September 26, 1894
Sanpete County Sheriff’s Office
Sheriff Burns was shot and killed while investigating rustling in the mountains above Spring City. The 45-year-old victim and three other men went to a set of corrals located on Reeder Ridge, approximately 10 miles from Spring City, for the purposes of recovering some stolen sheep. Sheriff Burns was separating the sheep when a gunfight ensued with two of the suspects. Sheriff Burns suffered multiple wounds and died within a few minutes. His three companions fled the scene and summoned help. Although their identities were known the two suspects fled the area and were never brought to justice. Sheriff Burns was married and the father of several children. He is buried in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery. His bronze name plaque is sponsored by the Sanpete County Sheriff’s Office.
Thirty years later, Sheriff Burns’ son was murdered while serving as night marshal of Castle Gate.