Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Boalt Family of Sandusky and Norwalk

Pictured above is the former home of John M. Boalt, who was president of the Sandusky Wheel Company in the 1860s. John M. Boalt was the son of Captain John Boalt and Ruth Lockwood Boalt. His first wife was Sarah Follett, daughter of Oran Follett; she died at age 20 in 1844. (He later married Fanny Griswold.)

The Boalt family settled first in Norwalk, but moved to Sandusky around 1823, where Captain Boalt was the proprietor of the Steamboat Hotel. John and Ruth Boalt had a large family. Their daughter Amanda Boalt was the first wife of prominent Sandusky attorney George Reber. Daughter Clara Boalt married Samuel W. Butler, who had a large commission business in the early days of Sandusky. Susan Boalt married Samuel B. Caldwell, an early Mayor of Sandusky. Portraits of both Samuel B. Caldwell and Susan Boalt Caldwell are housed in the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center.

Another child of Captain John Boalt was Charles L. Boalt, who was a well known attorney in Norwalk, Ohio. He was also associated with the Toledo, Norwalk, and Cleveland Railroad. Charles L. Boalt’s daughter, Fanny, became Mrs. Jay O. Moss. Mrs. Moss was the driving force behind securing funds from Andrew Carnegie for the purpose of building a public library in Sandusky.  

Charles L. Boalt’s son was John Henry Boalt, who was a prominent lawyer in California. There is a Boalt Street in Sandusky as well as in San Francisco.

The Boalt family members were deeply involved in civic and business affairs in both Huron and Erie Counties and beyond. Several books in the Sandusky Library chronicle our area’s rich local history. Among the titles are: The Centennial History of Erie County, by Hewson L. Peeke; History of Erie County, edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich; and History of the Firelands, by W. W. Williams.

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