Once a Slave

March 19, 1914

Death of Uncle John Burgess, Aged 99 Years

John Burgess, the oldest and most respected old colored man in Howard County, died on Wednesday last at his home near Glenelg, aged 99 years, from the infirmities of age. He was born near Clarsksville, and was a slave in the family of the late William Clark, from whose descendants Clarksville derived its name. He served his country in the Civil War, for which he received a pension.

After the war he came to Howard county and for faithful service to his old master, Mr. Clark, for whom he was a coachman, when he was set free, he was given enough money to purchase a small tract of land, and he kept adding to it until he became the owner of a nice farm, being considered one of the best farmers in the county.

He was always called “Old Uncle John.” He kept a string of best ‘coon and possum dogs in the county and often spoke of good times he had hunting with his master and friends who came to Mr. Clark’s to hunt, the sport always being followed by a big supper with plenty of good cider and dance. The music came from the violin which “Uncle John” played.

 

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Renee Brown October 6, 2016 at 1:52 pm

What a beautiful obituary. Mr. Burgess seemed to a wonderful man who was well liked. May he rest in peace.

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