A farm of three hundred and twenty acres in Washington township pays tribute to the care and labor of John Burns,
who is giving his personal supervision to the management and cultivation of the place. He was born in County Armagh,
Ireland, March 16, 1842, and is the eldest in a family of eight children, the others being daughters. His parents
were James and Mary (Burns) Burns, both natives of Ireland. They were married in the Emerald isle and when their
son John was a youth of sixteen years they sailed for the new world. Landing at New York, they made their way direct
to Buchanan county, traveling westward by way of Dubuque. From that point they continued on the journey by stage,
for there were no railroads in the county at that time. The father purchased land near Quasqueton and the early
home of the family in this county was a log cabin. Both Mr. and Mrs. Burns held membership in the Roman Catholic
church and died in that faith, the former in 1894 and the latter in 1884.
John Burns, whose name introduces this record, acquired his early education in the country schools of his native
land. As stated, he accompanied his parents to the new world when a youth of sixteen and for several years thereafter
aided his father in the cultivation and development of the home place. When twenty one years of age he started
out independently, working as a farm hand, and was thus employed for eight years. He then began farming on his
own account, having purchased land near the depot in Independence for seven dollars and a. half per acre. He took
up his abode upon a farm five and a half miles north of the city and has lived upon this place for over forty years.
He now owns three hundred and twenty acres, all of which he is cultivating himself, and he is today well known
as a successful general farmer and stockman, carefully and systematically directing his efforts and winning thereby
a well merited success.
On the 3d of April, 1877, Mr. Burns was united in marriage to Miss Mary Glynn, who was born in Hartford, Connecticut,
in 1857, a. daughter of Joseph and Bridget (Marnhan) Glynn, both of whom were natives of County. Clare, Ireland.
The father died in 1859 and the mother afterward became the wife of Pat Cullin, her home being now in Buchanan
county, Byron township. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Burns have been born ten children: Mary, the deceased wife of Pat Brickley,
of Hartford, Illinois, by whom she had three children, Mabel, Leo and John; James, a drayman of Decorah, Iowa,
now thirty five years of age; Sarah, the wife of James McDonald. who resides upon a farm west of Independence and
by whom she has six children, Edward, Joseph, Alfred, Lawrence, Richard and Mary; John F, thirty years of age,
who owns a farm in this county and is married and has two children, Mary and Loretta; Edward, twenty eight years
of age, living at home; Margaret, twenty five years of age, who attended the Cedar Falls Normal School and was
a school teacher prior to her marriage to John Ferreton, who follows farming near Independence; William, twenty
three years of age, also at home and now serving as a school director; Alice, twenty years of age, who has taught
for two years in the country schools; Mabel, eighteen years of age, also a school teacher; and Leo, a youth of
sixteen years, who completes the family.
At the time of the Civil war John Burns enlisted for service as a teamster in the Twenty seventh Iowa Infantry
and was on duty for about nine months. His political allegiance is given to the democratic party, and he has filled
some local township offices. The religious faith of himself and family is that of the Catholic church and they
attend St. John's church at Independence, Iowa. From the age of sixteen years he has resided continuously in Buchanan
county and has, therefore, witnessed much of its growth and development through a period of more than a half century.
History of Bachanan County, Iowa
And its People
By Harry Church and Katharyn J. Chappell
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Bachanan County, IA
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