|Birth: ||Nov. 14, 1823|
|Death: ||Nov. 3, 1875|
Prominent early settler. His D.L.C. was situated in a part of present East Albany. His descendents still own portions of the original claim (1939). *****************************
Leander Columbus Burkhart is my maternal great, great, grandfather. He was born Nov 14, 1823 in Hawkins Co., Tennessee, the 4th of 12 children who would be born to John and Rebecca (Baltzell) Burkhart. By 1832, his parents and siblings had moved to Hancock County, Illinois. By 1838, his parents and siblings had moved to Burlington, Des Moines Co., Iowa. But, in the mid 1840's, Leander's father heard about the Donation Land Claim program which promised land to people who would settle and live on land they "claimed" in the Oregon Territory. At this point, John was nearing the age of 60, and his and Rebecca's children ranged in age from newborn (George W., b.Oct., 1846) to 28yrs. (Raymond S., b. Feb. 1817). John sent his two of his eldest sons, Raymond Sanderson and Hezekiah, on a mission to the Oregon Territory in 1846 to scout the area and determine if making one final move would be in the best interests of the family that already spanned 3 generations. Raymond and Hezekiah returned with glowing reports of the beauty of the Oregon Territory, the bountiful flora and fauna that was there, especially in the main western valley with a large river running thru it. This river, as it turned out, was the Willamette River. John and Rebecca's children had listened with interest, and the five older children agreed to follow their parents and their five younger siblings to the Oregon Territory. Leander arrived with his parents, John & Rebecca Burkhart, in the future Albany township of the Oregon Territory on October 16th, 1847. The Montieths and Hacklemans arrived at about the same time, their claims laying side by side, bordering the Willamette River, on the present site of what is now Albany. John and his older sons even guarded the other claims while the aforementioned gentlemen went South to the gold mining fields of California to try their luck, returning in the Spring of 1848. Leander had admired Melissa Ann Davidson while crossing The Plains on the Oregon Trail in the Summer of 1847. However, she was 12 years his junior, so he was told he must wait until she was 16 yrs. of age before they could wed, which he did. He busied himself with many business ventures, including farming his donation land claim of originally 320 acres, doubling to 640 acres after he married Melissa. He had horses at the ready for the stagecoach which came thru on it's way to Oregon City and Portland, only making some 15 miles a day and needing to change horses at every stop, until the railroad came thru in the early 1870's & the 1st steamboats started cruising up and down the Willamette from Oregon City (in 1851). He built his own sawmill and created his own brickyard, going into business with his younger brother, George W. [I have a brick that they both signed.] He built a house of his own for his bride and married Melissa Ann when she turned 16, in 1851, their wedding being held on July 31st, 1851 at Rickreall, Polk County, Oregon. They had a donation land claim of their own which was documented in the Oregon Territory Donation Land Claim Families To 1855, Vols 2 & 8, claim #981.
Leander was responsible for naming five streets in the town of Albany.
They were: ALCO, the 1st initials of Albany, Linn, County, Oregon
Burkhart, his family name,
Columbus, his middle name,
Davidson, to honor his wife's family
Ermine, named for a neighbor & possible
& Fulton, named after Leander's aunt, Elizabeth
(Fulton) Baltzell, wife of Charles.
Leander and Melissa were blessed with six children & knew a good education and strong faith in God were important for both their sons and daughters.
They were blessed with the following children:
Hezekiah, "Hez" Davidson, b.Mar 21, 1853,
Frances, "Fannie" Ann, b.Aug 6, 1856,
Nellie Olivia, b.Aug 6, 1859,
Robert Lee, "Rob", b.Nov 10, 1864,
William Chester, "Will", b.Nov 27, 1871, and
Bessie Beatrice, b.May 17, 1874.
