Next: John Jarvis Burgess --
...John Jarvis BurgessHistory - John BurgessJohn Jarvis Burgess was born August 18, 1913, in Fort Worth.His
father was a rancher and the family lived north of the Stockyards area until Burgess
was in the fourth grade."That was a pretty rough neighborhood, and my mother wanted me and my four sisters to be brought up in a different environment, so we moved to Mistletoe Heights."It was a fortuitous move because it was in that neighborhood that Burgess
met Eugene Hudson Carter, who would become his lifelong friend and business partner.
...Burgess graduated from Fort Worth's Central High School in 1931, and pursued engineering at the encouragement of his father.
told me, 'I can teach you more than I've already taught you about horses and cows and when to sell and what to feed and things like that, but this world is getting so technical that I think the best thing you could do is go and get a good foundation in engineering.' And that's what I did." Burgess graduated magna cum laude in 1935 from Virginia Military Institute (VMI), with a civil engineering degree.He returned to Fort Worth where he worked on a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project (programs that generated jobs for millions of Americans during the Depression) for Fort Worth Public Schools.
...John Burgess & Gene Carter in the 1940s
...When that program ended, Burgess went to Cleburne, Texas, to work as a city engineer on another WPA project.While there, he served as a fireman at night in exchange for a free place to sleep.
...When the Cleburne WPA project ended in 1937, Burgess joined National Supply Construction Corp. as an oilfield construction engineer on well installations in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi.
Working in the oilfields, Burgess
got an education in working long hours and managing people."I think we were working about 10 hours a day, six days a week, and there wasn't any labor overtime and all that jazz at that time, and I think I could get a dollar and a half an hour.So I had done pretty good."
It was also during this period that Burgess
met and married Florence Lydard Floore of Fort Worth.
...John Burgess with Gene Carter, Hohnny Burgess and Wilton Hammond
...As the project neared completion, Burgess had the opportunity to join the Marine Corps through his former commandant at VMI.
"Things were in good condition with the quartermaster depot, and I felt enough patriotism and loyalty that I had to get into this mess."He joined the Marines in 1943 and was trained as a flight director.He achieved the rank of captain while serving in the Pacific Theater and on the China mainland, and participated in major battles at Okinawa, the Philippines and in China. John Burgess receives a Dolly Parton singing telegram
resumed his partnership with Carter and they soon found themselves in the thick of the postwar boom.
...Burgess retired as chairman in 1988, but maintained an office at the corporate headquarters until his death. John Burgess at his 70th birthday party
As an engineer and businessman, Burgess
was known by his
employees and clients alike for setting the highest standards for professionalism, innovation, honesty and integrity.He
and Carter encouraged the firm to invest in new technology and expand into markets and disciplines that placed the firm at the leading edge of capabilities and client services.At the same time, they fostered a family atmosphere among their shareholders and employees that endures to this day. Burgess
was well respected throughout his
profession, which sought his
leadership in various associations.He was a member of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers, was named "Engineer of the Year" in 1971, and was a president of the Fort Worth chapter.He was a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, also serving as the local chapter president.
In 1992 he
received the "Service to People Award" from the Texas Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers
.He also was a member of the Society of American Military Engineers and the Consulting Engineers Council of Texas.
But there was more to John Burgess
than the professional man whom everyone respected and admired.He
was a dedicated family man who with Florence had two sons, a daughter, three granddaughters, three grandsons and two great-grandsons. John Burgess with (from left) Bill Bell, Bart Bradford, Dan Conlin and Jerry Van Horn
...Burgess served on the Fort Worth Planning and Zoning Commission, including two years as chairman, and was a former president of the Tarrant County Historical Society.He was active in the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, serving on the Board of Directors from 1986 to 1988.He was a longtime member of University Christian Church, where he was an usher, deacon and elder.He also was a member of the Fort Worth Club, Colonial Country Club and River Crest Country Club. Burgess enjoyed a lifelong relationship with the Boy Scouts of America, beginning as a member of Troop 47 with Gene Carter as his patrol leader.
Through the firm, Burgess
provided master planning and engineering services for the Longhorn Council's Leonard Scout Camp near Granbury and the Sid Richardson Scout Ranch near Bridgeport.In 1969 he
received the Silver Beaver Award, Scouting's highest adult honor.
In all that he
was known for his
compassion and modesty.When talking about Carter & Burgess
was always quick to lay credit for the growth and success of the firm on his