Ellsworth Burr Boust


Ellsworth Burr Boust

Chesterfield County, Virginia, USA
Death 3 Aug 1893 (aged 64)
Lone Star, Fresno County, California, USA
Burial Fresno, Fresno County, California, USA
Memorial ID 40930694 View Source
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Colfax Sentinel, Friday, 8-18-1893
An Old Pioneer Gone

Ellsworth Burr Boust, born September 5, 1829 at Petersburg, Virginia, son of John and Charlotte Boust. He was given a liberal education, after which, on account of delicate health, he took an extended sea voyage to the Mediterranean. On his return, he became apprenticed to the Richmond Enquirer where he learned his trade. Afterward, the family moved to Alabama where he was residing when the Mexican War broke out. Being young and enthusiastic, he enlisted in the Alabama Volunteers at Mobile as a member of Company A, Capt. Pickens, First Regiment, Col Coffee commanding. After serving the entire length of the war, he was honorably discharged. He then returned to Alabama where he joined the State Militia, received the rank of Colonel on the Governor's staff at the age of twenty-one. When the gold fever broke out in California, he, together with the late Robert G. Steel of Merced and others, fitted out an expedition to cross the plains, which started from Fort Smith, Arkansas. After a long and tedious journey, they arrived at Placerville in August 1849 where he at once engaged in merchandising in connection with the late Jesse Blasingame of Fresno County.

During the early 50's, he served as Deputy of Placer County under Sheriff Sam Aston. During this time, he was one of the posse that went in pursuit of the bandit, Joaquin Murietta. In 1857 he started the Placer Courier at Yankee Jims. In 1858 he moved his newspaper plant to Iowa Hill, at that time a booming town, where he changed the name to the Weekly Patriot. In 1859 he married Miss Martha E. Ferguson, a sister of A. A. Ferguson of Dutch Flat and of Mrs. T. F. Bingham of Lakeport, Lake County, Mrs. W. [missing line] IOOF, and J. W. Ferguson of the Fresno Expositor. In 1860, rich mines having been discovered, he moved his paper to Dutch Flat and at the request of influential citizens, he changed the name to the Dutch Flat Enquirer. In 1866 he divided his plant, part of which he took to Meadow Lake, a then flourishing camp, where he started the Meadow Lake Sun. He also continued publishing the Enquirer.

In 1867 the miners at Meadow Lake, having found that the gold was difficult to extract, the camp died out. Then Mr. Boust moved his paper back to Dutch Flat. In 1868 he moved part of his plant from Dutch Flat to Santa Barbara, where he started the Post. He left the Enquirer in charge of J. W. Ferguson, who in a short time moved the paper to Truckee where it was named the Tribune. Afterwards, the paper was moved to Fresno where it was named the Expositor. In 1869 he changed the name of the Post to the Press. Shortly afterward, he sold out to J. A. Johnson who continued to publish the paper. He was Postmaster in Santa Barbara from 1869 to 1871. In 1871 he started the Times. He sold this paper in 1874. Mr. Boust published a campaign paper in 1878 called the Democrat. He was also engaged in farming in Santa Barbara for a short time.

In 1881 he moved to Fresno where he continued to farm, besides alternating between the composing case on the Expositor and writing descriptive articles for it, some of which were collected together and were used exclusively in the Fresno Board of Trade pamphlet. Some of the best editorials in the Expositor were from his pen. He had in his lifetime been wealthy, but reverses in business changed his fortunes. He died August 3, 1893, at his residence in Fresno, where his funeral took place on August 6th. He was followed to his last resting place by the Typographical Union of which he was a member,and many friends.

He left a family consisting of a wife, five sons and three daughters, most of whom have grown to manhood and womanhood. He also left three little grandsons of whom he was very proud. His friends were legion, and there will be a void felt by all who knew him. He was a kind and loving father, a courteous gentleman, and a true friend.

Courtesy of Glenda Ragan

By Wadyne Bussey Lindberg

E.B. Boust was not discharged in Los Angeles. After being shot in the leg during the Mexican War, and contracting typhoid fever, he was left "in hospital" at Vera Cruz, Mexico, and subsequently discharged at New Orleans,to return to Alabama where he had moved from Virginia a few years before enlisting, to live with relatives. It was from Alabama that he and some friends set off on horseback, heading toward California and adventure on the Santa Fe trail, consequently having to proceed by "ride and tie"because one of their horses drowned crossing a river.

He was never a gambler, as stated in the early census. At first he panned for gold at Columbia, then "merchandised" until, falling ill and nearly dying, he awoke from delirium to find his partner had stolen all his gold from his chest and, leaving it nailed to the floor of the cabin, departed,for parts unknown. After that, having once served apprenticeship on The Richmond Enquirer (in Virginia), he turned to journalism, first as reporter, then as one-man owner, printer, publisher.

He was not a sheriff but was deputized with a posse to ride out after Joaquin Murietta. They never caught up with him. The two rifles, Spensers, that Grandfather carried during this duty, and as a Vigilante before there was a sheriff, remain today with his descendants.

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