honor his name."
SPEECH OF W. B. DENSON.
(representing BAYLOR TRUSTEES.)
This vast assembly has gathered here to pay its last
tribute of respect to a great citizen. It is indeed fitting that
not only "Waco, but all Texas should mourn the loss of this
Christian educator and true patriot. Fifty years of arduous
labor in Texas have made him pre-eminent among her proudest
and most useful sons. And, looking backward over this event-
ful period of Texas history, we pause in silent admiration of
his splendid achievements. To make great and good men and
women was the ambition of his life.
Coming to Texas in the dawn of his young manhood, he
landed at Galveston, and, wandering down to the seashore,
knelt upon the beach, where he heard God in the munnuring
sea, and prayed Him to give him Texas for Christ. Wlio that
has watched the career of this wonderful man from the time
he first raised his clarion voice in the wilderness of Texas to
the day he laid down his armor, as he preached from the
Sabine to the Rio Grande, as he baptized men by the score
500 The Life am> AV
every year, as lie inarshalled and led the Baptist hosts from
victory to victory, as for fifty years he educated large num-
bers of young preachers, who took up the shibboleth of con-
quest and carried it forward, who sent out to the state yearly
large numbers of young men equipped for the highest duties
of life, will not see in all this the answer of his prayer and
the fulfillment of high destiny? When I saw Dr. Burleson
bury General Sam Houston in baptism the question suggested
itself to my mind — Which is the greater leader, he who leads
embattled hosts to victory and death, or he who leads the
chieftain and his army to God ?
This great pioneer preacher, this indefatigable Christian
educator, this great citizen, this friend of mankind, this
noblest Roman of them all, has finished his course, laid down
his glittering armor, and rests from his labors. He has gone
to the Christian's reward. When on yesterday the telegraph
wires carried the sad news of his death all over our land, the
thousands whose lives he had blessed paused in the mad race
of life, and with bowed heads declared it was a great loss.
Fifty years of usefulness, of high endeavor, of wonderful
achievement crowded upon our vision and passed in review
before us. And here, my friends, we have met to do honor
to this lifeless body — ^once the life temple of the old warrior.
Here he lies, cold in death, with splendid honors and beauty
clustering thick about him. I Avas proud to be called his
friend, and prized his love and confidence, which for nearly
fifty years he gave me. As Mark Antony said of Caesar, ''He
was my friend, faithful and just to me." Words beggar
expression of how we all love and honor him; and to-day, in
this supreme hour, we bring to him the loyalty of true hearts,
and lay upon his bier immortelles, symbols of our fadeless
love and his immortality. His name must be written upon
every page of Texas progress for the past fifty years. At
every mile post in his long life journey there are recorded
deeds of mercy, of humanity, of unselfish sacrifice and the
loftiest devotion to duty. He has had part in shaping the
characters and destiny of thousands of the most useful men
and women of our great state. Matchless in his energies
and courage, he halted at no obstacles in his grand forward
movement in Ix-half f Christian education. Bavloi- I'ni-
Dk. Rufus C. Bukleson. 501
versity stands the imperisliable monument to his life work.
The forces he set in motion through that institution will
only be revealed to us in the great unfol dings of eternity.
But his work is finished. The Master has called to the
old hero and said: "It is enough; come up higher." His
spirit has gone to meet on the blissful shore a great host
whom he led to God. We stand to-day with uncovered heads
around his open grave, and lay to rest the lifeless body of
this veteran Christian soldier. Around him here are gray-
haired veterans, distinguished in the highest callings of life,
whose education was the work of his hands. They will all
miss him. Texas will miss him. The educators of America
will miss him. His foot-prints will remain with Texas as
long as the flowers bloom and the grass grows upon her
prairies. He has gone to the brightest joys heaven can give.
He will wear the jeweled crown, and heaven will ring out,
"He loved his fellowmen."
I am directed by the Board of Trustees of Baylor Uni-
versity to present here and now the following resolutions,
as expressing their appreciation of his long and faithful labors
and the deep sense of the great loss we have sustained in
the death of Dr. Burleson.
EESOLUTIONS OF BAYLOR TRUSTEES.
