Born in Glasgow, Scotland, on September 21, 1818, John Burnside learned the machinist’s trade at a young age. He and his wife, Margaret McIntosh, came to America in 1848, and Burnside spent the first six months in New Orleans working at the mint. They then moved to St. Louis, where he worked for Sam Gaty for seven years. By 1855 they were living in St. Joseph, MO, where he later became a senior member of the firm of Burnside, Crowther & Rogers, an iron foundry and machine shop at 8th and Messanie Streets.
Burnside was a charter member of the St. Joseph Historical Society in 1867, a councilman from the Fourth Ward in 1871 and 1872, and a York Rite Mason, belonging to the Blue Lodge and the Eastern Star. He also belonged to the Caledonian, the Knights of Pythias, and the I.O.O.F.
Having been listed in the 1881-82 St. Joseph City Directory but not listed in the 1883 addition, it is speculated that Burnside passed away in late 1882 or 1883, though no documents have been found to substantiate that assumption.
Coy, R. E. (Ed.). (1955, Fall). Saint Joseph Historical Society: John Burnside. Museum Graphic, 7(4), 10-11.
George & Craig’s annual city directory of the inhabitants, manufacturing, establishments, business firms, etc. in the city of St. Joseph, 1881-2. St. Joseph, MO: John Combe.
History of Buchanan County, Missouri: A history of the county, its cities, towns, etc. (1881). St. Joseph, MO: St. Joseph Steam Printing.
The Lozo-Needles Photo Album collection contains photographs of prominent citizens from St. Joseph, Missouri during the late 1800's. Alexander Lozo had a photography studio during the years 1871 to 1889 at various locations in the Downtown area. Lozo passed away on April 23, 1917 in Chicago, Illinois. John T. Needles had a photography studio during the years 1874 to 1882 at various locations in the Downtown area. Needles passed away in 1891 in Colorado.