History of Taylor County, Iowa: from the earliest historic times to 1910 by Frank E. Crosson. Chicago, The S.J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910
(biographicals transcribed by Linda Kestner: firstname.lastname@example.org)
WILLIAM C. BURNHAM
Industry, energy, thrift and economy are the characteristic elements in the life of William C. Burnham, who is numbered among the successful agriculturists of Mason township, where he owns and operates a farm of one hundred and twenty acres. He was born in the state of New York on the 8th of February, 1851, and is a son of Lyman and Eliza (Near) Burnham. The paternal grandfather, Ezra Burnham, was born across the waters and was the father of the following children: Lyman, Ezra, William, Andrew, Jane and Maria. Lyman Burnham, the father of our subject, was born in New Hampshire and came west at an early day, settling first in Illinois and later in Taylor county, Iowa. He married Miss Eliza Near, who was one of a family of four children born unto her parents, the others being: Jane, John and Margaret.
Leaving his native state at an early age, William C. Burnham acquired his education in the schools of Illinois and Iowa, and continued a student therein until the year 1871. In the meantime, when not engaged with his text-books, he assisted his father in the work of the home farm, early becoming familiar with the duties that fall to the lot of the agriculturist. After leaving school he remained under the parental roof until 1875, continuing to give his father the benefit of his assistance, and during this period the experience which he gained concerning the best methods of tilling the soil was both thorough and comprehensive, proving of value to him in later years. In the year mentioned, being desirous of entering business life on his own account, he purchased a tract of eighty acres which now forms a part of his present farm, and later added an adjoining forty-acres, his farm today consisting of one hundred and twenty acres on section 17. When the place came into his possession it was little more than raw prairie land, where not a furrow had been turned nor an improvement made. With characteristic energy, however, he set about breaking the sod and converting the land into productive fields, and as the years have come and gone his labors have received their just reward in the rich crops which have annually been harvested. In the midst of his farm he has erected a beautiful residence, modern in all of its appointments, while substantial barns and outbuildings also stand as monuments to his industry and thrift. He has made a close study of agriculture, is methodical, systematic and progressive in his business, so that he is today numbered among the successful farmers of his section of the county.
In February, 1875, in Taylor county, Mr. Burnham was united in marriage to Miss Malinda Hutchinson, native of Licking county, Ohio, and a daughter of John and Malinda (Brown) Hutchinson. The Brown family came to Iowa (page 425) from Pennsylvania, while the Hutchinsons were of English lineage, representatives of the name having come to the United States in 1862. John Hutchinson, the father of Mrs. Burnham, was one of the earliest settlers of Taylor county and was a well-known and prominent figure in the affairs of the community in which he resided. With the passing of the years three children have come to bless the home of Mr. and Mrs. Burnham, namely: Grace, the wife of Elmer Daugherty of Page county; Nora, who has graduated from the public schools; and Goldie, still attending school. Mr. Burnham and his wife are members of the Methodist church at New Market, and are people of excellent traits of character, who occupy an enviable place in the community. Mr. Burnham gives his political allegiance to the republican party, and has been treasurer of the school board. Otherwise, however, he has never sought nor desired office, preferring to direct his energies to the conduct of his personal affairs. His enterprising and progressive spirit has been a potent element in the success which he now enjoys, while by constant exertion, associated with good judgment, he has gained a place among the substantial citizens of Taylor county, and commands the respect and confidence of all with whom he is brought in contact.
