BURNHAM, THOMAS (18 June 1808-7 Apr. 1898), a founder of the malleable iron business west of the Allegheny Mts and mayor of OHIO CITY from 1849-50, was born in Moreau, N.Y., son of James and Miriam Burnham. He was master of a freight boat on the Champlain Canal before settling in Brooklyn Twp., Ohio, in 1833. He took a job as a schoolteacher, and the following year became one of the proprietors of the Burton House, a hotel at the corner of Pearl and Detroit Sts. Also in 1834, Burnham was employed by the Troy & Erie Line, a company doing a large business on the Ohio Canal, Lake Erie, and the Erie Canal shipping wheat. Burnham acquired an interest in the company and took control of a grain elevator on the CUYAHOGA RIVER, above the Superior St. viaduct. In 1851 he purchased the Erie elevator, one of the largest in Cleveland. He continued in the elevator business until 1871. Burnham was active in local government, in both Ohio City and Cleveland. Mayor of Ohio City when it was consolidated into Cleveland, Burnham was elected to CLEVELAND CITY COUNCIL and later served as council president. A founder of the Cleveland Malleable Iron Co., Burnham served as its president for 5 years. He was also one of the founders of the Chicago Malleable Iron Co. In addition, he was the president of several smaller manufacturing interests in the Midwest.
Burnham married Maria Louisa White in 1833 and had 4 children: Matilda, Harriet, Thomas, and Charles. Burnham died in Glens Falls, New York, and was buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.