George Lathe Burt, 1829-1902.
No. 7251 George Lathe Burt.
From American Series of Popular Biographies. Massachusetts Edition. This Volume Contains Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. (Boston: Graves & Steinbarger, 1891)
Hon. George Lathe Burt, a member of the firm of J. H. Burt & Co., contractors and builders, Blue Hill Avenue, Boston (Dorchester district), was horn in Walpole, Cheshire County, N.H., November 3, 1829. Son of Holland and Nancy (Watkins) Burt. Holland Burt was a native of Westmoreland, N.H. Shortly after his birth his parents went to Montreal; and he was reared in the home of his maternal uncle. Jonathan Livingstone, of Westmoreland, N. H. He served an apprenticeship to the cabinet-maker’s trade, which he learned in all its branches; and he subsequently opened shop of his own in Walpole, where for many years he carried on an extensive business. Many of the prominent cabinet-makers of Boston and the vicinity. including Edward H. R. Ruggles, Samuel Ruggles, Harvey Stearns, Edward Kendall, learned their trade under him; and also his brothers, Joseph and John Burt, who enjoyed a wide reputation as skilled workmen. Holland Burt was Captain of the cavalry company of State militia in Walpole. His wife was a daughter of Alexander Watkins, whose ancestors came from the north of Ireland. Eight of the children of Holland and Nancy (Watkins) Burt attained maturity, and two are still living. Several of them achieved local prominence. Alfred Watkins, who was a farmer and carpenter, spent his life in Walpole, in which town he served in nearly all the local offices, including that of Selectman. He was also County Commissioner of Cheshire County at the time of his death. He married Caroline Burroughs, and reared two sons and one daughter. Sumner Alexander also learned the carpenter’s trade, and, coming to Dorchester in 1845, became a member of the firm of J. H. & G. L. Burt, which was then known as J. H. Burt & Co. He was Selectman in Milton for some years. He was a member of the Masonic order. His death occurred February 23,8 1886. He married Anna Shaw, but they had no children. John Holland Burt was born in Walpole, June 6, 1827. Having learned the carpenter’s trade, he came to Dorchester in 1847, and three years later, in company with his brother George, established the present business, beginning at first in a small way, and gradually building it up to its present dimensions. Their contracts include much of the most important work in Dorchester and the surrounding country — Milton, Waltham, and Quincy. Mr. John H. Burt has been Selectman of Milton for ten years, besides having taken an active part in all town affairs, serving in various other offices. He married Jenette Cushing, of Milton, adopted daughter of Isaac and Elizabeth Cushing. Their own children — two in number – are both deceased; but they adopted a daughter, Mabel Bates, who is now the widow of Graham C. Lawson, of Philadelphia. (See History of Walpole, N.H.)
George Lathe Burt was sixteen years old when he began to learn the cabinet-maker’s trade under his father, with whom he remained until March, 1848. He then came to Dorchester, and worked for two years as a journey-man, receiving one dollar per day for twelve hours’ work. This period of hard labor for small compensation was terminated in 1850, when he united with his brother John H. in establishing the present business, which has now been carried on for nearly fifty years, and which, besides the general contract work already mentioned, includes the manufacture of doors, sash, and blinds. Their success, and the importance of the work they have executed in the last half-century form an interesting page in the business history of Dorchester. Mr. George L. Burt is a director of the Dorchester Mutual Fire Insurance Company and a trustee of the Dorchester Savings Bank. For twelve years he was a trustee of Mount Hope Cemetery and for four years a trustee of the Mechanics’ Charitable Association. He is a Republican in politics; and, like his elder brother, he has been frequently called upon to serve in public office. He was a member of the first City Council after the annexation of Dorchester to Boston, which was in 1870 and so continued for four years. He was in the State Legislature five years, three years– 1880, 1881, and 1882–as representative from the Twenty-fourth Suffolk District and in 1884 and 1885 as Senator. In the House and also in the Senate Mr. Burt served on several important committees, prominently on Charitable Institutions and on Cities, and also was on the State House committee. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity, being a member of Union Lodge, F. & A.M.*
Mr. Burt was married August 6, 1852, to Miss Ellen Augusta Darby, a native of Walpole, N.H., and a daughter of Captain Stephen H. And Mary A. (Jennings) Darby. He has two sons: Waldo Cushing, born January 17, 1856; and George Edward, born June 22, 1858–both of whom are associated in business with their father. Waldo married Annie A. Fee and has two children–Ruth and George L., second. George Edward married Ann I. Crane., and has five children, four daughters and one son–Lillian, Ethel, Hazel, Dorothy, and John Holland, second. In 1898 he was appointed by the selectmen of Milton as Building Inspector of the town, being the first incumbent of that office.
*F. & A.M. Free and Accepted Masons.
The following is from: One of a Thousand. A Series of Biographical Sketches of One Thousand Representative Men Resident in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, A.D. 1888-89. Compiled under the editorial supervision of John C. Rand. (Boston: First National Publishing Company, 1890)
[note: G.L. Burt was part of J.H. Burt & Co., builders and contractors, Blue Hill Avenue, Mattapan]
Burt, George L., son of Holland and Nancy (Watkins) Burt, was born in Walpole, Cheshire County, N.H., November 3, 1829.
He received his education in the public schools and academy of his native town.
Mr. Burt began business as contractor and builder, in 1850, in company with his brother, John H., and one year later they associated with them another brother, Sumner A., who remained with them until his decease in 1886.
Mr. Burt was married in Walpole, N.H., August 8, 1582, to Ellen Augusta, daughter of Steven and Mary A. (Jennings) Darby. Of this union were two children: Waldo Cushing and George Edward Burt.
Mr. Burt was a member of the Boston common council, 1870, ’71, ’72 and ’73; member of House of Representatives, 1880, ’81 and ’82; member of state Senate, 1884 and ’85, and trustee of Massachusetts Charitable Mechanics Association, 1888 and ’89. Mattapan, Ward 24, Boston, where he has resided since his marriage, is his present address.
Mr. Burt is the youngest of four brothers, all of whom have been successful in maintaining the family prestige, and who have been honored by their fellow-townsmen by repeated elections to positions of honor and trust.