Open main menu

History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/Norman Boardman

NORMAN BOARDMAN was born at Morristown, Vermont, April 30, 1813. During boyhood he worked on his father's farm, attending district school in the winter. He earned his way through Johnstown Academy before he was twenty-one years of age, studied law and was admitted to the bar and in 1853 came to Iowa, locating at Lyons, in Clinton County. Here he engaged in the real estate business with great success. In the spring of 1854 he, in company with three associates, laid out a town in Mitchell County which they named Osage in honor of Dr. Oren Sage. In early life Mr. Boardman was a Democrat but upon the organization of the Republican party he united with it. In 1861 he was nominated by the Republicans for the State Senate and was elected by a large majority. He became an influential member of the Senate, was made chairman of the committee on schools, was a member of the committee of ways and means and the author of some of the most important legislation for the protection and safe keeping of the school funds of the State. He was a firm friend of the State University and Agricultural College. In 1869 Mr. Boardman was appointed by President Grant to the office of Collector of Internal Revenue for the Second District. During his term he discovered secret and fraudulent methods practiced by distillers to cheat the Government which led to the exposure of the gigantic whiskey frauds of 1874. In 1886 Mr. Boardman first suggested a reunion of the pioneer lawmakers of the State at Des Moines, resulting in the organization of the “Pioneer Lawmakers' Association,” which holds biennial sessions devoted largely to the collection and preservation of the early history of the State. Mr. Boardman died at his home in Lyons on the 30th of April, 1894.