Welcome to Wayland, Iowa. It’s the 1920’s, and the Roaring Twenties are now underway.
Waldo & Olive Boller have now settled into their new home (above) at 203 E. Main Street – just east of the bustling business district of Wayland. Waldo is busy overseeing Boller Furniture Company, taking over the store from his father, D.J. Boller, around 1920. And, on May 11, 1921 – a new blessing comes their way…
George Edward Boller was born on May 11, 1921 in Wayland, Iowa. As you know from reading Waldo & Olive’s story, the birth of George provided a great joy to the Boller family after the infant death of Kathryn Anna in 1916. With Waldo’s brother, Frank, fathering only two daughters, George becomes the sole member of our fifth generation of Bollers who will carry the Boller name forward to Generation Six!
In his baby book (below), Olive wrote that George attended his first circus in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa at age five. Read more about the earliest days of circuses coming to Iowa.
This page in the baby book also identifies the first clues to George’s intense love for Iowa Hawkeye football, which begins at age 5. In an article written by sports editor Al Grady (1976) we find out more…
It was 50 years ago this fall (November, 1926) at the robust age of five, that Boller saw his first Homecoming football game. ‘Iowa lost to Minnesota 41-0 that day,’ the 55-year-old Boller recalls, ‘and I guess my hatred of Minnesota teams stem from that day.’ Actually, Boller admits he doesn’t remember much about the game, but does remember seeing ‘four or five games’ at Old Iowa Field with his father in the years 1926 to 1928 and vividly recalls the rain-drenched dedication game at the new Iowa Stadium (now named Kinnick Stadium) against Illinois in 1929 when he was only eight. “He (Waldo) was really an Iowa fan,” recalls George of his father, “and I remember him talking, when I was a kid, of Iowa beating Minnesota in 1918.”
Since George grew up as an only child, family was vitally important. His grandparents – D.J. & Barbara Boller and Hiram & Anna Hulme all lived in the Wayland area and played a huge part in George’s formative years.
Now, allow me to take you 168.9 miles to the southwest of Wayland, Iowa . . .
(P-0087) Dixie Lee Boyer was born a New Year’s baby on January 1, 1923 to William Hollis (Hollie) and Edith Mae (Edie) Boyer in Trenton, Missouri. Located about 80 miles northeast of Kansas City, Trenton was a thriving train-switching hub community during the heyday of the railroads. William Hollis was a hard-working railroad man, laboring for the Rock Island Railroad for most of his adult years (1898-1951). Click here for more about the Boyers, the Rock Island railroad, and Trenton, Missouri.
Like George, Dixie was an only child, but from the few pictures we have, it looks like Little Red, as her dad fondly called her, found plenty of outside activities to keep her occupied.
Did you know that both of my parents, George Boller and Dixie Boyer, were only children? That unique fact certainly caused some puzzling questions for my brother, Eric, and me as we grew up in our small Boller family. Questions like… “Cousin? What’s a cousin?” Or maybe… “Hey Mom, my friend just got a gift from his aunt and uncle. Why don’t I have an aunt or an uncle?
(P-0128) (P-0127) In Our Iowa Heritage collection, we have several postcards from the 1920’s with postmarks that correspond with George & Dixie’s early years: (above left) A view of the SUI campus in Iowa City with a 1921 postmark. (above right) A view of Wayland postmarked in 1924.
(P-0196) A Christmas Greeting (above) postmarked January 4, 1923 when my mom was only 3 days old. Click here to read more about Trenton, Missouri.
(P-0088) A friendship postcard (above) postmarked in 1923 in Trenton, Missouri.
Kudos to the amazing resources below for the many quotes, photographs, etc. used on this page.
George Boller – A Hawkeye Football Nut, Al Grady, Iowa City Press Citizen, October 15, 1976, p 11
Click here to go on to the next page…