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Portrait of C. V. Boller circa 1913.

Mr. C. V. Boller, President. [Photo taken circa 1913].

The bound portion of Mr. Boller’s scrapbook ends with materials from 1907. There is, however, a loose page tucked in the back of the book  to which is adhered a card which includes a poem that reads:

How Did You Die?

Did you tackle that trouble that came your way

With a resolute heart and cheerful?

Or hide your face from the light of day

With a craven soul and fearful?

Oh, a trouble’s a ton, or a trouble’s an ounce

Or a trouble  is what you make it,

And it isn’t the fact that you’re hurt that counts,

But only how did you take it?


You are beaten to earth? Well, well, what’s that?

Come up with a smiling face.

It’s nothing against you to fall down flat,

But to lie there - that’s a disgrace.

The harder you’re thrown, why the higher you bounce;

Be proud of your blackened eye -

It isn’t the fact that you’re licked that counts -

It’s how did you fight - and why?


And though you be done to the death, what then?

If you battled the best you could,

If you played your part in the world of men,

Why, the Critic will call it good.

Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce,

And whether he’s slow or spry,

It isn’t the fact that you’re dead that counts,

But only how did you die?


By Edmund Vance Cooke


Without having known Mr. Boller personally, he died nearly 23 years before I was born, I suspect he died a proud and dignified member of his community; a community that I, myself, and quite familiar with having grown-up in a neighboring town. He most certainly should have been proud of his ability to make a living and support a  family through the trade of tailoring. The 1913 spring/summer mail order catalog produced by the C. V. Boller Company, owned by the University of California Santa Barbara, Department of Special Collections, ceratainly portrays a man proud of the quality clothing his company produced.


After the close of his scrapbook, Mr. Boller eventually founded his own clothing company which was originally located at 397-399 Bridge Street, Brooklyn, NY. In about 1915 the company and the Boller family moved to Freeport, Long Island, NY. The business was located at 70 Grove Street, now known as Guy Lombardo Avenue. Mr. Boller and his family resided in a modest home at 180 Whaley Street in Freeport.

I doubt Mr. Boller was at all enchanted with his involvement in the Chicago teamsters’ sympathy strike of 1905, as he quickly removed himself from the employ of Montgomery Ward & Co. and left Chicago to start his own clothing business in New York. He did, however, retain the newspaper articles outlining the events of the situation in Chicago and his testimony, which indicates to me a pride in his position at Montgomery Ward, his work ethic, and his conviction that he did was right thing under the circumstances.

It has been an honor and privilege to work on Mr. Boller's Scrapbook. I thank my friends, colleagues, and academic advisor for their support through my project.

- April Lynne Earle