Transcript:Indiana, United States. Biographical and Genealogical History of Wayne, Fayette, Union and Franklin Counties/B/Burk, Elisha


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Elisha Burk (p 825)

Elisha Burk, who resides on section 11, Jenning Township, Fayette County, Indiana, is one of the oldest citizens of the county as well as one of its earliest settlers. He is a native of the Buckeye State. He was born in Hamilton County, Ohio, January 29, 1810, and is of Irish origin, his grandfather Burk having been born in Ireland. Ulick Burk, his father, was a native of Baltimore County, Maryland, where he was reared and where he married Rachael Jones. In 1809 they emigrated to Hamilton County, Ohio, where he cleared and improved a farm, and where they passed the rest of their lives and died. He was a man of strong constitution and great industry and personally had charge of his farm until he was well advanced in years. He died at the age of eighty-five. His wife survived him a number of years, both passing away at the old homestead.

Elisha Burk is one of a family of eleven children, and is the only son and eldest of the three survivors, the other two being Mrs. Mary Swales, who resides in Dearborn County, Indiana, and Mrs. Rachael Lemon, of Alquina, Fayette County, Indiana. These three at this writing, 1899, are aged eighty-nine, eighty-seven and eighty-one years, respectively. The first of the family to come to Fayette County, Indiana, was John Burk, the eldest son of Ulick, and he settled in Jennings Township, where he spent the rest of his life, and where he died in December, 1893. The second child, Nancy, spent her life in Ohio and never married. Stephen passed his life and died in Hamilton County, Ohio. Elisha was the next in order of birth. Then came Mary, and then another daughter, who died in infancy. Elizabeth remained unmarried, and spent her life and died in Ohio. Rachael, as already stated, lives in Jennings Township, Fayette County. Susan died unmarried. Rebecca married and removed to Iowa, where she died, leaving a daughter who now has a large family. Ulick Burk, named for his father, went to Iowa, where he raised a company for service in the war of the Rebellion, of which company he was made captain. He was wounded in the service and contracted a disease, from the effects of which he died at his home in Iowa.

Elisha Burk, the immediate subject of this review, grew to manhood in his native state. At the age of thirty he was united in marriage to Anna Green. She was born in Maryland, in 1820, and went to Ohio with her parents, Benjamin and Nancy (Tibbett) Green. The ancestors of the Tibbett family came to this country from England in colonial times, and the writer of this article, as he obtained these facts from the venerable Elisha Burk, sat in a chair that Mrs. Burk's ancestors brought from England many years more than a century ago.

In the fall of 1843 Mr. Burk came to Fayette County, with his wife and their (then) only child, Sarah Ann. The latter grew to womanhood and married Thomas Jefferson Jarvis, and she died in Iowa, in November, 1896. Of Samuel Ross, Mr. Burk bought the fine farm which he still owns and on which he lives, and the brick house which was on the place at the time of purchase and in which he and his family lived for many years, is still standing, though a modern and attractive residence was built some years ago. On this farm nine children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Burk, five of whom are still living --- one son and four daughters. They are Nancy Elizabeth, Mary Josephine, Eliza Jane, Lewis Cass, and Martha Frances. Those deceased were A. Douglas, Charles Edmund and two infants. The wife and mother, Mrs. Anna Burk, died February 28, 1888. Their marriage was solemnized January 7, 1841, and thus their married life covered forty-seven years.

Mr. Burk inherited from his ancestors a strong constitution. He has been active and energetic all his life, and although he has reached the remarkable age of ninety years his mind is still clear and his physical health, except for some trouble from rheumatism, is good.

On reaching his majority, Mr. Burk cast his first presidential vote for Andrew Jackson, in 1832, and since then he has supported the Democratic Party. He is a member of the Christian Church. In his pleasant home he is passing the evening of life, surrounded with comforts and happy in the enjoyment of warm friendships.