WILLIAM E. BURNETT. - A prominent business man and influential citizen at Kansas City, Kansas, is William E. Burnett, who has long been successfully engaged in the meat-market business and who has served with all of efficiency on the city council for three terms. He is a man of splendid executive ability and unusual vitality and in the business world is universally known for his fair and honorable methods.
A native of Missouri, William E. Burnett was born in the city of St. Louis, on the 16th of June, 1868. He is a son of John and Elizabeth (Weber) Burnett, the former of whom was born in New York and who died at the age of forty-eight years, in 1884, and the latter of whom claimed the old commonwealth of Virginia as the place of her nativity and who was summoned to the life eternal at the age of sixty years. To Mr. and Mrs. John Burnett were born seven children, of whom the subject of this sketch was the first born. John Burnett was twice married, his first wife having been a Miss McGrath, of St. Louis. To this union were born three children. He was a butcher by occupation and he went to St. Louis, Missouri, when a mere youth, engaging there in the meat-market business until 1868, when he removed to Kansas City, Kansas, where he was interested in the meat business with his brother William Burnett for a number of years. Subsequently he conducted a meat market individually and in 1882 retired from active participation in business affairs. He was a Democrat in his political convictions and he served as the first marshal of Kansas City, Kansas.
William E. Burnett, of this notice, was a mere infant at the time of parents' removal to Kansas City, to whose public schools he is indebted for his early educational training. He also attended the neighboring parochial school for a number of terms and as a boy learned the butcher business from his father. In 1884, when but sixteen years of age, he engaged in the meat-market business on his own responsibility, but in 1885, after selling out his concern, he entered the employ of the Armour Packing Company and later he worked for the Fowler-Dold Packing Company. In 1889, however, he again engaged in the meat business for himself, and he has continued to devote his time and attention thereto until the present time. In politics he is aligned as a stalwart supporter of the cause of the Republican party and while he has never manifested aught of desire for the honors or emoluments of public-office of any description he has been prevailed upon to serve in the city council, to which he was first elected in 1904. He was re-elected as a member of the board of aldermen in 1906 and again in 1908, and in discharging the duties connected with that office he acquitted himself with all of honor and distinction. In his religious faith he is a devout communicant of the Catholic church and in a fraternal was he is affiliated with the Knights of Columbus, the Modern Woodmen of America, Wyandotte Lodge, No. 440, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Fraternal Order of Eagles.
On the 11th of May, 1890, Mr. Burnett was united in marriage to Miss Margaret C. Cassidy, who is a native of Wyandotte county, Kansas, and who is a daughter of Mark and Margaret Cassidy, both of whom were born and reared in Ireland and both of whom are now deceased. Mark Cassidy was called to the life eternal in 1902 and his cherished and devoted wife, who survived him for a number of years, passed into the Great Beyond in 1910. The mother attended the old settlers' picnic in 1909 and she was then next to the oldest old settler in Wyandotte county, Kansas. Mark Cassidy was a quarry man and stone mason by occupation and he came to Wyandotte county, Kansas, in the territorial days, having immigrated to America from his native land as a young man. During the latter years of his life he was engaged in the great basic industry of agriculture. In politics he maintained an independent attitude and in his religious faith he was a devout Catholic. Of the eight children born to Mr. and Mrs. Cassidy, Mrs. Burnett was the fifth in order of birth and of the number five are living in 1911. Mr. and Mrs. Burnett became the parents of seven children, of whom the following are living, their names being here incorporated in respective order of birth, - Florence, Margaret, Dorothy, Elizabeth, William and Harrieta.
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