WHS Class of 73

Search This Blog

April 1, 2017

1891 Best Bricks in the West - Boyd Brick and Mining Co., Knob Noster, MO


T. H. Boyd & Son, Knobnoster, MO Bricks

THE BOYD BRICKYARD--KNOBNOSTER, MISSOURI
Margaret Rages Boyd

The late September day was typically beautiful -- vibrant colors on the trees and a gentle wind, perhaps a bit too warm for the size 38 "Sloppy Joe" sweater I wore over my small frame. The sweater's muted orange was in harmony with the season and I wore it proudly. As a 1945 Freshman Coed at the College in Warrensburg, Missouri the oversized sweater gave
me confidence and a feeling of belonging - "All the girls wore them!" I glanced down its considerable lenght to my short brown skirt and my loafered feet as they beat a rhythmic sound on the brick sidewalk.
"T.H. Boyd and Son, Knobnoster, MO" -- T.H. Boyd and Son, Knobnoster, MO. The impression on each brick was sharp and clear as if this T.H. Boyd, whomever he was, was proud of the name and meant it to endure the pounding of countless feet as they walked along the southern edge of the campus. Thomas Henderson Boyd was proud and his name has endured. But my concerns in 1945 were of the "here and now."
I would have laughed heartily had someone told me that this was my link with the Scottish history I find so fascinating today. Even his great grandson, whom I was to meet on campus in 1946, and marry during our senior year was not greatly concerned with T.H Boyd in 1945, as first and second generation Boyds, like so many immigrant descendants at that time, paid little heed to their roots.
Great Grandfather Boyd's brick kiln in Knobnoster was a crumbled ruin that day in 1945. But its history is well documented in Johnson County, Missouri archives and bicentennial publications.
Thomas brought a knowledge of coal mining with him from Scotland when he immigrated in 1868. He was successfully engaged in this activitywhile living in Ohio and Pennsylvania. In 1875 he moved to Montserrat, Missouri where he was placed in charge of coal mining operations in that area. Later in nearby Knobnoster, he established the Boyd Brick and Mining Company.
The business flourished and in 1891 bricks bearing the Boyd name were "pronounced by experts to be the best made in the West." The Missouri Pacific Railroad built a siding spur to the plant and each day large orders of different colors of brick and clay were shipped to Kansas
City. Clay was used in the manufacture of terra cotta and bricks were used in the building of Missouri churches, banks, residences, sidewalks,
streets and most interestingly the interior walls of the classically beautiful Missouri State Capitol Building in Jefferson City. Twenty-six men were employed at the plant during this time and the demand was great. The Boyd Brick and Mining Company was considered to be so important to the town of Knobnoster and the surrounding area that students were sent to the plant to watch the manufacturing process. The plant closed in the 1930's and all the buildings and kilns were torn down. But the bricks "live on!"
In the 1970's while visiting Missouri relatives my husband and I with out three little Boyd sons, stopped at Knobnoster in order to secure
several bricks which now serve as door stops in our Ann Arbor, Michigan home.
It is always something of a shock to realize that I am only a second generation American. Looking at the listing for Boyd in a 1972 American Genealogical Research Institute publication I see that a Thomas Boyd came to the United States around the year 1736. That's one hundred and
Sixty years before my great grandfather arrived on these shores via the steamship "City of Brussels".
This same publication lists, in the census of 1790, twenty-five Thomas Boyds as heads of house-holds in twelve of the 13 original states. Thomas ranked in popularity with Robert, James, William, and John as a given name in Scotland.
The common naming practice for male children was for the first son to be given the name of his paternal grandfather, the second son was given the name of his maternal grandfather, and the third son took the name of his father. No doubt the brief historical prominence of that 15th century figure, Sir Thomas Boyd, husband of the king's sister, plays a part in the continued popularity of the name. Scottish Boyds must have been quick to preserve any connection with Sir Thomas, no matter how tenuous, by naming their sons "Thomas".
I know little about my Thomas Henderson Boyd before the date 1868. His father was Robert Boyd, born in Linlithgow, Scotland. Thomas brought a knowledge of coal mining with him when he immigrated, which could very easily place his origin in the coal mining country in Southwest Scotland.
The following is copied from a published History of Johnson County, MO., with information furnished by Francis L. Boyd, who was Thomas Henderson Boyd's grandson.
"In the spring of 1868, Thomas H. Boyd and his wife, Jane McIntosh Boyd, and their son, George McIntosh Boyd, aged 5 years, came to the United
States. They made the voyage on the steamer "City of Brussels".
After arrival in New York Mr. Boyd proceeded to Canada. After some months of travel he returned to the U.S. and settled in Quincy, Illinois, where he remained for six years. Then he went to Ohio and was engaged in coal mining. From there Mr. Boyd went to Pennsylvania where he was employed by a wealthy firm to superintend their coal mining operations which position he held for a period of years.
In 1875 Mr. Boyd traveled to Missouri and located at Montserrat, near the middle of the state. There he was hired as a superintendent of the "Southwestern Coal Association" and was placed in full charge of their coal mining operations. The mines and business flourished under his direction, and his knowledge and services were cultivated. The Company bought and leased over 5,000 acres of land near and around Montserrat. Mr. Boyd also operated a General Mercantile Store which accommodated a
wide area of the town.
Later Mr. Boyd relocated to nearby Knobnoster, Missouri, where he set about establishing the Boyd Brick and Mining Company. The payroll from both of these enterprises stimulated the business and the growth of the town.
The brick yard was located on the west end of McPherson Street less than a mile from the center of town. The coal mine was a little West and less than a mile South of the brick yards.
Mr. Boyd chose wisely in his location of the brick yard as the clay proved to have a variety of uses. Face brick, common brick, fire brick, pressed brick and mud machine brick were manufactured there. In addition many colors from buff to deep red were made.


