Finding Ancestors wherever their trails led at Genealogy Trails History Group

Whatcom County
Genealogy and History




Buchholz, L. F.

    One of the most enterprising and progressive citizens of Lummi island is L. F. Buchholz, who is the proprietor of the only store on the island and who has shown a fine, public-spirited interest in the welfare of the community. He is a native of Goodhue county, Minnesota, born in 1873, and is a son of P. L. and Henrietta (Phifer) Buchholz, both of whom were natives of Germany, where they were reared and married. In 1857 they came to the United States and located in Minnesota, being pioneers in their immediate locality. In partnership with a Mr. Shultz, Mr. Buchholz built and operated a flour mill at St. Anthony (now St. Paul), it being the first mill to be established there. In 1884 he brought his family to the Pacific coast, locating in Spokane and eventually going into the stock business near that city. Later he engaged in the drug business in Spokane and became a man of prominence in local business circles. He died at the age of eighty-six, and his wife when seventy-eight, both in Spokane.

    L. F. Buchholz secured his education in the public schools of Spokane and Cheney, and at the age of seventeen years he engaged in railroading, working on the Southern Pacific out of Sacramento, California. In going there he rode horseback from Spokane to Truckee, California. He continued at that work for six years, at the end of which time he returned to Spokane and worked as a conductor on the Northern Pacific road until 1910. In that year he moved to Beach, Lummi island, to operate a store, and has remained here continuously to the present time. Soon after coming here  he also bought his present place, which he has cleared of the timber and brush which incumbered it. He has erected a good set of buildings and otherwise improved it until it is now a valuable and desirable property. He runs a general store, keeping a complete and well selected stock of such goods as are demanded by the local trade. Originally the post office was in an old shack on the place, but when Mr. Buchholz took it over he established the post office in good quarters, serving as postmaster for four years. At the expiration of his term Mrs. Buchholz became postmistress and has held the office to the present time, discharging the duties of the position in a commendable manner.

    On April 14, 1901, Mr. Buchholz was married to Miss Pauline Loacker, who was born at Pineville, Oregon, a daughter of Frank and Christina (Witschy) Loacker, the latter of whom was a native of Switzerland and is now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Loacker came to Washington in an early day and here the father was for a while engaged in the brewery business, subsequently owning and operating a hotel in Spokane, in which city he still lives. To Mr. and Mrs. Buchholz have been born three children, namely: Ruth, who was for six years in the office of the State Normal School at Bellingham and is now connected with the University of California, at Berkeley; Gladys, who is a student in the University of California; and Raymond, at home. Mr. Buchholz has long been prominent in local public affairs and served for several years as a member of the township board. Fraternally he is a member of Bellingham Lodge No. 194, Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. He is regarded as a good business man and an excellent manager, and his relations with his fellow citizens have ever been mutually pleasant and agreeable.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 868-869

Bulmer, G. D.

    Conspicuous among the representative agriculturists and substantial citizens of Nooksack township, Whatcom county, stands G. D. Bulmer, who is one of the typical old pioneers of this locality. He came here when the section in which he settled was a veritable wilderness, and he has had a large part in the splendid development which has taken place during the subsequent years. Thus his life has been closely interwoven with its history, and his influence has always been given to all efforts to advance the community's best interests. Mr. Bulmer was born in Durham county, England, on the 11th of October, 1861, and is a son of John and Jane (Morrell) Bulmer, both of whom also were natives of that country, the father born October 16, 1835, and the mother October 27, 1831. John Bulmer was proud of the fact that he threw a railroad switch for the first locomotive built in England, and which was run on the Darlington &  Stockton Railroad. He was a tailor by trade, following that vocation in his native country until 1870, when he came to the United States and located in Clay county, Kansas, where he homesteaded eighty acres of land, to which he later added eighty acres by purchase. To the improvement and cultivation of this land he devoted himself until 1891,  when he came to Whatcom county, locating in Nooksack, where he spent his remaining years, his death occurring in 1900. To him and his wife were born severn children, namely: John; G. D., the subject of this sketch; Thomas, deceased; Joseph, who lives in Bellingham; Emma, the wife of Fred W. Handy, of Nooksack; Kate, the wife of I. B. Carman, of Nooksack; and Charles O., of Nooksack.

