Joseph Boyle, explorer. Boyle’s exploits in eastern Europe make him one of Canada’s unheralded adventurers (courtesy Woodstock Museum).
“A Man With The Heart of a Viking, and the Simple Faith of a Child”
Joe Boyle was one of the Yukon’s most heroic figures
“A very curious, fascinating sort of man, who is frightened of nothing.”
– Queen Marie of Romania
Joseph Whiteside Boyle (Honour Roll), whose life story reads like a soap opera, was a flashy, flamboyant, swashbuckling, larger-than-life figure, too fantastic to be real.
He was as impressive for his Herculean physique and strength as he was for the gigantic projects he pushed forward. But his cathedral ego needed fueling with praise and publicity. He never denied a story written about him, regardless of how outrageous. Therefore, it’s often difficult to separate the wheat of the real Joe Boyle from the chaff of the fictional Joe Boyle.
Nevertheless, he was a very complex man, his life divided into two distinct parts: The Klondike Years, dealt with herein, and The War Years.
His flawed personality prevented his emotional closeness to the people he should have loved the most. He probably should never have married once much less twice, for he was unfit as a husband and was negligent as a father to his four children.
Boyle; was one of Canada’s little known yet quite exceptional heroes. Experiencing everything from a millionaire mining company to the love of a Romanian Queen, he lived an extraordinary life which exceeds the imaginations of many Canadians.
Joe Boyle was born in 1867 to the well off couple, Charles and Martha Boyle. He was born in Toronto but later moved with his family to Woodstock, Ontario, sometime during 1872. He was the second youngest of four children, he had two older brothers named Charles and Dave, and a younger sister named Susan. His father was a race horse breeder and bred successful prize race horses. The children grew up on a wonderful farm and Boyle spent much of the free time of his youth riding horses, boating, swimming, and fishing.
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