Monday, March 10, 2014

52 Ancestors - #10 B.W. Burris of Missouri

My paternal great great grandparents were B.W. (Burrel Williamson) and Rosetta George Burris.

(Photos from original oil paintings)

 Burrel Williamson Burris was born near Tuscumbia, Miller County, Missouri, on June 25, 1858 and died at his home 2 1/2 miles north of Raymondville, in Texas County, Missouri on February 3, 1934, making his age at time of death 75 years, 7 months and 8 days. He died peacefully in his sleep. His daughter Ruby, her husband Champ and his three grandsons were living with him at the time. His daughter Pearl was living in California.

B.W. taken sometime before 1934


B.W. was married to Miss Rosetta George on April 14, 1887.

They had four children - the first was Pearl born March 5, 1888.  W. Edgar Burris, their only son was born on March 9, 1889 and died a year later in March 1890.  Their second daughter Opal was born September 9, 1891 and died July 7, 1892. Opal and Edgar were both buried at the Hawkins Cemetery in Brumley, Miller County, Missouri. B.W. went from Miller County to the west and spent several years in the western states; he homesteaded for a while in eastern Washington State near Ellensburg in Kittitas County and then moved to Pueblo, Pueblo County, Colorado where they finally had another child, my grandmother Ruby who was born April 24, 1902. From Colorado they then moved to Arkansas, where he engaged in the mercantile business for three years. He came to Texas County, Missouri and located at Raymondville in 1907, where he conducted a mercantile business until 1924, and later moved to his farm where he resided at the time of his death. He was buried at the Allen Cemetery outside of Raymondville next to his wife Rosetta who died after a serious illness and months in the hospital in Chicago on August 27, 1920. 

At some point in the late 1960’s or early 1970’s my father (their grandson) Lionell Burris Mitchell purchased a headstone for their graves since as he put it, “their two gems couldn’t be bothered to do it.” I visited their graves in August 2002 while on a motorcycle trip across country where we did 5613 miles and 18 states in 17 days. One day was spent traveling to cemeteries in Missouri to visit graves of family members – my friend Val commented later that my family was a little stuck up – not one of them talked to us after we traveled all that way to see them. The same could not be said of the townspeople. It was early on a Sunday afternoon and the Baptist Church was just getting out when we stopped and asked for directions in Raymondville to the Allen Cemetery. They were very nice and invited us to the church picnic! B.W. had been a member of this church for 48 years before his death.

In 2002 I had known that B.W. and Rosetta had two children who died in infancy but all I knew about them was that the girl was Opal and the other had been a boy. Nothing else. I was disappointed that I did not find their graves on our trip but a few days after we were home I did another internet search and found that the records for the cemetery they were buried in had been added a few months before. I learned a valuable lesson - just because it isn't there when you search for something - doesn't mean it won't be there when you search later.

Information on B.W. Burris from Lionell Burris Mitchell and Houston Herald Obituary of B. W. Burris

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