Biography of Samuel M. Burgess

Samuel M. Burgess was a prominent figure in financial, civic, and social circles of Cambridge, Ohio, where he spent his life. He was the president of the Citizens Savings Bank Company and managed his father’s manufacturing business. A public-spirited citizen, he served in the city council and as a cemetery trustee. He was also a member of the Masonic order and received several degrees, including the thirty-second degree in Scioto Consistory. Mr. Burgess had a large and diversified interest in city and farm properties, and he and his wife spent several months every summer in their summer house in northern Michigan.

The name of Samuel M. Burgess, now living in honorable retirement from active business in his beautiful and historic home at Cambridge, is too well known to the people of Guernsey County to need an introduction or fulsome encomium on the part of the biographer, for he has long been a very potent factor in financial, civic, and social circles of this locality, and as president of the Citizens Savings Bank Company of Cambridge, he has wielded an influence for the advancement of this community that has been second to that of no other man. His life has been one of unceasing industry and perseverance, and the notable systematic and honorable methods he has ever followed have won for him the unbounded confidence and regard of all who have formed his acquaintance. He is a man of rare soundness of judgment, keen discernment, and possessing the ability to foresee with remarkable accuracy the future outcome of a present transaction. He is the scion of one of the old and most worthy of the honored families of this county, the various members of which have been leaders in various walks of life.

Mr. Burgess was born September 20, 1857, in the city of Zanesville, Muskingum County, Ohio, and was the son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Conyngham) Burgess. The father was born in England and the mother in Washington County, Pennsylvania. The father came to America in 1835 with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Burgess, landing in New York City, and came to Pittsburgh, where they remained for some years, the grandfather being a coal operator. Later the family moved to Beverly, Ohio, where the grandfather died in 1852. His son, Samuel, the father of the subject, married Elizabeth Conyngham and moved with his brother Josiah to Zanesville and engaged in the hardware and tinware business until 1857 when Samuel moved to Cambridge, where he continued in the same business until his death, January 5, 1885. His widow died March 8, 1908, and both are buried in the Cambridge cemetery. Mr. Burgess was a Republican in politics but never an office seeker. He gave his entire attention to his business and was a man of high character. He was a Royal Arch Mason and held the confidence of all the people. He had a family of eight children, seven of whom are yet living: Walter of Owensboro, Kentucky; Lollie, now Mrs. Nelson A. Noble, of Binghampton, New York; Samuel M., the subject of this sketch; Retta, now Mrs. Frank K. Raymond, of Washington, D.C.; Milton, deceased; William O. of Tyner, Ohio; Homer of Washington, D.C.; Elizabeth, now Mrs. Dr. Perry C. Johnston, of Enid, Oklahoma.

Samuel M. Burgess spent his life in Cambridge and was educated in the public schools of that city. After leaving school he entered his father’s store and was connected with his father until the latter’s death. Samuel M. then became administrator of his father’s estate and managed the Burgess Manufacturing Company, the business name of his father’s concern. He continued as manager until the death of his mother in March 1908 when he became the owner of the business, which he sold soon afterward to Thomas Williams, but the business is still continued under the name of the Burgess Manufacturing Company, one of the oldest business names in the city.

Mr. Burgess was married September 17, 1902, to Martha M. Atkins, daughter of Robert and Martha (Hyatt) Atkins, a prominent Cambridge family. This union has been without issue.

Mr. Burgess is president of the Citizens Savings Bank Company, and has held this position since its organization in 1899. He is also a director in the National Bank of Cambridge, organized in 1865. He is a trustee and treasurer of the Cambridge Public Library. He has a large city and farm property interests and is a very prominent man in all that pertains to Cambridge’s growth and prosperity. He is now living a retired life except as his large and diversified interests occupy his time and attention. He has a summer house on Grand Lake in northern Michigan, where he and Mrs. Burgess spend several months every summer, hunting and fishing.

Mr. Burgess is a Republican in politics, but not an office seeker, though he is always interested in public matters. He has served in the city council and as cemetery trustee, being a public-spirited citizen along all lines. He has been a member of the Masonic order since 1884. He served two years as master of Cambridge Lodge No. 66, Free and Accepted Masons, was made a Royal Arch Mason in 1886 and served as high priest in 1890. He was made a Royal and Select Master in 1890 and served as thrice illustrious master in 1896. He was made a Knight Templar in 1888 and elected eminent commander in 1896, and is at present treasurer of all these bodies. He received the thirty-second degree in Scioto Consistory at Columbus, Ohio, in 1907. He has been a Shriner since 1893, which degree he received in Cynan Temple in Cincinnati. He is one of the three trustees of the Cambridge Lodge No. 66, Incorporated, and is secretary and treasurer of the board of trustees.

Mrs. Burgess is a member of the Presbyterian Church and Mr. Burgess is a regular attendant and a liberal contributor to the support of the same. The Burgess home is at No. 724 Steubenville Avenue, where he and his parents lived before him for forty-two years. It is a fine, attractive home, modern in architectural design and all of its appointments. Mr. Burgess has a valuable and rare collection of coins, also of stamps, and a remarkable collection of Indian arrowheads and other Indian relics. He has given these collections intelligent attention and they are worthy of a place in any museum.


Sarchet, Cyrus P. B. (Cyrus Parkinson Beatty). History of Guernsey County, Ohio. Vol. 2, B.F. Bowen & Company, 1911.

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