Miami Union
December 1, 1877
BURGESS, JUDGE GEORGE DYER - No death that has occurred in this community in many years has produced such a profound sensation and deep regret, as that of Judge Burgess, which occurred last Monday forenoon.  Mr. B. had been holding the term of Court in Champaign County and had returned home but a few days, when he was taken ill.  Monday and Tuesday of last week he was up and around although complaining somewhat.  On Tuesday afternoon we saw and conversed with him when he told us he was not feeling well, but appeared to think that in a day or two he would be all right again.  He went to his home that evening, and was taken much worse.  Medical aid was summoned and promptly rendered, but no skill or other attention seemed to have power to arrest the attack.  He grew rapidly worse, with but slight intervals of apparent improvements, until between 11 and 12 o'clock, A.M., Monday when he passed away.  The death of Judge B. under the circumstances, is one of peculiar sadness.  He had always been a robust man.  He was a man of ability and culture.  A year ago he attained to a position, for which he was well fitted, and which he had long desired--being appointed first to fill the unexpired term of Judge Fulton, and then by election.  He only entered upon his regular term of five years in February last.  His sudden and unexpected death is a serious loss to our community and a sad bereavement to his family.  The hope of a happy household are suddenly blasted.  As some friend better acquainted with Judge Burgess' life history than we are will doubtless write an appropriate obituary of him, we leave the subject to such a one--merely adding our deep regret for the death of Mr. B., and our warm and sincere sympathy for the family.

Miami Union
December 15, 1877
BURGESS, JUDGE GEORGE D. - The Late Judge Burgess - George D. Burgess was born in Springfield, Vermont, April 4, 1817, and died at Troy, Ohio, November 27, 1877.  When about 17 years of age, he came to Marietta, Ohio, where he attended college until within a few months of graduation.  He was prevented from receiving his degree on account of prostration from a severe attack of measles.  In the spring of 1838, he came to Troy, and was engaged by the Board of Education to take charge of the boys in the village school.  He continued in this work for two years, to the entire satisfaction of his patrons.  Many of our prominent citizens were his pupils, and the regard and esteem in which they learned to hold him then continued to the day of his death.
   He entered the office of Judge Hart as a law student, and was admitted to the bar in 1840.  Mr. Burgess was honored by his fellow citizens with many positions of trust, and right well did he execute the duties of the offices he was called to occupy.  At three different times he was elected Mayor; for many years he was elected a member of the School Board, and from 1862 to 1868 he was its President.  He was a delegate to the Chicago Republican Convention of 1860, and it was always to him a matter of pride that he contributed as much, as any other man, if not more, to the nomination of Abraham Lincoln.  In September 1864, he was appointed Commissioner of Enrollment for the Fourth Congressional District, and he discharged the duties of that position so as to gain the hearty approbation of honest men, and the ill will of rogues.
   But it was the Judgeship that he coveted as the crowning ambition of his life.  Conscious of his ability to fill the position he frankly asked for it at the hands of his fellow-citizens.  Further than this he would not go.
   There was nothing of political trickery in his nature.  To the writer of this sketch he has said that he would prefer not to have the Judgeship if he had to gain it by dishonorable means, and when it did come to him it seemed to be an instance of the office, seeking the man, and not the man, the office.  His fitness for the position was universally recognized, and during the short year that he was on the Bench, he made a record of which he might well feel proud.  He was ambitious to excel and when he came home from Urbana a few days before his death he spoke with pride, of the fact that he had cleared off the docket there, a thing that had not been done for years.  An attorney who watched him closely said that he seemed to have an ambition to stand at the head of the Common Pleas Judges of the State.
   He was prompt in the discharge of his duties.  He believed in having things done "decently and in order".  He maintained the dignity of his office and the decorum of the court.  Nothing was so displeasing to him as any effort to gain undue advantage, and woe to the luckless wight who offended in this particular.
   But in private as well as in public life, he occupied a high position.  He was early married to Miss Hannah Hunt Temple, of Marietta, O.  She died in 1860, and in 1865, he was again married to Miss Mattie B. Crowell, of Sidney, then one of the teachers in the Public Schools, of Troy.  He was a man of domestic tastes, and to be thoroughly appreciated needed to be seen by his own fireside.  His heart was full of kindness and sympathy.  To the unfortunate, to the aged, to those who need encouragement, he was especially tender.
   As a friend, he was true.  No man ever complained of being betrayed by Judge Burgess.  He would do more for a friend that he would for himself.  He was singularly free from harboring ill-will toward any one.  Although often disappointed, he never became sour.  He was one of nature's noblemen.  He was a man of commanding presence.  People recognized in him something more than ordinary.  He carried good cheer wherever he went.  His presence was a perpetual benediction.
   As a citizen, he was public spirited.  He believed in his town and entered with spirit into whatever was for its advancement.  He was an ardent friend of Education.  He was the first to sign the call for a meeting of the citizens to take action under the "Law of Forty-nine," the result of which was the establishment of the present system of schools, and from that day forward his interest in the schools never flagged.  He was especially the friend of the young, and encouraged them by every means in his power to lay them broad and deep the foundation for usefulness.
   Judge Burgess was a Christian, for more than forty years a member of the Presbyterian Church.
   It was not difficult to tell where to find him on a question affecting public morality.  He was by nature a radical, leading public opinion rather than following in its wake.
   His death was a fitting close to his quiet and peaceful life.  Surrounded by his family and friends he breathed his life peacefully away.  His chief regret at parting was that his career of usefulness which seemed to be widening should be cut short.
   In his heart he was devising liberal things.  But cherished plans for persons and things he loved, had to give way at the touch of death.
"Nothing is here for tears, nothing to wail
Or knock the breast, no weakness, no contempt.
Dispraise, or blame, nothing but well and fair,
And what may quiet us in a death so noble."

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