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Champaign County, Illinois

Biography - Jesse Burt

SOURCE: "History of Champaign County, Illinois with Illustrations," 1878


JESSE BURT, the subject of this brief biographical sketch, was born on the 23d day of September, 1831, in Orange county, New York. His father, Morris BURT, was a native of the same place and was descended from all old family of English Puritans, and who came to this country shortly after the landing of the Pilgrim fathers. In 1826 Morris Burt married Miss Mary SULLARD of Bound Brook, N.J. The young lady was descended from the early settlers of New Amsterdam, one of her ancestors being the famous Anneke Jans. In 1832 Morris Burt immigrated from Orange county, and settled in Coshocton county, Ohio, where he remained about fifteen years, when he moved to Nansemond county, Virginia. In 1851 he again moved west and finally located in this county on Section 18, Town 19, Range 9, E, engaging in farming and remaining here until his death, which occurred October 11th, 1874. The family of Morris Burt consisted of eight children, four boys and four girls, of whom four still survive. The eldest child, Captain Benjamin BURT, enlisted in the infantry service during the Mexican war under Colonel Love, and also served as 1st Lieutenant of Co. K., 25th Regiment, Illinois Volunteers, during the late civil war. Jesse Burt began life for himself as a farmer, but when the construction of the Illinois Central railroad was begun he obtained a position in the civil engineers corps which he retained until the completion of the road, when he again returned to farming, which occupation has since been the main business of his life. On the 1st of November, 1857, he was married to Miss Alma C. HALL of this county, but formerly of Broome county, N.Y. Four boys were born to them, two of whom have been called upon to return to Him who gave them. Mr. and Mrs. Burt belong to the liberal branch of Christianity, both being members of the 1st Universalist Church of this city. They at present reside in Urbana, and since the death of his father his aged mother has made her home with them. Mr. Burt has been a consistent member of the Republican party since its organization, voting for John Fremont in 1856. He gives liberally of his means to all charitable purposes, and it is mainly due to his unbounded generosity that the beautiful church edifice belonging to his denomination in this city was erected. He was also the founder of Mount Hope Cemetery, and has done more than any one else to adorn and beautify this last resting place of the dead. Mr. Burt's educational advantages were only such as were afforded by the common schools of the country thirty years ago, but by perseverance he has overcome these difficulties and is thoroughly posted on all the questions of the day. He is universally respected among his fellow-men, having the reputation of being an honest, upright citizen. He is warm-hearted and generous to a fault, and no man who has ever dealt with him but esteems him and is universal in his praise of him as an honest and upright man.

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