Biography of John H. Burgess
Columbiana County, OH Biographies

John H. Burgess, who has served as justice of the peace in East Liverpool for 30 years, is a veteran of the Civil War and a highly respected pioneer citizen of Columbiana County. He was born in Cumberland County, England, Feb. 18, 1843, and is the son of John H. and Jane (Nicholson) Turgess, natives of England.

John H. Burgess, deceased, brought his family to this country in July, 1849, and settled in East Liverpool where he followed his trade as a hatter. There were five children born to Mr. and Mrs. Burgess: Benjamin; Anna, married Thomas G. Thompson; William; John H., the subject of this sketch; and Susie. All are deceased except John H.

John H. Burgess attended the public schools of East Liverpool and when a boy worked on the Ohio river between Pittsburgh and New Orleans. He ran away from home to enlist in the army during the Civil War and was a member of Battery E, Third Pennsylvania Artillery. When recruits were wanted for the navy he volunteered and was stationed on the gunboat "Brewster", which was sunk. After 11 months service in the navy he was returned to his company which was located near Petersburg. Mr. Burgess was one of two guards detailed to guard Jeff Davis when he was taken prisoner and he came on duty at 9 P. M. Jeff Davis asked the sentinel, Mr. Burgess to call lieutenant of guard to warm a cup of coffee, the lieutenant asked him why in hell he didn't drink it while it was warm. Mr. Burgess felt sorry for the prisoner, held the cup of coffee over a little lamp for at least one hour and gave it to Mr. Davis who drank it. After the close of the war in 1889 Mr. Burgess received a letter of thanks from Mr. Davis for his kind effort in his behalf. This letter has been widely published in various newspapers. After his discharge from the army, Nov. 10, 1865, Mr. Burgess engaged in the general mercantile business in East Liverpool and was one of the organizers of the West End Pottery Company. He became interested in politics and served as mayor of East Liverpool for four consecutive terms which is the longest period ever held by any one mayor. He was elected twice on the Democratic ticket and twice as a Republican candidate.

In 1867 Mr. Burgess was united in marriage with Miss Caroline B. Peppin of Beaver County, Pa., the daughter of Gustave Peppin, deceased. They have four children: Nellie, lives at home; John H., deceased; Gustave, lives in East Liverpool; and Maud, married Edward D. McElravy, lives in East Liverpool.

Mr. Burgess is a Republican, a member of the Episcopal Church and belongs to the Grand Army of the Republic. He is held in high regard throughout the community and is an excellent citizen.

History of Columbiana County, Ohio
By: Harold B. Barth
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis 1926

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