Dr. Rufus C. Burleson, President Emeritus of Baylor
University, is dead. In his own home, surrounded by
kindred and friends, he quietly passed away at 3 a. m.. May
14th, 1901, having reached the advanced age of seventy-
seven (77) years, nine (9) months and seven (7) days.
When a father in Israel passes away — when a personage
in religious history and denominational life is called from
the activities of earthly labor to heavenly rest — it is becom-
ing that some suitable historic record of the occasion voice
the appreciation of surviving friends and co-laborers, attest
the value of his life, and memorialize posterity to lay to
heart the characteristics which made that life valuable.
An outline of the salient events of a finished life prop-
erly introduces a statement of its most profitable lessons :
502 The Life and AVritixgs of
Eufus C. Burleson, D. D., LL. D., son of Jonathan
Burleson, was born near Decatur, in Morgan County, Ala-
bama, August 7th, 1823, He professed conversion on the
21st of April, 1839, and was baptized the following Sunday
by Rev. William Henry Holcombe. Oftentimes in early
life he referred to the dimness and smallness of his first hope
in Christ, and the spiritual struggles with doubt, before his
hope was fully confirmed and his faith assured, thus making
his own experience contribute to the consolation and en-
couragement of timid and hesitating saints.
Quite early in life his ambition was to attain to emi-
nence in law and statesmanship. But in 1840, while a
student in N^ashville University, he was seized with a master-
ing conviction to become a preacher of the Gospel. Yielding
to this conviction, he was licensed to preach December 12th,
1840, by the First Baptist Church of Nashville, then under
the pastoral care of the famous Dr. R. B. C. Howell. Thus,
at the early age of seventeen years, he began his public min-
istry, while still prosecuting his collegiate studies.
On June 8th, 1845, he was set apart to the full work
of the Gospel ministry by the Baptist Church in Starksville,
Miss. Two years later he was graduated from the Western
Baptist Literary and Theological Institute, Covington, Ky.
Before his graduation he settled in his own heart once for
all, the field of his life-work, writing on the wall of his room
the date and the purpose: "April 21st, 1847. This day I
have consecrated my life to Texas." The heroic struggle
for Texan independence, in which his own kinsman. General
Edward Burleson, and his friend. General Sam Houston,
bore such an eventful part, with the thrilling tragedies of
the Alamo and Goliad, was well calculated to suggest and
foster this purpose. Pursuant to this purpose, in 1848, he
accepted the appointment of the Southern Baptist Conven-
tion as missionary to Texas, and the same year he was elected
pastor of the First Baptist Church at Houston to succeed
William M. Tryon, a preceding missionary, who had died
of yellow fever.
From this date, 1848, his life has been a part of the
history of Texas, and a still larger part of the history of the
Baptist denomination in Texas. This very year was organ-
Dr. Kufus C. Burleson. 503
ized the State Baptist Convention, whicli as a merged and
constituent part, survives in the present Baptist General
Convention of Texas. For years Dr. Burleson held high
official position in this state body of Baptists.
After a pastorate of three and a half years at Houston,
Dr. Burleson was called, June, 1851, to the presidency of
Baylor University, at Independence, whose foundations had
been laid in 1845. This presidency lasted ten years. In
1861 he became president of Waco University. In 1868 he
assisted in the formation of the Baptist General Association,
and he was easily the chief personage in this body from its
organization until 1886, when, by consolidation with the
State Convention, it became merged into the present Baptist
General Convention of Texas. An important part of this
consolidation was the merging of the schools into the present
Baylor University at Waco, Texas, of which Dr. Burleson
In June, 1897, Dr. Burleson then being seventy-four
years old, was elected President Emeritus, on full pay. Thus
for forty-six years he was the active head of Texas Baptist
institutions of learning. In this time he came in direct
school touch with nearly ten thousand of the Baptist boys
and girls of Texas, many of whom became distinguished in
public life, and thousands of whom, now in widely scattered
homes, bear the impress of his influence.
