Burleson is a game little town of about 150 inhabitants, situated in a rich portion of Johnson county, on the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad, fourteen miles north of Alvarado and fourteen south of Fort Worth, and started in 1882. It was named after Doctor Burleson, a distinguished Baptist minister and successful educator, whose pupils are found in every part of the State. But according to another account it was named in honor of General Edward Burleson, an early Indian fighter and Texas patriot in the wars with the Mexicans. Born in North Carolina, he came to Texas in 1831, and soon became noted as a successful fighter of the Indians, with whom he had many engagements. He participated in the final battle of San Jacinto, which secured independence to Texas. He died December 26, 1851, while a member of the Senate then in session, one of the most highly respected citizens of the Lone Star State.
The first business house was started by M. Bailey, and the first settlers were J.C. Jones, Dr. Charles Pickett, Dr. James Olive, P.H. Olive, P.H. Goodloe, F.J. Boothe (sic), James Lowe, William Williams. The first dry-goods merchants were P.H. Goodloe and William Williams. There are now in the place three dry-goods and grocery houses, one drug store and one grocery house. There are also two wood and blacksmith shops. No whiskey is sold in the place.
Soon after the town was started, a Baptist Church was founded, followed by Methodist and Cumberland Presbyterian churches. There is quite a flourishing lodge of enthusiastic Masons, who have just completed a large lodge-room. In the year 1885, in connection with Crowley, Burleson erected a fine college building a mile out. Last fall they built a fine $2,500 college building, within the town limits, in which a splendid school is being taught by Rev. R.L. McElree and wife. Over 100 pupils have been enrolled. Burleson is the center of a fine wheat-growing region, and does a vast amount of business. Dr. James Pickett is the most prominent physician of Burleson.
The Town of Burleson
Burleson, Tex., Nov. 28. - Burleson is situated fifteen miles south of Fort Worth on the Missouri, Kansas and Texas railway and has a population of some 200 or 300 people, six stores, a hotel, blacksmith shop and a wagon yard. A $3000 college and a masonic hall, now building, will be completed by Jan. 1. There are 114 pupils within the scholastic age in this school district. Burleson has bought 1500 bales of cotton this season and will buy more. Her merchants are energetic and progressive and the town is steadily improving.
The two surveying corps who are surveying the disputed line between the counties of Tarrant and Johnson passed here yesterday. They make a difference of about half a mile in the location of their respective lines.
Conflagration at Burleson
Burleson, Johnson Co., Tex., Feb. 20 - Almost the entire business portion of the town was destroyed by fire this morning. Losses: J. A. Roberts, groceries, on stock $800, no insurance; C. J. Edwards, on house $400, no insurance; G. W. Dobson & Co., general merchandise, on stock $4000, insurance $500 in the Germania and $500 in the Concordia; A. W. Overton, on house $400, no insurance; W. P. Lace, druggist, on stock $800, insured for $400 in Germania; W. R. Bockman, on house $250, no insurance; J. D. McGee, groceries, $1800, insured for $500 in the Germania; A. W. Overton, on house $400, no insurance; J. D. Duringer, druggist, stock $800, no insurance; Dr. W. A. Duringer, on house $600, no insurance. Fire originated in the house of G. W. Dobson & Co. Cause unknown.
Fire at Burleson
Mr. and Mrs. E.B. Ray of Marystown were in the city Wednesday and called at the Review office. They say that a large part of Burleson burned last night, that all the buildings from Armstrong Bros. to the hotel were destroyed. They did not know how the fire originated, but that after it got started it was impossible to stop it. The Review is indeed sorry for those who were so unfortunate and hope their losses were covered by insurance.
There will be a large crop of oats sown this spring as some of the wheat froze out and the land will be sown in oats.
Our little town is yet in mourning—yet the embers were hardly cold before our thrifty merchants were rebuilding.
C.C. Edwards and W.R. Bockmon are rebuilding.
D. Rosse is also building a business house on Renfro street.
This was the first fire for Burleson and it hurts. Five of our best houses are burned to the ground.
J. Burton, of Mullins, Texas, is in town prospecting.
J.C. Jones has crossed the railroad with his main water pipe and is now furnishing water to several in east Burleson.
Goodloe & Branson (sic) have just built an addition to their large hardware house.
W.W. Norwood has been on the sick list but is up again.
Several cases of mumps in our town.
Esq. Roberts and son, Johnnie, spent to-day in Fort Worth.
