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Below is a family biography included in the book, Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published by Chapman Publishing Company in 1895.  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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GEORGE W. BURR, a contractor and builder of Sedalia, is one of the wide-awake and progressive business men of the city. He is now serving as Justice of the Peace, having been elected to that office in the fall of 1894. He was born in Coles County, Ill., and is a son of Samuel P. and Margaret (Moddrell) Burr, the former a native of New Hampshire, and the latter of Kentucky. The paternal grandfather, Laban Burr, who was born in the Granite State, removed to Edgar County, Ill., where he engaged in farming in North Arm Township, and there his death occurred. The father of our subject was educated in his native state, and became a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church. For thirty years he preached in different parts of Illinois, during which time for one term he served as Presiding Elder. He then removed to Nebraska, where for five years he engaged in the work of the ministry. He died near Elkhorn, that state, at the age of seventy-two. The mother of our subject had died many years previous, in Coles County, Ill., at the early age of twenty-two years. She left two children, twins, the brother of George being Laban, a resident of Tolono, Ill., where he is engaged in the furniture and undertaking business, and is serving as Chairman of the Board of Supervisors of Champaign County.

The boyhood and youth of our subject were passed in many places in Illinois. He attended school in Paris, that state, being under the direction of Prof. J. H. Moore, after which he learned the carpenter’s trade. Later he again entered school, paying his own tuition, and then taught for three terms in Will and Champaign Counties, Ill. He then located in Kankakee, that state, where for a time he engaged in the furniture business, and later was similarly employed in Tolono. While a resident of the latter city he served as Collector of his township two terms, was also Justice of the Peace, for six years was Deputy Sheriff, and for two terms held the office of Coroner of the county. He was with the Union army in Missouri during 1862 and 1863, serving as a sutler. He then returned home, where he succeeded in raising a company, but, becoming ill, was unable to enlist with it.

In Kankakee County, Ill., in 1852, Mr. Burr wedded Miss Nancy P. Scott, a native of Crawfordville, Ind. They became the parents of seven children, four of whom are still living. Abraham Lincoln, a bookkeeper, now resides in Georgia; Daniel G. is a carpenter by trade; George W., a Lieutenant of the United States army in the Ordnance Department at West Troy, N. Y., was graduated from West Point in the Class of ‘88, in which he ranked fourth; and Ida M. is the wife of Lieut. John H. Parker, who is stationed at Ft. Niagara, Buffalo, N. Y.

Mr. Burr removed to Sedalia in 1882, and began contracting and building, which he has since continued, meeting with a well deserved success. Since his arrival he has built many residences and business blocks, and often has in his employ as many as twenty men. His workmanship is of a high order, and he always faithfully carries out his part of a contract. In the fall of 1894 he was elected Justice of the Peace on the Republican ticket, and took possession in November of the same year. His term of office will not expire until January, 1899. His office is now located at No. 210 Ohio Street. He takes an active part in politics, and has served as a delegate to many of the Republican County conventions. Religiously he is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in the work of which he takes an active part, having served both as Steward and Class-Leader, and while in Illinois was Superintendent of the Sunday-school.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the Pettis County, Missouri portion of the book,  Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published in 1895 by Chapman Publishing Co.  For the complete description, click here: Pettis County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Pettis County, Missouri family biographies here: Pettis County, Missouri Biographies

View a map of 1904 Pettis County, Missouri here: Pettis County, Missouri Map

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