Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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BIOGRAPHY - MICHAEL J. BURKE.

Twenty-five acres of the present site of Cartersville was once owned by Michael J. BURKE, a farmer and implement dealer residing in this town. This land which was once a portion of his farm was sold by him in 1901. Mr. BURKE was born in Dane county, Wisconsin, November 27, 1862, and like so many of the citizens of this part of Cerro Gordo county is of Irish extraction.

The father Michael BURKE was born in county Mayo, Ireland, and died on Mr. BURKE'S farm in 1903, at the advance age of ninety years. The mother, Julia (BANNON) BURKE, a native of county Galway, Ireland, died in 1890, at the age of sixty years.

Michael BURKE came to the United States when about twenty-four years of age and married in Massachusetts. In the early '40s he came to Wisconsin and located in Dane county, where he bought government land at a dollar a quarter an acre. He walked from a point eighteen miles east of Madison to Milwaukee, where the land office was situated, to enter his land. The land was desirable and very cheap and he walked all in one night, getting there ahead of the stage which carried a party also after land at that price. The land was covered with timber, undergrowth and tamarack swamp. He grubbed this out and cleared it and made a good farm out of it, which he operated until 1871, when he sold out and came to Cerro Gordo county.

Here he purchased two hundred acres of wild land in section 3, Dougherty township, and erected thereupon a frame house, sixteen by twenty-four feet. This he farmed until the death of his wife in 1890, when he went to live at his son's home, and there lived until his demise. Michael BURKE and his wife were the parents of eight children, four of whom are living. They are Patrick, of British Columbia; Mr. BURKE, of this review; Kate, the wife of William CONNER of Mason City, Iowa; and Julia, wife of James PRESTON (sic, should be TRESTON) of Rockwell.

Michael J. BURKE received his education in the district school near his father's farm in Wisconsin, and remained under the home roof until his marriage in 1886. He then purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land in section 33, Owen township, which he proceeded to improve. In 1901, as previously mentioned, twenty-five acres of this was platted and became a part of Cartersville. He still owns an excellent farm of one hundred and thirty-five acres.

In 1905, on account of poor health and to educate his children he moved to Rockwell. In the spring of 1909 he returned to his farm and in November of that year he and his eldest son embarked in the implement and farm machinery business at Cartersville.

Mr. BURKE pays fealty to the Democratic party and gives an intelligent consideration to affairs of a public nature. He has served as road supervisor; is a director of the Cartersville Supply Company; and for a number of years was connected with the Farmer's Co-operative Society at Rockwell. He is a member of St. Lawrence Lodge, No. 644, Catholic Order of Foresters at Rockwell, and he and his family are members of the Sacred Heath Catholic church at Rockwell.

In February, 1886, Mr. BURKE laid the foundation of a home by his marriage to Miss Margaret O'CONNOR, born in Dubuque county, Iowa, in 1864. Six children have been born to them, the following five of whom are living and at home: Martin U., Julia L., Edmund M., John A. and Luella M.

SOURCE: Wheeler, J. H. History of Cerro Gordo County, Iowa. Vol. II. Pp. 664-65. Lewis Pub. Co. Chicago. 1910

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, February of 2011

 

 

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