Thursday, October 27, 2011

Connected To One By Family And The Other By Geography

From Washington, West of the Cascades...

"In 1907 he [Judge Thomas Burke] went abroad, accompanied by his wife and Mr. and Mrs. M. F. Backus*. They sailed on the steamship Minnesota and traveled extensively through the Orient, combining business and pleasure, for the two gentlemen were special commissioners of the Alaska-Yukon Pacific Exposition. Their efforts in that connection were given without compensation and the participation of the Japanese and other oriental peoples in the exposition was brought about through their efforts."

*Manson Franklin (M.F.) Backus was the nephew of my great-great-great grandmother, Laura (Backus) Richmond (Manson's father, Clinton, was Laura's half-brother), and it was his name that caught my attention in the book.  

"In the meantime he (Thomas Burke) had determined upon the law as his life work and in preparation therefore he entered the Michigan State University [sic] at Ann Arbor, although again his period of study was not a continuous one, as it was necessary for him to leave the university at times and continue teaching in order to meet the expense of his college course. He was also a student for a time in the office of a practicing lawyer at Marshall, Michigan, and following his admission to the bar he entered upon active practice in that city. Before a year had passed he was chosen to fill the position of city attorney, which office he continued to fill until his removal to the west in 1875. [He was a student in Ypsilanti, Michigan, in 1870]

He began the practice of his profession in partnership with John J. McGilvra, a pioneer lawyer who came to Washington territory in 1861, holding an appointment as United States district attorney, given to him by President Lincoln. This partnership did not continue very long, although the two men remained firm friends and Burke became permanently related to McGilvra by winning the heart and hand of his beautiful daughter.
.Before leaving Marshall, Judge Burke had decided that Seattle was to be the place of his future residence." 

United States Census, 1880
Name:     Tho'S Burke
Residence:     Seattle, King, Washington
Birthdate:     1851
Birthplace:     New York, United States
Relationship to Head:     Self
Spouse's Name:     Carrie Burke
Spouse's Birthplace:     Illinois, United States
Father's Birthplace:     Ireland
Mother's Birthplace:     Ireland
Race or Color (Expanded):     White
Occupation:     Lawyer
     Household    Gender    Age
      Tho'S Burke     M     29
Spouse     Carrie Burke     F     21

Reading further about Judge Burke, the references to Michigan State University and Marshall, Michigan, got my attention.  We frequently shop and dine in Marshall, Michigan, from our summer home. (Thomas Burke attended the University of Michigan, not Michigan State University).  Not only did Judge Burke live in my neck of the woods at one time, he toured the Orient with one of my "Backus" relatives.

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