Biographies from the 1921 History of Niagara County

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Source: "Niagara County, New York; One of the Most Wonderful Regions in the World; A Concise Record of Her Progress and People, 1821-1921; Published During Its Centennial Year," Vol. II, by Edward T. Williams, J. H. Beers & Company, Chicago, 1921

JOHN A. BURNS, M.D.

JOHN A. BURNS, M.D., a prominent physician and surgeon in Niagara county, has been established at Wilson for fifteen years and enjoys a wide acquaintance and large practice. Dr. Burns was born at Clarence Center, Erie county, N. Y., Feb. 13, 1880, a son of Charles and Josephine (Van Tine) Burns. The Burns family is of Scotch extraction, the great-grand-father of Dr. Burns having been born in Scotland and was the founder of the family in America. Alexander Burn, the grandfather of Dr. Burns, was born in 1825 and survived until 1908. He was a miller by trade and owned the Clarence Center Mills in Erie county, N. Y. He married Rhoda Jones, who died when aged forty-nine years. They had three sons: Charles, Peter and Frank.

Charles Burns, father of Dr. Burns, was born at Clarence Center, Erie county, N. Y., Oct. 16, 1848. For many years he owned and operated the Clarence Center Roller Mills, but in later years was a monument dealer at Clarence, where he still resides. On March 8, 1870, he was married to Josephine Van Tine, who was born Dec. 23, 1848, and the following children were born to them: Marion, who is the wife of Oscar R. Cott, a musician now living in Canada, but formerly a member of Sousa's Band, in the United States; Clarence J., who is associated with his father in the monument business under the firm name of Burns & Son, married Grace Hyder, of Clarence, N. Y., and they have two children, Glenn and Harold; Eleanor, who is the wife of Edward Jewel, a machinist of Detroit, Mich., and they have one daughter, Eleanor; Gertrude, who is the wife of William Kern, a lawyer in practice at Cleveland, Ohio, and they have two children, Marion and Josephine; John A., who is a well established physician at Wilson; Elmer F., who is a dental surgeon of Buffalo. N. Y., married Jeannette Drake, of Ann Arbor, Mich.; and Charles Eldred, a skilled mechanic who is employed at Clarence. In April, 1917, he entered the National army for service in the Great war, and was stationed at Camp Dix until its close. The honored and beloved parents of the above family were afforded a delightful surprise when all the children came home on March 8, 1920, to assist in celebrating their golden wedding anniversary.

John A. Burns attended the public schools and the Parker High school at Clarence, very early deciding upon the study of medicine, and after some preliminary preparation entered the medical department of the University of Kentucky, at Louisville, where he completed his course in 1903. After spending two years in hospital practice he came to Wilson, where he succeeded Dr. Draper, who had been elected to the General Assembly. Dr. Burns enjoys public confidence as a physician and is held in great esteem personally. He is a valued member of the county and state medical societies, regularly attending their sessions and frequently addressing them and contributing to their literature. Dr. Burns was united in marriage to Kathryn L. Erion, daughter of Jacob and Calista (Moyer) Erion. The father of Mrs. Burns was born in Wurttemberg, Germany, and the mother in the town of Lewiston, Niagara county. In early days the father followed the blacksmith trade but later engaged in farming. His death occurred in 1908 but the mother survives and resides with her youngest son. Mrs. Burns has three brothers: Adelbert, who is engaged in automobile construction work at Racine, Wis.; Seymour, who is a carpenter at Wilson: and Sherwood, who is a farmer in the town of Wilson.

Dr. Burns has always taken a deep interest in public affairs and, from a physician's standpoint, has been active in local matters at Wilson, but a busy medical man has little time to devote to political study. When the Great war came on he responded to the call for men of his profession and entered the United States Medical Corps, in which he was commissioned first lieutenant in 1918. When his commission arrived, however, he was too ill with influenza to accept it and thus did not get into the service. He is a member and past master of Ontario Lodge No. 376, F. & A. M., at Wilson, Buffalo Consistory, Thirty-second degree, and is a Shriner, belonging to Ismailia Temple, at Buffalo.