Auburn in Lee County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
Robert Wilton Burton
Near this site once stood "Four-Story Cottage," the home of Robert Wilton Burton. A one-story house with wide porch and bay window, Burton built it in 1885 with proceeds from the sale of four stories to children's magazines. Born in Camden County, Georgia, Burton grew up in Lafayette, Alabama, where he began writing stories for the newspaper, on various subjects. In the early 1870’s, with his brother, he opened a bookstore in Opelika, Alabama. In 1878, at the request of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama, Burton opened the first bookstore in Auburn. It was soon known as the "Coffee House of the College City."
Burton wrote numerous local color stories for national magazines and newspapers. Many of his best tales, in Negro dialect, feature "Marengo Jake" Mitchell, a former slave in Auburn known for his tall tales. In 1991, these stories were published as De Remnant Truth. An active Presbyterian, Burton also served as Secretary of the Town Board of Education, County School Superintendent, Clerk of the Town Council, and Secretary to the College Board of Trustees. His bookstore was sold in 1968; his home dismantled in 1993.
Erected 1999 by the Auburn Heritage Association and Historic Chattahoochee Commission.
Location. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 315 East Magnolia Avenue, Auburn AL 36830, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Auburn United Methodist Church Founder's Chapel (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Baughman-Honour-Stiles House (approx. 0.2 miles away); City Hall (approx. 0.2 miles away); Auburn 1865~Present / The "Loveliest Village" (approx. 0.2 miles away); Dillard-Lawson House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Wittel Dormitory (approx. ¼ mile away but has been reported missing); Auburn - Alabama (approx. ¼ mile away); Scott-Yarbrough House (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Auburn.
Also see . . . Encyclopedia of Alabama article about Robert Wilton Burton. (Submitted on June 15, 2014, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
Categories. • African Americans • Arts, Letters, Music • Education •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 15, 2014, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 400 times since then and 42 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 15, 2014, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.