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William Riley Boyd
Birth: Apr. 5, 1850
Wright County
Missouri, USA
Death: Feb. 22, 1911
Christian County
Missouri, USA

William Riley Boyd

William is born-1850
William Riley Boyd was born 5 April 1850 in Hartville, Wright County, Missouri to Judge Samuel Newton Boyd and Priscilla Wood. The family would later move briefly into northwest Arkansas then settle into Ozark, Christian County, Missouri by 1861.

William marries Martha-1877
William married Martha Frances Marley, the daughter of Eli Marley and Tennessee Wiesner on April 8, 1877 in Ozark, Christian County, Missouri. William built them a home in the southern part of Ozark and raised four children. Martha died giving birth to their last child.

Bald Knobber Troubles-1887
Trouble began to brew around the Ozark, Missouri area when a group of religious zealots reign terror to the folks in the region. On March 18, 1887, William's brother-in-law Zach Johnson, arrested 25 men for the murder of two family members from the area. Zack hired his then widowed brother-in-law William to become one of the many deputies needed to control the jail house of all the prisoners and to control the mob when it came time to hang the ones who were actually convicted of the murders. The accounts of the events were published nationally. Here is an excerpt from William Boyd's daughter Evalina Boyd Laughlin's life story about what she recalls:

"Another time we were out there when he was away and at that time he was Deputy Sheriff. It was a beautiful moonlight night and we were out climbing trees and grape vines when a man rode up and called to us. It frightened us so we didn't answer and as he came nearer we climbed higher thinking he couldn't see us. We were certainly relieved when we found out who he was---another Deputy and he only wanted to know where Father was or if he had captured a man whom they were looking for. The Deputy was Charley Weber, a man whom we liked very much and we were glad to see him.

While Father was still Deputy Sheriff an awful thing happened. Down in the Ozark Mountains a group of men formed an organization that was called the Ball Nobbers and they terrorized the neighborhood in an effort to make better citizens--according to their ideas. They horsewhipped some men and ended up with murdering two whole families. They were captured and three of them hanged which broke up the gang. The thing that impressed me most, being a child of only 8 or 9 and having gone to town alone, was the day they were captured and brought to jail. The people swarmed the streets and there was so much excitement that I was afraid to go home. I stayed until almost dark and Grandfather came after me. They had not known what had happened but they were scared too I think. "

Marries Mary Ann Holland-1890
On December 31, 1890 William Married Mary Ann Holland, the daughter of Jasper Holland and Martha Roller. He builds a second house for his new family in Southern Ozark, Christian County, Missouri.

William elected Public Administrator-1901-1909
William was elected to the position of Public Administrator in 1901 and served until 1909.

William Dies-1911
William R. Boyd died at his farm home one mile south of Ozark on Wednesday, February 22, 1911, aged about 60 years. He had been in feeble health for some years resulting from paralysis and another stroke suffered last week brought the end of life for him. He leaves a widow and a number of children. He was buried yesterday in the Odd Fellows Cemetery (AKA:Vaughn Cemetery) beside his first wife. Ozark Democrat Feb 24, 1911 Volume II Number 42.

Shepard of the Hills
Of historical note, Harold Bell Wright wrote a novel Titled Shepard of the Hills which brought to life the legend of the Bald Knobbers and early life in the Missouri Ozarks. This was made into a play which is reinacted daily in Branson, Missouri.

Written by Lawrence Gardner Boyd. Great-grandson of William Riley Boyd.

For additional information about the Bald Knobbers, read Bald Knobbers Vigilantes on the Ozarks Frontier by Mary Hartman and Elmo Ingenthron. Pelican Publishing Co. Gretna 1988.
Family links: 
  Samuel Newton Boyd (1818 - 1909)
  Priscilla Woods Boyd (1822 - 1902)
  Martha Frances Marley Boyd (1855 - 1887)
  Mary Ann Holland Phillips (1871 - 1948)*
  Evert Boyd (1878 - 1879)*
  Evalina Boyd Laughlin (1880 - 1958)*
  Beulah Boyd Wells (1882 - 1967)*
  Goldie Boyd Bray (1885 - 1970)*
  Frances Paralea Boyd Logan (1887 - 1962)*
  Iva Alice Boyd Thompson (1891 - 1974)*
  Samuel Newton Boyd (1893 - 1953)*
  Sallie Boyd Bunch (1894 - 1967)*
  Lola Agnus Boyd (1896 - 1898)*
  Charles Edward Boyd (1898 - 1971)*
  Lydia Jean Boyd McClocklin (1902 - 1990)*
  William Joseph Boyd (1904 - 1985)*
  James Ware Boyd (1906 - 1976)*
  Jessie Maria Boyd Pew (1908 - 1974)*
  Sarah Ann Boyd Johnson (1848 - 1930)*
  William Riley Boyd (1850 - 1911)
  Margaret Ann Boyd Johnson (1853 - 1900)*
  Ware Boyd (1855 - 1866)*
  Elizabeth Burton Boyd Horton (1859 - 1956)*
  Green Boyd (1860 - 1861)*
  Lydia Frances Boyd Birran (1865 - 1947)*
*Calculated relationship
Vaughn Cemetery
Christian County
Missouri, USA
Created by: Larry Boyd
Record added: Sep 19, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 15807198
William Riley Boyd
Added by: Larry Boyd
William Riley Boyd
Added by: Larry Boyd
William Riley Boyd
Added by: Larry Boyd
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- In Loving Memory
 Added: Dec. 25, 2014

- C.C.
 Added: Feb. 17, 2014
 Added: Nov. 18, 2011
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