This prominent citizen of Nez Perces County is the vice president of the Pioneer’s Association and is one of the substantial and prospers farmers and stockmen three and one half miles south from Kippen, in this County. When the great excitement of the gold discovery in California spread like wild fire over the land in the memorable year of forty-nine, our subject was an infant, having been born on May 6 of that year, being the son of Francis and Mary (Clarcey) Burns, natives of Ireland, the father being born in 1815 and dying in 1899. The mother was taken from this life in 1853. Thomas J. was born in Livingston County, New York, and in 1852 the parents came to Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, being pioneers there.
Our subject received his education there and labored with his father until he was twenty-four, at which time he got married and started for himself. He farmed for six years, then came to the west, taking a position as car foreman for the O., R. & N. He wrought at The Dalles, Tekoa, Albino, and Riparia, being with this company for seventeen years. Upon the opening of the Nez Perces reservation, he came and secured the place where he now lives. It is a fine piece of land and contains one hundred and twenty acres, is well tilled and improved in a becoming manner. Mr. Burns raises stock, cattle, hogs and horses, and does a general farming business.
On September 23. 1S73. Mr. Burns married Miss Annie, daughter of Lewis and Alary (Ader) Fillers, natives of Belgium and Germany, respectively. Mrs. Burns was born in Pennsylvania, in 1855, and has five sisters and two brothers. Mr. Burns has one brother, John, living at Pomeroy, Washington. To this worthy couple there have been born eight children, named as follows: William, Frank, Rosella, Emma, Charles, Mark, Monica and John, all at home. Mr. Burns and his family affiliate with the Catholic Church.
In political matters, he holds with the Democrats and takes a deep interest in politics, and is frequently a potent factor in the conventions. Mr. Burns always labors for good schools and is a director in his district.
Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903