A prominent and prosperous agriculturist, and an extensive land holder, Joseph Burkhart, of St. Joseph Township, is widely known as proprietor of Twin Elm Farm, which consists of 260 acres of land, twenty acres of which lies in Dekalb County, Indiana. He also owns another farm of 240 acres in the same township, and is carrying on general farming and stock raising most successfully. A son of George Burkhart, he was born, May 12, 1858, in Crawford County, Ohio, where he lived until twelve years of age.
Born and educated in Pennsylvania, George Burkhart came to Ohio in early manhood, locating in Crawford County, where he ran a sawmill for a few seasons. Moving to Bucyrus, in the same county, he took charge of a furnace. He subsequently invented the old Excelsior reaper, the first one that had a patent dropper, and traveled on the road selling the machines. Coming to Williams County with his family in 1869, he spent his remaining years on a farm in St. Joseph Township. He was a democrat in politics, and a member of the Evangelical Church, with which he was prominently identified. He married Roxanna Songer, who was born in Pennsylvania, and as a child came with her parents to Ohio, locating in Crawford County. Of the children born of their marriage, seven are living, as follows: Joseph, the special subject of this sketch; Sarah, wife of Solomon Suffel, living near Montpelier, Williams County; Samuel F., engaged in farming in St. Joseph Township; Frank, of Edgerton; Ida, wife of Chester Isenhood; Anna, wife of John Richmond; and Sophia, the eldest child of the parental household, wife of Daniel Mowery, of St. Louis, Missouri.
Coming with the family to Williams County in 1869, Joseph Burkhart was educated in the district schools, and after finishing his studies spent many years on the home farm, remaining with his parents until twenty-five years old. Choosing the free and independent occupation to which he was reared, Mr. Burkhart has met with no failures in his undertakings, at the present writing having title to 400 acres of choice land, from which he reaps bountiful harvests, the rich soil responding readily to his methods of culture.
Mr. Burkhart married, December 25, 1884, Aletta Casebere, who was born in Tracy Township, Dekalb County, Indiana, December 15, 1866, a daughter of George Casebere, and granddaughter of John and Nancy (Smiley) Casebere, who settled in Williams County, Ohio, in 1840. George Casebere was born in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, in 1832, and died in July, 1896. His wife, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Kinsely, was born in Canal Dover, Tuscarawas County, Ohio, November 2, 1835, and died in 1893. Four children were born of their union, as follows: Lee Casebere, of Bryan, Ohio; Solomon, of Butler, Indiana; Marshall, deceased; and Aletta, now Mrs. Burkhart.
Mr. and Mrs. Burkhart have three children, namely : Ora Glenn, born July 5, 1885, married Ethel Spaulding; Earl Lyston, born August 22, 1888, is single, and lives at home; and Arthur Dale, born February 11, 1890, who was graduated from the Edgerton High School, and the Fort Wayne Business College, married Jette Kimball. Mr. Burkhart is a democrat in politics, and Mrs. Burkhart, true to the religious faith in which she was reared, is an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Source: Bowersox, Charles A. ed. A standard history of Williams County, Ohio: an authentic narrative of the past, with particular attention to the modern era in the commercial, industrial, educational, civic and social development , 2 vols. Publisher Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co. 1920.