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List of Notes and Resources               Lewis M. Burch Family Page

Notes on Lewis M. Burch


From "Portrait and Biographical Album of Fayette County, Iowa", (1891).

LEWIS M. BURCH

          LEWIS M. BURCH, one of the pioneer settlers of the county, now residing in Plesant Valley Township, is a native of Greene County, Ind. He was born July 21, 1830, and with his parents removed to Marshall County, Ill., in 1848. Three years later, having attained his majority, he came to Fayette County, Iowa, and located on land now owned by G. A. Oelwein, a part of which is comprised within the corporate limits of the city bearing the owner's name.
          Mr. Burch was three times married. His first wife was Miss Louisa Beasley, whom he wedded October 16, 1851, and who died in March, 1855, leaving two children, a son and daughter, namely: Sarah E., who was born January 27, 1853, and is now the wife of Hiram Miller of Brainard, Iowa; and George W., who was born June 4, 1854, and was killed by lightning April 12, 1872 when eighteen years of age. Mr. Burch's second marriage was celebrated in West Union, in 1856, when he led to the marriage altar Mrs. Catharine Butler, widow of Jacob Butler, and a daughter of Joseph and Louisa Johnson. She was born in Lawrence County, Ill., and had two children by her former marriage, sons: Joseph Butler, who married Adelina Meikle and resides in Oelwein; and Harrison, who wedded Mary Meikle, and is a farmer of Jefferson Township. Mrs. Burch was the mother of one son and three daughters by her second marriage--Arvilla J., born October 20, 1857, is now the wife of A. J. Anders, a practicing attorney of Oelwein, whose sketch is given elsewhere in this volume; James A., born May 4, 1859, married Rena Mitchell, and is engaged in farming in Jefferson Township; Mary Ellen, born September 12, 1860, died at the age of one year; and Julia A., born August 23, 1863, is the wife of William Anders of Oelwein. Mrs. Burch died in May, 1872, and was buried in the cemetery which was laid out by her father-in-law. On the 10th of November, 1873, in Fayette County, Mr. Burch was joined in wedlock with Miss Floretta Miller, who was born in Monroe, Green County, Wis., and is a daughter of Hiram and Martha Miller. Four children were born of the latter marriage, one son and three daughters-- Lewis L., born October 17, 1874; Martha L., born March 21, 1876; Katie, born August 10, 1877; and Lorena, born April 19, 1882.
          Mr. Burch continued farming in Jefferson Township until the fall of 1888, when he removed to Pleasant Valley Township of the same county, where he is still engaged in agricultural pursuits. He is a Democrat in politics and served as the first constable of Jefferson Township, and also held other local offices while there residing. He is a member of the Baptist Church as was his second wife. He is said to have been the first permanent white settler in Jefferson Township, and after the advent of his father and his large family the settlement they made was know as the Burch Settlement. Mr. Burch is one of the oldest survivors of the early pioneers of Fayette County. He has always been know as an upright, honorable man, generous and confiding in disposition and still maintains that cordial, open-hearted hospitality, that characterized the settlers of the western frontier.


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