AN OLD SETTLER GONE.
Something of the Life of Judge Nat M.
Burford, Who Died Tuesday.
On Tuesday afternoon at 5:30 o'clock, Judge Nat M. Burford died in this city, at the home of his son-in-law, W. M. Freeman, after a long and distressing illness. Judge Burford was a pioneer in northern Texas, and to him, and such as he, Dallas owes a great debt of gratitude. He was for many years one of the most useful and distinguished citizens of this section and of the state. He was born in the state of Tennessee on the 24th of June, 1824; was educated at Irvine college, Tennessee, and removed to Jefferson, Texas, in 1847. He was admitted to the bar in Tennessee in 1845. On the 8th of October, 1848, he came to Dallas, and from that time until his death, he was a resident here.
In 1850, he was elected district attorney of this district, comprising a territory extending from Houston county to Grayson county on Red river, and in 1852, was, was re-elected. Judge John H. Reagan was judge of the district. In 1856, he succeeded Judge Reagan on the bench by election and was re-elected in 1860, and in 1861, resigned and joined the first Texas battery as a private under Capt. J. J. Good.
He was made colonel of the nineteenth Texas cavalry and attached to Gen. W. H. Parsons' cavalry brigade and remained with it until 1864, when, on account of illness, incapacitating him from active service, he resigned.
In 1866, he was elected a member of the eleventh legislature from Dallas county and upon the assembling of the legislature, he was elected speaker of that body, a position which he filled with singular ability until, with almost all mother public officials, he was removed as an impediment to reconstruction by Gen. Phil Sheridan.
In 1876, he was again elected judge of this judicial district and held the position until forced to resign by ill health at the expiration of two years. Almost ever since his health has been such as to make his life an inexpressibly sad one. He was preceded to the grave by his wife, who, before her marriage, was Miss Mary M. Knight, a daughter of an old pioneer of Dallas county. She was a large-hearted Christian woman, whose death is still mourned by the many survivors who knew her. All the children of this marriage, except two, crossed the dark river before the father. The two surviving are Mrs. W. M. Freeman and Miss May Burford, a young lady just completing her education near Cincinnati, O. Judge Burford's knowledge of the law, and of current affairs, was profound. In the days of his mental vigor, it was said of him that he never forgot anything once read by him. He was a charter member of Tannehill lodge No. 52, and its first master. He was a member of the Episcopal church, and for years, one of its vestrymen. He will be buried by the Masonic fraternity Friday from the residence of W. M. Freeman, South Akard street.
Source: The Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, 12 May 1898, p. 8, col. 5.