BURNS, HUGH (1846–1911). Hugh Burns, identified with much of the railroad construction in Texas, was born in 1846 in County Roscommon, Ireland. He immigrated to the United States about 1850 with his parents and settled first at Nashville, Tennessee, then at Madison, Illinois. Burns, along with his four brothers, attended the Christian Brothers College in St. Louis, but, seeking adventure, he left school when he was sixteen to drive a freight wagon of sugar from Fort Smith, Kansas, to Denver, Colorado. He spent some time mining but lost his stake. His first railroad construction work was on the Fort Scott and Gulf Railroad in Missouri. Burns moved to Texas in the early 1870s and went into partnership with a railroad builder, a Mr. Peters, who was working on the Southern Pacific in West Texas. Later Burns went into the railroad construction business for himself and accepted a contract with the Houston and Texas Central in East Texas. During the early 1880s he formed a partnership with George W. Burkett and P. Murphy, and they contracted to build the International-Great Northern from Laredo to Palestine. While construction was progressing in Williamson County, Burns bought a 3,000-acre ranch on the San Gabriel River seven miles from Taylor. Several other contracts followed; his last was for construction of a railway for the Jay Gould interests through the cotton lowlands of the Brazos valley. Burns married Mary Clifford in 1881 in San Antonio. They lived for a while in Taylor after Burns retired, then moved to San Antonio, where he died on March 11, 1911.
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Mary Burns Mendel, "Burns, Hugh," accessed February 22, 2017, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fbu54.
Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.