Burroughs, William Seward
- Stephen B. Johnson
Burroughs, William Seward (28 January 1857?–14 September 1898), inventor, was probably born in Rochester, New York, the son of Edmund Burroughs, a mechanic, and Ellen Julia Whipple. (Birth records are not extant; various sources place his birth in Rochester or Auburn, New York, on 28 January, in 1851, 1853, 1855, 1857, or 1858.) Burroughs’s family moved to Lowell, Michigan, when he was three years old in an attempt to improve their uncertain financial situation. They moved to Auburn, New York, a few years later. His father’s unsuccessful attempts to succeed through invention led him to discourage his son from the life of a mechanic and inventor. Instead, after Burroughs’s primary and secondary schooling, his father encouraged him to take a job at the Cayuga County National Bank in Auburn. The bank promoted him in 1878 to an important clerical job. Shortly thereafter, he married Ida Selover; they had four children....