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Porter C. Burge. Prominent among the men whose activities have lent encouragement to the agriculturists of Woods County is found Porter C. Burge, manager of the Hopeton Elevator Company, at Hopeton. This concern, a farmers’ co-operative enterprise, reflects the untiring zeal of Mr. Burge, who, from a modest beginning, has advanced its fortunes to the prominence of a necessary commercial adjunct.
Mr. Burge was born December 23, 1865, on a farm in Bureau County, Illinois, and is a son of Reuben and Eliza (McDonald) Burge. His father, born in 1833, in Ohio, went as a young man to Illinois and settled in Bureau County, where he passed the remaining years of his life in successful agricultural operations and died in 1867. He was married in 1863 to Miss Eliza McDonald, who was born in 1840, in Bureau County, Illinois, daughter of Thomas and Martha (Perkins) McDonald, and to this union there were born two children: Porter C.; and John E., born September 9, 1867, who is now a resident of Los Angeles, California. In 1872 Mrs. Burge was married to Levi Renner, and to this union there were born six children: Chester; Frederick; a son who died in infancy; Clarence; Myrtle, who died at the age of sixteen years; and Manuel. Mrs. Renner still survives and resides at Nickerson, Kansas.
When he was eight years of age, Porter C. Burge was taken by his mother and stepfather to Reno County, Kansas, and there was reared to manhood and completed his education in the public schools. He was brought up to agricultural pursuits, and remained in Kansas engaged in farming until 1893, in which year he came to Oklahoma and located on government land in Woods County. He is still the owner of his original homestead, located one mile from Hopeton, in addition to which he has other valuable land, all of which is under a high state of cultivation. In 1898, feeling that the agriculturists of his community needed better representation, and protection of their interests, he, with others, organized the Farmers’ Federation of Alva, the first farmers’ grain and coal company organized in Woods county. He was identified with this enterprise until 1904, when he, with others, was the organizer and promoter of the Hopeton Elevator Company, at Hopeton, of which he has since been manager. It is probable that no one enterprise of the county has done more to raise the standards of agriculture or to encourage agricultural development. The enterprise has won the confidence and support of the farmers of this locality, as evidenced by the fact that in 1914 the Hopeton Elevator Company shipped about 30,000 bushels of wheat. In addition to his duties as manager of this concern, Mr. Burge conducts an agricultural implement business on his own account, at Hopeton, and under his able direction this has also proven an unqualified success.
Mr. Burge was married December 23, 1888, at Nickerson, Kansas to Miss Eliza E. Gillock, born in 1873, in Greene County, Indiana, a daughter of Jackson Gillock, a farmer of Indiana and Kansas. While Mr. and Mrs. Burge have no children of their own, their hearts have gone out to the little ones, and two children, Roland and May Dowell, have been reared in their home to honorable man and womanhood.