Mason County for approximately 10 years and their three eldest surviving children, William A., Sarah Viletta and Luna Boswell, were born there. Eusebius and Abigail Fargo had daughters named Violetta and Luna, so it seems likely that Creed and Irene named their first daughters in honor of their Fargo aunts.
During the fall of 1833, Creed H. landed in the Mason County Jail at Point Pleasant as an "insolvent debtor" and to extricate himself, deeded his half interest, acquired during 1831, in "a patent right respecting a new mode of ferrying and propelling boats in the State of Indiana" to John Hereford, sheriff, "for the use of the creditors." The document formalizing that transaction reads as follows:
Mason County, (West) Virginia, Deed Book 9, Page 33
Boswell, Creed, 13 Sept. 1833
This indenture made and concluded the 13th day of September in the year of our Lord Christ Eighteen hundred and thirty three between Creed H. Boswell of the county of Mason and State of Virginia of the one part and John Hereford Sheriff of the County of Mason and Commonwealth aforesaid of the other part, witnesseth that whereas the said Creed H. Boswell is now confined in the Jail of Mason County Virginia upon an execution of Ca. Sa. in favor of Samuel G. Shaw as well as upon a judgement confessed in the clerk's office of Mason County Court in a suit wherein John Hereford Sheriff and as such administrators of the estate of Peyton Dobbins deceased (who sued for the use and benefit of one Bozzle Hacket) is Ptiff. And whereas the said Creed H. Boswell being anxious to obtain the benefit of the act of the General Assembly of Virginia made for the relief of insolvent debtors. And whereas the said Creed H. Boswell is entitled to one half of an interest in a patent right respecting a new mode of ferrying and propelling boats in the State of Indiana for the term of fourteen years from the 1st Day of October 1830 as more fully appears by a deed from Matthew D. Brown the patentee bearing date the 14th day of April 1831 to the said Creed H. Boswell and one Amos W. Gay---. Which deed is of Record in the clerk's office of Mason County Court in Deed Book w page 104. Now this indenture further witnesseth that for and in consideration of the promises and for the further consideration of the Sum of one dollar by the said John Hereford Sheriff of the county of Mason to the said Creed H. Boswell in hand paid to the said Creed H. Boswell hath granted bargained sold assigned and transferred and by these presents do grant bargain sell assign and transfer unto the said John Hereford Sheriff &c for the use of the creditors aforesaid all his right title interest claim and demand whatsoever of in and to the one half of the interest in said patent in the State of Indiana, and of his right to vend, sell, dispose of and convey ferry rights within the said State of Indiana for the aforesaid Term of fourteen years from the said 1st day of October 1830 as witness his hand and seal the day and date above written.
(Signed) Creed H. Boswell (Seal)
Virginia, Mason County, To wit.
We Andrew Waggener and Robert Mitchell two Trustees of the peace in the county aforesaid in the State of Virginia do hereby certify that Creed H. Boswell a party to a certain deed bearing date on the 13th day of Sept. 1833 and hereto (illegible) personally appeared before us in our (illegible) and acknowledge the same to be his act and deed and desired us to certify the said acknowledgment to the clerk of the county court of Mason in order that the said deed may be recorded, given under our hands and seals this 13th day of Sept. 1833.
(Signed) A Waggener (Seal)
(Signed) R Mitchell (Seal)
According to Creed's and Irene's son, William A. Boswell, "about 1838, (the Boswell family) left the Old Dominion and emigrated to Indiana, locating in Vermilion County." When the 1840 census of Eugene Township, Vermillion County, was taken, the Creed Boswell family was recorded as follows (although the children do not all fit neatly into record slots, it has to be noted that census records are notoriously inaccurate):
1840 CENSUS, VERMILLION COUNTY, INDIANA
Eugene Township, Pages 875/456
Head of household: Creed Boswell
1 male of 30 and under 40 (Creed, age about 39)
1 male under 5 (Perhaps George, born about 1840, or William A., miscategorized)
1 female of 20 and under 30 (Irene, age about 31)
2 females of 5 and under 10 (Sarah Viletta and Luna, ages approximately 9 and 6)
2 females under 5 (Harriet, age approximately 3, and unidentified, perhaps George assigned the wrong sex)
William A. Boswell's previously cited biographical sketch states that the Boswell family moved from Vermillion to Tippecanoe County, Indiana, during 1850, where the family was recorded in Wayne Township in a federal census entry dated 20 August of that year, as follows:
1850 CENSUS, TIPPECANOE COUNTY, INDIANA
Wayne Township, Page No. 442, Enumerated 20 August 1850
416/416 Creed Boswell, 49, male, farmer, born Virginia
Arena (Boswell), 41, female, born New York
William (Boswell), 20, male, born Virginia, attended school within the year
Sarah (Boswell), 19, female, born Virginia, attended school within the year
Luna (Boswell), 16, female, born Virginia
Harriet (Boswell), 13, female, born Ia (This means Indiana, not Iowa)
George (Boswell), 10, male, born Ia
Charles (Boswell), 7, male, born Ia
James (Boswell), 4, male, born Ia
Elias Wright, 21, male, labor, birth place unknown
Edward Johnston, 19, male, labor, born Ia
Robert Hood, 19, male, labor, born Ia
Six years later (about 1856), according to William A.'s biographical sketch, Creed, Irene and all of the children other than William A. "came to Illinois, settling in Iroquois County, about eight miles west of the present site of Onarga, where Mr. Boswell purchased a half-section of land." William A. had married in Tippecanoe County and remained there until 1867. When the 1860 federal census of Illinois was taken, the Creed H. Boswell family was recorded as follows:
1860 CENSUS, IROQUOIS COUNTY, ILLINOIS
Onarga Township, Page No. 122, Enumerated 6 July
898/852 C. H. Boswell, 59, M, Farmer, Real Estate $1,990, Personal $650, born Virginia
Irene (Boswell), 51, F, born New York
Vilitty, 27, F, C.S. (Common School) teacher, born Virginia
Harriet, 22, F, born Indiana
George W., 20, M, born Indiana
Charles M., 17, M, born Indiana
James M., 14, M, born Indiana
Subsequently, according to William A., the Boswells "removed to Old Middleport (also in Iroquois County), and in 1868 the death of his wife there occurred. Mr. Boswell survived her about eight years and was called to his final rest in August, 1876."
