Biography of Judson Burwell
Adams County, NE Biographies





Judson Burwell, who arrived in Adams county in May, 1871, took up his homestead in Juniata township and has since, or for a period of forty five years, continued to reside upon that place, which he has brought to a high state of development. A native of Ohio, his birth occurred on the 18th of October, 1843, in Elmira, Fulton county. His father, Friend Burwell, was born in Addison, Vermont, on the 22d of September, 1814, and died in 1901. His parents were Henry and Annice Burwell. Friend Burwell was married in Williams county, Ohio, to Harriet S. N. Reynolds, who was born in Vermont in 1822 and died on the 13th of March, 1850. She was a daughter of Stephen and Samantha Reynolds.

Judson Burwell was reared under the parental roof and received his education in the public schools of his native county. On the 21st of April, 1861, he enlisted at Waterville, Lucas county, Ohio, in Company I, Fourteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, which went into camp at Cleveland. A short time later the command went to Columbus, where the men were armed, and some time in May they proceeded to Parkersburg, West Virginia. On the 3d of June, 1861, they took part in the battle of Philippi and they were also in the engagements at Laurel Hill and at arricks Ford, Cheat river. His term having expired, Mr. Burwell was discharged on the 13th of August, 1861, at Toledo, Ohio, but on the 18th of the following October he reenlisted at Wauseon, Fulton county, becoming a member of Company E, Sixty eighth Ohio Volunteer Infantry. This command went into camp at Napoleon, Henry county, Ohio, where they remained until January, 1862, when they proceeded to Columbus to secure their arms and then left for the front. On or about the 1st of February they took boat at Cincinnati and landed in the vicinity of Fort Donelson on the 13th of February, 1862. The regiment was assigned to Colonel J. M. Thayer's Brigade, which was a part of General Lew Wallace's division, and the command remained in that division until Corinth, Mississippi, was evacuated. Subsequently they went into camp at Bolivar, Tennessee, but on the 5th of October, 1862, they participated in the battle at Hatcher's Run. In November they became a part of the Second Brigade, Third Division, Seventeenth Army Corps, Army of the Tennessee, and from that time until October, 1864, Mr. Burwell took part in all of the campaigns of the Army of the Tennessee, the_ most notable being those around Vicksburg, Mississippi, and Atlanta, Georgia. His term of service expired on the 28th of October, 1864, when he was honorably discharged and returned to civil life. Two of his brothers gave their lives in defense of the Union. Henry S. was a member of the Third Ohio Volunteer Cavalry and was killed near Iuka, Mississippi, and James, who belonged to the Fourteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, was fatally wounded at Chickamauga.

After leaving the army Mr. Burwell made his way to Kosciusko county, Indiana, where he engaged in farming for a year. He then removed to Michigan and after working on a farm there for a year he returned to Indiana, where he remained until the 4th of May, 1871. He then started for Nebraska and arrived where Juniata now stands on the 8th of that month. He went to Lincoln and filed on the southeast quarter of section 2, township 7 north, range 11 west, on the 15th of May and had the distinction of being the first man to take up a homestead in that township. He still owns the farm and is still supervising its operation. He has proved very successful as an agriculturist, being at once practical and progressive in his methods, and his well directed labors have yielded him a gratifying income.

Mr. Burwell was married on the 29th of December, 1867, in Kosciusko county, Indiana, to Miss Mary A. Robinson, a native of that county and a daughter of James and Rachel (Anderson) Robinson, who were born respectively in Kentucky and Ohio. To this union has been born a daughter, who is the wife of J. E. Wiltrout. They have two living sons, Chester J. and Ora B., both of whom are married. Chester married Elizabeth Hubbard, by whom he has a daughter, Jean, born in May, 1913, and a son, Edward Elroy, whose birth occurred in June, 1915. Ora B. married Mary Clouder.

Mr. Burwell is a stanch republican in politics and has always taken a keen interest in public affairs. When the county was organized on the 12th of December, 1871, he was appointed by the governor as one of the judges of election, and he has also served as township assessor, as village trustee and as school trustee. Both in his official capacities and as a private citizen he has placed the public welfare above all personal considerations and his public spirit is generally recognized. In early manhood he became a member of the Christian church but of late years he has attended and contributed to the support of the Baptist church, of which he and his wife are now members. He holds membership in Geary Post, No. 81, Department of Nebraska, G. A. R., with which he has been identified since October, 1881, and he has held most of the offices. He is at present serving as commander, which position he has held a number of times, and the high esteem in which he is held by his comrades is further indicated by the fact that he was made a delegate from the Department of Nebraska to the National Encampment at Louisville, Kentucky; at Denver, Colorado; at Toledo, Ohio; at Detroit, Michigan; and at Los Angeles, California.

During the period of Mr. Burwell's residence in this county it has developed from a frontier region to a prosperous farming district and its people instead of having to endure the many hardships of pioneer life are provided with all the conveniences found in the older east. For a year after his arrival here he had to go to Grand Island, thirty two miles distant, to get his mail and to buy groceries and other needed supplies, and it was a number of years before railroads were built through the county. He recognized, however, that the east was becoming overcrowded and that in time the west would be developed and believed in the future of this district. His faith in Adams county has been justified, and the land which he homesteaded in 1871 is now very valuable. His life has been filled with useful activity and he is justly held in high esteem by all who know him.

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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