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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Ivan Thomas Burney

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 432-435 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Portrait of Ivan Thomas Burney

Portrait: Ivan Thomas Burney

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Ivan Thomas Burney, vice president and treasurer of The Journal & Courier Company of Little Falls, has lived in this city for nearly forty-five years, where he is widely known as an able business man and a public-spirited citizen. The son of Thomas and Susan M. (Crowley) Burney, he was born in Massena, St. Lawrence county, New York, on the 24th of August, 1855, where he lived until he left home at the age of twenty-five to take up the study of law. His father, a Canadian of French extraction, was born at Three Rivers, Quebec, in 1819 and came to the States as a young man to pursue his trade of a chairmaker. He settled in Massena, where he died in 1865, at the age of forty-six. His wife was born in Massena, where she lived all of her long life, her death occurring in that place on September 7, 1908, at the advanced age of eighty-two.

When he had attained the manly age of twenty-five, Ivan T. Burney came to Little Falls from his birthplace to read law in the office of H. Clay Hall, now deceased. Three years later, in 1883, he was admitted to the bar at Buffalo. Meanwhile he had become interested in the printing business, which proved so congenial to him that he has devoted all of his time and effort to it for more than four decades. He began his work of this nature in the same office with which he is now connected. At that time it was issuing a weekly paper and doing job printing. For a number of years Mr. Burney edited The Journal & Courier, and at the same time he has been instrumental in developing its job printing department into a large concern that does both book and job printing today. When The Journal & Courier Company was incorporated in 1911, with George G. Stebbins as president, Mr. Burney became vice president and treasurer, his present position.

Mr. Burney's political affiliations are with the republican party, which he always stanchly supports, but he has never cared for a public career of his own. The only offices he has ever held have been of a distinctly local nature; he served a term in the first common council of the city and served one term of three years as clerk of the county. During the late war he was very active in his support of the various war "drives" and served ably on the committees for the Liberty Loan campaigns. He is a member and an elder in the First Presbyterian church of Little Falls and has been very prominent in the Masonic order, in which he holds the thirty-second degree. In this order he is a past master of Little Falls Lodge, No. 181, past district deputy grand master for this district, past commander of the Little Falls Commandery, and a Noble of the Mystic Shrine. The local Young Men's Christian Association has also long had his sincere support as a member of the board of directors, a position he still retains. He served for a year as president of that body, but upon his reelection refused to accept the office for a second term.

In Massena, on August 25, 1881, Mr. Burney was married to Miss Clara Electa Clark, a young woman who was born and had lived all of her life next door to his home in that city, where they had been childhood playmates. Her father, Henry T. Clark, was born in Vermont, but was taken to Potsdam, New York, as a boy. Later he was a general merchant in Massena, and continued in this business up to the time of his death in 1905. The mother, Electa (Philips) Clark, was the daughter of Benjamin Philips, a merchant of Massena. Clara Electa Clark was born on August 27, 1856, and passed away on November 29, 1905, after twenty-four years of happy married life. She was a consistent member of the Presbyterian church and always took an interested part in all of its activities. Their daughter, Grace Clara (Burney) Rogers of this city, was born here on July 5, 1885. On the 14th of October, 1908, Miss Burney was married at her father's home to Theodore Lansing Rogers, son of Theodore S. Rogers of West Hebron, New York, and the young couple have since made that house their home. They have two children: Theodore Burney Rogers, born July 19, 1919; and Clara Elizabeth Rogers, born March 27, 1915. Mr. Rogers is engaged in the real estate and insurance business in Little Falls as president of the firm of Rogers & Ashe, Incorporated.

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