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LAIRD BURNS (1716) - PA & SC

The webmaster of this site is Norma Burns Farmilo now at

Please join the BURNS FAMILY DNA PROJECT by clicking on the above URL. We need as many male Burns' as we can get in order to get a true test.

People in the picture named at the bottom of this article.

CHARLES EARL BURNS (CHARLES R, WILLIAM T, WASHINGTON SR., JAMES ESQ., JOHN, JOHN B, JOHN) was a Minister, a College President, an Author, a Railroad worker, a Radio Broadcaster and the Father of seven children and one foster child.

FLORENCE ELIZABETH ANTHONY (SOLOMON DEBO, WILLIAM, JOSEPH JR., JOSEPH SR., MARK) was a Probation Officer, Mother of the Year for the South, a CEO, & Director, Supervisor and Fund Raiser as well as the Mother of seven children and one foster son.

The following account is written by their daughter, MYRTLE ELIZABETH BURNS GRANT.

CHARLES EARL BURNS was born in Keota, Iowa on September 14, 1883. FLORENCE ELIZABETH ANTHONY was born in Houston, Missouri, on October 29, 1888.

CHARLES and FLORENCE met in St. Louis, Missouri where he was working as a chief clerk on the Rock Island Railroad and she was working in a tailor shop. FLORENCE also worked at the World's Fair. They were introduced by her sister and boyfriend at the World's Fair in 1905.

CHARLES & FLORENCE dated awhile. During this time they attended her church, the First Christian Church "Disciples of Christ". Before long CHARLES became a member of this church. They were married there on October 21, 1906.

Their first son, EARL ANTHONY BURNS, was born in St. Louis, Missouri on December 3, 1907.

CHARLES EARL BURNS felt he was called into the ministry so he quit his job. With some help from the St. Louis Church He and FLORENCE and son left for Hiram College in Ohio. Four years later CHARLES got his A.B. degree. Two more children were born while they were at Hiram College.

CLYDE EDWIN BURNS was born on October 23, 1909. VIRGINIA RUTH BURNS ELDER was born on February 1, 1912.

CHARLES EARL BURNS received his degree in the Spring of 1912. He preached and tutored to help get through school and to support his family. FLORENCE sewed for people when she could spare the time from her growing family. At night she would read and study in order to educate herself to be a good minister's wife.

After his graduation CHARLES EARL BURNS took a professor's position at Johnson Bible College outside of Knoxville, Tennessee. He taught New Testament Greek as well as other related Bible subjects and did the preaching for the little church there. The last four of us were born at Johnson Bible College.

SAMUEL PAUL BURNS was born on March 25, 1914. MYRTLE ELIZABETH BURNS GRANT was born on November 17, 1915. FLORENCE CAROLYN BURNS HILSENBECK was born on September 24, 1917. MINNIE PAULINE BURNS FUGATE was born on April 27, 1919.

We had a foster brother, GEORGE ALBERT ALLATCH join our family soon after we arrived at Johnson Bible College. His family was from the "Old Country". After his mother and sister died his father and brother wanted to return to Europe but GEORGE ALLATCH did not want to go. He was enrolled at the Academy at Johnson Bible College so his father and brother left him on his own. He was about 15 at the time. FLORENCE BURNS felt sorry for him and so took him in. He was a big help to FLORENCE expecially in the summertime when CHARLES went to Chicago to work on his Master's Degree.

At the end of the third summer, CHARLES E BURNS received his M.A. Degree from Chicago University. In 1919 Milligan College offered him a better teaching and preaching position so we moved there and remained for two years.

Then CHARLES received a call to the Christian Church in Valparaiso, Indiana. He accepted and in the summer of 1921 he moved all 8 of us into the parsonage where we stayed about four years.

CHARLES E BURNS (Charles Rushton, William Turner, Washington, James Esq., John, John "B", John) was not completely happy pastoring a church so he resigned and took a position with the Lewis E Myers Company. They manufactured children's desks and published a book to accompany it. CHARLES collaborated on this book, "The Child; his nature and his needs". Then he promoted and sold the book. He liked this work. He preached on weekends at a small country church at Boone's Grove, Indiana.

They had moved out of the parsonage into a large four story house there in Valparaiso. This filled the needs of their large family. They stayed in Valparaiso until the Myers Company folded. This necessitated CHARLES finding another job.

In the summer of 1927 CHARLES EARL BURNS was offered another position at Milligan College. This time as head of the Business Administration Department, Dean of Men and the preacher at the village church on Sundays. CHARLES accepted this offer even though it meant leaving his family behind until FLORENCE could sell that big house. This she finally did. The next year we moved back to Tennessee.

While CHARLES was gone FLORENCE (took a job) worked as the Secretary of the American Red Cross there in Valparaiso. She was also the Probation Officer for Porter County. How she did all she did was a mystery to many people. She did it very well though and she was commended for it.

Finally in the summer of 1929 the family moved back to Milligan College. There were no houses available at that time so they were moved into some apartments in the old J.O. Creek Activity Building. Later they bought the old Taylor house on Buffalo Creek about 1/4 mile from campus, all pitching in to redo the house before moving in.

While living in the "Gym" building FLORENCE had charge of all the students working there. Many of the students were on work scholarships. Each job had to pass her inspection before they got their record card punched. This was how MYRTLE met PERCY GRANT, her future husband.

CHARLES EARL BURNS (CHARLES R., WILLIAM T., WASHINGTON SR., JAMES ESQ., JOHN, JOHN B., JOHN) remained as Professor and Dean until September 1940 when he became acting President of Milligan College. Then on May 26, 1941 he became President. During this time the Navy V 12 program was started on the campus. It was the beginning of World War II.

After the War (WWII) CHARLES resigned and they moved to Louisville, Kentucky. CHARLES had a five day a week radio program at WHAS called "Worship For All". He remained there for five years before retiring to Miami, Florida where their daughter FLORENCE CAROLYN BURNS lived with her husband, DR ROBERT HILSENBECK.

CHARLES E BURNS taught a Sunday School Class in two different churches in Miami. He was 87 years old when he finally gave up his class.

FLORENCE ELIZABETH (ANTHONY) BURNS died in September of 1963. CHARLES then married GWENDOLYN MILES, a nurse, on September 1964. She died in December 1971. In September 1972 CHARLES came to live with PERCY & MYRTLE (BURNS)GRANT. He died two and a half years later in February 1975.


In my opinion as well as many other people's opinion, FLORENCE ELIZABETH BURNS was about the most wonderful woman that ever lived. Besides being a Mother to 8 children, a probation officer, the secretary of the Red Cross, CEO of the Physical Education Building and buying, selling and remodeling houses, she took on a task that they said couldn't be done, rebuilding the village church.

In 1935 FLORENCE BURNS was President of the King's Daughters at the little village church at Milligan College. It was a one room wooden building. She had a vision of seeing the church raised, a basement put under it with classrooms, a kitchen, and dining room, and rest rooms. CHARLES said it couldn't be done because it was sitting on rock. Well, FLORENCE was from Missouri, it had to be proven to her. She, instead, proved him wrong.

Six years later on Easter Sunday, April 13, 1941 the Hopwood Memorial Church was dedicated. It is a beautiful rock structure with real stained glass windows each telling a story of Christ and his teachings. It now seats 275 people. It has an organ and a piano. The church is beautifully arranged.

The women of the King's Daughters under FLORENCE BURNS' leadership raised the biggest part of the money by quilting, giving dinners, selling various items, having ice cream suppers and any other fund raising ideas that were suggested.

No one but our family knows the hours of planning, writing letters about materials, windows, and furnishings and the actual work that FLORENCE put in on this tremendous undertaking. I felt that the church should have been named for her. In her unselfish way she suggested that it be Hopwood Memorial and that is what it still is. However, today there is a plaque on the front of the church giving her credit for the inspiration and dedication she had to this project.

While CHARLES was President of the College FLORENCE ran the college cafeteria. She tried to serve home cooked meals instead of "institutionalized" meals. From what I heard she succeeded.

In April of 1942 FLORENCE ELIZABETH (ANTHONY) BURNS was named ASSOCIATE MOTHER OF THE YEAR by the Golden Rule Foundation. Each year since 1935 The Foundation has selected a mother who has done an outstanding job of rearing her children and given her the title of "American Mother". That particular year because of the war conditions and a greater need for helping suffering mothers and children, three mothers were named. Hence, FLORENCE was an Associate Mother along with two other women.

After moving to Miami, FLORENCE BURNS decided to write a book about her childhood. She accomplished this great task but never did get it published. We girls decided to undertake this job.

Her book, "The Anthony's of the Ozarks" portrays life in this section of the country (Missouri) where her family lived for many generations. She tells all about her mother and father and their influence on this small community as well as telling many experiences that happened them during that period in history.

FLORENCE ELIZABETH BURNS nee ANTHONY followed in her parents footsteps by trying to teach all of her children the things that she had learned from her parents. And personally I am glad she did because it has stood me "in good stead" all my life.

CHARLES EARL BURNS b. 9/14/1883 Keota IA d. 2/13/1975 Daisy TN m. 1st 10/21/1906 St Louis MO to FLORENCE ELIZABETH ANTHONY b. 10/29/1888 Houston MO d. 9/23/1963 Miami FL m. 2nd 9/1964 to GWENDOLYN MILLIGAN/or Miles d. 12/1971



1) EARL ANTHONY BURNS b. 12/3/1907 St Louis MO d. 11/10/1995 (age 97) Naples, Collier, FL m. 5/1/1933 to Virginia Delene Staebler b. 10/22/1912 Pontiac MI m. 2ndly to Ann Laurie.

2) CLYDE EDWIN BURNS b. 10/23/1909 OH d. 11/19/1962 VA Heart attack m. bef 1933 to Eunice Iola Lollis b. 1911.

3) VIRGINIA RUTH BURNS b. 2/1/1912 OH d. 6/1976 (age 64) Cedar Hill TN Brain tumor m. 7/22/1934 to Robert Elder, MD. d. 1993.

4) SAMUEL PAUL BURNS b. 3/25/1914 Kimberlin Heights TN d. 10/15/1979(age 65) Winter Park FL Heart m. to Adele L. Fessenden b. 2/7/1919 Royal Oak MI d. 4/16/2005 Winter Park FL.

5) MYRTLE ELIZABETH BURNS b. 11/17/1915 Kimberlin Heights TN d. 1/22/2012 (age 96)Soddy Daisy, Hamilton, Tennessee m. to Percy A. Grant for 70 years.

6) FLORENCE CAROLYN BURNS b. 9/24/1917 Kimberlin Heights TN d. 2/18/2009 (age 91)Spanish Fort, Alabama. m. 6/19/1941 to John Robert Hilsenbeck MD.

7) MINNIE PAULINE BURNS b. 4/27/1919 living as of 1/22/2012 m. 5/27/1940 to husband, John Newton Fugate b. 1/4/1914 d. 1/26/2012 TN age 98 outside of Tazewell TN m. 5/27/1940 (71 happy years).



(Bottom Row) - Janice GIES (dau. of EARL), BOB HILSENBECK (husband of FLORENCE), MYRTLE.

I'm going to try to find each of the children's obituaries. Today I have Myrtle's who died several days ago. The other's I'm going to have to find and type in.

Myrtle B. Grant, 96, a longtime resident of Soddy-Daisy, Hsmilton, Tennessee, went to be with the Lord on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012.For the last five years she has resided at Regency House Assisted Living in Hixson. She was born in Kimberlin Heights, Tenn., on Nov. 17, 1915. She was one of eight children of the Rev. Charles and Florence Burns. Myrtle was a member of Daisy United Methodist Church for 72 years. She was the choir director for 46 years and a Sunday School teacher for over 60 years. She held many offices within the church, but being a member of the Quilters was dear to her heart. She enjoyed designing and making quilts for family and friends. She was also a loyal member of the Daisy Womens Club for 74 years. In 1947 she established Myrtles Beauty Shop in Daisy and operated it until she retired in 1979.Myrtle and beauty were synonymous in that she created beauty in her Christian walk, and by being a loving wife and mother, a talented musician, creative hair dresser, quilt designer, and by her sparkling personality and sense of humor. Myrtle was preceded in death by her parents, her husband of 70 years, Percy A. Grant; her brothers, Clyde, Earl, Paul and George Burns; and sisters, Virginia Elder and Florence Hilsenbeck.Survivors include her four children, Beth G. Nelson, Edwin L. Grant (Wanda), Charles A. Grant (Nancy) and Elsie G. Blalock (Lloyd); one sister, Minnie B. Fugate (John) of Tazewell, Tenn. She enjoyed her 12 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.Funeral services will be held at Daisy United Methodist Church on Tuesday, Jan. 24, at 11 a.m. with Judge Clarence Shattuck and Rev. Don Jones officiating.Interment will follow at Hamilton Memorial Gardens Cemetery. Her grandsons will be pallbearers.The family would like to thank the staff of Regency House, the doctors and nurses at Memorial North Park Hospital and the staff of Amedisys Hospice for the excellent care given to their mother.Memorial contributions may be made to Daisy United Methodist Church, 9805 Dayton Pike, Soddy-Daisy, TN 37379.Visitation is from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. today at the funeral home. Condolences and memories may be shared at are by Williamson and Sons Funeral Home, 8852 Dayton Pike, Soddy-Daisy, TN 37379.