Frances Ann (Fannie) attended St.Helens Hall in Portland, until her untimely death in 1879. William "Will" Chester, attended college at Corvallis and became a pharmacist, purchasing a portion of the pharmacy in Albany, following graduation. Robert Lee obtained a degree at Armstrong Business College and would go on to raise pure bred prize winning cattle that were purchased and shipped to Oregon from the Isle of Jersey during one of his many trips to Europe with his beloved wife, Marguerite, whom he married on Jan 17th, 1901. Hezekiah studied Animal Husbandry also at Corvallis at the "new college" (Oregon College of Agriculture) which would later become Oregon State University. Bessie attended and graduated from Willamette University. They all graduated except for Fannie, because of her death from consumption in 1879. They also were strong Baptists, even though their ancestors had left Germany as Lutherans.
Leander, his brothers, brothers-in-law and sons were all very successful in farming throughout the Willamette Valley, shipping not only crops but prize winning cattle and other animals throughout the world. They were renowned for the quality of all they produced. Leander had his own smokehouse down the road from the main house built with bricks from his brick making operation. He was also a well known merchant in Albany, having his many business ventures. Death took Leander just 11 days prior to his 52nd birthday, Nov 3rd, 1875 and he is buried at Riverside Cemetery, Albany.
Per The History of Oregon, Vol.1, p.635,
"Leander C. Burkhart was born in Hawkins County, East Tennessee, November 14, 1823. Emigrating to Oregon in 1847, he settled in Linn County, in company with his father, and a numerous relationship, amassing a large fortune without losing his high reputation for integrity being possessed of a sterling worth acknowledged by all men. He died at his residence half a mile east of Albany, November 3, 1875."
I really can't add to what was written except to state that I wish I could have known this man who died nearly 75 years before I was born. Dear Melissa was left with six children to raise and a dear husband to mourn. Her 2 youngest children were just 1 & 4 yrs. old. She never remarried, passing from this earth on the 4th of July, 1898 while staying with relatives in Ashland, Oregon, following failing health for the past few years. Her remains were returned to Albany to be interred by her husband at Riverside Cemetery.
Leander and Melissa's daughter, Nellie Olivia Burkhart, is my great grandmother. She married three times, poor lady, loosing her 1st two husbands to TB. During her 2nd marriage, my future grandmother, Pearl Laura Baker, was born.
Leander & Melissa's children & their descendants began holding "Burkhart Reunions" on an almost annual basis. I am lucky to have a photo of the 1926 "Reunion" and my mother, Patricia Jean (Taylor) Webb, Peterson, held an "All Burkhart Reunion" in August, 1987 at Burkhart Park in Albany for all Burkhart family members. Sadly, however, those photos have been lost and many of those who attended are no longer with us. They are dearly missed.
Rewritten on Aug 25th, 2013 by Leander & Melissa's great, great granddaughter, Kathie L.Webb Blair
John Burkhart (1787 - 1856)
Rebecca Ann Margaret Baltzell Burkhart (1800 - 1884)
Melissa Ann Davidson Burkhart (1835 - 1898)
Hezekiah Davidson Burkhart (1853 - 1924)*
Frances Ann Burkhart (1856 - 1879)*
Nellie Olivia Burkhart Hall (1859 - 1948)*
Robert Lee Burkhart (1864 - 1946)*
William Chester Burkhart (1871 - 1936)*
Bessie Beatrice Burkhart Daring (1874 - 1906)*
Raymond Sanderson Burkhart (1817 - 1888)*
Calvin Peter Burkhart (1819 - 1907)*
Coriolanus Domaras Burkhart (1821 - 1881)*
Leander Columbus Burkhart (1823 - 1875)
Charlotte Elizabeth Burkhart Layton (1826 - 1854)*
Volumna Vitturia Burkhart (1829 - 1831)*
Catherine Jane Burkhart White (1832 - 1859)*
Loueasa Matilda Burkhart Thompson (1836 - 1907)*
John Baltzell Burkhart (1838 - 1914)*
Rebecca Ann Burkhart Gay (1841 - 1919)*
Augustus Henry Burkhart (1843 - 1844)*
George Washington Burkhart (1845 - 1905)*
Thank you to David Bollman for his patience and assistance. He is Find A Grave.
Note: My great, great grandfather
Maintained by: Kathie L. Webb Blair
Originally Created by: David J Bollman
Record added: Jun 09, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 27447939