Jefferson County Historical Society

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Thomas L. Burgess, a merchant of North Crystal, is a native of Jefferson
County, Mo., where he was born March 1, 1854 the only son of Eli
and Caroline Burgess, natives of Missouri and Virginia, and of German 
and American ancestry.  Thomas L. Burgess remained on the farm where he
was reared until twenty-one years of age.  About the year 1875 he was
appointed agent of the Iron Mountain Railroad, at Bailey's Station, 
continuing in that capacity for nearly three years.  He was next employed
as a clerk and manager of the general store of B. H. Selmeyer, at what was
then Crystal Station, now known as Silica; he remained for a short time 
and secured a position as night car accountant at Bismarck, on the Iron
Mountain Railroad, where he worked but twenty days. After this he secured
employment on the St. Louis & San Francisco Line, as telegraph operator, 
which vocation he followed but a short time. He then went to Piedmont, Mo.,
where he acted as assistant agent for the Iron Mountain Railroad for about
six months, and from there went to Fulton, Ark., as telegraph operator, 
holding a day position. Here his stay was short, and he next located at 
Crocker, Mo., in the capacity of night operator on the St. Louis & San 
Francisco Railroad, holding the latter position about eighteen months, 
when he went to Lebanon and was employed in the same capacity.  From the 
latter place he was sent to Tulsa, I. T., as operator and agent for the 
company, remaining about two and one-half years, and having charge, also
of the Red Fork Station. Venita was his next stopping place, as relief 
agent, where, after two months, he was appointed permanent agent, remaining
there altogether about eight months. November 26, 1886 he was united in marriage
to Miss Justine M. Hug, a daughter of Stephen Hug. She was born in Alsace, France,
September 16, 1856. They have one child, Thomas B., born November 17, 1887.  Mr.
Burgess is a member of Shekinah Lodge, No. 256, A. F. & A. M., and is also a 
member of Copestone Chapter, No. 33, of De Soto.  is wife is a member of the 
Catholic Church.  In political matters he is a Democrat.  October 8, 1887, 
he erected a handsome, two story residence and a commodious store building 
in North Crystal, where he has since been conducting a general merchandising 
business, and is doing a good trade. He is held in high esteem by a large circle
of acquaintances.