Biography of Dr. E. J. Burkhart
Cambria County, PA Biographies

Dr. E. J. Burkhart, a capable physician who has been successfully engaged in the practice of his profession at Morrellville for the past 30 years, is a member of an old and prominent family of Cambria County. He was born near Vinco, Cambria County, Jan. 1, 1864, and is a son of Samuel and Caroline (Custer) Burkhart.

Samuel Burkhart served in the Civil War with the 119th Regular U. S. Infantry, Company C, under General Sherman. He was killed Aug. 11, 1865, by a boiler explosion at the plant of the Cambria Steel Company at Mineral Point. Samuel and Caroline (Custer) Burkhart had two sons: E. J., the subject of this sketch; and Samuel H.

E. J. Burkhart has lived all his life in Cambria County, with the exception of a few years' residence in Pittsburgh. At the time of his father's death he was the only child, his only brother being born some time after. Owing to the limited means of his mother he was deprived of ordinary educational advantages, and when but ten years old was compelled by circumstances to earn what he could. Until the age of 20 he was employed in various ways. In 1883 he began teaching school and taught until 1886. During the summer months of these years, he attended the National Normal University at Lebanon, Ohio. The first summer at the university he took a teacher's course and the last summer a stenographic course. He accepted a position on Feb. 17, 1886, with the Cambria Iron Company, now known as Cambria Steel Company, as private secretary to Joseph Morgan, Jr., who was then chief engineer. He remained there until September, 1894, when he decided to fulfill a long cherished ambition by taking up the study of medicine, and was entered as a student in a doctor's office, where he studied at night for over a year while employed by the Cambria Iron Company. In September, 1894, he entered the University of Pittsburgh, and was graduated with honors March 25, 1897. He immediately opened an office at 189 Fairfield Avenue, where he has built up a large practice.

Ephriam Burkhart, grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was born in 1796 in Lancaster County, Pa. He was a millwright by trade and came to Cambria County, where he was employed by Judge Abraham Hildebrand to build a grist mill, in which he afterwards remained as miller. He married Catharine Hildebrand, the youngest child of Judge Hildebrand. She was born April 9, 1804, in Johnstown, and was the first white child to be born in this valley. Ephraim Burkhart died July 16, 1872, aged 76 years. After her husband's death, Mrs. Burkhart resided with her daughter, Jane, at Mineral Point. She and her daughter both perished in the flood of May 31, 1889. She was 85 years of age, and had been a consistent member of the Church of the Brethren for more than 50 years. Doctor Burkhart is a distant relative of Joseph Johns, the founder and for whom Johnstown was named.

On Oct. 26, 1886, Doctor Burkhart was married to Belle Hildebrand, a daughter of Rev. Stephen and Mary (Gochnour) Hildebrand. To Doctor and Mrs. Burkhart have been born the following children: Maurice, died at the age of two and one half years; W. B., married Ida Bingle, and they have one child, W. Blair, Jr. W. B. is with the Bethlehem Steel Company; S. Earl with the Westinghouse Electric Company, East Pittsburgh, married Ethel Timmeny, and they have three children, Robert Earl, Mary Belle and E. J.; John, married Kathryn O'Neill, and they have one child, Nadean May; and Viola, who died in 1918 at the age of 18 years, was very active in helping her father during his activities during the World War.

Doctor Burkhart is a member of the American Medical Association, the Pennsylvania State Medical Society and the Cambria County Medical Society. On his father's side he is descended from ancestors of Dunkard faith, while through his mother he comes of stock which held the Evangelical belief. In October, 1889, he became a member of Johnstown Circle No. 72, Protected Home Circle. Doctor Burkhart was clerk of Morrellville Boro during the years 1891, 1892 and 1893. During the World War he was chairman and medical examiner of Draft Board No. 2. Politically he is a Republican.

History of Cambria County, Pennsylvania
By: John E. Gable
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis, 1926

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