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Obits > 1915 - Peter E. Burke

Tampico Tornado, Thursday, May 20, 1915



Tampico Loses Prominent Citizen and Retired Farmer in Death of Peter Burke.

Peter E. Burke, a former business man of this place, a large land owner and a prominent retired farmer and stock raiser, died at his home in the eastern part of Tampico Monday evening about 7:30. Death was due to a stroke which he suffered about a week previous and from which he gradually grew worse finally sinking into unconsciousness and remaining in this condition until the end came. Three years ago he suffered a stroke and never fully recovered from this although he was able to be about as usual. The funeral services were held Wednesday morning at 10 o'clock at St. Mary's church requiem high mass being sung by Father L. S. Du Four. Interment was in St. Mary's cemetery. There was a large concourse of relatives and friends at the services to pay their last respects to one whom they had esteemed in life.

Mr. Burke was for fifteen years one of Tampico's successful business men later moving onto a farm where he was equally successful in breeding and feeding stock being one of the extensive farmers and stock raisers of the township and by his diligence acquiring considerable land holdings. Being endowed with a genial disposition and a high sense of his duties toward his fellow men and his maker, Peter E. Burke was honest and trust worthy and was not afraid to declare himself on the side of what he considered right and then consistently abide by that decision. He was an old member of St. Mary's church and took an active interest in its welfare being one of the large donors when there as need and beautiful church pipe organ was his free gift. He was the last survivor of the four original men who founded St. Mary's parish, bought the land of J. W. Glassburn and erected the church. In the death of Peter E. Burke Tampico loses a good citizen and the family a kind, tender father whose memory will ever be green.

Peter Edward Burke was born in Buckingham, Canada, June 29, 1850 and was only four years old when brought by his widowed mother to Illinois. Here he was reared and started out life for himself at the age of seventeen farming for some four years after which he opened a grocery and queensware store in Tampico in which he was successful and built up a large trade. During the second year  he was in business the tornado that nearly wiped Tampico off the map destroyed his store upon which he carried no insurance. He rebuilt the store and made a second start only to be burned out in 1874, but undaunted he again embarked in business and conducted it most successfully until 1886 when he purchased eighty acres in section twenty eight acres in section twenty-five and gradually added to his holdings until he owns over 300 acres. He was married April 4, 1872 to Miss Elizabeth C. Graham who died Nov. 29, 1904, and was the occasion of very deep regret to the family and friends. The surviving relatives are two sons and three daughters: William and Sterling located on the farms Southeast of town, Mamie Tyne of Rock Falls, Miss Katherine and Caroline both at home.

In the next issue of the Tampico Tornado, Mr.J. W. Glassburn printed a rebuttal to statements regarding Mr. Burkes purchasing land for the church:



Thursday, May 27, 1915

(includes photo of J. W. Glassburn in article)

 J. W. Glassburn, father and founder of Tampico says that the statement in last week's Tornado about the late Peter Burke purchasing  the lots for St. Mary's church was not exactly correct. Mr. Glassburn donated the lots and also donated the lots for the Baptist and Methodist churches and also the half block for the school house years ago when the town was laid out. At that time he suggested larger donations, more streets and alleys and the surveyor laughed and remarked that lots and streets had been plotted which would never be settled up. However Mr. Glassburn's infant city out grew  the wise surveyors predictions and land has been plotted far beyond the original confines. Mr. Glassburn is still hale and active and takes an active interest in the welfare of Tampico.

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