Biography of Frank W. Burns

Frank W. Burns, a practical and progressive farmer and liveryman of Fort Fairfield, Aroostook County, was born June 12, 1848, in Andover, New Hampshire. His parents, William H. and Adelaide (Murphy) Burns, reared eight children, of whom he was the first-born. The others are: Mrs. Martha Corey, of Skowhegan, Maine; Robert B., of Williams, Arizona; Charlotte, the wife of Lockland Hayes, of Fort Fairfield; James W., who lives on the parental homestead; Stephen A. D., a resident of Wisconsin; Arthur E., of Moro, Maine; and Adelaide, the wife of Charles Young, of Skowhegan, Maine.

Frank W. Burns spent his early years on the home farm in New Brunswick, where his opportunities for acquiring an education were exceedingly limited. When the necessity for earning his own livelihood became impressed upon his mind, he came to Fort Fairfield for the purpose of learning the harness-maker’s trade. Entering the shop of H. C. Collins, he was associated with him for nearly ten years, as an apprentice for three years and as a co-partner for seven years, during which period they also conducted a livery business. Then the partnership was dissolved, Mr. Collins retaining control of the harness shop, and Mr. Burns taking the livery. To Mr. Burns belongs the distinction of putting out the first sign ever hung in Fort Fairfield. It read “Livery Stable,” and is still swinging at the same location in the old village, which prior to the building of the Canada & Pacific Railroad was the business part of the town. Mr. Burns subsequently transferred his business to the present village, where he has been quite successful. Formerly he raised a great deal of stock, including horses. He also dealt in Chicago and other Western horses, which for some years had a large sale in this part of the country. Now he raises a few horses, preferring to give more of his time to general farming. Some years ago he bought the Nelson estate of one hundred and sixty-five acres. Recently the purchase of a neighboring farm made him the owner of a total of two hundred and fifty acres of land. A large part of this he devoted to raising potatoes and the hay and grain required in his livery business. He is an up-to-date farmer, his farm being, without doubt, one of the best equipped in the vicinity. In the summer of 1897 he erected one of the largest potato storehouses in the town, building it after unique plans of his own, in such a way that the two thousand barrels of potatoes it is capable of holding may be kept at an even temperature throughout the year. He has also other interests of a mercantile nature, being associated with Mr. Slocum in the clothing business.

In politics Mr. Burns is first, last, and always a Republican and one of the foremost workers in the party, having been a member of the Republican Town Committee for a dozen years or more. From 1881 until 1883 he was Deputy Sheriff, and for the ensuing four years he was High Sheriff. On June 1, 1898, he was appointed Collector of Customs for the Fort Fairfield district. Fraternally, he belongs to Eastern Frontier Lodge, No. 112, F. & A. M. Although not a member of any religious organization, he is greatly interested in the moral and intellectual welfare of the community, and contributes generously toward the support of churches of all denominations. On December 21, 1874, he married Eliza M., daughter of Caleb Slocum. They have seven children; namely, Harry P., Willie B., A. Pearl, Caleb E., Sarah C., Frank W., and Alfred Sawyer Burns.

Source: Biographical review: containing life sketches of leading citizens of Somerset, Piscataquis, Hancock, Washington, and Aroostook counties, Maine. Boston: Biographical Review Publishing Company, 1898.

1 thought on “Biography of Frank W. Burns”

  1. Cecelia Burns Smith

    Wow he’s my great grand father. His son Caleb was my grandfather who moved all the way to Hawaii after graduating from the University of Maine in about 1900. Wonderful to read. And I am a farmer too:) with my husband, raising Kona coffee in Hawaii.

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