As young men, living in Wayland, Iowa in 1910, Waldo Boller (above left with glasses), age 26, and his brother, Frank Boller (above middle), age 24, are now starting to settle into their lifetime professions. Below, we see that Waldo was a charter member of the 4B Class at the Wayland Mennonite Church in 1913 – with his dad, Dan (D.J.) – the teacher.
Ora Francis (Frank) Boller (above) graduated from SUI in the School of Dentistry (1908), married Wayland native, Stella Wenger in 1909, and started his dental practice first, in Morning Sun (Louisa County), and then in 1921, relocated to Washington, Iowa, just north of Wayland (see map above). Frank & Stella had two daughters: Baja Elizabeth (1911-1936) and Ruth Killian (1919-2016).
Family records indicate that the fun-loving Waldo Emerson Boller (above) took the State Embalmer’s examination, and after receiving his license, was employed for a short time in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. Then in 1906, Waldo returned home to Wayland, partnering with his father, D. J. Boller, in the undertaking and furniture business. Read more about the early days of Boller Furniture here.
Olive Alice Hulme was born on September 16, 1887 and was raised in the home of Hiram Howard Hulme and Anna Dill Hulme. The Hulmes were long-time residents of Henry County, Iowa, with Olive’s father being a cattle farmer on land located southeast of Wayland.
On April 10, 1912, Waldo Boller married Olive Alice Hulme in Wayland. Sadly, we’ve never found any wedding pictures, but below is the Henry County marriage record…
(P-0334) Below is a postcard from Waldo to his cousin, Emma Miller in Wellman, Iowa (near Kalona). The card is dated August 1, 1913 and it pictures the first home Waldo & Olive lived in after getting married in 1912.
The Hulme family was actively involved in Finley Chapel United Methodist Church so when Waldo and Olive were married, not only two people came together, but so did two families with differing denominational convictions. For the first time in Our Boller Story, a non-Mennonite had joined the family and while Olive did end up becoming an active member of the newly constructed Mennonite Church in Wayland, the Boller family also actively participated with many Hulme family activities hosted by Finley Chapel in Wayland.
After four years of marriage, two tragic events hit the Boller/Hulme family. I recall my grandmother, Olive, still moved to tears nearly fifty years later as she told me about these two sad days in our family’s history…
Sadly, Waldo & Olive’s first child, Kathryn Anna Boller, died on the same day as her birth.
With World War I raging on the European front, Olive’s brother, John Dill Hulme (age 27) was killed in France while in the line of duty.
By 1920, Waldo and Olive had settled into their new home at 203 E. Main – just east of the bustling business district of Wayland, Iowa. Over the coming decade – The Roaring Twenties – the Bollers will also enjoy a new blessing – my father, George E. Boller (1921), and Waldo’s hard work overseeing Boller Furniture Company will bring excellent results.
Kudos to the amazing resources below for the many quotes, photographs, etc. used on this page.