Our new Methodist church was dedicated Rev. Wyatt of Fort Worth preached the sermon to a crowded house. We congratulate our Methodist brother. They have the nicest little church house in this section and its (sic) all paid for too. The ladies too are to receive their part of the congratulation as the finishing of this house so neatly are the fruits of their energy.
Our Baptist people are working to get their new house ready to be dedicated the 5th Sunday in March.
Mrs. Lace of Egan is visiting her son W.P. Lace in town.
Mr. Shaw and family of Cleburne spent last Saturday and Sunday with his sister Mrs. J.A. Roberts in the city.
Dr. Stevenson of Marystown was on the streets of Burleson Saturday.J.C.
The concert last Friday night was a grant (sic) success, and was largely attended.
Mrs. F.J. Booth was visiting friends and relatives at Alvarado Saturday and Sunday.
The young folks had a sociable at Bob Armstrong’s which was much enjoyed.
Rev. Tom Clark filled his appointment last Sunday.
Mrs. Eva Hunysucker is slowly recovering from a long spell of sickness.
F.J. Booth is on the sick list this week. We hope he will soon be up again.
Miss Florence Crowder from Long Prairie attended singing Sunday evening.
The mumps are going through this country. There was eight cases at one time at Abb Hunt’s.
Miss Sallie Cooper was visiting the family of Prof. Griffiths Saturday and Sunday.
Miss Lena Lawson of Rock Creek is going to school here.
The seats will soon be finished at the Baptist church and then we will organize our Sunday school.
Burleson is on a boom if she was nearly burned out. All of the houses have been rebuilt but one.
Mr. Gunn of Grand View has bought out Milton Booth and moved in. We are glad to have such as Mr. Gunn in our midst.
The farmers are nearly up with their work, some are planting corn.
E.T. Alexander has gone into the fruit tree business.
Miss Nora Renfro has commenced teaching school at Bug Scuffle.
[Written for last week.]
John Norwood was visiting his brother Will Saturday and Sunday.
Fred Mortz (sic) has sold his house and lot and will build a nice house soon.
Hello! boys, how was the creek last Saturday night?
John Gearney spent Tuesday and Wednesday in Fort Worth.
Napoleon Hunt of Crill Miller attended preaching Sunday.
Miss Katie Langford has the mumps this week. We hope she will soon be up again.
Jake Duringer has gone in to the cow business.
Will Norwood has quit the grocery business and will try peddling. Will is a rustler and will make a good peddler.
Johnson County Review, April 12, 1895
Several people from over the state attended the dedication.
Dr. Burleson, of Waco, was in the city Saturday and Sunday.
There is talk of a first-class dry goods store to be put up soon.
Miss Claudie Griffith went to St. Louis last Tuesday on a visit.
J.C. Jones has nearly completed the water works.
Prof. Hill of Alvarado was in the Hub Wednesday.
Miss Irene McGee is recovering from a severe case of the mumps.
Solomon Shannon has got the pneumonia.
Will (illegible due to page tear) Hughes were married Wednesday night.
Operator Clark made a flying trip to Denison one day last week.
The farmers of this community are out of heart. We havent (sic) had a good rain since last June.
Prof. McElree filled his appointment here Sunday.
Misses Woodson, Lee and Roddy, of Crill Miller, were visiting friends and relatives here, Saturday and Sunday.
G.W. Dobson and lady went to Joshua Sunday.
Miss Mollie Lawrence was elected organist of the Baptist Sunday School.
Mr. W.L. Breed is very grateful for the return of his horse which was stolen some time since.
Succosss (sic) to the Review.
Johnson County Review, April 12, 1895
(Written for last week.)
Burleson—Mr. Connor, of Mullins, Texas, is in town looking for a location.
Mr. J. Burton of the same town has just finished a fine business house on the corner of Main and Railroad streets and is opening up a first-class drug business.
Mr. Lace who was recently burned out has opened up in a new house at same place.
Milton Booth has purchased three lots in East Burleson, and will soon begin the erection of a nice residence.
Rev. J.H. Landers, of Enon, who bought out Fred Maritz (sic) has moved and is now a citizen of our little city.
Our fine artesian well still supplies us with an abundance of pure water, and our water works system is being extended in every direction.
Our Baptist people organized a Sunday School the 4th Sunday in last month and elected G.W. Dobson Supt. and Rev. J.H. Landers assistant superintendent. Rev. Little of Joshua made a fine talk at the organization.
The 5th Sunday meeting of the Alvarado Baptist association met with the church at this place. The meeting began on Thursday night. Sermon by Rev. Booth of Eagan (sic). They had a very interesting meeting. Revs. Brown, Knight, Kennedy, Kelly, Moore, Pierce, Wilson, Smith, Newbrough and other were in attendance and a house full all the time.
