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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Charles Henry Burrows

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 526-529 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Portrait of Charles Henry Burrows

Portrait: Charles Henry Burrows

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Charles Henry Burrows comes from a family that has been identified with the paper industry for two generations and he may almost be said to have inherited his business. His father was engaged in the paper manufacturing business and his brother, Andrew A. Burrows, is well known as general manager of one of the paper mills of Little Falls. As president of the Mohawk Valley Paper Company and part owner of the Burrows Paper Corporation, Mr. Burrows occupies an enviable place in trade and manufacturing circles.

Born in London, England, on the 5th of December, 1870, Charles Henry Burrows was brought to this country by his parents, David and Ellen Elizabeth (Barber) Burrows, in 1874. The family settled in Mottville, New York, near Syracuse, where the father was employed in a paper mill as foreman. Charles Henry is the oldest of a family of twelve children, three of whom were born before the Burrowses came to America. An extended account of their careers will be found on another page of this volume, in connection with the biography of his brother, Andrew A. Burrows. At the tender age of nine Charles Henry Burrows left the public schools of Mottville, where he had been mastering the fundamentals of the "Three R's" and began the serious business of helping support a family, by going to work in a woolen mill. After three years in the mill he was sent to a farm, where he remained for a year, following which he tried the tin-smithing trade for six months. He returned to the woolen mills shortly, however, as an employe in the Glenside Mills at Skaneateles Falls, New York, remaining there for three years. His next position was with the Mottville Paper Company, where he was employed for about three years and from that time on he has been continuously engaged in the paper manufacturing industry at various places. He spent two years with the Skaneateles Paper Company at Skaneateles, six months with the Cliff Paper Company of Niagara Falls, a similar period with the Lockport Paper Company of Lockport and five years with the Victoria Paper Company of Fulton, New York. After further experience in the Wilkinson Brothers Paper Company at Shelton, Connecticut, and the Oswego Falls Paper Company at Fulton, New York, he went to the Newtonfalls Paper Company's plant at Newtonfalls, New York, as superintendent when he was twenty-eight years old. Later he was in the paper business for himself at Stanfordville, New York, for a time, leaving there to go to Lincoln, Nebraska, to build and operate a mill for the Lincoln Strawboard and Paper Company of that city. When he returned to the east he held positions as superintendent of the St. Lawrence Mills at Dexter, New York; superintendent of the Champion Paper Company of Carthage, New York; superintendent of the Ballston Pulp & Paper Company of Ballston Spa, New York; and general superintendent of the Victoria Paper Mills at Fulton.

On the 15th of September, 1913, Mr. Burrows came to Little Falls as the principal stockholder in the newly formed Mohawk Valley Paper Company, of which he was elected president. The plant of the company had been previously run under various names by different groups of men, in each case proving a dismal failure and a great loss to the stockholders. Before completing the arrangements for founding the new company Mr. Burrows carefully went over all the details of the local situation and became fully convinced that a man of sufficient knowledge of the industry could make the mill a "going proposition". When he entered upon his new duties as president and manager of the mill he took with him a remarkably wide range of experience as a manufacturer and the determination to make a success of what had once been a failure. The business was started with a moderate capital and with very unpretentious beginnings, but it has grown steadily until at the end of its first eleven years it stands as a highly successful industrial enterprise and an excellent investment, largely due to the efforts of Mr. Burrows. The mill turns out high grade tissues and other specialties in the paper line. During the World war two-thirds of its output went to the battlefields of France for the use of our soldiers overseas. On the 4th of January, 1919, Mr. Burrows increased his business interests by purchasing the old Little Falls Paper Company's plant from. A. F. Holden of Newburgh, New York. With his associates in this enterprise Mr. Burrows formed the Burrows Paper Corporation of Little Falls, which is now successfully operating the plant under the management of his brother, Andrew A. Burrows of this city.

On the 19th of September, 1893, Mr. Burrows was married to Miss Martha Oril Broughton, a native of Williamstown, Oswego county. Her father, Darius C. Broughton, was born in Hamden, Delaware county, New York, and her mother, who bore the maiden name of Bedee Richardson, was born in Richland, Oswego county. Both parents lived for years in Oswego county, where they passed away. Mr. and Mrs. Burrows are active members of the Methodist church, in which Mr. Burrows holds the office of trustee, while his wife takes part in the work of the women's organizations of the congregation. Mr. Burrows is a Mason, having attained the rank of Knight Templar in the York Rite of that order, and Mrs. Burrows belongs to the Order of the Eastern Star. She is also a member of the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Politically Mr. Burrows is affiliated with the republican party, but he holds rather liberal views in such matters and reserves the right to vote independent of party ties.

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