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Fayette County, Iowa  

 Biography Directory


Portrait & Biographical Album of Fayette County Iowa

Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of

Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County

Lake City Publishing Co., Chicago

March 1891


~Page 445~


James Burrell

James Burrell, who is engaged in farming and stock-raising on section 19. Windsor Township, is of Scotch birth, and the youngest in a family of nine children, whose parents, John and Janet (Beattie) Burrell, were also natives of that country, where they were married and their children were born. Only two of the nine are now living. Two. Jane and Euphemia, died in Rhode Island, John in Canada and Ann in Indiana; Mary spent her last days in Illinois; and Catherine, wife of William Haliday, died in Windsor Township, in October , 1865.  The survivors are Charles and James. The former is now married and resides in Adair County, Iowa. He has five children, all of whom are living and all have now married. For some years he was engaged in the merchantile business in Winterset, Iowa, but us now living a retired life, the income from rents and the interest on his invested capital being sufficient to enable him to lay aside business cares.  In an early day the Burrell family came to America, locating in New York City, whence they removed to Rhode Island in 1844, remaining in that State for six or seven years. The children worked in a cotton factory and the father followed his trade of tailoring. In 1847, the family, with the exception of John who had gone to Canada, removed to Mellenry County, Ill., where the father purchased wild land, from which, during his eight years residence thereon, he developed and improved a good farm. The year 1855 witnessed their arrival in Fayette County, the journey being made by team in the prairie schooners of those days. Mr. Burrell purchased a partially improved farm of one hundred and  sixty acres on section 26, Windsor Township, upon which he and his wife spent the remainder of their lives, the mother dying in 1862, and the father in 1866.


It was during his babyhood that our subject was brought to America and at the age of five years went to Rhode Island. He was a lad of eleven summers when he emigrated to Illinois and was nineteen years of age when with the family he took up his residence in this county where he has since resided. On June 27, 1859, he was joined in wedlock with Mary E. Thompson, daughter of Henry and Nancy (Brunson) Thompson of McHenry County, Ill. The lady was born in Oswego, N.Y., April 27, 1842, and her father died when she was three years old, after which her mother became the wife of Nathan Burton, and at the home of our subject her death occurred in 1884. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Burrell have been born five children: Mattie, born May 5, 1861, is now the wife of Milford Millard of West Union, who is in the employ of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Company. They have two children, Leon and Clinton: Emma, born August 8, 1867, is the wife of O.N. Bevins, a grain merchant of Hawkeye, and unto them has been born one child, Neal: Maggie, born February 4, 1871, is engaged in teaching instrumental music. She has much natural talent in the direction and is meeting with good success: Eddie S., born January 25, 1878, died August 22, 1875, and Oscar, born May 25, 1878, died on the 5th of June following.


When the late war was in progress Mr. Burrell responded to the country's call for troops, enlisting on August 15, 1862, in Company A, Thirty-Eighth Iowa Infantry for three years.  He was with his regiment during all its engagements and marches. The troops first did duty at Benton Barracks near St. Louis, Mo., where they guarded the rebel prisoners and subsequently participated in the battles and siege of Vicks burg, the charges on Ft. Blakely and Ft. Morgan, the expedition up the Yazoo River, the capture of Yazoo City and the march and attack at Big Black River. The Thirty-Eighth suffered greatly from disease and was so depleted in numbers that they were compelled to consent to a consolidation in order to maintain their organization, and accordingly on September 20, 1864, the Thirty-Eighth and Thirty-Fourth Iowa Regiments were consolidated, being known as the Thirty-Fourth. Our subject received a slight wound in the left hand at Houston, Tex, while engaged in moving ammunition but otherwise escaped uninjured. He served exactly three years and was ever found at his post of duty, faithfully discharging any task imposed upon him. At length when the war was over and the freedom of the slaves attained, he received his discharge on August 15, 1865, and returned home, resuming his labors as a civilian.


The farm of Mr. Burrell is situated on section 19, Windsor Township, and its well tilled fields, good buildings and many improvements are evidences of the thrift and enterprise of the owner. Upon a part of his land the  village of Hawkeye was established, thus materially enhancing its value.  He has sold six acres for building lots, receiving a very satisfactory price for the same.  He has a commodious home in which he lives in comparative ease and comfort, the time having passed when he was forced to work hard to gain a livelihood for his family.  Mr.  Burrell has held the office of Constable in Windsor Township for twenty years, has served as School Director, Road Supervisor and Trustee; in fact was seldom, if ever, been without some township office. He is a stanch Republican in politics, an active worker for his party and public spirited and progressive.  He belongs to the Hawkeye Post, No. 289, G.A.R., of which he is a charter member, and his wife is an active worker in the Hawkeye Relief Corps, No. 19, W.R.C.      





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