    G. D. Bulmer was educated in the public schools of his native country and in the schools of Kansas, to which he had come with his parents in 1870. He was employed in various ways until 1883, when he came to Whatcom county and homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres of land in Nooksack township, all of which was covered with a heavy growth of timber. He at once built a small house and then set himself to the task of clearing the land and putting it under the plow. The farm is splendidly located, about two miles northeast of Nooksack, and he has twenty acres of the land in a high state of cultivation, raising the crops common to this locality, the remainder of the land being in pasture. He has been successful in his business affairs since coming here and has made many substantial and valuable improvements on the place, including the building of a good house in 1911 and a commodious barn in 1913.

    In July, 1885, Mr. Bulmer was married to Miss Mary McLelland, who was born and reared in Kansas, a daughter of James McLelland. Her father was successful and enterprising in his business affairs and was prominent in his community, having served two terms in the Kansas state legislature. To Mr. and Mrs. Bulmer were born six children, namely:  Mrs. Daisy Northam, of Nooksack; Mrs. Grace Brown, who lives on the old homestead and is the mother of eight children - John, Lucy, Clarence, George, Elvis, Lola, Roy and Ronald; Robert, who lives in California and is married and has a son, Kenneth; Fred, who lives on Vancouver island, British Columbia; Jennie, who is a student in the University of Minnesota; and Frances, who died June 9, 1925. Mrs. Bulmer died in July, 1912.

    Mr. Bulmer is a member of the Advent Christian church in Nooksack, to which he gives earnest and liberal support. He has always been deeply interested in everything pertaining to the welfare of his community and has given his active cooperation to all measures for the public benefit. He is a kindly and genial man, courteous and friendly in his social relations, and no one in the entire community enjoys greater respect and esteem.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 206-207

Burchette, James K.

    James K. Burchette, who is now serving his fourth term as city treasurer of Bellingham, has filled the position of treasurer or deputy continuously since January 1, 1912, and in the efficient and faithful discharge of his official duties has proved himself entirely worthy of the continued confidence and support of his constituents. His birth occurred near Mountain City, Johnson county, Tennessee, September 22, 1875, his parents being William H. and Mary Jane (Newland) Burchette. His maternal grandparents were Kennard C. and Celia G. (Sutherland) Newland. Kennard C. Newland was born at Wytheville, Virginia, in 1821, and there, after attending the public schools, engaged in farming, while later he moved to Johnson county, Tennessee, where he also followed agricultural pursuits. In 1861, responding to the country's call for military aid, he enlisted in the Union army as a private in Company G, Thirteenth Tennessee Cavalry, with which he served until 1865, or for four years, participating in many hotly contested engagements and proving his valor and loyalty on many a southern battlefield. He died at the old home in 1912 at the age of ninety-one. William H. Burchette, the father of James K. Burchette, also saw service in the Union army, after which he devoted his attention to agricultural pursuits and politics, having served the county in various official capacities during his active business career. He died at the old home he loved so well in 1899. His widow resides in Virginia.

    James K. Burchette supplemented his public school education by a business college course. He began working on his father's farm when a youth of fifteen and had attained the age of twenty when he made his way westward to Monmouth, Illinois, where he was engaged in agricultural labors for three years, while subsequently he spent one year on a farm in Stafford county, Kansas. In 1899, however, he heard the call of the wet and journeyed to the Pacific coast, taking up his abode at Bellingham, Washington, (the New Whatcom), where for several years he was employed by the Whatcom County Railway & Light Company (now the Puget Sound Power & Light Company), serving in various capacities. In 1904 he returned east to Columbus, Ohio, where he entered the employ of the Columbus, Delaware & Marion Railway Company in the train service, later being promoted to a position in the general office at Delaware, Ohio, where he remained until 1910. Returning to Bellingham, he again became identified with the Puget Sound Power & Light Company. It was on the 1st of January, 1912, that he assumed the duties of deputy city treasurer of Bellingham. He was elected city treasurer in 1915 and received public endorsement of his first term's service by reelection in 1917. He next served two terms as deputy city treasurer and in 1923 was again elected to the office of treasurer, which position he now holds in a highly acceptable and creditable manner.

    On the 11th of September, 1903, Mr. Burchette was married, in Seattle, Washington, to Miss Jennie Florence Elder, of Bremen, Ohio, a daughter of the late Joseph J. Elder, a prominent druggist. They are the parents of two sons: Norman Robert and Theodore Elder.

