W. W. Burnside

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Wade Walker Burnside, Sr.​

Mayor of Newellton, Tensas Parish, Louisiana
In office
1924​ – 1940​
Preceded by Leon Kullman​
Succeeded by Edwin Randolph McDonald, Sr.​

Born December 24, 1882​
Bryantsville, Garrard County,
Kentucky, USA
Died January 1, 1966 (aged 84)​
Political party Democrat
Spouse(s) (1) Hester Patton​

(2) Mary Kirk Newell Burnside ​

Children From first marriage:

Jane Burnside Earnest
Frank Robinson Burnside, Sr.
​ Ben Patton Burnside, Sr.
​ From second marriage:
​ W. W. Burnside, Jr.​

Occupation Cotton planter; businessman
Religion Methodist

Wade Walker Burnside, Sr., known as W. W. Burnside (December 24, 1882 – January 1, 1966), was a large-scale cotton planter and civic figure who served from 1924 to 1940 as the mayor of Newellton in Tensas Parish in northeastern Louisiana.[1]

Biographical sketch

Burnside was born to James Burnside (1843-1931) and the former America P. Walker (1855-1931)[2] in rural Bryantsville in Garrard County in central Kentucky. He came to Newellton in 1913 at the age of thirty with his first wife and a daughter, later Jane Burnside Earnest (1911-1973), wife of J. Claude Earnest (1906-1984).[3] Burnside purchased Newellton Grain Elevator[4] and had interests as well in lumber, feed, and the O'Neal and McNamara Hardware Company in Vicksburg, Mississippi. He was a director of the large Panola Company in St. Joseph, the Tensas Parish seat of government.[5] At his peak, Burnside owned 8,500 acres of land. He was the president of the Tensas State Bank and a director of the First National Bank of Vicksburg.[4] Burnside was a Methodist and was also affiliated with Rotary International and the Masonic lodge.[5]

His twin sons from the first marriage, Frank Robinson Burnside, Sr.,[6] and Ben Patton Burnside, Sr., known as "Little Boy" (1915-1991),[3] continued the family agricultural holdings with the Franklin Plantation, established in 1949 in Newellton and also known as Delta Gin Company.[7] Like his father, Frank Burnside was also the mayor of Newellton, having served from 1958 to 1966, prior to Edwin Preis.[1]

In 1956, Ben Burnside erected at the Franklin Plantation a 14-foot tall giant mailbox which sets atop a thick blue pedestal. Burnside purchased the mailbox in Houston, Texas. It is located three miles north of Newellton off U.S. Highway 65.[8]

Burnside's second wife, the former Mary Kirk Newell (1903-1974), was a daughter of Cornelia Irene McMillan (1878-1968) and Ross Wade Newell (1874-1965),[9] a member of an old-line Tensas Parish family. Edward D. Newell, one of Mary Kirk's ancestors, named Newellton for his father, John Newell. From the second marriage, Burnside had a namesake son, Dr. W. W. Burnside, Jr. (born c. 1929), who became a pediatrician in Fayetteville, Arkansas.[10]

Burnside's daughter-in-law, the former Marguerite Brown (1913-2009) of St. Joseph, the wife of Frank Burnside, was a member of the first graduating class of what is now the University of Louisiana at Monroe. She taught school for a time in Newellton and Sunday school at Newellton Union Church. An avid gardener, she and her sister-in-law, Virginia Williams Burnside (1916-2010), wife of Ben Burnside, published the first cookbook of the Newellton Garden Club.[11][12]

Burnside, his second wife, and several family members are interred at Legion Memorial Cemetery in Newellton.[3] There is no cemetery record on his first wife, her full name, place and day of birth and death. Nor is the first wife mentioned in Burnside's obituary.

Ben "Benny" Burnside, Jr. (1944-2016), son of Ben, Sr., and Virginia Burnside and grandson of W. W. Burnside, continued to operate Franklin Plantation until his death. He raised Charlois cattle and farmed cotton, corn, soybeans, and wheat. Ben, Jr., and his wife, the former Carolyn Wallace, have a son, Ben, III, and wife, Jennifer, of Newellton, and two daughters, Dr. Virginia Burnside Correil and husband, Dr. Kemp Correil of Lafayette, Louisiana, and Hester Jane Burnside of West Monroe.[13]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Public elected officials: Tensas Parish. files.usgwarchives.net. Retrieved on July 22, 2013.
  2. Wade Walker Burnside. records.ancestry.com. Retrieved on July 22, 2013.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Grave Search Results: Burnside. findagrave.com. Retrieved on July 22, 2013.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Frederick W. Williamson and George T. Goodman, eds. Eastern Louisiana: A History of the Watershed of the Ouachita River and the Florida Parishes, 3 vols. (Monroe: Historical Record Association, 1939, pp. 955-956.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Obituary of W. W. Burnside, Tensas Gazette, January 7, 1966, p. 1.
  6. Frank Burnside obituary. Monroe News Star (November 2, 2018).
  7. Franklin Plantation. manta.com. Retrieved on July 22, 2013.
  8. Newellton: Louisiana: Giant Mailbox. roadsideamerica.com. Retrieved on July 22, 2013.
  9. The common name "Wade" of W. W. Burnside and his second father-in-law is apparently a coincidence.
  10. Obituary of Mary Kirk Newell Burnside, Tensas Gazette, April 25, 1974.
  11. Obituary of Marguerite Brown Burnside. usgwarchives.net. Retrieved on July 22, 2013.
  12. Obituary of Virginia Williams Burnside. nhsrecr.com. Retrieved on July 22, 2013.
  13. Ben Patton "Benny" Burnside, Jr.. The Monroe News Star. Retrieved on March 29, 2016.