Biographical Sketch of

Shadrach Burdick



Transcribed by Sandra Boudrou for the Marquette Co WI Pages

Source: Portrait and Biographical Album of Green Lake, Marquette and Waushara Counties, Wisconsin, published 1890 by Acme Publishing Co., Chicago, Pages 821 - 822 Shadrach Burdick, who is familiarly known as "Uncle Shed," is the oldest living settler of Green Lake Township, Green Lake County, and this history would thus be incomplete without his sketch. He was born in Pawling, Dutchess Co., N. Y., May 23, 1806, and is a son of Abraham and Deborah (Farris) Burdick. The family traces its origin back to seven brothers, who left their home in England and settled in Rhode Island at a very early day. The great- grandfather of our subject, John Burdick, removed from that State to Pawling Township, Dutchess Co., N. Y., when it was almost an uninhabited wilderness. There were no cows in the settlement and goats were used for milking purposes. The grandfather, Samuel Burdick, was born in the township where his parents settled, and on attaining his majority wedded Mary Slocum, by whom he had eight children--six sons and two daughters. He served throughout the entire Revolutionary War and lived to the advanced age of eighty-eight years. The maternal grandfather, Edmund Farris was also a native of Pawling Township, and followed the occupation of farming throughout his entire life. He was thrice married and had a family of twenty-one children. Deborah was born of his second union. Abraham Burdick was born in Pawling Township in 1784, and his wife was born in that neighborhood in 1767. They resided in Dutchess County, N. Y., until 1823, when they removed to Otsego County, where Mr. Burdick devoted his energies to farming until 1844, when following the course of emigration Westward, he came with his family to this county, where he and his wife passed their last days. He died at the age of ninety-one years, and Mrs. Burdick passed away at the age of eighty-six. In early life he was a stanch Whig, and afterward became a warm advocate of the Republican principles. In their family were eight children, six of whom are yet living, the youngest being nearly seventy years of age. Our subject, Asa, Mary and Nancy reside in Wisconsin; Amanda is living in Illinois and Urana is a resident of Minnesota. Shadrach Burdick was the second in order of birth. His early life was spent in the usual manner of farmer lads, and he received but few educational advantages. He assisted his father in the cultivation of the old farm, until twenty-eight years of age, when he left the parental roof and was united in marriage with Aurelia A. Worden, the wedding taking place Jan. 16, 1834. She was born in Fort Ann Township, Washington Co., N. Y., Jan. 30, 1813. In 1844 they started for Wisconsin, their destination being Walworth County, but they found that all the desirable land had been taken, and continued their travels until reaching the town of Green Lake. Mr. Burdick there entered a claim and developed the farm on which he is now living. At that time his nearest post-office was at Fox Lake; eighteen miles away. He went to Watertown to mill, and at one time was not able to get his grist ground for four weeks. He bought a claim of John Parker, which he entered, and his first house was a rude shanty, which served well enough in dry weather, but did not prove very efficient shelter in the winter or in rainy seasons. Deer at that time were very plentiful, but he never killed one. Of the fox chase he was very fond. He is the owner of a shot-gun which has been in the family over two hundred years, and is highly prized as a relic. He endured all the hardships and trials of pioneer life, but prosperity has attended his efforts, and he is now living in the enjoyment of the fruits of former toil. He is the owner of a fine farm of 240 acres, highly improved and cultivated, and furnished with good buildings, ever-flowing springs and fine timber land. To Mr. and Mrs. Burdick were born eleven children, but the first child died in infancy; Amanda is the wife of William Anglum; Martha is at home; Sally is the wife of George Clark; Anna is the wife of Adelbert Bly; Thomas died at the age of three years; Worden is the next younger; Curtis D. died when about two and a half years old; Deborah A. became the wife of Eri Coleman, but is now deceased; Maria died in infancy; and Shadrach D. completes the family. The death of the mother occurred on the 9th of October, 1878. She was a faithful and consistent Christian lady, a member of the Methodist Church, and her loss was deeply felt. There are but few settlers in the county who have so long made their home in this community as Mr. Burdick. Not to know him argues oneself unknown. None are more worthy of representation in this volume. He is respected by young and old, rich and poor, and has won the confidence and high regard of all with whom he comes in contact. Few have been more prominently identified with the history of the county, and none have taken a greater interest in its growth and progress. He has aided in its development, has witnessed the rapid transformation which has taken place, has done his part in converting the wild lands into beautiful homes and farms, and has been prominent in the promotion of its public enterprises. At one time he was said to be the strongest man in the community. He possessed a splendid physique, and in the prime of manhood was almost six feet high and weighed nearly 250 pounds. His neighbors were always glad to receive his help at a house-raising, and he willingly gave them his services if he could spare the time. He has held many official positions, and while residing in New York received commissions from Gov. Seward--that of Ensign, Lieutenant and Captain. He also served as Assessor and Supervisor of his native town, and was also Assessor of Green Lake County for a year. For three years he discharged the duties of that office in his town, and for two years was Side Supervisor. He cast his first Presidential ballot for Jackson, but after that time supported the Whig party until its dissolution, since which time he has been a stanch Republican. He voted in the town of Green Lake when there were only eleven votes cast in the whole town. Religiously he is a Methodist, having been a member of that church for more than half a century. For many years he held the office of Class-Leader, and was also Steward and Trustee for a lengthy period. In manner Mr. Burdick is genial and gentlemanly. His life has been one of the greatest uprightness, and has been such as to command the respect and confidence of all. He has never failed in his duties of citizenship; as a neighbor and friend is kind and accommodating, and as a Christian is true and faithful.

Transcribed by Sandra Boudrou for the Marquette Co WI Pages

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