Erastus P. Boyden, Tiskilwa, who is the subject of the following biography, was born February 16, 1823, in Pelham, Hampshire Co., Mass. His father, Plyna Boyden, was born November 2, 1788, in South Walpole, Mass., near Boston. He was a shoe-maker and farmer by occupation, and died September 25, 1866, in Henry County, Ill. The Boyden family is of English descent and are classed among the pioneers of New England. The mother of our subject, Clarissa Fales, was born July 6, 1793. She died June 5, 1861. She was a daughter of Joseph Fales, and was the mother of six children, viz.: Mrs. Adeline Marsh, deceased; Mrs. Clarissa Knowlton, widow of Dr. Perry Knowlton; Sanford Boyden, a resident of Massachusetts.
Erastus P. Boyden, our subject was educated in Massachusetts, but he is principally self-educated, having gained his fund of general knowledge in contact with the world. In early life he taught school in his native State, after which he followed various occupations. Owing to his popularity and efficiency he was elected to many town offices, and at one time had the doubtful pleasure of filling nine distinct offices. During his last years in Massachusetts pursuits. In 1854 he removed to Tazewell County, Ill., where he resided five years and then removed to Geneseo, Ill. In 1860 he opened a general store in Atkinson, Ill. He also bought and sold grain, dealt in real estate, also engaged in farming and dealt extensively in broom corn.
During this time he was elected Supervisor of his township and filled that office with tact and ability. In 1876 Mr. Boyden removed to Tiskilwa, where he bought the “Tiskilwa House,” and where he now , in that capacity of landlord, dispenses entertainment and comfort to his fellowmen.
Our subject has been married twice. His first wife, Mary R. Dunbar, was a native of Massachusetts. She died September 10, 1869. She was the mother of six children, viz.: John D., now a resident of Nebraska; Mrs. Clara E. Welsh, of Dakota, and Hattie M. Mr. Boyden was married a second time to Mrs. Marcia A. Penney (nee Valentine), a daughter of Edwin and Hannah (Delong) Valentine, natives of Warren County, Penn., the former deceased. Mrs. Marcia A. Borden has two children from a former marriage, viz.: Mrs. Ella P. Crossett and Norton T. Penney.
Mr. and Mrs. Boyden are members of the Congregational Church. He has ever been identified with the Republican party, is a friend of prohibition, has taken a deep interest in local affairs and has been President of the Board of Trustees.
Source: History of Bureau County, Illinois, H. C. Bradsby, Editor. World Publishing Company Chicago 1885