Rev. Dr. Burleson of Waco came up Saturday remained with us until Sunday evening. Prof. Claypool also came with the Dr. Sunday morning. Dr. Burleson delivered a Sunday School lecture at 9:30 to a mass meeting of children and about 10 o’clock the people began to arrive from every direction and by eleven we had seven or eight hundred on the ground. The new Baptist church was packed and the yard was full, to hear the dedication sermon by Rev. D.I. Smith of Grand View, and the prayer and closing by Rev. Dr. Burleson of Waco. Rev. Kennedy of Alvarado was selected to preach in the old Baptist church nearby as the new church house could not hold all the people and still they came.
Bro. Smith held his congregation for one hour and thirty minutes and a better sermon never fell from man’s lips. He was then followed by our beloved brother Burleson of Waco, who, in a very feeling prayer, prayed the dedication prayer. Rev. Kennedy had a fine congregation at the old church at 3:30 p.m. Rev. Dr. Burleson preached to a crowded house. Burleson never entertained such a crowd before. Everything passed off pleasantly. Their next meeting will be held at Mansfield the 5th Sunday in June.
Johnson County Review, April 26, 1895
What fine rains we are now having. The oats and corn are sown and some wheat.
The measles are raging in and around Burleson and it is playing havoc with our two fine schools.
Our town has been improving all the time and now it will move up lively. Our new large dry goods building is nearing completion and will be filled with a large stock of dry goods by Conner & Butts. We now need a first-class furniture house; also the nest opening for a No. 1 gin in Texas.
J.C. Jones has added two nice bath rooms to his engine room, so now we can get hot or cold baths as we like.
We have two well attended Sunday schools and preaching somewhere in town every Sunday. Rev. Fisher preached to a large congregation last Sunday, for the old Baptists. We are glad to have such men as Bro. Fisher in our town. Rev. Gallager filled his appointment here Sunday.
Supt. Dobson was detained at home this Sunday on account of a sick child and the Baptist Sunday school was conducted by assistant Supt. Rev. Landers.
Burleson—Once more this community was blessed with a good rain.
Duff Alexander went to hear Moody and Sankey Sunday.
Carl Wilson, of Rock Creek, was in the city Sunday.
Will Armstrong of Joshua was visiting his brother, Robert, Saturday and Sunday.
Phoenix of Crill Miller, was in the city Saturday.
Eugene Cole of Dallas was a pleasant caller at Mr. Alexanders Sunday evening.
Bruce Griffin, of Rock Creek, has moved to Burleson.
Mr. Neely is building an addition to his residence which will add much to the looks of the house.
Albert McPherson of Pleasant Point was visiting his old stamping ground Sunday.
Bee Mooris (sic) is very low with the measles.
John Nation of Brown county has come to Burleson to make this place his future home.
Johnson County Review, May 10, 1895
(Written for last week.)
Rev. Woodson preached to a large congregation Sunday and Sunday night.
Miss Minnie Smith, of Enon, was visiting the family of Ted Hix last week.
The singing at Mr. Guinn’s Thursday night was almost a failure on account of the rainy weather.
The social entertainment at Foster Booths (sic) was enjoyed by a large crowd of young folks.
Mrs. Graham is having a nice dwelling built here.
The high school will close Friday.
Prof. Biles, of Roan Oak, was in the city Saturday and Sunday.
Old Grandma Booth is very sick.
There are only six cases of measles at L.C. Lawrences.
Crops are looking fine since the rains we had last week.
Every farmer is busy planting cotton, although most of the crops are corn and oats.
Prayer meeting every Tuesday night at the Baptist church.
Esq. Renfro and his daughter, Nora, were thd (sic) guests of L.C. Lawerence’s (sic) family Sunday eve.
Burleson—S.F. Hackney has commenced building two houses and will build two more soon.
There is prospect of a brick kiln being put up here soon.
There is a good opening for some news paper man here.
Crops are looking fine since the rain.
Johnson County Review, May 31, 1895
Rev. C.M. Woodson filled his appointment here last Saturday and Sunday. We have two good Sunday schools in town and preaching every Sunday.
We have had several good showers but not a good season yet. Wheat and oats are poor, but corn and cotton look well.
I.B. Hudson, of Glen Rose, is stopping with his son A.J. Hudson, for a few days.
