Harris R. Rhodes

Burke was originally named Rhodes after the first postmaster Harris Rhodes and store owner W. R. Rhodes. Since no record of W. R. Rhodes has been found apart from his alleged role in early Burke, it is possible that H. R. and W. R. Rhodes are the same person.

Harris Rhodes was born in North Carolina about 1828, but by 1858 he lived in Nacogdoches County where he married Ellen Mary Cook. In 1860 he and Mary were on the census where he was listed as a clerk.

In 1880 Harris and Ellin M. Rhodes and adopted daughter Bittie were living in the town of Homer, where he listed his occupation as farmer.

Rhodes was the enumerator for the 1880 census in the Burke area. When the railroad was built, he must have seen the opportunity and moved to Burke to open a store and become postmaster. His role in in the census and his owning one of the first, if not the first, store in Burke must have created the opportunity to be the first postmaster.

There is no further record of Harris Rhodes family after the early 1880s.


  1. 1860 Census, Nacogdoches County, Texas, Town of Nacogdoches, Dwellling 5, Page 1 (Hall Rhodes)
  2. 1880 Census, Angelina County, Texas, Subdivision No. 8, Page 6. Dwelling 48 (Harris Rhodes)