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Lee County Biography
Jesse Jeremiah Burger
Palmyra Twp.


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Jesse Jeremiah Burger, a practical and enterprising farmer and stock-raser living on section 18, Palmyra Township, is numbered among the settlers of 1855, and in the years that have since come and gone he has been prominently identided with the history of the community, especially in the line of its growth and development. We are pleased to present this record of his life to our readers for he is both widely and favorably known in Lee County.

A native of Pennsylvania, Mr., Burger was born, in Franklin Township, Columbia County, December 5, 1889. Tradition says that the family is of German origin. Abraham Burger, the grandfather of our subject, lived and died in the Keystone state, his death occurring at the age of eighty-seven years. By trade he was a carpenter but after having followed that occupation for many years he gave his attention to agricultural pursuits. His son, Isaac Burger, the father of our subject was also a native of the Keystone state, and in Columbia county learned the carpenter trade, which he made the means of obtaining his livlihood until ill health caused him to abandon that pursuit and embark in farming.

While residing in the East, Isaac Burger was for seven years a bugler in the Pennsylvania State Militia, of Philadelphia, his musical talent well fitting him to thus serve. He married Miss Sarah Mensch, also a native of Columbia County and in the spring of 1855 we find them, established in their new home in Palmyra Township, Lee County, Ill. A year later Mr; Burger purchased a farm in Jordan Township, Whiteside County, where they continued to reside until called to the home beyond. The death of the father occurred April 10, 1888, at the age of seventy­eight years and Mrs. Burger died August 29, 1888, aged seventy-four years. In religious belief they were Lutherans. The family of this worthy couple numbered ten children, the eldest of whom is our subject. Three sons and four daughters are yet living and all are farming people.

Jesse Jeremiah Burger was a youth of sixteen years when he came to this county. His father received the benefit of his labors until 1868, when he started out in life on his own account. Two years later he purchased the farm upon which he yet resides. The pride of Illinois is in her fine farms and among the best of these is classed the home of our subject. He now owns eighty acres of rich land and in return for his care and culti­vation it yields to him a golden tribute. The improvements, both useful and ornamental, are many and the work of his own hands. In 1884, he built one of the largest barns in this locality and in 1887, erected his fine residence which is tastefully furnished and supplied with all the requirements of life.

As a companion and helpmate on life's journey Mr. Burger chose Alice Anna Schick, who was born in the City of Brotherly Love, and when three months old was brought to this county by her parents, Mathias and' Elizabeth (Obrist) Schick. Her father was a nathre of Germany, who, at the age of eighteen years, bade good-by to the fatherland and crossed the Atlantic to America, locating in Philadelphia, Pa. There he followed the trade of blacksmithing, which he had learned prior to emigration. Three children were born unto Mr. and Mrs. Schick in the East, after which, in 1842, they sought a home in Illinois, and in Prairieville the husband establislied a smithy. Later he engaged in farming in Lee and Whiteside Counties untill death occurred in Palmyra Township in 1888, when seventy-five years of age. His wife died thirteen years previous in the faith of the Lutheran Church, with which Mr. Schick also held membership.

Mr. Burger exercises his right of franchise in support of Democratic principles, but has never sought or desired public office. Unto himself and wife were born one child, Mary, but she was called home at the age of two years and seven months. The home of this worthy couple is the abode of hospitality and their friends throughout the community are many.

Source: History Of Lee County Pg 440

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