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Eleazar Boynton.

by Charles H. Loomis.
THE life of the Hon. Eleazar Boynton, which closed in Medford, June 5, 1901, was a marked and pleasing example of a well-rounded career: In character a manly Christian; in business a successful merchant; in political life honored by his fellow citizens; in religious and church interests an earnest worker; in benevolence a consistent and generous giver; in social life a welcome friend; and in the family circle highly favored and happy.

The termination of a life built upon such foundations, and with such environment, must of necessity leave a place difficult to fill in the circles affected by it. The contemplation of a long, honorable, successful, and lovable life is always interesting. Its memories are satisfactory, its lessons are inspiring.

Mr. Boynton was born in Rockport, Essex County, Sept. 29, 1824. His early education was obtained in the public and private schools of his native town, supplemented by a course of instruction at Phillips Academy, Andover.

He came to Boston at the age of twenty-one, and entered the wholesale grocery and ship chandlery establishment of Boynton & Miller, becoming a partner in the firm in 1849. In 1855 the firm-name was changed to that of N. Boynton & Co. In 1868 Hon. Nehemiah Boynton died, and Mr. Boynton became the senior member of the firm, continuing as such till January i this year, when he retired from business. The firm constantly increased its business, mainly through the sterling business integrity of Mr. Boynton. It added to its line [p. 60] of goods, and became one of the largest manufacturers and dealers in cotton duck in the country.

Mr. Boynton was for years a vice-president and trustee of the Medford Savings Bank, holding that position at the time of his decease. For years he was a director of the Blackstone National Bank, Boston, being president of the bank at the time of its going out of business. Among the other prominent positions held by Mr. Boynton may be mentioned: President of the United States Cotton Duck Manufacturers' Association, president of the United States Duck Cotton Dealers' Association, and president of the Russell Mills, Plymouth.

Mr. Boynton was a member of the school board of Boston for some years while he lived in that city, and when he moved to Medford he was honored in a like manner. In 1861 he was a member of the ‘war board of selectmen,’ and chairman of the board in 1862, and to him is largely due the credit Medford has enjoyed as one of the most loyal communities at that critical time in the history of the nation—that of contributing the first quota of men to join the Union army, while the last company mustered out of active service was largely composed of Medford's brave sons.

In 1865 he represented Medford in the House of Representatives, and in 1885 and 1886 represented the First Middlesex District in the Senate.

Mr. Boynton was married in Boston, Oct. 9, 1852, to Mary Chadbourne. Their union was blessed with four children: Mary, wife of L. A. Dodge, Edward P. Boynton, Rev. Nehemiah Boynton (pastor at Detroit, Mich.), and Elizabeth L. Boynton. The wife and children all survive him.

As has been stated, his home life was a happy and devoted one. He took a parent's justifiable pride in the development and popularity of his son Nehemiah's ministerial career. The writer well recalls the pleasure which beamed in every feature of the father's kindly [p. 61] face as he would ask, ‘Did you hear the boy preach to-day?’ Mr. Boynton was identified with all movements of local interest. He was a life member of the Town Improvement Society, and when the financial interests of that organization were merged into the Medford Historical Society he became a life member of the latter society, and at its last public meeting advocated its claims and urged the importance of a large membership.

Mr. Boynton was a man of dignified and courtly manners, always gracious and approachable, and endowed with the happy faculty of ‘saying the right thing in the right place.’ The sentiment expressed by one of his sons will find a response in many hearts: ‘Our father lived a noble life. We can best honor his memory by trying ourselves to live true and noble lives.’

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