INDIAN SCOUT JOHN BURRIS CONDUCTED HIS OWN FUNERAL

(10/06/2017)

By Bob Weaver

Eighty-five-year-old Indian scout John Burris sat up-right in his handmade oak coffin in 1850, conducting his own wake and funeral in Grandview Township, Ohio.

Burris even delivered his own eulogy, after greeting his relatives and friends.

The first settler of Grantsville was one Archibald Burris (Burrows), said to be a descendant of John Burris.

After long years in the Indian Wars, with memories of slaughter and massacre, the old man was facing his impending demise when he decided to celebrate his funeral, alive.

The pioneer and patriarch of pioneer life in the Ohio Valley greeted hundreds of comers from miles around, most who came to clasp his aged and grarled hand.

Burris died a short time later.

Historians say that Burris was an ominous figure, a giant of a man, standing six feet, six inches tall. Burris was known to sing his composed poetry about the history of his community and local characters.

Visitors to his wake and live funeral paid tribute to the old Indian scout, his long life and good works, to be recalled by area residents for generations to come.


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