I have not found Creed in the 1870 federal census, nor have I found any indication of where they might be buried, although presumably it would be at or near Middleport. So for the moment, at least, the accounting of Creed's and Irene's lives stops here.
A biographical sketch of William A. Boswell, transcribed from the 1893 "Portrait & Biographical Record of Iroquois County, Illinois," may be found online at the Iroquois County Genealogical Society's Web site. References to statements by William A. about his family are taken from that account, as follows:
WILLIAM A. BOSWELL is now living a retired life in Onarga, enjoying a well-earned rest after many years of faithful toil and labor. He is a man of sterling character and is numbered among the best citizens of this community, so that he well deserves representation in the history of his adopted county.
Mr. Boswell was born in Mason County, Va., on the 29th of July, 1830, and is one of seven children whose parents were Creed and Irene (Fargo) Boswell, the former a native of Virginia and the latter of the Empire State. About 1838, they left the Old Dominion and emigrated to Indiana, locating in Vermilion County, where they made their home until 1850, when they removed to Tippecanoe County. Six years later they came to Illinois, settling in Iroquois County, about eight miles west of the present site of Onarga, where Mr. Boswell purchased a half-section of land. Subsequently, he removed to Old Middleport, and in 1868 the death of his wife there occurred. Mr. Boswell survived her about eight years and was called to his final rest in August, 1876. They were highly respected people. Four sons and three daughters were born unto them, as follows: William A., Villetta, George, Charles and Marion, yet living; and Luna and Harriet, deceased.
The subject of this sketch spent the first eight years of his life in the State of his nativity, and then accompanied his parents on their removal to Indiana, where the days of his boyhood and youth were passed amid the wild scenes of frontier life. There were many hardships and privations to be borne. In 1844, he drove two hundred head of cattle to Chicago, and then to Racine, Wis., but could not make a sale so had to butcher them and sell by distribution. A great change has since been wrought, for it is now hardly possible to supply the Chicago market. Mr. Boswell aided his father in the cultivation of the farm until he had attained to years of maturity.
An important event in the life of our subject occurred in 1852, when he was united in marriage with Miss Elizabeth P. Mick, daughter of McKendree and Maria (Boswell) Mick, of Tippecanoe County, Ind. Their union was blessed with seven children, but only three are now living: Eva, born September 15, 1853; Willie, March 14, 1856; and George F., April 28, 1866. Charles P., born March 12, 1858, died in infancy; Perry, born April 7, 1859, died at the age of four years; Annie Pencie, born September 22, 1862, died in 1872, at the age of ten years; and Tenna, born November 26, 1864, died the same year.
Mr. Boswell has been a resident of Iroquois county since 1867. In that year he came to Illinois and located on a farm of three hundred and seventy-five acres, about three and a-half miles south of Onarga. He afterward made additional purchases, until his farm comprised four-hundred and seventy-five acres of arable land, which he placed under a high state of cultivation, making many improvements upon it, all of which stand as monuments to his thrift and enterprise. He was a successful farmer, and through his business ability and well-directed efforts he has won a handsome competence.
Upon his farm, Mr. Boswell made his home until 1889, when he removed with his family to Onarga. He has since sold one hundred and forty-five acres of his land. The home of Mr. and Mrs. Boswell is a comfortable residence near Grand Prairie Seminary, and there their many friends delight to gather, for hospitality reigns supreme in that household. Both are faithful and consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he is now serving as Steward. In politics, he is a supporter of Democratic principles, but has never sought or desired official preferment; however, he served as Road Commissioner for three years. He has been President of the County Fair Association, and ever takes an active interest in all that pertains to the welfare of the community and its advancement. He is a valued citizen and is held in high esteem throughout the community.
Father: William M. Boswell
Mother: Mary Jane Mason
Irene Fargo b: ABT 1809 in New York
1 JUL 1827
in Mason County, (West) Virginia 3
- William A. Boswell b: 29 JUL 1830 in Mason County, West Virginia
- Sarah Viletta Boswell b: ABT 1831 in Mason County, (West) Virginia
- Luna Boswell b: ABT 1834 in Mason County, (West) Virginia
- Harriet Boswell b: ABT 1837
- George Boswell b: ABT 1840
- Charles Boswell b: ABT 1843
- James Marion Boswell b: ABT 1846
- Creed's approximate year of birth, 1801, is based upon census records. His age was given as 49 in the 1850 census of Wayne Township, Tippecanoe County, Indiana, netry dated 20 August; and as 59 in ghd 1860 census of Onarga Township, Iroquois County, Illinois, entry dated 6 July.
- Creed's date of death, August 1876, is recorded in the biographical sketch of his son, William A. Boswell, transcribed from the 1893 "Portrait & Biographical Record of Iroquois County, Illinois" and published online by the Iroquois County Genealogical Society: "Mr. Boswell ... was called to his final rest in August, 1876."
- The marriage date 1 July 1827 is given in Ancestry.com's online database entitled, "Virginia Marriages, 1740-1850."