Dr. Dunn, of Tennessee, has located in our city. He will bring his family as soon as a house can be fitted up. Also Mr. Connor, one of the firm in the new dry goods house, will be home with his family soon. We welcome such men to our little burg.
S.F. Hackney, Esq., is building four nice dwellings in East Burleson.
Mrs. F. Graham has her new residence nearly completed on the corner of West Second and Buffalo streets.
We have several painters in town this week. The large wind mill tower and tank has just had a new coat of red. Also the bath rooms there had the finishing touch put on them this week. Hot baths are something new in Burleson.
Dr. Burton is having his new store house painted: also Butts & Connor are having their large store room painted.
G.W. Bronson (sic) will move his gin to town and enlarge it to a 30 or 40 bale capacity. Now Burleson is happy with water works, a first-class gin and one of the best lumber yards in the country, two first-class dry goods houses, and several groceries, hardware and etc.
The furniture man has been looking at a lot: so we think he will build.
Rev. Richardson, the East End commissioner, has had a fine bridge built across Village Creek at this place, which adds a great deal to this portion of the county.
Maj. Lowe, J.H. Roberts Esq., and P. Banes attended the re-union at Houston.
Mrs. Kittie Lace and children returned from Alvrrad (sic).
P. Inman of Bethesda was in the city this week. Also James H. Harris of the same place.
Our old friend E.W. Pope and wife of Nathan spent a few days with their daughter last week.
Bro. Pope is the oldest Democrat and Baptist in Texas. May he live a thousand years to vote the Democratic ticket is the wish of your and etc.
Johnson County Review, June 14, 1885
We now hear the reaper in the golden harvest, and ere long the wheat and oats will be in the stack. These two crops are very light this year in this section. Cotton and corn though are very fine.
Burleson has at last succeeded in capturing a newspaper man. Mr. Newton of Vernon has located here and will as soon as he gets his type in shape, give us one of the best papers in the county. Mr. Newton comes to us highly recommended as a first class journalist, having published the Vernon Texian for the last five years. His first issue will be out some time next week.
Rev. Neely of East Linne, filled Rev. Collins, appointment at Red Oak Academy Sunday.
There was a large congregation to hear Bro. Rogers, of Egan, preach last night at the Methodist church.
Drs. Smith and Carson have been with us for a few days giving open-air concerts on the street, and people were delighted with these exercises. A large crowd came every night.
We were very sorry to hear of the death of Dr. Smith’s little child on account of which this gentleman left Saturday morning.
Dr. Dunn, M.C. Kayler and J.C. visited Fort Worth one day last week.
S.F. Hackney, JD. Daringer (sic), J. Garrett, J.F. Cox and Hon. G.W. Dobson spent a few days this week in Cleburne courting.
Red Oak Academy is growing rapidly as well as Burleson. The proposed addition is the beautiful tract between the two.
The young folks had an ice cream festival and ball at the school building Friday night and report a very nice time.
We learn that J.W. Floyd’s little babe is very low. Hope it may soon recover.
George Clark has been quite sick, but he is now reported better.
G.W. Bransom will soon begin the erection of his fine gin, to be ready for this crop.
T.H. Claypool and Miss Claudie Robbins spent the day with your humble servant last week, on their way from Baylor University at Waco. Mr. Claypool completed his course this year. Hugh is one of the rising young men of Johnson county.
E.W. Pop and wife, of Nathan, stopped off a few days last week. They took the train for Davis, I.T., on a visit to their daughter.
Decker & Griffin sold out their meat market to Neely & Dainger (sic) last week. Harry Longhurst, an old meat man, is back from Colorado. We are glad to welcome our old friends back.
Mr. Conner, of the firm of Conner & Butts, has gone to Mineral Wells and will return in a few days with his family.
Miss Butts, of Houston, is spending a few days with her brother in this city.
L. McFarland says it’s a fine boy that makes him feel so large these days. All doing well.
Johnson County Review, July 5, 1895
Rain! Rain! Rain!
We have often heard that Texas always overdoes everything and now we believe it.
We have the finest corn crop ever raised in this community and cotton is good.
Our new paper, the Banner, scoops the news and leaves us nothing to write about. We are proud of our paper and its editor. Mr. Newton is a nice gentleman. His family has just arrived and now occupies Mrs. Fannie Graham’s new residence.
Dr. Dunn says there is a sweet little girl at Burton’s. Mother and babe doing nicely.
The ladies of the Baptist Sunday school gave a musical entertainment to raise funds to finish paying for their organ. They were given a fine audience and their efforts were highly appreciated. Something over $30 was realized.
