The Boone Family Association

The History of the BFA

Other Topics
Preservation of BFA Records
The Boone Bulletin

This association of Boone descendants and researchers was founded June 30, 1924. The first President, and organizer, was William Boone Douglass. Mrs. Hazel Atterbury Spraker, the author of The Boone Family, was the historian, registrar, and secretary of the organization. The BFA continued in existence until sometime in the late-1930s. The Association held special reunions, conventions, and trips in 1925, 1926, 1927*,1928, 1930, and 1932. A Convention scheduled for St. Louis in 1930 was cancelled because of the Depression. A planned meeting in Chicago in 1933 apparently didn't occur. I've prepared a list of these meetings in pdf format, with a brief abstract of the proceedings. The Association published an annual newsletter called The Boone Bulletin, which is available in a number of libraries, and through the Family History Library and its Family History Centers.

* This link takes you to the Digital Library of Appalachia and its extensive description of the 1927 trip the Association members took through the Cumberland Gap.

The Association was organized with Officers and a Board of Directors, and had State Directors for a number of the states and foreign counties. It was chartered in the District of Columbia.1 A reproduction of the first slate of Officers, Directors, and State Directors is shown below.


William Boone Douglass and Alvira Luckett Douglass
at the 1925 reunion.

Hazel Atterbury Spraker.

Photos thanks to the Genealogy and History Department, Seattle Public Library.

1. The incorporation was dated August 29, 1930, with the application made on June 19, 1930. Ref.: Serial No. 255583, Instrument No. 20603, on file in the Office of Recorder of Deeds, Washington, D.C. Please click here to view the relevant pages from The Boone Bulletin (in jpg format).

[Comment: Part of the incorporation document says that one purpose of the Association was to "preserve the purity of the Caucasian blood and to promote control and government by the Caucasian race." Membership was limited to those of "pure Caucasian blood." In this year (2008) it seems incredible that a respectable group of people could subscribe to such a purpose, or to restrict membership in that way. However, this document was written in the 1930s, a time when such thoughts were not unknown in this country and in Europe.]

Douglass also started an organization called The American Order of Pioneers on July 4, 1926. This organization had its first meeting on the July 4th holiday in Philadelphia at the Benjamin Franklin. Here is an abstract of what Douglass' wife, Allie Luckett Boone, said about that meeting:

This was the first meeting of the American Pioneers organization, in Commemoration of American Pioneers 1565-1726, held at the Benjamin Franklin hotel in Philadelphia. Officers were not elected due to a lack of a quorum of the directors.

Later, in about 1932-33, the two organizations were merged, and the Boone Bulletin became the newsletter for both.

The BFA was active in promoting projects related to the Boone family, including the placement of a mural of Daniel Boone in the U. S. Capitol, the establishment of Boone sites in Kentucky such as Fort Boonesborough, the election of Daniel Boone into the Hall of Fame at New York University, and the minting of a Daniel Boone commemorative half dollar. See a copy of the page about Daniel Boone from a publication of the Hall of Fame, which shows the bust of Boone done by sculptor Albin Polasek. The image below shows the medallion created for the Hall of Fame by C. Jennewein. Douglass and others in the BFA were also very interested in tracing their lineages back to English or European royalty, especially the De Bohuns.


Daniel Boone Medallion by C. Jennewein

The Boone Family Association was greatly influenced by the energy and abilities of its founder, William Boone Douglass. As he grew older, and as sickness and age took their toll, the Association began to decline. After he died in 1947, the Association effectively ceased to exist. Here is what Hazel Spraker wrote about the situation:

"... our Boone Family Association which is now extinct because after our president, Mr. William Boone Douglass died there was no one with the time and energy to keep it going."

Source: A letter dated Nov. 4, 1955 from Mrs. Spraker to Mrs. Cyrus regarding John Boone.
The letter is part of the BFA materials at the Seattle Public Library.

Mrs. Spraker said much the same thing in a letter to a Mrs. Kimberly:

"The Boone Family Association is now inactive. When Mr. Douglass died July 7, 1949, no one else could be found who had the time and ability to carry on the work, which he had largely been carrying on alone. It just seemed too much for anyone else to undertake. I could not take it over because of poor health. So it just lapsed because of neglect.

There is some talk of reviving the Association, however. A Mr. Daniel Boone Allison, White-Henry-Stuart Building, Seattle, Wash. is interested in trying to put the Association on its feet again. If you are interested in helping to do so, he would be glad to hear from you. At least I assume that we could count on you to renew your membership. I can tell you nothing about the American Order of Pioneers, as I was never interested in it, and think the combining of the two societies was a mistake."

Source: Letter dated October 20, 1953 in the vertical files (Pennsylvania Boones file) of the Seattle Public Library.

