Leslie Burford is considered to be the father of the Southwestern Live Steamers Club. He was instrumental in the development of the Live Steam hobby in Texas.
Leslie Burford. Photo by Bill Koster, circa 1975
Gearbox designed and cast by Les Burford. This unit is from a 1-1/2 inch scale boxcab diesel constructed in the late 1960's. The box has cast lettering of "Burford" on one side (as seen in the photo), and the part number "6/72" on the other side. Photo by Daris A Nevil, September 2013.
- Another father figure/mentor was Les Burford at DP&L. I greatly respected him. He and I used to go boating and camping. He had two daughters too. I see one of his daughters several times a year. One motivation for our river trips was that Les's ancestors had a plantation outside of Atlanta, Georgia, when the Civil War began. The Yankees did bad things to them, and the grandfather said he would not swear allegiance to the United States so he took his family to Central America. A couple of the children died there from yellow fever, and they were reduced to eating monkey meat. He finally decided to take his family back to the US. He would frequent the wharf where the sailing boats were docked. He made friends there with a Swedish captain. When the captain came to New Orleans he brought the Burford family to New Orleans with him. With financial help from the captain they continued up river via Jefferson City and then migrated up to Cookville, near Mt. Pleasant, in East Texas. He started farming and became very prosperous, and his family ended up owning the bank, the cotton gin, and several businesses in town. These were the forebearers of Burford. The lesson I got out of this is that a person whose entire livelihood was destroyed can struggle and come back and be successful again.
Leslie Burford Memorial Award
The Southwestern Live Steamers presents the Leslie Burford Memorial Award each year to an outstanding individual or family who have made significant contributions to the Live Steam hobby.
From "Southern Steam", Jan,Fed,Mar 1973
Newsletter of Mid-West Live Steamers
- Les Burford of the Southwestern Live Steamers says they will have Fall Meet on new 6000 feoot track now being laid with 2000 feet complete already.
- "First Texas Meet", Leslie P. Burford, Live Steam Magazine, September 1969
- "Three-phase for your shop: Two Ways", Les Burford, James Vail, Live Steam Magazine, February 1978
- "Shop Talk: Knuckle Anvil", Leslie Burford, Live Steam Magazine, April 1980
- "Billet" Cast Iron Cylinders - Not a casting", Chaski.org