Category Archives: Caroline and Jacob Boma Family

Mary (Boma) North 1885 – 1938

Mary (Boma) North
1885 – 1938

Mary was the youngest child of Caroline and Jacob born in December of 1885. She was married to Emil North who was born in 1880.

Emil managed the stone quarry on grandad’s Bluff. They mined and broke the rocks on top of the bluff and lowered the rocks down on cable cars. Mary and Emil lived on 28th St. under Grand Dad’s Bluff. At that time there were only three houses there and a tavern. One was a boarding house for the workers. The tram track ran by the side of North’s house, which is where they crushed the rock. (The tavern is still there. The third house from the tavern was Emil and Mary’s, and the fifth house was the boarding house.)

Three children were born to the North’s; Andy in 1909, Marie in 1911, and Gladys in 1913.

“In those days, every Sunday families got together.’ Andy said. Ben Mader remembers going to North’s with the Boma’s in a horse drawn wagon.

Andy’s mother and dad told the following story:

“They were going up to Bliss Road to a party up the hill in horse and wagon. It was just a wagon road in those days and every so often a ditch ran across the road to drain the water. Theodore Mader sat on the tail of the wagon and in the back was a keg of beer. When they bound over the ditch the keg of beer rolled, knocking Theodore off with it, unknown to Emil and Mary until some distance further.”

Emil had a horse and buggy with a fringe on top. Andy said you had to be careful because when the last person stepped on the step of the buggy, the horse would take off!

At a homemaker meeting in 1938 at Sand Lake Coulee, Mary had just finished eating and sat down to play the organ or piano when she said, “My arm feels funny.” She died of a cerebral hemorrhage at age 52. Emil passed away seven years later.

Julia (Boma) Schnell 1884 – 1972

Julia (Boma) Schnell
1884 – 1972

In July of 1884, Julia was born at the Boma home. She attended public school in Shelby township and the Catholic school at La Crosse. When she was 21 years of age, Julia married John Schnell November 21, 1905.

The Schnells were neighbors of the Boma’s. John was born in 1883 the son of Phillip and Helena Schnell who founded the Schnell Bros. Brick Co. with his brother.

In the wedding was Julia’s first cousin, Frank Mader Jr., who gave them an ornamental black and gold shelf clock for a wedding present. (This clock is proudly displayed in the home of Bill Schnell.) After the marriage, John and Julia lived with his father and two unmarried brothers on 15th and Market St. in La Crosse.

John was good looking and Julia was very attractive, a jolly, happy-go-lucky person. Frank Jr. always said, “The Boma girls were the prettiest girls he ever saw in his life!”

Later they moved into the Schnell brick house below the road in State Road Coulee. (Site of the trailer park today.) Two houses belonged to the Schnell Brick Yard. When John’s brother Charles married he lived in the lower house and John and Julia moved into the older brick house above the road. When the boys moved to the brick yard their father moved with them renting out his house in town. John and his brothers worked in the brick yard, eventually taking over when their father got too old.

Julia and John Schnell were the parents of four children; Edwin born in 1910, Helen 1911, Florence 1913, and William 1916. Keeping busy with her own family, Julia also had to keep house for the boarded workers in the brick yard, cooking the meals and doing up the bedding.

The children went to school in the red school house on State Road. Then they had two years at Trinity High School for religious training. “We’d run out to the road and catch a ride to school.” Bill recalls, “The janitor would let us in the boiler room until Mass started. After school we walked home.” John Mader can remember going to a school with a boy called “Brick” Schnell. “Brick” was a name for Edwin.

The boys worked in the brick yard. When John bought Jacob Boma’s 380 acre farm, he sent William who was only 15 years old to run it.

The Mader family all came to Julia and John’s Golden Wedding Anniversary in 1955.

Julia was going to be 88 years old when she died in May of 1972. Her husband John lived only six and a half months longer before he passed away at age 89.

John Boma 1882 – 1908

John Boma
1882 – 1908

John was born on June 20, 1882 only five months after Jacob and Caroline lost three of their children to diphtheria.

John lived at home with his parents and older brother Frank until he purchased the brick yard from his uncle Dominick in 1906. That same month on April 23 he was married to Emma Stahl, daughter of Joseph Stahl of La Crosse. They moved into the two story brick house at the end of Boma Road. The following two years they became the parents of John Jr. and Bernetta.

On Labor Day of 1908, John and his brother-in-law Emil North left early to go duck hunting on Rice Lake, near French Island. They spent most of the morning hunting when Emil elected to walk along the shore of the lake to scare up ducks and John was going to wait in the hunting skiff. John stepped into the boat, pulling his shot gun with him when the hammer caught on the edge of the boat and the gun went off – hitting him in the chest. Emil heard the shot and could hear him groaning. By the time he reached John, he was in pretty bad shape. John died soon after at age 26. Following service at Holy Trinity Church his funeral cortege was more than six blocks long.

John left a young wife, a son not yet two years old and a six week old baby. Before his death, John had dismantled the brick works and Emma sold the property in 1910 to Louis J. Prucha.

Emma, too, was to live a short life. She died at the age of 30 only ten years after her husband.

Orphaned, the children went to live in Minnesota with the Stahl relation. (Outside of the fact John Jr. is deceased, the family has lost track of this branch of the Boma family.)

Injured Man Was Dying When Companions Reached Him, and Body is Conveyed to the City

John Boma, aged 28, proprietor of the brick yard on the State Road Coulee, while stepping into a hunting skiff at Rick Lake Sunday morning, was shot and killed by his own gun. The exact details of the accident are lacking but it is thought probable that Boma was entering the skiff and in pulling his gun towards him the hammer caught on the edge of the boat and in this way was discharged. The charge of shot entered just below the heart and when others who had been attracted by the explosion and seeing him fall, had reached the place, they found him dead.

In company with his brother-in-law Emil North, a resident of this city, Mr. Boma had gone to Rice Lake early in the morning for a day of duck shooting and had spend the greater portion of the forenoon hunting. Just before the accident the two separated, Mr. North going up the shore of the lake and Mr. Boma stepping into a hunting skiff. Several hunters were in the vicinity and say Mr. Boma fell following the discharge of the gun. They ran to him only to find him lying in the boat with blood oozing from a fearful would just below the heart. That death was instantaneous was evident. The weapon was a repeating Winchester shotgun.

The body was conveyed to the lower end of the lake and Miler brothers, undertakers were summoned. The body was brought to this city. A widow and two children survive Mr. Boma and they are heartbroken over his untimely and horrible death.
Funeral arrangements will be announced later.

Frank J. Boma 1873 – 1952

Frank J. Boma
1873 – 1952

In June of 1873, Frank was the first born of the Boma children. He was a bachelor and lived on the Boma farm until he was 56.

After his parents died of old age in 1930 and 1931, Frank stayed on to run the farm. “He wasn’t much of a farmer.” Andy North recalled, “After dinner he would sit and smoke his pipe for a couple of hours and the hired man was only too happy to sit with him.”

Soon he let it go into disrepair. Times were tough right after the Depression and the Boma farm went up for the Sheriff’s sale. Julia Schnell’s husband John put in a bid and got the farm.

There were hard feelings on Frank’s part. He had worked on his father’s farm all his life without wages. He wouldn’t stay on and moved to town where he lived with Alfred Oestreicher in his basement until his death at age 80.