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Fred and Edith Burich

Fred Burch was born in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1883. He spent his entire life in Iowa, living in Ottumwa, Fraser, Scandia, Des Moines, and Madrid.

He began his mining career as a very young man, working with his father and uncle in Ottumwa, where they operated their own mines. While later living in Scandia, the Scandia Coal Company sent him to Madrid to help sink the shaft for Number Four Mine, south of Madrid. In 1917, he moved his wife and two daughters to Madrid, living at 605 South State Street, which was their home for many years.

Mr. Burch was the general foreman of Scandia Mine No. 4, until the death of Owen Rees. At that time, he was made the Superintendent of Mine No. 4 and Eagle Mine No. 6.

In 1926, C. T. Carney, owner of the Scandia Coal Company, recommended Mr. Burch to the Water Works Department of Des Moines, Iowa, to install a tunnel under the Raccoon River. He did this successfully, using a crew of underground miners from Madrid.

Mr. Burch served three terms on the Madrid City Council, and was a member of the Masonic Lodge in Madrid. He died in 1939, and is buried in Mount Hope Cemetery. Edith Burch was born in 1885, in Adair, Iowa. She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, W.S.C.S., Harmony Sunday School Class, the Order of the Eastern Star, Past Worthy Matron's Club, Royal Neighbors, and the Rebekah Lodge. She received her 50-year membership pin from the Eastern Star while living at the Lutheran Home in Madrid.

Edith helped organize the first library in Madrid and served as President of the Board of Library Trustees. Other board members at that time were Percy Browne, Frank Graves, Earl H. Brown, Glen Grout, J. Edwin Sundberg, Mrs. Don Kasser, and Mrs. Blanche Halsey. They recruited volunteers to build shelves and paint walls. The first books were donated by Madrid citizens. Mrs. Trace Embree was the first librarian. The library was located above the present "SAM Center," which, at that time housed the City Hall and jail facilities.

Mrs. Burch worked at the Woodward State Hospital for 14 years. She entered the Lutheran Home in Madrid in 1969, and died in 1972. She also is buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery.

Mr. and Mrs. Burch have two living daughters, Laura Reed, of Des Moines, Iowa, and Margaret Yaske, of Golden Terrace, here in Madrid. Also, four grandchildren, ten great grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren.

Fred and Edith Burch were highly respected citizens of Madrid, and were proud of the community in which they lived.

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