South Kansas Tribune, Wednesday, June 20, 1917, Pg. 5:


Death of an Honored Citizen


            In the passing of Thomas Franklin Burke, who died at the age of 75 years Wednesday, while sitting in his chair while his wife was preparing to walk up town with him, the county lost a good citizen.  He was born in Macon county, Illinois, and served his country in the 116th Illinois, Company A, and was with the General Grant campaigns down the Mississippi, at Vicksburg and across Tennessee, with Fifteenth Army Corps.  At Ezra Chapel he was struck by a rebel bullet and lost an eye.  After returning from the hospital he was with the army that chased Hood to the Tennessee River and later marched with Sherman.  In the battle at Fort Waggoner he was color sergeant and the first man to plant the Union flag on the breastworks, around which the victorious army rallied and won the battle.  He was with those who marched through Raleigh and on to Petersburg and Richmond, and it was the pride of his life to have had a place in the grand review at Washington, and was discharged at Springfield, Ill.

            Oct. 22, 1871, he was united in marriage with Miss Ellen Nesmith, who has been a loving, faithful wife.

            In the early eighties Mr. and Mrs. Burke came to Kansas, locating in Sycamore where they resided many years until he was elected register of deeds and re-elected serving four years.  He has been a faithful trustee of the county high school for many years and its treasurer at his death.

            The funeral was held at his home and very largely attended by the friends.  And his pastor and neighbor Rev. F. L. Pettit of the Christian Church paid high tribute to his character as a citizen and soldier.  There was present at the funeral his widow, son Arthur of Denver, and daughters, Bessie and husband Attorney William Brown of Iola, and Alice, wife of Professor Humes.  The son Walter could not be reached by telegram.

            At the cemetery the Grand Army conducted the beautiful funeral ceremony and Rev F. L. Pettit pronounced the benediction.     

 Contributed by Mrs. Maryann Johnson a Civil war researcher and a volunteer in the Kansas Room of the Independence Public Library, Independence, Kansas.