(4 December 1894 – 19 December 1988)
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Herbarium (NCU) has found a single vascular plant specimen collected by Effie Boon. As she collected primarily in her home state of Texas which is outside our current cataloging focus, it is possible that more specimens collected by
her will be found.
Many other herbaria across North America curate vascular plant specimens collected by Ms. Boon, including Academy of Natural Sciences (PH), Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT), Field Museum (F : bryophytes & vascular) , Harvard Herbaria (GH), Indiana University (IND), Utah State University (USU: UTC), Louisiana State University (LSU), Missouri Botanical Garden (MO), New York Botanical Garden (NY), North Carolina State University (NCSC), Sul Ross State University (SRSC), Texas A&M University (TAES), University of Arizona (ARIZ), University of Colorado, Boulder (COLO), and University of North Texas (NTSC). The University of Texas at Austin (LL & TEX) seems to have been her primary repository as they curate over 800 vascular plant specimens collected by Effie Boon. While many of Ms. Boon’s specimens have yet to be fully cataloged, her earliest collection seems to be Quercus nigra collected in Angelina County, Texas in 1924 (TEX accession # 47509). She continued to collect until the mid-1940’s. She always used “Effie Boon” on her herbarium specimens.
Effie Boon was born on 4 December 1894 to Charles Wesley Boon (1850-1895) and Sarah “Sallie” Elinor Glover Boon (1859-1942) in Texas.
She had many siblings: sisters Gillie, Vannie, Lloyd, Beaulah and Veda as well as brothers Angus and Shelton. 1,7,8 Sallie was widowed in 1895 when Charles was killed by a falling tree. 1 The 1900 Census lists the family living in the Justice precinct of Angelina County, Texas with Sallie Glover Boon as the head of household, with the occupation of “Farmer.”2
On 26 September 1908 Effie Boon (age 16) married Thomas Van Mattox (age 33; 1875-1954). Their son, Wiley “Van” Mattox, was born about a year later. 1 The 1928 issue of the “Stone Fort” yearbook of Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, Texas, lists “Mrs. Effie Mattox” as a member of the Junior class. 4 Effie graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree. 11
The 1930 census list the family as living in Angelina County, Texas, with Thomas’ profession as “farmer” and Effie not working outside the home.3 Effie Boon and Thomas Van Mattox, according to court records, separated on June 25, 1930, and the divorce became final on March 24, 1934 .10
Effie Boon (who had returned to using her maiden name professionally) earned Master of Arts in 1937 from the University of Texas; the title of her thesis was “The history of Angelina County”.11
In 1940 Ms. Boon was lodging with a family in Houston, Texas, and was working as a public school teacher.5
“[Effie Boon] was interested in education, a good seamstress, grew beautiful flowers and trees and after retirement learned to paint. She taught school in Angelina County and Harris County. She moved back to Huntington [Angelina County], Texas after her retirement. Then moved to Sacramento, California.”1
Effie was living with her son, Van, in Sacramento, California at the time of his death in March, 1988. Just a few month later, on 19 December 1988, Effie Boon died. She and her son are buried in the East Lawn Memorial Park in Sacramento, California.6,7,8
The Angelina Challenge Award is “a unique scholarship program that challenges all high school students to graduate from high school and set goals that lead to college or technical careers, and ensures that graduates will have the resources to begin college. This scholarship was established on the 25 anniversary of Angelina College through an endowment started with a donation from the estate of Ms. Effie Boon, a lifelong public school teacher
from Angelina County who valued the opportunity of public education.” In addition, the Boon Opportunity Award “is designated for adults seeking the opportunity to continue their education by returning to school from the workforce or homemaking, or for students completing their GED and continuing their education,” and the Boon Teaching Award “is designated for education majors from the Angelina College service area that plan on teaching in this area following receipt of their degree.” 9
1. Wiebold, Doris B. 1992. “Boon Family of Angelina County” in The History of Angelina County, Texas, 1846-1991. Compiled & edited by the History Book Committee of Lufkin Genealogical and Historical Society.
2. Year: 1900; Census Place: Justice Precinct 8, Angelina, Texas; Page: 5; Enumeration District: 0006; FHL microfilm: 1241607. United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls. Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004. Accessed on 2 December 2020.
3. Year: 1930; Census Place: Precinct 6, Angelina, Texas; Page: 25A; Enumeration District: 0016; FHL microfilm: 2342022. United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1930. T626, 2,667 rolls. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002. Accessed on 2 December 2020.
4. Stone Fort, 1928. Yearbook of Stephen F. Foster State University. [full citation needed, page 51]
5. Year: 1900; Census Place: Justice Precinct 8, Angelina, Texas; Page: 5; Enumeration District: 0006; FHL microfilm: 1241607. United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1940. T627, 4,643 rolls. Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012. Accessed on 2 December 2020.
6. “Wiley Van Mattox (1909-1988)”. Find A Grave memorial # 205962939. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/205962939/wiley-van-mattox . Accessed on 2 December 2020.
7. Place: Sacramento; Date: 19 Dec 1988; Social Security: 464342482. State of California. California Death Index, 1940-1997. Sacramento, CA, USA: State of California Department of Health Services, Center for Health Statistics. Ancestry.com. California, U.S., Death Index, 1940-1997 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000. Accessed on 2 December 2020.
8. “Effie Boon (1894-1988)”. Find A Grave memorial # 205962861. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/205962861/effie-boon . Accessed on 2 December 2020.
9. Scholarship Programs, Angelina College, Lufkin, Texas. https://www.angelina.edu/1030561-2/ . Accessed on 2 December 2020.
10. Personal communication, email to McCormick from Christopher Cotton, Archives Associate, East Texas Research Center, Stephen F. Austin State University. separation & divorce dates in: #2148 Effie Boon Mattox vs T. V. Mattox. East Texas Research Center, Angelina County Records, Divorce records 1891-1952. Box: 19: Folder: 53. http://220.127.116.11/repositories/2/archival_objects/93439.
11. Boon, Effie. 1937. The history of Angelina County. Master of Arts thesis, University of Texas. https://repositories.lib.utexas.edu/bitstream/handle/2152/74951/EffieBoon.pdf?sequence=2&isAllowed=y
Special thanks to Dr. Tom McKinney, Director of Learning Resources, Angelina College, Lufkin, Texas and to Christopher Cotton, Archives Associate, East Texas Research Center, Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas.