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Biography

Portrait of C. V. Boller.

Image of Mr. C. V. Boller taken from "Up From the Ranks," Among Ourselves, a Monthly Magazine Devoted to the Interests of the Employees of Montgomery Ward & Co., Chicago, vol. 1, no. 9 (June 1904): 435.

Claude Villette Boller was born in March 1869 in Lexington, Illinois to John & Mary Boller. He was the youngest of their ten children; Elizabeth, Catherine, Ada, Margaret "Maggie", Jacob "Frank", William Jeptha "Willie", Chester Edwin "Eddie", Caroline E. "Carrie", Louis, and Claude Villette "Vettie" Boller.

He made his career in the men's clothing industry and, in fact, established the men's wear department of the noteworthy Montgomery Ward & Company in Chicago, Illinois. He began working for Montgomery Ward on September 29, 1896 and left January 1, 1906 admist the turbulent Chicago Teamsters' Strike which actually began in the Montgomery Ward & Company cutting room where Mr. Boller was the manager.[1] [2]

After leaving Chicago, Mr. Boller and his wife, Katherine Tannis-Boller, briefly resided in New York City where Mr. Boller established the C.V. Boller Co., a clothing manufacturer for men and boys.[3] The couple, and his business, moved to the town of Freeport on Long Island where they raised their 5 children; Claude Villette Boller Jr., Katherine Boller-Foote, Eloise Boller-Brocker, Geraldine Boller-Fry, and Audrey Parker Boller-Cunningham.

Mr. Boller passed away on August 2, 1951 in Freeport.[4]

In his lifetime Mr. Boller maintained a scrapbook, perhaps more than one but indeed one, that has curiously landed itself in the College Archives of Farmingdale State College.

This website explores the life of Mr. Boller as seen through the objects, articles, and ephemera kept inside the pages of his scrapbook.



[1] Montgomery Ward & Co. "Up From the Ranks," In Among Ourselves, a Monthly Magazine Devoted to the Interests of the Employees of Montgomery Ward & Co., Chicago, 1, no. 9 (June 1904): 435-436. Google book. https://books.google.com/books?id=bHxIAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA435#v=onepage&q=boller&f=false

[2] Montgomery Ward & Co. "A Tribute to Mr. Boller," In Among Ourselves, a Monthly Magazine Devoted to the Interests of the Employees of Montgomery Ward & Co., Chicago, 2, no. 4 (January 1906), 227 Google book. https://books.google.com/books?id=H4RIAAAAYAAJ&lpg=PA227&ots=oMcgJTvhRJ&dq=tribute%20to%20mr.%20boller&pg=PA227#v=onepage&q=tribute%20to%20mr.%20boller&f=false

[3] C.V. Boller Co. Catalog, 1913. Clothing Box 7. Lawrence B. Romaine Trade Catalog Collection. Mss 107. Department of Special Collections, Davidson Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

[4] "Claude V. Boller Dies; Long in Business Here." The Leader (Freeport, NY). August 9, 1951. p.1.

Biography