Biography of Hon. Edwin K. Barnhan
Wayne County, NY Biographies





Burnham, Hon. Edwin K., was born in Randolph, Vt., September 8, 1839, educated in the common schools and the Royalton Academy and completing his. studies at the Orange County (Vt.) Grammar School. In 1862 he enlisted in Company C, 15th Vermont Infantry, and was at the battle of Gettysburg, being honorably discharged as sergeant in 1863. In the spring of 1864 he graduated at the Albany Law School, and was admitted to practice in the courts of the State. In June of the same year he came to Newark and entered upon the practice of his profession as a partner of James E. Briggs, a native of his own State. In September of the same year he reenlisted into the army, and October 10, 1864, was commissioned captain of Company D, 111th Regiment, N. Y. Infantry, and went with his regiment, participating in the engagements in and around Petersburg until taken prisoner April 2, 1865. He was returned to his regiment April 9, the day of Lee's surrender, and honorably discharged June 4, 1865. Returning to Newark he began the practice of law, and in 1872 he founded the Newark Union. In the fall of 1884 he was elected to the Legislature, and was largely instrumental in the passage of a bill establishing the Custodial Asylum for Feeble Minded Women at Newark, which is now a flourishing State institution, and of which he is secretary and member of the Board of Trustees. In June, 1889, he was appointed superintendent of public buildings, which position he filled with credit and honor. One of the first innovations made by him was the rule that the national flag should float from the staff on the capitol every week day through the year, which was the origin of the movement to display the flag on public school buildings. Mr. Burnham owns a half interest in the Wayne County Preserving Company at Newark, and has twenty acres devoted to fruit and vegetable growing. He has served as justice of the peace eight years and as supervisor four terms. August 31, 1865, he married Nancy A. Dillingham, a niece of Governor Dillingham, and of their four children one daughter died in infancy, the others are George A., Edwin D., and Helen E. Mr. Burnham is a member of Vosburgh Post No. 99, G. A. R., of which he has been commander four terms. He is also a member of Newark Lodge No. 83, F. & A. M., and also of the I. O. O. F. No. 250, of the A. O. U. W. No. 17, and of the Grange.

From:
Landmarks of Wayne County, New York
Edited by: Hon. George W. Cowles
Assisted by: H. P. Smith and others
D. Mason & Co., Publishers
Syracuse, N. Y. 1895


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