George Octavius Boone had been a resident of Kansas since 1881. In that year he embarked on a career as a commercial traveler, and had been a traveling man now for more than thirty-five years. For several years he represented a Boston shoe firm with headquarters in St. Louis, Baxter Springs, Arkansas City and Longmont, Colorado. Since 1897 his home had been in Topeka, and with the exception of three years he had been connected with the Topeka Daily Capital.
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The Boone family from whom he is descended had an authentic record of ancestors as far back as 1516. Originally they were of French extraction, the original name being DeBun. Count DeBun in 1516 was exiled from France and settled on the coast of Wales, and his descendants of later generations came to America. Soon after his exile the name came to be spelled Boone, and the distinguished soldier and explorer Daniel Boone was of the same family as my great-grandfather, his ancestors having been born in Southern England.
|Correction: Octavius Cunningham Boone is not related to Daniel Boone. – David Botts|
George Octavius Boone was born at Louisville, Kentucky, December 25, Christmas Day, 1861. His grandfather John William Boone was born in 1768, and died in 1867 at the remarkably advanced age of ninety-nine years. He was a veteran of the War of 1812, and the old flintlock musket that he carried in that war was used by his grandson George O. Boone to shoot squirrels during the latter’s boyhood near his home in Louisville, Kentucky. The first squirrel he ever shot was killed with that old musket.
Octavius Cunningham Boone, father of George O., was born in Kentucky in 1822 and died in 1888 at the age of sixty-six. His father located near Watertown, New York, where he reared a family of three sons, giving them a fine business education at Eastman Business College at Poughkeepsie and furnished each of them a large amount of capital to begin business life. Octavius C. Boone married Nancy Wright, daughter of John W. and Mary Elizabeth Wright. The Wrights were also old and distinguished people of Kentucky. Mary Wright was granddaughter of President Zachary Taylor.
|Correction: Nancy Craddock Wright is a cousin of Zachary Taylor, not a granddaughter. – David Botts|
A number of ancestors of the Wrights took part in the American Revolution, including James Taylor the third, who was at the surrender of Cornwallis’ army at Yorktown, Virginia, and was author of the “Non-Importation Act” passed by the Continental Congress. Octavius Cunningham Boone built at Louisville, Kentucky, the noted Boone Tobacco Warehouse, the largest in the United States. He was a well known merchant there for many years. By his first wife he had four children; William J., Mary Elizabeth, Alice and George O. In 1862 he married for his second wife Jesie Robinson of Huntsville, Alabama. The oldest son, William J. Boone, is superintendent of the Paige Home for Orphans at Sand Springs, Oklahoma. Mr. Paige is a millionaire and adopts every orphan that finds a place in the Paige Home. The daughter Mary Elizabeth died in 1878. Alice is the wife of Thompson Jones, one of the most wealthy retired business men of Memphis, Tennessee.
George Octavius Boone gained his early education in the private schools of Louisville, and at the age of twenty was graduated from the Virginia Military Institute at Lexington, Virginia, having pursued the civil engineering course. His first practical experience in that profession was assistant locating engineer on the Arkansas Central Railroad, a line which subsequently became a part of the Iron Mountain system. He soon gave up engineering, and as already stated came to Kansas in 1881.
On November 17, 1887, he married Miss Myrtle Hughes, daughter of James and Maggie Hughes. Her father lived to the advanced age of seventy-five years. Her people were Pennsylvanians and early settlers in Kansas. Mr. and Mrs. Boone have had five children: Emmet G., who was born August 3, 1896, died at the age of 6 1/2 years; Claire T., born October 8, 1889, is manager of a hardware and lumber business at Safford, Kansas. Forest Lee, born August 26, 1894, had attained almost national prominence as a mushroom grower, and his name had been mentioned in scores of magazines and newspapers in the United States for his success with that crop. Byron G., born November 26, 1898, is a student in the Topeka High School. Nancy M., born April 23, 1900, is also attending the Topeka High School.