Historic Detroit

Every building in Detroit has a story — we're here to share it

Clarence M. Burton House

Designed by Rogers, Bonnah & Chaffee for Clarence M. Burton in 1913.

Clarence Burton, born in California in 1853, was raised in Hastings, MI, and earned a law degree from the University of Michigan in 1874. His career in Detroit began as an examiner of titles in the Wayne County abstract office. Burton held various positions, including trustee of the Michigan Savings Bank, president of the Independent Telephone Co., and president of the Burton Abstract & Title Co.

However, Burton's lasting legacy lies in his historical research. Throughout his life, he amassed a vast collection of books, pamphlets, and manuscripts detailing the history of Detroit, Michigan, and the old Northwest.

In 1915, he generously donated his collection to the Detroit Public Library, forming what is now known as the Burton Historical Collection. Additionally, Burton authored several books and pamphlets on Detroit's history, including "The City of Detroit, Michigan, 1701-1922" and "A Sketch of the Life of Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, Founder of Detroit."

Residing at 121 W. Boston Boulevard from the 1914 until his passing in Oct. 1932, Clarence Monroe Burton left a permanent mark on the preservation and understanding of Detroit's history.

Last updated 03/04/2024