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Smith Cemetery ~ John Burns ~ part of the Polk County Pioneer Cemeteries of Oregon
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Burns, John
BORN: 25 Apr 1833 DIED: 3 Aug 1898 BURIED:  ~ Smith Cemetery
BIRTH PLACE:  Illinois
DEATH PLACE: Polk Co, Oregon
1st MARRIAGE - to Susan R. Hicklin
1870 OR CENSUS - John Burns, age 37, occupation farmer, b. Illinois, is enumerated with Susan, age 37, b. Indiana, along with Eliza, age 14, b. Oregon, Clarinda, age 1, b. Oreegon, Emma, age 9, b. Oregon, Arthur, age 5, b. Oregon, and Theodore, age 1, b. Oregon.
2nd MARRIAGE - John Burns & Cornelia Evans md 3 Oct 1878 at house of & by Pres Holman, MG. Wit: N.J. Ward & I.E. Holman. Bk B, pg 330
1880 OR CENSUS - John Burns (47y, b Ill, occupation farmer) enumerated with wife C.A. (Cornelia, 36y, b Penn) and 5 children, E.F. (Emma, 18y, b Ore), Arthur (16y, b Ore), J.L. (John L., 14y, b Ore), T.M. (Theodore M.; 11y, b Ore) and unnamed dau (Muretta Ruby, 2m, b Mar 1880, Ore)

BIOGRAPHY - John Burns, a prominent farmer and business man, of Polk county, and an esteemed Oregon pioneer of 1848, was born in Illinois, April 28, 1833. He is of Scotch ancestry, his grandfather, Garrett Burns, being a cousin of the renowned Scottish bard, Robert Burns. Our subject’s father, William Burns, was born in Kentucky, in 1800. He married Rachel Ford, a native of Ohio, born in 1811. She was the daughter of Robert Ford, and they had a family of eleven children, all of whom they reared to maturity, and all but two of them are still living. With his wife and eight children he crossed the plains to Oregon in 1848. The journey was made with oxen, and six months were consumed in the trip. Our subject was then in his sixteenth year, and was of much assistance to his father in that trip. They started March 23d, from Kendall county, Illinois, and arrived at Foster’s farm, in the Willamette valley, September 27, 1848. The Mormons had stolen eight head of their cattle, but by pursuing the thieves they were able to regain them. One woman, Mrs. Fonts, died and was buried by the way. Mr. Burns’ father purchased the right to a donation claim on the Luckamute, and then went overland to California, in 1849, to the gold diggings on Butte creek. He mined here and on the Mariposa. While there, he was the discoverer of a claim that is still known as the Burns’ diggings. He retired to his farm in Oregon with $2,000. In 1852 he returned East, bought a drove of stock, and in 1853 drove them back across the plains. He had purchased his land claim on the Luckamute of Colonel Waters, and he resided on this property until 1875, when he retired to California and died on the 23d of December of that year. His wife survived him until 1887, when she, too, died.
Our subject resided with his father until his twenty-first year, when he settled in Benton county, where he purchased a settler’s right to 320 acres of land. Here he engaged in farming and stock-raising successfully until 1866, when he sold and came to Polk county and purchased 400 acres of land of W. Sebing, where he ahs resided, worked, and prospered for fifteen years, adding to his lands two other tracts of 320 acres each, making 1,040 acres, all in Polk county. In 1888 he purchased a flouring mill on the Luckamute, which he is still running, in addition to his farming interests. It has a full roller process, and he is doing a good business.
Mr. Burns was married in December, 1853, to Miss Susan Hickland, a native of Indiana, born in 1833. She was the daughter of John Hickland, who came to Oregon in 1851. This lady bore her husband seven children, namely: John L., married and residing in east Oregon; Arthur Q., resides in Polk county; Theodore M., at home; Eliza, wife of James Montgomery, resides in Cook county; Clarinda, wife of James McDermeat, resides in eastern Oregon; Emma is a widow, and the youngest, John, resides in Polk county. In January, 1876, Mrs. Burns died, and October 3, 1879, Mr. Burns married Mrs. Cornelia Evans, the widow of William Evans. She had a daughter, now Mrs. Charlie Brown, of Independence. Mr. and Mrs. Brown have one child, Muretta.
Mr. Burns is a Democrat in politics, but has always declined office. He has, by industry and intelligent effort, succeeded, and he has gained the good-will and esteem of all who know him.
Hines, H.K., An Illustrated History of the State of Oregon (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, 1893); pp 981-2

Mr. John Burns died at his home on the Luckiamute Wednesday, August 3, 1898, at the advanced age of 71 years. Mr. Burns had been sick for the past two years. He was an old Oregon pioneer, and was highly respected by all. 
Polk County Observer (Friday) 5 Aug 1898, 3:2

Apr. 25, 1833
Aug. 3, 1898
Polk Co, Oregon, Marriage Records, 1849-1879, page 79 
1870 OR CENSUS (Polk Co, Luckiamute, FA#683)
1880 OR CENSUS (Polk Co, Luckiamute, ED 107, FA#84) 
PCO 5 Aug 1898, 3:2
Hines (1893), pp 981-2
ROW: 44-2  

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