Right: Francis Boorem & sister Lydia Hedden at the 1925 Boorem family reunion.
Francis, or Frank Boorem was born 28 November 1835 in Paradise Valley, Monroe County, Pennsylvania. He was the eighth child of John and Elizabeth Nauman Boorem, and was baptized at the Evangelical Lutheran church in Paradise Valley. He grew up on the family homestead, a place known as the "Heller farm" just off Keokee Chapel Road. Frank was only 9 years old when his father died in 1844 and he and his brothers worked hard to hold onto the family farm.
On 18 March 1860 Frank married Elizabeth Koerner, and soon after purchased his own farm in Paradise Valley, a large tract of land located off route 940, purchased at a tax sale. Part of the property was later sold to Frank & Elizabeth's son Maurice, and later passed to Maurice's daughter Gladys, while the core of the homestead, the farm and the barn, was retained by Frank. The homestead, however, was eventually purchased by Frank's son-in-law and daughter Clinton and Bertha Boorem Learn, who Frank later lived with. Today a catholic school is located on the old Frank Boorem farm.
Frank and Elizabeth Boorem raised a total of seven children, although daughter Melissa died before her second birthday. Their children were, Maurice, Melissa, Lilly May, Charlotte, Bertha, Addie and Lauretta. Frank Boorem and family were always active in the Keokee Chapel Church, not too far from the old homestead. The family arrived at church by horse and wagon every Sunday to attend services. Elizabeth often played the church organ, while Frank frequently lead prayer groups. Frank and Elizabeth's prominent burial place in the cemetery is a testament to their important standing in this early Paradise Valley church.
Continuing the family tradition of service to community and education, Frank Boorem served as both Justice of the Peace and School Director for Paradise Township. He was first elected to the position of Director of Schools in 1867 and held the position on at least four other occasions. In 1883 he was appointed Justice of the Peace for Paradise Valley and served in that capacity for many years until shortly before his death. Frank's dual commitment to church and community gained him the respect and admiration of his neighbors and fellow citizens.
Strong ties to family, church, and community served the family well when tragedy struck. In early 1890 Frank's wife Elizabeth died at 52 years of age, leaving Frank with the task of raising several underage children without his beloved wife. The family worked hard and succeeded in staying together, despite the hardships caused by Elizabeth's absence.
In his declining years Frank Boorem lived at the home of his son-in-law and daughter Jasper and Addie Heckman at 37 Stofflet Street in nearby Stroudsburg. He died there 6 February in his 92nd year of age, and was buried beside his wife at Keokee Chapel, close to the entrance to the church.
Francis Boorem accomplished much in his long life. He was one of the last, true surviving pioneer settlers of Paradise Valley, having played an important part in the area's early development. He was able to provide for his family, managed a successful farm, and could count many, many years of service to both church and community. He was the last surviving male Boorem of his generation, survived only by his younger sister Lydia. Both Frank Boorem and his sister Lydia are visible at the center of the large Boorem family reunion photo from the early 1920s, found at the beginning of this book. His obituary which appeared in the local newspaper reads as follows:
Francis Boorem, age 91 years, 1 month and 29 days, passed away at the home of his daughter Mrs. Jasper Heckman, Stroudsburg, Sunday evening, February 6 at 10 o'clock. He was born in Paradise Valley Dec 7 1835, and was Justice of the Peace for Paradise Township from January 1, 1868 to Jan 1, 1926. He was a member of the I.O.O.F. lodge of Mountainhome, Pa. The deceased is survived by one sister, Mrs. Lydia Hedden, Springfield Mass, one son, Maurice L. Boorem, Cresco, Pa., Mrs. Eugene Widdoss, Mt Pocono, Pa., Mrs. Jasper Heckman, Stroudsburg, Pa., and Mrs. Isaac Getz, Lehighton, Pa., and seven grandchildren. He was preceded to the grace 35 years ago by his wife Elizabeth Koerner Boorem. The funeral will be held at 1:30 o'clock on Thursday afternoon, February 10th, at the home of Eugene Widdoss, Woodland Road, Mt. Pocono, Pa., Services at 2:00 o'clock at Keokee Chapel, Paradise Valley, where interment will be made. All friends are invited to attend without further notice."
Continue with essays on the children of Francis Boorem.
Lillie May Boorem
Francis Boorem: Documents and photographs
1870s map of Paradise Township showing the location of the Frank Boorem farm
Francis Boorem Death Certificate
Francis Boorem cemetery plot at Keokee Chapel
Francis Boorem Justice of the Peace certificate, 1888. Frank Boorem was Justice of the Peace for Paradise Township for 58 years, and was 90 years old when he finally retired from the position in 1926.
View other Boorem family burials at Keokee Chapel Cemetery
Return to the John Boorem II page
Return to the main page at the Boorem Family Web Site
Text and photographs copyright © by Jeffrey L. Thomas, with all rights reserved