Thornton Waldo Burgess was born in Sandwich on January 14, 1874. Burgess graduated from Sandwich High School in 1891, and went on to attend a Business College in Boston from 1892-93. At the age of 17, Burgess briefly lived in Boston and then moved to Springfield, Massachusetts. He bought a place in Hampden, Massachusetts in 1925 and made it his permanent home in 1957. He published his first book, Old Mother West Wind, in 1910 Burgess was a naturalist and conservationist, and loved loved nature and its living creatures so much that he wrote about them for 50 years. By the time he retired, he had written more than 170 books and 15,000 stories for daily columns in newspapers. Burgess was also actively involved with conservation efforts. Some of his projects over his lifetime included: The Green Meadow Club for land conservation programs. The Bedtime Stories Club for wildlife protection programs, the Happy Jack Squirrel Saving Club for War Savings Stamps & Bonds, the Radio Nature League broadcast from WBZA Springfield, MA., as well as helping to pass laws protecting migrant wildlife. For his efforts, an Honorary Literary Degree was bestowed upon Burgess in 1938 from Northeastern University. The Boston Museum of Science awarded him a gold medal for "leading children down the path to the wide wonderful world of the outdoors." He was also awarded the distinguished Service Medal of the Permanent Wildlife Protection Fund. In 1960, Burgess published his last book, Now I Remember, an autobiography. That same year, Burgess at the age of 83, had published his 15,000th story. From 1912 to 1960, without interruption, Burgess wrote a syndicated daily newspaper column titled "Bedtime Stories". Thornton Burgess died June 5, 1965, at the age of 91. The Thornton W. Burgess Society was incorporated in 1976.