Pages 203-204, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




HIRAM M. BURTIS—In New York the Burtis family has taken root and in the years which have followed since the original one landed in this country the family name has spread over the west. Platt V. Burtis, one of this numerous family, was married to Miss Mary A. Freeman. Two children were the result of this union, Hiram M. Burtis, the subject of this sketch, born in Saratoga County, New York, August 8, 1848, and Margaret A. Cowles, now living in Harper County, Kansas. Platt Burtis was one of the largest business men of his section of the State. His grandfather had been a large slave owner, but becoming convinced that slavery was wrong manumitted his slaves and allowed those who wished to to remain on his land until they accumulated enough to get a start in life. Platt Burtis embarked in the carrying trade of the canals and soon owned a large number of vessels which did a part of the carrying trade of the Erie canal. The panic coming on he was crippled seriously and, after paying all his obligations, suspended business and with the remnants of his once ample fortune turned his face toward the west, settling in Illinois on a farm. The business reverses through which he had gone undermined his health and he was forced to turn over his property to his son. The wreck of his health found him also completely wrecked in fortune and the only heritage he was able to give his son was a good constitution and a debt. Young Hiram Burtis was not daunted by the prospects before him. He went to work with manly vigor to pay his father's debts and redeem the name. He went to work in Kankakee County, at once farming and stock raising and after some years disposed of his effects and moved to Ottawa, Illinois, where he engaged in the hardware business. Three years afterward, in 1880, he sold out the business and moved to Hastings, Nebraska. Here he lived but a short time and then came to Kansas, purchasing farms four miles southeast of Iola. He lived here but two years when he moved to


Humboldt and again engaged in the implement and real estate business. In this business he was fairly prosperous and built up a good trade. In 1892 he disposed of his implement stock and entered the real estate business and in this he is still engaged. Mr. Burtis has been a successful business man and although starting in life with the burden of debt he has succeeded in accumulating enough of the world's goods to place him in easy circumstances.

January 26, 1869, Mr. Burtis was married to Miss Helen E. Snyder, a native of Illinois. Mrs. Snyder's father lives with them and is hale and hearty at the ripe age of eighty-three. To them have been born four children: Maggie A., wife of A. F. Fish; Chauncey H., married Irene Moore; Edith Maud, wife of S. S. Jackson, and Walter.

Mr. Burtis is a member of the Fraternal Aid Society. Politically he is a Republican.

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