    Mr. Burchette is an active member of the Christian church. He gives his political allegiance to the republican party, casting his first vote for Major William McKinley, for president, in 1896. He is affiliated with the Woodmen of the World, also belongs to the Sons of Veterans and is a member of the Optimist Club. He is deeply interested in athletics and his hobby is baseball. Mr. Burchette is widely and favorably known as one of Bellingham's representative and esteemed citizens and able public officials.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 767-768

Burk, Martin

    Among the earliest settlers of the Delta district of Whatcom county was Martin Bürk, who is widely known as one of the best farmers and most public-spirited citizens of his section of the county. He has lived here continuously since first locating here and has contributed in a very definite way to the development and upbuilding of this locality. He has built up a highly commendable reputation and by right and honorable living has won and retained the esteem and good will of the community honored by his citizenship. Mr. Bürk was born in Germany on the 3d of April, 1860, and is a son of Christian and Mary (Weyler) Bürk, both of whom also were natives and lifelong residents of that country, where they passed away. Of the twelve children born to them, six are living.

    Martin Bürk secured a good, practical education in the public schools of his native land, after which he learned the trade of a cooper, which he followed until July, 1880, when, desiring a field of wider opportunity for personal advancement, he emigrated to the United States. On arriving here he went at once to Buffalo, New York, where he remained about a year, and then for a time was employed at his trade in Niagara Falls. He then went to Chicago, Illinois, where he remained about eighteen months, and next went to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he obtained employment in a brewery. In 1885 he journeyed to California and after stopping a few weeks in Los Angeles went to San Francisco, where he worked for a few months in a brewery. He was then similarly employed for about a year in Butte, Montana, from which place he went to Helena, Montana, where he remained about two months. In the fall of 1886 our subject and six other men started for the state of Washington, but of the number Mr. Bürk was the only one to reach their destination. In the spring of 1887 he took up a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres in Delta township, Whatcom county, the land being densely covered with brush and cedar timber. He at once constructed a small log cabin and then went to work to clear the tract and get it in shape for cultivation.

    Mr. Bürk now has a nice farm and has prospered in his efforts, being numbered among the enterprising farmers of his locality. He raises hay and grain and also has a nice bearing orchard. He keeps nine good grade cows and a fine flock of laying hens. He has made many substantial improvements on the place, including a comfortable home, commodious barn, chicken house and other necessary farm buildings, while the general appearance of the place indicates him to be a man of good taste and excellent judgment. Mr. Bürk is a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association and the Whatcom County Poultry Association. He has always evinced a good citizen's interest in the public affairs of his community and has served for eight years as road supervisor and for two years as a member of the board of school trustees. He is deeply interested in good roads and in education, realizing their high relative importance to the prosperity of an locality, and he personally helped to build several of the first roads in the district.

    On March 27, 1894, Mr. Bürk was married to Miss Mary Meyer, who was born in Buffalo, New York, a daughter of George and Elizabeth (Eckert) Meyer, both of whom were natives of Germany. The father was a linen weaver by trade but also gave considerable attention to farming. To Mr. and Mrs. Bürk have been born five children: Mrs. Elsie Pettit, born April 14, 1895, is the mother of two children - Glenn, born April 14, 1920; and Mary, born October 23, 1923. George, born October 8, 1896, never married and now lives in Alaska. Mary, born in November, 1898, is teaching school in Mountain View township. Annie, born August 28, 1900, is a trained nurse and is now in Los Angeles, California. Valentine, born March 27, 1902, remains at home. Mr. Bürk is a man of fine character, kindly and generous in his attitude toward those about him, and he stands deservedly high in the opinion of all who have come in contact with him.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 865-866

Burke, Eric

    To a great extent the prosperity of the agricultural sections of our great country is due to the honest industry, the sturdy perseverance and the wise economy which so prominently characterize those who have come to this country from the northern European nations. By comparison with their "old country" surroundings, these people have readily recognized the fact that in the United States lie the greatest opportunities for the men of ambition and energy. Of such is Eric Burke, well-known and popular farmer of Ferndale township, who was born in Sweden, July 25, 1862. a son of Nels and Carrie Burke, who spent their entire lives in Sweden.

    Eric Burke remained at home until attaining his majority, in the meantime securing a good education in the public schools of his home neighborhood. In 1883 he came to the United States and located in Nebraska, where he took up a homestead, which he planted to wheat, and to the operation of which he devoted himself for twenty years. In 1903 he sold his Nebraska holdings and came to Whatcom county, which has been his home continuously since. He bought fifteen acres of brush and timber land, ten acres of which he cleared and has farmed, the remaining five acres being in timber and pasture. Mr. Burke keeps five good grade Jersey cows, a good flock of chickens, and raises hay, grain and vegetables. He has a well improved place, its appearance indicating the owner to be a man of good taste, careful management and progressive ideas. Prosperity has crowned his efforts since coming to Whatcom county and a large part of his success must be credited to his good wife, whose industry and wise economy have been an invaluable aid to her husband.