The officers of the BFA listed in the final issue of The Boone Bulletin (Vol. II, Nos. 10-11, June 1935), were:

President: William Boone Douglass LL. M.
Member of the Bar of the U. S. Supreme Court and other courts. Founding Member of Council,
Institute of American Genealogy. Founding V. P., Descendants of Knights of the Garter; Baronial Order
of Runnymede; Americans of Royal Descent.
Vice-Presidents
Cmdr. Joel T. Boone
  Medical Corp, U. S. Navy, Washington, D.C.
Dr. William Lowe Bryan
President, Indiana University
Chas. B. Davenport Ph. D.
  Carnegie Institute, D. C.
C. Frank Dunn
  Secretary, Pioneer Nat. Monument Assn.
George S. Luckett, A. B., M.D.
  Stanford University, California
W. V. McChesney
  President, Kentucky Historical Society
Maj. Gen. David C. Shanks
  United States Army, Retired
John S. Wurts, LL. B.
  Editor, Americans of Royal Descent
Fred. A. Virkus, F. I. A. C.
  Director, Institute of American Genealogy
Executive V. P. & Treasurer
George E. Merrifield
  V. P. Higbee Co, Cleveland, Ohio
Registrar and Life Historian
Mrs. James Randolph Spraker
  64 Dorchester Road, Buffalo, N. Y.
Chaplain
Rev. Canon Hiram K. Douglass
  608 Woodlawn Street, Memphis, Tenn.
Secretary
Miss Ida Jane Ayres
  Washington, D. C.
Publisher
Lew M. O'Bannon Publishing Co.
  Corydon, Indiana
Publications
  Boone Bulletin
  American Pioneer Records
Governors and Directors
Alabama
Joseph W. Hoskins
Arizona
Rev. Victor Stoner
Arkansas
Mrs. Mary Lewis Evans
California
Dr. W. Cullen Spalding
Colorado
Mrs. Charles W. Reed
Connecticut
Mrs. Harriet Weatherbee
Delaware
Mrs. F. B. Ridgeway
District of Columbia
Dr. John Calvin Wright
Florida
Mr. Robert J. Boone
Georgia
Mrs. Edward T. Agerton
Associate
Mrs. Frank M. Robinson
Idaho
Mrs. Joseph E. Bird
Illinois
Dr. Ira M. Price
Indiana
Franklin M. Boone
Iowa
Lauren R. McIntosh
Kansas
Cmdr. Horace R. Boone
Kentucky
Mrs. William Blanton
Associate
Mrs. Hattie Fuqua Moody
Louisiana
Miss Marietta Boon
Maryland
Mrs. Wm. Hyde Talbott
Massachusetts
Harold Clarke Durrell
Maine
Maj. Floyd D. Carlock
Michigan
Mr. John Roy Boone
Minnesota
Mr. R. E. Peters
Mississippi
Edward Everett Boone
Missouri
Mrs. Max A. Christopher
Montana
Miss Harriet Cory Dickinson
Nebraska
Mr. Harlan A. Bryant
New Hampshire
Rev. Jesse Gibson MacMuphy
New Jersey
Mrs. R. K. Storm
New Mexico
Miss Arline Gibbany
New York
Dr. Bernard Samuels
Associate
Roy A. Foulke
North Carolina
Mrs. W. H. Hollingshead
Ohio
Mrs. R. W. Llevenhagen
Oklahoma
Miss Martha Katherine Dearing
Oregon
Mrs. Emma Boone Dale
Pennsylvania
Cmdr. J. T. Boone
Rhode Island
Oscar Frank Stetson
South Carolina
Capt. W. A. Callaway
North Dakota
Walter E. Spokesfield
South Dakota
Miss Mary Elizabeth Collins
Tennessee
Jane Washington Ewing
Texas
Prof. Turin B. Boone
Associate
Mrs. E. Creekmore
Utah
Frank B. Woodbury
Vermont
Dr. Fank Edson Parlin
Virginia
John Ernest Jamison
Washington
Maj. R. N. Mayfield, M. D.
West Virginia
Mrs. Lamar Epperly
Wyoming
Miss Gladys Carter
Wisconsin
Mrs. Edgar Lee Bell
Associate
Mrs. Edgar Lee Bell
British Directors
Canada
Mrs. John J. Agnew
Associate
Mrs. Geo. Clarido
Directors of Other Nations
Chile
Mr. H. W. Jones
Mexico
Mrs. Mary Carter Cowan
China
Rev. Dr. Wilmot DeS. Boone
Spain
Mr. W. Boone Douglass, Jr.
Germany
Dr. Erich Bohn

Note: The Director for Spain was W. Boone Douglass, Jr., American Vice Consul, Malaga.

