Missouri and Ozarks History

Information and comments about historical people and events of Missouri, the Ozarks region, and surrounding area.

My Photo
Location: Missouri

I'm a freelance writer specializing in the history of the Ozarks and surrounding region. I've written sixteen nonfiction books, two historical novels, and numerous articles. My latest books are Wicked Women of Missouri, Yanked Into Eternity: Lynchings and Hangings in Missouri, and Show-Me Atrocities: Infamous Incidents in Missouri History.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Murder of John Henry Boller

On July 15, 1864, 63-year-old John Henry Boller was driving his horse and buggy into Boonville, Missouri, from his residence west of town when he passed three young men resting under a shade tree at the side of the road. One of the three young men was notorious Johnson County guerrilla Bill Stewart, another one was Stewart's sidekick Al Carter, and the third was a local young hellion named Robert Sloan. Stewart and Carter asked Sloan who the passerby was, and after being informed of the man's identity, Stewart decided to rob him. (The fact that Boller was German-born might have had something to do with Stewart's decision, since Germans were usually very strong Union supporters and were almost universally despised by the Missouri guerrillas.)
Stewart and his two companions caught up with and waylaid Boller about a mile from Boonville. They demanded his money, and Stewart reached for a watch Boller was carrying. Instead, of turning over his money and valuables, though, Boller resisted and started to drive on. Stewart promptly opened fire, hitting Boller four or five times. The bushwhackers then robbed him and also robbed another old man who happened along.
After he was robbed, Boller managed to drive on into Boonville, where a resident noticed his weak, bloody condition and took him into his house. Boller, however, died almost as soon as he got inside. The local militia was notified of the incident and immediately started in pursuit of the three bushwhackers. They overtook Sloan, and one of the Union soldiers shot him in the side of the head. Taken into custody, Sloan did not die of the wound but was left blind by it.
Meanwhile, Stewart and Carter escaped, at least temporarily. Carter and four other guerrillas were killed by Federal soldiers in Howard County on September 12, and Stewart was finally killed by a cattle drover on November 11 at Old Franklin in Howard County just across the Missouri River from Boonville when Stewart attempted to rob the cattleman.
On December 5, 1864, Louisa A. Boller filed an affidavit with officials at Boonville swearing that she was the widow of John Henry Boller, stating that his death had left her destitute and without means of support, and asking that she be given an allowance as compensation for his death. She swore that she had never given aid to anybody in rebellion against the U.S. and had, to the contrary, always been a strong Union woman. Whether any aid was given to Mrs. Boller is unknown.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

hit counter
web hosting providers