About This Place
Burke is a city in southwestern Angelina County, Texas, United States. The population was 715 at the 2010 census.
Burke was founded in 1881 when construction of the Houston, East and West Texas Railway reached the western edge of Bradley Prairie. The town was originally named Rhodes for general store owner W. R. Rhodes and postmaster H. R. Rhodes, but about 1885 it was renamed for Edmund L. Burke, a railroad employee who directed the railroad survey.
By 1885 Burke had three sawmills, three cotton gins, a church, and a school. In 1886 it received a post office, which remained there until 1955. By 1888 it had a larger school, three general stores, a drugstore, a sawmill, a dentist and watchmaker, and a Farmers' Alliance store. In 1897 Burke had an estimated population of 650. By 1904 Burke's population had declined to 161, due to the rise of Lufkin, eight miles north, as an industrial center for the county. However, by 1915 the population had risen to 200, and by 1925 it reached 300. The Burke Methodist Church was organized in 1899-1900, and the First Baptist Church of Burke in 1905.