Transcribed from History of Wyandotte County Kansas and its people ed. and comp. by Perl W. Morgan. Chicago, The Lewis publishing company, 1911. 2 v. front., illus., plates, ports., fold. map. 28 cm. [Vol. 2 contains biographical data. Paged continuously.] p. 749-750 transcribed by Jenna Flood, student from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, on January 19, 2001.


John J. Burgar

JOHN J. BURGAR. - The present able and popular incumbent of the office of commissioner of the poor at Kansas City, Kansas, is John J. Burgar, who has resided in this city since 1877 and who has ever manifested a deep and sincere interest in all matters affecting the well being of this section of the state. Prior to his election as commissioner of the poor he was police sergeant, by appointment of Mayor Crockett, serving in that capacity until 1903.

John J. Burgar was born on a farm near Oshkosh, Wisconsin, the date of his nativity being the 26th of September, 1864, and he is a son of Alfred and Elizabeth (Cope) Burgar, both of whom are now deceased. The father was born and reared in the Dominion of Canada and the mother claimed the state of Maine as the place of her birth. Alfred Burgar was a tinsmith by trade and he immigrated to the United States in about the year 1860, locating in Wisconsin, where he subsequently became identified with the great basic industry of agriculture. In 1877 he disposed of his various interests in the old Badger state of the Union and came to Kansas City, Kansas, where he was engaged in the work of his trade during the remainder of his life. He was summoned to the life eternal in the year 1881, and his cherished and devoted wife passed away in 1887. They were the parents of three children - John J., the immediate subject of this review; Nellie, who died when quite small; and Edward, who is engaged in the plumbing business at Kansas City, Missouri. In politics the father accorded a lifelong allegiance to the principles and policies promulgated by the Democratic party, and his religious faith was in harmony with the tenets of the Protestant Episcopal church, of which he and his wife were devout communicants.

Mr. Burgar, of this notice, was a child of thirteen years of age at the time of his parents removal to Kansas City. He received his early educational training in the public schools of Wisconsin and later he supplemented that discipline by further study in the Kansas City schools. In 1888, when twenty-four years of age, he joined the Metropolitan police force of this city, first as patrolman and later as police sergeant. During his early identification with this line of work he served at Station No. 1 and later at Stations No. 2 and 3, continuing to be engaged in police work until 1904, in which year the change was made from Metropolitan to City police. Mr. Burgar then resigned his position and engaged as a watchman for Swift & Company, Packers, until Mr. Crockett was elected mayor of the city, at which time he was appointed police sergeant, of which office he remained in tenure until 1903, when he was honored by his fellow citizens with election to the position of commissioner of the poor. He is now serving his seventh term in the latter office and his long incumbency speaks well for his efficiency in discharging the duties connected therewith.

On the 10th of October, 1895, was recorded the marriage of Mr. Burgar to Miss Lyda Keim, who is a daughter of S. C. and Fannie Keim, both of whom were born and reared in Pennsylvania and both of whom are now living in Kansas City, Kansas. Mr. and Mrs. Keim were the parents of seven children - five daughters and two sons - of whom Mrs. Burgar was the second in order of birth. Mr. Keim is a representative of the old Keim family who were German pioneers in the old Keystone state of the Union, and he came to Kansas City, Kansas, in 1883, since which time he has been actively engaged in the general merchandise business on Central avenue. He is a loyal Republican in his political proclivities and he and his wife are Dunkards in their religiou's adherency.

Mr. Burgar is decidedly prominent in fraternal organizations in Kansas. He is a valued and appreciative member of Pride of the West Lodge, No. 484, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in which he is past noble grand, and he is also connected with Wyandotte Encampment, No. 9, in which he is chairman of the committee appointed to entertain the Odd Fellows during the session of the Grand Lodge of Kansas, which will be held in Kansas City in October of 1911. Mr. Burgar is likewise affiliated with Wide Awake Lodge, No. 153, Knights of Pythias; Sons and Daughters of Justice; Ancient Order of United Workmen; and with a number of other social orders of a local nature. In politics he is aligned as a stanch supporter of the cause of the Democratic party, and he is a member of the Episcopal church, while his wife is a Dunkard in her religious conviction. They are popular in connection with the best social activities of Kansas City and are accorded the unalloyed regard of their fellow citizens.



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