Finally, after many years of trying to touch base – on September 24, 2022, the Third Cousins of the Johnson County Boller Family got together for a reunion in Kalona! In the picture above (right), we have my three Third Cousins – Arnold (far left), Emma (far end of table), and James (blue shirt in the middle) – along with Jason (Arnold’s son – far right). Also pictured are Ruth (James’ wife), and Gary Sullivan (Emma’s husband). Arnold, Emma & James are the three children of Martin D. Boller – grandson of Jacob A. Boller – keeper of the Jacob B. Boller Johnson County farm – pictured below in an 1869 map. Got all that?
Exciting news! We also found out at the reunion that Nolan & Lori Ann (Boller) Gerber – 7th generation Bollers in America – moved back from Wakarusa, Indiana to keep the old Boller Farmstead in SW Johnson County in the family for future generations! Hooray!
As I see it, the Boller brothers – Daniel J. Boller (1856-1946) of Wayland, Iowa (above left) and Jacob A. Boller (1862-1948) of Kalona, Iowa (above right) – were re-united at this special reunion in Kalona! You see, according to our family records, the last time (outside of a funeral) any cousins from Daniel’s or Jacob’s tribes gathered together for any special celebration was on November 18, 1899 – one hundred and twenty-three years ago! The occasion?
This revealing article (below) was published in The Kalona News in November, 1899 and it covers the golden (50th) wedding anniversary party held on Saturday, November 18, 1899 for Jacob B. and Catharine (Smucker) Boller. Certainly, it must have been a big day for the entire family! The article states that five of the six children still living were present…
Daniel J. (D.J.), George D. (G.D.), Catherine (Katie), Jacob A. (J.A.), and Samuel J. (S.J.) with only John J. who was, by that time, farming in southwest Iowa, and was unable to attend.
So, to help you place the Boller Third Cousins who gathered at the 2022 reunion, here’s our family trees – all six generations of Bollers in America – one generation at a time.
First cousins – Waldo E. grew up in Wayland, while Jason G. stayed on the farm in Johnson County.
As far as I know, our fathers, George E. and Martin D. didn’t spend any time with each other – despite the fact that they grew up less than 30 miles from each other – Wayland & Kalona.
So, our September 2022 gathering provided the first time these Boller Third Cousins had met each other in person! Sadly, my brother Eric didn’t make it, but there’s always next year!
Here’s James, Emma and Arnold – the three children of Martin Dean Boller & Leona Mae Gingerich.
Here’s Eric & Martin – the two surviving children of George Edward Boller & Dixie Lee Boyer.
Godspeed to the Bollers of Johnson County! Our hope is to continue gathering in future years and bring along the 4th, 5th & 6th Boller cousins as well!