David Redman Burbank

by Edmund Starling, 1886


born March 4th, 1806, in Belgrade, Maine. His mother's father was killed at the head of his company, at the battle of Bunker Hill, and his father and paternal grandfather were officers under General Washington, and served throughout the Revolution. His mother was Mary Bracket, a woman of superior qualities of mind and heart. His parents, being highly refined and intelligent themselves, placed great value on the education of their children. David R. Burbank was educated at Waterbury College, in his native State. He was a constant student and took every opportunity throughout his long business career to increase his knowledge, therefore, was one of the most thoroughly informed men of the country. He came to Kentucky in the fall of 1828, at a time when the river was extraordinary low. The steamer upon which he was a passenger, grounded at Scuffletown bar, and, from thence to his destination, the young man footed it through the wild woods. he commenced his business career clerking for Atkinson & Co., but subsequently turned his attention to tobacco, and became, in the course of time, one of the heaviest Western buyers, which resulted in his amassing a very large fortune. He was a remarkably successful business man, yet he did not permit one branch of business to absorb all of his energies. He opened the first coal shaft; built the first distillery, one of the largest and most complete in the State; undertook the manufacture of salt--in fact, he strove earnestly to develop the resources of the region where he lived, encouraged every worthy business undertaking, liberally aided all schemes for the common commercial advancement, studied the condition of the mineral wealth of the State and led in its practical development. He appreciated and sought the society of cultivated men, and, but for the multitude of his business cares, would have given himself largely to literary pursuits. He made several trips to Europe, and, in 1867, in company with General John C Breckenridge, made an extended tour through Egypt, Syria and the Holy Land, viewing the wreck and ruin of famous cities of antiquity. Of all the qualities that endeared Mr. Burbank to his associates, the one for which he will be the longest and most gratefully remembered, was his benevolence. No charitable cause, at home or abroad, ever sought his aid in vain. While on an inspection tour over his Union County plantation, he was taken sick, and died October 31st, 1872. His remains were brought to Henderson and interred in Fernwood Cemetery, and a very handsome and imposing marble shaft erected to his memory. Mr. Burbank was twice married. His first wife was Ann Isabella Terry, daughter of Major Robert Terry. She died not quite two years after her marriage, leaving one son, Robert T., who, at the age of sixteen, left college and joined General Walker, at Nicaragua, where he died. He was a talented, adventurous boy, and aspired to military fame, but fell gallantly at the outset of his career. He was aid-de-camp to General Henningsen, who complimented him highly for gallant deportment on the field. IN 1851 Mr. Burbank married Miss Mary Frances Taylor, the only daughter of Colonel Charles Mynn Thruston Taylor. Unto them were born six children, four of whom are now living, Annie, Charles M., Mary Taylor, and Breckenridge. David, the eldest son, now dead, married Miss Kate J., only daughter of Governor and Mrs. Archibald Dixon.

-The History of Henderson County, Kentucky by Starling 1887 page 804-05;

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