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The Big Oak Tree: Adair County landmark is forever linked with Sam Loren Burton

"I have seen the wind blow the old oak tree pretty hard, but Grandpa always told us: That is a strong tree, kids, and it's going to be around long after we are all gone."
By Alice Faye Bernard Wheeler
My grandfather, Sam Loren owned the farm that the The Big Tree. Most will remember him best as Sam or S. L. Burton.

Grandpa's favorite resting spot was under The Big Oak Tree on a rock. He would sit there and whittle, and whistle.

You can't see the hand dug well in the picture. It is still there, but the above ground well top has since been removed. He used to tell us the big oak tree kept his well water cold.

Many family gatherings were held under The Big Oak Tree

Many family gatherings were held under this big oak tree. All the family would visit with big dinners, and watermelon for all. Many neighbors would join us. There was always room for more.

Everyone wanted to park their cars under the shade tree. Grandpa had many friends, and they would drop by everyday.

Grandpa never remembered as doing any physical labor

I never remember him as doing any physical labor. He inherited the farm from his Mother, Milinda Burton and passed it on to his wife and children after his death.

My cousin, Billi Kaye Farris, and her husband, Terry, bought this property and have maintained it very well.

When I look back to the Old Oak Tree only good memories come to mind. Grandpa and Mom Burton raised a family of five, plus some of the grandchildren, and played a primary role in our families' lives.

I have seen the wind blow the old oak tree pretty hard, but Grandpa always told us: That is a strong tree, kids, and it's going to be around long after we are all gone.

He was a wise man

He was a wise man. It still stands tall, and strong, and we often drive up 206 to see the BIG OAK TREE.

I remember Grandpa always told us a man was only as good as his word. That was his motto. A good name. I feel blessed to have been a part of this OLD OAK TREE, and I am thankful it is still owned by family members that love and cherish it as I do.

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This story was posted on 2006-03-09 09:00:00
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