Burke Hall of Fame
- James Ashworth
James and Vianna Ashworth arrived from Calcasieu Parish, Louisana in the late 1840s and helped poineer cattle raising in Angelina County. They settled at PineValley on the Opelousas Trail and ran cattle in the long leaf pine savannahs of Pine Valley and and nearby Trinity County. The Ashworths were among the first to register cattle brands in Angelina County. Some of the Ashworth and related Perkins family later moved on to South Texas and helped pioneer the cattle business that led to the great cattle drives to Kansas.
- Tom Bradley
Bradley, an Indian trader, was the Burke area's first white resident in 1835 and the person for whom Bradley Prairie was named.
- Samuel Burris (Burrous)
Reportedly the first permanent white settler in Angelina County at Burris Prairie between Burke and Bald Hill. His grandson Bill Burrous was a blacksmith and undertaker in early 20th Century Burke. Bill's son Lloyd ran a garage and was Burke's leading aviator. Both Lloyd and his son Billy were killed in tragic airplane crashes at Angelina County Airport.
- Chief Popher and Harry Popher
Popher and his son Harry are the only known Native Americans identified with Burke. Harry Popher killed clerk Hughes Bradley at Tom Hughes' trading post in 1835 in a dispute over refusal to sell him liquor. Chief Popher, was later hanged by white vigilantes in lower Angelina County seeking to redress the killing. Legend says that Chief Popher volunteered to be hange in place of his son, who shamed him by the killing.
- Arthur Arrington and Sterling J. Arrington
Along with S. J. Havard and Berry McCarty, Arthur Arrignton founded Bradley Prairie (later Burke) School in 1885. His brother Sterling donated the land for the school. Arthur operated a drug store one the west side of the railroad tracks across from the Burke and McCall Store. Arthur's grandson Zusle Rush, Jr. served as Burke's mayor in the 1970s.
- John Jackson Fairchild
John Jackson Fairchild was one of the first wave of farmers to arrive in the Burke area before the Civil War. Brother-in-law of Wiley Weeks. His young son William Lee was the first person buried at Ryan Chapel Cemetery. His grandson I. D. was a prominent Lufkin lawyer and served in the Texas House of Representatives and Texas Senate. Another grandson C. B. was a prominent farmer and civic leader whose wife Elma was long time principal of Burke School.
- Leonidas H. W. Guinn
Leonidas Hannibal Washington (Lee) Guinn was orignal owner of a large swath of land that included what later became the town of Burke. He donated the land for Ryan Chapel Methodist Church. He was a native of North Carolina and lived in Randolph County, Alabama before moving to Angelina County shortly before the Civil War. He was a son of James Washington Guinn, an attorney and anti-secessionist State Senator for Angelina County.
- Daniel McCall
Daniel Bynum McCall was a prosperous farmer in Clarke County, Mississipi whose prospects were greatly diminished by the Civil War. He moved to the Burke area after 1870 and established one of the most influential families in the area.
- Orange McCarty, Sr.
Orange McCarty, Sr., from Clarke County, Mississippi, purchased 2200 acres of land north and west of the Burke area before the Civil War but was not able to move to the area until after the War ended. He lived on Jack Creek, but many of his descendants established settled in and around Burke. The McCarty's became one of the larger families in Burke.
- Isaac and John Ryan
Brothers Isaac Lawrence and John Ira Ryan came from Copiah County, Mississippi in 1865 and settled at Pine Valley. In 1866 a revival meeting was held in Isaac Ryan's home and from that grew Ryan Chapel Methodist Church the first and most influential church in the area. Although the Ryan brothers moved on to South Texas within a few years, they left many descendants in the Burke area.
- Wiley Felix Weeks
One of the first farmers to arrive in the Burke area before the Civil War and settled north of Ryan Chapel. Brother-in-law of Jack Fairchild. Operated a store, a grist mill, and a cotton gin. Founded a family that still lives in the Burke area.
- Edmund L. Burke
Ed Burke is the man for whom Burke was named. He was the son of an influential commercial merchant in Houston who invested in the construction of railroads built from from Houston. Ed Burke is said to have been a civil engineer who surveyed the Houston East & West Texas Railroad through Bradley Prairie.
- Harris Rhodes - the first postmaster and merchant for whom the town was originally named.
He ran who ran one of the first general stores in Burke. He moved from Homer after the railroad arrived.
- Harvey Belote
Harvey Belote was the son-in-law of Leondas Guinn and owner of the land upon which the town of Burke was built. He donate the land for both the Burke Methodist and Baptist Churches. He later ran a store and cotton gin in Burke.
- Stephen Treadwell
Stephen and wife Sally were early settlers in Burke who moved from Renfro Prairie after the railroad arrived. He operated Burke Lumber Company, the first sawmill in Burke, and he later operated general store. Their son Tom and grandson Roy were prominent citizens of Burke.
- Rev. Samuel C. Johnson, Sr.
Re. Johnson was an early minister and author. A native of Alabama, Rev. Johnson moved to Texas after the Civil War and served as a teacher and minister in various Baptist churches around East Texas. Rev. Johnson was author or a book on his religious views entitled "Consistency and Harmony". In 1891 he moved to Burke and lived there until his death in 1900. Samuel and his wife Nancy are buried at Ryan Chapel Cemetery.
- Arthur Lee Burke
The son of Methodist minister, James Burke, born in St. Clair Co., Missouri, who moved to Angelina County, Lee Burke became a partner in the Burke and McCall store, which also housed the post office, with Daniel B. McCall, Jr. He married Daniel's sister Eva, and their son, Ward Burke, became a lawyer and one of Angelina County's most respected citizens.
- Dr. Wade Hampton Johnston
Dentist and watchmaker. His office was located east of the railroad tracks in the building that later became the Burke Post Office Substation.
- Dr. Thomas Sherwood Spivey
Burke's earliest physician was a graduate of Vanderbilt Medical School. Grandson Dr. Dan Spivey was Lufkin's leading physician in the second half of the 20th Century.
Modern Era (1930-1970)
- Nobia Clark Campbell
Llong time resident "Miss Nobie" was the community notary public and private banker to many Burke citizens.
- Corbett Conner
Farmer, civic, and political leader. Long time Democratic Party election judge for Angeelina County Box 3, Burke.
- Miss Tennie Havard
Tennie Thompson Havard was a long time first and second grade teacher at Burke School. Miss Tennie taught two generations in some families. Despite the "Miss" title, she was married to Lafayette Havard, and they lived adjacent the railroad.
- Miss Ina McCall
A daughter of Daniel B. McCall, Ina McCall succeeded her father as Burke postmaster in 1914 until the post office was downgraded to a substation in 1955. Her kindness to everyone, especially to schoolchildren, is legendary, and she was probably Burke's most beloved citizen.
- Nolan Ryan, Jr.
Hall of Fame baseball pitcher who descends from Ryan Chapel Church co-founder John Ira Ryan. Ran holds major league records for no-hit games and career strikeouts. Although Ryan never lived at Burke, his father, Nolan, Sr., kept in touch with his Burke cousins and visited them at Burke.
- Raymond Ryan
Painter and sketch artist who specializes in Western art and historical subjects. Ryan's works have won several awards and are on display in East Texas galleries and public buildings, including the Museum of East Texas and Lufkin City Hall. Descendant of Ryan Chapel Church co-founder Isaac Ryan.
- Jim Spears
Ran a grocery and gasoline station until the 1960s, first on old Texas 35 and then on U. S. 59.
- Robert E. (Uncle Bob) Weisinger
Everyone's "uncle," Bob Weisinger ran a Gulf station in Burke from the mid 1920s until until about 1960.