Biography of Simon Burns
Allegheny County, PA Biographies

SIMON BURNS, president of the Window glass workers, local assembly No. 300, Knights of Labor, and ex general master workman of the Knights of Labor, was born at La Salle, Ill., in 1856, son of James Burns, a native of Ireland and a riverman by vocation, who died in 1857. The subject of this sketch received a limited education at La Salle, and then began to work in a glass factory there, where he remained two years, later moving to Rock Island, 111. He followed his trade as a glass worker in Rock Island until 1874, rising to the position of gatherer, and, in 1894, went to Marion, Ind., where he was employed in a window glass factory. He remained there from March to October, then went to Gas City, Ind., staying there until January, 1895. He came to Pittsburg to assume the duties of president of the Window glass workers, local assembly No. 300, to which office he had been previously elected, receiving in the election a majority over some half dozen competitors. He has been reelected every year since then, on all but two occasions on the first ballot, and has proved himself a capable and efficient official. Since his election as president, Mr. Burns has, in every year except one, secured for the glass workers an advance of ten per cent, in wages. He is an aggressive leader, and possesses that rare brand of courage which has the singular charm of being admired by others besides his friends and associates. In November, 1900, Mr. Burns was elected general master workman of the Knights of Labor. He held this position one year, and then declined a unanimous reelection, which was tendered him at the convention held in Indianapolis, in November, 1901. Mr. Burns is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America. He belongs to the Catholic church.


From:
Memoirs of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
personal and genealogical with portraits.
Publishers: Northwestern Historical Association
Madison, Wis. 1904.


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