In this long formative period of a new state there were
many sharp controversies and denominational troubles, many
raw experiments in denominational activity, many conflicting
policies and measures advocated on which good men honestly
and widely differed. It is unbecoming to this solemn hour
to advert, by way of praise or blame, to the part borne by
any man; but we may well pause at this earthly terminus
of an eventful and influential life to inquire what things of
the past are most worthy of preservation in memory, and
what characteristics of the great and good man who is gone
need to be uplifted before the eyes of the young people of
1. Decision. From early youth he was always able to
make up his mind and determine clearly and positively his
own attitude towards any policy or measure. He never
50-i The Life and Wjarixos of
wasted liis life in painful and prolonged perplexity at the
forks of any road. He decided — one way or the other.
Perhaps wrong sometimes, but at least you could always
place him, being not in doul)t himself, nor leaving others in
doubt as to his whereabouts.
2. Fixedness of purpose — after decisio7i. He was not
a reed, shaken by the wind. It was a favorite exortation ^vith
him: "Have one great life purpose." Tew of the boys of
to-day have clearness of vision to determine a life-work, and
then patient persistence to follow a single purpose for half a
3. Courage. However much men might differ about
some traits of Dr. Burleson, no man ever questioned his
4. Temperance. Quite early he determined to subordi-
nate his body to the purposes of his mind. This involved ab-
stinence from many things deemed pleasurable by young
people. Moreover, it called for a positive power of high
order, the regulation of life by fixed habits of sleeping, eat-
ing, drinking and exercise. The self-prescribed regimen was
rigidly followed through life.
5. Timely atteniion to social amenities, '^o matter
how great his pressure of work, he would force himself, if
need be, to observe the requirements of duty towards
strangers, the sick or the afflicted.
Had his life been devoted exclusively to pulpit minis-
trations he would have been recognized in history as
one of the greatest preachers of the age. As it was, thousands
were converted under his ministry. While pastor at Houston
he baptized Mrs. Dickinson, the celebrated "Heroine of the
Alamo," and while pastor at Independence he baptised Gen-
eral Sam Houston.
But, as he devoted his life to Christian education, his
fame must rest on his success or failure in this work. Ho
wao a profound student of human nature. lie studied men
more than books.
The characteristics hereinbefore set forth forecast the
power of leadership and administration. To great executive
ability must be added the power to awaken dormant minds —
to stir up ambition and to incite to great achievements. Xo
Dr. Kufus C. Bukleson. 505
other man in Texas history has awakened sleeping youth in
more homes than Dr. Burleson. In the woods, on the farms,
in the prairies, he found them somehow and kindled a
quenchless fire in their hearts.
Even more than this power he possessed, for however
faulty his curriculum, however inadequate his buildings,
however scant the apparatus, however impecunious the ma-
terial resources, he did, though making bricks without straw,
manage somehow to turn out successful men and women,
who took high and honorable and useful places in life. So
that the building stood the test of time and change, whatever
faults and weaknesses characterized the rude scaffolding in
its construction. If it be said such means and methods and
resources would be futile now— then be it so. They served
in his time, and none other were available then.
Yet again, he not only believed in Christian education,
but he meant the education to be Christian. To his everlast-
ing credit, be it said, he never allow^ed his school to drift
away from tnily Christian moorings to be swept off on the
Godless current of mere scholasticism. This tendency of
endowed schools to sacrifice religion to mere attainments is
everywhere apparent. Still more, in an age when schools and
scholars counted it a mark of liberality and broadness to be,
or appear, semi-infidel in teachings, Dr. Burleson never
swerved a hair's breadth from that old-time simplicity of
faith which hfts ever been not only the true orthodoxy, but
the very power of God.
Well may we say of him : He was a patriot. He loved
Texas. He lived and died for Texas. He loved purity of
domestic life and the sanctity of the home. He was not a
man of greed. Covetousness never ruled his soul. These
are some of the things which made him great. These are
the things to remember, now that he is gone. These are the
great lessons of his life to hold up before our children. There-
fore, be it resolved :
1. That this report be spread as a permanent record on
2. That a copy be furnished to the family and the press,
3. That the Treasurer be instructed to pay now to Mrs.
Burleson the apportionment due her husband for the balance
506 The Life and Wkitings of
of this scholastic year, and that we now vote her an appor-
tionment of six hundred dollars ($600.00) for the next schol-
W. B. DEKSON,
O. I. HALBEKT,
J. T. BATTLE.
SPEECH OF W. S. BAKER.