    In 1897 Mr. Burke was married to Miss Anna Pearson, who was born in Sweden, a daughter of Perry and Anna (Soneson) Pearson, both of whom were natives of Sweden, where their deaths occurred. To Mr. and Mrs. Burke have been born three children, Mrs. Ellen Norby, Nels P. and Esther, the two last named being at home. Because of his success, his character and friendliness, Mr. Burke is well liked by all who know him.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 643

Burkitt, Edwin A.

    Edwin A. Burkitt, manager of the J. C. Penney Company department store at Bellingham, is a native of the Canadian province of British Columbia, born in Chilliwack, January 5, 1893. He is a son of John and Annie (Munro) Burkitt, the former of whom is an official of the immigration department of the Dominion government, now stationed at Huntingdon, British Columbia.

    When he was fifteen years of age Edwin A. Burkitt entered upon his mercantile career as a clerk in a store at New Westminster, British Columbia, and he ever since has been actively engaged in the dry goods business. In 1917 he became connected with the J. C. Penney Company department store in Everett, this state, and in 1922 was promoted to a managerial position and placed in charge of the store of the Penney Company opened in that year in Bellingham. He has since been engaged in business in that city, with an up-to-date, well stocked and handsomely appointed establishment at Nos. 1309-11 Cornwall avenue, the store occupying a space fifty-five by one hundred and twenty-five feet in ground dimension and carrying a complete line of dry goods, shoes, ready-to-wear apparel for women, men's clothing and furnishings and the like, with a staff of about twenty-five operatives. The J. C. Penney Company stores throughout the west now number no fewer than six hundred and seventy-six, and plans are continually being forwarded for the further extension of this enormous string of retail establishments. The company was founded in Kemmerer, Wyoming, by J. C. Penney and is a close corporation, controlled by three partners, the managers of the various branch stores being recruited from the ranks of the trained sales force and invariably being residents of the towns in which their managerial functions are carried on.  It was thus that in 1922 Mr. Burkitt became a resident of Bellingham, and he has never had occasion, to regret his coming here. The Bellingham store of the Penney chain was opened on August 24 of that year, and its constantly increasing volume of sales is indicative of the high character of the management behind it.

    On June 10, 1913, at New Westminster, British Columbia, Mr. Burkitt was united in marriage to Miss Kathryn Benner, who was born at Shell Lake in Washburn county, Wisconsin, a daughter of Herman Benner, and they have two children: Beverly Jean, born in 1916; and Edwin Benner Burkitt, born in 1918. The Burkitts have a fine home in Bellingham and since taking up their residence in that city have proved helpful participants in its general social activities. Mr. Burkitt is an active member of the Chamber of Commerce, deeply interested in all movements looking to local progress, and is also a member of the popular and progressive Lions Club of Bellingham. In his political views he is inclined to side with the independents, reserving the privilege to cast his ballot in favor of fitness for office rather than to be bound by the ties of partisan affiliation.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 177-178

Burman, Oscar

    Oscar Burman, who is a native of Sweden, has had an interesting career and his record has been marked by hard and persistent industry from his boyhood days, so that he is doubly able to appreciate the fine measure of prosperity which at length has crowned his life work. His sterling qualities of character have commended him to the good favor of all who know him and he is numbered among the substantial citizens of his adopted country. Mr. Burman was born in Sweden in 1846 and is a son of John and Eva M. (Lundren) Burman. When he was twenty-one years old his mother died and thereafter he devoted himself to the care of his father until the latter's death. The family home was in the country district, far from school, and his education was gained mainly through the tutorship of his mother, who carefully taught him the rudiments thereof. This he has liberally supplemented through the later years of his life by much reading and close observation of men and events so that he is now a well informed man on general subjects. His father had been a lifelong farmer and to the operation of the home farm the subject devoted himself until the former's death, in 1872.

