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BURNS, Timothy P. & Tobias

Biography of Timothy P. BURNS [Son of Tobias]
Past and Present of the City of Rockford and Winnebago County, IL, C. A. Church.   Chicago:  Clarke Publishing Company, 1905, p 308

Timothy P. BURNS, interested in general agricultural pursuits on section 29, Burritt Township, where he owns and cultivates 169 acres of land, was born in this township 23 Jan 1867.  His father, Tobias BURNS, is a retired farmer living in Rockford.  The family is of Irish lineage, and was established in the United States by John and Julia (SHAUGHNESSEY) BURNS, who came to this country in 1850, accompanied by their family.   After spending about four years in NY, they made their way westward to Winnebago County [IL], where they resided until called to their final rest, John BURNS passing away in Oct 1873, while his wife died in Jun 1890.  In their family were eight children, and of the seven daughters, all are now deceased with the exception of Mrs. James MORRISSEY, of Belvidere [Boone County], IL.

The only son, Tobias BURNS, was born in County Carlow, Ireland, and is now about 75 years of age.  He came with his parents to America, and through many years was identfied with agricultural pursuits in Winnebago County, his success being attributable entirely to his own labors.  He was married in Rockford in 1860 to Miss Mary DOYLE, who was born in County Kilkenny, Ireland, in Oct 1842, her parents being Timothy and Elizabeth (RYAN) DOYLE, natives of County Carlow, Ireland.  They came to the new world in 1850, and after living for four years in Rochester [Monroe County], NY, removed to Rockford, where Mr. DOYLE died in Feb 1866, his wife, however, surviving until 01 Nov 1893.  Mr. and Mrs. BURNS began their domestic life upon a farm, and from Apr 1864 until Mar 1902, resided on section 22, Burritt Township, where the well directed labors of Mr. BURNS won him a gratifying prosperity.

Timothy P. BURNS, of this review, was reared in the usual manner of farm lads of the period, no event of special importance occurring to vary the routine of work, study and play for him in his boyhood days.  Arriving at years of maturity, he sought a companion and helpmate for life's journey, and was married on 13 Jan 1898 to Miss Margaret E. SHEHAN, a daughter of Phillip and Ann SHEHAN, of this county.  She is a graduate of the high school of Winnebago, class of 1892, and taught school for several terms, being known as one of the most successful teachers of the county.  She was thus engaged up to the time of her marriage.  The home of Mr. and Mrs. BURNS has been blessed with three children:  William Shehan, born 15 Sep 1899; Philip, born 02 Aug 1901; and Tobias, born in Oct 1904.

At the time of his marriage Mr. BURNS left the old homestead farm on which he had been reared, and of which he had acted as manager in the early years of his manhood, and took up his abode upon the farm which is now his home, comprising 169 acres of land on section 29, Burritt Township.  Here he is now successfully carrying on general agricultural pursuits, his life being characterized by unremitting diligence and perseverance.  In community affairs he is interested, and for several terms he has served as school director.  His political allegiance is given to the democracy, and he and his wife are communicants of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Rockford.

Biography of Tobias BURNS [Father of Timothy]
Past and Present of the City of Rockford and Winnebago County, IL, C. A. Church.   Chicago:  Clarke Publishing Company, 1905, pp 528-529

Tobias BURNS, now living retired in Rockford, at one time extensively engaged in farming in Burritt Township, is numbered among the early settlers of the county [Winnebago County, IL], having taken up his abode here in the spring of 1855.  As the years passed by he labored persistently and with determination to acquire a competence, and at length gained a success which is ever the due reward of consecutive labor, guided by sound judgment.   He is thus permitted in the evening of life to put aside active business cares and enjoy the fruits of his former toil.