RICHARD T. BURRELL
Richard T. Burrell, who is engaged in the practice of law at Bedford as a member of the firm of McConn & Burrell, was born in Holt township, Taylor county, Iowa, April 6, 1867. The paternal grandparents were Fred W. and Lucinda (Miller) Burrell, the former a native of Pennsylvania. He followed farming as a life work and passed away in middle life in Ohio, of which state he had become an early settler. The maternal grandfather, Elihu Baker, whose birth occurred in Georgia, became an early settler of Tennessee. The year (page 360) 1856 witnessed his arrival in Holt township, Taylor county, Iowa, where he successfully carried on agricultural pursuits until a year prior to his death, when he removed to Worth county, Missouri. His demise occurred in 1880, when he had attained the age of sixty-two years. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Morning Ann Reed, passed away in 1890, when seventy-six years of age. They reared a large family of children. George W. Burrell, the father of our subject, was born in Ohio and was reared on a farm, early becoming familiar with the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist. His parents died when he was comparatively young and in early manhood he became a teamster in the iron mines of Ohio, while subsequently he removed westward to Colorado, there engaging in mining until the outbreak of the Civil war. His patriotic spirit being aroused, he enlisted as a member of the First Colorado Cavalry, serving for three years. On the expiration of that period he re-enlisted in St. Louis, becoming a member of the Ninth United States Veteran Volunteers and thus serving until after the close of hostilities. For four years, three months and four days, he had loyally defended the interests of the Union as a private and when the country no longer needed his aid he returned to Taylor county with a most creditable military record. About this time he was married, the lady of his choice being Miss Luritta Baker, a native of Tennessee. The young couple established their home on a farm in Holt township, where George W. Burrell engaged in the work of the fields until 1871, when he took up his abode in Grove township, where he owned one hundred and sixty acres of rich and productive land and made his home until called to his final rest. In his political views, he was a stanch republican and was prominent in the local ranks of the party, acting as justice of the peace in Holt and Grove townships and also as township clerk of Grove township for two terms. His death occurred in 1893, at the age of fifty-five years, and he is still survived by his widow, who is a devoted member of the Baptist church and makes her home in Lenox. Unto this worthy couple were born six children, three sons and three daughters, as follows: Richard T., of this review; Morning Ann, the deceased wife of B. Huber; Mary Lucinda, the wife of Frank M. Severn, of Taylor county; Elihu, an attorney-at-law of Hobart, Oklahoma; Dora, the wife of Joseph Schmitt, of Lenox, Iowa; and Fred W., a resident of Divide, Colorado.
Richard T. Burrell was reared on his father's farms in Holt and Grove townships and in the acquirement of an education attended the district schools and the public schools of St. Joseph, Missouri. After putting aside his text-books he devoted his attention to general farming interests in Taylor county for a period of eight years, and now owns a tract of three hundred and thirty-three acres in Phillips county, Colorado. On retiring from the work of the fields, he edited and published the Gravity Independent at Gravity, Iowa, and subsequently studied law for three years under the preceptorship of A. D. Harris, of Gravity, and Flick & Jackson, of Bedford. On the 9th of October, 1902, in Des Moines, he was admitted to the bar before the supreme court, making an average of ninety-two per cent on all questions asked. He at once began practicing in Gravity and was prominently identified with the legal interests of that town until August, 1906, when he formed a partnership with L. T. McConn and removed (page 361) to Bedford, where he has since prosecuted his profession as a member of the firm of McConn & Burrell. The zeal with which he has devoted his energies to his profession, the careful regard evinced for the interests of his clients and an assiduous and unrelaxing attention to all the details of his cases, have brought him a large business and made him very successful in its conduct. He owns a commodious and attractive home in Bedford and has also invested to some extent in real estate in Gravity.
On the 14th of March, 1889, Mr. Burrell was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Pegg, native of Bureau county, Illinois, and a daughter of John H. and Sarah (Lowe) Pegg. The parents, who were natives of England, came to the United States a few years prior to the Civil war, settling in Bureau county, where Mrs. Pegg died in comparatively early life. In 1879, John H. Pegg came to Taylor county, Iowa, and here passed away in 1905, at the age of eighty-three years. Unto him and his wife were born four sons and two daughters: William; George; Thomas; Elizabeth; John; and Annie, the wife of Charles Donaldson. Mr. and Mrs. Burrell have become the parents of three children, namely: Elsie, Beulah and Glenn.
A stalwart republican in his political affiliation, Mr. Burrell has taken an active and helpful interest in the local work of the party and his fellow townsmen, recognizing his worth and ability, have called him to various positions of public trust. For seven years he acted as justice of the peace and for two years served as mayor of Gravity, his administration being characterized by reform and improvement. Fraternally he is connected with the Blue Lodge of Masons at Gravity and also belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America, being clerk of the camp at Gravity, for three years. His religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Methodist church, with which his wife is also identified. His influence has ever been given on the side of truth, justice and right and he is widely recognized as a substantial and public spirited citizen, as well as successful attorney, of his native county.