    In 1878 Oscar Burman came to the United States, locating in Howard county, Nebraska, where he engaged in farming and where he developed and improved three farms, each of which he sold when he had brought it to a desirable condition. During the great fair in Seattle he came here as a sightseer and liked the country so well that immediately on his return to Nebraska he sold his property there and came to Whatcom county, locating near his present place in Lynden township, where he bought twenty acres of land, to which he later added twenty acres more. He cleared twenty acres of this tract, on which he carried on dairy farming with pronounced success until 1922, when he sold the farm to his son-in-law and bought his present place, where he is living in comparative leisure, enjoying that rest to which his former years of toil so richly entitle him. While not very active in farming, his place gives him enough work to occupy his time, for a man of his industrious habit could not be satisfied or content with complete idleness.

    Mr. Burman has been married three times, his first wife and their three children dying in the late '60s. In 1872 he was married to Miss Mariea Johnson, to which union were born four children, namely: Mrs. Hilda M. Isaacson, of Nebraska, who is the mother of four children; P. A., of Laramie, Wyoming, who is married and has a son; John Albert, of Sherman county, Nebraska, who is married and has a son; and a son who died in Sweden when a few months old. Mrs. Mariea Burman died in 1887, and in 1890 Mr. Burman was married to Miss Anna Maria Sundstrom, who was born near his old home in Sweden and who came with her parents, Peter and Katherine Sundstrom, to the United States in 1877, locating in Nebraska, where he marriage to Mr. Burman occurred. To this union have been born four children, namely: Mabel, who died at the age of thirteen years; Mrs. Edith Leonard, who lives on her father's old place in Lynden township and is the mother of two children; Emma, who died at the age of seventeen years; and Mrs. Eveline Fritzburg, of Preston.

    Mr. Burman has been a man of rugged physique, else he could not have stood the arduous and continuous toil which has characterized his career, for he began his labors in the logging camps of his native land when but fourteen years of age. He has done his full part in the battle of life and now, in his later years, he can look back over a worthy and honorable career, feeling that he has performed his tasks faithfully and conscientiously. He is a quiet and unassuming man but possesses qualities which have gained for him universal confidence and respect.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 347-348

Burnet, Charles G.

    Charles G. Burnet has achieved success in the contracting business, and Bellingham is indebted to him for its finely built streets and other improvements. A son of James and Emma (Ferguson) Burnet, he was born in 1880 and is a native of Scotland. The father was engaged in farming and stock raising and was a lifelong resident of the "land of hills and heather." The mother is now living in Bellingham.

    Charles G. Burnet received a public school education and spent his boyhood on his father's farm. He was first connected with the wholesale tea and coffee business and remained in Scotland until 1901, being the first member of the family to leave that country. Going to Canada, he spent a year in the province of British Columbia and in 1902 crossed the border into the United States. He located in Bellingham and for some time was engaged in railroad construction work. He entered the contracting business in 1907 and when he had become well established sent for his mother, two sisters and two brothers, who joined him in Bellingham in 1910. He specializes in highway paving, street construction and the building of sewers and sidewalks and is unexcelled in this line. He has a central plant on C street and during the busy season operates fifteen trucks, furnishing employment to one hundred men. He has paved the main highways leading into Bellingham and has built and paved the following streets: North Elk, Champion, Garden Young, James, Magnolia, Maple and Sixteenth. He is thoroughly dependable in executing contracts and by hard work and judicious management has developed a business of extensive proportions.

    In 1915 Mr. Burnet married miss Mabelle Louise Parshall, of Illinois, and they have two daughters; Mary and Bettie. Mr. Burnet was one of the first trustees of the Bellingham Country Club and aided in laying out the golf course. He is identified with the Masonic order and exercises his right of franchise in support of the candidates and measures of the republican party. He is a man of forceful personality, of broad views and progressive spirit, and exemplifies in his life the admirable qualities of the Scotch race.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 594-595

Burns, R. B.

    Among those who came to Whatcom county, Washington, when the country was largely still in its primitive wildness is R. B. Burns, who has experienced all the hardships and privations undergone by those who first ventured into the wilderness here and who by their indefatigable labor and persistent industry carved out the fertile farms and established the comfortable home which now abound in this section.

