Harley True Burton

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Harley True Burton
Mayor of Clarendon, Donley County, Texas
In office
Personal details
Born (1888-09-05)September 5, 1888
Decatur, Wise County
Texas, USA
Died October 1964 (aged 76)
Place of death missing
Residence Clarendon, Texas
Alma mater University of Texas at Austin
Occupation Historian
President of Clarendon College

Harley True Burton (September 5, 1888 – October 1964)[1] was a Texas historian, college president, and small-town mayor.

He was born in Decatur, the seat of Wise County, located north of Fort Worth.[2]

Burton attended the University of Texas at Austin, where he procured a Master of Arts degree in history, having studied under the well-known historian of Texas, Eugene C. Barker. Burton's thesis is entitled A History of the JA Ranch. The JA Ranch is a still-functioning cattle ranch in the Texas Panhandle[2] originally owned by Charles Goodnight and John George Adair. The brand "JA" refers to "John Adair". Burton's work was considered especially significant in that the early records of the JA Ranch were destroyed by fire in 1890.[3] The thesis was first published in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly in 1927-1928.[4] It was then published in book form and republished in 1966. It is again an out-of-print, rare, and sought-after book.[5]

In 1918, Burton accepted a position teaching science and coaching football at Clarendon College, a two-year junior college in Clarendon, the county seat of Donley County. The institution was originally affiliated with the Methodist Church. When Burton became the college president, the school became nonsectarian and gained state funding. He served as president until his retirement in 1953.[2]

In 1955, Burton was elected mayor of Clarendon and served until 1963.[2]


  1. ^ Social Security Death Index Interactive Search
  2. ^ a b c d Harley True Burton exhibit, Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, Canyon, Texas
  3. ^ Donley County Ranches
  4. ^ SHQ Online :: Volume 031 Number 2 :: A HISTORY OF THE J A RANCH
  5. ^ Harley True Burton, A History of the JA Ranch, Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1928; reprinted New York: Argonaut, 1966