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Burrage, Severance, 1868-1945



  • Existence: July 18, 1868 - April 11, 1945

Biological Information

Severance Burrage is considered a pioneer in sanitary science. He was born on July 18, 1868, in West Newton, Massachusetts and died on April 11, 1945, in Denver, Colorado. He was married to Elizabeth Wadleigh. Burrage earned his Bachelor of Science degree in 1892 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Burrage began teaching as a Professor of Hygiene and Sanitary Science at Purdue University in 1895. He worked there for seventeen years, teaching and developing the department of Sanitary Science. In 1912, Burrage joined Eli Lilly Company in Indianapolis as Director of the Biological Department.

Burrage joined the Massachusetts State Board of Health in 1916 as an assistant biologist, then spent 1917 in Serbia and Greece with a Red Cross Medical Commission. Upon his return he joined the United States Public Health Service and worked in Waco, Texas, and Denver, Colorado.

In 1920, Burrage was appointed Assistant Professor of Bacteriology in the School of Medicine of the University of Colorado, then located at Boulder. When the Medical school moved to Denver in 1924, Burrage moved with it. He retired in 1936 as Associate Professor of Bacteriology and Public Health, Emeritus. He kept his office at the Medical School, teaching as needed, doing bacteriological work at the Hospital, and lecturing in the School of Nursing. He taught several summer sessions of the University of Denver and was teaching in Loretto Heights College at the time of his death.

In 1914, Burrage served as the President of the Indiana Academy of Science. He also served as the president of the Indiana Tuberculosis Society, was active in the Indiana Conservation Association, and a member of the Indianapolis Rotary Club, which he transferred to Boulder. He was a Fellow of the American Public Health Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Students of Dr. Burrage affectionately called him "Bugs," and he enjoyed golf, music, and dramatics. He participated in the Denver Civic Theater and was active in Denver's Ben Franklin Club.


Edington, Will E. "Necrology." Proceedings of the Indiana Academy of Science. Vol. 55, 1945: p.1. />

Proceedings of the First Convention of the Indiana Sanitary and Water Supply Association, January 14-15, 1909: 7.

Proceedings of the Fifth Annual Meeting of the Indiana Sanitary and Water Supply Association, February 15-16, 1912: 108.

Sixth Annual Meeting of the Indiana Sanitary and Water Supply Association, February 25-26, 1913: 183.


Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Severance Burrage papers

 Collection — Box: Communal Collections 17, Placement: 09
Identifier: MSF 62
Scope and Contents This collection consists of two folders containing materials written by Severance Burrage.
Dates: 1895 - 1913