Generations of service
Generations of service
Robert Morris Boyers arrived with his mother, and his schoolmaster father, Matthew, in the settlement of Gallatin in March of 1809 at the age of 20. It was said that Robert.s worldly possessions consisted of the clothes on his back and twenty-five cents in his pocket. Robert Morris Boyers took advantage of the opportunities presented and became one of Gallatin.s most influential and successful early citizens.
In 1814, Robert Morris Boyers built a two-story residence and commercial building on the south side of East Main Street just west of the Sumner County Archives Building. Records show that at the time little else had been built in Gallatin other than the courthouse and jail. Soon thereafter, Robert built a shipping center and receiving warehouse on the Cumberland River and was influential in establishing Gallatin.s first bank.
In 1828 Robert Morris Boyers served as a commissioner charged with paving the streets of Gallatin, and 1832 he assisted in establishing a state bank and an 1833 the Governor appointed Robert as a director of the Union Bank of Tennessee. Robert Morris Boyers gave the land for Gallatin.s First Presbyterian Church, was one of the organizers of the Gallatin Turnpike Company which built the road from Gallatin into Nashville and was one of the first trustees of the Gallatin Common School.
Robert Morris Boyers and his wife, Elizabeth Banks Boyers, a descendant of the Revolutionary War hero Hardy Murfree, had a large family, many of whom died as children. Among those who grew to maturity was Colonel Thomas Boyers.
Colonel Boyers began a career in journalism, which lasted his entire life. After positions at newspapers, both locally and in Nashville, Colonel Boyers established the Gallatin Examiner in August of 1859, and later served as the first President of the Tennessee Press Association. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Colonel Boyers was appointed to the staff of Governor Isham Harris as Assistant Paymaster General commissioned at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. At war.s end, Colonel Boyers resumed publication of the Examiner and at his death was the oldest journalist in the State of Tennessee.
It was said that but for time spent in military service, he never missed a week at his home paper during forty-one years of publication. Thomas and his wife Annie had a number of children, several of whom died in their youth.
Colonel Boyer.s son, Thomas Boyers, Jr., worked as a journalist with his father and operated the Gallatin Examiner until the 1930s. Thomas Boyers, Jr. inherited his family.s interest in the education of Gallatin.s children by serving on the Board of Education. He married Sophia foster, daughter of Captain O.H. Foster. The couple had three children: Sarah Boyers Cantrell, Elizabeth (Betsy) Boyers, and Thomas Boyers III.
Many still remember Betsy Boyers and the dance academy she ran for years in the old white house on Franklin Street in Gallatin where Christian Towers now stands. Some will remember that during WWII, Betsy ran the .Sweet Shop. in Gallatin, a popular gathering place for the local youth. Classically trained in dance in New York City, Betsy Boyers had a significant influence on generations of Gallatin.s young people.
Judge Thomas Boyers III was born in Gallatin on November 6, 1902 and served for two years in the United States Navy on this country.s first aircraft carrier, the USS Langley. While attending Vanderbilt University Law school, Thomas met and married Johnnie Mae Harkey. Upon graduating from Vanderbilt, Judge Boyers began the practice of law in McAllen, Texas.
While in Texas, Johnnie Mae gave birth to the first two of their three children, Betty Ann Boyers and Thomas Boyers IV. After relocating to Arkansas, the couple.s second son, John Harkey Boyers was born. In Arkansas, Judge Boyers engaged in the private practice of law, served as Assistant Prosecuting Attorney as well as in the Arkansas State Legislature.
In 1943, Judge Boyers and his family returned to Tennessee where he served as Chief Trial Attorney with the Federal Office of Price Administration until returning to the private practice of law in Gallatin in 1947. Governor Frank Clement appointed Thomas Boyers III to the Circuit Court bench on January 1, 1965 where he served until his death on December 12, 1981.
Thomas Boyers IV attended Vanderbilt University and Middle Tennessee State College, where he received his undergraduate degree. He began law school at Cumberland Law School in Lebanon and completed his education in Washington D.C.
While in Washington, Judge Thomas Boyers IV served on the staff of Tennessee.s senior senator, Kenneth McKellar. After returning to Gallatin he was elected to Tennessee.s legislature and served in both the House and Senate during the 1950s. He engaged in the private practice of law with his father and the late Harold Howser in the firm Boyers, Boyers and Howser.
In 1982 Governor Lamar Alexander appointed Thomas Boyers IV to fill the Circuit Court Judgeship vacated by the death of his father. Later that year he ran for and won election to the judicial seat. At the time of his death in March 1989, Judge Thomas Boyers IV was serving an eight year term as Sumner County.s Circuit Court Judge.
The surviving son of Judge Thomas Boyers III and Johnnie Mae Boyers , John H. Boyers , is currently President of the Gallatin Branch of Citizen.s Bank. John H Boyers served during the Korean War in the Eighth Air force and is trustee of the First Presbyterian Church.
Tracey Boyers, daughter of Thomas Boyers IV and Elizabeth Boyers, has served as an attorney for the State Department of Health as well as the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and currently is an attorney for the State agency administering banks and financial institutions.
Thomas Boyers V, son of Thomas and Elizabeth Boyers, graduated from Gallatin Sr. High School in 1977, after which he attended the University of Alabama. Through most of the 1980s Tom worked at R.R. Donnelley and Sons as a proof pressman.
In 1987 Tom left Donnelley to work in the private security and investigations field holding state licenses as a Private Investigator as well as a Private Security Instructor. After the death of this father, Thomas Boyers IV, in 1989 Tom returned to college, graduating from Cumberland University in 1994 with a Bachelor.s Degree in Criminal Justice. After graduation, Tom worked for the Tennessee Department of corrections as an Adult probation Officer and was subsequently employed for approximately five years as the District Criminal Investigator for the Public Defender.s Office.
While at the Public Defender.s Office Tom attended law school at night. Tom graduated from the Nashville School of law in 1999 and worked as an Assistant public Defender prior to entering the private practice of law within Gallatin with John Pellegrin in 2000.
Tom Boyers left the firm of Pellegrin and Boyers in 2010 forming the solo office of Thomas Boyers V, Attorney at Law. In the summer of 2011, Tom Boyers opened his offices in the Citizen.s Bank Building on West Main Street in Gallatin. The transaction went smoothly as the construction of the new Citizen.s Bank Building was supervised by the bank.s long time Branch President, John Boyers. John Boyers, Tom.s uncle and brother of Judge Thomas Boyers VI, has figured prominently in the development of Sumner County.s banking industry.