John Michael Burns has been a business man in Independence since 1905, and by the qualities of push and enterprise which are indicative of his character he had developed what is now the largest bakery establishment of the city.
He was born in Oil City, Pennsylvania, December 1, 1878, but spent most of his years in Ohio until coming to Kansas. His father Michael Burns, who now resided at Lima, Ohio, was born in Ireland in 1848, and came to this country when a youth. He first lived in Oil City, Pennsylvania, where he married. By trade he is a carpenter and builder. In 1880 he made his home at Rixford, Pennsylvania, from there moved to Bolivar, New York, and since 1887 had been a resident of Lima. He is now retired from the active work of his trade. He is a democrat and a member of the Catholic Church. Michael Burns married Anna Quinn, who is also a native of Ireland. They are the parents of seven children: John M.; Joseph, a printer in the office of the Toledo News-Bee at Toledo, Ohio; Anna, at home with her parents; Robert, a chauffeur at Lima; Cecilia, at home; Kate, wife of C. E. Lohner, a bookkeeper in the offices of the Prairie Oil and Gas Company at Independence, Kansas; and Frances, at home.
John M. Burns had his first schooling at Bolivar, New York, and at Lima he finished a course in the Lima Business College in 1893. Following that he spent a year with the great baking establishment of Lichtenstader Brothers as bookkeeper in Lima, and then started out in the bakery business for himself. He was associated with A. S. Bower at Lima until 1905, and then came to Independence. Mr. Burns’ bakery is at 222 North Penn Avenue. He owned the building in which it is situated and had his bakery equipped with all the modern machinery, including one of the latest improved ovens and all other mechanical facilities to assist his expert workmanship. He employs six men in the business, and his product is deliverod by automobiles.
Besides his business property and some city lots Mr. Burns owned a residence at 401 North Sixth Street in one of the best districts of the city. Politically he maintains an independent attitude. He is a member of the Catholic Church and is deputy grand knight of Council No. 918 of the Knights of Columbus, the lodge rooms being in his building. He also belongs to Lodge No. 780, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and to the Catholic Mutual Benefit Association. In the line of his profession he is now serving as treasurer of the Kansas Bakers Association and is a member of the National Bakers Association. He also belongs to the Commercial and Rotary clubs of Independence.
On October 7, 1907, at Lima, Mr. Burns married Miss Elizabeth Murphy, a daughter of Mrs. Anna Murphy of Marion, Indiana. They have three children: William Joseph, born March 20, 1910; Mary Agnes, born December 31, 1911; and Margaret Ann, born October 20, 1913.