BURCH, JOHN B., a prominent farmer and stockman residing in his pleasant home on Section 1, Town 13, Range 9, Morgan County, Ill., was born north fo the village of Franklin, Ill, July 18, 1842, the son of Shelby M. and Sarah (Wyatt) Burch. The father was a native of Kentucky, who came to Morgan County at an early day and died in 1846, leaving a wife and two children: Mary A., now the widow of Henry C. Woods, formerly a farmer and trader, and John B. The mother took for her second husband Francis M. Scott, who proved himself a faithful father to the orphaned children.
John B. Burch was educated in Franklin schools and was a student under the well known pedagogue, "Uncle" Charley Snow. In his industrial life he was reared to farming, stock breeding and feeding, and, on reaching maturity, engaged in business on his own account. Starting without capital, he now has a splendid estate aggregating 750 acres, all acquired by his own industry, economy and foresight. He has combined stock breeding and feeding with general farming, but for the last quarter of a century has rented his grain land, and, assisted by his son, has confined his attention solely to live stock. Mr. Burch occupies a handsome residence with excellent surroundings, making it one of the most pleasant and attractive homes in the county. It is located one mile south of Franklin, nearly forty years ago the site of the home of Judge Waller, but all the present improvements have been made by John B. Burch himself. Mr. Burch was one of the first Commissioners of Township 13, Range 9, and is now serving as School Director - a position which he has filled consecutively for twenty-one years. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Mr. Burch was married October 1, 1868, to Helen Rice, daughter of W. W. and Martha (Chestnut) Rice, both natives of Kentucky, who came to Morgan County at an early day. Mr. Rice was a successful merchant of Waverly for many years, and died in May, 1871, aged sixty-six years, leaving a family of nine children. Mrs. Burch, who was next to the youngest of these, lost her mother by death when she was a child of seven years. Mr. and Mrs. Burch are the parents of one son, Fred B., who was born June 13, 1873, and is associated with his father in all his business affairs. Fred B. is unmarried and resides with his parents. He is an energetic and enterprising worker and a member of several fraternal associations, including the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, No. 121; M.W.A., No. 610; Court of Honor, No. 214; M.P.L., No. 138, and the order of Rebeccas, all having local lodges in the village of Franklin.