William H. Boyle, Jr.
Educator, Seventh BYH Principal ~ 1909 to 1926

William H. Boyle, Jr.
William H. Boyle, Jr. in 1921

Brigham Young High School
Class of 1905

William H. Boyle, Jr. was born in 1874 in Santaquin, Utah. His parents were William Henry Boyle, Sr., & Mary Jane Ewell Boyle.

Boyle was schooled at Santaquin and came to Brigham Young Academy when he was 17 years of age, with money he had saved by working in the mines and hauling lumber. "The work gave me muscles and a big appetite," he noted.

He studied under Karl G. Maeser for the last three months at the old ZCMI Building, then participated in the grand march to the new Academy Education Building in January of 1892.

He had serious financial problems, but he was determined to continue his education. He mustered up his courage and told the new principal, Benjamin Cluff, Jr., of his financial troubles. Cluff employed him personally to take care of cows and chickens, chop wood and keep lawn cut, telling him, "You can board with us, but we have no place for you to sleep."

Professor Wilford M. McKendric loaned him a bed out of his loft, and Boyle slept in a small room in the Academy. He studied in Room D. He later batched with other boys going to school, until he left school in 1893 to work as a teacher and principal in Scipio, Juab and Levan.

In 1900, he entered BYA for another year. In 1901 he left to become a teacher of the 8th grade in Nephi, Utah for two years. He married Minnie Alice Wright of Nephi, Utah on September 3, 1902. They would have three children.

In 1903 he returned to Provo and BYA, where he was given the job of principal of the sub-High School (Junior High), and he finally graduated from the Brigham Young High School Normal Department in 1905.

Boyle could have graduated in the 1890s, but due to his teaching assignments elsewhere before he received his diploma, he finally graduated from the Normal Department of BY High School on Wednesday, May 31, 1905, in College Hall. He delivered the Valedictory address at that ceremony.

Employed by the school as a faculty member, Boyle taught Problems of Democracy and Economics, plus additional assignments as needed, between 1902 and 1937.

Beginning in 1909-1910, Boyle became Principal of the High School, and continued on through 1925-1926. He earned his A.B. degree at BYU in 1913; and his M.A. degree from BYU in 1923. He put in a year of graduate work at USC, and two summer schools at Berkeley. He then became a professor of Education at BYU, teaching future teachers until 1944, when he was 71 years of age.

He served as the seventh principal of BYH, from 1909 to 1926. He was one of the longest serving BYH principals, even though he took a one-year leave of absence from 1923-1924, due to ill health. He is listed as faculty at BYH in 1932-33 in Economics, and in 1943-44 as Professor of Education.

As a student he knew Karl G. Maeser, and he worked under five BYU presidents: Cluff, Brimhall, Harris, McDonald, and Wilkinson.

He was an omniverous reader in early and middle age. A devotee of good drama, he played "David Garrick" with Miriam Nelke, teacher of dramatic arts, while at BYU.

He was sought after as a speaker, and authored many 30-minute sermonettes. For twelve years he served as the advanced Gospel teacher in his ward in Provo, and served on the stake high council for many years.

He is first remembered for his service as Principal of Brigham Young High School, and second for his work as a counselor. People of all ages came to him for advice, which he gave freely.

BYH and BYU students with such problems as poor deportment, homesickness, companion difficulties, and poor attendance were sent to Professor Boyle for advice and counsel, often going to his office in tears, but usually leaving with smiles and renewed determination. In this role, he positively affected the lives of thousands of young people.

He was a member of the BY Counseling Committee for 35 years, and served as chairman of the committee for 25 years.

William H. Boyle, Jr. in 1944
W. H. Boyle, Jr. in 1944

W. H. Boyle, Jr., in 1959
W. H. Boyle, Jr., in 1959
William Henry Boyle, Jr., of course, was the son of William Henry Boyle, Sr., who was the son of Henry Green Boyle of West Virginia, and Keziah D. Holliday, born in Ogden, Utah. Boyle Sr. was a member of the Santaquin, Utah, City Council and Board of Education.

Boyle Jr.'s mother was Mary Jane Ewell, daughter of William Fletcher Ewell, born November 30, 1815 and Mary Lee Bland Ewell, who was born November 1, 1817. They were married on November 30, 1834 in Council Bluffs, Potawatoma County, Iowa. Mary Jane's father, William Fletcher Ewell, served as a member of the Mormon Battalion and died at Council Bluffs, Iowa on December 18, 1848 in Winter Quarters, Douglas County, Nebraska, and Mary Jane's mother, Mary Lee Bland Ewell, walked across the plains with a family of six, the youngest being Mary Jane, just six weeks of age at the beginning of the trek.

One of seven siblings, William H. Boyle, Jr., had five sisters and one brother: Mary Keziah Boyle, born 1870, married B.D. Harper; Sousa Louisa Boyle, born 1873, married W. B. Thurman; [William H. Boyle, Jr., born 1874, married Minnie Wright]; Lydia Ann Boyle, born 1876, married John F. Harris; Emma Jane Boyle, born 1878, married George H. Chatwin; James Hollis Boyle, born March 5, 1883, died April 15, 1883; and Leona Pearl Boyle, born 1893, married Flint C. Dixon.

All three of the children of William Boyle, Jr. and Minnie Wright Boyle, went to BYU from kindergarten to college graduation:

1) Melva B. Boyle, BYH Class of 1921, married Laurence H. Hutchings, Salt Lake City.

2) Wilma S. Boyle, BYH Class of 1926, married Bertell Bunker, Salt Lake City.

3) Dr. William Sidney Boyle, BYH Class of 1933, married Rowena Christensen, Logan, Utah.

William H. Boyle, Jr. died Thursday, March 18, 1965 in Provo, Utah, at the age of 90.

Brigham Young - Biographies
BYH Biographies