(representing old students.)
The lateness of the hour and the few minutes given me
to speak over this dead, silences much that I deeply feel;
but if I had unlimited time I could not do him justice. I
have known him from my earliest recollection. I lived under
his roof. My boyhood was guarded by his prayers and en-
couraged by his example. He was benevolent and benificent.
Numbers know of his free maintenance and education of
our poor young men. Every walk in the life of Texas
attests this. He was a philanthropist. He stinted himself
and family to serve his fellow-man. He lived a life of un-
selfishness. He died a poor man.
He was not a financier, but he builded untold wealth
for others, for Waco. He was not a jurist, but his boys, as
he called them, graced the highest courts in the land. He
was not a soldier, but his boys unsheathed the bravest sword
in the land. He was not a statesman, but his boys are fore-
most in the forums of the land.
He arose above all these. He was a patriot. Education
was his fulcrum. He tutored our youth that they might
serve our country and see our God.
Oh! how he loved Baylor University. It was his
handiwork. It was his dream by day and by night. Near
unto half a century his tall, slender, bended form watched
over it as tenderly as the mother over her babe, and in his
last moments, when all hope of this life had gone, among
his parting words he said: "Lift me up so that I can see
It was the last object his eyes rested upon beyond the
confines of his sick room. He died at peace with the world
Dr. Rufus C. Bueleson. 507
in the sight of God, Baylor, and that devoted wife who sec-
onded his exertions in the cause in which he triumphed.
Words are too feeble to extol the man who buried in
holv baptism the immortal' Sam Houston and the Heroine
of the Alamo. He needs no eulogy. BQis monument has
been erected — it is Baylor University. His name has been
chiseled upon the hearts of his countrymen.
Bear him away to Oakwood, where rests the remains
of the great Richard Coke, the gallant Ross, the courtly
Handsons and hosts of other brave pioneers, who have already
met him on the other shore. Such men were not born "to rot,
thurst foully in the earth to be forgot."
I see in the near future all that the lamented Coke once
predicted, the statue of Rufus C. Burleson standing on Bay-
resolutio:n^s of baylor faculty.
Dr. Rufus C. Burleson, the pioneer educator of Texas,
the great preacher, the Christian patriot and citizen, has gone
x\fter several weeks' illness, surrounded by his family
and friends, he peacefully breathed his last at 3 a. m. Tuesday,
IMay 14, 1901. In his death there passed from our midst
an historic character, whose work for education and religion
in Texas has been significant and powerful for good. Dr.
R. C. Burleson was born near Decatur, Alabama, August 7,
1823. He was of noble family and numbered among his
relatives some of the ablest soldiers, statesmen, preachers
and patriots of the South. He received his literary educa-
tion in ISTashville University. He took his theological course
under the great Dr. E. G. Robinson, at Covington, Kentucky,
and also did additional study in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Before leaving the Theological Seminary he dedicated
his life to Texas, and in 1848, under appointment of the
Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention,
he came to this state and for three years successfully filled
the pastorate at Houston. In 1851 he was elected president
of Baylor University at Independence, Texas, where he con-
508 The Life and Writings of
tinned for ten years. He and his faculty then came to AVaco
and established Waco University. It became a strong school^
and in ISSG the two institutions just mentioned were united
by the Baptist denomination and located at Waco, giving
us our present Baylor University. Dr. Burleson was con-
tinued as president of the consolidated school. From the
time of his first election in 1851 he served actively as presi-
dent for forty-six years. He was officially connected with,
the university as President Emeritus to the close of his life.
In view of his splendid efforts for Christian education,,
put forth during long years of heroic struggle, often under
circumstances of the greatest discouragement, for his tireless-
devotion to the high ideals of true morality and for his
undying faith in God, the present faculty of Baylor Uni-
vei-sity do express their highest appreciation. These noble-
traits in his grand character held together the educational
forces of Texas Baptists and gave to the state of his adoption
a heritage more precious than gold. He was without doubt
the greatest single factor that operated in all the earlier years
of the institution for securing the final and permanent suc-
cess of Baylor University.
