Edmund L. Burke

Edmund L. Burke is the man for whom Burke was undoubtedly named. He was born in Texas about 1853, the son of Andrew J. Burke and Elvira Lusk Burke, who lived in Houston's Ward 4.

Andrew Burke was a merchant and was undoubtedly at least a wealthy man with household servants. In the 1860 Harris County census he was listed as a "merchant", but in 1870 his occupation was shown as "Credit Plant Fire Ins. Co.", which he must have owned. In 1880 he was shown as a "cotton factor, commercial merchant.".

In 1880 Edmund's occupation was shown as "R. R. conductor". Through his railroad connections, Edmund must have gotten the job as surveyor for the Houston East & West Texas Railroad construction project. His skills probably came from his experience with his father in the cotton business. Cotton buyers would often buy cotton in the field and would thus need to know how to measure and calculate land area.

Edmund appears to have married in 1896, when he was 41 and his bride Hannah C. Lillie was 40. She was the daughter of J. E. and Ann H. Lillie, both Massachusetts natives. J. E. died by 1870, and Hannah lived with her widwed mother and brothers only 3 doors away from the Burkes in 1870.

Edmund and Hannah lived in Brazoria County, Texas in 1900, where he was again working as a railroad conductor. Edmund died in 1919 in Houston, and Hannah continued to live in Houston until after 1930.

Sources:

  1. 1860 Census, Harris County, Texas