History of Bucks County, Pa Volume 3 by William H. Davis
Names and Page # Index


John BURTON, of Tullytown, dealer in coal and general merchandise, was born in Tullytown, Pennsylvania, August 12, 1864, and is a son of Elwood and Anna H. (Bailey) Burton, of Tullytown, and a representative of a family that have been prominent in the settlement and development of Bucks county for six generations.

Anthony Burton, the emigrant ancestor of the family, was a native of England, and was among the earliest settlers in Bristol township, where he owned land as early as 1684. His name appears among those who registered the "ear marks" for their cattle in the old book kept for that purpose by Phinehas Pemberton in 1684. On March 16, 1695, he and Thomas Burk purchased the tract of land on which the town of Bristol was subsequently built, and laid it out in streets and building lots, and laid the foundation of the present metropolis of Bucks. It was incorporated by the provincial council of Pennsylvania at a meeting of that body held at the home of Phinehas Pemberton in Falls township, Bucks county, on the petition of "severall in that countie for a Market Town, viz: att the Ferry agt. Burlington, within the said township of Buckingham, and that the sd persons have projected the same Into ways & streets. Haveing regard to the divisions of divers men's Land by the sd streets in the sd Town as now laid down," whereupon, "It was resolved by the Gouvernor & Council, that a town be there erected and the ways & streets to be according to ye model ye agreed upon." The town being erected, grew to such importance that Mr. Burton and other lot holders on October 17, 1718, petitioned the council to erect it into a borough, which was done, and its charter as engrossed was agreed to by the board of provincial councillors at a meeting held July 19, 1720. The name of Buckingham, first selected for the new town, was soon dropped, and it retained the name of Bristol.

Anthony Burton was a man of liberal education and wielded a wide influence in the community. He was commissioned a justice of the peace on May 13, 1715, and was regularly re-commissioned until 1733, and probably held the position until his death in 1739, the records for the intervening period merely stating "Justices now acting, re-commissioned." He was a member of the established church, and donated the land upon which St. James Episcopal church of Bristol was erected, and contributed liberally to its erection in 1712. From the records of this old church it appears that his lineal descendants are entitled to occupy two pews therein forever. Anthony Burton married, December 18, 1687, Sarah Gibbs, a widow. She died June 28, 1718, without issue. On July 28, 1720, he married Susan Keene, by whom he had two children: Martha, who died unmarried; and Anthony, Jr., born July 17, 1721. Anthony Burton, Sr., died in 1739, and is buried in St. James churchyard at Bristol.

Anthony Burton, Jr., son of Anthony and Susan (Keene) Burton, was a farmer and a large landowner in Bristol township, residing on the road from Bristol to the "Falls of the Delaware." He married, February 12, 1752, Mary Hough, daughter of Richard Hough, of Falls, and, she being a member of the Society of Friends, he also became affiliated with that society, as have been his descendants to this day. He died February, 1798. Anthony and Mary (Hough) Burton were the parents of eight children, four of whom died in infancy; those who survived were: John, born September 17, 1753; Martha, born July 25, 1756, married John Minster; Anthony, born August 9, 1758; and Jonathan born August 21, 1765.

John Burton, eldest son of Anthony and Mary (Hough), born September 17, 1753, was the great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch. He was a farmer and resided for many years on the old homestead in Bristol township, but removed late in life to Falls township, where he died September 3, 1835. He was twice married, first in February, 1778, to Rachel Wilson, nee Sotcher, widow of Henry Wilson and daughter of Robert and Mercy (Brown) Sotcher. She died in 1781, leaving two sons, Joseph and John. On October 9, 1789, he married Hannah Watson, by whom he had five children: Benjamin, Mary, Rachel, Anthony, and Charles.

Anthony, the second son of Anthony and Mary (Hough) Burton, born August 9, 1758, married Jane, daughter of John and Deborah (Watson) Gregg, April 27, 1781, and had children: John G., Amos, Deborah, and William. The latter became a successful merchant in Philadelphia and afterwards a physician. He was a remarkably brilliant man. His wife was Susan Hallowell, of Philadelphia, belonging to an old Bucks county family, who died in Penns Manor, Bucks county. Jonathan, the other son of Anthony and Mary, married Letitia Williamson, March 11, 1790, and died in 1840. His children were William, Sarah, Peter, Ann L., and Elizabeth. His grandson, Jonathan Burton, was a large manufacturer of iron, and died in Ohio. Joseph Burton, son of John and Rachel (Wilson) Burton, was a large landholder in Bristol and Falls township, and justice of the peace for over thirty years. He married Sarah Watson, and died in 1858. Many descendants of the three sons of Anthony and Mary (Hough) Burton still reside in Bucks county, where they have intermarried with other families that have been prominent in the development of the county.

