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Champaign County, Illinois

Biography - Arthur M. Burke

SOURCE: "The Biographical Record of Champaign County, Illinois," The S. J. Clarke Publishing company, Chicago, 1900


ARTHUR M. BURKE is cashier of the Citizens Bank of Champaign, one of the leading financial institutions of the county, and is rapidly working his way to a foremost position among the prominent financiers of this section of the state. Genuine success is not likely to be the result of mere chance or fortune, but is something to be labored for and sought out with consecutive effort. Mr. Burke is a young man, but has already attained to a measure of prosperity that may a one who started out on life’s journey before him might well envy. A native of Champaign county, he was born in Condit township, November 6, 1870, and is a son of P.E. and Isabella BURKE. The father was born in Davis county, Kentucky, and continued to reside there until about 1860, when he moved to Logan county, Illinois, where he purchased land and engaged in farming. In 1861, he joined the boys in blue as a member of Company F, Thirty-eighth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, as a private, and was mustered in at Camp Lincoln. Going immediately to the front, he participated in the battles of Stone River, Lookout Mountain, Chickamauga and other notable engagements, remaining in the service three years. After his return to civil life, he resumed farming in Logan county, but in 1867, he came to Champaign county, and took up his residence in Condit, where a few years later he purchased land and continued to engage in agricultural pursuits until his removal to Rantoul in 1877. He was interested in the grocery and meat business there for a few years, and subsequently engaged in the grain and coal business at the same place until 1882, when appointed deputy sheriff by J.C. Ware, then sheriff of the county. After filling that position for four years, he was elected sheriff and served in that office for the same length of time. In 1890 he bought an interest in the First National Bank of Urbana, but at the end of six months he sold out on account of ill health, and did not actively engage in any business thereafter. In 1893 he moved to Champaign, where he made his home until his death, which occurred February 14, 1896. He was widely and favorably known and was a man of considerable influence in his community. Fraternally he was a member of the Modern Woodmen of America; Urbana Lodge, F. & A.M.; and Black Eagle Post, No. 129, G.A.R.; while religiously he was a member of the Baptist church, to which is wife also belonged. She still continues to reside in Champaign. Five children were born to Mr. And Mrs. Burke, namely: Nellie, who died in 1878, at the age of thirteen years; Arthur M., our subject; William H., who is married and living Danville, Illinois; Eugene I., who is pursuing a literary course at the University of Illinois, and will graduate in the spring of 1900; and Benjamin J., who is employed as a clerk in the Citizens Bank of Champaign. Arthur M. Burke completed his education in the high schools of Urbana, and after laying aside his text books spent a year and a half in Colorado, being employed in a wholesale commission house of Denver. Returning to Champaign, he served as deputy sheriff under his father for one year. In 1890 he entered the employ of M. W. Mathews, of the Urbana Herald, as reporter and solicitor, and remained with him for about a year, after which he engaged in clerking in the clothing department of Ottheim's store until 1897. In February of that year he formed a partnership with J. W. Lawder in the tailoring business, which they carried on until the 1st of January, 1899, when Mr. Burke entered the Citizens Bank in a clerical capacity. The following August he and J. W. Orr purchased the interest of John Armstrong in the institution and have since conducted it under the name of the Citizens Bank. The business of the bank has increased materially since Messrs. Burke and Orr took charge of its affairs, and is now recognized as one of the solid financial institutions of the county. They do a general banking and loan business, and the safe, conservative policy which they follow commends itself to the judgment of all. On the 5th of September, 1892, Mr. Burke married Miss Stella INNES, of Urbana. Her father, John B. INNES, is a verteran of the Civil war, and has been for the last ten years foreman of the Besore lumberyard of Urbana. He has three children: Jennie, wife of George DOUGLAS, of Urbana; Stella, wife of our subject; and Grace, wife of Charles WELCH, of Urbana. Our subject and his wife have one child, John A., born September 6, 1898. Socially Mr. Burke is a member of Triumph Lodge, No. 73, K.P., of Urbana, andWestern Star Lodge, No. 140, F. & A.M., of Champaign; and religiously his wife is a member of the Baptist church of Urbana. In politics he is a stanch Republican, but he has never taken an active part in political affairs, preferring to give his undivided attention to his business interests. He is enterprising, progressive and public-spirited, and has become an important factor in the business circles of this county.

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