Burdett Burr was born to the late Louis and Mary Burr. He was born by Ella Besaw’s home on the Stockbridge-Munsee Reservation. Burdett was raised on the Stockbridge-Munsee Reservation most of his live, but he also lived in Green Bay for a little while.
Burdett attended school in Morgan Siding for eight-years. He said that he also went to school in Gresham for two years. Burdett stated that he did not like school very much. He said that he would have rather been outside, and that school was too boring for him.
When Burdett was a child he said his most enjoyable memory was when he would go hunting and fishing. Burdett has a big bass story about his younger fishing days that is a little ‘fishy’. Burdett said that he caught a very, very big bass fish but no one would believe him. Burdett also said that he enjoyed being outside no matter what it was. If it was fishing, hunting or playing with his friends he enjoyed the outdoors.
One thing that Burdett did not enjoy as a child was when he lived on a farm. Burdett said that he did not like the farm work at all. Although he did enjoy being outside the work was too hard and it took too long.
Burdett also said that he went to school in Antigo for welding. He attended school for six months and that was about the only type of school he liked because he enjoyed welding so much.
One of his jobs he had was working at an auto body shop in Shawano. When Burdett worked there he did the welding and helped with other repairs. Burdett also said that one of his favorite jobs was when he worked on the railroad for four months which he liked because he was outside all of the time.
Burdett has eight children all of whom he is very proud of and he was married one time. Burdett was married to the late Gladys (Shawano-Penass) Burr. His daughters are; Henrietta Peters, Hope Burr, Amy Burr, Jill Burr, Ellen Burr, Paula Burr and his son is Burdett Burr Jr. Burdett stated that he has about 12 grandchildren.
Burdett enjoys laughing and joking with all of his grandchildren and children whenever he has the chance. One of his favorite things to do is tell his grandchildren stories. Along with his ‘big bass’ story his grandchildren have heard many stories from him.
When Burdett was younger he was in the United States Army. He was in the Army for two years. Burdett didn’t care for the military life too much because of the Drill Sergeants. He said that they yelled and screamed too much.
One of Burdett’s hobbies, which if you ever drove past Burdett’s home you would see him outside carving totem poles. Burdett has been carving totem poles on and off for over 20 years. He enjoys working on the totem poles, although he joked that he still wasn’t any good at it. Along with the totem poles Burdett also carves piece pipes and dream catchers. Burdett makes them for anyone that asks and enjoys it very much. One of the things Burdett is proud of is being good with his hands and it shows in the craftsmanship of his work.
Burdett also enjoys watching television. Although he doesn’t watch it all that often during the day he enjoys watching the late shows. One of his favorite television shows he likes watching is Jay Leno.
Burdett said that he lesson for the youth was to stay off drugs and keep away from alcohol. He said that neither of them would do you any good. And even though he didn’t like school he said an education for youth is very important.