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Angelina County TX
Angelina County

BURKE, TEXAS

Angelina County, East Texas

Highway 59 and FM 2108
8 Miles S of Lufkin
3 Miles N of Diboll
Population: 748 (2010) 315 (2000)

Burke Area Hotels > Lufkin Hotels

History in a Pecan Shell

Born on the railhead of the Houston, East and West Texas Railroad - when it built through Angelina County in 1881, the region was known as Bradley Prairie but the town was first named Rhodes, Texas after local storekeeper W. R. Rhodes. Another Rhodes (H. R.) served as postmaster when a post office was granted in 1886. In 1885 Rhodes was renamed for Ed Burke, a railroad (civil) engineer who helped conduct the survey for the railroad.

By 1885, Burke was a three-sawmill town and had most essential businesses. Three years later the town had to build a larger school and businesses included a dentist and even a watchmaker. The 1897 population of Burke was a respectable 650 - it's high-water mark. The town's proximity to Lufkin drained off population and by 1904 it was down to a mere 161. It rebounded to 200 for 1915 and by the mid 20s it was around 300. Burke's post office closed in the 1950s and in the mid 1960s the school merged with the Diboll ISD. In the mid 1960s Burke incorporated and installed a municipal water system. Burke's population remained between 300 and 325 from 1980 to 2000.

Burke, Texas Forum

  • Subject: Burke, Texas
    Dear TE, Most of my family is from Burke. I live in the house that my great grandmother was born in. It has played a part in my grandparents lives - on both sides of the family. Our mayor has gathered a lot of information on Burke. So has my cousin and a man who went to school here in the 40's-50's. The only original building still standing is the schoolhouse, but there are still a few original homestead houses. My great aunt lives in the 2nd house ever built in Burke and the house I am in was the 3rd house built. My grandmother is now 89 and her memory is just now starting to slip, but she has told us a lot of stories of Burke and the locations of where stores, gins and other places used to be. She also has some photos as do the aforementioned people. If I am not mistaken, my grandmother's family was one of the first few who started out in Burke. Arrington/Rush families. Lee is my grandfather's name .. which is how this house I'm in came to be. Tellie Arrington (my grandmother's mother) was born here and it passed through various hands until my paternal great grandfather Jake Lee bought the property. Thank You for including Burke in your town listings. - Lori Lee~Ray, Burke, Texas, January 07, 2007


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