Portrait & Biographical Record Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1892, pp 1298-1299
Joel BURBANK, the efficient and popular Sheriff of Winnebago County, was elected to office in the fall of 1890, and in the discharge of his duties he has proved himself worthy of the trust reposed in him. His entire life has been spent in this community. He was born in Harrison Township on 12 May 1845, and is a son of Eli BURBANK, one of the early settlers. His father was a native of Ma, and was descended from an old New England family. When a youth he removed to Chautauqua County, NY, where he grew to manhood upon a farm and married Miss Amanda GROVER. They came west in 1835, and secured a tract of Government land in Harrison Township, whereon Mr. BURBANK made his home until the early part of 1891, when he came to Rockford to live with his son, and his death occurred at Sheriff BURBANK's home on 14 Apr . He lived the quiet, unassuming life of a farmer, and was a worthy and valued citizen, and had the respect of all who knew him. In politics he was a Republican, and was a member of the United Brethren Church. His first wife died in Harrison Township of a fever that was prevalent in an early day. In WI Mr. BURBANK was again married, his second union being with Mrs. Anna WOODLE, nee SMITH, who was born in Kent County, DE, 26 Dec 1809. Her first husband died in PA in the prime of life, and when a young widow she came to the West. Mr. and Mrs. BURBANK lived together as man and wife for fifty years. She is yet living and makes her home with her son. She reatins her memory to a remarkable degree, but is now suffering from a broken hip and the infirmities which declining years bring. She is a member of the Freewill Baptist Church, and a lady held in the highest regard by all who know her.
Both Mr. and Mrs. BURBANK were parents of ten children, some born of the first and some of their second marriage. There are three children of the BURBANK family yet living, two sons and a daughter: Amanda, now the wife of D. H. ELLIS, of Rockford; Joel, of this sketch; and Thomas, who wedded Mary HULETT and is a member of the fire department of Rockford.
Our subject has spent his entire life in this county. Under the parental roof he was reared to manhood, the days of his youth being passed in the usual manner of farm lads, attending the district schools in the winter season and working at home through the summer months. He has also followed agricultural pursuits during the greater part of his life, in fact, until his removal to Rockford in 1891. He still owns his fine farm, which is under a high state of cultivation and well improved. He has been an influential and worthy citizen of the community in which he has resided, and for some years served his township as Collector. [p 1299] He was also Constable for 15 years and Deputy Sheriff for six years. On questions of national importance, he always supports the Republican party, but at local elections votes independent and as an independent candidate ran for Sheriff in the fall of 1891.
In Green County, WI, Mr. BURBANK led to the marriage altar Mis Charlotte DAVIS, who was born 04 Jun 1859 in Spring Grove Township, Green County, WI. Her parents were David M. and Frances (BOUGHTON) DAVIS, natives of PA and NY, respectively. When young people they came west and were married in Green County, WI, beginning their domestic life on a farm in Spring Grove Township, where the father is still living at the age of 62 years. His wife died in Nov 1881, at the age of 44. He is a Republican in politics, and a member of the Baptist Church, to which Mrs. DAVIS also belonged.
Mr. and Mrs. BURBANK are now residents of the city of Rockford. They are genial, whole-souled people and have many friends throughout the community where they have so long resided. Mr. BURBANK is proving a capable officer.
Submitted by Cathy Kubly.