Monday, August 22, 2011

John Wesley Boggess (1895-1957)

John Wesley Boggess
John Wesley Boggess was born in June 12, 1896, presumably in Henderson County, Kentucky.  He was the eldest of seven children Edmond Dargan Boggess and Sarah A. Terrill, and ultimately the eldest of eight children born to Edmond.  John was raised as the son of a clergyman, and thus moved several times with his family during his youth.

John enlisted for service for the First World War on October 8, 1917, at the age of 21 years.  He served in the medical department at Army Headquarters Co. 1 in the B.H. Group at Camp Greenleaf, Georgia.  He was honorably discharged as a Sergeant 1st Class on December 27, 1918.   

John married Viola M. Bowles around 1919, probably in McLean County, Kentucky.  He was around 23 years old and she was around 33 years.  Viola was born on June 24, 1884 in Kentucky, the daughter of Thomas Knight Bowles and Carrie O. Gillette.

Shortly after their marriage, John and Viola moved to 1381 South Street in Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky.  John’s younger brother, James, and Viola’s mother, Carrie Bowles, were living with them in 1920.  John and Viola had two children:

            Argie Carolyn           born 1920
            John Knight              born 1922

John and Viola separated sometime between 1922 and 1930.

John was living in a rented room on Fourth Street in Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky in 1930.  He was listed as a veteran of the First World War.  By 1935, John had moved to Mount Vernon, Rock Castle County, Kentucky, where he found work as a salesman for a retail clothing store.

Meanwhile, the 1930 and 1940 census’ found Viola in Decatur, Morgan County, Alabama, living with her children and widowed mother.  To provide for her children and aged mother, Viola was employed as a book keeper at a bank in Decatur.  The census listed Viola as a widow at that time, but that was incorrect.

John Wesley Boggess died on September 1, 1957 in Jefferson County, Kentucky.  He was 61 years old at his death.  John was buried in Resthaven Memorial Park in Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky.

On April 24, 1959, James D. Boggess and Mary H. Boggess applied for a Military Veteran headstone on behalf of John Wesley Boggess.  I am not sure how James and Mary are related to John.  The mailing address for both was Box 196, Rte. 1, Anchorage, Jefferson County, Kentucky.

Viola M. Bowles Boggess died on February 4, 1971 in Tescumbia, Colbert County, Alabama.  She was 86 years old at her death.  Viola was buried in the Roselawn Gardens of Memory Cemetery in Decatur, Morgan County, Alabama.

The following was written in memory of Viola:

Times Daily – February 5, 1971

Mrs. Viola Boggess, 86, of 309 River Bluff Dr., Sheffield, died Thursday at 10:15am.

Graveside services will be conducted at Roselawn Cemetery in Decatur Saturday at 2pm.  Morrison-Elkins of Tuscumbia is in charge.  She was a native of Kentucky and had lived here a number of years.

Surviving are a son, John Boggess, of Panama City, Fla.; a daughter, Mrs. Hurley Cheatham, Sheffield.

Notes for John W. Boggess
Birth, Military, & Death: U.S., Headstone Applications for Military Veterans, 1925-1963 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012.  Original data: Applications for Headstones for U.S. Military Veterans, 1925-1941. Microfilm publication M1916, 134 rolls. ARC ID: 596118. Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, Record Group 92. National Archives at Washington, D.C.
Marriage, and Residence in 1920:  Year: 1920; Census Place: Louisville Ward 8,  Jefferson, Kentucky; Roll: T625_581; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 148; Image: 189.
Residence in 1930:  Year: 1930; Census Place: Louisville, Jefferson, Kentucky; Roll: 756; Page: 18A; Enumeration District: 0087; Image: 242.0; FHL microfilm: 2340491. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2002.
Residence in 1935/1940:  Year: 1940; Census Place: Mount Vernon, Rockcastle, Kentucky; Roll: T627_1353; Page: 61A; Enumeration District: 102-1. 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012.

Notes for Viola Bowles
Birth & Death: Alabama, Deaths and Burials Index, 1881-1974 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.
Original data:  "Alabama Deaths and Burials, 1881–1952." Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009, 2010. Index entries derived from digital copies of original and compiled records.  
Occupation and Residence in 1930:  Year: 1930; Census Place: Decatur, Morgan, Alabama; Roll: 44; Page: 17A; Enumeration District: 5; Image: 1031.0.
Residence in 1940:

Burial & Obituary: Web: Alabama, Find A Grave Index, 1755-2012 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012.  Original data: Find A Grave. Find A Grave.; accessed 19 February 2015.


  1. Interesting Blog! I am a John Knight Boggess was my father, so that would make John W. Boggess my grandfather.

    Bill Boggess

    1. I am John R. (Bob) Cheatham I am the son of Argie Carolyn Boggess. Bill not sure will see this but I hope you are well. It has been a very long time.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.