BURPEE, A. C.
Portrait & Biographical Record Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1892, pp 1272-1273
A. C. BURPEE is the senior member of the firm of BURPEE & Son. They have the largest retail furniture and undertaking establishment in IL outside of Chicago. The business was founded by our subject in 1856, at Nos. 108 and 110 West State Street, where his is still located. The first year he was alone and then admitted to partnership William WERNER. After three years that connection was discontinued and the firm of BURPEE & GRONEMAN did business from 1869 until 1871, after which Mr. BURPEE was alone for 15 years, when the present company was established. The store which they occupy is 44 feet front and is 200 feet deep and has a five story front. At night it is lighted with electricity. There are passenger and freight elevators and all the appointments of a modern furniture store, and the stock which they carry is both extensive and of fine make. As before stated, they have a very large trade and their establishment is one of the leading ones in the city. In connection with the furniture business, they also carry on the undertaking business, having large supplies in this line, together with a fine hearse. A. C. BURPEE is a stockholder in the Rockford Burial Case Company, of which he has been a Director for five years. He is also a stockholder of the Rockford Silver Plate Company, a stockholder and Director fo the Rockford Cattle Company, and is also interested in other corporations.
Mr. BURPEE came to Rockford from Lima, NY, where his birth occurred 10 Aug 1833. His father, Samuel BURPEE, was a nativ eof Charlestown, MA, where he was partially reared; he also lived in Worchester County. In Sterling he learned the furniture business and on 16 June 1816 removed to Lima, NY, where for 42 years he was proprietor of a furniture store. Subsequently he became a resident of Beloit [Rock County], WI, where he died ten years later, at the age of 83. He was well known in the East as an anti-slavery and temperance worker, and was an Abolitionist when there were only five others in Livingston County, NY. He signed the first temperance pledge wheich he saw, and never broke it. The church once took up his case on account of his slavery and temperance principles. He debated those questions throughout Livingston County, NY, and was once threatened by a mob, but strong in the right, he bravely sttod and neither fear nor favor could alter his belief or course. He afterward became identified with the Republican party. In religious belief he was a Presbyterian. His wife, whose maiden name was Esther CROSBY, died in Lima, NY, at the age of 68. She was born in NH and was a daughter of Captain Alpheus CROSBY, a commissioned officer and brave soldier of the Revolution, wo died on his farm amid the hills of the NH. Two of his sons, Alpheus and Asa, came to Rockford in 1849, and were prominently connected with the early history of this city.
In Lima, NY, Mr. BURPEE of this sketch learned the trade and business of a furniture dealer and undertaker and was engaged in that line for three years in LeRoy, NY, prior to coming to Rockford. He was married in Monroe County, NY, to Miss Harriet M. BALDWIN, the accomplished daughter of Gordon and Lydia (FITCH) BALDWIN. Her father was a prominent and well-to-do farmer of Monroe County, who in 1857 came to IL, dying in Iroquois County when past the age of 60 years. His wife was born in Hinsdale, MA, and died in Iroquois County at an advanced age. Both were active and consistent members of the Presbyterian Church.
Mr. and Mrs. BURPEE have taken an active part in all public affairs, are prominent members of society and are faithful workers in the Second Congregational Church. In politics Mr. BURPEE is a Republican. Their union has been blessed with five children: (1) Minnie, at home; (2) Harry B., who graduated from the Rockford High School, and spent a year in Europe studying in the colleges of London and Paris, married Delia C. TRUFAN, of Rockford, and is now his father's partner; (3) Herman N., of Seattle, WA, is State Agent for a typewriting company, also for the Holly Water Works Manufacturing Company and is the works in Seattle; (4) Florence is the wife of McGregor HUFFMAN, who is employed in the Winnebago National Bank, of Rockford, and (5) Stanton is a bookkeeper in the Rockford National Bank. The family is one of prominence in this community. Mr. BURPEE is one of the leading and progressive business men of the city, sagacious and far-sighted, and has done much for the upbuilding and growth of Rockford, where he has so long made his home.
Submitted by Cathy Kubly.