J.E. Burkhart is one of the oldest settlers of Oakland township. He came to Kansas in 1870, and bought property in Topeka, The following year he came to Cloud county and settled in the Solomon valley, where he took up a homestead in Oakland township.
Mr. Burkhart was born January 3, 1838, in Butler, Pennsylvania. In 1872, he was ordained as a clergyman in the United Brethren church, filling the pulpit for twelve years; many of the citizens of Oakland township have been members of his congregation. Under personal conviction Mr. Burkhart withdrew from the ministry, and from the church, and was dismissed at his own request. He has since become an agnostic, assuming thought is God. He is author of the following poem which was published in a standard work:
"A thinking man's akin to God,
Great fountain of mind,
A quenchless flame let nature laud
All living men that's kind,
To think a thought must be divine,
To think a thought must be divine,
In thought perhaps the weak is strong;
Go get your thoughts from nature true,
Mr. Burkhart has also composed numerous other poems, among which are Taboo's: Tumult? Anarchy. The Recoil of Force. Why Be Your Brother's Keeper?
Mr. Burkhart has been honored several times by the election as delegate to state and district conventions of Kansas, and in 1896 was a Republican candidate for the legislature but was defeated in convention and again defeatedt - o put it mild - he says, "by conspiracy against the majority for district clerk, in 1900." He has filled the chair of editor on several Kansas newspapers. In 1884-5, edited the Miltonvale News, and has contributed to various papers and periodicals. He is a writer of considerable note and some of his poems have been incorporated in standard works.
Mr. Burkhart was a soldier in the Civil war; enlisted as a private in Company A, Sixth Pennsylvania Regiment, and served till the close of the war. A brother, Baxter Clay Burkhart, was a member of the famous Bucktail Zouaves, Ninth Regiment, Pennsylvania Reserves, McCall's Division. He contracted measles and died. He was one of the first to go over the stone wall at the battle of Chancellorsville, and it was conceded that his act saved the day. He was but sixteen years old and would have been given a medal for his brave deed had he not died.
MRS. ELEANOR N. STEWART BURKHART
AND LAWRENCE WATSON, THEIR
Mr. Burkhart is a son of Elijah Burkhart, who was born in Butler, Pennsylvania, January 3, 1803. He was a millwright, carpenter, joiner and widely known in politics. Was one of the Republicans and original Whigs in Pennsylvania. He started on a career with practically nothing, but died wealthy. Mr. Burkhart's grandfather was born near Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, of Dutch origin. He was a prisoner with the Indians four years, escaped and joined Washington's army and served with him at Valley Forge, Trenton and White Marsh, until the close of the war. His paternal grandmother was Miss Margaret Powell, of English ancestry. Mr. Burkhart's great-grandfather was from Frankfort, Germany. Mr. Burkhart's mother was formerly Miss Rebecca Richardson, daughter of Joseph Richardson, whose grandfather came with him from England and settled in Philadelphia. The marriage relationship between his parents connected the Washingtons, Lees, Custers, Harpers, Neglies, Pattersons, Kenedies, Richardsons, and Burkharts.
THE PRETTY COTTAGE
HOME OF THE BURKHARTS.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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