Misses Eliza and May Tye have returned from Cleveland, Tenn., where they graduated a short time since. Also Miss Ada Pierce, who graduated in music.
Miss Hattie Osburn has returned to her home in Tennessee after several months visit with her sister, Mrs. Kaylor, of our city.
Mr. Green, of Iowa Park, has moved to Burleson and will buy grain and run the elevator for Wm. Cameron.
Watermelons were seen on the streets last week.
Messrs. Benson and Hackney are putting the material on the ground for their new gin, which will be a first class one.
We need a bank and there is not a better opening in the state.
The rope with which our furniture man is staked is getting shorter and we will soon wind him in.
Our people are learning to trade at home and now we need a big grocery house.
Maj. Lewis has bought a house and lot from Robert Armstrong and is having it remodeled and repainted.
Not a vacant house in town.
A few brick business houses would rent well here.
Fred Mertz (sic), we learn is quiet (sic) sick.
Johnson County Review, September 6, 1895
Our little city seems to be unrepresented in the list of correspondents recently. We seem to be content that the Banner should be our only representative.
All seems “calm and serene” as Bill Arp would put it, in our burg.
The protracted meetings are usually in progress at this season.
The “believers in methods” will begin a meeting next Friday the 6th. Rev. Lovery will conduct the meeting.
Our schools begins Monday. The city school under the supervision of Prof. Griffith and Rev. T. Clark, with such able men at the helm we bespeak for this school a success.
The Baptist church has called Rev. Woodson for the coming year.
Both the Methodist and Baptist Sunday school are flourishing, which speoks (sic) well for our community.
Miss Alavida Griffith returned last Saturday from a five months visit to her aunt in St. Louis.
Phoenix seems to be under the delusion that the writer over the non deplume of Sun Beam was Miss Lawrence now she doesnt (sic) wish to rob the gentleman who wrote them of his laurels, and as we are personally acquainted with the young man who wrote as Sun Beam. We beg to correct the error.
Messrs. Rice and Cooper, of Pleasant Poi9nt, were pleasant visitors at Burleson recently.
Johnson County Review, September 6, 1901
Sept. 3—School opened Monday with Prof Genheimer, Miss McKee and Miss Knight as teachers, and Miss Young as music teacher.
Miss Alta Jack left Saturday for Waco where she begins her duties as a member of the faculty of Baylor University.
Mr. Walter Gaunt returned to Waco to school Saturday.
J M Booth returned from Oklahoma Sunday night where he went to file on his claim.
Vacant houses are in demand by those wishing to move in for school.
Miss Jennie Owens, of Marystown, spent Sunday and Monday in town.
Mesdames W P Royston, of Crowley, and Honea, of Fort Worth, visited here one day last week.
Burleson singing class reorganized Sunday.
Will Walker and wife were visiting home folks Sunday.
Mrs. Will Fairless, of Egan, spent Friday last in Burleson.
Mrs. James Henry Harris, of Hereford, returned home from here Saturday accompanies by Grandma Reese.
E M Wilson is in St. Louis.
J H Burton was in Ft Worth Friday.
Dallas Morning News, January 22, 1902
Fires in Texas
Principal Business Block of Burleson
Was Destroyed Last Night
Special to The News
Burleson, Tex., Jan. 21 - The principal business block of this town was destroyed by fire tonight. The fire broke out in the rear of R. Hornbaker & Co.'s store about 9:45 o'clock and rapidly spread to the entire block. The origin of the fire is unknown. It was discovered by Agent Brissenden of the Katy and members of the school military company who were drilling on the streets. The citizens of the town quickly gathered and by prompt and heroic efforts a number of buildings in adjoining blocks were saved. The streets were piled with all kinds of goods. The fixtures from the post office were probably all saved.
Following is a list of the actual losses with the insurance:
W. P. Lace, drugs and postoffice, loss on stock $1,500, insurance $500, building $800, insurance $250.
F. J. Wood, groceries, loss $1,000, insurance $500.
R. Hornbaker & Co., groceries, loss $1,800, insurance $1,100.
C. J. Edwards, building, loss $700, insurance $400.
J. H. Burton, drugs, loss $1,000, insurance $800.
Dunn & McNairn, office fixtures, loss $250, fully insured.
