Rudolph BOURDETTE, deceased, at one time actively engaged in farming in Marshall county, where he resided throughout his entire life, was born in Henry, Illinois, April 22, 1853, and died on the 19th of May, 1902. He was one of a family of seven children and his educational privileges were those afforded by the public schools of his native city. Throughout his business career he engaged in farming in Whitefield township and brought to his work a spirit of determination, enterprise and laudable ambition that enabled him to overcome all difficulties and obstacles in his path and make steady advancement on the highroad to success. He carefully tilled his fields, utilizing the most practical methods in his work, and as the years went by his annual income increased and he was thus enabled to leave his family in comfortable circumstances.
On the 19th of March, 1879, Mr. BOURDETTE was united in marriage to Miss Lura CULVER, a daughter of Orsemus and Adelia (CHAPMAN) CULVER, both of whom are now deceased. Her father was a native of Vermont and on emigrating westward in 1836 settled upon a farm near Henry, casting in his lot with the pioneer residents of this section of the state who, following in the wake of the red men, reclaimed the region for the purposes of civilization and converted the wild prairie and timber tracts into rich and productive farms. He led a life of industry and activity and his many good qualities gained for him the respect of all with whom he was associated either in business or social relations. He died in. 1873. His political allegiance was given to the republican party, of which he was a most stalwart champion. His wife was a daughter of Joseph and Electa (ALLEN) CHAPMAN and both parents were descended from ancestors who served in the Revolutionary war, the respective families having been established in America in colonial days. In the family of this worthy couple were seven children, of whom two are living, Gilbert and Mrs. BOURDETTE. Unto Mr. and Mrs. BOURDETTE were born three children, Ella, Charles and Edward. Ella is now the wife of Elmer Davis HIGGINS, a farmer of Eagle Grove, Iowa, and they have one daughter, who was born July 3, 1906. Charles, twenty-three years of age, is on the home farm with his mother and carries on the work of the fields.
In his political views Mr. BOURDETTE was a republican, voting for presidential candidates of the party and remaining loyal in its support when state and national questions were at issue, but at local elections he cast an independent ballot. He continued actively in business until October, 1901, when he became ill and his health remained impaired until the following May, when he was called from this life, his remains being interred in Henry cemetery. He was a man of many good traits of character, was- loyal in citizenship, faithful in friendship and devoted to the welfare and happiness of his wife and children. Mr. BOURDETTE left to his family a farm of one hundred and sixty acres of land which is now carried on by his widow and her son Charles. The fields are under a high state of cultivation and a large number of cattle are raised and sold annually. Mrs. BOURDETTE also gives considerable attention to poultry, having about three hundred chickens, and she sells eggs and butter. A most earnest worker in the Methodist Episcopal church, she has served as organist, has been a teacher in the Sunday-school and for three years has been president of the Ladies' Aid Society. In fact she is one of the most earnest and helpful workers in the church and her labors are far-reaching and beneficial. Her son Charles is secretary of the Sunday-school, while fraternally he is connected with the Henry lodge of Odd Fellows. The family is one of prominence in the community, well meriting mention among the representative residents of the county.
Extracted July 2011 by Norma Hass from Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties Illinois, 1907.