Our hope in putting together this Our Boller Story website is two-fold. First, we’ve wanted to celebrate our six generations of Bollers who have lived here in America since 1816. And secondly, we want to encourage future generations – the 7th, 8th, and beyond – to keep our rich family heritage alive – living, to the full, the lives God has given us.
As I’ve assembled our Boller family history (1794-present), I’ve noticed an interesting pattern of big family celebrations centered around wedding anniversaries. It’s obvious that our family has paid attention to such things in the past and made a concentrated effort to gather together to celebrate whenever a couple reaches a special number of years together.
Sadly, not all of our Boller family marriages have had the blessing of longevity. Yet, we’ve also been blessed by those who’ve made it to 40 – 50 – and yes, even 60+ years of marriage! Allow me here to review some of the history that we know about…
Sadly, George F. Boller lost his first wife (which records don’t indicate her name) within 3 years of their 1812 marriage in Germany. After arriving in America in 1816, George married a second time (1820) to a Pennsylvania-born Mennonite – Elizabeth Zook. Elizabeth died in Wayne County, Ohio, at the age of 49 in April of 1840, giving our first Boller generation in America only 20 years of married life together.
Jacob B. Boller and Catharine Smucker had nearly 53 years of married life together. Joined in wedlock on November 18, 1849 in Butler County, Ohio, the Bollers were the first of our family descendants to live in Iowa, arriving in Johnson County in 1852. In November 1899, an article in The Kalona News described the big family celebration of Jacob & Catharine’s 50th wedding anniversary held on Saturday, November 18, 1899. Jacob & Catharine Boller went on to live together in Kalona until July 3, 1902 when Catharine passed.
My great grandmother, Barbara Miller‘s parents – Jacob & Catherine Miller, were married on September 20, 1860 in the Deer Creek area of Johnson County. Like their counter-parts, Jacob & Catharine Boller, the Millers enjoyed 53 years of wedded bliss before Jacob died on December 4, 1913. Catherine lived on for another ten years, passing in 1923. Our family records indicate that in 1910, the extended Miller family had a huge celebration party on the Miller farm. The Bollers, who all lived in Wayland at that time, were there for the big day.
Married on November 22, 1881, when D.J. Boller was 25 and Barbara Miller was 18, the Bollers enjoyed the longest marriage in Our Boller Story, stretching nearly 65 years. While we don’t know of a 50th anniversary party, the Mt. Pleasant News carried articles from 1935, 1935, and 1944 which indicate that small family celebrations were held in their home (see below) in Wayland.
H.H. Hulme (1863-1946) and Anna May Dill (1862-1936) were married on January 6, 1886 in Henry County, Iowa. They enjoyed 50 years of marriage, celebrating their golden anniversary, a few months before Anna died in March of 1936. Click here to read more about the Hulme family.
My Boller grandparents, Waldo & Olive Boller, were married in Wayland, Iowa on April 10, 1912, and were only able to celebrate 29 years of marriage before Waldo died at the young age of 57.
My Boyer grandparents, Hollie & Edie Boyer, were married in Trenton, Missouri on April 6, 1915. They enjoyed 42 years of marriage, and in the spring of 1954, our family gathered at a nice restaurant in Nauvoo, Illinois to celebrate their 39th wedding anniversary. The funny story behind all this is that, for years, everyone (including the obituaries) thought Hollie & Edie were married in 1914, thus the “40th” anniversary party in 1954. But, as I was putting together these pages in 2022, I found both their wedding license and certificate and both clearly state April 6, 1915.
(M-0131) In our family collection, we have three wonderful keepsakes from my grandparents. Above left is a locket belonging to Edith (Agee) Boyer. We believe the two men pictured inside are Edie’s two brothers: Millard Thomas “Red” and Francis Benjamin. In the middle, is William Hollis Boyer‘s Rock Island Railroad watch. Finally, we believe the beautiful pocket watch on the right belonged to my grandfather, Waldo Boller.
My mom and dad, George & Dixie Boller, were married on March 17, 1945 in Billings, Montana. They enjoyed 45 years of marriage before Dixie passed on December 31, 1990, one day before her 68th birthday.
Sandy’s mom and dad, Jack & LaVonne Unrue, were married on June 6, 1948 in Warsaw, Indiana. They enjoyed 46 years of marriage before Jack passed on June 18, 1994.
Which now brings us to:
Yes, it’s your humble author and his beautiful bride. We were married on July 12, 1975 in Skokie, Illinois. You can read more about our lives here.
As of this writing in February 2022, Sandy & I have enjoyed 46+ years of wedded bliss and our goal is to reach that golden anniversary date of July 12, 2025. Which brings me to our next big Boller celebration. In 2016, we gathered most of the Boller family to celebrate our Boller’s 200th anniversary in America (1816-2016), so now I’d like to propose another party on Saturday, July 12, 2025 where the Bollers gather in Iowa City to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. Sandy & I plan to be there, but, of course, if that doesn’t occur, I’m sure you can party on in our memory. More details coming as we draw closer to that big day.
Kudos to the amazing resources below for the many quotes, photographs, etc. used on this page.