G. W. Bransom, building, loss $1,000, insurance $400.
S. F. Hackney, building, loss $250, no insurance.
J. A. Glidwell, barber, saved nearly all his fixtures.
G. L. Clark & Son, furniture and musical instruments, damage by removal of stock and water, $300.
Johnson County Review, January 24, 1902
Fire at Burleson
Burleson, Tex., Jan 22.—The principal business block of this town was destroyed by fire Tuesday night. The fire broke out in the rear of Hornbaker & Co.’s store about 3:45 o’cuock (sic) and rapidly spread to the entire block. The origin of the fire is unknown. It was discovered by Agent Brissenden of the Katy and members of the school military company who were drilling on the streets. The citizens of the town quickly gathered, and by prompt and heroic efforts a number of buildings in adjoining blocks were saved. The streets were piled with all kinds of goods.
Dallas Morning News, January 13, 1909
Burleson Section House
Special to The News
Burleson, Tex., Jan. 12 - The Missouri, Kansas and Texas section house at this place burned last night about 10 o'clock. The cause of the fire is not known to the agents. The house was occupied by several Greeks who were working on the section.
Dallas Morning News, September 25, 1909
$12,000 Fire at Burleson
College Building of Fifteen Rooms Destroyed - Masonic Hall Affected
Special to The News
Cleburne, Tex., Sept. 24 - The building of the Burleson College was burned here at 8 o'clock tonight. The building contained fifteen rooms and was valued at about $12,000, with $1,000 insurance. The top floor was occupied by the Masons, who carried $500 insurance on their furniture.
Several buildings near by caught fire, but the citizens extinguished the flames.
Several citizens were painfully blistered in trying to save the school building.
The Texas Magazine, April 1911
Burleson and Grandview, Johnson County, TexasFourteen miles south of Fort Worth, on the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway, there’s a little town of 700 inhabitants called Burleson, and it’s located in a farming country that is well worth the consideration of people who have energy and appreciation of good farm land where they can take their choice and raise anything in abundance that they wish.
There’s black land and sandy land and it’s almost equally divided, and it’s well worth the price, $40 to $75 an acre for the former, $20 to $30 for the latter, and improved at that. The sandy land to the east and south will produce everything that the black land does, and in addition, grapes, fruit, vegetables of all kinds, Spanish peanuts that make an excellent feed for hogs and stock, peanut hay that proves a fine milk producer and of which a large quantity is shipped, peaches, plums, apricots and some apples for home use. Onions and cabbage are money makers here, and together with tomatoes and sweet potatoes, of which the yield is 60 to 100 bushels an acre, find a good market at Fort Worth. There are also some Irish potatoes raised on this soil, and there’s a bonanza in this sandy land for the man who tills it properly.
The black land is fine for small grain as well as cotton and corn, and the soil is of that depth and quality that make its fertility almost inexhaustible. The cotton handled here amounts to about 4500 bales annually and the yield of crops to the acre runs, cotton one-half to three-quarters of a bale, corn 25 to 35 bushels, oats 40 to 80 bushels, wheat 18 to 20 bushels, and peanuts 35 to 40 bushels. Peanut hay brings $18 to $20 a ton, and Johnson grass about $12 a ton.
There is also some hilly land, as yet undeveloped, that will make good fruit land. There’s considerable of it still in timber, however, and it awaits some one to come along to make use of it.
This is strictly American section, free from negroes, and being is the rain belt makes the location desirable. Besides, water is easily had; artesian wells—there are several in town—of fine quality water at 600 feet, surface water at 15 to 40 feet. Additional information regarding this country of opportunities may be had in writing J.O. Files at Burleson.
Burleson has a State bank with deposits of $50,000, five stores, lumber yard, two gins, flour mill, elevator, waterworks and an enterprising real estate firm that is pushing the town and country to the front. An interurban railway from Fort Worth to Cleburne is among the possibilities of the near future, but it still needs an ice and light plant and an oil mill. The school advantages are good, a $20,000 building housing the pupils. They have a good gravel road to Fort Worth and they are building other good roads and bridges.
Author's note: This brief description of Burleson is indicative of the time in which it was written, and the language and opinions of the article's writer are not those of this website or its contributors.
Dallas Morning News, March 27, 1912
Burleson Wants Incorporation
Special to The News
Cleburne, Tex., March 26. - Tom Williams, Constable at Burleson, stated that a petition was being circulated and would be presented to the County Judge, asking permission to incorporate the town of Burleson, which is located on the Fort Worth - Cleburne Interurban line. The Deer Creek Bridge has been complated on this line and will allow the work to proceed without further hindrance.
Dallas Morning News, May 18, 1912
Burleson Votes for Incorporation
Special to The News
Cleburne, Tex., May 17. - Tom Williams of Burleson was here and reported an election to ascertain whether the town would be incorporated. Following is the vote: For incorporation, 50; against incorporation, 39.
