|Birth: ||Feb. 13, 1830|
|Death: ||May 28, 1901|
John H. Burger, now an honored and much respected resident of Phoenix, Arizona was one of the pioneers of that territory and many and varied have been the experiences he has undergone.
He was born in Smithburg, Washington County, Maryland, February 13, 1830; son of David and Leah (Ricksecker) Burger, natives of Maryland. The Burgers, for the most part, have been farmers and distillers and the Rickseckers confectioners. In addition to his duties as an agriculturist David Burger was also a contractor and
joiner, and followed his trade in Richland County, Ohio, for a number of years, his boys working the farm. John H. Burger, one of thirteen children, six sons and seven daughters, remained in his native village until ten years old and then went with his parents to Richland County where his spare moments were spent in assisting on the farm and in attending the common schools.
He learned the carpenters' and joiners' trade of his father, followed this until 1848 and then went to Iowa City, Iowa, where he learned the millwright trade. After working at this for about a year and a half he went to Crawfordsville, Iowa, and was engaged in carpentering for two years.
He left that state in 1853 and with a train of twenty seven wagons crossed the plains to California and worked at his trade in Sacramento and Marysville for one summer. Later he began mining on Park's Bar, on Feather River, but worked for other people but a short time, when he began prospecting for himself, following mining on his own account until 1858. He met with good success
but at the time of the gold excitement in British Columbia, in the last named year, he went there and was one of the pioneer miners of that section. They were obliged to carry all their utensils, etc. over one hundred miles.
Mr. Burger remained in British Columbia for five years and met with unusual success. From there he went to San Francisco and later mined on Owen's River, Inyo County, California, until the fall of 1864 when he went to Prescott, Arizona, where he began making pickets, shingles, etc. up in the pine timber. This did not pay him and he began prospecting. About this time he heard of the Vulture Mine which was then just opening up, and he went there and found work in putting up stamps for the purpose of
crushing ore. These were run by horse power. He put up the first stamp for the Vulture Mine. Later he went to Bully Bueno Mine but not being suited he made his way from there to Placer City, near Walnut Grove, where he opened several mines, none of which paid. After this he gave up mining and went to Walnut Grove, where he engaged in ranching for three years. He put in his grain with a gun strapped to his plow and his pistol in his belt, but the Indians would come into the field while he was at one end and steal the seed which had been left at the other end.
Leaving that ranch he went to what is now known as Antelope Valley and opened up land and had about twenty acres ready for planting when his provisions got low. He started with another man to Wickenburg for a fresh supply and on the way they were attacked by Indians. His companion was killed at the first shot, and although Mr. Burger fought with all the energy of despair the Indians seized his gun from him and shot him through the thigh and fired four balls into his side, one of which he carries at the present time. He managed to evade them and succeeded in reaching some rocks, where he was in comparative safety. He killed two Indians and crippled another, which caused them to fall back and gave him a chance to hide. The Indians kept shooting at him at long range, but he was finally rescued by a party of white men and carried to the nearest cabin, four miles away. Eight months elapsed before he had recovered
sufficiently to try to work again.
He never returned to his ranch, but went to the Vulture Mine and hired out as a carpenter, remaining there for some time. He was promoted to a mining boss, a position he held until the mine broke up, when he worked at wagon making at Wickenburg until February 1873. He then came to Phoenix and has made his home here since. For a number of years he worked at blacksmithing and wagon making but now has his shops rented and has been engaged in mining and ranching for several years past. He is interested in several mines on Humbug Creek, some of which are now being worked on a small scale, but prospects are good. Mr. Burger is interested in eleven claims, all of which are very
promising. He also owns considerable property in Phoenix, and is in very comfortable circumstances indeed. Mr. Burger has had many thrilling experiences with the Indians in the early days of the territory and once, in an encounter with them, was left on the ground for dead.
Mr. Burger was married first in Crawfordsville, Iowa, in 1850 to Miss Martha Riley and they had one child, Levi, who resides in Salt River Valley. Mr. Burger's second marriage occurred in 1874 to Miss Elizabeth Morrell, by whom he has had five children, three now living--John H., twenty years old; Elizabeth, now sixteen and Vera aged sixteen months.
(Information from History of Arizona, 1896)
Elizabeth Morrell Burger (1857 - 1956)*
Levi Burger (1852 - 1918)*
John H. Burger (1875 - 1906)*
Elizabeth B. Burger Stewart (1878 - 1966)*
City Loosley Cemetery
Created by: Vikki Smothers McInnis S...
Record added: Apr 14, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 13954197
|Photos may be scaled.|
Click on image for full size.