Frank M. Burger, of Mesa county, a prosperous and enterprising ranchman and stock-grower living twelve miles east of Grand Junction, is one of the leading citizens of his portion of the county, and has been a great force for good in the development and growth of the section, giving his aid to every promising undertaking for the benefit of its farms and its people and originating and constructing some works of great public utility himself. Although somewhat engaged in general farming and raising stock, his principal industry on his home farm is the production of large quantities of superior fruit of choice varieties.
Mr. Burger is a native of Ohio, born at St. Paris, that state, in 1852, and the son of Michael and Julia (Barnheart) Burger, both natives of Pennsylvania. Soon after their marriage they moved to Ohio and were among the first settlers at Dayton. The father was a cooper by trade, and followed his craft until his death, in 1852, at the age of fifty-one. His widow lived until 1891, then died at a good old age, lacking only three weeks and ten days of being one hundred years old. The remains of the father were buried at Columbus, Ohio, and those of the mother at Grand Junction, this state.
Frank was the last born of their nine children. Being orphaned by the death of his father soon after he was born, life was for him a serious matter at a very early age. When he was but eleven years old he went to work on farms in Illinois, and continued this employment about seven years. He then began to learn the trade of a machinist at Peoria, Illinois, and served an apprenticeship of four years at it. In 1876 he started west, passing through Iowa and Kansas, and then coming on to Pueblo, Colorado, reaching that city in 1881 and going to work in the machine shops there. After being thus employed for eleven months he moved on October 9, 1882, to the fruit farm on which he now lives, and which has been his home since the date last named. As a means of improving his land and that of other persons in this part of the county he built at his own expense the Mount Lincoln ditch, the construction of which occupied him nine years, and the money for which he made by keeping a short-order house of good grade.
Frank M. Burger married in 1896 to Miss Lydia Curry, of Palisade Colorado. They have one child, Frank M., Jr.
Mr. Burger has been very active in promoting the interests of Grand valley, aiding every good enterprise for the purpose himself, and by his influence and example securing the active and effective cooperation of others. Fraternally he is connected with the Odd Fellows, with membership in Palisade Lodge, No. 147, and the Elks, Grand Junction Lodge, No. 575.
Editor’s Note: Frank M. Burger would eventually sell the Mount Lincoln Ditch and move to the Imperial Valley California in 1907. He and his wife would only have the one son, Frank Jr.
Source: Bowen, A. W. Progressive Men of Western Colorado. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., Publishers. 1905.