Robert and Ellie Boast – Biography
On September 1, 1879, Charles Ingalls met Robert Boast for the first time, and it sparked a long lasting friendship between the two families. Born in Quebec, Robert moved to Iowa to farm when he was just 19. It was there that he met Ella Rosina Peck, ten years his junior, and they married in 1869.
In 1879, Robert joined the railroad, and began looking for a homestead. Laura tells of Robert and Ellie’s arrival during the winter in By the Shores of Silver Lake. Laura incorrectly calls them newlyweds. The De Smet News tells of the Boast’s 20th anniversary party in 1889, which had over seventy guests in attendance.
In the late 1890s, Ellie’s health began to fail. She suffered severe rheumatism, and was eventually confined to a wheelchair. Robert could often be seen out with Ellie, pushing her wheelchair so she could visit with friends, including the Ingalls. In 1918, Ellie passed away. She is buried in the De Smet Cemetery.
Robert continued to be active in the community. In 1920, he even returned to Canada to visit with his relatives. But on July 15, 1921, Robert passed away at home. He was laid to rest beside Ellie in the De Smet Cemetery.
Laura had many fond memories of the Boasts as close family friends to the Ingalls family.