Biography of William H. Burke
Adams County, NE Biographies





William H. Burke, who is a successful farmer of Highland township, where he owns one hundred and sixty acres of good land, was born in Galesburg, Illinois, on the 28th of December, 1869, and is a son of Patrick and Catherine (Gleasure) Burke. The father was born in Ireland and was there left an orphan, both of his parents dying during his boyhood. He came to America in 1849, when twelve years of age, being brought to this country by friends, and grew to manhood in Michigan. He engaged in farming there but following his marriage, which occurred in the Wolverine state, he went to Galesburg, Illinois, where he worked on a railroad until 1881, when he removed to Adams county with his family, which numbered four children. His wife was born in Denmark and was a daughter of Henry Gleasure, a representative of the same family of Gleasures that established the first Methodist Episcopal church in the United States. Mrs. Burke's father farmed in Michigan for a number of years and was successful in his chosen occupation. Mr. Burke died upon his farm in this county when sixty five years of age but his wife is still living and makes her home in Hastings. All of their children are still living, namely: Rosa, who is teaching school in Chicago; William H.; Thomas G., who is retired and lives in Nevada; and Hattie, the wife of Len Patterson, a resident of Idaho.

William H. Burke attended the city schools of Galesburg, Illinois, and following the removal of the family to Adams county, Nebraska, attended the country schools near his home. As his age and strength increased he aided more and more in the work of the farm and after reaching mature years took charge of the operation of the place. Subsequently he bought a quarter section across the road from his present farm but in 1904 disposed of that property and purchased the farm on section 16, Highland township, which he still owns. It comprises one hundred and sixty acres and as the land is naturally fertile and in a high state of cultivation he seldom fails to harvest good crops. He raises wheat, corn, oats and alfalfa and also keeps on hand some stock, averaging from eight to ten head of cattle and from twenty to thirty hogs. He has erected all of the buildings upon the farm with the exception of the residence and has otherwise improved the place.

Mr. Burke was married on the 29th of November, 1894, to Miss Mabel Houser, a daughter of George and Emily Houser, of Highland township. Her parents were formerly residents of Iowa but are now living in Linden, this county. Mr. and Mrs. Burke have become the parents of three children: Rollin, who was born December 23, 1895; Maurice, born December 11, 1900; and Kenneth, whose birth occurred on the 8th of September, 1906. Mr. Burke is a stanch republican and works loyally to secure the success of that party at the polls. He is connected with the Ancient Order of United Workmen at Hastings.

From:
Past and Present of
Adams County, Nebraska
Supervisong Editor: Judge William R. Burton
Assistant Editor: David J. Lewis
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Chicago, 1916


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