MYRON LE ROY BURT
Varied business interests enter into the development, growth and progress of Bedford and among the enterprises which are indicative of the city's advancement is that of which Myron Le Roy Burt is proprietor. He is conducting a successful business under the name of the Bedford Light, Heat & Power Company and in all of his business relations shows a ready adaptability to the needs at hand and intelligent appreciation of the opportunities that are presented. He was born near Minonk, Marshall county, Illinois, June 24, 1878.
His father, Joseph Frank Burt, was likewise a native of that state and is now a farmer of Lane county, Kansas, where he has lived for the past eighteen years. He was reared, however, in Marshall county, Illinois, and there resided through the period of his early manhood. He married Miss Margaret Jane Shanklin, who was born in Kentucky and was a daughter of James and Sarah (Perkins) Shanklin, who were likewise natives of that state. Her father was a farmer by occupation and became an early resident of Marshall county, Illinois, where he died when eighty-eight years of age. His widow still survives and is now about ninety-two years of age. They were the parents of three sons and a daughter, the latter being Margaret Jane, who became Mrs. Burt. Both Mr. and Mrs. Burt are members of the Christian church and their many good qualities of heart and mind have won for them the friendship and kindly regard of those with whom business or social relations have brought them in contact. They have three children: James Floyd, living in Greensburg, Kansas; Myron L., of this review; and Clarence Leslie, also of Greensburg.
After spending the first eight years of his life in his native county M. L. Burt accompanied his parents on their removal to Rockford, Illinois, where they lived for four years. He was a youth of twelve when he went with them to Lane county, Kansas, where he acquired a common-school education, after which he spent two years in the Kansas University at Lawrence. He next returned to Rockford, where he began working in the electric light business and in December, 1902, he came to Bedford and purchased the Bedford Light, Heat and Power plant, which he has since operated. His establishment is well equipped (page 644) and he gives to his patrons good service in all these connections. He has now many subscribers and his business is steadily increasing in volume and importance.
Mr. Burt was married September 17, 1901, to Miss Mabel K. Keith, a daughter of Lewis and Louisa (Farley) Keith. Two children were born of that union, Myron Le Roy, Jr., and one who died in infancy. The parents are members of the Christian church and Mr. Burt belongs to Bedford Lodge, No. 91, I. O. O. F., and to Bedford Lodge, No. 101, K. P. His study of the political questions and issues of the day has led him to give unfaltering allegiance to the republican party and in 1908 he was elected on that ticket to represent the eighth district in the state legislature, receiving a majority of three hundred and sixty-five. He is now serving on the railroads and transportation, mines and mining, municipal corporations, labor, suppression of intemperance, telephones, claims, institute for feeble-minded and enrolled bills committees, and is chairman of the senatorial district. He keeps well informed concerning the issues before the people and his labors in support of his party have been far-reaching and effective. Moreover, he is always progressive as well as loyal in his citizenship and the political honor to which he has attained is worthily won. In local affairs he is a champion of all those interests which are a matter of civic virtue and civic pride, and his record as a business man and citizen well entitles him to the high regard in which he is uniformly held.
E. M. BURWELL
A finely improved farm of one hundred and sixty acres, located in Washington township, is the home of E. M. Burwell, who is engaged in general farming and stock-raising, making a specialty, however, of the latter business. He was born February 11, 1863, in Crawford county, Ohio, and was a little lad of three years when he was brought by his parents, Joseph and Sarah (Eby) Burwell, to Linn county, Iowa. Later the family removed to Page county, where the parents still live. They were likewise natives of the Buckeye state, the father being a son of William Burwell, while the mother is a daughter of Peter Eby. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Burwell were born six sons and three daughters, the brothers and sisters of our subject being: Elmer, Alonzo, Ida, Emma, Lewis, Orlando, Carrie and Alden.
