More House Genealogy and Some Freaky Coincidences

Burgan's Fine Furniture of Spokane
Burgan's Fine Furniture of Spokane
A great big thanks to Dan – an architect and self-proclaimed “avid genealogist” – who read the recent post on our home’s genealogy and provided us with the following fascinating information about our house:

Based on Census enumerations before the 1910 Portland Census and Illinois State records, the occupant in your home in 1910 was Edwin S Burgan, b. April 1849, his wife Emma E Hefeley, b. August, 1849, m. November 16, 1876 in Vermilion County, Illinois. In 1880, Edwin and family are living in Danville, Vermilion County, Illinois, where Edwin is shown to be a Bookkeeper. In 1900, Edwin and family are found in Pullman, Washington, where he identified as a Merchant. In 1880 and 1900, Edwin and family also had a house servant.

Edwin and family moved from Portland to Spokane where in 1915 he and his son, Jesse W. Burgan (not James as enumerated in 1910 Census) opened Burgan’s Furniture which operated until this last April when the company sold their building (originally built in 1920).

Weirdly, there are some crazy parallels between Edwin and Emma and ourselves. Like us, Edwin and Emma had a November wedding anniversary. In fact, their anniversary was just two days before ours. Like us, they moved to Washington State from Illinois, and like us, they moved to Portland (and into this very house!) from Washington.

Edwin and Emma are listed as having a house servant in both 1880 and 1900. Does this mean we’ll be getting a housekeeper soon, because THAT would make me very, very happy!

Thanks again Dan and Dawn for discovering (uncovering?) our home’s past!

7 thoughts on “More House Genealogy and Some Freaky Coincidences

  1. The only detail that gives me pause is that I found a census record for Edwin S. Burgan in 1910 as a Merchant with a male boarder living in Pullman Washington instead of Portland. Maybe there was a period of estrangement? I also think going from a merchant to bank president is a big jump though. 🙂

    Many of the other details do match like birthplaces for the most part, so it is very possible

    However, some don’t like the son’s name (Jesse W. instead of James M.) and Emma S. vs. Emma E.

    The Portland City Directories could confirm for sure. 🙂


  2. An online biography of Edwin Sylvester Burgan, the 1910 occupant of you home can be found using Google Book Search. The work is the “History of the City of Spokane and Spokane County, Washington” Vol. III, S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1912, Spokane-Chicago-Philadelphia.
    This bio shows that Mr. Burgan was involved in a number of ventures at the time of the 1910 Census, among them being President of the First National Bank in Spokane while also serving as the President of the Burgan and Springer Hat Company of Portland.
    His biography begins on page 720.


  3. I would be curious to see if the down time between IL and OR was spent in St Paul, MN. I wouldn’t be surprised. Many used St Paul as a mid-way between coasts because of the railroads. I will take a look through my resources and see what I can find.
    Thanks for posting all of this!


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