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Below is a family biography included in Book of Biographies: Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens, Cortland County, New York published by Biographical Publishing Company in 1898.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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EDWIN P. BURDICK, an old soldier and one of the best known farmers of the town of Scott, who raises the choicest fruit and vegetables produced in his section, is a son of Joseph and Polly (Stillman) Burdick, and was born in Scott, this county, September 5, 1833.

Joseph Burdick, his father, was a native of Rhode Island, but settled in Scott when a young man, prior to his marriage. He took up a tract of Government land of 100 acres, covered with heavy timber, the only clearing being a small space where the log house stood, about 50 rods east of the present site of the hotel of Scott. He delighted in the hunt, and the woods and streams in the vicinity of his home furnished him abundant game. This was of the most exciting kind, consisting in great part of panther, wolves, etc. The table was often supplied with the choicest venison and fish, the result of his efforts, which proved a very acceptable change from the necessarily plain fare of the pioneer families. He was a most industrious man and bent his energies to the clearing of his land, which was accomplished in good time, leaving him a good quality of farm land, which he continued to cultivate during the remainder of his life. This farm was located one-half mile east of Scott village, on the old state road. He was an upright, honorable man in all his dealings, quiet and unassuming and a man who made many friends. He was a very successful farmer and was considered a shrewd man of business. He was an old line Whig, and later an Abolitionist of the strongest kind, and gave his support to the cause of Anti-Slavery.

He united with the Seventh Day Baptist Church and was a conscientious, Christian gentleman. He was twice married, first to Miss Taggert, who died soon after giving birth to a son. The only child of this union was named Joseph. His second wife was Polly Stillman, to whom were born twelve children, six sons and six daughters. These children are all dead except Edwin P., Mrs. Emma Barber of Scott, and Amos R. of Los Angeles, Cal. The parents are both dead, the father dying February 2, 1852, aged seventy years.

Edwin P. Burdick was reared in Scott and educated in the district schools. He remained at home until the death of his father which occurred when he was eighteen years old, when he was employed by G. W. Green in the manufacture of flax for market. So much aptitude did he show in his work, and so proficient did he become, that at the end of five years he was taken into the firm as a partner and continued in the business three years more. At the expiration of that period he bought a farm of twenty acres which he cultivated, at the same time finding considerable employment as a house decorator. He continued this work for fifteen years, and was quite an artist in that line, his services being in great demand both as a painter and paper-hanger.

He was twice married, his first wife being a daughter of Daniel Babcock of Scott, Zemira Babcock, the marriage being celebrated in June, 1856. One child was born to them, a daughter, Nettie, now the wife of Charles Babcock, residing in Wisconsin. After the death of Mrs. Burdick, he was united to Harriet Richardson of Scott, whose parents were originally from Vermont; two children, both sons, were the fruits of this union: William of Homer, and Fred, a traveling salesman of Scott.

During the late Rebellion, Mr. Burdick enlisted in Co. H, 16th N. Y. Heavy Artillery, on January 2, 1864, and served until June, 1865, when the members of the company received their discharges from the service of the government. The regiment first went to Gloucester Point opposite Yorktown, Virginia, then to Yorktown, where it was engaged in building forts, etc. The regiment next went with Grant up the James River to Bermuda Hundred, but the rebel army had retired before their arrival. The 16th N. Y. Heavy Artillery then marched to Wilson’s Landing and built a fort. At that place Mr. Burdick first acted as corporal.

After the close of the war he returned to his family and purchased his present farm of twenty-eight acres in the village, upon which he still lives. He is a natural mechanic, a talent inherited from his mother, her people numbering among them some bright mechanical geniuses. For many years he manufactured a revolving horse rake, which met with ready sale. He is a Republican, and has served his party in the capacity of constable and deputy sheriff for eighteen consecutive years; has represented his party in township and county conventions; was chairman of the Scott delegation in the last campaign; and filled the office of justice of the peace for the last four years with so much satisfaction to his constituency that he was elected at the last election (1897) to hold the post for another four years. He joined the Seventh Day Baptist Church when in his ‘teens, and has always endeavored to lead the life of an exemplary Christian. He has filled most of the offices in the organization, and, like his father, is known as an upright, honorable man. In his business ventures he has met with success, and is one of the substantial men of the county. His home bears evidence of comfort in all its surroundings. Mr. Burdick spends his time among his fruit and vegetables, and takes a great deal of pleasure in the cultivation of his farm, as well as deriving much profit from it. His fruits are of the choicest variety, and are of exquisite flavor, while his vegetables rank among the best the county produces.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in Book of Biographies: Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens, Cortland County, New York published in 1898. 

View additional Cortland County, New York family biographies here: Cortland County, New York Biographies

View a map of 1897 Cortland County, New York here: Cortland County, New York Map

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