Biography of
Elmer Burch, M. D.

p. 1261

     ELMER BURCH, M. D. Comparatively brief has been the period of the residence of Dr. Elmer Burch in DuQuoin, but it has been of sufficient duration to win for him a fair degree of eminence in that city and in the surrounding district. He is a member of the professional firm of Gillis & Burch, M.D.‘s, and has been active in the practice of his profession in DuQuoin since 1908. As physician for the Children’s Home of DuQuoin and district surgeon of the Illinois Central Railway Company, together with his private practice, Dr. Burch is one of the busy men of the city.

     Elmer Burch was born on a farm near Monmouth, Illinois, on April 8, 1864, and was there reared. His grandfather was Thomas Wells Burch, a native of Wales, born in that country in 1795, who came to the United States in infancy and was reared in North Carolina. He later became a resident of Illinois, settling at Monmouth.. He married and became the father of thirteen children, but only four grew to years of manhood and womanhood. They were Benjamin, who died recently in Hancock county, Illinois, leaving a wife and daughter to mourn their loss; Lizzie, who became the wife of Jackson Gossett and resides in Nebraska; Thomas J., who became the father of Dr. Elmer Burch; and Sarah, who died at Monmouth, Illinois, as Mrs. John Easton.

     Thomas J. Burch lived the life of the farm boy as a child, and when he became a man accepted that vocation as his own. He received the usual district school training, and passed his boyhood and youth as a typical farmer‘s lad, the real business of life beginning when he volunteered for service in the Union army in Company K of the Eleventh Illinois Cavalry, with Colonel Robert G. Ingersoll in command. An active and honorable army career was his, and when the vicissitudes of army life were over he returned to his home, where he resumed work on the old farm. He remained thus occupied for some time, until he subsequently moved to Missouri, and is now passing his remaining days in the peace and quiet of the town of Ewing in that state. He is an active Democrat and a member of the G. A. R. Thomas J. Burch chose as his wife Miss Marie L. Shellenbarger, a daughter of George Shellenbarger, from Erie county, Pennsylvania, who, with his wife, was of German extraction. Mr. and Mrs. Schellenbarger were P. 1262 the parents of eleven children, of whom Mrs. Burch was the fourth in order of birth. Mr. and Mrs. Burch were the parents of two sons, Dr. Elmer, of this review, and Dr. George W., a graduate of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Keokuk, Iowa, now located at Quincy, Illinois, and active in the practice of his chosen profession.

     Dr. Elmer Burch, after finishing with the high school of his home town, completed a course of literary studies in the U. P. College of Monmouth. He took up his medical studies in the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Keokuk, Iowa, graduating therefrom in 1886.  He began the practice of his profession at Cameron, Illinois, continuing his work there for a space of six years, then entered the Baltimore Medical College and was graduated from that institution in 1893. His next location was at Clearmont, Missouri, where he remained for five years in practice and then removed to Doe Run, St. Francois county, and after a residence of ten years came thence to DuQuoin. While located in Missouri Dr. Burch connected himself with the professional societies of both county and state, and holds similar affiliation with corresponding societies of Illinois, as well as with the American Medical Association. He is physician for the Children’s Home of DuQuoin and district surgeon of the Illinois Central Railway Company, and in connection with the latter named position holds membership in the Illinois Central Association of Surgeons. Dr. Burch is a member of the Blue Lodge and Chapter of Masonry, is past noble grand of Odd Fellowship, past sachem of the Red Men, and is also a member of the Eagles, Elks and the Modern Woodmen.

     On July 23, 1893, Dr. Burch was married to Miss Trella M. Ragnier, a daughter of Eugene and Frances (Holcomb) Regnier. Mr. Regnier is of French origin and is a mason contractor of Galesburg. Dr. and Mrs. Burch have two children, Beatrice and Claire.

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