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BURKEVILLE, TEXAS

Newton County, East Texas
State Highways 87 and State Highway 63
About 70 Miles NE of Beaumont
About 21 Miles E of Jasper
Aboutt 14 Miles NE of Newton
Population: 000515 est. (2010)

Burkeville, Texas Area Hotels > Jasper Hotels
Burkeville Tx - Site of First Newton County Courthouse
Site of First Newton County Courthouse in Burkeville
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson
, November 2010

History in a Pecan Shell

Although there were settlers here prior to the arrival of John Burke, it was Burke who platted the town in the mid 1840s. The county court first met at nearby Quicksand Creek, but it was pointed out that this was in violation of state law concerning the centering of county seats.

In 1847, the residents of Burkeville applied for county seat status which was granted the following year. John Burke donated land for a courthouse to be built, but the “centering” question was brought up again. An election in 1853 granted county seat status to the more centrally located “upstart” town of Newton
.

The transfer upset many citizens who announced Burkeville was again the county seat in 1855. But the county bureaucrats remained in place at Newton
and in 1856 the Texas legislature put an official end to the debate.

During the Civil War, Burkeville was the site of a Confederate arsenal and unlike other former county seats that lost elections – Burkeville didn’t die. It remained a cotton shipping point and when lumber mills opened, Burkeville prospered.

The population was estimated to be between 200-300 residents in the late 1800s.

A fire in 1906 wiped out the town’s business district but Burkeville stayed the course, even as the timber played out. The population grew to an estimated 800 at its peak. The oil boom of the late 20s and early 30s made up for the declining timber industry.

By the mid-1960s, Burkeville’s population declined to around 400 residents. It has risen slowly to report 515 residents for the 1990 census – with the same figure used for 2000.
1848 First Newton County courthouse, Burkeville, TX
"First Newton County courthouse, ca 1848, Burkeville."
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, December, 2012
See Newton County Courthouse
Burkeville Tx - Site of First Newton County Courthouse Centennial Marker
Site of First Newton County Courthouse Centennial Marker
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson
, November 2010
Burkeville Tx - Site of First Newton County Courthouse Centennial Marker

Site of First Newton County Courthouse Centennial Marker
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson
, November 2010
See Texas Centennial Markers

Burkeville Tx - Methodist Church
Burkeville Methodist Church
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson
, November 2010
More Texas Churches
Burkeville Tx - Former post office?
Former post office?
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson
, November 2010
Burkeville Tx  - Road Sign
Burkeville Road Sign
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson
, November 2010
More Texas Signs
Burkeville, Texas
Area Destinations

Jasper
Newton

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