William D. Burton is a Champaign County pioneer, was a farmer during his more active years, and since moving to Champaign has done much for the betterment and improvement of that city.
Mr. Burton was born near Cincinnati, Ohio, January 28, 1830, a son of Elijah and Deliah (Dimmitt) Burton, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Virginia. His father was a farmer and both he and his wife died in Knox County, Illinois. There were nine children: Malinda J., who died in California; Harvey, deceased; William D.; Henry, of Grant’s Pass, Oregon; Sarah, John and George, all deceased; Oliver, who lives in Iowa; and Hiram, of Colorado.
William D. Burton was reared in Ohio, and first passed through Champaign County when on his way to Iowa. The following year, 1858, he returned to Knox County and later to eastern Illinois and located on a farm four miles north of Mahomet in Champaign County. He still owns a hundred acres of the land which he developed and cultivated in that section. In 1892 he came to Champaign, was real estate agent for some years, and invested in local property, including his own home and other parcels of real estate. Mr. Burton was the man who set out all the trees in the East Side Park addition.
On March 20, 1856, he married Mary Abbott Wright, who was born in Licking County, Ohio, October 16, 1829, and died at her home in Champaign February 15, 1917. Mr. Burton has two children: Eliza is the wife of Dr. J. I. Groves, of Champaign; Dora is the wife of F. J. Foote, of Columbus, Ohio. Mr. Burton is a Republican, has been affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows since he was twenty-one years of age, and is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.