About Thomas Burke
Thomas BURKE (11) was baptized on Dec 14 1843 in Parish of Urlingford, Ireland.(11) (12) Sponsors for baptism are John Lewis and Bridget Cody He was born on Dec 21 1845 in Kilkenny, Ireland.(13) (5) (14) 1900 Census record shows Dec 1844 as the birth year
Sponsors: John Lewisand Bridget Cody He was baptized on Aug 3 1847. (15) Baptism shows:
He Lived Athens County in southeastern Ohio in 1860 in Athens County, Ohio. He immigrated between 1860 and 1864 to New York, NY. (16) Tom was 16 and virtually penniless. Trip to America aboard a sailor took 3 months.
He was an Union Army between 1861 and 1865. He built bridges in North Carolina, Tennessee, and other states. He told in later life of how the Irish at that time were treated so poorly and considered to be lower than even the black slaves. In St. Louis, he worked on a major bridge. and in later life, told his children to look for that bridge if they ever came to St. Louis. He immigrated in 1863 to Ohio. He was a Gold digger between 1865 and 1870 in West. He crossed the plains three times between 1865 and 1870 with wagon trains to Nevada and California (along the Sacramento River). He tells in the Cass County history of numerous encounters with the Sioux and the loss of many men in one of the trains. Apparently he was a successful gambler and is said to have won various parcels of land at card games with other miners. Included in this was land on or near Lake Michigan near Chicago, which he abandoned because it was too wet. He won another parcel in the Red River Valley of Minnesota and Wiota and 160 A west of Atlantic in Washington Township. Although the Cass County history states that he purchased the Wiota 80 and traded it for the Atlantic 160, Marjorie believes both to have been won in a poker game. She states that the Wiota 80 was traded to Frank Whitney (to create the town site for Wiota) for 80A adjoining the Atlantic 160, resulting in a 240 A farm. He died on Nov 11 1906 in Cass County, Iowa. (17) He Funeral on Nov 13 1906 in Atlantic Catholic Church, Atlantic, Iowa. He Lived Washington Township 1871 to 1906 in Washington Township, Iowa. (18) He was a Farmer. (17) He was ill with Bright's disease, kidney affliction, cause of death.(19) He was ill with Glycoma, blind last two years. He Lived in Parish of Clomantagh (between Freshford and Urlingford), Ireland.(11) He Purchased the current Wiota, Iowa land. He Found Iowa in Wiota (Franklin Township), Iowa. He was buried in Atlantic Catholic Cemetary, Atlantic, Iowa. (20) Gravestone says: "Here lie and wait for thee. When you pass by, say a prayer for me."
Bk. 1, Lot 23 While working (before marriage), he is said to have heard a boat whistle one day, dropped his plow, and jumped on the boat. This may have been the Ohio River, which borders Athens County.
Had curly red hair and violet eyes. Not a big man, had very small feet for a man, usually wore fancy cowboy boots and chaps. Claimed while he was in the West, he walked 60 miles in one day. He panned gold on the Sacramento River. Story is, he won the farm west of Atlantic in a poker game.
When Thomas married Kate, he inherited her mother, 2 brothers and the Schnitzens (Clara and her family). Every year, he gave them 20 bags of wheat and 2 hogs.
He was married to Cathrine (Kate) (Mueller) MILLER on Jan 20 1887 in Atlantic Catholic Church, Atlantic, Iowa.(21) Married when Thomas was 40, Kate was 20. Thomas agreed to bring her mother and two brothers (Frank, age 10 and Ernest, age 12) from Ireland to America at a cost of $125.
Marriage may have been January 20, 1887.
Marriage record states that Thomas was 35 and Katie was 21.