E. M. Burwell of this review was reared to farming and has followed that occupation as a life work. At the age of twenty-four years he established a home of his own by his marriage on the 16th of October, 1887, to Miss Kitty Eby, who was born in Crawford county, Ohio, in 1867, and, being left an orphan, was reared by Mr. and Mrs. Peter Eby, the maternal grandparents of Mr. Burwell. At the time of Mr. Burwell's marriage he had but fifty cents in money but with the added responsibility of supporting a family he began his work with renewed energy and through his own labors and the assistance of his estimable wife at length accumulated the funds that enabled him about six years ago to become the possessor of his present farm property, comprising one hundred and sixty acres of land in Washington township. He has made some improvements on the place and has also brought the fields under a good state of cultivation and now has one of the valuable properties of his section of Taylor county. He raises some grain but his time is given more particularly to the raising of cattle, horses and hogs, and in this work he is meeting with very creditable success.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Burwell has been born one daughter, Orpha, whose birth occurred December 19, 1888. She is now the wife of Charles Lock, their (page 521) marriage being celebrated on the 23rd of December, 1908. Mr. Burwell gives his political support to the democratic party but has never sought nor desired public office. His religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Methodist church. Since starting out in life for himself Mr. Burwell has had to face many difficulties but his determination has enabled him to overcome every obstacle in his path and work his way upward until he now finds a place among the substantial farmers of Taylor county -- a position that is well merited and richly deserved.
J. E. CAMERON
J. E. Cameron, a well known and prosperous agriculturist of Grant township, owning a valuable farm of two hundred and forty acres on section 5, is now capably discharging the duties devolving upon him in the position of township trustee. He was born near Monmouth, Warren county, Illinois, on the 24th of April, 1860, his parents being John and Phebe P. (Higgins) Cameron, the former a native of the north of Ireland and the latter of Pennsylvania. In early manhood the father crossed the Atlantic to the United States and afterward loyally defended the interests of his adopted country as a soldier in the Mexican war. He was first employed as a clerk in a store at Philadelphia, and subsequently removed to Warren county, Illinois, where he developed a farm and reared his family. Later he disposed of the property and came to Taylor county, Iowa, where he made his home with a son until called to his final rest about 1891. His wife, surviving him for a number of years, passed away in 1904.
J. E. Cameron was reared on the home farm in Warren county and obtained his education in the common schools. He remained under the parental roof until he had attained the age of twenty-one years, when he removed westward to Page county, Iowa, there operating a farm for one year. The year 1882 witnessed his arrival in Taylor county, where he was actively engaged in the cultivation of a (page 392) rental farm for some time. Subsequently he purchased the place of one hundred and sixty acres on section 5, Grant township, on which he now resides, giving his attention to its cultivation and further improvement. Later he bought an eighty-acre tract adjoining, so that his farm now embraces two hundred and forty acres of well improved and productive land. In addition to his work as an agriculturist he also devotes some attention to the raising and feeding of stock, fattening from one to two carloads of cattle and hogs annually. Owing to his well directed labor and excellent management, he has met with a gratifying measure of success in both branches of his business and is well entitled to a foremost place among the prosperous and representative citizens of the community. On his farm he has erected a substantial two-story residence, a large round barn (sixty-four feet in diameter) for hay, grain and stock, likewise a machine shed, buggy house, hay barracks, etc. He has also set out fruit trees and altogether has a most attractive and highly improved farming property, which in its neat and thrifty appearance indicates the supervision of a practical and progressive owner.
On the 4th of March, 1889, in Adams county, Iowa, Mr. Cameron was united in marriage to Miss Maggie Haley, who was born and reared in this state. She was well educated and prior to her marriage taught school in both Adams and Taylor counties. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Cameron have been born two children, George R. and May, both of whom are still under the parental roof.
Mr. Cameron gives his political allegiance to the men and measures of the republican party and has served in the position of road supervisor and also as a school director. In 1908 he was elected a member of the board of trustees of Grant township and is now discharging the duties devolving upon him in that connection in a highly satisfactory manner. The period of his residence in this county now covers more than a quarter of a century, and upright character and sterling worth have gained him a favorable place in the regard of many friends.