Newspaper Clip: Death of William N. Burton
Wednesday, January 16, 1895 - Detroit, MI

William Nathaniel Burton was the eldest of William and Lucy-Boyd Rice Burton's seven children. He was a well-known personality on the western Great Lakes, involved in insurance and salvage operations, and generally called "Captain Burton." He remained active at South Manitou Island during his lifetime, arriving there with his father in the early 1830's, and being appointed Justice of the Peace in the newly established township there some ten years before his passing. He was one month from age 78 at the time of his death.

William N. Burton [1]

A pioneer in the annals of lake navigation and its development as well as an underwriter in the earliest stages of marine insurance on the lakes, passed away at Detroit last week[2], in the person of Mr. William N. Burton, aged 78 years, whoe remains were interred at Milwaukee, Wis.

William N. Burton was an old and well-known marine insurance man. He was the brother of J.C. Burton, of the firm J.C. Burton & Son, of Detroit, fire and marine underwriters. He was connected with the Columbian and other marine insurance companies with headquarters at Buffalo, and was actively engaged in marine work for about thirty years. He was one of the first tugmen engaged in the work at Chicago, and when the light-house at South Manitou was built he was the first one put in charge of it. Since his retirement from business several years ago, he has made his home with relatives in Chicago and Milwaukee [3]. About two years ago he went to reside at Detroit, where he lived with his daughter until the time of his death. He was born in 1817 and was therefore 78 years old.

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  1. This notice was published on in The Marine Record of Cleveland, for Thursday, January 24, 1895, Pg. 10.
  2. According to the Burton family genealogy, Descendants of Joshia Burton, the William N. Burton died on January 16, 1895 in Grand Haven, Michigan. However, his passing is recorded in the offical death records for Wayne County, Michigan (Detroit), and indicate that he died on that date and in that place of "heart failure." He and his wife Charlotte were, indeed, frequent visitors at Grand Haven, which was for many years the home of their married daughter, Clara-Mae (Burton) Mower.
  3. Also according to the Burton family genealogy, Descendants of Joshia Burton, William N. Burton and his wife Charlotte-Valencia (Adams) Burton, resided in Kenosha, Wisconsin and in Grand Haven, Michigan. Charlotte died in Grand Haven on April 8, 1882.

Submitted by Phyllis Begens, great-granddaughter of Eunice Marion Burton