Biography - James Boggess

The genial and accommodating proprietor of the Hotel Roodhouse has not always been the landlord of a hotel, though he does seem to have been born to the business, so satisfactorily to the public is this well known hostelry conducted. Mr. Boggess began life on a farm and was born in South Prairie, seven miles west of Perry, in Pike County, Illinois, in August 1851. He attended the country schools and worked on his father’s farm until he was 17 years of age, when the quiet life of a farmer became too monotonous for him and he decided to try railroading. In 1868 he secured a position as brakeman on the Toledo, Wabash and Western Railway, now the Wabash, running between Quincy and Danville, Illinois. After braking for two and a half years he was given a freight conductorship. In the course of time as passenger uniform fell to his lot. In all he served the Wabash Railroad Company for nearly 16 years.
In 1883 he quit the Wabash and secured a job on the Chicago and Alton Railway, with headquarters in this city. He continued with this road until 1886. After leaving the service of the "Alton" he engaged in the restaurant business here and continued it until 1887, when he sold out and again took up railroading, being employed for nine months by the Jacksonville and Southeastern Railway. In 1890 he took charge of the Globe Hotel and conducted it until it was destroyed by fire, January 15, 1894. During that summer he conducted an ice cream and confectionery business here. January 1, 1895, the new Hotel Roodhouse was completed and occupied by Mr. Boggess, who is still the proprietor.
November 18, 1875, he was united in marriage with Miss Katie May Hoskins, a native of Michigan, but at that time living in Springfield, Illinois. To them have been born two children, Leaton M. and Martha W.
Politically Mr. Boggess is a Democrat, and although he has never sought political honors, served the city of Roodhouse as Treasurer for one term, from 1894 to 1895. He is a member of Worcester Lodge No. 113, Knights of Pythias.
Mr. Boggess is a jolly good fellow, a good landlord and enjoys the confidence of esteem of not only the traveling public, but all his friends and neighbors as well. The front doors of the Hotel Roodhouse are never locked and a hearty welcome is always assured the weary traveler at any time. It is the only first class hotel in the city.

Transcribed 25 Oct 2006 by Linda Jones Craig from Souvenir of Roodhouse, 1897.

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