Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Burton, Chester W., 1831-1916
Chester W. Burton Family Papers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1809-1956 (mostly 1850-1910)
8 boxes and 4.0 linear feet
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (mss): Boxes B-000779 to B-000785, P-000054


Consists mostly of correspondence along with some financial records, legal documents, such as deeds and land indentures, ephemera, and photographs dating from the 19th and early 20th centuries that relate to Chester W. Burton, a farmer from Chautauqua County, New York, and his family. Among other topics, the collection documents aspects of the Civil War and early settlement and gold mining in the west.

Collection Description & Creator Information


This collection consists mostly of correspondence with some financial records such as account books and daybooks; legal documents, especially deeds and land indentures; various ephemera and printed matter, such as pamphlets, clippings, brochures, souvenirs, advertisements; and photographs relating to the Burton family and to a lesser extent, several related families, namely the Harris family.

Chester W. Burton is the most represented, though numerous family members are documented in the collection, particularly Chester's father, Hiram Burton (1799-1892), and grandfather, Simon Burton (1769-1842), one of the early residents of Portland, New York. Both Simon and Hiram were veterans of the War of 1812, and founding members of the local Universalist Society. Others who are represented include Burton's his father-in-law, Joseph Elliot Harris (1809-1884); his daughter and son-in-law, Harriet Burton Correll (1864-1887) and Harris A. Correll (b. 1859); his siblings, Charles Winfield Burton (1827-1903), Insurance Agent and Secretary of the Eastern Iowa Horticultural Society from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Louisa Harriet Burton (1839-1926), who owned and operated several vineyards in Chautauqua County; his wife, Freedom Harris Burton (1838-1916); and his son Charles Addison (Addie) Burton (1878-1932), a civil engineer in Brocton, New York.

In documenting the experiences of numerous individuals, the collection reveals aspects of broader issues and current events such as the Civil War and early settlement and life in the west, including involvement in gold mining, among other things.


Materials are primarily arranged by document type.

Collection Creator Biography:

Burton, Chester W., 1831-1916

Chester Warren Burton (1831-1916), a fruit grower and owner of Evergreen Farms from Chautauqua County, New York, was born in Portland, one of several children of Hiram Burton (1799-1892) and Harriet Skinner (1805-1891). In 1861, Burton married fellow Portland resident Freedom M. Harris (1838-1916), daughter of Joseph Elliot Harris (1809-1884) and Harriet Niles (1811-1855), with whom he had three children: Harriet (Hattie) Freedom Burton Correll (1864-1887), Gertrude Ella Burton (1868-1885), and Chester Addison (Addie) Burton (1878-1932).

Besides his occupation as a farmer, Burton had also worked for several years a civil engineer and assessor. He and Freedom were Universalists and republicans, and were very involved in their church, local politics, agricultural associations, and various fraternal and women's organizations. Chester was a member of the Royal Templars of Temperance, the Dunkirk Commandery Asylum, the New York State Grange, the Portland Lyceum, the Freemasons, and Brocton Lodge No. 782 IOOF, among other organizations.

Collection History


Purchase, 2016 . (AM 2016-76)


No materials were separated during 2016 processing.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Faith Charlton in August 2016. Finding aid written by Faith Charlton in August 2016.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Credit this material:

Chester W. Burton Family Papers; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (mss): Boxes B-000779 to B-000785, P-000054