For a Valentine’s Day week Looking Back, the Mitchell County Historical Society made an appropriate selection from its collection of digitized photographs. The young man with his shined-up car and his best girl is Edd Ray Burleson (1915-1983), while his adoring sweetheart is June Burleson (1921-1994). Edd was the son of Charles K. and Freelove Pitman Burleson; June’s parents were Jerome and Lula Cook Buchanan.
There seem to be leaves on the trees, and there is no wedding band on June’s left hand, so the photo was likely made prior to their wedding on November 4, 1938. Marriage records in Mitchell County show that 21-year old Edd was from Hawk, while June, age 17, was from Toecane. Witnesses at their wedding, performed by Rev. Zeb Ledford, were Paul Benfield, Lena Reid, and Hazen Ledford.
The 1940 Mitchell County census showed that the couple by then owned their own home on Cane Creek Road and were parents of their first daughter, Betty Jo.
According to his obituary, Edd worked at Royal Oil Company in Johnson City, TN, and belonged to the Bakersville Masonic Lodge. Members of the Cane Creek Baptist Church, June and Edd are buried in the cemetery there.
The couple’s children, according to their obituaries, were Betty Jo Burleson English, Ann Burleson Williams, Gene E. Burleson, Emmert Burleson, and Ricky Burleson.
“The Picture Man,” Paul Buchanan, was the sweethearts’ photographer; the image is used courtesy of Long Leaf Media.