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Rankin Family History Project

Henry T. Burns


Henry T. Burns, clerk of Perry County, Mo., is a native of the county, born in 1857, and is a son of Henry T. Burns, Sr. The latter was of Scotch extraction, and was born in Kentucky in 1817.

In youth he came to Perry County, Mo., and on March 16, 1838, married Nancy A. Evans, a native of Perry County, Mo, born in 1822. She died in 1870. Her father, Perry Evans, was a pioneer settler of the county, and was a farmer.

After his marriage Henry T. Burns, Sr. resided in Perryville. He was elected sheriff and collector of the county for two terms, but resigned during his second term and became a candidate for county court clerk, to which office he was elected, and afterward twice re-elected. He died while serving his third term on December 16, 1861.

In his day he was one of the influential and prominent men of the county. He and wife were the parents of nine children, five of whom are living, viz: Henrietta (widow of Joseph . Pratt, of St. Mary's, Mo.), Jennie (wife of Frank Freeman, of Claryville, Mo.), Henry T., Annie (wife of Oz Richards, of Chester, Ill.), and Emma (wife of Fred Klein, of Wellington, Kas.).

Henry T. was educated in the common schools of Perryville, and in 1871 went to St. Louis and hired to J H. Lewis & Co. as receiver and shipment clerk, and remained until 1874, when he went to Memphis, Tenn., where he was employed by the Southern Oil Works Company as receiver and shipment clerk for three years. Returning to Perryville in 1878, he was engaged as clerk for Litsch & co. about one year, and the following three years was salesman for William Furth.

In 1882 he was elected to the office of clerk of the county court, and was re-elected in 1886, the first time by a majority of 213 and the last time by a majority of 509. He has proved to be an able and efficient officer. In 1884 he was delegate to the State convention, and in 1886 a delegate to the congressional convention of St. Louis, of which he was made assistant secretary.

Mr. Burns is a Royal Arch Mason and a member of the A.O.U.W.

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The Goodspeed Publishing Company compiled a series of histories of various counties in the U.S. in the late 19th century. The information in the History of Southeast Missouri, published in 1888, was provided by the contemporary residents of Perry County and her neighboring counties. The biographies are a valuable source of genealogical information, despite a few minor inaccuracies. We are glad to present the transcribed biographies here for anyone researching Perry County's history.

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