The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Meet Your Neighbor

by Sherryanne de la Boise

Margaret Brook Boyce

Margaret Brook Boyce's ancestor, Daniel MacMillian served in the American Revolution (He is buried here). Instead of cash, he was paid a 200 acre land grant. When all of his children were married, he convinced them to move to Henderson County. Each spouse could homestead 100 acres, if they placed their home on the property line, with the line cutting through the bedroom and always slept on their own side of the bed. Including his land grant, MacMillian and his wife started with 400 acres.

As a child, Margaret spent a month every summer in Stronghurst, often at the stone house with her Uncle Joe and Aunt Sarah Peasley. She would ride her cousin Sara Ann Nimrick's horse and play with her Simonson cousins.

Margaret grew up in Evanston and went to Northwestern University, where she majored in Child Psychology (because all of the tests were multiple choice). The textbooks came in handy for spanking naughty children. Later, she got a Masters of Fine Arts in photography from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

After her marriage, Margaret lived in Davenport, Iowa where she fundraised and secured color television sets for every room in the hospital. She was active in the Presbyterian Church, the PTA, Brownies, and loved bowling. Every month, she would drive her daughters to visit her grandmother Maude Brook, Uncle John, and Aunt Edith Brook.

Margaret has three daughters: Sherryanne, who purloins her regularly in the Quill; Margaret Elaine, who married, then died of complications at age 28; and Betsy, who lives in San Francisco and works for the California Bar Association.

After she moved to New Orleans, she was active in Mardi Gras, the Presbyterian Church and activities surrounding three busy, demanding daughters. She lived next door to the Saints' quarterback, Archie Manning and across the street from the Underground Gourmet in the Garden District for twenty years, with a vacation home in Diamondhead, during which time she was publishing photographic images in local newspapers and national magazines, even getting a few coveted covers. This is what prompted her to enroll at the Art Institute.

After her first course, her professor offered her a full scholarship towards her Masters Degree. She had not been planning on moving away from New Orleans, but over time began spending more and more time in Stronghurst. At first, it was just to stay summers with Aunt Betty Brook when Betty came from Sarasota, FL. Then, she began to stay longer, until she completely moved to town.

Margaret is a member of the Presbyterian Church. She likes to play Mexican Dominos with the ladies on Thursdays and appreciates Friday Wine Downs, as well as birthday luncheons out with the girls. She frequently hops the train to Chicago to visit her sisters and grandchildren, is a rabid Cub fan.

At age 82, she has given up her car, but not her license. She sorts her mail by sitting on the floor of the post office, which you would think annoying until you realize that she is still agile enough to get up from the floor. And, she has a beloved cat, Kate Spayed, who had enough frequent miles on Amtrak to be able to treat Margaret to a round trip to Chicago!