Elias Miller Boykin, born at “Plane Hill” in Kershaw County, SC, was a son of Alexander Hamilton Boykin (1815-1866) and his wife, Sarah Jones deSaussure (1817-1893). Elias Miller Boykin’s great-grandfather, William Boykin, moved from Virginia to Kershaw County, SC, and settled near Camden in 1755; Sarah de Saussure’s ancestor, Henry de Saussure of Lausanne, emigrated from France to South Carolina in 1731.
Elias Boykin attended The Academy of Camden, SC, the Normal School at Newton, NJ, and the Cheshire Academy in Cheshire, CT, before attending the University of Virginia in sessions 47-49 (1870-1873). While a student at U.Va., he belonged to Sigma Chi Fraternity.
After his graduation, Boykin joined the firm of J. I. Middleton & Co. in Baltimore, MD, where he engaged in the cotton trade, remaining there for five years. He then returned to South Carolina where he became a planter. In 1892 he organized the Farmers’ and Merchants’ Bank in Camden, SC, and was elected its President, retaining this position until his death. In 1900, he organized the DeKalb Cotton Mill Company, and became President and Treasurer of that company. Boykin served as a member of the U. S. House of Representatives representing South Carolina in 1882-1883, was reelected in 1884, and remained in that office until 1885, when he resigned to accept the position of United States Marshal for the District of South Carolina under President Cleveland’s first administration.
On 26 Nov. 1875, Elias Boykin married Lucy Carter Cooke (1854-1930) of Charlottesville, VA, and the couple had a son, Newton Cooke Boykin (1879-1938). The Boykin family is buried in the Quaker Cemetery in Camden, SC.
(Note: The information in this biography is primarily from Barringer. — JLC)
- Barringer, Paul. University of Virginia: its history, influence, equipment, and characteristics. New York, 1904, v. 1, p. 493-494.
- Boykin family tombstones, Quaker Cemetery, Camden, SC. Findagrave.com (Accessed 5/8/2012).