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W. F. Burns, who has engaged in general merchandising in Nampa since 1893, and is one of the successful merchants of the town, was born in McDonald county, Missouri, on the 25th of February, 1859, and is of Scotch and Irish line-age. His parents, E. F. and M. E. (Kennedy) Burns were natives of Georgia and Tennessee, respectively, and several generations of the family lived in the south. The paternal great grand father of our subject was one of the heroes who fought for the independence of the nation. E. F. Burns was a prominent farmer, and successfully carried on agricultural pursuits for many years. He belonged to the Methodist church and took an active part in public affairs, being called to many positions of honor and trust. He served as United States marshal for a number of years and discharged his duties with marked promptness and fidelity. At the commencement of hostilities in the civil war he espoused the cause of the south, joining the Confederate army, but early in the struggle he was made a prisoner of war and incarcerated in Indiana until the war was al-most ended. He departed this life in the seventy-fourth year of his age: and his wife, who had died some years previously, was sixty-six years old at the time of her demise. They were the parents of eight children.
W. F. Burns, a member of their family and the subject of this sketch, was reared on his father’s farm in Missouri and received such educational privileges as were afforded by the public schools of the neighborhood. In 1881 he determined to try his fortune in Idaho, and after his arrival drove a mule team and performed other labor that would yield him an honest living. Opportunity for advancement, however, is not wanting to one of ambition and determination. He was industrious, saved his money, and in 1889 went to Boise, where he engaged in business on his own account as proprietor of a hotel, which he conducted for four years, meeting with satisfactory success. In 1893 came to Nampa and opened a general mercantile establishment. He carries a large and carefully selected stock of goods, and by close attention to business and honorable methods he has acquired a good business and won the good will and confidence of the citizens of Nampa and the surrounding country. He erected a good store and residence, the for-mer twenty by ninety feet, and is now enjoying a large patronage.
In 1892 Mr. Burns married Miss Fannie W. Morrison, a native of McDonald County, Missouri, and they have three sons and a daughter Lloyd, Clarence, Thomas T. and Laura D. Mr. and Mrs. Burns are members of the Methodist church. In politics he is independent, voting for the men whom he regards as best qualified for office. He is now serving as one of the trustees of Nampa and is an enterprising, progressive citizen. A self-made man, he deserves great credit for his advancement in life, for fate did not favor him in his youth. He has been the architect of his own fortunes and has builded wisely and well, placing his confidence in those reliable qualities of energy, industry and honesty which in the end never fail to bring the merited reward.