|JOSEPH E. BURCH.|
Joseph E. Burch, superintendent of the consolidated schools of district r of
Lincoln county, was born near Maryville, Missouri, September 21,
1881, and comes of Welsh ancestry the family having been
founded in America by Abner Burch, who crossed the Atlantic when this
country was still numbered among the colonial possessions of Great
Britain. He settled in North Carolina and representatives of the
name participated in the struggle for independence when the colonists
threw off the yoke of British oppression, thereby aiding in the
establishment of the American republic. The grandfather of Mr.
Burch also bore the name of Abner Burch. After residing for some time
in Indiana he removed with his family to Missouri, settling in
Nodaway county. His son, C. J. Burch, was born in Greene county,
Indiana, in 1851 and was only A
little lad of but six years when the family went to
Missouri. He is now a resident of Clarinda, Iowa, where he has made
his home since 1911. For many years he successfully carried on
farming and is now living retired, enjoying the fruits of a well
spent life. In different generations the family has been actively
connected with the pioneer development of various states from
the time when Abner Burch, the original immigrant, took up his
abode in North Carolina. It was his son, George Burch, who served for
seven years in the Revolutionary war. The great-grandparents of
Joseph E. Burch became early settlers of Indiana and the
grandfather, Abner Burch, was born in Greene county, that state, in
1826, only nine years after the admission of Indiana into the Union.
Missouri was still largely undeveloped when he became a resident of
that state, where his remaining days were passed. In the maternal
line Mr. Burch is also a representative of one of the pioneer
families of Missouri. His father, C. J. Burch, wedded Sarah Jane
Linebaugh, a native of Missouri and a daughter of Jacob and Sarah
(Gray) Linebaugh, the former one of the wealthiest farmers of Nodaway
county. He died in Claremont, Missouri, in 1911, at the advanced age
of eighty-one years. His daughter, Mrs. C. J. Burch, who was born in
1853, also passed away in Claremont, Missouri, in 1911. By her
marriage she had become the mother of seven children.
Joseph E. Burch, who was the fifth in order of birth, spent his youthful days upon the home farm with the usual experiences of the farmbred boy. After attending the district schools he continued his education in the high school and subsequently became a student in the Kirksville State Normal School, from which he was graduated with the class of 1904. He immediately took up educational work and engaged in teaching in Lewis and Lincoln counties of Missouri, after which he removed to Wyoming in 1909 to take charge of the schools of Green River, where he served as superintendent for two years. He then came to Kemmerer and for the past seven years has been superintendent of the consolidated schools of Lincoln county. He is a most able educator, imparting clearly and readily to others the knowledge which he has acquired and actuated at all times by high professional standards. Since attending the normal school he has taken advanced work in the University of Missouri and in the University of Chicago and in 1916 was graduated from the University of Wyoming with the Bachelor of Arts degree. Lincoln county and Star valley are justly famed for the excellence of the school system which Superintendent Burch aided in organizing, and they are among the largest consolidated districts in the state. In his local work Mr. Burch has charge of ten schools, in which the work is thoroughly systematized and wisely directed. For several years, he has aided in formulating the school laws of the state.
Joseph E. Burch was married in Bradyville, Iowa, September 3, 1907, to Miss Verna Lawrence, a native of Missouri and a daughter of L. C. and Dora E. (Turner) Lawrence. Her father is a prominent business man and banker, and the family is well known in northwestern Missouri. To Mr. and Mrs. Burch have been born four children: Joseph Earl, Lawrence, Austa and Nadine, twin daughters.
Mr. Burch gives his political allegiance to the republican party and keeps well informed on the vital questions and issues of the day. He is the president of the Kemmerer Chamber of Commerce, secretary of the loo Jo American Club and federal food administrator of Lincoln county. He is president of the State Teachers’ Association and was at one time endorsed for the position of superintendent of public instruction of Wyoming, but declined to become a candidate for the position, preferring to concentrate his time and efforts upon his professional interests without desire for public office. During the past five years he has been an instructor in the summer school of the University of Wyoming. His initiative spirit has enabled him to work along original lines and his judgment has prompted him to put forth plans and measures which have been of the greatest benefit and value in the educational development of Wyoming.