Athletic Prowess Runs in the Family

Galesburg historian Tom Wilson traces the roots of local athletes “Pete” Boynton and his father “Gabby.”


Upon graduation from Knoxville High in 1934, Elery entered Knox College. While a student at Knox he participated in football, basketball and track. While quarterbacking the freshmen football team he guided the yearlings to an 8-6 upset of the Knox varsity. He participated for Knox in the only scoreless tie in history with Monmouth College in 1938, the only one to play the entire 40 minutes. In 1936 he scored a last second basket to beat Monmouth in basketball 22-20.

Upon graduation from Knox College he started his coaching career at Princeton High School, serving six years as athletic director. Boynton coached four years at Galva High School, producing 13 championship teams, two in football, four in basketball and seven in track. In 1948, when longtime Knox College basketball coach Dean Trevor stepped down to become athletic director, he called upon Elery Boynton to coach the “Siwasher” basketball and track teams. The appointment allowed Elery to come full circle at Knox College as an outstanding student athlete and cumulating with the honor of being invited to coach his alma mater….

If many of you are not familiar with Elery and his son Robert, it may be that you would be more familiar with “Gabby” and his son “Pete” Boynton. Elery was nicknamed “Gabby” after Baseball Hall of Fame catcher Gabby Hartnett.

Read the full story in the Register-Mail.