Anthony Burton, grandfather of the subject of this sketch, born in 1796, was the son of John and Hannah (Watson) Burton. In his younger days he was a school teacher, but later became a farmer and he was also identified with various business enterprises, operating for several years an extensive shad fishery on the Delaware. He was for twenty-four years the president of the Farmers' National Bank of Bucks county, at Bristol, and was also president of the Upper Delaware River Steamboat Company, and filled many other positions of trust. He was a prominent member of the Society of Friends, and a man much esteemed in the community. He died near Tullytown in 1874, at the age of seventy-eight years, lamented by all who knew him. He was twice married, his first wife and the mother of his children being Mary Headley, and his second wife was Anna Paxson. His children were Caroline, Hannah, John, Anna, and Elwood. John, born August 3, 1829, was a soldier in the war of the rebellion, serving in the Anderson Cavalry, and participating in eighteen engagements. He was a prominent business man in Falls township, holding many positions of trust and honor, being a director of the Farmers' National Bank of Bucks county, president of the Bristol Improvement Company, and director of the Delaware River Steamboat Transportation Company, and of the Cape May and Delaware Bay Navigators Company. He was also president of the William Penn Mutual Loan and Building Association. He married, February 7, 1867, Elizabeth Headley, daughter of William and Eliza, and had children, Franklin, Elwood, Horace H. and Russell. Caroline Burton, daughter of Anthony and Mary Headley Burton, married Pierson Mitchell, of Middletown. Hannah never married, and Anna married John W. Paxson, of Philadelphia.

Elwood Burton, father of the subject of this sketch, was the youngest son of Anthony and Mary (Headley) Burton, and was born on the old homestead farm near Tullytown, February 28, 1836. He attained his elementary education in the public schools of Falls township, and finished at the academy at Lang(?)ne. On leaving school he entered (?) store of his brother-in-law, John (?) Paxson, at Tullytown, as a clerk, and filled that position until arriving at his majority, when with his brother John he purchased the plant of Mr. Paxson. Two years later he purchased his brother's interest, and successfully conducted the business until his death in 1896. He was a man of much more than ordinary business ability, and held many positions of honor and trust. He was a director of the Farmers' National Bank of Bucks county from 1874 until his death, also a director of the Bristol Rolling Mill Company, the Bristol Improvement Company and the Standard Fire Insurance Company of Trenton, New Jersey, and was frequently called upon to act as executor, administrator, agent and guardian in the settlement of estates. He was a consistent member of the Society of Friends, and was highly respected and esteemed in the community. He married, September 8, 1859, Anna H. Bailey, daughter of John W. and Phoebe (Brown) Bailey, of Falls township, and a descendant of two old and prominent families of Bucks county, and they were the parents of five children: Ida C., wife of A. Brock Shoemaker, a prominent merchant of Tullytown; John, the subject of this sketch; Pierson, who died in infancy; Raymond A.; and Lilian C., wife of Allen Corson, of Philadelphia. Anna (Bailey) Burton resides in Philadelphia. The maternal ancestors of the subject of this sketch were also among the most prominent people of Bucks county. Richard Hough, the father of Mary, the wife of Anthony Burton (2) was the son of Richard and Margery (Clowes) Hough, of Makefield, the former of whom came from Macclesfield, in the county of Chester, England, arriving in the Delaware river in the "Endeavor," 7 mo. 29, 1683, and settled in Makefield township. He was a member of provincial council, and was drowned in the Delaware in 1706, while on his way to attend a meeting of the council. His wife, Margery Clowes, was a daughter of John and Margery Clowes, who also came in the "Endeavor" and settled in Makefield. Rachel Sotcher, who became the wife of John Burton (1) was the daughter of Robert and Mercy (Brown) Sotcher, and granddaughter of John and Mary (Lofty) Sotcher, the latter of whom were William Penn's trusted stewards at Pennsbury, and John Sotcher was for many years a member of colonial assembly. George and Mercy Brown, the parents of Mercy, the wife of Robert Sotcher, was the youngest child of George and Mercy Brown, who came from Leicestershire, England, together in 1679, and were married at New Castle on their arrival, and later settled in Falls township, where they reared a family of eight sons and three daughters. General Jacob Brown was a great-great-grandson of George and Mercy Brown. Phoebe (Brown) Bailey, the maternal grandmother of the subject of this sketch, was of the same lineage. The Headleys and Baileys were also among the earliest settlers in Lower Bucks, where they have left numerous descendants.

John Burton was educated at the Friends' Central School in Philadelphia, and later took a course in Trenton Business College, after which he assisted his father in the conduct of the general merchandise and coal business at Tullytown, and succeeded his father in 1893. He is director of the Farmers' National Bank of Bucks county at Bristol, and a director of the Bristol Improvement Company, treasurer of the William Penn Mutual Loan and Building Association, of Tullytown, and a director of the Standard Fire Insurance Company, of Trenton, New Jersey. In politics he is a Republican. He married, September 1, 1893, Sarah G. Eastburn, daughter of Thomas C. and Abi (Crozer) Eastburn, who was born in Bucks county, Penn's Manor, in 1866, and is a descendant of Robert and Sarah (Preston) Eastburn, who came from Yorkshire in 1714, their son Samuel settling later in Solebury, from whence Samuel Eastburn, a grandson of the above named Samuel, removed to Penn's Manor in 1803. The Eastburns were members of the Society of Friends. John and Sarah G. (Eastburn) Burton have one son, Pierson Mitchell Burton

Text taken from 228-230

Davis, William W. H.,  A. M. History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania [New York-Chicago:  The Lewis Publishing Company, 1905]  Volume III

Transcribed June 2001 as part of the Bucks Co., Pa., Early Family Project,

Published June  2001 on the Bucks County, Pa., USGenWeb

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