1885 Whiteside Co. Biographies
3 Jan 2018
JAMES M. BURR is a resident of Como, Hopkins Township, and was formerly a sea Captain. He was born in Boston, Mass., Dec. 2m, 1808, and lived at home until he was 11 years of age, when, after the fashion of a large number of youngsters who are born near the sea, he yielded to a temptation to try the experiences of the salt water himself, and ran away on a mackerel boat. The trip lasted two months and he was sufficiently well pleased with the experiment to continue in the same business three years. He next tried the novelties and excitement of cod-fishing on the Newfoundland Banks for a season or two, after which he went to Falkland Isles and spent five years in seal-fishing. On his return to Boston, he obtained a position as first mate on an ocean steamer belonging to the Liverpool Packet Line and operated in that capacity about four years. He spent a brief time at his home in Boston, after which he shipped as a common sailor for a voyage around the world, and was absent three years. He continued his seafaring about 20 years, operating as a sailor before the mast as a mate and finally as Captain. He passed a year or two in the Lake service and afterward engaged in steam-boating on the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. While thus engaged he made a visit to a brother in Tazewell Co., Ill., and while there he decided to abandon his seafaring life and accompany his relatives to Northern Illinois. He came to Whiteside County about 1838 and purchased 50 acres of land in Hopkins Township, which is now included in the platting of Como, and on which he has since resided. He has since made a trip to California for the purpose of mining for gold, in which he spent three years with reasonable success. He has disposed of the major portion of his property in the township of Hopkins. Captain Burr is a stanch Republican.
He is the son of Martin and Eunice (Turner) Burr, who were natives of Massachusetts and lived there until their death. That of the father took place Nov. 19, 1846; that of the mother occurred in August 1853. They had nine children, - George T., Harriet, Adaline, James M., Eunice, Sarah A., William T., Theo. M. and Stephen M.
Captain Burr was married Aug. 22, 1840, at Portsmouth, N. H., to Caroline, daughter of Jeremiah and Lucy (Furber) Neal. Her parents were born in that city and lived there until their deaths, which occurred respectively in 1827 and 1869. Their children, five in number, were named Clarinda, Sarah A., Caroline H., John W., and Charles K. Mrs. Burr was born Dec. 5, 1820, in Portsmouth. To her and her husband, seven children have been born, - James M., Adaline E., Eunice Hattie, Netty, Charles M., J. S. Ellery and William T. The oldest son and the second daughter are deceased. Adaline E., oldest daughter, is the wife of Judge David Davis, formerly United States Senator from Illinois, and resides at Bloomington. Hattie is the wife of Charles Heitshu and resides at Marshalltown, Iowa. Eunice T. married Charles N. Munson, formerly of Sterling, now a resident of Kansas City, Mo.
The portrait of Capt. Burr, on the opposite page, will naturally be expected on this connection.
Transcribed from Portrait & Biographical Album of Whiteside Co., Il. Pg. 345 Published 1885. (digital format) There is no portrait of Capt. Burr in the book.