John W. Burdsal, Sr., 76 years old, father-in-law of Mayor James R. Smart, and for more than 40 years a resident of Evanston, died suddenly of heart trouble Friday night at 8:30 o'clock in his home, 1004 Hinman avenue, while seated in a chair reading the evening paper. For several days Mr. Burdsal had not been feeling well, but Friday was somewhat improved. With his son, George B. Burdsal, he was seated in the library. The son heard a faint sound, as if Mr. Burdsal had called and, looking up from his paper, saw that his aged parent had fallen into his last sleep.
About two years ago Mr. Burdsal was stricken with the disease which caused his death. He has suffered several attacks during that time. Only last November he was stricken, and for several days his life was despaired of. He recovered, but the physicians warned the members of the family that his death might come at any time.
Lived in the same home 40 years In July, 1873, Mr. Burdsal moved to Evanston and took up his residence at 1004 Hinman avenue, where he has lived since. Mr. Burdsal was one of Chicago's pioneer-merchants. In 1856 he moved to that city from Cincinnati and immediately engaged in the wholesale grocery business in South Water street. The style of the firm was Knowles, Burdsal & Bacon. When the great fire swept Chicago, this establishment was destroyed and the firm never resumed business. Mr. Burdsal then became identified with the Reid Murdoch wholesale grocery concern, establishing the tea and coffee department of that company. After several years' service, he left the employ of this company and became connected with the Sprague-Warner company in a similar capacity. Five years ago he retired.
Second Veteran to Die in Week The death of Mr. Burdsal marks the passing of the second veteran employee of the Sprague-Warner compnay in a week. Henry F. Slaymaker, for thirty-nine years an employee of the firm, dropped dead Sunday of last week in the home of Jerome Smith in Evanston. The cause of death in each instance was heart disease, a coincidence seldom occurring. Mr. Burdsal attended the funeral of Mr. Slaymaker Tuesday and there met many of the employees of the company whom he had not seen since his resignation.
Knew Chicago Notables One feature which was prominent in the life of John W. Burdsal was his intimate acquaintance with many notable personages in Chicago. He attended school with Marshall Field, Joseph Leiter, Potter Palmer and others, and knew them when they were struggling clerks. Mr. Burdsal was born and reared in Cincinnati. The date of his birth was February 4, 1837. He was a devout member of the Second Presbyterian church of this city. His wife, Mrs. Jennie Wilcox Burdsal, died in Evanston a year ago last August. Besides his three children, George B. Burdsal, Mrs. Grace B. Smart and John W. Burdsal, Jr., all of Evanston, he leaves one brother, C. W. Burdsal, 634 Sheridan Road, Evanston. Funeral services will be conducted in the family home tomorrow afternoon at 3 o'clock. The burial will be in Rosehill Cemetery. Employees of the Sprague-Warner company will act as pall bearers.