Lester A. Burnham, farmer, P.O. West Jefferson. James Burnham, who is more fully spoken of in the history of Jefferson Township, was the father of our subject and a son of James and Tama (Holt) Burnham. He came to Jefferson Township in 1817, and, in 1823, married Mary Ann Jones, whose family were from Pemberton, N. J. In 1857, Mr. Burnham died, leaving his widow, who survived him nine years, and three sons and a daughter. Of these, the eldest, James C., is editor and publisher of the Index a weekly paper at Minneapolis, Kan.; the second is the subject of this sketch; the third son, John, is located at San Jose, Cal.; the daughter Emma died in 1861. Besides these children, two daughters had died in infancy, and a third, Mary, in 1848, two years after her marriage to Thornton Ross. The subject of this sketch was born at Hampton, Jefferson Township, April 15, 1833, and remained at home with his parents until he reached his majority, in the meantime attending the common school of his neighborhood. After leaving home, he, for a time, engaged in milling. In 1862, he married Miss Sarah Johns, a daughter of William and Elizabeth (Snowden) Johns, of Greene County. By this marriage four children were born, of whom two died in infancy. The others were Edward S., deceased, and Emma. Mrs. Burnham died on June 6, 1882. Mr. Burnham has engaged in several occupations, but his life has been principally spent in farming. He was a Democrat until of late years, when he has cast his lot with the Prohibitionists.


From HISTORY OF MADISON COUNTY - W. H. Beers [Chicago, 1883]