Biographies of Whiteside County, IL 1885
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Biographies Whiteside Co 1885 > Robert L. Burchell

14 Jul 2005

Source: Portrait & Biographical Album of Whiteside County, IL
Originally published 1885 Chapman Bros., Chicago, IL

Transcribed by: Becky Jones

Pages 572-73

Robert L. Burchell, dealer in dry goods, clothing, boots and shoes, hats and caps, notions, groceries and queensware, at Erie, is a son of Robert C. and Mary J. (Morris) Burchell, and was born in Columbus City, Iowa, May 31, 1846. His father was a native of Virginia and an attorney by profession, and came West about 1850, locating in Columbus City, Iowa. In 1855 he moved to Oregon, Ogle Co., Ill., where he is now Mayor of the city. He was State District Attorney for eight years, was one of the Electors on the Greeley ticket and was a strong Blaine man. The mother of Robert L. is a native of New Albany, Ind. The issue of their union was six children, all living: Kate is the wife of Adolphus Jones, farmer, residing in Iowa; Henry is a merchant at Walnut, Bureau Co., Ill.; Nancy resides at home; Robert L. is the subject of this biographical notice; Frank is a merchant at Oregon, Ill.; Jenny is the wife of Charles Wales, a butcher in Savannah, Ill.

Robert L. Burchell, the subject of this notice, received his education at Mt. Morris, Ogle Co., Ill., then entered a store as clerk in Oregon, where he remained three years. He then went to Franklin Grove, Lee County, where he clerked for a time, and then went to Dixon, Ill., where he also clerked one year. In 1868 he came to Erie and opened a dry-goods store. He started with $3,600, and has continued in the business ever since. He has enlarged the business until he now has three large stores which open into each other, and carries a stock approximating $35,000. His store is one of the largest in the county. He also has 400 acres of farming land in Erie and Fenton Townships, and also has in Erie a number of buildings. He has kept the postoffice since 1870.

Mr. Burchell also has a creamery in Erie, and in 1884 manufactured 100,000 pounds of butter. He ships his products to St. Louis, New York and Philadelphia.

Mr. Burchell has been Supervisor of Erie six years, and Chairman of the Board of Supervisors for two years. He is also Village Treasurer and also Treasurer of the school fund. He has taken quite an interest in politics.

Mr. Burchell was united in marriage at Chicago, Ill., Nov. 18, 1866, to Miss Margaret Victoria Jones. She is a daughter of Augustus and Mary Jones, and was born in the State of New York, Nov. 18, 1847. They have had four children. The record is as follows: Edith L., born March 27, 1868, and died Setp. 14, 1880; Robert C., born June 16, 1870; Mary J., born Nov. 5, 1875; and George A., Aug. 13, 1877.

Mr. Burchell is a member of the Masonic Order and was a charter member of the Blue Lodge of Erie. He is also a member of the Prophetstown Chapter and Sterling Commandery. He owns a one-half interest in the store of Burchell Bros., at Walnut, Ill. He employs in his store eight clerks and a bookkeeper, and has put in the Lampson Cash Railway System. In the main building he has two stories, and also a large cellar. In addition he has a large warehouse and handles large amounts of butter, eggs, etc. He is one of the representative and energetic business men of Whiteside County.

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