Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Armour Boot (1903-1984)

                                                           From the Iowa State Red Book 1965-1966 edition.

   Possessing one of the more humorous names that will be posted here on the site, Mr. Armour Boot (yes, his name brings to mind armored foot ware!) represented Marion County in the Iowa State House of Representatives from 1965 to 1967. Sadly, like Brownrigg H. Dewey (profiled a few days ago) little exists online in regards to Boot's life and term in the legislature. The majority of the facts contained herein were found on the Iowa Historical Legislative database, a useful site which has been mentioned many times here over the past year or so.
  Boot was born in Jasper County, Iowa on July 9, 1903, the son of William and Alice Reitveld Boot. Armour is recorded as receiving his education in the common schools of his native county and on December 24, 1929 married to Pella, Iowa native Susie Zwank, with whom he would have one daughter, Nola Boot, born in 1931. 
  From the few sources that mention him, the majority of Armour Boot's life was centered mainly in the private sector, and he is recorded as having been a farmer for a good majority of his life. Boot was later employed in the selling of farm implements for a number of years, and one particular source (a small write up in a November 1962 edition of the Pella Chronicle) makes note of him being a stockholder in the Vander Zyl Bros. Implement Company. In addition to his farming and business pursuits, Boot was also active in Marion County civic affairs, serving as a member of the Pella City Council and also the local school board. An Iowa legislative journal (published shortly after Boot's death in 1984) also notes that he was a member of the First Reformed Church of Pella both before and after his service in state government.

This article on Armour Boot's campaign appeared in an April 1964 edition of the Pella Chronicle.

  Armour Boot first became active in politics during his tenure as Pella city councilman, but it wasn't until 1962 that he launched a campaign for the Iowa State House of Representatives. He was unsuccessful in his initial bid, losing to the Republican incumbent Elmer Vermeer (1920-1989). Vermeer retired from the Iowa legislature in 1964 after over a decade of service and in November of that year Boot won election to Vermeer's old seat. After taking his seat in January 1965, Boot was named to the following legislative Committees: Conservation, Commerce and Ways and Means. Boot served but one term in the legislature, as he was defeated in the September 1966 Iowa Democratic primary by another Marion County native, Lerlia Galvin.
  Little else could be found on Armour Boot's life after his time in the legislature. He died in his native Marion County, Iowa on February 15, 1984 at age 80 and was survived by his wife of nearly fifty-five years, Susie Zwank Boot. Susie Z. Boot lived to become a centenarian, dying on April 5, 2006, four months after her 100th birthday. Mrs. Boot is listed in her obituary as having attended "many political functions" with her husband, both during his time as a councilman and later as a legislator.

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