Melancthon W. Burgess



PIONEER OF 1837-1861

by Margaret Viola Burgess, a Daughter

Melancthon Wheeler Burgess, or he was more familiarily known as (Melancthon) was born at Lake George, New York July 14th 1831. Died at St. George Utah Dec. 8th, 1904. He was the son of William Burgess Sr. and Violate Stockwell(Burgess). He was a pioneer of 1847, coming to Salt Lake Valley Utah in the last part of September or in the early part of October 1847.

He was a blacksmith by trade, also cabinet maker or carpenter, and was one of the most skillful blacksmiths of early days of Salt Lake City and Saint George, Utah. He made horse shoe nails and many other necessary articles which were hard to obtain in a Pioneer community especially when the distance across the plains to Omaha Neb. where most of the merchandise brought to Utah was purchased, was one thousand miles and means of transportation was ox teams. Brother Burgess was captain over fifty men at Echo Cannon during the invasion of Johnson's Army. He was released from his military duties which he performed faithfully on May 22nd 1858. We still have his Diary but very faded and a few leaves are missing but it is very precious to us.

He was married in April 1855 to Margaret Jane McIntire(Burgess) by President Brigham Young in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City Utah. They were the parents of seven children, four sons and three daughters. On October 8th 1861 was called to the Southern Utah mission and with his wife and two small sans, Melancthon, Edger, and Don Carlos Smith Burgess drove into Dixie with the pioneers of 1861. Melancthon Burgess built and finished the first house where the City of St. George now stands. He went up into the mountains in the Parowan County Utah and cut down the timber from which he cut the clap boards with a cross cut saw. The old front room is still standing although going to de???. Artists come and sketch it. Art teachers with their classes come paint it, tourists from many states come and take photos of it. The old house is very dear to my sister Jennie C. Burgess and myself with its many happy also sad memories.

Melancthon Burgess was a carpenter and cabinet maker. There are still pieces of furniture he made still in use. In January 1862 he served on the Building Committee in St. George, Utah. He held several positions in the L.D.S. Church such as 2nd seventy members of the High Council etc. May 21st 1864 he went as a missionary many times to the out laying settlements. In the fall of 1862 he made several specimens of Iron from ore brought to him by Nathaniel V. Jones which came from and near Cedar City, Utah. He took one of the samples to President Brigham Young and from it James Lawson a blacksmith of the 16th Ward made the spike which was the last spike driven on completion of the Utah Central Rail Road. Brother Burgess and his brothers owned and operated a saw mill at Pine Valley Utah among the first in this county. He was a true pioneer always willing to do his part in helping to build up the community in which he lived. Also he was a pioneer into the Mesquite Nevada.

He vas connected with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints from his infancy to his death. Endured all the hardships and trials of the early pioneers. He was a kind and loving, father to his family and friends. A true Pioneer who went through all the trials and hardships of early Pioneer days.

This sketch was written by his daughter, Mrs. Margaret V. Burgess(McIntire), St. George, Utah.

His two sons Melancthon Edgar Burgess and Don Carlos Smith Burgess were pioneers of Dixie, coming with their parents in 1861.