Eli Burkett, an enterprising planter, blacksmith and wood workman, first saw the light of day in Upson County, Georgia, January 28, 1828, being the son of John and Celia (Etheridge) Burkett. John Burkett was born September 10, 1805 in Marlborough District, S.C., and was reared to farm life which is the occupation he followed the remainder of his years. He was married to Miss Etheridge in Wilkinson County, Georgia August 4, 1826, and by her became the father of eight children, four of them now living: Enoch V., William L., Mary (the wife of J.A. Baley) and Eli. Mr. Burkett was a member of the Baptist church, as was his wife; his death occurred December 29, 1869. Mrs. Burkett was born in Cumberland County, N.C., August 5, 1803, and died in 1885. Her parents were natives of North Carolina. Eli Burkett's early life was passed on the farm helping his father, and attending school a few months in the year. He was married to Miss Rosanah Gilbert, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jabez Gilbert, of Butts County, Georgia. Their marriage was solemnized June 4, 1850, and to them were born seven children: John, Jabez, Margaret (the wife of J.B. McMurtrie), Drewry, Thomas, Davis, and Lee. Mr. Burkett immigrated from Georgia to Arkansas in 1869, locating in Woodruff County, where he bought 140 acres of land, with sixty under cultivation. In connection with his farming, Mr. Burkett owns and operates a blacksmith and wood shop which he established in 1873. He manufactures wagons, buggies, and farming implements; he has built up a good trade, of which he is well deserving, being an industrious, hardworking man and respected by all. In societies he is identified with A.F. & A.M, Colony Lodge No. 190, and of the I.O.O.F., DeView Lodge NO. 71. As the breaking out of the late war, Mr. Burkett enlisted in January 1862, in the Thirty-Second Georgia Infantry, Company I, where he served as a private, until November 1864, when he was promoted to second lieutenant, and commanded his company on that memorable day, March 19, 1865, at Bentonville, N.C., in which eight of his company was killed and thirteen wounded with him receiving a wound in this battle disabling him until April 16, when he was discharged at the hospital at Thomasville, N.C. Mrs. Burkett is a native of Butts County, Georgia, this county being the place of her birth which occurred April 15, 1825. Her parents were residing in Georgia at the time of her demise, Mr. Gilbert dying February 4, 1864 and his wife surviving him until April 29, 1888.
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