Swan C. Burnette. Political, social and religious upheavals in foreign lands have ever resulted in an influx of old-world citizenship to American shores. The persecution of Protestantism in France was no exception to this rule, and among the many French families that found sanctuary in America were the Burnettes, who fled from their native land at the time of the Huguenot massacre and settled in Jamestown, Virginia. Swan C. Burnette is the direct descendant of this family. He was born in Hamburg, Iowa, and is the son of J. B. S. and Rebecca (Young) Burnette.
J. B. S. Burnette was born in Cocke County, Tennessee, in 1825 and died in Atchison County, Missouri, in 1903. He was married in Tennessee, in his native county, and after the war moved into Fremont County, Iowa, settling at Hamburg. It was not until 1873 that he took up his residence in Atchison County, Missouri, where he spent the remaining years of his life. He was a prosperous farmer and stockman and was well known wherever he made a home. His wife was born in North Carolina in 1828, and she died at the family home in Atchison County, Missouri, in 1904. They were members of the Baptist Church throughout their lives, and were highly esteemed of all who knew them. They had a family of ten children. Ann the eldest, married Charles Greer, and they live near Fullerton, Nebraska, where he has a farm. Jane married Henry Eubanks. He is a ranchman in Higgins, Texas. William lives at St. Joe, Missouri, where he is a carpenter and builder. John lives in Mitchell County, Kansas, and is engaged in farming there. Jesse A. is a practicing lawyer at Topeka, Kansas. James is a ranchman in Canadian, Texas. Sara is the wife of G. W. Arrington, a ranchman of Canadian, Texas. Mr. Arrington has been captain of the Texas Rangers and is ex-sheriff of Wheeler County, and the attached counties forming the Panhandle. He is a man of valor, widely known in Texas for his daring, and was the terror of law-breakers in his territory. Thomas left home in early life and his whereabouts are unknown. Swan C. was the ninth of the family, and Susie, the youngest, married V. Stickley, a rancher in Canadian, Texas.
Swan Burnette had his early education in the public schools in Atchison County, Missouri, and up to the age of nineteen years lived at home on his father’s farm. He then taught school for a year, and read law in the office of his brother in Caldwell, Kansas. He was admitted to the bar in Wellington, Kansas, in 1891, practiced there successfully until 1903, and on March 1, 1903, came to Cordell, Oklahoma. He is a pioneer attorney in this community, and has been busily engaged in a general practice from the beginning to the present time.
In 1909 Mr. Burnette was elected to the Second Oklahoma Legislature, serving two years, and he is now city attorney, having served for the past four years. He was president of the Cordell School Board in 1910 and 1911, and has always been a leader in the civic life of the community.
Mr. Burnette is an owner of farm land in Washita County, and has two nice farms aggregating 320 acres. He also owns a farm of 160 acres in Beckham County, Oklahoma, all of which yield him a nice income yearly.
Mr. Burnette is a Mason of high degree. His Masonic affiliations are with Cordell Lodge No. 127, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, of which he is past master; Cordell Chapter No. 75, Royal Arch Masons, of which he is high priest; the Wellington (Kansas) Commandery of Knights Templar; and the Consistory of Guthrie, Oklahoma. With his family he has membership in the Methodist Episcopal Church.
In Rockport, Missouri, Mr. Burnette married Miss Louise Luja, born in Arago, Nebraska, the daughter of Dr. Charles F. Luja, well known in that locality, but now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Burnette have an adopted child, Claudia (Kellam) Burnette, now attending the public schools at Cordell.