Burton was elected to the Senate in 1908 and completed one term. He chose not run again and moved to New York, where he worked in banking.
The Republicans did not forget him, however, and in 1916 he was considered a candidate for president. Burton received 77.5 votes out of 987 on the first ballot at the Republican National Convention.
Four years later, Burton returned to Ohio and was elected to the House, this time representing the 22nd District. He was re-elected in 1922, 1924 and 1926.
President Harding appointed him to the World War Debt Funding Commission in 1922, and in 1925, Burton chaired the United States delegation to the conference for the control of international traffic in arms, in Geneva, Switzerland.
Burton served as president of the American Peace Society, a pacifist group founded in 1828. Under Burton’s leadership, Cleveland hosted the First World Conference on International Justice in 1928. The event drew 13,000 participants, including world leaders.
His concern for world peace was so great, Burton gave up his House seat in 1928 to pursue his work with the society. But politics called him back to Washington when Burton won a special election to fill the term of Frank B. Willis, who died March 30, 1928. Burton was serving as senator from Ohio when he died, Oct. 28, 1929.
Burton’s passing was mourned in Cleveland, where businesses along the route of his funeral procession closed in honor of the man who had represented the city and its people for decades.
“Streetcars and all traffic came to a dead stop. There was not a sound but the clatter on the pavement of the hoofs of the soldiers’ mounts and the droning of airplanes overhead,” Crissey wrote.
Although Burton never married and had no children, he had numerous nephews and nieces who represented the family and the Austinburg congregation at the funeral.
Burton was laid to rest in Cleveland’s Lake View Cemetery, at the top of a little knoll just a few feet from the Garfield monument. An impressive two-column monumen marks his place of rest.
Although his Jefferson birthplace is obscure, Burton’s home in Westlake, “Dover Farm,” is commemorated by an Ohio Historical Marker. The website, mcquillinassociates.com/hq.htm, explores Dover Farm.