Burke was always known for it strong civic life.
The best known civic instituion was Burke School, which existed from 1885 to 1961. The Burke Independent School District was the primary factor in defining a large area beyond the small confines of the town from just north of Diboll to Hoshall as "Burke." From the begining Burke School had strong community support and was so well-recognized for its excellence that some students from other communities were boarded with Burke residents just to attend.
The second most influential institution in Burke was the post office, which was in existence from 1883 when it was established as Rhodes to 1955 when it was downgraded to a substation of the Diboll post office. The longest serving postmaster from 1914 to 1915 was the beloved Miss Ina McCall. The first telephone in Burke was located in the post office building.
The Burke Masonic Lodge was founded early in Burke's history and is still in existence.
Burke was an unincorporated town until 1966 when it was incorporated as a city.