PURVINES, BURTON LEE. - An agricultural life is one of the healthiest and sane there is, for under the blue sky and amid the influences of nature, the farmer learns to take a broader view of life and humanity, than when crowded in the confines of a large city. His living is assured him from his land, and if he understands his work, an income as well. Few farmers of today are content to follow old lines, but are branching out, and specializing in many lines. Still there are many who prefer to devote themselves to general farming, and all are benefitting from the experiments conducted by the government and private individuals. One of the leading agriculturalists of Sangamon County, is Burton Lee Purvines, who owns a fine tract of 400 acres. He was born on a farm near Pleasant Plains, may 22, 1875, a son of Green Lee and Louisa (Potter) Purvines, the latter of whom was born in Menard County, near Petersburg, Ill., a daughter of Elijah Potter. Elijah Potter was born in White County, Ill., but in early manhood moved to Menard County where he died. Abraham Lincoln made his home at the house of Mr. Potter's mother while a clerk in the store at Old Salem, and Mr. Purvines has never changed his views regarding that great man, for whom he early formed an attachment and to whom he gave an unrestricted admiration.
The boyhood days of Mr. Purvines were spent much the same as those of other farmer youths of his vicinity, the time not needed on the farm, being spent in attending the district schools of his locality. Owing to the failing health of his father, his time was pretty well occupied, and when his father died on December 20, 1894, he assumed full charge of the place. In 1895, Mr. Purvines assisted his mother in erecting a beautiful home on Church street, Pleasant Plains, but continued to operate the home farm of 268 acres.
On September 14, 1898, Mr. Purvines was united in marriage with Miss Susie Harrington, daughter of George T. Harrington, whose biographical sketch is given at length elsewhere in this work. After marriage, Mr. Purvines returned to his birthplace, and he and his wife gave their attention to farming and stock raising. This continued until 1904, when after a very successful career as an agriculturist, Mr. Purvines built a cottage on Main street, in Pleasant Plains, still continuing to operate the farm in its entirety. In 1907, he rented a portion of the home place, but continues his farm and stock operations from Pleasant Plains, owning 400 acres of rich farm land. In 1910, this land averaged sixty bushels to the acre, he having planted 225 acres in corn.
Mr. Purvines is one of the representative men of his county and State, being very progressive in his methods and beliefs. He is prominent fraternally, belonging to Pleasant Plains Masonic Lodge, No. 700, and Welcome Lodge No. 770, I.O.O.F., while both he and his wife are connected with the Eastern Star Lodge. They are consistent members of the Christian Church, in which they are active, giving liberally of both time and money. In political matters, he has always been a Democrat, and can be depended upon for hard work in securing the election of the candidates of his party. Such people as these are the very backbone of any community, for they not only are influential in material matters, but the effect of their upright, Christian lives is felt by all who come into contact with them.