1908 - History of Whiteside County
12 Jul 2011
Page 1422 - 1423 (no photo)
GEORGE BACKUS BESSE.
George Backus Besse, whose popularity and trustworthiness as an officer
are indicated by the fact that he is now serving for the third term as town
collector of Portland, was born upon the old family homestead here on the
25th of March, 1850, and the days of his boyhood and youth were here
passed. He attended the common schools, spending his first year in the
Sandy Town school and as time went by mastering the branches of learning
which usually constitute the public-school curriculum. When not busy with
his text-books his labors were largely devoted to assisting his father. He left
home in 1873, at the age of twenty-three years, and went to Kansas, where
he remained for seventeen years. He then returned to his native county and,
as stated, is serving for the third term as town collector. He is systematic
and accurate in discharging the duties of the office and that his official record
receives public endorsement is indicated by his re-elections.
On the 25th of September, 1869, Mr. Besse was married to Miss Emma
J. Allen, who was born and reared in Raleigh, North Carolina, her natal day
being April 15, 1850. She was educated in Raleigh and has an interesting
family of seven daughters: Lillie J., now the wife of Frank Wilson, of
Geneseo, Illinois; Estelle, the wife of Elzie Beers, also living at Geneseo;
Louisa M., the wife of Burtis Derk, of Geneseo; Katie M., the wife of Clyde
Barge, whose home is in Waterloo, Iowa; Daisy, who is with her parents;.
Georgia A., the wife of Ernest Treffer, of Portland; and Myrtle J., at home.
All of the family are members of the Methodist, church, deeply interested in
the work and doing all in their power for the advancement of the cause.
Mr. Besse has a wide and favorable acquaintance in the community where
much of his life has been passed and where he has always been known as a