Biography of Louis Bodwell Burt

Louis Bodwell Burt, county clerk of Wabaunsee County, and also president of the State County Clerks’ Association, had for many years been an active figure in this county’s educational and civic affairs. He is a hard worker, is faithful and attentive to his official duties and a man whose ability and service command universal respect.

Mr. Burt is of English ancestry. His people were early settlers in the State of Kansas. Mr. Burt was born at Wabaunsee in Wabaunsee County, Kansas, January 7, 1882, son of George S. Burt. His father’s people were early settlers in the State of Wisconsin. His grandfather, James Wrex Burt, was born near Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1810 and died at Mackford, Wisconsin, in 1864. The grandmother, Diantha Stephens Burt, was born at Madison, Connecticut, in 1812 and died at Mackford, Wisconsin, in 1844. They came to Milwaukee in 1835 from Cleveland, Ohio, traveling by a sailing vessel around the Great Lakes and being two weeks on the way. Both of the great-grandfathers on the Burt side were in the Revolutionary war.

George Sharp Burt was born in Walworth County, Wisconsin, September 6, 1837. He came to Kansas in 1859, two years before its admission as a state, and joined a colony of homesteaders in Wabaunsee County. The 160 acres in the homestead is now occupied by his son Sherman and adjoins the townsite of Wabaunsee on the east. George S. Burt followed farming all his active career and retired in 1914. A republican in politics, he had filled various township offices and as a resident of Kansas during the trouble arising over the early settlement and the slavery problems he joined the state militia. He was a first lieutenant in the Fourteenth Regiment, Kansas State Militia, from 1863 to the close of the war. The regiment was called to Western Kansas in July, 1864, to stop a raid the Indians were making on a train of emigrants and freighters at Great Bend on the Arkansas River. They returned home until the Price raid, when they were called out and under General Pleasanton marched to the Blue River near Kansas City, where by their valiant fighting Price and his followers were put to rout.

George S. Burt is a very active member and leader in the Congregational Church and is affiliated with the Ancient Order of United Workmen.

He married Lula B. Lines. She was born at New Haven, Connecticut, in 1845. Her father, Charles B. Lines, was a historic character in Wabaunsee County, and for that reason a separate sketch is given of him on other pages. George S. Burt and wife reared a family of very capable children, Louis B. being the youngest. Frank I., the oldest, is a farmer at Shallow Water in Scott County, Kansas. George S., Jr., is a farmer near Wamego in Pottawatomie County. Henry F., a resident of Minneapolis, Minnesota, is head of social settlement work in that city and is now looking after the welfare and moral conditions of the soldiers in their camps in the Northwest. Sherman B. had already been mentioned as farming the old homestead at Wabaunsee. Charles is also a social settlement worker living at Minneapolis.

Louis B. Burt grew up on the old homestead at Wabaunsee, attended the public schools there, graduated from the Wamego High School, and was liberally trained for the duties and responsibilities of an active career. For a year and a half he was a student in Kansas University and took a course in the State Normal School at Emporia. In 1900 he began teaching near Alma, and after a year was made principal of the Paxico school, where he remained two years, was for two years principal of the Harveyville school, principal of the Alma High School three years, and for five years was superintendent of schools at Alta Vista.

In the meantime, in connection with his school work, Mr. Burt served as county surveyor of Wabaunsee County from 1907 to 1913. In June, 1913, he was appointed county clerk, and since that date had lived at Alma, his offices being in the courthouse. He was regularly elected county clerk in 1914, and by re-election in 1916 is in his second term.

Mr. Burt besides his home on Missouri Street in Alma owned a farm of 160 acres at Wabaunsee. He is a republican and a member of the Congregational Church, is a member and was master in 1916 of Alma Lodge No. 161, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, Patron, 1915-16, of Lodge No. 207, Order of the Eastern Star, and is affiliated with Alma Lodge No. 76, Ancient Order of United Workmen, and Cedar Camp of the Modern Woodmen of America at Wabaunsee.

June 14, 1911, at Alta Vista, he married Miss Katie L. Anderson, daughter of Christian and Delia (Woodard) Anderson. Her father, a farmer, is now deceased and her mother lives at Alta Vista. Mr. and Mrs. Burt have one daughter, Kathryn Lenore, born November 21, 1913.


Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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