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Boyd S. Blaine. A position of public trust is necessarily indicative of the man who fills it. When the duties of an office demanding a keen intellect, a never failing integrity and a capacity for hard and continuous labor are, for years, discharged so satisfactorily that popular vote confers them successively upon the same person, it is to be assumed that the individual thus chosen is possessed of those qualities which make for the best arrangements in our official life. In this connection we may mention the career of Boyd S. Blaine, one of Champaign County’s best known officials. When he entered life on his own account it was with the desire to become a leader in the business field, but circumstances so shaped themselves that he went from one public office to another until he finally disposed of his business ambitions and since 1912 has held the responsible position of circuit clerk and recorder. While it would be interesting to know how far Mr. Blaine would have gone in business circles, the people of Champaign County can be assured that they would have benefited in no greater degree through the work of another man who would have filled the post now occupied by the present efficient clerk and recorder.
Boyd S. Blaine was born on a farm in Champaign Township, Champaign County, Illinois, August 20, 1868, being a son of James and Catharine Blaine. His parents, natives of Pennsylvania, came to Champaign County in October, 1865, and located on an unimproved farm situated in the township of Champaign, where their son Boyd S. was born. The father continued to follow farming and stock-raising during the remainder of his active career, and made such a success of his operations that he was able to retire in 1888. Mr. Blaine was known as a good citizen and an industrious agriculturist, and when he died, in January, 1913, the community lost one of its representative men. Mrs. Blaine had passed away in 1894. Of their seven children four are still living: J. M., a resident of Champaign; Ada, who is the wife of John A. Scott; Melda, of Champaign, and Boyd S., of this review.
Boyd S. Blaine was given good educational advantages in his youth which would have fitted him for almost any vocation which he might have cared to follow. After securing his preliminary training he entered the Champaign High School, from which he was duly graduated in 1888, and at that time became a student at the University of Illinois. He attended that institution during 1888 and 1889, and then began to work on his own account as a mail carrier at Champaign. At the same time he was devoting his spare time to the carpenter trade, it being his intention to eventually become a builder and contractor. In this trade he spent some six years and had established some standing in the direction of his ambition, when, in December, 1896, he accepted an employment that changed the whole trend of his career. At the time mentioned he began some special work in the recorder’s office of the courthouse as a copy clerk, a position which he retained until January 1, 1903. His efficiency and fidelity having attracted attention, he was then appointed deputy circuit clerk, an office which he held until December, 1912, when he was elected circuit clerk and recorder, and his first term proved so satisfactory that in 1916 he received the re-election. As before noted, Mr. Elaine has established an excellent record in handling the affairs of his office and is accounted one of the county’s most dependable public servants.
On June 14, 1905, Mr. Blaine was united in marriage with Miss Nelle Griffith, of Rankin, Illinois, daughter of George and Viola (Werts) Griffith, prominent people of Rankin, where Mrs. Elaine’s father is serving in the capacity of postmaster. Mr. and Mrs. Elaine have no children. They are members of the Presbyterian Church and have been liberal in their support of its movements. Mr. Elaine’s political views make him a Republican, and he has long been considered one of the hard workers in his party’s ranks in Champaign County. He is affiliated fraternally with the Knights of Pythias, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and the Masons, in the last named of which he has reached the thirty-second degree and is a Knight Templar and a Noble of the Mystic Shrine.