Biography of Lafe J. Burr
Discover your family's story.
Enter a grandparent's name to get started.
LAFE J. BURR, Among the substantial business firms of Anderson, Indiana, that of the Jackson-Burr Company, dealers in insurance and real estate, holds prominent place. Established over a quarter of a century ago, the career of the concern has been one of constant development in size and prominence, and its members are widely known in the commercial circles of the city, Lafe J. Burr, president of the Jackson-Burr Company, has been a resident of Anderson for more than forty years, and during this time has so closely identified himself with its interests as to make himself a place among the men to whom the city owes its prestige, He was born at Middletown, Henry County, Indiana, December 15, 1845, his parents being Chauncey H. and Jane (Williams) Burr, natives of Oneida County, New York, and Union County, Indiana, respectively.
Chauncey H. Burr was born on March 11, 1806, and he was a tanner by trade, and a manufacturer of leather, lines of business that he followed extensively for a number of years at Middletown, Indiana, He died in his eighty-eighth year, having been identified with the commercial and industrial interests of Middletown since 1829, and as justice of the peace his service covered a continuous period of fifty years, His wife died on November 18, 1869, In politics Mr. Burr was an old line Whig, and upon the organization of the Republican party he transferred his support to that faction, of which he continued an active and interested worker and member up to the time of his death.
Lafe Joseph Burr received his early education in the public school at Middletown, Indiana, and on completing his studies became a clerk in a general store in that place, Subsequently he went to Cincinnati, there attending a commercial college, after which he returned to Middletown, In March, 1863, he enlisted in the Union army for service in the Civil war, becoming a member of Company A. One Hundred Thirty-seventh Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, under Col. Len A. Harris, and participating in many sanguinary engagements, While in active service in Maryland, in 1864, Mr. Burr was captured by the enemy, but on the same day the Union troops made an attack that resulted in the rescue of their comrades, He continued to serve valiantly and faithfully until the expiration of his service, when he received his honorable discharge and returned to the pursuits of peace in Indiana, Not long thereafter the young soldier entered the employ of Vanuxem & Leeds, of Richmond, Indiana, wholesale dealers in tobacco and cigars, and remained with this firm from 1866 to 1870, In the latter year he was married to Miss Laura Sonnefield, of Brazil, Indiana, a daughter of Henry F. Sonnefield, a prominent merchant of that place. After his marriage Mr. Burr located at Middletown, Indiana, where he engaged in the drug business and continued therein until 1872, He then came to Anderson, Indiana, here engaging in the manufacture of wagon and carriage wood stock and as a dealer in hardwood lumber, which he sold to the jobbing trade throughout the various States of the Middle West, doing business under the firm style of Lafe J. Burr & Company. This continued until 1886, In 1889 Mr. Burr engaged in the insurance and real estate business under the firm name of Jackson and Burr, the first office of this firm being located over the Nichol & Makepeace hardware store, From that place it was moved to the corner of Eleventh and Main streets, and there they now have a well appointed office, where they handle a large amount of business, They are conceded to be the leading dealers in their especial line in the city, and both Mr. Burr, who is president, and Mr. Jackson, who is secretary and treasurer, are men of high standing in business circles of the city.
Mr. Burr was for twelve years a member and president of the trustees of the Water Board of Anderson, and during his presidency the water works were constructed, the system now being entirely complete, with a recent installation of a water filter that renders the water absolutely pure. He was also County commissioner of Madison County for nine years, In his politics Mr. Burr is a member of the Progressive party and he is active in the party ranks, He is a member of Major May Post, G. A. R., and his wife has long been an active member of the Woman’s Relief Corps, and is past department president of the organization of Indiana, Mr. Burr was at one time a member of all the Masonic bodies, but is now demitted, belonging only to Mount Moriah Lodge No, 77, A. F. & A. M. He is prominent with its members and has many friends in business and social circles throughout the city, The family are members of the Presbyterian church.
Two sons have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Burr: Claude S., born March 6, 1871, a bright and promising boy, died on October 2, 1911, He was managing editor of the Guthrie State Capital, the leading Republican daily of Oklahoma, Kenneth M., now chief inspector of the United States Steel Company at Gary, Indiana, was captain of Company L. One Hundred and Sixtieth Indiana Volunteers, and served one year in Cuba, and as major of the Thirtieth United States Volunteers served two years in the Philippine Islands, Both were educated at Peekskill Military Academy, on the Hudson River, New York.