James Gershon Burke, second child of Patrick and Nancy Burke, was born in the township of Byron, Ogle County, Illinois, on the 17th day of December, 1849, and died at Aberdeen Dakota, November 30, 1887. His sickness was sudden and unexpected. He had planned a visit to his parents and friends in Illinois, and his wife had gone before him to Chicago, intending to join him at Byron to visit his parents with him, on the same day that his remains arrived here. She was here with Mr. Ed. Burke and family in sadness to attend the funeral instead of a family reunion. They have the fullest sympathy of the people of Byron.
Mr. J. G. Burke was raised in this township, and was well known and highly respected. He was a graduate of the classical course of North Western University, at Evanston, Illinois, in June, 1872. For several terms thereafter he taught school. He then selected the law as his profession, and took a full course in the Chicago Law College, and in 1878 was admitted to the practice of law by the supreme court of the state. After remaining for a brief period in the city of Chicago, Mr. Burke removed to Aberdeen, Dakota, where he prosecuted his life work with so much ability and success that he was soon elected Judge of the Court of Brown County.
He was married to Miss Mary Stanett of Chicago, on the 21st of August 1883. He died without offspring and leaves his widow alone in sorrow to mourn her loss. This is the third child buried by Mr. and Mrs. P. Burke in a few years. They have but one surviving, Mr. Edward Burke, of Chicago.
The deceased will be greatly missed by his circle of friends in his adopted state, who were looking to him as a prominent leader in public affairs. His sudden death was the untimely putting out of brilliant hopes. Mrs. Burke had a mind at once comprehensive and analytical. He was a careful reader of books, and had remarkable powers of speech, always using language of great precision and rigor. His powers of sarcasm and rebuke made his opponents fear him, while his conversational powers made his friends desire his company. But the sudden call forces all to say a sad farewell.
Mrs. and Mrs. P. Burke express their thankful appreciation of the kindness and attention of the friends in their severe trial and bereavement. JHT
Byron Express, Dec. 9, 1887, p. 1
Contributed by Bob Hutchins