Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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BURNHAM, Gordon Webster, manufacturer, born in Hampton, Connecticut, 20 March, 1803; died in New York City, 18 March, 1885. He was a farmer's boy and began life poor, but saved money while a clerk in his native place, with which in 1828 he entered into business as a principal. Successful in this, he entered the firm of Benedict & Coe in Waterbury, Connecticut, manufacturers of brass goods, and two years later with other parties established branch houses in New York and Boston. These were continued until 1863 and 1867 respectively, when, on the dissolution of the partnership, Mr. Burnham found himself the possessor of a large fortune. Meanwhile he had become interested ill many of the manufactures of Waterbury, and successively became president of the Waterbury Clock county, the Waterbury Watch county, the Waterbury Brass county, and the American Pin county Mr. Burnham made liberal use of his money for the public good, and gave freely to the support of religion. He was an ardent admirer of Daniel Webster, whom he regarded as the greatest of American statesmen, and, as a testimonial of this sentiment, in 1876 he presented to New York City a heroic bronze statue of Webster by Thomas Ball, which was erected in Central park. Mr. Burnham married a daughter of Bishop Brownell, of Connecticut, to whom he erected a bronze statue in Hartford. His own monument in Greenwood, built some years prior to his death, is one of the finest in the cemetery.
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