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REV. GEORGE W. BURNS, deceased, was late a prominent member of the Central Illinois Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and died while in attendance at this conference, of malarial fever, at Kewanee, Oct. 14, 1884. He was born in Wheeling, W. Va., June 2, 1835, being the second child and eldest son of Rev. John Burns, a prominent minister of the same church, belonging to the Muskingum Conference. John Burns was the son of a Scotch gentleman whom it is supposed was a native of Ayrshire, where he was reared and received a fine education. He came to the United States when a young man, and followed the vocation of a teacher in Virginia and Ohio. He was a man of influence and greatly respected wherever known. His son, John Burns, inherited much of his father's talent, and during the early days was appointed General Superintendent of the Methodist Protestant Church in the United States, and also served as President of the Conference for many years. He labored in the ministry during a period of fifty years, preaching in the States of Ohio, Virginia and Pennsylvania. He was celebrated for his clear and logical reasoning powers, and was considered one of the first pulpit orators of his day. He was a close student, an extensive reader, and distinguished himself by that unobtrusive and modest bearing which rendered him an object of respect and affection wherever known.

George W. Burns, following in the footsteps of his honored father, became in early life a hard student, and entered upon his ministerial duties when twenty-two years of age, being licensed in Steubenville, Ohio. He entered upon his first charge at Brownsville, that State, in 1857, when twenty-three years of age, being then a member of the Methodist Protestant Church, with which he remained connected for the following sixteen years. After with-drawing from this he united with the Methodist Episcopal Church, and thereafter, during the remainder of his life, devoted his time and attention to the cause of religion, in the ministry. His education was begun in Steubenville, Ohio, whence later he went to Uniontown, Pa., and took a classical course in the college there, from which he graduated after three years. Becoming also desirous of gaining an insight into the methods of general business transactions, he took a thorough course in Duff's Business College at Pittsburgh, Pa., which proved of great advantage to him in his supervision of the finances of the churches over which he afterward had charge.

Rev. George W. Burns was united in marriage with Miss Emma H. Mouser, Sept. 2, 1863. Mrs. B. was born in Marion, Ohio, Sept. 10, 1840, being the daughter of Isaac and Anna (Strawbridge) Mouser, natives respectively of Virginia and Pennsylvania. They became residents of Ohio in early youth, and were married in Marion, that State, in February, 1835. There they located, and the father became one of the most successful cattle dealers of that section. He died there upon the homestead which he had established in 1864. Later the mother removed to Shelbyville, Ill., where she departed this life in 1874. Mrs. Burns, after a course in the High School of Marion, completed her education in the Wesleyan University at Delaware, Ohio. After her marriage with Mr. Burns they located at Ridgeville, Md., whence they removed to Liverpool, Ohio, where, in addition to his ministerial labors, Mr. B. became Superintendent of the public schools, and where he labored with such persistence and faithfulness that his health was seriously impaired. He was connected with the Methodist Protestant Church for some time after coming to Illinois, but was admitted to the Central Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1873, at Galesburg. His first appointment was at Gilman, Ill., where after two years he was removed to Carthage Circuit, and afterward was engaged for some time in different parts of Illinois. Finally, in 1883, he was assigned to Chenoa, but in the meantime made his home in Bloomington, where his death occurred. Although cut down in the prime of life the result of his good works and his influence will be apparent for many years to come. His earnest and devoted life secured him the affection and confidence of a large circle of friends and acquaintances, by whom his name will ever be cherished in tender remembrance. He left a widow with a family of five children: Anna E. completed her education at Wesleyan University, and is now a teacher in the Second Ward of Bloomington; John W. operates the farm of his mother, which consists of 160 acres of good land, in Padua Township. He also has received a good education, which was completed at Wesleyan University, of which Carrie E. was also a student, and is now a teacher in the public schools of Padua; George P., living at home, is pursuing his studies in the High School of Bloomington, and Katie W., the youngest, attends the public schools. The home of Mrs. Burns in Bloomington is pleasantly located at No. 1404 North Main street, where she has a good residence, which is the resort of the cultured people of the city. Mr. Burns was a strong anti-slavery man, and was greatly interested in the success of the temperance movement, arraying himself on the side of the Prohibition party.

[SOURCE: Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887). Transcribed and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards.]


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