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Special Collections & Archives

Manuscript Group 312

Eleanor Bernice Day Boyce, 1867-1951

Records, 1917-1963
2.5 cubic feet

The records of the Eleanor and Edward Boyce are part of the records of Day Mines, Inc., donated to the University of Idaho by Henry Day in 1984 and 1985. Initial processing of this manuscript group was done under the direction of Richard C. Davis in March 1988, with funds provided by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. Processing was completed by Judith Nielsen in September 1992.


Eleanor Bernice Day, the second child of Henry and Ellen Day, was born in Gold Hill, California, on December 23, 1867. She was close to her father and as she approached adulthood he relied on her in business matters. Her brothers also respected her astute business sense and sought her counsel. She graduated from the state normal school in San Jose, California in 1887 and taught school and served as an elementary principal in Spokane, Washington from 1887 to 1891. She then taught at Wardner from 1891-1894, Wallace 1894-1896, and Gem 1896-1901. She was a familiar speaker at teachers' meetings and was a supervisor of new teachers. Much of her income between 1890 and 1901 is said to have been invested in the Hercules.

At the age of 34 Eleanor married Edward Boyce, president of the Western Federation of Miners, in Butte, Montana on May 14, 1901. They honeymooned at his family home in Ireland. She then worked part-time in the Denver headquarters of the Western Federation of Miners as a volunteer. She often wrote her father about mining or smelting methods Ed had seen in other mining regions, suggesting them as possibly useful to the Hercules. When Boyce left the Western Federation presidency in 1902, they moved to Wallace and then to Portland, Oregon.

In Portland she indulged her interest in arts and crafts, became a lifetime member of the Portland Art Association, and an affiliate of charitable agencies. The Boyces held majority stock in the Portland Hotel from 1910 to 1942 and invested modestly in other real estate. They lived quietly, often passing the days sitting in the same room reading. After Edward died, Eleanor returned to Wallace, where she died on January 9, 1951, the last surviving child of Harry and Ellen Day.

Edward Boyce was born in County Donegal, Ireland in 1862, and was educated in local schools. He emigrated to Boston at the age of 19 and worked his way west through mining camps. In 1887 he reached Wardner, Idaho where he was employed in mines and became increasingly active in labor organization. As corresponding secretary of the Wardner Union he was jailed for his participation in the mining troubles of 1892. In 1894 he was elected to the Idaho State Senate as a Populist and came away from Boise disillusioned with the bureaucratic process. In 1896 he was elected president of the Western Federation of Miners, and continued in that position until 1902; he also edited its monthly Miners Magazine.

Following his marriage to Eleanor B. Day, he gradually separated himself from organized labor and declined to discuss his part in the miners' union. He was president of the Portland Hotel Company from 1911 to 1941 and in 1936 president of the Oregon Hotel Association. He was an avid reader who preferred social theory and Irish poetry. He died Christmas eve, 1941.


The records of the Eleanor and Edward Boyce span the years 1917 to 1963. Included are correspondence and related material concerning the construction of an apartment house in Portland, Oregon, and personal financial material.


The records of the Eleanor and Edward Boyce were in no discernible order when received; therefore a series order was imposed during processing.

The first series contains correspondence relating to the management of the Portland property of Edward Boyce by the Columbia Security Co. in 1925 and 1926. Included are letters, agreements, statements, payrolls, bills, receipts, and other records concerning the construction of an apartment house by the Baker Construction Co.

The second series consists of personal financial ledgers, journals and check registers.


I.	Baker Construction Company, 1925-1926	1
II.	Financial Records, 1917-1963	2 & os


Box	Folder	Description 

I. Baker Construction Company, 1925-1926

1	1-6	Correspondence and related material, 1925-1926

II. Financial Records, 1917-1963

	7	Experience in determining Fair Market Value of 531,000 DMI shares, in 1952-1953, 1963
	8	Ledger account of Edward Boyce, 1924-1941
	9	Ledger account of the estate of Edward Boyce, 1941-1943
2	10	Ledger, Eleanor Day Boyce, 1917-1955
os	11	Register of income and expense, Edward and Eleanor Boyce, 1939-1945
2	12	Register of income and expense, estate of Edward Boyce, 1941-1943
	13-14	Check registers, 1940-1950

mg312.htm / March 1995

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