Among Santa Clara’s retired ranchers, in whose life the word success is spelled by far-sightedness and perseverance is Charles L. Burdick, who is numbered among the  G. A. R. veterans of San Jose, with a proud record of service in the stirring days of the Civil War.  Charles L. Burdick was born in Warren County, New York, near Athol and not far from Warrensburg, the county seat, on June 6, 1847, and was the son of David and Polly (Fuller) Burdick.  The father was a farmer and a lumberman and his birthplace was at the same place as that of Charles.  David Burdick was also a bridge and barn builder and Charles learned the business under the instruction of his father.  The Burdicks trace their family back as far as 1653, when Robert Burdick came over from England and settled at Rutherford, Connecticut.  His great-great-grandfather Burdick died in battle during the Revolutionary War, fighting under General Sullivan.

     When Charles was eight years old, he came with his parents to Lake County, Illinois, settling near Waukegan, but the family lived there only a year, when they went to Minnesota where his father took up a lumber claim in Blue Earth County near Mankato, Minnesota.  However, he did not like the new country and there were no schools, so they moved back to Lake County and here Charles made his home until the War of the Rebellion broke out.  In February 1864, when he was past sixteen years of age, he enlisted at Chicago, Illinois, in the Thirty-ninth Illinois Infantry, serving under general Butler in the Army of the Potomac at Richmond and was at Bermuda Hundred.  He served in the army until December, 1865, having been at Appomattox Court House when Lee surrendered.  He was also one of the soldiers at Norfolk, Virginia, when it was under martial law, and Colonel Mann was the mayor of the town and his forces policed the town and kept order; in all he spent four months in this city, having also been stationed in Richmond.  He participated in five of the largest engagements of the war.  In 1869, his father moved to Iowa, and in November, 1870, took up government land in Sioux County.  Charles followed his father and took up 160 acres of land during the year 1871.  It was here that David Burdick served as township assessor in Lincoln township, and Charles Burdick was his assistant his father served as justice of peace of Lincoln township and at that time Charles Burdick served as clerk of the same township.  David Burdick also served on the school board, and having the interest of the community at heart, he served in these different positions faithfully.

Charles Burdick’s marriage, which occurred March 16, 1869, in Cypress, Wis., near Kenosha, united him with Miss Annie Lowe, who was born in Lake County, Illinois, and was the daughter of Warner and Frances (Bell) Lowe.  Her father was a native of Pennsylvania and the mother was born in Ohio.  Mr. Burdick and his young wife drove from her home in Illinois to Iowa, across the country in a wagon and a span of colts; arriving at his father’s home in Floyd County, they spent the winter of 1871 there and then went on to Sioux county and took up government land and lived there until 1878, when he disposed of this property and came to California, settling in Monterey County, nine miles from King City, and preempted 160 acres of hill land.  Here he engaged in raising stock and hay and in December, 1888, he came to San Jose, and took up the business of contract building, specializing in first class dwellings and continuing in this business until he retired in 1920.   He is now spending his days very comfortably, helping others to strive for and gain the success that he has worked so diligently to obtain. Mr. and Mrs. Burdick were the parents of four children and also are the grandparents of five: George B. resides in San Jose and is in the employ of Richmond-Chase Company.  He married Agnes Ferguson and they are the parents of three children – Donald L., Kenneth D., and Muriel; Belle became the wife of A. E. Reynolds and resides on a farm near Kings City in Monterey County and she has one son, Harold; Maud married A. O. Kent, a plumber of San Jose and they are the parents of a son, Keith Kenneth Kent; Frank B. is a butcher by trade, single, and living in San Jose.  Mr. Burdick has lived in East San Jose since 1893, locating there when there were very few homes in that vicinity.  He is very popular and influential in the city of San Jose; in 1906 he was one of the organizers and member of the first board of trustees of east San Jose; served a number of years on the school board in Iowa and in Monterey County; is a member of Sheridan-Dix Post No. 7, G. A. R. , of San Jose, and during the year 1901 was its commander, and since 1905 has been a member of the cemetery committee of this post and its secretary since 1911.  In national politics, he is is [sic] a stanch adherent to the views of the Republican party.  Mrs. Burdick is a member of the Ladies of the G. A. R.

Transcribed  by Susan Schooler from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California, published by Historic Record Co. , 1922.
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