    Mr. Burns is a native of Scotland, having been born in East Linton, Haddingtonshire, in 1853, and he is a son of John and Agnes Wallace (Smith) Burns, both also natives of Scotland. Our subject's mother died when he was but seven months old, and the father, who was connected with the sawmill business, is also deceased. R. B. Burns secured his education in the public schools of his native land and was then apprenticed for six years to a merchant of his home town. He remained in that store for four years and was for two years in two other stores. In 1874 he immigrated to Canada, where he stayed with a brother for about a year, and in 1875 he and a brother went to Nebraska, where they engaged in farming for about six years, but they became discouraged through the ravages of the grasshoppers and in 1882 our subject came to Whatcom county and homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres of land, comprising his present farm. The land was covered with timber, brush and stumps, one stump measuring twenty-two feet in diameter. The nearest road was two and a half miles away and he was compelled to use a canoe to go over to Lynden. He applied himself vigorously to the task of clearing the land, and in order to earn ready money to carry him through he usually went to O'Connor flat, in Skagit country, and worked during the summers. By repeating this program for a number of years he was enabled eventually to get his land cleared and the place improved, and he now has about forty acres cleared and in cultivation, the remainder being devoted to pasturage. In the early days he was greatly annoyed by wild animals, such as bears, deer and cougars, and he killed a number of them.

    Mr. Burns is now devoting his attention largely to dairy and poultry farming, in which he has met with a very gratifying measure of success. He has about nine hundred laying hens of the White Leghorn variety and Tancred strain, while his dairy herd consists of thirteen Guernsey and Ayrshire cows, of good grade. He has a comfortable house and a commodious barn, while the building now used as a granary is an old split and hewed log house which was built over forty years ago and which is still in an excellent state of preservation.

    In 1888 Mr. Burns was married to Miss Serena J. McElmon, who was born in Nova Scotia, a daughter of James and Catherine (Aikens) McElmon, both of whom also were natives of Nova Scotia, where they spent their entire lives. Mr. and Mrs. Burns are the parents of four children, namely: Gertrude Agnes, who is the wife of A. M. Burns and the mother of two children, Robert and James; Stella Catherine, the wife of Joseph Elenbaas of Lynden, and the mother of two children; Alice R., the wife of Fred Wolf, of North Dakota, and the mother of one child; and Ruth R., who lives at home and is teaching in the Roeder school at Lynden.

    Mr. Burns has taken a commendable interest in the public affairs of his community, and he rendered effective and appreciated service as a member of the school board. He cooperates with his neighbors in all efforts to advance the general welfare of the locality and is looked upon as a man of more than ordinary ability and enterprise. Because of his industry, progressive spirit, hospitality and friendly disposition he has won and retains an enviable place in the confidence and good will of all who have come in contact with him.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 42-43

Burns, Thomas

    Possessing an aptitude for mechanical pursuits, Thomas Burns has continued in the line of activity for which nature intended him, and he conducts one of the largest machine shops in Bellingham. He was born in 1860 in the province of Ontario, Canada, and his parents, Robert and Eliza Burns, were natives of Ireland. They made the voyage to Canada in 1850, and the father followed the blacksmith's trade as a life work.

    Thomas Burns was educated in the public schools of Ontario and afterward served an apprenticeship to the machinist's trade. He proved an apt pupil and was master mechanic at Sioux City, Iowa, for the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railroad. He was one of the most capable men in that department of the road and remained with the corporation for eighteen years, establishing a highly creditable record of service. In 1900 he came to Bellingham and purchased the Bellingham Bay Iron Works, erected by the firm of Allen & Ruter in 1889. He has since conducted the plant, which contains a well equipped foundry, and the machine shop ranks with the best in this section of the state. Mr. Burns is an expert mechanic and closely supervises every detail of the business, never allowing an inferior article to leave his plant, which is maintained at a high standard of efficiency. He owns the frontage of half of the block on Railroad avenue and on this property has erected two modern buildings, in front of which a private railroad track has been laid. One of the buildings is used as a warehouse and the other is rented to Swift & Company, which Mr. Burns induced to locate here, a box car having afforded them temporary quarters for the business. The intervening space of eighty-two and a half feet is occupied by the old machine shop, and the original floor is still in use, being apparently in perfect condition. The shop is noted throughout Washington, and for more than a quarter of a century Mr. Burns has received the greater part of the local business in the lines in which he specializes.

    In 1911 Mr. Burns was united in marriage to Mrs. Alma Vail, also a Canadian, and their beautiful home has been the scene of many enjoyable social gatherings. Mr. Burns is a republican but has never aspired to public office, preferring to discharge the duties of citizenship in a private capacity, and in this connection he has done much for Bellingham. He has stimulated its development along commercial lines and as one of the city's self-made men is well deserving of the respect accorded him.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 382-385

Burpee, John H.

