From the book "HISTORY AND BIOGRAPHY, COUNTIES OF WHITE AND PULASKI INDIANA. Historical and Biographical. Illustrated. Chicago; F. A. Battey & CO., Publishers. 1883." page 377, Big Creek Township, White County, Indiana
"WILLIAM BURNS was born in Big Creek Township April 23, 1831, and is the eldest of six children born to JOHN and MALINDA (FERGUSON) BURNS. He was either the first or second white male child born in the county. He received his early education in the frontier log schoolhouse, with all its primitive appurtenances of dirt floor, clapboard roof, puncheon seats and desks, and greased paper window-panes. Until twenty-three years of age, he was employed on his father's farm, by which time he had accumulated $700, with which he bought a partially improved farm of 120 acres in this township, on which he yet lives, and which he has increased to 500 acres and improved with a dwelling and farm buildings equal to the best in the township. For the past fifteen years, MR. BURNS has been extensively engaged in rearing thoroughbred stock - cattle, horses and sheep - some of the last worth $200 per head; but for the past two years he has discontinued sheep rearing. His average product is fifty or sixty head of cattle, and four or five fine horses per annum. MR. BURNS was married, October 24, 1860, to ETNA McTIRE, a native of Champaign County, Ohio, who has borne her husband two children - SAMUEL Mc and MARYETTE. MR. BURNS is a Republican in politics, and one of the leading farmers of the township and county."