Clay County

Biography - John T. Burns

JOHN T. BURNS, Deputy County Clerk, Louisville, was born in Nicholas County, Ky., September 18, 1811, and is a son of John Burns (deceased). He spent his youth on the farm, and attended a subscription school in a log cabin with puncheon floor, split poles for seats, and a clapboard roof. Mr. Burns emigrated to Hamilton County, Ind., in 1830. While there, he cleared at one time twelve acres of land in the heavy timber (taking off all trees eighteen inches and under in diameter) for the small sum of $2.50 per acre, making the land ready for the plow, with the exception of rolling the logs. He afterward taught school three months, and then went into the Circuit Clerk's office at Noblesville, Ind., as a student. He served in this capacity for two years, when he was appointed Deputy on a salary of $18 a month. Be held that position several years, when he was elected Circuit Clerk of that county, and served the people in that capacity for fourteen years. In 1851, he engaged in the Mercantile business in Noblesville, continuing in that business until 1855. He then took charge of a hotel there, which he ran for six years. Mr. Burns was married, November 3, 1834, to Nancy Schumach, by whom he had seven children. Of these, but two are - Richard J., of Louisville, Ill., and John T., of Dayton, Washington Territory. The two sons were soldiers for Uncle Sam in the late war. Our subject came to Clay County in August, 1866, and settled in Stanford Township, where he engaged in farming until 1873, when he was appointed Deputy County Clerk under his son Richard J., which position he still holds. Mr. Burns is also an attorney, having been admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of Illinois in May, 1882. Mr. Burns has won the respect and esteem of all, and his wise counsel is sought and appreciated alike by old and young. He is known among all circles by the familiar name of "Uncle Johnnie."

Transcribed by Laurel White from 1884 History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois, Part IV, page 147.

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