    Among the enterprising business men who have stimulated industrial activity in Bellingham is numbered John H. Burpee, one of the useful citizens whom Canada has furnished to the United States. He was born March 8, 1881, and is a native of Woodstock, New Brunswick. His parents were John and Emily Burpee, the former a carpenter. The mother has passed away, and the father has reached the advanced age of eighty-eight years, making his home in Vancouver, British Columbia. Their family numbered ten children. In 1896 their son, F. W. Burpee, embarked in business at Vancouver as a member of the firm of Letsom & Burpee, and the original enterprise is still conducted in that city. About 1899 F. W. Burpee established the firm of Burpee & Letsom, Ltd., becoming its executive head, and on February 1, 1923, the Burpee-Adams Iron Works were opened in Bellingham.

    During his boyhood John H. Burpee learned the machinist's trade under the able direction of his brother, the founder of the industry, and worked under him for several years. He mastered every detail of the business and in 1923 purchased the controlling interest in the Burpee-Adams Iron Works, of which he has since been the president. The company manufactures canning machinery of various kinds and furnishes employment to about thirty skilled mechanics. The output is sold direct to the canneries and is shipped to points throughout the United States, also to the Hawaiian islands and to Japan. The products of the firm have always been maintained at a high standard and under the expert guidance of Mr. Burpee the Bellingham business is making rapid strides.

    In May, 1908, Mr. Burpee was married to Miss Alleen Curtis, a native of Nevada and a daughter of Melville Curtis, formerly a resident of Anacortes, Washington, and now deceased. The this union has been born one child, Alleen. Mr. Burpee is one of the influential members of the Bellingham Chamber of Commerce and in politics follows an independent course, regarding the qualifications of a candidate as a matter of first importance. In all that he undertakes he is actuated by the spirit of progress, and while working to promote his individual interests he has also advanced the public welfare.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 518-521

Burtenshaw, Allen G.

    The door of opportunity is ever open to the alert, and prompted by a laudable ambition Allen G. Burtenshaw has made the most of every opening presented for advancement, gaining a secure foothold in mercantile circles of Bellingham. He was born September 20, 1890, in Whatcom county, a representative of one of its old and honored families, and he is a son of Thomas Henry and Elizabeth (Sleasman) Burtenshaw, the latter a native of Pennsylvania. The father was born in Kentucky and came to Whatcom county in the early '80s, taking up a homestead at Goshen. He proved up on his claim and after years of ceaseless toil transformed the tract into a fertile farm, on which he made many improvements. He operated the place until 1905, when he retired, and he has since lived in Bellingham. The mother passed away in 1891, while her son, the subject of this sketch was but an infant.

    Allen G. Burtenshaw received a public school education and gained a start in life by working in the lumber mills of this district. He afterward clerked in various stores, becoming thoroughly conversant with mercantile affairs, and in 1922 decided upon an independent venture. In partnership with Samuel Sunel he opened a clothing store in Bellingham, securing a good location at No. 108 West Holly street, and they have since owned and conducted the business. They specialize in men's furnishings, carrying a large and carefully selected stock, and in the intervening period of four years they have established a good trade by strict attention to business, wise management and honorable dealing.

    In November, 1915, Mr. Burtenshaw was united in marriage to Miss Florence Graham, of Bellingham, and they have two children, Evelyn and Beverly. Mr. Burtenshaw maintains an independent attitude in politics and his support if given to the candidate whom he believes best fitted for office. He belongs to the Lions Club and is also connected with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. A sagacious young business man, he is well able to cope with modern commercial conditions, and he has many sincere friends in the county in which his life has been passed.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 9

Bussard, John

    An interesting and valued member of the early Lynden pioneers, John Bussard came from Nebraska, and settled in Lynden in 1884.  Leaving his wife and two children with friends in Portland, he and his oldest daughter, Amey, arrived in Whatcom, where he hired a horse for his daughter to ride, while he walked, by way of the Crossing, the twenty-five miles to Lynden.  Being a plasterer he soon got work with Jim Mitchel, and was kept busy at his trade most of the time.

    Mr. Bussard preempted a quarter section on the Guide, but soon sold out, and when the Lynden Cemetery was opened, he took the position of Sexton in 1889, the burial of Enoch Hawley, father of the author of this book, being his first service in that capacity.  He then had charge of the removal of the remains of those who had been buried in the old site, across the Fishtrap Creek to the new cemetery.  Mr. Bussard held the position of Sexton for 45 years, or until he was 83 years old, and dug, in all, 1625 graves.