The Preservation of BFA Records

The papers of the Association, and some of William Boone Douglass' genealogical collection, were given to the Boone Family Association of Washington, and are now housed in the Seattle Public Library. See the announcement of the gift below:

"THE MOST IMPORTANT gift of material yet received for the Boone Research Center
is that of the personal collection of William Boone Douglass, president of the
nation-wide Boone Family Association from its organization in 1925 to his death in
1947, recently given by his son, William Boone Douglass of Sullivan's Island, S.C.
During his long illness, interest in the organization waned and after his death it
became inactive, then ceased to exist. Mr. Douglass, a direct descendant of Samuel
brother of Squire, the father of Daniel, trained to follow his father in the
practice of law, but gradual loss of hearing made this profession impossible. He
then turned to civil engineering, taking a position as cadastral engineer with the
government, in which work he spent many years in Oregon, Indian Territory, Oklahoma
Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico. He developed an interest in the Navajo In-
dians, compiling a dictionary of their unwritten language and acquiring a large col-
lection of Indian relics, now on display in the Smithsonian Institution in Washing-
ton, D.C. It was on one of these expeditions that he discovered the World's great-
est natural bridge in southern Utah which he named "The Rainbow Natural Bridge,"
perhaps the outstanding accomplishment of this remarkable man. The Association 
acknowledges with humility its pride in the center being chosen as the permanent de-
pository for these papers, the result of a life-long interest in genealogy. Our
heartfelt thanks go to Mr. Douglass for entrusting this splendid legacy to us."

Source: The Boone Scout, Vol 3, No 4, p. 47 (July 1959).
Published by the Boone Family Association of Washington
Mrs. J. H. Buchanan, editor

Mrs. Spraker died on December 24, 1963 in Buffalo General Hospital, Buffalo, New York after a long illness Her husband, James Randolph Spraker, died in July, 1963. See a transcription of her obituary in pdf format. See also a modified register report for her and her family (pdf).

The death of Mrs. Spraker was announced to its subscribers in the Boone Scout of April 1964, page 131:

Page 131                          MISCELLANEOUS                         April 1964

   "NOT ONLY those interested in the Boones, but all who have had occasion to refer
to that outstanding reference "The Boone Family" compiled by Mrs. Hazel Atterbury
Spraker will have a feeling of personal loss in hearing of her death which occured
in the Buffalo General Hospital in Buffalo, N.Y. on Christmas eve. Her health had
been precarious for several years due to a heart condition, and she had been in the
hospital frequently for periods of complete rest. Nevertheless, the end came as a
shock, as she was expected to enjoy another Christmas Day.

   Despite her ill health, her interest in and devotion to the Boone Family Associa-
tion of Washington of which she was an Honorary Life Member never wavered. She had
even arranged with her husband that when the end came to forward to us all her notes
and material collected since 1962, when she sent us her "working papers and records"
gathered since the publication in 1922 of "The Boone Family". These covered a span
of exactly 40 years, supplying important material supplementing the original pub-
lication.

   To be chosen as the beneficiary of such a legacy is the highest of genealogical
honors, which is humbly accepted with full appreciation of the ethical and actual
responsibilities involved. We shall discharge these obligations honestly, ever
mindful of the high ideals of the donor, her unswerving loyalty to the finest prin-
ciples of genealogical research, her tolerance and unselfishness. To this end we
pledge our best efforts. To do less would betray the trust of a loved friend and
benefactress.       Would that we might do more."

These working papers and records are now part of the Boone Family Association materials in the Seattle Public Library. This link will show an inventory of this contribution of Mrs. Spraker. There is also a name list of the people who wrote to her, or that she wrote to. Both links are to searchable pdf files.

This notice appeared in the July 1964 edition of the Boone Scout:

page 137                          MISCELLANEOUS                        July 1964

THE GIFT to the Boone Family Association of Washington of the papers of Franklin
M. Boone by his son Rogar* R. Boone of Chicago, is of great importance for by it,
the Association has acquired all available records of the three officers of the
first Boone Association, the president, William Boone Douglass, the historian, Mrs.
James R. Spraker, and now those of the treasurer, the office held by Mr. Boone at
the time of his death in Indiana in 1948. Thus it may be possible in time to com- 
bine this collection into a helpful compilation of the correspondence, the meetings,
the speeches and achievements of that early organization, which though it passed out
of existence with its leaders, the contribution they made to the genealogy of the
Boone Family may be preserved in the Boone Research Center in the Seattle Public
Library as a source of information and inspiration to all Boone descendants and re-
searchers. The Association is deeply grateful for this gift.

* Corrected to Edgar in a subsequent issue.

Thus, the records of the Boone Family Association are collected and preserved in one location, the Seattle Public Library, where they are all available for study and research. I've prepared a list of the donated BFA materials at SPL. I think that the Washington association was chosen as the repository in large part due to the relationship between Mrs. Buchanan and Mrs. Spraker.

The Boone Bulletin

The newsletter of the BFA is available in a number of libraries around the nation, including the Seattle Public Library, the Library of Congress, the Mid-Continent Public Library, the Clayton Library in Houston, and the Allen County Public Library. It is also available in searchable form, but with limited access, through Google Books.

I've made a list of the articles that were published in the Boone Bulletin, and am making it available in searchable pdf format. This list shows the name of each article, its author (if identified), and its volume, number, page, and date of publication. Further information is available by contacting me at this address: ahopkins@alum.mit.edu.


Link to William Boone Douglass page.

Go to the page about the Boone Scout, published by the Boone Family Association of Washington

Return to my Boone Family page.

This file was last updated on 7/7/2008.

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