Researched and compiled by Faye Bell (SLC) 2012
A.C. (Albert Chester) Burgess, known to all as Bert Burgess was born 30 Jan
1880 in Michigan [Battle Creek] to Fred H and Ellen Burgess—his father was
Canadian born and his mother born in England. In 1900 Bert was
single and living with his parents in Marathon,
MI. At home in 1900 U.S. census were Albert C, Ethel, Guy, Edna and Lionel Burgess.
By 1903, he had been back and forth to Texas from Nebraska twice and he
made the decision to stay in Nebraska where he met and married Margaret Belle Guilfoil, his employer’s daughter The couple lived at
Mother Lake, Cherry, NE in 1910 as per the U.S. Census. They had two
sons: Russell Albert and Lucien F born, respectively, 1905 and 1907. In
1917, the WW I draft registration indicates, Bert Burgess was a rancher and had
a wife Margaret Belle (always known as Belle). His birthdate was also recorded from the draft registration of
WW I. The description says he was tall and medium build.
Between 1920 and 1930 when the Burgesses lived
in Hyattville (U.S. census) owning their own home,
they were listed as lodgers at the home of Anna W Allen. Other boarders
included Lucy Booth and Charles Clark (also, familiar names in the Big Horn
By 1940, Bert Burgess was elected Deputy sheriff for Washakie County making $1800/yr and working (at
age 60 years) 52 weeks per year. Later he served as town marshall for Ten
Sleep and town councilman. One great
triumph for Bert Burgess is that he was respected by all who knew him as one of
the best cowboys ever. That he never twirled a rope, but he sent
it directly to its destination in a perfect loop. He was nominated for
the cowboy Hall of Fame, but it is unknown if he was granted that title.
He passed away Mar 20, 1964 (SS death index), an unforgettable figure in the
town of Ten Sleep.
Memories: Bert Burgess, tall and slim, garbed
in the Old West tradition of loose saddle-pants and a black satin vest, arm
bands, and a Star on the said vest. He was
a picture never to be forgotten. He always wore his white Stetson and he
walked with a spring in his step even at the age of 80. He patrolled
the Ten Sleep streets with dignity and served with integrity. Fb