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Rankin Family History Project

James Burgee


James Burgee, a resident of Perryville, Mo., was born in Perry County in 1833, and is a son of Joab W. Burgee, who was born of Scotch-Irish parentage in Frederick city, Md., in 1806. The latter became a farmer, and in 1828 immigrated to Perry County, Mo.

In 1832 he married Elizabeth Burns, a native of the county, who was of Irish descent. She was born in 1816 and died in 1865.

After his marriage Joab W. Burgee settled in Bois Brule Bottom, where he owned a good farm. He speculated considerably in land. He served as judge of the county court for many years. In 1838 he was elected to represent Perry County in the State Legislature, and rode from his home to Jefferson City on horseback. He died in 1881.

To him and wife were born eight children, six of whom are living. James is the eldest child. He received a liberal education in the common schools and at Arcadia college.

In 1856 he became deputy county and circuit clerk, and served until 1862. He also served as public administrator from 1858 to 1862. In 1863 he was elected circuit court clerk, and, with all the other county officers, was turned out of office the next year by an ordinance passed by the State convention. In the fall of 1865 he engaged in merchandising, and continued for six years. In 1874 he was again elected clerk of the circuit court of Perry County, and was re-elected in 1878 and 1882, serving his constituents faithfully and well for twelve years.

In 1858 he married Emilie C. Brown, a daughter of William A. Brown, and a native of Perry County, Mo., born in 1841. They have eight children: Mattie (wife of Charles H. Brown), Zoe, Henry, James, Cora, Bessie, Valle and Annie.

Mr. Burgee has been a life-long Democrat, and has been one of the leading men of the party in his county.

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The Goodspeed Publishing Company compiled a series of histories of various counties in the U.S. in the late 19th century. The information in the History of Southeast Missouri, published in 1888, was provided by the contemporary residents of Perry County and her neighboring counties. The biographies are a valuable source of genealogical information, despite a few minor inaccuracies. We are glad to present the transcribed biographies here for anyone researching Perry County's history.

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