Southwest pioneers, El Paso lawyers and leading citizens, the Burges brothers were born in Seguin, Texas. William Henry Burges, Jr., born November 12, 1867, graduated from the University of Texas in 1889 and set up law practice in El Paso, Texas. He had a distinguished career and was internationally recognized. Alfred Rust Burges was born February 16, 1871 and served in the Spanish-American War as Captain of Company F, 4th Texas Infantry. In 1912, he joined his brother Richard's El Paso, Texas law practice. Richard Fenner Burges was born on January 7, 1873 and at the age of 19 moved to El Paso to join William's practice. Richard and his brother William founded the El Paso Bar Association. Richard served as City Attorney from 1905-1907 and in the Texas State Legislature from 1913-1915. He was instrumental in the building of Elephant Butte Dam. During WWI, he organized Company A, 141st Infantry, served in France and received the Croix de Guerre for bravery. After the war he was elected president of the Texas Forestry Association. He helped make Carlsbad Caverns a national monument. Married to Ethel Petrie Shelton, he had one daughter, Jane Rust Burges, born in 1900. A 1922 graduate of Bryn Mawr in Pennsylvania, she received many awards for her active service to the El Paso community. She served as the president of the Junior League and the El Paso Public Library Board. Married to Preston Rose Perrenot, she had three children. She died in 1986 and left the Burges family home to the El Paso Historical Society.
The Burges-Perrenot Family papers consist of personal correspondence and scrapbooks that include genealogical and historical research, speeches and addresses, and research material relating to the family’s many interests including literature, history, law, forestry, conservation, irrigation, politics, and the military. The collection also contains social invitations, programs, pamphlets, and postcards with many scenes of early El Paso and Juarez.