Justice Joseph A. Burr was born in Brooklyn in 1850, a descendant of Peter Burr, once a Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court. He was educated at the Wilton Academy in Wilton, Connecticut before receiving his A.B. degree from Yale University in 1871. He received his law degree from Columbia Law School in 1873 and was admitted to the Bar the following year. Burr practiced with the firm of Burr, Coombs & Wilson. From1896 to 1898, he served as Corporation Counsel of Brooklyn before returning to private practice.
In December 1904, Burr was appointed to the Supreme Court by Gov. Odell, and was elected to a full term in 1905. On December 23, 1908, Gov. Charles E. Hughes announced his appointment of Burr to the Appellate Division, Second Department.
Additionally, Burr had been counsel to First National Bank of Brooklyn and the New York and Brooklyn Refining Company. He was a former president of the Brooklyn Bar Association, director of the New England Society of Brooklyn, and trustee of the Kings County Savings Institution. He participated in several civic and fraternal organizations.
Burr was married to Ella A. Dawson and had two daughters. He died suddenly on April 18, 1915 at the New York Hospital following an operation.
"Joseph A. Burr." Biographical information sheets. Appellate Division, Second Department Library, Brooklyn.
"Justice J. A. Burr of Brooklyn Dead." New York Times (1857-1922): 15. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2007). Apr 20 1915. Web. 9 Sep. 2011 http://search.proquest.com/docview/97792230?accountid=8012.