Trails Logo



Barry County

Elizabeth "Bessie" (Waters) Burbank
Daughter of Rylie C. and Josephine (Gregory) Waters
Contributed by Gary Foster

Elizabeth "Bessie" (Waters) Burbank, Native of Hastings,
Was Husband's Chief Lieutenant in His Last Years

Hastings (Michigan), April 12 - Mrs. Luther Burbank, who was the righthand assistant of her plant wizard husband, especially in the last years of his life, was born and reared in this city.

Mrs. Burbank, then Bessie Elizabeth Waters, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Riley Waters, went to a commercial college in Chicago after completing her studies in the Hastings public schools. With her sister Margaret she conducted a public stenography office in Chicago for several years.

Later she served as private secretary to Circuit Judge Melville of Chicago and for a time was connected with Olivet college. The east then called her and she became private secretary to a broker.

Then came the opportunity to enter the office of Luther Burbank at Santa Rosa, Calif., as his private secretary. Three years later she was married to the great horticulturist.

They had no children of their own, but several years ago took into their home to rear the 5 year old daughter of Mrs. Burbank's brother, Alfred Waters, who lives on a farm several miles northwest of this city. Mrs. Burbank's father now 75 years old, lives with his son.

7 March 1849 - 11 April 1926
Married 5-10-1875 Barry County, Hastings Michigan

Luther Burbank Carriage House
Now serving as Museum, Visitor Center and Gift Shop