Atchison salutes bricklayer who overcame great odds - WSMV Channel 4

Atchison salutes bricklayer who overcame great odds

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ATCHISON, KS (KCTV) -

The Atchison community honored a man who overcame great odds and went on to literally lay the foundation of the town.

William Boular has been dead for more than 60 years, but his accomplishments still touch Atchison residents. Born in 1869, a bout with spinal meningitis left him deaf and unable to speak when he was four years old. Later, he would lose both his legs due to a train accident.

He was fitted with special boots that allowed him to walk on his knees, and he went on to become a renown bricklayer, and he reportedly once laid 48,000 bricks in less than 8 hours.

Chris Taylor of the Atchison County Historical Society said when looking at Atchison's downtown bricks "you see the man who laid much of the streets we still have today."

To honor his memory, the Atchison County Historical Society helped spearhead a project to have a new bronze statue in Boular's memory commissioned. The artist donated his work, and two charitable trusts provided the $15,000 needed for installation and materials.

The hope is that Boular's hard work and dedication despite his physical limitations will inspire others. City leaders plan to install more statues around town.

"He overcame everything you can imagine to still become a productive citizen," said Emma Ellis, who is 100 years old and knew Boular.

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