The Missouri Pacific Railroad built a siding spur into the brick plant and each day large orders of brick and clay were loaded into boxcars and
onto flat cars. Much of the clay was shipped to Kansas City where it was used in the manufacture of terra cotta. By this time Mr. Boyd took his son, George McIntosh Boyd, into partnership with him. Even today (1996) some of the brick can be found in some of the towns and
cities, the following imprint still clearly shown: "T.H. Boyd & Son, Knobnoster, MO."
In 1880, the first wife of Mr. Boyd, Jane McIntosh, died. To their union had been born six children: George M. (grandfather of Julian Dale
Boyd), Margaret, Thomas, Susan, John and Nettie Boyd.
Mr. Boyd remarried in 1881. His second wife was Mary E. Clifford, a former resident of De Pere, Wisconsin. She was a sister to Louisa Clifford, who later married George M. Boyd. Born into the second family of Mr. Boyd were the following children: Timothy C., Jane, Marie, William, Jessie, and an infant son.
Mr. Boyd was a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Knobnoster. He died on January 6, 1904 and was buried in the Knobnoster Cemetery, East of town.
Additional information about Thomas Henderson Boyd is found in the obituary for his son George McIntosh Boyd, who was a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church. "His father (Thomas Henderson Boyd) was educated for a minister of the Old School Presbyterian Church". Julian Dale and Margaret Rages Boyd, 2630 Patricia Court, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103
RichBoyd@charter.net





Boyd Coal Company, operating two coal mines located one and a half miles east of Warrensburg. The mines are on the Burkarth place. The firm has just completed a shaft thirty-two feet in depth running to a vein of coal twenty-two to twenty-six inches in thickness and of excellent quality. Near this mine is the mine operated by the twenty-thousand-dollar stripping machine, put in operation in September, 1916 by these enterprising men. Six men are daily employed in operating this stripping machine. The dirt, rock, soapstone, twenty-five feet in depth, are shoveled from the vein of coal. Above the coal, about eight feet, is a layer of flint rock, which is utilized by being crushed. A stone crusher has been installed at the mine for this purpose. The crushed stone from the Stockton & Lampkin mine has been found to be of the best quality for concrete work and as good as any in the state. It is being used in the foundation work for the new Normal building and has given perfect satisfaction. The demand is far greater than the supply. 

Before Thomas H. Boyd came to Missouri. John A. Gallaher was the superintendent of the mines at Montserrat and had been mining coal there for five years prior to Mr. Boyd's coming. In the spring of 1880, Thomas H. Boyd opened a coal mine at Clearfork and the two mines, the one at Montserrat and the other at Clearfork, employed at the time between six and eight hundred miners. In the spring of 1882, five hundred convicts from the State penitentiary were imported for use in the mines by Gallaher, under a four-year contract. ?____ was made on the convict laborers by the local miners and the men were returned to the penitentiary in the spring of 1884. During the time the convicts were employed at the mines, the stockade was burned down by a fire started when one of the criminals threw a lighted lamp at the warden. While the stockade was being rebuilt, the convicts were kept down in the mines, which was from seven to nine days. After they were permanently removed, the Clearfork Coal Company assumed control of the mines and operated the Clearfork mine until 1887. Since that time, nothing much in the line of mining has been done there. The vein of coal in the Montserrat mine was from four to six feet in depth. Thomas H. Boyd went from the Clearfork mine to one which he opened at Knob Noster. where the vein was four or four and a half feet in depth, and which he operated for five years. His death occurred in 1905 at Knob Noster and his remains were interred at that place. George M. Boyd received his education in the public schools of Johnson county, attending school at Montserrat. At the age of four- teen years, he left school and began working with his father in the mines. He has been engaged in the coal and brick business practically ever since he was a lad. Mr. Boyd has literally grown up with the coal business in Johnson county and there is no more capable miner in Missouri. For twenty-four years he conducted the brick plant at Knob Noster, associated with his father in the ownership of the plant, the firm being known as Boyd & Son. In 1912 the plant was incorporated and the ensuing year Mr. Boyd accepted the position of foreman of the Boyd Coal Company of Warrensburg. History of Johnson County, Cockrell 1918
Biographical Sketch of George M. Boyd, Johnson County, Missouri, Warrensburg Township >From "History of Johnson County, Missouri," by Ewing Cockrell, Historical Publishing Company, Topeka, Cleveland, 1918. ********************************************** George M. Boyd, foreman of the Boyd Coal Company of Warrensburg, has been connected with the coal business in Johnson county since 1878 or 1879. He is the son of Thomas H. Boyd, who was engaged in the mining business in Johnson county for many years. George M. Boyd is the old- est child born to his parents, Thomas H. and Jennie (McIntosh) Boyd. The others were as follow: Margaret, wife of L. M. Hare, of Pittsburg, Kansas; Thomas Jr., died in 1889 at Knob Noster, Mo.; Susie, wife of Tell Zuber, of Knob Noster, Mo.; John, died at Knob Noster, Mo., in September, 1896; and Nettie, the wife of Frank Booth, of Kansas City, Missouri. The mother was born in Scotland in 1844 and with her husband came to America about 1865. Her death occurred January 1, 1880. Thomas H. Boyd was again married, his second wife being Mary E. Clifford, of Wisconsin. To them were born six children: Timothy, the superintendent of the brick company at Ginger, Texas; Mrs. Rufus Brindle, Knob Noster, Mo.; Mrs. William Connor, Denver, Colorado; William, who resides in Ginger, Texas; Mrs. Arthur Heider, Terbell, California; and Archie, now deceased. Before Thomas H. Boyd came to Missouri, John A. Gallaher was the superintendent of the mines at Montserrat and had been mining coal there for five years prior to Mr. Boyd's coming. In the spring of 1880, Thomas H. Boyd opened a coal mine at Clearfork and the two mines, the one at Montserrat and the other at Clearfork, employed at the time between six and eight hundred miners. In the spring of 1882, 500 convicts from the State penitentiary were imported for use in the mines by Gallaher, under a four year contract. A fight was made on the convict laborers by the local miners and the men were returned to the penitentiary in the spring of 1884. During the time the convicts were employed at the mines, the stockade was burned down by a fire started when one of the criminals threw a lighted lamp at the warden. While the stockade was being rebuilt, the convicts were kept down in the mines, which was from seven to nine days. After they were permanently removed, the Clearfork Coal Company assumed control of the mines and operated the Clearfork mine until 1887. Since that time, nothing much in the line of mining has been done there. The vein of coal in the Montserrat mine was from four to six feet in depth. Thomas H. Boyd went from the Clear- fork mine to one which he opened at Knob Noster, where the vein was four or four and a half feet in depth, and which he operated for five years. His death occurred in 1905 at Knob Noster and his remains were interred at that place. George M. Boyd received his education in the public schools of Johnson county, attending school at Montserrat. At the age of fourteen years, he left school and began working with his father in the mines. He has been engaged in the coal and brick business practically ever since he was a lad. Mr. Boyd has literally grown up with the coal business in Johnson county and there is no more capable miner in Missouri. For 24 years he conducted the brick plant at Knob Noster, associated with his father in the ownership of the plant, the firm being known as Boyd & Son. In 1912 the plant was incorporated and the ensuing year Mr. Boyd accepted the position of foreman of the Boyd Coal Company of Warrensburg. In April, 1883, George M. Boyd and Louisa Clifford were united in marriage. Louisa (Clifford) Boyd is the daughter of Timothy and Mary Clifford, of Green Bay, Wisconsin. Both parents of Mrs. Boyd are now deceased. To George M. and Louisa Boyd have been born the following children: Thomas W., married Mrs. Louisa Riggs, Knob Noster, Mo.; John, who married Sadie Brindle, Warrensburg; George E., married Ursa Vickery, Warrensburg; Robert, married Buena Ragner, Knob Noster, Mo.; Timothy, married Ruth Gardner, Knob Noster, Mo.; Frances, a graduate of the Warrensburg High School and resides at home with her parents; and William Tell, who is a lad in the grade school of Warrensburg. Mr. and Mrs. Boyd reside at 210 East Gay street in Warrensburg.
210 E. Gay, Warrensburg, MO
Boyd Residence
 ================================= USGENWEB NOTICE: In keeping with our policy of providing free information on the Internet, data may be used by non-commercial entities, as long as this message remains on all copied material. These electronic pages may NOT be reproduced in any format for profit or for presentation by other persons or organizations. Persons or organizations desiring to use this material for purposes other than stated above must obtain the written consent of the file contributor. This file was contributed for use in the USGenWeb Archives by: <> Penny Harrell <Incog3678@aol.com>

No comments: