Family Matters

The Boys From Crooked Creek (Part I)

Montaville "Mont" Garfield Burgin, the son of James and Elizabeth Solomon Burgin, was born January 28, 1882. He married Ella Gilliam April 2, 1911, and settled on Crooked Creek near the foot of Big Hill. Mont and Ella had six children. One died in infancy.

The four sons of Mont and Ella Burgin all served their country during World War II.

The four sons of Mont & Ella

At the outbreak of WWII, Tech Sgt. Willard Burgin who joined the army in 1934, had already served two hitches overseas. Paul Burgin, who joined the army in 1938 had served one hitch on foreign soil.

Uncle Sam was still in need of a few more fighting men so, Grady Burgin, the oldest of these brothers was inducted in March 1942, three months after the war began. Howard, the youngest was inducted in April 1943, three months after his 18th birthday.

The Burgin's were all serving in the European Theater at one time or another during the war. Paul was wounded in 1944, near Fountainebleau, about thirty miles from Paris and was sent back to the states. Willard met up with Grady in Germany in 1945 and later that same year, visited Howard in England.

The mothers on Crooked Creek who had sons serving their country were meeting on a weekly basis, exchanging stories and praying for the safe return of their boys. And as time passed these ladies became as sisters.

It was during this time that Ella discovered she was seriously ill. As shocking as it was, her thoughts were still of her boys. Her daily prayer was that the Lord would let her live to see the four of them safely home.

Paul, after being wounded and sent back to the states, returned home in 1944. Willard got home September, 24, 1945, and Grady was home by October 1945. Howard, the youngest of the brothers didn't get home until March 6, 1946...and Ella died peacefully that night.

Ella and Mont are buried at Cherry Springs outside of Old Fort.

Source: My deepest appreciation to Willard Burgin for sharing this