Biography - Thomas Burris

THOMAS R. BURRIS, M. D. In the death of Dr. Thomas R. Burris his profession was deprived of an honored member and the citizenship of Johnson County met with a sad loss. He was a native of Kentucky, born near Lexington, November 30, 1832. His father, Hiram H. Burris, who was also a Kentuckian by birth, came from his native State to Illinois in 1850, and first settled on land that he bought in Johnson County. Some years later he removed to Vienna and there passed the remainder of his life.
Our subject was well educated in his youth and for a time taught school. He learned the trade of a shoemaker and engaged at that, and also in the furniture business for a while. He was, however, drawn to the medical profession, for which he was well adapted by taste and temperament, and some time after marriage he began to prepare himself for a physician. He studied hard, thoroughly mastering the principles of medicine, and after attending a course of lectures at a medical college at Cincinnati, established himself in his chosen calling, which he pursued with eminent success until his death, August 29, 1889, ere yet old age had come upon him. The life thus brought to an end had been full and rich in all that goes to make life worth living, as the Doctor was a man of unblemished character, of high principles and correct habits, who was capable and conscientious in his care of the sick who sought relief from suffering at his hand. He was an attentive husband and father, was kindly in his relations with his neighbors, and was a good citizen, who had the interests of the community at heart. In his political sentiments the Doctor was a Republican. Religiously, he was a believer in the Baptist faith, and was a valued member of the Baptist Church.
Dr. Burris was first married to Miss Ruth M. Mulkey, who was born August 24, 1838, in Illinois, and died September 1, 1870, leaving a family of children, four sons and a daughter, all residents of this county. The Doctor's second marriage, which took place August 6, 1871, was to Miss Mary A. Scott, who survives him, and is living with their children on the farm in Bloomfield Township on which they settled at the time of their marriage. Mrs. Burris is a woman well endowed with those qualities of head and heart that command respect and esteem, and the Baptist Church finds in her a consistent member. She is a native of Bloomfield Township, born May 15, 1851. She has six children living, namely: Estella M., Lucinda E., Thomas S., Arthur B., Mabel and Elsie.
The father of Mrs. Burris was John J. Scott, a native of Kentucky. His father was of Scottish birth and antecedents. He came to America accompanied by his family, and settled in Kentucky, where he died a few years later. His son John came to Illinois when a young man, and married in Bloomfield Township, where he bought land. In 1853 his wife died, and he removed to the northwestern part of Missouri, and was there married to Lucy Jones. A few years later he returned to Johnson County, and in two years' time took up his abode in Fannin County, Tex., where he remained until his death, which was caused by a kick from a vicious horse.
Mrs. Burris' mother bore the maiden name of Lucinda E. Dooley. She was a native of North Carolina, and was a daughter of Jacob Dooley, who, as far as known, was also born in that State, whither he emigrated to Illinois in the early days of its settlement, accompanied by his family, and was one of the pioneers of Bloomfield Township. He entered here a tract of Government land, and made it his home as long as he lived. Mrs. Burris' mother was first married to Patterson Bain, brother of Blewett Bain, and settled on the farm that her daughter of whom we write now owns and occupies. Mr. Bain died here a few years after marriage. Mrs. Burris was but two years old when her mother died, and she was reared by her step-mother. At the age of fifteen, having a good education, she returned to Bloomfield, and at the age of seventeen became a teacher, and followed that profession with marked success until her marriage, at the age of twenty, turned her thoughts and interests to the work of a home-maker, for which she is so well fitted.

Extracted 24 Jul 2016 by Norma Hass from 1893 Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 265-266

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