William E. Burgess (father) was born in Oswego County, New York in 1830. His father, Benagh Burgess, who was a native of Vermont, came to what is now Kenosha County in 1836. He engaged in business in a saw-mill located on Pike River, in what is now the Town of Somers. He was engaged in this business until his death, in the spring of 1838.
As a young boy, William (son) entered the milling business with his father, which he followed up to 1850, when he went to farming. Mr. William Burgess has been Assessor the Town of Somers for the past two years, and has held the office of Somers Town Treasurer.
He married, in the Town of Somers, in 1850, Miss Jane Leet, a native of the State of New York. She was the daughter of one of Kenosha County's earliest settlers, Mr. Charles Leet, who died in Somers Feb. 11, 1874.
William and Jane (Leet) Burgess has ten children. Mr. Burgess' mother, Amanda Burgess, formerly Miss Foster, is still living. She was born in the State of New York in 1799. Her father, Mr. Alfred Foster, was one of Kenosha's first settlers, having been one of the exploring party who came to Wisconsin in 1835. He built the first saw mill, called Foster's Mill, located near Berryville on the Pike River. Mr. Burgess is the owner of 247 acres of land.
(Source: The History of Racine and Kenosha Counties, Wisconsin, Chicago, Western Historical Company, 1879)
Again the Death Angel has entered and taken from our midst one of our pioneer citizens. William E. Burgess, aged 73 years, departed this life Saturday afternoon, April 9, after a long illness from lung trouble. The deceased was a man who was honored and respected by all who know him. In 1836, he with his parents came to Wisconsin. October 17, 1850 he was united in marriage to Miss Jane Leet. Eleven children were born to them, of which number ten survive: Mrs. Frank Cogswell and Charles of Salem; Mrs. Charles Buswell of Winona, Minnesota; Edward, William E. and Burdette of Chicago; Mrs. Clayton Rease of Portersville, California; Jennie, George and Robert of Somers. Mrs. Burgess died June 3, 1901. The family have the sympathy of the entire community in this their hour of sadness. The funeral services were held from the Methodist Church Saturday afternoon, conducted by the Rev. Stockham. Interment at Oakwood Cemetery.
(Source: Racine Journal April 17, 1903)
|Partial 1887 Map of Somers Township, Kenosha County|
Section 8 showing the W.E. Burgess parcel
More About the Burgess Family
See the "DeLong and Reas" posting in this blog.