Jacob Burkhart, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of Jacob Burkhart

JACOB BURKHART. The citizenship of Porter county contains no better type of the home builder and creator of the material prosperity which is at the foundation of American civilization than Mr. Jacob Burkhart, of Porter township. Of German birth, he possessed the native endowment of thrift and industry for which that race is so well known, and beginning his career in this county without capital he literally created his prosperity from the work of his hands and his business judgment.

Mr. Burkhart was born in Bavaria, Germany, August 30, 1850, a son of Martin and Lena (Heimlich) Burkhart. He was the third in their family of nine children, six sons and three daughters, and six of them are still living and four are in Porter county. Barbara is the wife of John Muster, of Valparaiso; Jacob is next; Louis is married and is a farmer in Center township; and Louisa is the wife of Henry Lempke, of Center township; Martin Burkhart, the father, was born in Bavaria, in 1822, and died in this county in 1894, and throughout his career followed the occupation of farming. In 1850 he and his family embarked on a sailing vessel at Hamburg, and after a voyage of forty-eight days landed in New York, settled first at Lancaster, ten miles east of Buffalo, where they lived eight years, then spent a year and a half in Michigan, about twenty miles west of Detroit, and in the spring of 1860 came to Porter county, locating in Valparaiso. The father became a naturalized citizen, and he and his wife were members of the German Lutheran church. The mother was born in France, near Strasburg, in 1818, and died January 27, 1893, just one month later than her husband, and both are buried in Maplewood cemetery.

Jacob Burkhart was an infant when the family made its immigration to America, so that he has spent practically all his life in this country. His education was in both the English and German tongues. When a boy he began working for wages at seventy-five cents a day, and then when eighteen years old began and worked for two years by the month. With his savings he bought a team and on land rented from John Haighton began his practical career as a farmer. He continued as a renter for ten years, and besides getting ahead a little he was acquiring a reputation for sturdy industry and good management and the experience which proved so useful in succeeding years. His first purchase of land was eighty acres in Porter township. One hundred and fifty dollars was all he paid on the purchase price, and he then sold that place and bought one hundred and three acres that now form part of his fine homestead in Porter township. He was now steadily prospering, and in a short while he added forty-eight and a half acres on the south and thirty-one acres on the north. He sold his son Martin a small tract, and at the present time his homestead comprises one hundred and fifty-two acres. Every improvement is the result of his own labor, but the most satisfying part of the achievement is the fact that there is not a dollar of debt against his farm. He has accomplished this in addition to rearing a family of children and providing for their capable entrance upon the duties of life.

Constantly working with him and making the home has been his wife. He was happily married February 9, 1873, to Miss Anna S. Lenburg, and they have become the parents of four children, three sons and one daughter. Martin was educated in the common schools and is now a farmer of Porter township, owning a nice little place of thirty-seven acres, and in addition carrying on the business of threshing during each season. He is affiliated with the Modern Woodmen of America. He married Miss Anna Schumaker, and their four children are Laura L., Clara S., Louis and Marvel. George F., who is an agriculturist of Portage township, married Miss Pearl Wells, and their one child is Garland. Magdalena S., is the wife of Edward Schumaker, at Valparaiso, a section boss of the Pennsylvania Railroad, and their two children are Walker J. and Earl. Jacob, who was educated in the common schools and now has charge of his father's farm, married Miss Jennie L. Olson, and they have one son, Howard Jacob.

Mrs. Burkhart was born in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, November 24, 1854, a daughter of Claus and Christina (Rohe) Lenburg. She was three years old when her parents came from Hamburg to New York, being two weeks on the voyage, and they came on direct to Porter county, which was the home of her parents during the remainder of their lives. Mrs. Burkhart learned both the English and German languages. For nearly forty years she has been a faithful wife and mother, and to her efforts belongs a large share of the prosperity and comforts of the Burkhart homestead.

Mr. Burkhart in politics votes for men and principles, not according to party labels. He and his wife were both confirmed in the Lutheran church, and that is their faith. They have lived worthily and in their declining years have a pleasant retrospect over the fruitful past.

Source: Lewis Publishing Company. 1912. History of Porter County, Indiana: A Narrative Account of its Historical Progress, its People and its Principal Interests. Chicago, Illinois: Lewis Publishing Company. 881 p.
Page(s) in Source: 486-488

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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