The Burford Printing Company had its beginnings in the 1860s in a partnership between Miles W. Burford, a banker then living in Independence, Missouri, and his son-in-law, William Braden, a printer in Indianapolis. This partnership of Braden and Burford was involved in both printing and real estate. It ended in 1875 when Burford died, and Braden left Indianapolis following financial problems that stemmed from the Panic of 1873.

Interior view with floor to ceiling shelving and filled glass cases running down the center of the room.
William B. Burford Co., 1908 Credit: Bass Photo Co Collection, Indiana Historical Society View Source

In 1875, Miles Burford’s son, William B. Burford (1846 -1927), who had been a cavalryman in Missouri during the Civil War and had later worked with Braden, took over the printing business. He developed it into what was probably the most successful business of its kind in Indiana. The firm held the printing contract for the state government and for all 92 counties. It did the finest engraving in the state and ran a fully stocked stationery store. The printing offices were at 40 South Meridian Street, and the stationery store at 36 West Washington Street. Burford also dealt in real estate and joined many civic enterprises to improve and develop Indianapolis.

After Burford’s death, the leadership of the firm remained in the family with his son-in-law Henry R. Danner (1870-1950) and Danner’s son and grandson. The stationery store, which also carried office furniture, continued until 1964. The printing business moved in 1935 to 603 East Washington Street, in 1964 to Zionsville, and in 1993 the century-old company ceased to operate.

While the Danner family maintains the company name, according to Indiana Secretary of State records it operates Bit Whip Farm in Boone County.

Revised February 2021

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