GEORGE W. BURPEE, deceased, who was formerly a prosperous merchant of high repute in Bushnell, McDonough County, Ill., was born in Mount Morris, Livingston County, N. Y., January 18, 1838, a son of Elijah and Myra (Bailey) Burpee, natives of Sterling, Mass. Elijah Burpee was a cabinet-maker by trade, and moved west with his family to Rockford, Ill., in 1853, where the subject of this sketch completed his education in the public schools. During the Civil War, Mr. Burpee responded to the call to serve his country, and enlisted in the One Hundred and Fifty Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, in which he served about two years. In 1863, he located in Bushnell and entered into the grocery business with N. T. Mairs, of Galway, N. Y. At a later period he formed a partnership with Walter R. Webster, of Bushnell, in the grain business. In 1871 he went to Waterloo, Iowa, where he was engaged in the grocery business for two years when he went to Chicago and there became a member of the Board of Trade. At a later period he represented the grain and commission firm of Milmine, Bodman & Company, of Chicago, with which he was identified until January 1, 1894, when he became connected with the grain firm of P. B. and C. C. Miles, of Peoria, Ill. He was a man of superior business ability, diligent in application to his work, and of unswerving integrity. Those who knew him intimately testify emphatically as to the fine sense of honor which dominated all his relations in life.
On November 22, 1866, Mr. Burpee was united in marriage with Mary L. Webster, a native of Gowanda, N. Y., and a daughter of Walter R. and Mary H. (Johnson) Webster, natives of New York. In politics, Mr. Burpee was a strong Republican, and fraternally was affiliated with the Masonic fraternity. His death occurred at his residence in Bushnell, October 5, 1894.
Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907. Submitted by Joanne Scobee Morgan <[email protected]>