ISAAC G. BURNET
WAS born in the State of New Jersey, on the 7th
day of July, 1784. He was the son of Dr. William. Burnet, of
Newark, New Jersey, who was Surgeon-general in the Army of the
Revolution. About the year 1804 he moved to Cincinnati. After studying
law in the office of his brother, Jacob Burnet, he was admitted to the
bar. On the 8th day of October, 1807, he was married to Kitty Gordon,
daughter of Captain George Gordon. He then moved to Dayton, Ohio, where
he entered diligently upon the practice of his profession. About the
beginning of the year 1816, he removed again to Cincinnati, and
commenced the practice of the law in that city, in copartnership with
the late Nicholas Longworth, grandfather of Judge Longworth. In 1819 he
was elected mayor of Cincinnati, which office he held continuously
twelve years, until the Spring of 1831, when he declined to be a
candidate for re-election. The mayor, at that time, in addition to his
executive duties in the enforcement, of the laws, had the civil and
criminal jurisdiction of justices of the peace; and from 1819 to. 1829,
the mayor, together with three aldermen elected by the City Council,
constituted what the city charter denominated "the City
Court," with appellate jurisdiction from the mayor, and original
criminal jurisdiction of all crimes, misdemeanors, and offenses
committed within the corporation, against the laws of the State or
ordinances of the city, for the trial of which a jury was requisite, and
which were not punishable by death or confinement in the penitentiary;
and also original civil jurisdiction concurrent with the Court of Common
Pleas, in all cases where the defendants resided within the city, except
where title to real estate was called in question ; subject to the right
of appeal to the Supreme Court, which at that time sat on the circuit,
once a year, in each county of the State. The charter of the city made
due provision for grand and petit juries for the City Court. The.
judicial power conferred upon the City Court, of which the mayor was
presiding judge, was important.
In 1833 he was appointed clerk of the Supreme
Court of Hamilton County, and continued to hold that office until the
Supreme Court upon the circuit was superseded by the District Cowl,
under the constitution of 1851.
He was baptized by John Boyd, then the pastor of
the Enon Baptist Church, of Cincinnati, about the year 1826. In 1831 or
1832 he united with the Second Presbyterian Church of Cincinnati, and
was for more than twenty years one of its elders.
He was a good citizen and an earnest and devoted
Christian, and whilst exemplifying in his life, in a remarkable degree,
the rare virtue of humility, he discharged courageously and faithfully,
and with modest dignity, every duty, public or private, resting upon
him. He died on the 11th day of March, 1856.
Source: In Memoriam
Cincinnati 1881, Cincinnati, A. E. Jones, Publisher, 1881.