Captain J.H. Burnham came to McLean County in 1858 as a student at the State Normal University.  At the outbreak of the Civil War, he enlisted in the Teachers’ Regiment (33rd Illinois Infantry Volunteer Regiment) and rose to the rank of captain.  He served as editor of the Daily Pantagraph for three years and then started an iron bridge business (King Bridge Compnay) in 1867 which he continued for forty years.  Captain Burnham was a founder of the McLean County Historical Society and a corresponding member of the Chicago Historical Society.  He also was a teacher, active member in the Second Presbyterian Church, and was active in the community.  He married Almira S. Ives in 1866.  Captain Burnham was born in 1819 and died in 1917.

This collection contains miscellaneous correspondence, essays, and talks given by J.H. Burnham.