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Burt Burton

BURT BURTON is proprietor of the Majestic Moving Picture and Play House at Sturgis, where he is also engaged in the real-estate and insurance business. He likewise has important ranching interests and in the conduct of his business affairs displays unremitting industry. His plans are well formulated and he never stops short of success. He was born ten miles north of Rapid City, South Dakota, in that part of Meade county which was then within the boundaries of Lawrence county, his natal day being August 7, 1885. His parents were Joseph W. and Mary (Stephens) Burton, the former a native of Indiana and the latter of Chicago. The father was engaged in mining until 1881, having come to the Black Hills country in 1875. He went to Pikes. Peak during the rush following the discovery of gold there, but returned to the Black Hills on the first stage that made the trip in 1876. He settled at Deadwood and operated there and in the vicinity, engaging in mining until 1881, when he took up his abode upon the farm ten miles north of Rapid City upon which his son Burt was born. There the father engaged in tilling the soil and in raising live stock until the spring of 1894, when he removed on to the Belle Fourche river, where he is still engaged in the stock business.He has one of the best equipped and improved ranches in his part of-the state and devotes his entire time to raising horses and cattle, in which business he is meeting with a well merited measure of success.

Burt Burton is the eldest in the family of three children. He attended the rural schools of Meade county and afterward completed his education in the School of Mines at Rapid City. When nineteen years of age he was employed as a range rider and practically followed the life of a cowboy until his election to office. In the meantime he homesteaded in Meade county and is now the owner of four hundred acres of rich meadow lands, upon which he has a number of head of horses which he grazes. He sells the hay from the balance of the ranch. In July, 1913, he became half owner of the Majestic Moving Picture Play House of Sturgis and a year later became sole owner. He now conducts the moving picture show, which is liberally patronized, for he brings to the public the finest films put out by standard companies and thus provides a high-class entertainment. He is also engaged in the real-estate and insurance business and he deals in automobiles, representing Overland cars.

On the 25th of November, 1912, Mr.Burton was married to Mrs. Agnes Smith, a native of Sturgis and in fact the first white child born in that city. Her parents, Max and Anna (Lang) Hoehn, were both natives of Germany and became early settlers of South Dakota. Her father acted as clerk in Custer's commissary department but because of illness was not present when Custer made his last stand, being unable to accompany the expedition, else he would have met the fate of all the others-death at the hands of the savages. He was a pioneer resident of Sturgis and taught the first school there. After the organization of Meade county he held various county offices and engaged in the abstract, real-estate, loan and insurance business, there continuing until his death, which occurred in January, 1911, having held office during the greater part of the time for twenty-five years. His was a most creditable record, characterized by the utmost fidelity to duty, and he enjoyed the highest respect and confidence of those with whom he came in contact. His widow survives and yet makes her home in Sturgis.

Mrs. Burton is the eldest of four children and has always lived in Sturgis, where she has a wide acquaintance and many friends. Mr. Burton is well known in Masonic circles in his town and is also a member of the Elks lodge at Rapid City. He votes with the republican party and has served as auditor of Meade county for four years. He likewise filled the office of deputy assessor for two years, of deputy clerk for fifteen years and of deputy auditor a short time before elected to the higher position. He maintains an unsullied reputation as a business man and as a citizen, and warm esteem is entertained for him by all who know him throughout his section of the state, in which his entire life has been passed.


This biography is transcibed from pages 785-786 in "History of Dakota Territory" by George W. Kingsbury, Vol V (1915)

Transcibed Mar,27 2008© by Lyle B. Johnson