KEMPER HALL OF FAME

James F Doyle

Doyle, a native of Moberly, Missouri came to Boonville with his parents in 1923. He graduated from Boonville High School in 1934 and, after attending Central Methodist College in Fayette, he accepted employment with the MKT “KATY” Railroad.  For nearly 25 years Doyle worked the railroad riding the lines as an inspector.  In 1962 a stopped railcar he was working in was struck by a fast moving freight causing an explosion and killing two other workers.  While recuperating from severe injuries from the accident Doyle  entered the University of Missouri and received his Bachelor of Science in education.

Subsequently James Doyle was recruited to Kemper Military School as a Professor of English.  His practical experience combined with a love of education earning him the respect and admiration of several generations of cadets. Each day in rain, sleet, snow or ice for the nearly 25 years he worked at Kemper he would walk to his nearby home for lunch with his wife. Upon his return to the classroom he would hum a merry jingle and tell cadets stories of his days with the railroad.

Doyle saw the struggle which many young people have with studies and infused humor into the curriculum in such a way that his classes were exceptionally popular among the corps.

Early in the 1970’s several members of his classes joined together paying tribute to him. As Doyle returned from lunch as he did each day at the same time, nearly forty cadets hummed “Hail to the Chief”. A weeping James Doyle accepted the tribute as one of the highest and most sincere honors he had ever received. Doyle was admired and deeply respected by his students and fellow teachers who often noted his quick wit and quiet Missouri dry sense of humor and his trademarks.