William Montford Boylan, Jr

William Montford Boylan, Jr

Death 3 Feb 1899 (aged 76)
Burial Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina, USA
Memorial ID 28032055 · View Source
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William Montfort Boylan born 1822 in Raleigh, Wake County, the youngest of 11 known surviving children (7 boys/4 girls) born to wealthy planter & newspaperman, William Montford Boylan Sr. and Elizabeth Stokes McCullouch. William Boylan Sr. was born in Pluckemin, Somerset Co, NJ came to Raleigh in 1799 where he became one of the wealthiest landowners, newspaper editors, and businessman in the state.

He was the paternal grandson of Capt. John Boylan & Eleanor Hodge of NJ; and gr-grandson of this family's patriarch, Aaron Boylan (c. 1710-1751) who immigrated to Basking Ridge, Somerset Co, NC from Colerain, Ireland ca. 1732. On his mother's side, he was the maternal grandson of Sen. Benjamin Samuel "Sandy" McCulloch & Sarah Montford Stokes of Halifax & Craven Counties, NC.

In 1846, the 24-year old married 19-year old Mary Kinsey, the niece and adopted daughter of Rev. and Mrs. Richard Sharp Mason of Raleigh. The couple would become parents of 4 known children: Elizabeth "Betsy" McCulloch Boylan (1847-1921), Mary Alice Boylan (1850-1890), William Boylan III (1852-1915), and James Boylan (c. 1854-aft 1870).

In 1858, William Jr. hired architect William Percival to design his residence and lasting legacy, "Montford Hall" (photo shown here).

Percival was a noted architect, reportedly a retired British army officer, who resided in Raleigh for two years. During that short time he received commissions for renovations to the Capitol, the First Baptist Church and two other Italianate brick mansions (neither survives). Percival's other notable North Carolina commissions include New East and New West dormitories at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and Calvary Episcopal Church, The Barracks house, and the Coates House, (private residences) all located in Tarboro.

William's father died in 1861, and the 39-year old only inherited a relatively small portion of the estate, apparently an indication of his father's disdain for his youngest son's lifestyle and and lack of ambition and social consciousness. William Jr. received $10,000.00 cash, the Crabtree Plantation in Wake County, and a tract of land in Mississippi. This was due to great differences in the characters of the two men. The elder Boylan, was very political and public-minded. His son, William Montfort Boylan, was much more of a bon vivant who enjoyed drinking and fox hunting. One really telling indication of the low esteem that William Boylan held for his son was that he did not bequeath to his son his home and library which were less than a quarter of a mile away from Montfort Hall.

In comparison to his father, William Montfort Boylan was fairly apolitical; he only supported the Confederacy after secession had occurred. As a result of his ambivalence in the Civil War, he and his home were spared during the Union occupation of Raleigh, although the grounds of his home were used as a camp by Union troops.

William Montfort Boylan suffered pretty heavy financial losses during the Civil war, but by the 1870's, a decade later, his fortune had reversed by a large degree. His then minor children inherited funds from his brother, John H. Boylan in 1870; and his sister, Catherine Boylan, gave him ninety-two acres of the Wakefield plantation in 1875.

William Montfort Boylan, Jr. died in 1899, at age 77. Ironically, he did not die at his beloved home, "Montfort Hall", but instead died of a stroke at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore after having a wart removed from his nose.

Upon his death he left "Montfort Hall" and the surrounding land to his wife, Mary K. Boylan. His widow died just 2 years later in 1902, and his property was bequeathed to his four children: Betsy Snow, Mary A. Haywood, William Boylan, and James Boylan.

In 1907, the land around "Montfort Hall" was sold and subdivided as Boylan Heights, one of the city's first planned suburban neighborhoods. "Montfort Hall" subsequently passed through a succession of owners. Despite the addition of a wrap-around porch and frame additions early in the 20th century, the building retained much of its original character. New owners in the 1980s returned the exterior of the building to its original appearance.

"Montfort Hall", a Raleigh Historic Landmark, is located at 308 South Boylan Ave. in the Boylan Heights Historic District (it is also listed individually in the National Register as Montford (sic.) Hall). It is a private residence and is not open to the public.


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  • Created by: pbfries
  • Added: 4 Jul 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 28032055
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William Montford Boylan, Jr (5 Sep 1822–3 Feb 1899), Find A Grave Memorial no. 28032055, citing City Cemetery, Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina, USA ; Maintained by pbfries (contributor 46951237) .