Ohio Biographies

John C. Burns

John C. Burns, clerk of the Richland county courts, is a Mansfield born and bred. He is a son of the late Col. Barnabus Burns and the eldest of three surviving brothers. He was born at the Burns homestead on South Main street, which, in recent years, has passed into other hands. At the age of 13 "Johnnie," as he was then known, enlisted in the 86th Ohio for three months and served under his father, who was colonel of the regiment. This was in 1862. In 1864 he went out with the 100-day regiment, the 163d O. V. I., as commissary sergeant and was in service from May to October, when the regiment was discharged. After returning from the war, still in his youth, he entered the Ohio Wesleyan University at Delaware, class of '69, where he was educated. He next read law with Geddes, Burns & Dickey and in 1870 was admitted to the bar. He was then but 21 years old. In 1872-3 Mr. Burns served the city in the capacity of city clerk. In 1876 he was elected prosecuting attorney, re-elected in 1878 and bears the distinction of being the youngest prosecutor who ever served Richland county. Mr. Burns' next event of importance was matrimonial. Miss May Louise Barbour, a daughter of Justus and Melissa Barbour, became his bride Aug. 29, 1883. Perhaps no name is better known in Pythian circles today than that of John C. Burns nor is there a more devoted and enthusiastic member of the order than he who responds, with justifiable pride, to that name. Mr. Burns is a charter member of Madison Lodge, No. 26, K. of P., which was instituted May 20, 1870, and he was the first vice chancellor. The following year he was elected chancellor commander and the same year the grand lodge elected him grand banker, now called grandmaster of exchequer. He was elected grand vice chancellor in 1882, promoted to the grand chancellorship in 1884 and was appointed supreme representative in 1885, a position which he yet occupies in the supreme lodge. He has served on several important committees among them the special committee to revise the ritual of the Uniform rank; finance committee, chairman of the committee on laws of the Uniform rank; chairman of the committee to prepare the digest of 1890 and various other committees. In the uniform branch of the order Mr. Burns has also figured prominently. He is a charter member of White Cross Division No. 10, was its first captain and served in that capacity eight successive years; next, major of the 5th regiment of the Ohio brigade for four years, now, an aide de camp on the staff of Brig. Gen. J. W. Green, of Toledo. Besides his Pythianism Mr. Burns has identified himself with Mansfield Lodge No. 35, F. and A. M., Mansfield Lodge No. 19, I. O. O. F., and Mansfield Lodge No. 56, B. P. O. Elks. Two years ago Mr. Burns was elected clerk of the Richland county courts, served one term efficiently and was re-elected at the recent election.


From The Weekly News, Mansfield, Ohio; Page 1: Thursday, November 19, 1891