Biography of William R. Burton
Adams County, NE Biographies





WILLIAM R. BURTON.
Macaulay has said that "the history of a country is best told in the lives of its people," and if we would preserve the history of any section, the facts must be preserved while those who have been participants in important events still remain to tell the tale of their activities. There is no one better qualified to speak of Adams county and its annals than Hon. William R. Burton, so closely has he been associated with events that figure prominently in its records. He is a product of the frontier of Southwestern Missouri, where he was born June 30, 1843, the eldest of five children born to the marriage of Garrett Burton and Catherine Ware. He was a student in the Northwestern Christian University at Indianapolis, Indiana, at the time of the outbreak of the Civil war and, laying aside his textbooks, he enlisted July, 1861, in response to the country's call for aid, becoming a member of Company E, Twenty third Indiana Volunteer Infantry, with which he served until wounded in one of the engagements of the Vicksburg campaign. After recovering from his injuries he served in the quartermaster's department of the Army of the Cumberland under General Thomas until honorably discharged at the close of the war in 1865.

For a time Mr. Burton engaged in the practice of law in Union county, Indiana, but temporarily abandoned that profession to become a member of the editorial staff of the Indianapolis Journal. In 1883 he removed to Adams county, Nebraska, and for a time engaged in teaching school, but the recognition of his ability as a lawyer, his public spirit and his trustworthiness as a citizen led to his election to the office of judge of the city court of Hastings in 1887, every ballot except one being cast in his favor. In 1889 he was elected county judge and served upon the bench in that capacity until January, 1894, his decisions being strictly fair and impartial, so that he "won golden opinions from all sorts of people." Since then he has devoted his attention to the practice of law.

Judge Burton was married in 1873 to Miss Anna J. Langtree, of Madison, Indiana, and they have one son. For almost the third of a century the family have resided in this state and throughout the entire period Mr. Burton has not only been an interested witness of the events which have occurred in shaping the history of his county, but has been a most active participant in many and on more than one occasion has been the leader and molder of public thought and action.

From:
Past and Present of
Adams County, Nebraska
Supervisong Editor: Judge William R. Burton
Assistant Editor: David J. Lewis
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Chicago, 1916


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