Thought possibly the readers of The
Auburn Times would like to have a brief sketch of the Burnett family, of which I am the
oldest. It was one of, if not the largest, families in Auburn. There were nine children,
eight of whom lived to be grown and six are now living. The six now living are all married
and have been married 25 years or more and on January 25, 1939, my wife and I have been
married 40 years. On last August 19, George the second son, had been married 35 years. I
was born May 6 1872, and that started things for the Burnett dynasty. I started to school
to my father when I was six and got through when I was seventeen. They say I never missed
a day. In the summer I worked at any job open to a boy and the list follows: Tan yard,
brick kiln (worked in three of them), tobacco factory, loading tobacco hogsheads in cars
for shipment to Louisville, then I worked three summers on the farm of Mr. Scott Hall, not
far from Auburn. After finishing school, I taught a four-months country school in
Warren County and then while still 17, went to Louisville and worked for a year for the
Belknap Hardware Co., and fifteen years for the Baptist Book Concern and the Western
Recorder. Roughly speaking my life divides into four eras: 16 years spent in Auburn, 16
years spent in Louisville, 16 years in college work, 16 years on the road for a Chicago
concern. I married Marietta Abbot, a Louisville girl, January 25, 1899, father saying the
ceremony. The Lord gave us five children. He has taken two of them. Our only daughter died
when she was less than three, our oldest son, George Lee, finished Mercer University at
19, went with the Brown Shoe Co., St. Louis, through the graciousness of John Richey, and
he was taken from us about ten years ago. We have three grown sons living, the oldest of
the three, Oscar Weaver, (the second son) lives in Greensboro, N.C., is married and has
his own business stocks and bonds and has been quiet successful. He also
finished Mercer University at 19 and went to New York with Guarantee Trust Co. The next
son, J. Henry, Jr., finished his college work at the University of North Carolina, and is
now married and living in New York, where he has a splendid position with the Coca Cola
people. The youngest son, Robert, is unmarried and is head of the transcription department
of radio station WHAS, Louisville, KY. He finished his college work at Washington and Lee
University, and all four of the sons got A. B. Degrees
Burnett lives in Macon, Ga., and I get home as often as possible. For 20 years I have been
recording secretary of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Jr., is two and one-half years younger than I. After completing his college course at
Bethel College, Russellville, Ky., he went to teaching and most of his life has been spent
in the schoolroom. He is an exceptionally fine teacher. George married Miss Laura Yates.
He was president of Liberty College, Glasgow, Ky., for many years and I joined him in
schoolwork there. After about a year and a half, we took charge of Tennessee College,
Murfreesboro, Tenn. I remained ten years. He has four lively daughters and a most talented
wife. She has taught voice, art and expression and excelled in all. She prefers art and is
a portrait painter and gets top prices for her portraits. Three of the daughters have
finished college and received art degrees and are married. The youngest daughter is a
Junior in College this year. Georges oldest daughter, Ellen, lives in Texas and has
one son. The next daughter lives in Memphis, the third daughter, Frances, also lives in
Texas, and the youngest daughter, Florence, lives in Boiling Springs, S.C., with George
and his wife and attends college in Goffney, S.C. George
is at present president of Boiling Springs Junior College, in North Carolina, and is doing
is the next of the children, she married Rev. Poleman E. Lowe. They lived in Missouri, but
he only lived a short while and after a few years she married her present husband, W. Day
Dickson, merchant, Glasgow, Ky. They have no children.
last years of their lives, mother and father made their home with Nellie and Day. I have
never known a more thoughtful and gracious son-in-law and brother-in-law than Day
Dickinson he is a prince. Nellie has never had any children, her hobby is
ancestors, and she is hot on their trail.
the next child; he finished his college work at Bethel, then studied medicine in
Louisville. Since then he has practiced near Louisville (at Anchorage, Ky.) He married a
Louisville girl, Miss Mattie Richardson. They have two sons. One (Joe) graduated from the
University of Alabama and medical College, Louisville. He is married and has a son and is
now practicing in Anchorage and surrounding territory. The other son, Lawrence is a junior
in Center College, at Danville, KY.
the next in line of succession. She married H. E. Davidson, merchant, Glasgow, Ky. They had
two children; a daughter she slipped away from them some years ago and son Burnett
Davidson, an A. B., of Furman University, S.C., unmarried and lives in Glasgow. He is in
the wholesale grocery business.
Mary Belle who, after finishing college and studying in Boston, went to Missouri to teach
where she was taken suddenly ill and passed away in 1907.
Amby Broadus, only lived nine months.
(known in girlhood as Addie) married H. E. Klass, a civil engineer. He is with L&N
Railroad Co., and has been for many years. They lived in Louisville. They have two grown
daughters, Eloise and Nell, both A. B. graduates of Blue Mountain College. Miss Eloise is
teaching in Glasgow, Kentucky.
Eaton, the youngest child, got her A. B. at Tennessee College, then got her M.A. at
Radcliff College, Cambridge, Mass., coordinated with Harvard University. She married Rev.
C. E. Sterns, pastor Clifton Baptist Church, Louisville, Ky. He is still there. During the
flu epidemic in 1918, she was taken ill and the Lord took her home to glory.
years, one or more of us were in school and not a one of we eight ever went to a public
school in our lives. Nellie attended Hollins College in Virginia and Boscobel
College in Tennessee. Martha, Mary Belle and Permelia attended Liberty College; Glasgow,
Ky. George was for three years President of the Tennessee Baptist State Convention and one
year as vice-president of the Southern Baptist Convention.
J. HENRY BURNETT