Howard Grimes

BOAZ, HIRAM ABIFF (1866–1962). Hiram Abiff Boaz, Methodist bishop and college administrator, was born in Murray, Kentucky, on December 18, 1866, the son of Peter Maddox and Louisa Ann (Ryan) Boaz. In 1873 his family moved to Tarrant County, Texas. After his graduation from Sam Houston Normal Institute (now Sam Houston State University), he taught in Fort Worth. He received B.S. (1893) and M.A. (1894) degrees from Southwestern University, the latter with highest honors. After ordination to the Methodist ministry, he served churches in Fort Worth, Abilene, and Dublin. In 1902 he became president of Polytechnic College (later Texas Wesleyan University) in Fort Worth, where he remained for nine years. After a brief period as vice president of Southern Methodist University during its formation, he returned to Polytechnic College and stayed for five years.

Following two years as secretary of the Methodist Board of Church Extension in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1920 Boaz became the second president of Southern Methodist University, where he served until his election as bishop in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in 1922. After four years as bishop in the Far East, he returned to the United States to serve as bishop in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico. After retiring in 1938 he initiated and continued to help with the sustentation campaign for Southern Methodist University, through which Dallas citizens contributed to the university. Boaz was given honorary degrees by several institutions. He was a trustee of Southern Methodist and Southwestern universities. His publications include an autobiography, Eighty-four Golden Years (1951). Boaz was married to Carrie Odalie Brown on October 4, 1894; they had three daughters. He died in 1962 at the age of ninety-five and was buried in Dallas.

Mustang (publication of the Southern Methodist University Alumni Association), January-February 1962. Who's Who in the South and Southwest, Vol. 2.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Howard Grimes, "BOAZ, HIRAM ABIFF," accessed July 20, 2019,

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox