boydsmd    Clan Boyd Society, International

                               BOYDS, MARYLAND
 

Colonel James Alexander Boyd ("Colonel" being an honorary title) was born in
Kilwinning, Ayrshire, Scotland, on December 22, 1823. When young he was an
apprentice stonecutter in Kingston, Jamaica. He made his way to Philadelphia
when he was 25, as shown by documents in the Montgomery County Historical
Society library.

He met Thomas Scott, president of the Pennsylvania Railroad.  Impressed with
Boyd's masonry skills, Scott made him a supervisor in charge of laying track as
the railroad stormed westward.  He was put in charge of building the B&O Metro-
politan Line as it radiated out from Washington.  He bought 130 acres in what is
now Boyds, Maryland as a camp for men working on the line, many of whom were
former slaves.

Letters tell that Boyd so liked the area that he bought an additional 1100
acres for himself.  When the Presbyterian Church was built in 1876, the com-
munity of Boyds was established.

He gave his black workers much of the land as payment for their labor on the
railroad.  Their community became known as Turnertown.

Boyd transformed the wild, bramble-thick area into one of the county's most
prolific dairy farms.  The land had been terribly depleted by the growing of
tobacco for too many years.  The Colonel had lived in Brazil for a time before
the war, and knew well the fertilizing qualities of South American Guano. He
turned the land into a garden and added more land.  He called his dairy farm
"Bonny Brae."

He died in Boyds in 1896, a day short of his 73rd birthday. The Rockville
Advocate in 1890 wrote: "Nothing could better illustrate the influence of one
intelligent, enterprising and public-spirited man in a community than the
complete revolution in the entire order of things wrought by Col. Boyd"
 

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