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Below is a family biography included in The History of Jefferson County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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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 Shekina Lodge, No. 256, A. F. & A. M., and is also a member of Copestone Chapter, No. 33, of De Soto. His 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.

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This family biography is one of 224 biographies included in The History of Jefferson County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Jefferson County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

To view additional Jefferson County, Missouri family biographies, click here

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