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Below is a family biography included in Book of Biographies: Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens, Cortland County, New York published by Biographical Publishing Company in 1898.  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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BURTON B. MOREHOUSE. The Cortland Rural Cemetery has a wide reputation throughout Central New York as one of the most beautiful and handsome burying grounds to be found in village or populous city. One reason for its fine appearance may be found in the fact that the Cemetery Association that has it in charge is composed entirely of public-spirited men, who like to see good taste and beauty prevail both about the homes of the living, and the last sleeping-places of the honored dead. The memory of those who have gone on before can best be kept green by keeping their graves green, and surrounded with all the beauties of nature, well-grouped and well taken care of. The present condition of the Cortland Rural Cemetery, that has made it the wonder and admiration of countless visitors, may be said to be due in great part to the superintendent of the association, Mr. Burton B. Morehouse, who has had the direction of affairs since 1890.

Mr. Morehouse was born in Litchfield County, Conn., west of Washington Green, and near New Milford, in 1830, on the first hour of the first day of the first month. He was an only son and youngest child of Lemon and Betsey (Burton) Morehouse, who were both natives of the same district in Connecticut. Our subject’s father was a farmer and also a stock dealer. As land was cheaper out in this section of New York State, he in 1837 sold his property in New England and moved here, buying a farm in McLean township, Tompkins County. After living there a year, he bought a number of horses, and drove them to Litchfield County, Conn., and sold them; this trip proved disastrous, however, for he was taken sick with quick consumption and died at his birthplace, at forty-one years of age, leaving a wife and three children: Jane, Phoebe, and Burton B. His wife, who was fortunate in possessing one of those iron, New England constitutions, lived to be ninety-three years of age, before the summons came that reunited her with her husband; even in her last year she was very active and vigorous and could thread a needle with considerable ease. She was a daughter of Daniel Burton of Dutchess County, N. Y.

Burton B. Morehouse served an apprenticeship at the carpenter’s and joiner’s trade, and followed it for several years, employing many men in the fulfillment of his contracts. From 1861 to 1889 he was chiefly engaged in farming, also dealing in sand for building purposes, which was taken from a bank on a farm that he bought near South Cortland in 1864. In 1889 he retired from farming, but still gave much attention to building bridges. He built every iron bridge in the town of Cortlandville with the exception of two.

Mr. Morehouse married Mary Hill, daughter of Leonard Hill of Dryden, N. Y., and to them were given three children: Emma, who became the wile of Charles Gallagher of South Cortland, and bore him Cora, Burton L., Harry, and John; Ella, who married Morgan Adams of La Grange, Ohio; and Jennie, who married Daniel McNish, and died at the age of twenty-six, leaving one son, Edward. Mr. and Mrs. Morehouse are members and liberal supporters of the M. E. Church. Our subject supported the Democratic party until 1865, but since that time he has identified himself heart and hand with the Republican party. He served as a commissioner of highways for twelve years, and as a member of the board of health fifteen years.

In April, 1890, Mr. Morehouse was chosen as superintendent of the Cortland Rural Cemetery for one year, and so entire and unqualified was the satisfaction that he gave, that he was strongly urged to continue, and has kept up the high standard established by him in the first year, and has added many improvements and embellished it in so many different ways that the burying-ground may almost be said to have become what it is under his management. Since he has been superintendent he has laid out drives, walks, graded, put in sewers, city water, etc., and has seen to it that the whole cemetery of 55 acres, with over 1,000 lots, and some of those double ones, is kept in the best of order. Throughout the grounds, and independent of private effort, he keeps up a fine display of beautiful lawns and flowerbeds, while at the entrance the scene is nearly beyond description, with the walks, and bordering shrubbery tastefully arranged, and masses of color grouped here and there; in all it is as beautiful a cemetery as can be found in a radius of a hundred miles. He has superintended the building of the handsome receiving-vault, constructed in 1892, 24 x 40, of brick with a Governeur Granite front, containing ten vaults, with space for six cases in each. A fine slab on the front is engraved with the officers and trustees of the Association, as follows: S. E. Welch, president; H. P. Goodrich, vice-president; E. A. Fish, secretary; C. P. Walrad, treasurer; W. S. Copeland, A. D. Blodgett, R. B. Smith, F. Conable, and A. L. Cole, trustees; and B. B. Morehouse, superintendent. The old receiving vault, the first of its kind in the cemetery, was built in 1853, and is now used as a private vault. It is worthy of mention here that in the granite vault in the cemetery lies the remains of C. W. Sanders, a native of Cortland, author of the Sanders Series of School Books; he was born in 1805, and died in 1889. Besides the many gifts and dowries left the Association, and all the heavy expenses that have been laid out, the Association has a surplus capital of $10,000.00, and can be said to be the wealthiest cemetery association in Central New York.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in Book of Biographies: Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens, Cortland County, New York published in 1898. 

View additional Cortland County, New York family biographies here: Cortland County, New York Biographies

View a map of 1897 Cortland County, New York here: Cortland County, New York Map

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