John Boyce is an old-time resident of San Joaquin county, and in farming and viticulture and in all-around public-spirited citizenship has for many years held a foremost position among his fellow citizens. He came to California in 1859, with the rest of the family, and after a short residence in Sonoma county their abode was transferred to San Joaquin county, on the south bank of the Mokelumne river, near the former site of Mokelumne City, and since 1860 Mr. Boyce has occupied his present home. His estate contains three hundred and twenty acres of land, most of which is devoted to general agriculture, and sixty-five acres are in vineyard.

Mr. Boyce was born in Richland county, Ohio, November 14, 1844, being a son of Jonathan and Nancy (Jump) Boyce. His father was born in England, November 26, 1808, and his mother was born in West Virginia, March 9, 1814. The father, who died in 1875, came with his parents to America in 1823, spending part of his boyhood in Baltimore, and later moved to Richland county, Ohio. From Ohio he took his family to Keokuk county, Iowa, and then in 1859 made the journey across the plains to California, and during the remainder of his life was a well known citizen of San Joaquin county. There were five children born to himself and wife, and four survive: Jane is deceased; John; Robert, near Woodbridge in San Joaquin county; Theodosia, widow of the late Philip Megerle, she residing near Lockeford; and Amos, of Woodbridge.

Mr. Boyce gained most of his education in the schools of Ohio, also attending for a time those of San Joaquin county. He was married May 17, 1899, to Mrs. Emma Freeman, widow of the late John Freeman, of San Joaquin county. She was born near Elgin, Illinois, October 20, 1855, being a daughter of Joshua and Elizabeth (Colin) Sovereign, her father a native of Canada and of English extraction, and her mother a native of New York state. The family came across the plains to California in 1860, and the father was engaged in gold mining near Mud Springs, Eldorado county, for a number of years, and subsequently moved his family to Woodland, Yolo county, where for many years he has conducted a general wagon-making and blacksmith shop. Joshua Sovereign is now seventy years old, but still works at the bench and is fond of activity even when the declining years of life are upon him. He is honored as one of the substantial and old-time residents of Yolo county. On November 4, 1904, he and his wife celebrated their golden wedding anniversary, having lived as man and wife for fifty years. Previous to her marriage with Mr. Boyce, Mrs. Boyce had been twice married, and by these two marriages there are six children living: Myrtle E., wife of W. W. Turner, of San Joaquin county; Lillian W., wife of Dr. S. R. Arthur, of Woodbridge; Grace H., at home; Ray, Charles A. and Gladys, all at home. Mrs. Boyce has been a resident of San Joaquin county since 1892.

Mr. Boyce affiliates with Jefferson Lodge No. 98, I. O. O. F., at Woodbridge, and with Duroc Lodge No. 50, Knights of Pythias, at the same place. He is an independent Democrat in politics. Mrs. Boyce is a member of the Woman's Relief Corps at Lodi; of Duroc Temple of the Rathbone Sisters at Woodbridge, and of the Woodbridge Rebekah Lodge No. 258, being vice grand of the latter. Since she was eighteen years old she has been a member of the Episcopal Church of England.

Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume II

The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine

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