EUGENE E. BURCE
Eugene Edgar Burce, of Mokelumne Hill, has been a resident of California since 1854. He claims Rhode Island as the state of his nativity, his birth having occurred there on the 2nd of April, 1851. He was therefore but three years of age when he arrived in California and as he grew to manhood he became deeply interested in the affairs of the state, having ever manifested a laudable disposition to support all movements and measures which have contributed to the public good. He is of Scotch lineage, his ancestors having been early settlers of Rhode Island, where they located on crossing the Atlantic from the country of hills and heather.
Ebenezer Parker Burce, the father of the subject, was born in Massachusetts and was married there to Miss Jane Strange, a native of his own state. On crossing the plains to California in 1854 they brought with them their two children, but Judge Burce is now the only survivor. They arrived at Volcano on the 12th of August, 1854, and he was there employed in building the canal for two weeks. Subsequently he came to Mokelumne Hill and carried a hod to assist in building the first store in the town. For a year he engaged in mining and later devoted his energies to shoemaking, which vocation he followed up to the time of his death, which occurred in the home in which he had resided from the time when they took up their abode in Mokelumne Hill. She and her husband were strong temperance people and were of very high moral worth, their influence and support being ever given to those things which tend to ennoble and uplift man.
Judge Burce was therefore reared amid the refining influences of a good home, and in the public schools of Mokelumne Hill he acquired his literary education, which was supplemented by a course of study in Heald’s Business College. He was graduated there in 1871 and afterward learned the printer’s trade in the office of the Calaveras Chronicle. He worked his way steadily upward, being connected with the paper for sixteen years. He became its able editor and publisher and is still the owner of the plant, but has leased it to its present publisher. In politics he has been a life-long Republican and ever edited his journal in the interests of that party. In political circles he is a recognized factor, his influence being potent for the good of the organization with which he is identified. In 1898 he was elected a justice of the peace and has since intelligently and ably filled that office.
Mr. Burce has one of the nice homes of Mokelumne Hill. He was married on the 3rd of July, 1873, to Miss Mary Elizabeth Shire, a native of Iowa, who came to California during her early girlhood. She was reared and educated in this sate and by her marriage has become the mother of three children: Gladys, Shirley and Charles Frederick. The Judge is a Mason and an Odd Fellow, has passed all the chairs in both fraternities and has been a representative to the grand lodge. His Masonic record is most creditable. He received the sublime degree of Master Mason in October, 1898, in Mokelumne Hill Lodge, No. 298, and has since been deeply interested in the work of the order, doing all in his power to inculcate its principles among men. He is now serving his second term as the master of the lodge, an honor that is conferred upon few whose identification with the fraternity does not cover a longer period. For almost half a century he has been a resident of Calaveras County and is now widely and favorably known.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.