Ellsworth L. Burton. One of the very able members of the Kansas Legislature in the session of 1915-16 was Representative E. L. Burton from Parsons. Mr. Burton is an attorney by profession, has spent most of his life in Kansas, and has some very influential and important connections in his part of the state.
He was born at Mattoon, Illinois, April 30, 1868. The Burtons came from England and settled in the Carolinas during colonial days. Mr. Burton is a direct descendant of Cavalier Burton. His grandfather Alfred Burton was born near Guilford Court House in North Carolina, and died in Jasper County, Illinois.
George Burton, father of E. L. Burton, was born in Jasper County, Illinois, in 1841, and spent most of his early youth and manhood there. He enlisted from Illinois in the Seventy-ninth Illinois Infantry, and later was a member of the Ninety-seventh Regiment from that state. Altogether he served three years in the Union army, and among the various campaigns in which he participated was the siege of Mobile. After the war he returned to Illinois, continued farming for several years, but in 1870 moved out to Kansas and was one of the early homesteaders along the line of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad in Neosho County. He acquired 160 acres there, but subsequently sold that farm and moved to Montgomery County. He finally retired and has since lived at Hallowell in Cherokee County. He is a republican who has served as township trustee a number of terms and also as justice of the peace. He was a member of the board of managers of the Soldiers Home at Dodge City during Governor Stanley’s administration and a part of Governor Bailey’s term. He has been an active minister of the Christian Church for the past thirty years, having performed those duties in addition to his work as a farmer and his duties as a citizen. He also belongs to the Masonic fraternity. George Burton married Elizabeth Harris, who was born in Jasper County, Illinois, in 1842, and died in Cherokee County, Kansas, in 1901. Of their five children four died in childhood.
Ellsworth L. Burton, the only living child of his parents, was educated in the district schools of Neosho, Montgomery and Cherokee counties. He also attended for a year and a half the old Kansas Normal College at Fort Scott when Professor Sanders was its president and owner. On leaving normal school in 1887 Mr. Burton engaged in the abstract business, and for three years carried on the study of law at Columbus, Kansas. Admitted to the bar in 1890 he has now been in active practice for more than a quarter of a century. For two years he practiced at Columbus, one year at Scammon, and from 1894 to 1907 had his home and offices in Oswego. Since 1907 he has practiced at Parsons and from that city conducts a large civil and criminal practice. His offices are in the White Building.
Besides his law practice Mr. Burton is a stockholder and one of the directors of the Fidelity Coal and Mining Company and of the Fidelity Fuel Company. He served as city attorney while living at Columbus, Scammon, and Oswego, and for four years held the office of county attorney of Labette County. He is an active republican and was elected on the republican ticket to the House of Representatives in 1914. While in the Legislature he has served as a member of the judiciary committee, committee on labor, committee on mines and mining, and chairman of the committee on accounts and fiscal management. He is also a member of the Efficiency and Economy Committee of Kansas. Mr. Burton is an active member of the Kansas State Bar Association, and belongs to Parsons Lodge No. 606, Loyal Order of Moose.
In 1889 at Pittsburg, Kansas, he married Miss Abbie R. Thomas, daughter of F. M. and Elizabeth Thomas. Her mother is now deceased and her father is a farmer in Missouri. To the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Burton were born five children. George F., the oldest, finished his education by a year and a half in the Kansas State University, read law with the firm of Glasse & Burton, and since his admission to the bar in January, 1913, has been in practice with his father. Elizabeth, still at home with her parents, is a graduate of the Parsons High School, and spent one year in the Kansas State University. Marion T. is a junior in the Parsons High School. Buth has graduated from the high school and is still at home. Ellsworth L. is still pursuing his studies in the public schools.