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Maj Frederick Russell Burnham

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Maj Frederick Russell Burnham

  • Birth 11 May 1861 Minnesota, USA
  • Death 1 Sep 1947 Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara County, California, USA
  • Burial Three Rivers, Tulare County, California, USA
  • Memorial ID 16352457

Military Scout, Adventurer, Entrepreneur, Conservationist. As an American mercenary, Burnham served in the British Army as a military scout in Southern Africa (1893-1896, 1900-1904) during the Matabele War and the Second Boer War. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO), the second highest decoration in the British Army. It was in Africa where Burnham met and taught scouting skills to Robert Baden-Powell, who would later go on to found the Boy Scout movement. Burnham and Baden-Powell remained lifelong friends. Following military service, Burnham traveled to Alaska during the Klondike gold rush as a prospector. He later led prospecting groups in East Africa and Arizona. In the 1920's, he formed an oil exploration company and successfully drilled wells and operated the Dominguez Hills oil field. He later purchased 5,000 acres near Three Rivers, CA, and pursued ranching. He helped establish wildlife parks and natural preserves in the United States and Africa, and promoted the idea of conservation long before it was fashionable to do so. In 1936, Burnham was awarded the Silver Buffalo, the highest award given by the Boy Scouts of America. Mt. Burnham, a peak in California's Angeles Natl. Forest, is named in honor of him and adjoins Mt. Baden-Powell. At the age of 86, he suffered a fatal stroke in his sleep at Santa Barbara, California, and his cremated remains were placed in the family plot at Three Rivers Cemetery, Three Rivers, California.

Bio by: Brian H.


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Brian H.
  • Added: 28 Oct 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 16352457
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Maj Frederick Russell Burnham (11 May 1861–1 Sep 1947), Find A Grave Memorial no. 16352457, citing Three Rivers Cemetery, Three Rivers, Tulare County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .