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James H. Burgoyne


James and Lura Burgoyne
Courtesy Cindy Mitchell

James H. Burgoyne was born in 1834 in Ohio, likely Muskingum County, the son of James and Mary (Miner) Burgoyne.

He relocated with his father to Indiana and in 1850 lived on the family farm in Center Township, Wayne County, IN.

James joined the Union Army during the Civil War. He was a member of the 125th Illinois Infantry, Company G and was a teamster, driving wagons as the regiment moved. He often shared duties with fellow teamster Henry Lloyd of Catlin, IL. While on duty outdoors in Nashville, TN during the winter of 1862-1863, he contracted a bad cold which infected his throat and lungs and led to a lifelong cough.

The following winter, at Lee and Gordons Mill in Georgia, he continued to be burdened with his breathing.

After receiving an honorable discharge in 1865, he returned home. At some point he moved to Illinois, settling in Vermilion County..

At the age of 32, on New Year's Eve 1866, he wedded 22-year-old Lura "Lury" Butler (June 30, 1845-1902) in a wedding officiated by Rev. B Newman at Butler's Point, Vermilion County, IL. She was a decade younger than her husband. Lura was widely known as the granddaughter of local pioneer James D. Butler, who originally had established the community of Butler's Point.


The Burgoynes' grave
Courtesy Cindy Mitchell

Five children were born to this union -- Ota May "Otie" Burgoyne, James Ora Burgoyne, Roy Burgoyne, Leona Belle "Ona" Smith and one who died young.

When the federal census enumeration was made in 1870, James and Lura were listed as farmers in Catlin, Vermilion County. Living under their roof that year were 10-year-old William Starks, 18-year-old John McKee and 18-year-old Julia Rosslage, while James' married brother Evan and family dwelled next door.

During the 1870s, they moved to a new farm residence in Newell, Vermilion County, as shown in the 1880 census.

James also was a longtime bricklayer. In his free time, he was a member of the Knights of Honor.

In later years, he continued to suffer from lung disease. When he coughed, he often hemorrhaged.

Sadly, James died of tuberculosis on April 12, 1883 in Danville, Vermilion County. Rev. B. Hyde officiated at the funeral service, with N.A. Kimball providing undertaking services. An obituary was published in the Danville Daily News.

Lura outlived her husband by many years. She learned that she was eligible to receive a widow's pension for her husband's wartime service, and so she filed the paperwork and was approved. [Widow App. #389.930 - Cert. #348.327] She thus began receiving monthly checks of $12 each which continued for the rest of her life.

In 1900, still in Newell, she was marked as heading her household with her 19-year-old daughter Ona in the home.

She was gathered in by the Grim Reaper at the age of 57 on Feb. 11, 1902. Her remains were interred in Spring Hill Cemetery in Danville.

James is named in the 1883 book by Luther B. Hill, A History of the State of Oklahoma, Vol. 1.


~ Daughter Ota M. "Otie" (Burgoyne) Harden Royse ~

Daughter Ota M. "Otie" Burgoyne (1868-1943) was born on Nov. 30, 1868 in Catlin, Vermilion County, IL. The baby's aunt, Sarah Stockton of Catlin, was a midwife at the birth.

At the age of about 19, in about 1887, Otie wedded 23-year-old carpenter James Harden (June 1864- ? ).

They established a home next door to Ota's mother in Newell, Vermilion County, and were there when the U.S. Census was made in 1900.


Vermilion River and Memorial Bridge in Danville, Illinois


Their offspring were Ethel Harden, Mabel Harden and Hazel Harden.

Later, she wedded James M. Royse (1876-1930).

James died in 1930 with burial in Atherton Cemetery in Danville, Vermilion County.

Daughter Ethel Harden (1887- ? ) was born in May 1887 in Illinois.

Daughter Mabel Harden (1889- ? ) was born in June 1889 in Illinois.

Daughter Hazel Harden (1891- ? ) was born in Nov. 1891 in Illinois.


Ora and Nora Burgoyne. Courtesy Cindy Mitchell

~ Son James Ora "Orrie" Burgoyne ~

Son James Ora "Orrie" Burgoyne (1871-1934) was born on Sept. 25, 1871 in Catlin, Vermilion County, IL. Dr. M.C. Mendenhall of Vermilion Grove assisted in the birth.

When he was age 21, in about 1893, Orrie was united in holy matrimony with 18-year-old Elnora "Nora" McBride (Aug. 24, 1875-1907), daughter of Thomas and Dorcas Rowena (Wilson) McBride of Lafayette, Tippecanoe County, IN.

The couple produced a family of six known children -- Helen Palmer, Stella Cornwell, Eva Burgoyne and Willard Burgoyne.

Census records for the year 1900 show the family living in a compound of homes near Ora's sister Ota and widowed mother in Newell, Vermilion County. That year, he worked as a teamster, hauling sand and gravel, work which he continued for many years as a family-owned operation.

Grief blanketed the family in the early autumn of 1907 when 31-year-old Eleanor passed away in Danville on Oct. 3, 1907. Her remains were interred in Gordon Cemetery.


Gordon Cemetery
Courtesy Cindy Mitchell

Ora survived his bride by more than a quarter of a century and apparently did not remarry. The United States Censuses of 1920 and 1930 show him heading a household in Danville.

In addition to his transport work, Ora was a prize-winning farmer with his livestock exhibited at county fairs. He once held an Illinois state record, reported in an October 1929 article in the Chicago Tribune, for showing a pair of gray grade Percheron draft horses weighing 3,730 lbs. In 1930, his daughters now married and in their own households, living under his roof were his sons Willard and Glenn and 39-year-old widowed housekeeper Grace Cox. That year, he continued his longtime occupation as a trucking contractor in the sand and gravel industry.

In late 1933 or early '34, Ora fell at home and broke his hip. He was taken for treatment to St. Elizabeth Hospital. His health plummeted, and he passed away at the age of 61 on Jan. 7, 1934. His remains were placed into eternal rest near his wife's in Gordon Cemetery.

Daughter Helen Burgoyne (1893-1929) was born in July 1893 in Illinois. She married (?) Palmer ( ? - ? ).

Daughter Stella Burgoyne (1895-1968) was born in Jan. 1895 in Illinois. Single at the age of 24 in 1920, she dwelled at home with her widowed father and worked as a sales lady in a dry goods store. She wedded (?) Cornwell ( ? - ? ).

Daughter Eva Blanche Burgoyne (1896-1956) was born in Dec. 1896 in Illinois. Unmarried in 1920, at age 23, she earned a living as a telephone operator in Danville.


Left to right: Eva, Stella and Stella with her husband Walter. Courtesy Cindy Mitchell


Son Willard T. Burgoyne (1899-1972) was born in June 1899 in Illinois. At the age of about 27, in 1926, he became married. But he and his wife may have separated, as the 1930 federal census enumeration shows him living with his father and brother in Danville and working as a driver in the family sand and gravel hauling business.

Daughter Mae Burgoyne (1903-1974) was born in 1903. She was united in wedlock with George Rindt ( ? - ? ).


Mae (left) and with husband George Rindt. Courtesy Cindy Mitchell


Son Glenn William Burgoyne (1905-1991). was born in 1903. Unmarried at the age of 24, he lived at home in Danville with his widowed father and assisted the father as a driver in the family's sand and gravel transport business.


~ Son Roy Lake Burgoyne ~


Roy and Mary Burgoyne. Courtesy Cindy Mitchell

Son Roy Lake Burgoyne (1874-1956) was born on Sept. 18, 1874 in Danville, Vermilion County, IL. Dr. Alexander Pollock of Danville assisted in the birth.

Circa 1897, at the age of 22, he wedded 23-year-old Mary Cleopatra LaCount (June 1874-1929), whose parents were immigrants from France. Federal census enumeration records show that the Burgoynes made a home in 1900 in Danville and in 1910-1920 dwelled in in Georgetown, Vermilion County.

Roy earned a living for 46 years as the owner of his own florist shop, which he founded in 1909. They were longtime members of the Central Christian Church of Danville, and Roy belonged to the local Russell lodge of the Masons and the Modern Woodmen of America.

The children born to this marriage were Philip J. Burgoyne and Lela L. Burgoyne.

Sadly, Mary passed away in 1929.

In 1930, census records show the widowed Roy heading a household in Georgetown with his son and daughter-in-law under his roof. He also served as a mayor of Georgetown and on the Vermilion County Board of Supervisors. At some point, he began grooming his son and grandson to take over the family business.

In 1932, at the age of 58, Roy married a second time, by 1935, to Clara Compton (1896- ? ). Roy was 22 years older than his second bride. The couple were together in a Danville residence in 1935-1940, with Roy retiring sometime during that period.

Roy died at the age of 81 on Sept. 3, 1956, at the age of 82. Burial was in Georgetown Cemetery.

Son Philip James Burgoyne (1906-1986) was born on Feb. 23, 1906 in Vermilion County. He grew up learning the florist's trade and in 1930 worked with him in the family flower shop. In about 1927, when both were age 24, Philip married Marie Ramsey (July 1, 1905-2002), daughter of Gilbert A. and Stella (Brooks) Ramsey. They were the parents of an apparent only son, Roy Gilbert Burgoyne. Philip passed into eternity at the age of 79 on Jan. 15, 1986. Marie survived her husband by 16 years. She succumbed on Nov. 10, 2002 at the age of 97. They rest side by side in Georgetown Cemetery

  • Grandson Roy Gilbert Burgoyne (1932-2012) was born on April 23, 1932. He married MaryLou Winland (1935-2017). He died in Urbana, Champaign County, IL on July 16, 2012

Daughter Lelia L. Burgoyne (1909-1988) was born in about 1909 in Vermilion County.


~ Daughter Leona Belle "Ona" (Burgoyne) Smith ~

Daughter Leona Belle "Ona" Burgoyne (1880-1974) was born on April 20, 1880 (or 1881) in Danville, Vermilion County, IL. Dr. Alexander Pollock of Danville assisted in the birth.

In 1900, unmarried at age 19, she resided with her widowed mother in Newell, Vermilion County, IL and earned a living as a "telephone girl" in a central business office.

She was joined in holy matrimony with Joseph Joshua Smith (Nov. 1878-1973), a native of Danville and the son of Frank Berryhill and Florence (Shockley) Smith.

The marriage endured for decades until the separation of death.

Joseph passed away in 1973.

Leona followed him to the grave on Aug. 18, 1974. Burial was in Spring Hill Cemetery in Danville.


Copyright © 2006, 2019 Mark A. Miner

Cindy Mitchell has researched this family and generously shared her findings.