Biography - Asahel Burnett

ASAHEL BURNETT, of Bloomfield Township, Johnson County, was born in Vernon Township, Trumbull County, Ohio, December 4, 1829. His father, John Burnett, was born in New Jersey, and his grandfather, William Burnett, was also born in the same State. There John was reared and married, and in 1802 emigrated from New Jersey to Ohio, where he was one of the first settlers in Trumbull County, there being but six families in the county before him. He secured a tract of land in Hubbard Township, upon which there was a water power, which he improved. He then built a sawmill, put in a turning lathe, and besides this machinery operated his farm, residing upon it until his death. He was twice married, and reared nineteen children.
John Burnett was two years old when his father moved to Ohio, where he was reared and married. After his marriage he settled in Vernon Township, bought a tract of timber land, cleared a farm in the wilderness and lived there until 1845, when he sold out and moved to Portage County, and bought a farm in Charlestown Township three miles east of Ravenna. This farm he occupied for a number of years, when he sold it and bought another farm, this time in Ravenna Township, within two miles of Ravenna, and there resided until his death.
The name of the mother of our subject before she was married was Harriet Merry, and she was born in Hartford Township, Trumbull County, Ohio, in July, 1801, being the first white child born in that township. Her father, Charles Merry, was born in Massachusetts and emigrated to Ohio about 1800, being one of the first settlers in the Territory of Ohio, where he secured a tract of timber land in Hartford Township and resided thereon till his death. The village of Burgh Hill is located on his farm. He was an officer in the War of 1812, and lived to be ninety years of age, having been the father of six children. John Burnett and his wife were the parents of eight children: Julia, Charles M., Asahel, Martha, Frank, Mary, William and Wellington. Asahel received his early education at his village school, and later he attended school in Portage County. At the age of sixteen he returned to Trumbull County and followed the vocation of teaching for two terms in Trumbull County, at which time there was but little public money used for school purposes, and the schools were in part subscription schools, each family paying according to the number of scholars sent. He received $18 per month and boarded round among his pupil's parents. After teaching two terms in Trumbull County he taught three terms in Portage County, and later in Fleming County, Ky., for two years. In 1853, he removed to Illinois and bought the farm where he now resides, which comprises twelve acres of timber, which he cleared and in part planted to corn. There were twenty fruit trees and a garden, which constituted the improvements on the place. He worked the farm seven years and then erected the frame house in which he now resides. He has one hundred and seventy-five acres in the home farm and in addition owns another of seventy-five acres, in Vienna Township. He was married in 1852 to Miss Ellen Farnham and in 1854 to Didamia Robertson, who was born in Bowling Green, Ky. Her parents were William and Elizabeth Robertson, who were natives of Virginia and Kentucky respectively.
Mr. and Mrs. Burnett have one son, Marcus L. who was born in October, 1855, and married Sarah Conley, who bore him two children, A. Breeze and Chloe B. Our subject voted for Lincoln in 1864, but since then until recently he has acted with the Democrats and now is a Prohibitionist. It should have been stated in its proper place that Mr. Burnett taught school in the winter seasons for nearly twenty-six years, which is an indication of his popularity as a teacher. Mr. Burnett and son belong to the Masonic Lodge No. 150, at Vienna, and the former has always taken a decided interest in educational matters and has always been very actively engaged in promoting the welfare of the community. He has served as School Director for a number of years.

Extracted 16 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from 1893 Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 472-473.

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