Burdin - James C. - Montgomery InGenWeb Project

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Burdin - James C.

Source: Indianapolis News 12 Sept 1908 p 24 (Sat)

Crawfordsville, Ind September 12 – James C. Burdin, age 77, who is dead at his home in this city of heart failure, is thought to have been the last survivors of the first railroad constructed in Panama. During the late forties, when a boy of 18 years Mr. Burdin went to Panama and worked with the gang that constructed the first railroad there. When he first went to the Isthmus, Aspinwall, now Colon, was the barracks and had only a few houses. The place was named after the Aspinwalls of New York city, promoters of the railroad. Mr. Burdin was one of the men who helped to slaughter the great horde of monkeys and placed their skins on the trees on the hills which from that time on was known as Monkey Hill.  The monkeys were killed by the angry workmen who could hardly sleep because of the continual chatter the animals kept up. Mr. Burdin was the only boy in the construction gang, most of the members of which were 30 or 40 years of age, and because of this it is believed he was the last survivor. Mr. Burdin went to Panama by chance, as he had left his home in Indiana, near the Ohio River, to go to California in search of gold.  While in New Orleans a sea captain asked him if he would like to go to the State. He replied in the affirmative thinking he was going to California. Instead, he landed at Panama. He leaves two children, Mrs. Samuel Arnold of this city and WL Burdin of Indianapolis. - kz

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