TIMOTHY P. BURNS, interested in general agricultural pursuits on section 29, Burritt township, where he owns and cultivates one hundred and sixty-nine acres of land, was born in this township January 23, 1867. His father, Tobias Burns, is a retired farmer, living in Rockford. The family is of Irish lineage, and was established in the United States by John and Julia (Shaughnessey) Burns, who came to this country in 1850, accompanied by their family. After spending about four years in New York they made their way westward to Winnebago county, where they resided until called to their final rest, John Burns passing away in October, 1873, while his wife died in June, 1890. In their family were eight children, and of the seven daughters all are now deceased with the exception of Mrs. James Morrissey, of Belvidere, Illinois.
The only son, Tobias Burns, was born in County Carlow, Ireland, and is now about seventy-five years of age. He came with his parents to America, and through many years was identified with agricultural interests in Winnebago county, his success being attributable entirely to his own labors. He was married in Rockford in 1860 to Miss Mary Doyle, who was born in County Kilkenny, Ireland, in October, 1842, her parents being Timothy and Elizabeth (Ryan) Doyle, natives of County Carlow, Ireland. They came to the new world in 1850, and was after living for four years in Rochester, New York, removed to Rockford, where Mr. Doyle died in February, 1866 his wife, however, survived until November 1, 1893. Mr. and Mrs. Burns began their domestic life upon a farm, and from April, 1864, until March, 1902, resided on section 22, Burritt township, where the well directed labors of Mr. Burns won him a gratifying prosperity. More extended mention of this worthy couple is given on another page of this work.
Timothy P. Burns, of this review, was reared in the usual manner of farm lads of the period, no event of special importance occurring to vary the routine of work, study and play for him in his boyhood days. Arriving at years of maturity he sought a companion and helpmate for life’s journey, and was married on the 13th of January, 1898, to Miss Margaret E. Shehan, a daughter of Phillip and Ann Shehan, a daughter of Phillip and Ann Shehan, of this county. She is a graduate of the high school of Winnebago of the class of 1892, and taught school for several terms, being known as one of the most successful teachers of the county. She was thus engaged up to the time of her marriage. The home of Mr. and Mrs. Burns has been blessed with three children: William Shehan, born September 15, 1899; Philip, born August 2, 1901; and Tobias, born in October, 1904.
At the time of his marriage Mr. Burns left the old homestead farm on which he had been reared, and of which he had acted as manager in the early years of his manhood and took up his abode upon the farm which is now his home, comprising one hundred and sixty-nine acres of land on section 29, Burritt township. Here he is now successfully carrying on general agricultural pursuits, his life being characterized by unremitting diligence and perseverance. In community affairs he is interested, and for several terms he has served as school director. His political allegiance is given to the democracy, and he and his wife are communicants of St. Mary’s Catholic church in Rockford.
Source: Charles A. Church, Past and Present of the City of Rockford and Winnebago County, Illinois (Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1905), p. 308.