Burke History Time Line

1820 Samuel Burris, progenitor of the Burke Burrouses, settled at Burris Prairie, northeast of Burke near Bald Hill.
1835 Tom Bradley builds Indian trading post on what came to be called Bradley Prairie
Abt. 1847 James Ashworth arrives from South Louisiana and begins to raise cattle in Pine Valley
Bef. 1856 Jeptha Smith moves from Hancock Co., Mississippi to Pine Valley where he raises cattle.
Bef. 1856 John Jackson Fairchild arrives at Bradley Prairie from Sabine Parish, Louisiana
1859 James Washington Guinn arrives from Alabama and settles at Homer, and his son Leonidas settles southwest of Bradley Prairie near what later became Ryan Chapel. Leonidas purchases a large tract of land that includes what later became the town of Burke.
Bef 1860 Wiley Weeks settles north of Pine Valley
1866 Brothers Isaac and John Ryan arrive from Copiah County, Mississippi and found Ryan Chapel Methodist Church between Burke and Pine Valley
1866 Orange McCarty arrives from Clarke Co., Mississippi and settles on Jack Creek northwest of Bradley Prairie.
1866 Martin Vanburen Crager and son Francis arrive from Rapides Parish, Louisiana and settle in the Ryan Chapel area
Bef 1870 William James Arrington arrives from Clarke Co., Mississippi and settle on the western edge of Bradley Prairie.
1881 Houston East & West Texas Railway arrives at Bradley Prairie and the town of Rhodes is born
1882 The town of Lufkin is born when the Houston East & West Texas Railway reaches Denman Springs
1883 Harris Rhodes appointed as postmater of the town of Rhodes
1885 The name of the town of Rhodes is changed to Burke in honor of railroad survey chief Ed Burke
1885 Bradley Prairie School founded at "Burke Station" by Arthur Arrington, Berry T. McCarty, and S. J. Havard
1894 The town of Diboll is founded when T. L. L. Temple arrives from Texarkana and starts Southern Pine Lumber Company
1899 Burke Methodist Church is organized
1902 Angelina County votes "dry" in a liquor election, and Burke's two saloons are forced to close
1905 Burke Baptist Church is organized
1914 Miss Ina McCall succeeds her father Daniel B. McCall as Burke Postmaster
1920-30 Robert Weisinger purchases Earl Kellow's garage
Abt 1925 Texas Highway 35 built through Burke
Abt 1951 U. S. Highway 59 built through Burke
1955 Burke post office downgraded to substation, and Postmaster Miss Ina McCall retires
1964 The Burke Independent School District is consolidated with Diboll Independent School District
1966 The City of Burke is incorporated
1966 The Burke Water Supply Corporation is created


  1. The History of Angelina County (Curtis Publishing)
  2. The Handbook of Texas Online, "Burke, Texas"
  3. The Handbook of Texas Online, "Lufkin, Texas"
  4. The Handbook of Texas Online, "Diboll, Texas"