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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)


Michael Burns & son Edward Burns


Michael Burns

Michael Burns, pioneer settler of Hollywood Township, is a native of Ireland, born in Carlow, county Carlow, September 29, 1826. He came to this country in 1852, a young man of twenty-six, accompanied by his wife, Bridget Farrell. They made their first residence in Coldsprings, New York, where Mr. Burns found employment in a foundry. After six mouths in New York State he removed to Cleveland and a year later moved farther west to St. Louis, engaged during this time in foundry or railroad work. In 1856 he came to Minnesota Territory, desirous of securing some of the land which was attracting settlers. For a year he lived in St. Anthony, where he kept a boarding house and worked in a quarry.

But the following year he realized his intention and took up land in what is now Hollywood Township and was one of the first settlers in this vicinity. Mr. Burns prepared his 160 acres for cultivation with an axe and hoe and gave as much time as was possible to farming, but during the first few years he was compelled to employ himself in other work. Later he added 480 acres to the original quarter section and this land remains the property of his family at the present time.

Through the successful labor of the first years he was soon able to transform the first shanty home of his family and the undeveloped land into a comfortable frame house and prosperous farm. The frame house has been replaced by the handsome brick home which Mr. Burns erected six years ago. Mr. Burns was one of the twelve voters who organized Hollywood township at old Helvetia and he has ever since been prominently associated with the affairs of the county, serving its interests in various offices. He was elected the first supervisor and later was made chairman of the board of supervisors. For seven years he was township assessor and chairman of the board of assessors.

He is a Democrat, but has never taken in active interest in politics outside the township. Of the families who were the pioneers in this vicinity, Mr. Burns survives with George Campbell, who with his father was also a settler of 1857, and the wife of Patrick Corcoran, who lives in her eighty- eighth year on the Corcoran homestead in Hollywood township. These first neighbors of Mr. Burns, identified with him in the early development of the county, were John, Thomas and Michael Madden, Mathew Kelly, Edward Boyle, James Sexton, Patrick Craven, Edward Burns, brother of Michael; Felix Campbell; his sons, Patrick, William, John, Michael, Peter and George and daughter, Mrs. Mary Toole, and Patrick Curry, whose farm is now owned by Mr. Burns. In his reminiscences, Mr. Burns recalls the time when game was so plentiful that the deer mingled freely with the cattle and stock on his farm and were unmolested by him, although he enjoyed the sport of squirrel hunting. His wife died in 1908, six years after they had celebrated the golden anniversary of their wedding.

They had six children, Margaret, who died in childhood; Edward, a farmer and insurance agent in Hollywood; Thomas, who was employed in the Pillsbury mills for twenty- nine years and died in 1907, aged fifty-two; James, engaged in farming in Hollywood township; Patrick P., salesman for L. L. May & Co. of St. Paul, and Mary, the wife of Patrick Gavin of Watertown.

Mr. Burns was one of the first members of the Catholic Church in Watertown. P. P. Burns has attained marked success as salesman for the well-known nursery firm, L. L. May & Co. He entered this field after spending several years in the teaching profession. He also enjoys the reputation of having held the local heavy weight championship as wrestler for ton years. He is now a retired farmer, his operations in the past proving him a success in this as well as in other lines. He is now considering the study of law, local conditions requiring that that subject be added to his general fund of information.


Edward P. Burns

Edward P. Burns, well known insurance man and farmer in Hollywood township, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, February 25, 1855, and is the son of Michael and Bridget (Farrell) Burns, who were both natives of Ireland, and Michael Burns was one of the first settlers in Hollywood township and is one of its oldest living residents. Edward Burns was brought to Carver county by his parents in 1856 and was reared on his father's farm, where he lived until he was twenty-four years of age. At that time he secured the agency for the Continental Insurance company and sold fire insurance in Carver and McLeod counties. His ability in this field was speedily recognized and he has continued in this work with marked success.

For twelve years he lived in Norwood, giving all his attention to the insurance business. In 1893 he bought a farm near Winsted in McLeod county and began to divide his business interests. Fourteen years later, in 1907, he removed to his present home on the farm in Hollywood. This place was first owned by William Welch, who took it as a preemption claim, and it has a clean title that has never been threatened by a mortgage or claim of any sort. But one owner has intervened between the first possessor and Mr. Burns, William J., the son of William Welch, who moved to Wright county, where his death occurred in 1913.

Mr. Burns has added a number of improvements to this farm, which includes one hundred and sixty acres of fine farmland, has remodeled the house and erected a large modern barn. He also owns another place of one hundred and ten acres, eighty of which were given him by his father when he became of age, and it is his intention to make this his home. In 1886 he was married to Mary McCormick, who was born in Camden township. She is the daughter of Patrick and Catherine (Glendon) McCormick, and her brother, Patrick J. McCormick, is the present postmaster at Hopkins, Minnesota.

Mr. Burns and his wife have eight children and all make their home with their parents. Two daughters, Bridget and Margaret, are teachers in the schools of Carver county. Mary is a student in the high school at Watertown and Julia attends the Holy Angel Academy at Minneapolis. One son, Patrick, is a student in St. Thomas college and the other children, Catherine, Michael and Edward, are pupils in the local schools.. Mr. Burns has always taken a great interest in public affairs and has been prominent in political activities and a member of a number of conventions. He and family are members of the Catholic church at Watertown. The first Catholic service in Hollywood was held in the home of William Welch, on the site of the present Burns home.

Source: Debbie's Genealogy Library


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