    In 1884, the log schoolhouse, north of Fishtrap Creek, was completed, and Mrs. John Bussard was the first teacher to serve Dist. 17, in that crude schoolhouse.  School opened in December, 1884, for a three-month term, and Mrs. Bussard received thirty dollars per month.  While services rendered in those days were often very important, remuneration often was a mere pittance when compared with present day standards.  

Skqee Mus, R. E. Hawley, pub. 1945, pgs. 181-182

Bussing, A. N.

    A. N. Bussing, general agent at Bellingham for the Northern Pacific Railroad, is one of the old and trusted employes of that corporation and is widely and favorably known in transportation circles of the west. He was born March 18, 1870, in Mitchell, Indiana, and during his childhood his parents, John H. and Leila (Mockbee) Bussing, went to Springfield, Illinois. He attended the public schools of that city and began his business career with the Ohio & Mississippi Railroad, of which he became an agent and telegrapher. In 1890 at Tacoma, Washington, he entered the employ of the Northern Pacific Railroad and for thirty-six years has been identified with the company, acquiring a comprehensive knowledge of the complex details of transportation affairs. He was agent for the road in various parts of the northwest and in 1900 was sent to Bellingham as cashier. The line was extended to the city in 1902 and in 1904 Mr. Bussing was promoted to his present position - a merited reward of long and faithful service. He is one of the company's most capable men and his record is a highly creditable one.

    On December 24, 1895, at Buckley, Washington, Mr. Bussing married Miss Elizabeth Kettring, a native of wisconsin, and three children were born to them, namely: Grace, who is the wife of F. A. Sherrer, of Canton, Ohio; John A., who is engaged in the practice of dentistry at Los Angeles, California, and James W., who is attending the State Normal School in Bellingham. Mr. Bussing is a thirty-second degree Mason and Shriner and is also identified with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. He belongs to the Kiwanis Club and is a republican in his political views. His life has been one of quiet devotion to duty, and he is accorded the respect which the world ever yields to the self-made man.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 734

Bylsma, Charles

    A fine type of the modern business man, Charles Bylsma is the recognized leader of the hardware trade in Lynden and represents one of its most prominent families, exemplifying in his life the many admirable qualities of his ancestors, who lived in the "land of the dikes." He was born in 1896 and is a native of Orange City, Iowa. He is a son of Otto J. and Bessie Bylsma, the former of whom was born September 12, 1861, and is a native of the kingdom of Holland. When a young man of twenty-two he responded to the lure of the new world and in 1883 arrived in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He spent five years in that state and in 1888 started for the west, journeying to Orange City, Iowa. He embarked in the real estate business and bought and sold many farms in that region. In 1912 he came with his family to Washington, settling in Lynden, and turned his attention to the hardware business, also dealing in farm implements. The venture proved a success from the start and in 1913 he erected a two-story building, fifty by one hundred and forty feet in dimensions. He adopted the most progressive methods in the conduct of the store and drew his trade from a wide area, enjoying an unassailable reputation for probity and reliability. He remained at the head of the concern until January, 1925, creating a business of extensive proportions, and has since lived retired in Lynden.

    Charles Bylsma attended the public schools and completed his education in the Northwestern Classical Academy of Orange City, Iowa. He entered the service of his country in 1918, becoming first sergeant of Company Seven Hundred and Thirty-seven, M. T. C., and was honorably discharged in 1919. He returned to Lynden and became associated with his father in the conduct of the store, purchasing the business January 1, 1925, when the latter retired. The keen sagacity, progressive spirit and executive force displayed by Otto J. Bylsma in the upbuilding of the undertaking are qualities which his son has inherited in full measure, and under his able guidance its continued expansion is assured. This is the leading implement store of Whatcom county, in which the name of Bylsma is synonymous with business enterprise and integrity, and the institution is a matter of pride to Lynden's citizens.

    On May 14, 1917, Mr. Bylsma was married to Miss Nancy Meenderink, of Lynden, a daughter of Bernard Meenderink, a prosperous agriculturist, now deceased, who settled in this district in 1905. To this union three sons have been born, namely: Otto John, Bernard Charles and Peter Francis. Mr. and Mrs. Bylsma are earnest members of the Christian Reformed church and in politics he follows an independent course, casting his ballot for the candidate whom he considers best qualified for office, without reference to party affiliations. He is a young man of pleasing personality, thoroughly imbued with western energy and determination, and his record reflects credit upon the honored name he bears.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 178



Visit the National Genealogy Trails Site
©Genealogy Trails