Skip to Content

The home of Mantorville’s first African Americans still stands

Remaining Ad Time Ad - 00:00

MANTORVILLE, Minn. (FOX 47) -- A Mantorville woman continues to preserve pieces of black history in her home of over 20 years.

Kim Boyum lives on Chestnut Street and is happy to share the story of how her home was once owned by the first settled African Americans in Mantorville.

"Sim and Flora lived in this house," Boyum said.

Sim and Flora Boggs were ex-slaves. They met after Flora fled slavery with her two sons.

"I admire Flora and her bravery and her decision to run when she did, having two small children. For the simple fact that it had to be really scary back then because if a slave ran away and they were caught. You were either beaten they'd take your kids away and sell them or it could be death," Boyum said.

Sim was a member of the 65th U.S. Colored Infantry. Following the Civil War, the couple followed the leader of Sim's regiment to his hometown of Mantorville. The Boggs then purchased the house in 1886.

Boyum says pieces of the home's original foundation are still standing.

"The doors that goes to the basement is there and it would of been part of the original logs in the basement," she said.

Boyum said Flora's life ended with a heart attack. She ran out of the house and into the backyard where she died. She said Flora's spirit still lives in the house.

"The community here really liked Sim and Flora. They liked them as a matter of fact, Flora did laundry and cleaning. And she worked down there at the restoration house. So she did cooking, she did cleaning and laundry. And sims he had a wagon called the Dre, and a team of horses, so he would run goods and things to the railroad," she said.

Sim lived until he was 94 years old.

The couple is buried side by side in the Evergreen Cemetery.

Boyum also says she's happy to keep the story of the Boggs family alive as she continues to live in the house.

KaMaria Braye

Skip to content