Biography of Samuel A. Burgess
Decatur County, IA Biographies





PRESIDENT SAMUEL A. BURGESS.
As president of Graceland College of Lamoni, Iowa, Samuel A. Burgess occupies a position of leadership in educational circles in this part of the state, and his influence has been widely felt. He was born on the 15th of September, 1877, in St. Louis, Missouri, a son of Samuel R. and Eveline Burgess, and of English descent. After completing his public school course he entered the St. Louis Manual Training school and subsequently matriculated in Washington University in that city, which conferred upon him the A. B. degree in 1900 and the LL. B. degree two years later. For a number of years he has been prominent in various societies affiliated with the Reorganized Church of Latter Day Saints and since 1898, with the exception of two years, has been a member of the general executive committee of the Zion's Religio-Library Society, a young people's organization, and in that connection has done much to promote the moral and intellectual growth of the young men and women of the church. For one year he was general librarian of the Sunday school, while he was the first chairman of the Latter Day Saints' Library Commission, of which he has been a member since its organization. He has also been president of the Sunday School Religio-Normal Alumni Association and is a member of the Church Commission on Social Service. Since 1911 he has been a member of the board of trustees of Graceland College; since April, 1914, has served as associate director of the Graceland Extension Institute; while since June, 1913, he has been president of Graceland College, a school maintained by the Reorganized Church of Latter Day Saints at Lamoni. Under his direction a high standard of scholarship has been maintained and the student body has grown appreciably since he became the head of the school His relations with the members of the faculty have been most pleasant and all have worked together for the welfare of the institution, which is well known in southern Iowa.

On the 15th of June, 1915, Mr. Burgess was married to Miss Alice May Chase, a daughter of Amos M. and Eliza Chase, nee France. She was born October 13, 1892, and is a descendant of Aquila Chase, an Englishman who landed at Newbury, Massachusetts, in 1660. Her father is therefore a cousin of Salmon P. Chase, who was secretary of the treasury under Lincoln and afterward chief justice of the United States supreme court. Her paternal grandmother is a direct descendant of ____ Silsbee, an Englishman who landed at Salem, Massachusetts, in 1626. On her maternal side she is related to the France family, who came from Illinois to Fayette township in the early '80s, being a granddaughter of Thomas France. She was a student in the public schools of Lamoni, completing her high school work at the Northwestern State Normal at Alva, Oklahoma. She took her college work in the University of Utah at Salt Lake City and in Cornell University at Ithaca, New York, and from the latter received the degree of Bachelor of Arts in June, 1914. Her father has been a traveling missionary of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for the past twenty years and the daughter was associated with him for several years as a field worker. It was as a field worker and missionary that she was in Utah at the time she attended the university there, all of her spare time outside of school hours being spent in missionary work, in the church building, various halls and at times in the streets of Salt Lake City. Despite the aggressive work against the dominant church of Utah, her scholarship secured her election to the Gleam, an honorary literary society. Following her graduation at Cornell she taught Latin and German in the high school at Lamoni. In that connection she was instrumental in giving the Latin Club a permanent organization with a regular constitution under student officers, the club being now known as Nital.

While living in St. Louis Mr. Burgess was a member of the Missouri Athletic Club and of the Civic League of that city and was for two years secretary of the St. Louis Manual Training Association and was a member of the Washington University Association. He still belongs to the Law Library Association of St. Louis and to the Bar Association of that city, the National Geographic Society of America and the American Economic Association. He also belongs to a number of philosophical organizations and has studied the question of religion and religious training from many viewpoints. He was secretary of the Eighth Quorum of Elders and has exerted a deeply felt influence in the work of the Reorganized Church of Latter Day Saints. All who know him concede his ability and his personal traits are such that he has also gained many warm and sincere friends.

From:
History of Decatur County, Iowa
And its People
Vol II
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chiago 1915


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