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Biography of Samuel L. Burwash

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Samuel L. Burwash. It was more than half a century ago, when he was a small boy, that Samuel L. Burwash first knew Champaign County. He was identified during his active career with the agricultural element. It is in agriculture that Champaign County has found its greatest prosperity during this period. Mr. Burwash was not an unimportant factor in that development. He prospered as did all the other progressive farmers of his time, and in recent years has enjoyed the fruits of his earlier toil and is now living comfortably in Champaign.

He was born in Eastern Canada, near Montreal, November 16, 1851, a son of Samuel and Lois (Barber) Burwash, who were also natives of Canada. His father was a farmer by occupation. In 1860 the family removed to Edgar County, Illinois, and during the three years spent there the mother died. From Edgar County Samuel Burwash moved to Champaign County, and continued here an active farmer until his death. He and his wife had eight children, the first two of whom died in infancy. Besides Samuel L., the others are: T. N., a retired physician at Champaign; Delia M., deceased; Milo B. and Carrie, both unmarried and living together in Champaign; and Ella, deceased.

Until he was twenty-two years of age Samuel L. Burwash lived in his father’s home. An education suitable for his future needs was acquired in the local schools. In the meantime he had become a practical farmer by training and experience, and on leaving home he and his brother Milo rented land and were partnership farmers. In the meantime they worked the old homestead. This was their plan of business operations for a number of years. Still in partnership, they bought a hundred sixty acres and made a specialty of raising grain for the market. Their partnership continued with mutual profit and advantage for a number of years, after which Mr. Samuel Burwash went for himself and farmed in Champaign County for a quarter of a century. In 1910 he was able to retire with a financial competence, and removed to Champaign. In 1914 he built a handsome brick residence at 714 West Green Street in Champaign, and has occupied that modern home since November of that year. Mr. Burwash has been a Republican since casting his first vote, and he and his wife are active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Mr. Burwash was married November 15, 1885, to Miss Margaret McCullough, a native of Champaign County and member of an old and prominent family of this section. Her parents, Alexander W. and Elizabeth H. (Seylar) McCullough, were both born in Pennsylvania. Her father came to Champaign County in 1854, locating on a farm south of Urbana, and lived there until his death in January, 1899. Mrs. Burwash’s widowed mother died July 19, 1909. In their family were nine children: James S. and Sarah J., deceased; Adeline C., wife of W. N. Ramey, of Missouri; Annie Elizabeth, widow of John Bond, of Tolono; Frank F., living in California; Mrs. Margaret Burwash; Albert C., of Urbana Township; Benjamin T., deceased; John, a resident of Urbana Township. Mr. and Mrs. Burwash have no children.

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