Sunday, April 15, 2012

Burmeister Family & Odds n Ends as Presented in The Centennial History of the Town of Springdale, Dane County, Wisconsin, 1848-1948

Over the past few months, I have been posting articles from the Centennial History of the Town of Springdale, Dane County, Wisconsin, 1848-1948. Sometimes these articles are about my McPherson family, but many times not. Nevertheless, I continue to hope that these stories will bring forth more contacts, family, friends and history of my McPhersons and the town of Springdale,  and to, perhaps, provide a link for those who had family in Springdale during those early years in Springdale.

Ernest F. Burmeister, who is mentioned below, was a younger brother of Carl Burmeister who married the youngest daughter of my great-great grandparents James P. and Mary B. McPherson.  Henry Burmeister immigrated from Mecklinburg, Germany in 1855.  On the ship list of the "Howard", he departed from Hamburg, Germany, and arrived in the port of New York City on July 31, 1855.  His destination was Wisconsin.  By 1860, Henry was married to Sophie Pierstorff, and they had a son Andrew who was born in Wisconsin, and they were living in Middleton, Dane County, Wisconsin.  The Pierstorff  family (father and two sons) are listed in the 1870 Verona Federal Census Report, with land value of $4000, which was quite sizeable at that time.  Although I didn't find a listing in the earlier Federal Census reports, I would hazard a guess that Henry knew the Pierstorff family, and his destination was Verona, Dane County, Wisconsin.

I have two separate genealogy lines that were located in Wisconsin,the Sigford's north of Madison, the McPherson's south of Madison. During my research of these folks, I have been surprised at how strong the attachment to Wisconsin's Senator LaFollette, "Fighting Bob" -- and even more surprised at how long after LaFollette's death these families still considered themselves "LaFollette liberals" even though they might never have voted for the man.

Ernest Burmeister & Odds n Ends
as presented on page 112,
 Centennial History of the Town of Springdale,
 Dane County, Wisconsin, 1848-1948

Henry Clay, who was elected United States senator before he was old enough to qualify for the position under the constitution, did not have much on Ernest F. Burmeister, former sheriff of Dane County, according to tales told out of school by Mr. Burmeister to his old Spring dale neighbors at the Progressive rally at the Springdale town hall. He said he was elected constable of Springdale when he was 18 years old and was elected justice of the peace before he was 21. Furthermore, he thinks he voted when he was 16 or 17. Election officials were not very particular in those days and let boys vote if they were big enough and smart enough to take and interest in public affairs.

On the walls of the Springdale town hall, where a Progressive rally was held Friday evening, hang a number of interesting pictures. Washington and Lincoln are there, of course, and there is one of McKinley, the second martyr president, which dates back some 35 or 40 years, and which was presented by an old Springdale family.

Most interesting is a large fine drawing of the late Sen. R. M. LaFollette, made by Bernadine Flynn, daughter of George C. Flyn, and well known stage and radio artist. Under the portrait are given La Follette's “last words.” The picture represents the senator in an alert pose with a friendly smile on his face.

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 © Joan Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications

1 comment:

  1. I have vague memories of learning about LaFollette years ago in history classes. It sounds like an interesting time in WI politics.