PROFESSOR FRANCIS M. BURDICK. A record of Madison County's most prominent citizens would be incomplete without mention of the gentleman whose name prefaces this biographical notice. He was born on the old Burdick homestead (founded ninety-nine years ago)
in the town of DeRuyter, Madison County, N.Y., August 1, 1845, and is a son of Albert
G. Burdick, who was born at the same place, March 22, 1807. The father of Albert G. Burdick was Thompson Burdick, a native of Rhode Island, born at Westerly in 1771, and died on his farm in the town of DeRuyter June 6, 1852, in his eighty-first year. He was married in the State of Rhode Island, his wife's name before marriage being Sarah Coon, and in 1794 came to this town, and took
up one hundred and sixty acres of timber land, which at the time formed a part of the Holland Patent. After clearing a portion of his land, he sowed some wheat, built a log house, and returned to Rhode Island for his wife. They made the journey in true pioneer style, coming with an ox-team and old-fashion two-wheeled cart, and bringing their cow with them. They were twenty-one days
on the road, and came by way of Utica, then known as Fort Schuyler, there being but five
dwellings there at that time. Although in very moderate circumstances, they made up in
energy and perseverance what they lacked in means, clearing a good farm and establishing a permanent home. Within a year or two his brother, William Burdick, came also, bringing with him his wife, who was a sister of Mrs. Thompson Burdick; and still later, and previous to the opening year of our century, another brother, George, made his appearance with his wife, who was also a
member of the Coon family. They settled in what is now the town of Lincklaen. The father of these three brothers followed his sons in later years, and died here at an advanced age. From the best evidence obtainable the Burdick family is of French Huguenot ancestry, while the Coons were of Scotch origin, the original form of the name being
McCoon. To Thompson Burdick and his
wife there were born the following children, David, Phineas, Sarah, Priscilla, Albert G.,
and Joseph, the only survivor, now residing in DeRuyter with his unmarried daughter.
Albert G. Burdick, the father of our subject, married Eunetia Y. Wheeler, who was
born in the town of Nelson, and was a daughter of the Rev. James and Avis (Poole)
Wheeler, both of whom were from New England, the ancestors of the latter being Puritans
of Quincy, Mass. The father of the Rev. James Wheeler was a lawyer, living at Rehoboth, Mass. The son received his education at Yale College, and was ordained as a Baptist preacher, being pastor of a church in Pompey, N. Y., some years. He was a Mason, and at the time of the Morgan excitement was silenced because he refused to renounce Masonry. He died at Whitney's Point about
1840 in advanced age, leaving five sons, one of whom--Joseph--still survives, and resides in
The subject of this brief notice was the second child and first son of a family of four,
namely: Catharine Pearleyette, wife of Leonard L. Green, of Adams Centre, N.Y.; Francis
M.; P. Adelbert, who died July 3, 1893, at Alfred Centre, N.Y., in his forty-sixth year .
He was a lawyer by profession, and was for many years an earnest and successful temperance evangelist, his labors in connection with this great modern reform movement covering
many different States. He left a wife and two sons. B. Franklin, the remaining member of the family, is a farmer on the old homestead in this town.
He of whom we write attended district school in his boyhood, and at the age of thirteen entered the DeRuyter Institute, from which he was graduated in 1861, in 1862 commencing a course of study at the Cazenovia Seminary, and later attending at Hamilton College, being graduated from the latter institution in 1869 and from the Law School there in 1872. He was admitted to the bar
that year, and entered upon the practice of his chosen profession in Utica, becoming a member of the firm of Beardsley & Cookinham in 1874, the firm later being known as
Beardsley, Burdick & Beardsley. He continued his practice there until 1882; when he was elected Professor of Law at Hamilton College, and in 1887 became professor in the Law School at Cornell University, going from there to Columbia Law College, New York City, in 1889. His marriage occurred June 8, 1875, he being then united to Sarah Kellogg, daughter of Gustavus and Anna (Van
Kellogg, of Utica. Four children have graced the happy union of our subject and his wife,
their names being as follows: Anna Van Eps, a bright and interesting young lady of sixteen; Katrine P., aged thirteen; Charles
K., a manly and intelligent boy of ten; and Flora M., a girl of nine. All of these children are receiving careful and thorough education and are bright and earnest students.
Professor Burdick is a Democrat in his political ways, and in 1882 was elected mayor of Utica as an Independent on the citizens' ticket, serving one term, but has since then held no public office. In the summer, with his wife and family, he resides in a cottage on the old home farm in DeRuyter,
their winter residence being in New York City. Both he and his pleasant and accomplished wife are members of the Presbyterian church, and by their genial and unaffected manners, united with moral rectitude of character, have endeared themselves to and gained the sincere respect and esteem of their fellow-citizens of DeRuyter, and in a broader sense of all those with whom they have come into social contact.
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