Samuel S Burns


SAMUEL S. BURNS, retired farmer of Dayton, Armstrong Co., Pa., was born on his grandfather's farm in Cowanshannock township, June 4, 1858, son of William J. and Mary (Thomas) Burns.

John Burns, grandfather of Samuel S. Burns, was born in the north of Ireland in 1784. coming to America with his family, he settled in what afterward became Cowanshannock township, Armstrong Co., Pa., where he bought 100 acres of land, situated in the woods. He cleared this property, and operated it until his death. His wife bore the maiden name of Mary Scott, and they had one son, William J. They were members of the United Presbyterian Church in Wayne township, and are buried in the little cemetery of that church.

William J. Burns, son of John Burns, was born in Ireland in 1826, and was brought to America by his parents when twelve years old. He received a good common school education, and when sixteen years of age began his career as an educator. For the following nineteen terms he taught school in Wayne and Cowanshannock townships, becoming a very well known man. In conjunction with his profession he engaged in farming. In 1878 he moved to Indiana county, where he bought farming land, and operated it until his removal to Enterprise, in the same county. This homestead is still owned by Samuel S. Burns and his sister. After his location at Enterprise Mr. Burns established himself as superintendent of a lumber company there, but two years later returned to his farm, where he died in October, 1897. His wife, who was a native of Indiana county, bore him the following children: John, deceased; William T., who is farming in Cowanshannock township; Samuel S.; Joseph A., deceased; Nancy J., widow of Samuel R. Moore, now living in Cowanshannock township; David Duff, deceased; and Findley T., deceased.

Samuel S. Burns attended school in his home district, remaining with his father until he married. Following this he assumed charge of the farm, operating it until he came to Dayton in 1908. During this period he proved his right to be considered a successful agriculturist, and since locating in the borough has interested himself in some of the local financial enterprises. Mr. Burns was one of the organizers of the First National Bank of Plumville, Indiana Co., Pa., established in December, 1905, he being one of the original directors, and still a member of the board. He is also one of the organizers of the Dayton Normal Institute, and served it several years as trustee.

A stanch Republican, Mr. Burns has been called upon to support the principles of his party in office, having served his township as justice of the peace (for thirteen years, until he removed from the District), school director, auditor and supervisor, discharging all the duties pertaining to these with dignified capability. The United Presbyterian Church held his membership, but he later transferred to the Glade Run Presbyterian Church, which he has served as trustee, and is now superintendent of the Sunday school, having held that position for several years, during which time he has appreciably raised its standard of excellence.

Mr. Burns married Sarah C. Neal, daughter of Smith Neal, of Cowanshannock township, and they have the following named children: Nancy J., who married John E. Pattison, is living on Mrs. Burn's old homestead in Cowanshannock township; Louella Pearle, who married Mt. T. Millin, now lives in DuBois, Pa.; Harry died in infancy; John N. is with the Western Electric company of Chicago; William L. is a member of the Johnston-Beyer Hardware Company of Rural Valley, Pennsylvania.

The First National Bank of Plumville, Pa., was opened for business Dec. 26, 1905, with a capital stock of $30,000, and the following officials: M. C. Wynkoop, president; D. W. Raraigh, vice president; and D. W. Douds, cashier. The board of directors is as follows: D. Andrews, A. W. Clowes, S. D. Kerr, Charles Tucker, H. G. Bowers, G. T. Crooks, D. W. Raraigh, S. S. Burns and M. C. Wynkoop, all men of sound financial standing, whose names back of such an institution insure its stability.

Source: Pages 559-560, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed November 1998 by Connie Mateer for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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