BLANDERMAN B. BURLEY is the proprietor of the Burley House, Belle Plaine, where a good square meal is served up to each guest, the size and quality of which is not surpassed by any hotel on the line of the C. & N. W. R. R. Our subject was born in Farmington, Trumbull Co., Ohio, March 25, 1819, his parents being William W. and Hannah (Booth) Burley. The former was born in West Avon, Hartford Co., Conn., and was of English descent; the latter was born in Enfield, the same county, of English and Irish descent. Mr. B.'s parents removed to Oneida County, N. Y., soon after their marriage, spent three years there, and then removed to Trumbull County, Ohio, in 1817, where they remained till 1835, in which year they emigrated to DeKalb County, Ind. W. W. Burley was a farmer by occupation. He left Indiana in 1853, coming to Jones County, Iowa, where he made his home until his death, which took place the following year. His wife returned to Indiana, and died in 1855.
Our subject, B. B. Burley, went to Indiana with his parents when seventeen years of age, in which State he learned the cabinet-maker's trade. He was in the furniture business some years and also engaged in farming. He was married in the State of Ohio, on the 1st of July, 1841, to Miss Jane W. Dermott, daughter of Peter and Mary (Williams) Dermott. Mrs. B. was born in Schuylkill County, Pa., near Pottsville, Sept. 19, 1824, and is of Irish and Welsh descent. Eleven children were born of their union, six boys and five girls, five of whom were born in Indiana, and the others in this State and Illinois; only five survive. The eldest, Loren B., was killed on the railroad at St. Joe, Mo., aged twenty years; Mary died at the age of two years; Henry, born in Ft. Wayne, Ind., married Ada Carrigan, and resides at Hannibal, Mo.; Eleanor M., born in DeKalb County, Ind., is the wife of John Boslough, of St. Paul, Minn.; Frances A. is the wife of W. S. Armstrong, and resides in Belle Plaine; John W. married Ada Waite, and is a passenger conductor, residing at Toledo, Iowa; Mary L. died when eighteen years old; Willie B., born in Fulton Ill., married Miss Rosa Betts, and resides at Belle Plaine; Isabelle I., William A. and George W. died in infancy.
Mr. Burley came to this State in 1853, and was engaged in farming and real estate business till 1860, when he removed to Fulton, Ill., where he kept hotel. He enlisted from Fulton in July, 1861, in Co. F, 52d Ill. Vol. Inf., his oldest son, Loren B., accompanying him. Our subject was appointed wagon-master until after the battle of Shiloh, when he was appointed aid-de-camp on Gen. Halleck's staff, and served until the General was ordered to Washington; he was discharged for physical disability. His son was wounded at the battle of Shiloh, and was soon afterward discharged.
On his return from the war, having regained his health, Mr. Burley engaged in railroading with the C. & N. W. R. R., worked up from switchman and yardmaster to conductor, and continued in the service of the company eleven years. He removed to Belle Plaine in the spring of 1867 and began keeping hotel, he had met with many reverses in business, and came to this city in poor circumstances. He was prospered in business, and made money, and in the summer of 1880 built the commodious Burley House, a three-story structure situated near the depot of the C. & N. W. Ry. The house is complete in its appointments, and is noted for its variety and abundance in the way of fare. In this connection it is but just to say that to Mrs. Burley is due the main credit, for to her superior management and co-operation is Mr. Burley indebted largely for his success, to which he subscribes most heartily. They have made a success of the hotel business and now own their own house, besides other valuable property, and are well off in this world's goods.Mr. Burley has served as school officer, Township Trustee two years, Justice of the Peace five years, and as United States Commissioner and Notary Public. He is a Royal Archmason a member of Hope Lodge, No. 175, A. F. & A. M., and of Mt. Horeb Chapter, No. 45, R. A. M. In politics he is a Jacksonian Democrat, and that is saying a great deal. He is liberal in his religious views, and is a broad gauged man physically and otherwise. He is very popular with the traveling public.
Source Citation: "1887 Benton County, Iowa Biographies" [database online] Benton County IAGenWeb Project. <http://iagenweb.org/benton/>
Original data: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Benton County, Iowa." Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887, p. 353-354.
Transcribed by: Sue Soden. Submitted to the Benton County IAGenWeb Project on February 18th, 2009. Copyright © 2009 The IAGenWeb Project.