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.
History of Decatur County, Iowa
And its People
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Decatur County, IA
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