Dallas Morning News, September 26, 1913
Body Struck By Train
Believed Man Was Dead Before Engine Struck Him
Special to The News
Burleson, Johnson Co., Tex., Sept. 25 - An unknown man was cut to pieces about 6:30 o'clock this morning by the northbound Missouri, Kansas and Texas passenger train. The accident occured about two miles south of town on a curve and the man was lying across the track when seen, according to the engineer. The engineer and passengers who picked up the body say it was cold, indicating that the man was dead before the train ran over the body. The man was about 50 or 60 years of age.
Justice of the Peace M. w. Bailey held an inquest, but is waiting for more evidence before making a report.
Dallas Morning News, October 11, 1913
New Bank at Burleson
Special to The News
Cleburne, Tex., Oct. 10 - A new bank has been organized at Burleson to be known as the Farmers and Merchants' State Bank, with a capital of $10,000. A charter has been applied for. Following is a list of the officers: J. F. Dunn, president; R. N. Warren, vice president; C. C. Taylor, vice president; M. B. Chisenhall, cashier.
Dallas Morning News, January 13, 1915
Burglars Start Burleson Fire
Fort Worth Apparatus Called Out, Arrives on Scene too Late
Special to The News
Fort Worth, Texas, Jan. 12 - Burglars are held responsible for the burning of the Brister-Lee dry goods and clothing store at Burleson early this morning. The fact that a rear door was open when the fire was discovered furnishes a basis for the theory that the store was set on fire to cover up a burglary.
Fire apparatus was called to fight the fire. Although an auto pump from No. 10 station made a record run to Burleson, the store was totally destroyed when it arrived.
The loss to the store is estimated at $3,500 by G. C. Brister and R. C. Lee, the owners. The building, owned by Mrs. A. G. Borah, was valued at $2,500.
The fire started just before sunrise and all of the Burleson inhabitants got out of bed to see it. Fifty men formed a bucket brigade and endeavored to check the flames without success. The bucket lined led from a well 200 yards away.
Seven dollars was stolen from the cash register of this store last week.
The fire was discovered and the alarm spread by W. P. Lace, the postmaster.
Dallas Morning News, March 13, 1915
New Depot at Burleson
Special to The News
Burleson, Johnson Co., Texas, March 12 - The Katy Railroad has just completed its new depot at this place the old building having been burned last April. The new depot is larger than the old one. It is a frame building with a concrete foundation and an asbestos roof, making one of the best stations on the entire division.
History of Johnson County and Surrounding Areas, Viola Block, Texas Press: Waco, 1971
Burleson established in 1882, alongside the newly completed Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad, is 14 miles north of Alvarado and 14 miles south of Fort Worth. It was named by Rev. Henry Renfro, who owned the land, for his old friend and former teacher at Baylor College in Independence, Texas, Dr. Rufus C. Burleson.
Main Street runs north and south on the west side of the tracks and Commerce runs parallel to both on the east side of the tracks. The center of downtown Burleson is still located along Main and to the west along Ellison. A number of the streets are named for early settlers - Renfro Street begins at Interstate 35W, runs west, then northwest to the Mound and beyond and finally turns northeast back to Interstate 35W.
Many other streets bear historical names, such as Bransom, Clark, Haskew, Murphey (sic), etc.
The first business, according to the 1892 Johnson County History, was established by M. Bailey. I understand Bailey was a shoe cobbler. The historian says that the first dry goods and general merchants were P.H. Goodloe & Wm. Williams. The old P.H. Goodloe store was located in a frame building on the corner where the old brick bank building now stands. Goodloe was an early surveyor and land locator with his stepfather, Col. James E. Patton. Goodloe served in the Civil War, had five bullet holes shot through his clothing, but was never wounded. He engaged in the lumber business at Bryan and other points along the Central Railroad and settled at Burleson in 1882. In 1892 he shipped 750 bales of cotton and 15 or 20 railroad carloads of wheat. He owned a small farm and was one of the charter members of Caddo Grove Masonic Lodge.
Later a son, Henderson Goodloe, and George Bransom, Sr. went into business together. George Bransom also operated a gin and the water works.
The Armstrong Brothers had a store from which they operated the post office. And, I was told by several people that in the early days there was the McCade Saloon, however in 1892 the historian states that there was "no whiskey sold here."