Mr. BURNS is a native of County Carlow, Ireland, where he was born 75 years ago, his parents being John and Julia (SHAUGHNESSEY) BURNS, who came to the U. S. in 1850, bringing with them their family.  They remained about four years in NY, and thence came westward to Winnebago County, where they spent their remaining days, the father departing this life in Oct 1873, and the mother in Jun 1890.  In their family were eight children, but Tobias BURNS was the only son.  All of the sisters are now deceased, with the exception of Mrs. James MORRISSEY, of Belvidere [Boone County], IL.

Tobias BURNS spent the days of his childhood in Ireland.  He may well be called a self-made man, deserving all the honor and praise that that term implies, for when he came to Winnebago County he was in limited financial circumstances and without financial assistance he has worked his way steadily upward to a position of affluence.  He was married 03 Jul 1860, in Rockford, to Miss Mary DOYLE, who was born in County Kilkenny, Ireland, 13 Oct 1842, her parents being Timothy and Elizabeth (RYAN) DOYLE, who were natives of County Carlow, Ireland, and crossed the Atlantic to the new world in 1850.   The father had first visited America in 1848 or 1849, and the family home was established in Rochester, NY.  Four years later they came to Rockford, IL, where the parents spent their remaining days, the father passing away in Feb 1866, at the age of 65 years, while his wife survived until 01 Nov 1893, being 76 years of age at the time of her death.  Mrs. BURNS was one of a family of ten children, of whom four are now living:   James, a farmer of Sarpy County, NE; Michael, who is engaged in the catering business in Chicago; Catherine, the wife of Hugh McMAHON, of Rockford; and Mrs. BURNS, who was reared in Rockford until the time of her marriage, and then went with her husband to a farm.  In Apr 1864 they removed to a farm on section 22, Burritt Township, which continued to be their place of residence until March 1902, or for 38 years.   Throughout this long period Mr.  BURNS was actively engaged in general agricultural pursuits, at one time operating 500 acres of land.  He therefore raised extensive crops and his business proved profitable.  He worked earnestly and persistently day after day until success had crowned his efforts, and with a handsome competence he retired to Rockford, building a fine home at No. 704 North Winnebago Street, where he and his wife are now quietly spending the evening of life in the midst of many friends and surrounded by all the comforts that go to make life worth living.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. BURNS have been born 14 children:  (1)  John H., a molder by trade, residing in Beloit [Rock County], WI, was married to Miss Annie REDMAN, and has four sons and a daughter, Tobias, Gregor, Robert, Thomas and Ann; (2)  Mary is th wife of Thomas DORAN, a resident of New Milford, IL; (3)  Charles is a farmer living in Burritt Township; (4)  Timothy is also a farmer of that township; (5)   Elizabeth is th wife of William J. DORAN, of New Milford; (6)  Robert, a practicing physician, of Freeport [Stephenson County], IL, wedded Mary COX, of this county, and has one child, Mary C.; (7)  James J. is the next of the family; (8)   William died [p 529] at the age of 20 years; (9)  Thomas and (10) one other died in infancy; (11)  Thomas J. is the second of that name; (12)  Catherine A. is the wife of George CAMBPELL, of Burritt Township; (13)  Julia Mildred is at home; and (14) the youngest child died in infancy.

In his political views Mr. BURNS has been a democrat since becoming a naturalized citizen, and has served as school director and in other local offices.  He and his family are communicants of St. Mary's Catholic Church.  In matters of citizenship he has always been loyal to his adopted land and he has never had occasion to regret his determination to come to America, for here he found business opportunities wherein labor finds its just reward and where earnest effort is not hampered by caste or class.

T. J. and James J. BURNS, sons of Tobias BURNS, are now carrying on business under the firm name of BURNS Brothers, farmers and stock raisers.  They own a farm on section 10, Burritt Township, of 240 acres.  Both were born on the family homestead, the former on 26 Jun 1880, and the latter on 17 Mar 1873.  In their political views they are democrats and socially connected with the Knights of Columbus, while their religious faith is that of St. Mary's Catholic Church.

Submitted by Cathy Kubly.