Boynton, Oklahoma - A Brief History
Located in northeastern Oklahoma near the western edge of Muskogee County, Boynton is the place where Dennis was raised. From 1993 until 1999, Dennis and Melinda, along with their children, once again called Boynton home. Even though they now live some 16 miles away near Muskogee, Boynton is still home...especially since Robert and Peggy, Dennis’s parents, and two of his brothers and their families - Sam & Leslea, Katie, Sam, and Paul & Sandy, Caleb, Chrysta, and Charity - still live there.
Boynton is a small agricultural community found in what is called “Green Country”. Beginning shortly after the turn of the century in the early years of the 1900s, Boynton had the look of a boom town complete with an oil refinery, brick factory, three story hotel, movie theater, drug store, bank, furniture store, and two groceries. Boynton basically began as a stop on the line when the Shawnee, Oklahoma, and Missouri Coal and Railway Company laid track through the area. Named after the chief engineer of the line, E. W. Boynton, this little community continues to survive even though the oil boom ended and the rail line no longer runs through.
The significant role Boynton, Oklahoma played in the life of Dennis Jernigan can not be downplayed. Dennis believes God ordained that he be brought up in just such a place. Even though his inner struggles were hidden from so many for a very long time, the people found in a small-town setting are never strangers...but more like family. When Dennis thinks of Boynton, he thinks of family.
DJ & June Smith at piano That lady, June Smith, continues to pray for me. To know this has been such a restoration and deep blessing to my life. In fact, she and her family, along with Gene & Mary Ross, and members of my own family recently blessed my socks off by commissioning two signs for the town of Boynton - in honor of me! Now, when you drive through the community going either direction, you will see a sign posted that states ‘Home of Dennis Jernigan, Christian Songwriter and Author.’ Incidentally, Mary Ross taught me in first grade and Gene Ross was my vocational agriculture instructor. The Ross family attended church with my Grandmother Jernigan. June’s husband, Odie, was our TV repairman and the entire Smith family played instruments and sang for the Lord and were some of my earliest musical influences. To all the people who continue to pray for me - who continue my Grandmother's legacy, I say thank you. To all who so graciously gave the precious gift of the sign, I am so honored I cannot even put adequate words here that would express how grateful I am. Please know that I love you and thank you for being such a precious part of my life.
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