He wa5 the pioneer of co-education in the South. As
agent of the Peabody fund in Texas, under Dr. Barnas Sears,
he did valuable work for our state system of public scliools.
He was instrumental in the founding by the state of the Sam
Houston iN'oi-mal Institute. He was the chief promoter and
organizer of the Texas State Teachers' Association.
We regard Dr. Burleson as a Godsent man. For more
than half a century he has been a pathfinder, a foundation
builder, a master workman, whose labors have reached and
blessed every section of Texas. His students not only fill
numerous positions in the humbler walks of life, but thev-
are leading bankers, prominent lawyers, successful physicians,,
cattle kings and merchant princes. His students wear the
judicial ermine, they preside over our leading state institu-
tions of learning: their voices are heard in the legislative
halls of our state and of our nation; they have occupied the
governor's chair, and as teachers, preachere and missionaries
they have carried his noble lessons around the globe. The
ladies whom he has educated are among the grandest women
De. Eufus C. Burleson. 509
of earth, and are now exerting a wide infinence for good in
their homes, in society and in the church.
Few teachers of modern times can hiy chiim to more
splendid results in awakening young men and women to lives
of nobleness and usefulness than were attained by Dr. Burle-
son. Measured by the unerring test of success he will com-
pare favorably with the great men of any age or country.
In his long and useful life, by his loyalty to truth, his
prayerful Christian work, and by his great educational
achievements, he has erected for himself a monument that
mocks the regal splendor of perennial brass, a shaft more
beautiful and enduring than Parian marble, whose summit
pierces the very skies.
As an eloquent and able preacher his clarion voice has
proclaimed the gospel of Jesus to tens of thousands. During
all the busy years of his educational activity he preached
regularly, and few men have been more successful in the
ministry than* he was.
In view of his great work for Baylor University, his
wonderful success as an educator, and his glorious labors as
a Christian minister, be it resolved by the faculty of Baylor
1. That we thank God that so good and so great a
man has been permitted to live among us so long, and that
we have the privilege of enjoying the precious heritage of
2. That we recognize fully the debt of gratitude we
owe to his memory and great life-work in planting the founda-
tions of this school on the solid basis of prayer and Christian
3. That we pledge our efforts to perpetuating the great
principles of Christian education to which he devoted his
-i. That to the noble Christian lady who has been his
life companion since 1853, and who has aided so much in
making his life a grand success, we tender our profound con-
dolence in this hour of her grief and loneliness.
5. That to all his family and loved ones we extend
sympathy, and assure them that we, too, are bereaved by the
510 The Life a^d Writings of
death of him whom we regarded almost as tenderly as a
father. His memory will ever be dear to our hearts.
6. That copies of these resolutions be spread upon our
records, furnished to the family, and given to the university,
city and state papers for publication.
Adopted by the Faculty of Baylor University at Waco,
Texas, Wednesday morning, May 15, 1901.
ADDRESS OF DR. O. I. HALBERT.
(home life of dr. bueleson.)
We stand with uncovered heads and reverent hearts
around the bier of our most honored and beloved friend. Of
him may be truthfully said : He was a great teacher; an elo-
quent preacher; a patriotic citizen; a true friend; and among
the very best fathers and husbands, that it has ever been my
good fortune to know.
I shall never forget when in the fall of 1869, a timid,
bashful, country boy, I entered Waco University and for the
first time felt the thrill of enthusiasm with which he always
inspired every student's heart.
I do not believe that Dr. Burleson ever had an equal in
his power to inspire a burning ambition in the hearts of his
students, for knowledge, and to do and be something. Xot
only did he inspire this ambition but by his friendly interest
and great mastery of resources he opened up the way for a
great number of young men, and young women to gratify this
ambition. The ten thousand students that he has educated
will all give him this merited praise. He was an eloquent
I have seen the First Baptist Church crowded to over-
flowing, held spell bound as he ''reasoned of righteousness,
temperance and judgment to come," I have seen many a hard
sinner, Felix-like "tremble;" and many, very many have I seen
go forward and grasp his hand asking interest in his prayers
and promising to try and lead better lives.
He was a patriotic citizen. His students were so indoc-
trinated with patriotism that they were among the very first
Dr. Eufus C. Burleson. 511