Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1897
[p. 307] of Princeton, Slippery Rock township, Lawrence Co., Pa., one of the most active and energetic men in Western Pennsylvania, is a good example of what constant effort, constantly directed, can in a short time accomplish. Some say that nowadays opportunities to get on in the world are not as frequent as they once were. Be that as it may, a young man who does not wait for opportunity to come his way but goes opportunity's way, as has the subject of this sketch, is bound to find results quite satisfactory to his taste.
Mr. Boyd was born in Slippery Rock township, Oct. 2, 1858. He was a son of Robert Stewart and Catherine (Mershimer) Boyd; the latter was a native of Lawrence County, being born in Shenango township near the city of New Castle, a daughter of Adam and Catherine (Stickel) Mershimer. Mrs. Mershimer first saw the light of day in Westmoreland Co., Pa., and was a daughter of Samuel Stickel, a noted gunmaker of the early days, and later in years a successful farmer. Adam Mershimer's birth-place was near Reading, Pa.; he was born in 1790, and died in 1865. He devoted his time principally to farming, although he also conducted a plow manufacturing business of no small dimensions. He served his country in a distinguished manner in the War of 1812. The father of Adam Mershimer, Sebastian, was born at sea, while his parents were on their way from Germany to find a home in America. He followed the trade of wagon-making, and served for seven years in the Revolution, in recognition of which services he was awarded a pension and a soldier's tract of land in the "donation" district. He died in 1845, at the age of eighty-nine. Robert Stewart Boyd, father of the subject of this briefly outlined history, came into the world June 9, 1833 on a farm in Slippery Rock township. He passed his boyhood as did the sons of that day, and eventually learned the carpenter's trade. For years he followed this vocation in Lawrence, Butler and Mercer Counties, and is at present an active tiller of the soil on a small farm in Slippery Rock township. The parents of Mr. Boyd, and paternal grandparents of our subject, were John and Dorcas (McWilliams) Boyd, the latter a daughter of Robert McWilliams, whose wife, a Miss Wilkes, came from Ireland. John Boyd was a son of Joseph Boyd, who for many years was engaged in mercantile pursuits, and who died in New Castle at the age of eighty.
Joseph H. Boyd, our subject, lived until he was six years of age in his native township. His father then moved with the family into Butler County, where he remained until he was seventeen years of age. At that age our subject's school-days ended, and he began working in the oil regions and on a farm to support himself. At the age of twenty, the now young man came to Princeton, and commenced to learn his trade, that of blacksmithing in the shop of David Brackinger. Two years were sufficient for him to master the craft. He very soon bought the business of his master, and remained in the old shop some four or five years. Then as a result of his steady prosperity he built his present commodious quarters. At the beginning of his business life, Mr. Boyd was a manufacturer of buggies and wagons. His trade soon grew to be too brisk for him to supply the demand out of his own shop, so he forthwith put in a selected line of vehicles from other reliable makers. Farming implements were soon added along with other agricultural machinery. This business has grown into such proportions that now Mr. Boyd contemplates in the near future increasing his facilities, and adding a full stock of shelf and heavy hardware, together with the usual accessory lines.
Mr. Boyd was married Feb. 9, 1862, at Princeton, to Mary E. Sechler, a daughter of Abraham and Caroline (Houk) Sechler. From this union there has resulted seven children: Kittie; Mina and Nina, twins, the former now deceased; Willie (deceased); Loy; Gearth; and Joseph. Both parents are active in social and church matters, being members of the Presbyterian Church. In politics, Mr. Boyd is an independent Democrat. He is very alert in fraternal matters, being a member of Scott Council, Royal Arcanum, No. 682; Round Head Lodge, I. O. O. F., No. 577; and Princeton Council, Jr. O. U. A. M., No. 402.
Mr. Boyd is in all affairs a man of broad ideas. It is in business relations, however, that he is at his best. He does not believe in waiting for trade to come to him, but he goes after business with a force and energy that gets it. As a salesman, he is second to very few, it being truthfully said that in his vehicle line he sells on an average one article for every day in the year. As a farrier and blacksmith he has a most enviable reputation far and wide. No one can strike the anvil a truer blow or place a shoe with greater nicety than he. Of late, when so many have complained of hard times, and were sitting around, Micawber-like, for something to turn up, Mr. Boyd has, with cheerful smile and kindly greeting for all, gone out after business. His surroundings show that he obtained what he went after too. Times are never dull with him, for he won't have it that way.
Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens Lawrence County Pennsylvania
Biographical Publishing Company, Buffalo, N.Y., 1897
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Updated: 21 May 2001