Earl Anthony Burns, 87, of Naples, Collier, Florida died at his home Friday, November 10, 1995. He and his wife, Ann, who predeceased him moved to Naples in 1972 from St. Clair Shores, Michigan.

He attended Hiram College (in Ohio) for two years and then onto the University of Michigan where he earned an electrical engineering degree. He obtained his Masters Degree in 1933 in physics and then continued his studies towards a Ph.D in physics.

When he retired in 1972 from Woodall Industries (which became a subsidiary of Libby Owens Ford) in Detroit Michigan he had been with them for more than 32 years. Earl first joined Woodall in 1936 (after leaving Kelvinator as a sound engineer to quiet the motors on refrigerators) as an engineer in new product development (which then included plastics). He left the company in June 1965 and joined MacDonald Manufacturing Company in New Baltimore, Michigan where he served as executive vice-president. In 1969 he was persuaded by Mr Woodall to return to Woodall Industries in Detroit as vice president of manufacturing. (Then becoming Vice President of Operations of Libby Owen Ford when they merged with Woodall).

His (volunteer) contributions to his church, professional organizations, community and friends (were many and of lengthy tenure and) included: secretary/treasurer of the school board for Anchor Bay School District, New Baltimore, Michigan; Chairperson of the congregation and building chairperson for the First Congregational Church in New Baltimore, Michigan; treasurer for the First Christian Church in Naples Florida and nursing home volunteer for Heritage Health Care. He was a starter for several golf leagues and president of his condominium association. His favorite pastimes included: golfing, fishing, horseshoe playing, pinochle and painting. Earl spent many happy years walking at Coastland Mall with his friends.

Earl is survived by his four children: Marilyn Joyce Winter (Duaine) of Utica, Michigan; Dr Norma Ruth Farmilo of West Bloomfield, Michigan; Laurence Earl Burns (Dana) of Birmingham, Michigan; and Janice Margaret Gies (Robert) of Naples, Florida; 12 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; three sisters: Florence Hilsenbeck; Minnie Fugate, Myrtle Grant; and three sister-in-law, Adele Burns; Eunice Burns and Dorothy Swink.

He was preceded in death by his parents: Dr. Charles Earl and Florence Elizabeth (Anthony) Burns; brothers: Clyde and Paul; foster brother, George; sister, Virginia Elder, great-grandson, James William Gambill; and first wife, Virginia (Staebler).

A memorial service will be held Sunday, November 19th at the First Christian Church, 1789 Mandarin Road, Naples, Florida at 3:00 P.M. with Rev. Susan Diamond OFFICIATING.

Memorial Contributions can be sent to the First Christian Church of Naples or to the "Burns" Scholarship Fund of Milligan College (where his father was President) in Johnson City,Tennessee 37682 c/o Wayne Emery, Alumi Director.

Florence Carolyn Burns Hilsenbeck was born in Kimberlin Heights, Tennessee on Sept. 24, 1917. She passed away Feb. 18, 2009 (at the age of 91)at Westminister Village in Spanish Fort (Alabama). Her parents were Charles Earl Burns and Florence Elizabeth Anthony Burns. She was the sixth child born to Dr. and Mrs. Burns while her father taught at Johnson Bible College. Her family later moved to Milligan College near Johnson City, Tennessee where her father was a professor (and later President).

In 1935 Florence graduated as Valedictorian from Science Hill High School in Johnson City, Tennessee. She enrolled in the pre-med program at Milligan College, as they had no nursing program at that time. She had decided at a young age to become a nurse after the serious illness of her beloved mother. It was due to good nursing care that her mother lived. This made a big impression on her.

After two years at Milligan College she transferred to Vanderbilt University in Nashville. While there she started dating a medical student, John Robert Hilsenbeck. In 1940 she graduated and she and Bob became engaged. She took a job for one year at the Methodist Hospital in Memphis as the Nursing Arts Instructor while Bob finished medical school. She felt very strongly that it was important for a woman to work at least a year before marriage. On June 19, 1941 Florence and Bob were married in the Hopwood Memorial Chapet at Milligan College. In 1942 they moved to Miami, Florida where they raised four children. Florence chose to stay home and raise her family. She was very involved with her church, Miami Shores Presbyterian. She taught Sunday School and Bible classes. She was president of the Women of the Church several times and was ordained as an Elder at the church. She was also involved in various bridge clubs, Girl Scouts, Chapter BJ of P.E.O. and the North Shore Hospital Medical Auxillary.

In 1970 with her family raised Florence accepted a position as Director of Nursing Education at North Shore Hospital in Miami. In 1974 she became the Director of Nursing and in 1980 she was named Associate Administrator and held that position until she retired in 1984. While Director of Nursing she made many positive changes based on her philosphy of education and good nursing care. Some of these were incentives to further education, on-site day care, a new pay scale and evaluation system and flex time for education upgrades.

Florence lived in Miami, Florida for 51 years until Bob passed away in 1992. In 1993 she moved to Decatur (Alabama). While in Decatur she was a very active member of First Presbyterian Church. She enjoyed playing bridge and (loved) the University Women's Book Club. She volunteered at Decatur General Hospital. She was involved with Community Bible Study and Chapter Q of P.E.O. She lived in Decatur until 2001 when she chose to move to Westminster Retirement Village in Spanish Fort (Alabama). She joined the Spanish Fort Methodist Church and became involved with various activities at the retirement village and church.

She is survived by her daughter, Pat DePoyster (Jim) of Decatur; sons, Dr John R Hilsenbeck (Robin) of Knoxville, Tennessee; Charles Hilsenbeck (Julie) of Boca Raton, Florida; and Dr Richard Hilsenbeck (Melinda) of Tallahassee, Florida; sisters, Myrtle Grant of Hixson, Tennessee and Minnie (John) Fugate of Tazewell, Tennessee; 11 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; numerous nieces, nephews and many friends. Florence would like to be remembered for her philosophy of life based on "The Three L's" - Love, Laughter and the Lord.

There will be a memorial service held in March at the Hopwood Chapel on the Milligan College Campus. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Florence Burns Hilsenbeck Scholarship for Nursing which was established in 2002. Milligan College, TN 37682.

FUGATE, MR. JOHN NEWTON - age 98, died January 26, 2012 at his home in Tazewell, (TN) surrounded by his family. He was born January 4, 1914 and was a life-long resident on his farm on Sycamore Valley Road. He was a faithful member of Little Mulberry Baptist Church where he attended all his life. He was the oldest living member of the church, the Senior Deacon, a one-time song leader and Sunday School Teacher. He was a graduate of Milligan College where he met the love of his life, Minnie (Pauline) Burns whom he married May 27, 1940. They have had 71 happy years together. He is survived by his wife and 6 wonderful children, 16 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren. His children are Jane (Bob) Campbell, John II (Sandra), Nancy (Hollis) Large, David (Jane) Fugate, Judith (Terry) Fielden and Margaret (Frank) Anderson. A Celebration of Life service will be held February 11, 2012 at Midway Baptist Church of New Tazewell at 3:00 P.M with Rev. and Pastor Rev. Richard Minton. Following the service there will be a reception and refreshments in the Fellowship Hall. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be sent to the John & Minnie Fugate Scholarship Fund at Milligan College, P.O. Box # 9 Milligan College, TN 37682 or to Children's Bible Mission, Camp Ta-Pa-Win-Go, 111 CBM Camp Road, Watauga, TN 37694.

Pallbearers: grandchildren: Robert Campbell, Carolyn Karnes, Paula Jane Campbell, John Fugate III, Chris Fugate, Rachael Mills, Laura Beth Ims, Nathan Large, Paul Fugate, John David Fugate, Mark Fugate, Charles Fielden, Alex Anderson, Lucas Anderson, Sean Anderson and friend, Allen Parkey. Honorary Pallbearers: Chester Gibson, Bud Chadwell, Joe McNew, Bobby Walker, Little Mulberry Church Deacons, Lawrence Fultz, Tom Mottern, Carl Bolton, Pat Martin, David Manning and Lehman Callahan.

The family would like to thank the Claiborne County Hospital Medical staff; attending physicians at Knoxville and special caregivers; Rebecca Baltrip (10 years), Tina Rogers, Lydia Wilson and Pauline Pendleton; and the Little Mulberry Church for their kindness and food preparation. Coffey Funeral Home in charge.
Published in Knoxville News Sentinel from January 27 to January 28, 2012

For information about the rest of the family contact me.