W.P. Lace was the first druggist; later John Burton opened a drug store. There were many doctors, Dr. Charles Pickett, joined by his son, James - born in Alabama in 1853. James was a Major in the Confederate Army and later served as Representative in the Missouri legislature. Others were Dr. Jim Dunn, an old settler, who in later years took in Dr. S.P. McNairn as partner; Dr. Hall and Dr. James Olive. The latter delivered the Baker children, Mary Pearl (Mrs. Clark) and James Baker. Their mother, Annette Renfro, first married Julius Baker and after his death she married James Clark, son of Ben Clark, from Georgia, who raised his large family to the southeast of Burleson.
J.C. Jones was the ticket agent and telegraph operator at the depot. A. W. Haskew had a lumber company. He built the old red-top house on the east side of the railroad on Commerce, between Renfro and Ellison. Mrs. Clark says it was there when they moved to town 75 years ago. Dick Burns was one of the blacksmiths. A hotel was operated by Bradleys, Baxters and last, before it burned, by Alfred Dawson.
Other early settlers were the Geo. Waters, James Lowes, Y.P. Bowers, Frank Boothes, Garners, Morrises, Mills, D.I. Murpheys (sic), and M.A. Bristers. Flora Brister, M.A.'s daughter and a good friend of Mrs. Clark's, married Arthur Haskew.
Then there were Bob and Sam Armstrong, who operated a dry goods business. Sam lived out near the old Red Oak Academy on the Mound.
The Mound, northwest of town, is so high you can see all of Burleson below and way across country. A round knob, which stands out above the main hill, now has huge storage tanks on it, but the hill is being built up with lovely new homes and a new Baptist church. There are still a few old houses up here, but most of them are gone.
In 1885 Red Oak Academy, at the Mound, was considered a very fine school. It accommodated all grades. Typhoid fever broke out among the pupils and their families and so many died that it broke up the school. This must have been in the early 1900's. A two-room school was built in town, at the site of the present school, east of the main section of town. Teachers mentioned were Rev. R.L. McElree and his wife, with over 100 pupils. It is not clear, but I think this was at the Academy. Mrs. Clark and others remembered when E.S. Griffith was the principal of the Burleson school and Miss Fanny Kaylor was his assistant. The two-room frame building burned about 60 years ago and what was left of the Academy was moved to Burleson and used to construct what was called the high school, although they taught all grades.
Rev. Henry Renfro never actually lived in Burleson. As one of the earliest settlers in the county he preempted 160 acres near Bethesda, and he continued to live on this farm until his death in 1885. His granddaughter, Mary Pearl Baker (Mrs. Clark) was born in August just after his death. She and her brother, James Baker, both live in Burleson.
Rev. Renfro owned at least a section of land to the north of his farm, part of which was within the town of Burleson. When Mary Pearl was 8 and James 5 their grandmother, Mary R. Renfro, had a man named Pribble to build them a large house, of heavy timber, put together with pegs and square nails, whose lumber now is so hard it is practically impossible to drive a nail into it. The beautiful house is topped by a cupola with floor-to-ceiling windows, from which you can look in every direction and see for miles. It is reached by stairs from the attic. Erected 75 years ago when there were only about 100 residents in the entire town, it is now surrounded and has the designation of 128 Clark Street, for Mrs. Pearl Clark's stepfather's family, which were not related to her husband. The house is set further back from the street than the later buildings and the yard, from front to back, covers an entire block.
The first time I went up to see Mrs. Clark, she and her brother who lives on Dobson St., had just had a visitor, 88-year-old John Gilmore, who was adopted by Rev. and Mrs. Henry Renfro when he was four years old.
Although Mrs. Clark raised six sons and a daughter in this unusual old home, only she and a housekeeper live here now. During World War II the eldest son worked in a defense plant and the other five were in service. She showed me a grouping of the seven babies around a wedding picture of her and Mr. Clark, in which she was wearing one of the loveliest wedding gowns I have ever seen. This was in her bedroom; in the spare bedroom is a beautiful dresser, over 85 years old, which belonged to her mother. Over the fireplace in the dining room is a unique old clock which came from Germany. A china cabinet holds old glass and china. Off the dining room is an extra bedroom which was originally a porch.
The living room has beautiful old furniture, marble top tables, a massive Steinway grand piano which is at least 90 years old. It came from the East and was first owned by the Pabst family, but has been in the Clark family many, many years. It has a lovely tone, but Mrs. Clark says she doesn't play it much any more. The exquisite lamp, which sits on the piano, is also an antique, but has been wired for electricity.
To complete the picture, there is a hand-painted portrait of Rev. Henry Renfro on the wall above the piano.
Mrs. Clark has died and this home is now a library for the town of Burleson.