(from CENTENNIAL HISTORY OF ARKANSAS, S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
(Chicago and Little Rock) 1922.
vol. 3, pp. 504-505)
A well known planter of Phillips county is A. G. Burke, who was born there on the 8th of December, 1878, a son of Moses and Jennie E. (Goodwin) Burke, likewise natives of Phillips county. The paternal grandfather, Elisha Burke, was born in Ireland and came to this country when a child, locating in North Carolina. [Note: Elisha Burke probably born in Chowan or Perquimans County, NC]. In 1837 he came to Phillips county, Arkansas, and acquiring land here, engaged in farming the remainder of his life. This homestead still belongs to the Burke family and thereon two generations of the family have been born and reared. Sanford E. Goodwin, the maternal grandfather, was born in North Carolina and came to Phillips county at an early day. He was a successful farmer and both he and Grandfather Burke contributed much to the development and improvement of the county and state. Moses Burke was born in Phillips county in 1848 and died in 1904. He engaged in farming all of his life and achieved more than substantial success in that connection. In this county he was united in marriage to Miss Jennie E. Goodwin who is still living at the age of seventy years. To their union six children were born: A. G., whose name introduces this review; E. B., manager of the Cotton Oil Company at Helena; Ethel, now the wife of P. C. Smith, sawmill operator and lumberman of this community; Oscar, manager of the Melwood Mercantile Company at Melwood, Arkansas; Jennie, connected with Y. W. C. A. work in Helena; and J. G., extended mention of whom is made on another page of this work. Throughout his life the father gave his political allegiance to the democratic party, having firm belief in the principles of that party as factors in good government. His religious faith was that of the Baptist church, while his widow is a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal church.
In the acquirement of his early education A. G. Burke attended the country schools of Phillips and Lee counties and after putting his textbooks aside secured a position with H. G. Homer & Company, a large mercantile establishment of Helena. He was associated with that concern nine years but in 1906 was elected circuit clerk of this county, an office in which he was active until 1920. In that year he tendered his resignation and became actively interested in agriculture. He has extensive land interests in this county and he is devoting his entire time and attention to its cultivation. For some time Mr. Burke has acted as receiver for the West Helena Consolidated Company, owning the interurban railroad, water works and land holdings, and he has proven himself a business man of ability. He has been successful in everything he has undertaken and no man stands higher in this community for integrity and sterling worth.
On the 16th of July, 1919, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Burke and Miss Nelle Minton, a native of Fortesque, Missouri, and a daughter of John and Julia Minton. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri and for some time was a student at Battle Creek, Michigan. Upon the completion of her education she engaged in teaching school and for some time was connected with the home economics department of the University of Missouri. To Mr. and Mrs. Burke one child has been born: A. G., Jr., six months old. Mrs. Burke is prominent socially and is a consistent member of and active worker in the Episcopal church.
Since attaining his majority, A. G. Burke has given his political endorsement to the democratic party and the principles for which it stands. Fraternally, he is a Scottish Rite Mason and has also taken the degrees of the Knights Templar Commandery. He is a member of Sahara Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Pine Bluff and is likewise affiliated with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. Mr. Burke is one of the leading Masons in the state and for the past fifteen or twenty years has been treasurer of the blue lodge. He is one of Helena's most public-spirited citizens and there is no movement for the promotion of the general welfare that seeks his aid in vain.