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THE LIFE AND TIMES OF
WILLIAM A. BURT,

BY GEORGE H. CANNON.
June 7, 1882.

William Austin Burt was born at Taunton, Massachusetts, June 13, 1792. His father, Alvin Burt, and mother, Wealthy Austin, were both born in the same town. They were of Scotch and English ancestry, who emigrated to this country in 1639. As a family, from early times, they had been a sea-faring people, and upon their arrival in this country, made their home near the sea, where, upon its restless tide, the larger number of the Burt family obtained a livelihood. This branch of the family, choosing other pursuits, moved westward, to Montgomery county, New York, the same year in which William A. was born. There they ' remained eleven years. The facilities for acquiring an education in that neighborhood were very limited. Six weeks of school-house learning was all the time William A. ever passed in the school-room. He had, however, a great desire for reading and study, especially works on geometry, navigation, and surveying, and the entire neighborhood was laid under contribution to supply this want. At this time he became quite familiar with the use of tools and early developed a taste for mechanical pursuits, and when, in 1809, the family made another move westward, his skill with mechanical tools was such that it readily gave him employment. At this removal the family had settled in Erie County, in the township of Wales, some twenty miles from Buffalo. In that town Mr. Burt was married, July 4, 1813, to Phoebe Cole, a daughter of John Cole, Esquire, a prominent citizen of that place.
Those were stirring times; war was in progress with Great Britain, having been declared June 19, 1812, and great uneasiness was felt all along the border. Buffalo was burned December 30, 1813.

Michigan


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