Transcript:Indiana, United States. Biographical and Genealogical History of Wayne, Fayette, Union and Franklin Counties/B/Burnside, Edghill


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Edghill Burnside (p 221)

The mane of Judge Edghill Burnside has been inscribed high on the roll of Union County's honored pioneers and eminent men, and the part which he took in the founding and development of the county well entitles him to prominent mention in this volume. He established the town of Liberty, in which he long made his home, laboring for its promotion and its welfare. All the old settlers who knew him revere his memory, and the influence of his life upon the community was most beneficial.

Born in Laurens County, South Carolina, in 1790, he was a son of Captain James Burnside, whose loyalty to the cause of the crown was manifest by his service as an officer in the British Army during the Revolutionary War. The family were all Royalists, and their estates were confiscated by the colonies, but in return they were given grants of land on the island of Jamaica. Thither they went with Colonel Edghill, of South Carolina, having small indigo plantations there. In 1786, however, Captain Burnside returned with his family, consisting of three daughters and four sons. In 1808 Mrs. Captain Burnside, then a widow, came with her family of four sons and two daughters to Indiana, locating in what was then Franklin County but is now a part of Union County, their home being in the little town of Washington. Andrew, James and Thomas Burnside, the brothers of our subject, afterward removed from the county, Thomas and James with their mother and sisters returning to South Carolina, while Andrew went to Freeport, Illinois.

Judge Burnside spent the days of his boyhood and youth in the state of his nativity, and when eighteen years of age came with the family to Union County, where his remaining days were passed. In this then wild and unsettled region he labored to establish a home, and as the years passed exerted a wide influence on the public life, thought and action of this locality. He was the founder of the Town of Liberty, which stands as a monument to his enterprising spirit. He served as Associate Judge of the Circuit Court and filled the office of County Clerk for the long period of twenty-eight years, retiring in 1858. No confidence reposed in him was ever betrayed and his fidelity to the public trust in the discharge of his official duties was most marked. He gave his political support to the Whig Party until its dissolution, when he joined the ranks of the new Republican Party, being one of its zealous advocates until his death. He exerted a wide influence in all county affairs, was very popular and highly respected. No man identified with this section of the state during the early period of its development was held in higher estimation.

Judge Burnside was twice married. He first wedded Pamelia Brown, and in December 1843, he married Jane Dill, a daughter of Joseph Dill, a native of Warren County, Ohio. The children of the first marriage were Henry M., who followed farming at Laurel, Franklin County, and afterward resided in Indianapolis, but died in Shelby County, Indiana, at the age of fifty-eight years; Benjamin F., a mechanic, who under contract furnished horses and mules to the Army of Tennessee during the Civil War, and died in Indianapolis at the age of fifty-five; and General Burnside, the famous general in command of the northern forces during the great struggle between the north and the south. The second son was a Democrat in politics, but the others were all stalwart advocates of Republican principles. The only son of the second marriage of Judge Burnside is Thomas C. Burnside, a well-known resident of Union County, whose sketch appears next. The father died March 28, 1859, and his second wife, long surviving him, passed away April 13, 1891, at the age of eighty-two years. For a half century Judge Burnside lived and labored to goodly ends among the people of Union County, and left the impress of his individuality upon the public life, the substantial growth and material development of the region. He was a man of true nobility of character, and his death was most deeply deplored by those to whom had come the fullest appreciation of his nature.