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R. H. Burns, Jr., Papers

Finding Aid & Inventory

Robert Henry (Bob) Burns, Jr., attended Wake Forest College from 1929 to 1932 and practiced law in Columbus County, N.C. from 1933 to 1997. Materials in this collection include student materials from Burns' time at Wake Forest, along with sport and concert materials.

Biographical and Historical Note

Robert Henry (Bob) Burns Jr., was the son of Robert Henry and Mary Elizabeth Kendrick Burns. Burns was born February 21, 1912, in Henderson, N.C. He moved to Whiteville in 1924 and then attended Wake Forest College (1929-1932). His brother, John K. Burns, also attended Wake Forest College in 1936. Burns passed the bar exam in 1933. In January 1940, Burns joined the U.S. Army and served in World War II until 1945, when he was honorably discharged as a Technical Sergeant. He was a member of the N.C. State Bar, Inc., since it was organized in 1933, and practiced law in Columbus County most of his life (1933-1997). He was active in Columbus County as a member of the Whiteville Civitan club and American Legion Post 137. In 1937, Burns was the Columbus County Golden Gloves Heavyweight Champion. He served as president of the Thirteenth District Bar from 1973-1974, and was elected Councilor from 13th Judicial District. He was also the author of the self-published book, The Way It Was: poems and proems and some prose arising from moments and contacts in the life of a lawyer who has practiced in a small town since February 1933, which was composed of Courthouse history and personal recollections. He died on May 28, 1997.

Sources: Star News, May 29 1997, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/98315248/robert-henry-burns

Collection Overview

This collection includes documents from Burns' time as a Wake Forest College student, including press releases he wrote, his student handbook, programs, speeches, and correspondence. The freshman cap of his brother, John K. Burns, is also included.

Collection Inventory

  • Address of President Thurman Kitchen to the Baptist State Convention with notes (undated) box 1 folder 11
  • Baseball team schedule (1931) box 1 folder 2
  • Commencement program (1931) box 1 folder 3
  • Football ticket, "Dads Day", WFC vs N.C. State (1930 October 16) box 1 folder 4
  • Freshman beanie scrap reading "34," belonged to brother John K. Burns (1936) box 1 folder 5
  • Glee Club and orchestra schedule (1928) box 1 folder 6
  • News Bureau press releases (1931, undated) box 1 folder 7
  • Orientation program (1930 September 15-18) box 1 folder 8
  • Russian Cossack program, comments on back (undated) box 1 folder 9
  • Student handbook (1930-1931) box 1 folder 10
  • Two letters from Burns to parents regarding WFC, mentions William Louis Poteat, Laurence Stallings, Philomathesian Literary Society, football game vs. N.C. State (1930 October 15-18) box 1 folder 1

Summary Information

Z. Smith Reynolds Library Special Collections and Archives
R. H. Burns, Jr., Papers
Date [inclusive]
0.21 Linear Feet  1 half-document box

Administrative Information

Publication Information
Z. Smith Reynolds Library Special Collections and Archives
Access Restrictions
Collection is open for researchers. 
Copyright Notice
The nature of the WFU Z. Smith Reynolds Library Special Collections and Archives means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Archives and Special Collections of ZSR Library claims only physical ownership of most materials. The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to the U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. 
Preferred Citation
R. H. Burns, Jr., Papers (MS500), Z. Smith Reynolds Library Special Collections and Archives, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, USA. 

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