Elisha Bayard Burke

(from CENTENNIAL HISTORY OF ARKANSAS, S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
(Chicago and Little Rock) 1922.
vol. 3, pp. 950-951)

One of the substantial business men of Helena is Elisha B. Burke, secretary and treasurer of the Helena Cotton Oil Company and active in the conduct of a wholesale feed and coal business. He was born on a farm nine miles northwest of Helena the 4th of November, 1880, a son of Moses and Jennie E. (Goodwin) Burke, extended mention of whom is made in the sketch of A. G. Burke appearing elsewhere in this work.

Elisha B. Burke received his education In the public schools of Helena and after putting his textbooks aside accepted a position with the Arkansas Cotton Oil Company now the Helena Cotton Oil Company. The new company was organized in 1919 by Mr. Straub and Mr. Burke and the latter is now secretary and treasurer of the concern. The company was incorporated with a capital of two hundred thousand dollars, the business is one of extensive and ever increasing proportions. The products of the company are shipped, for the most part, to feeders and packers in the northern states. Although Mr. Burke devotes the greater part of his time to the duties devolving upon him as secretary and treasurer of the Helena Oil Company, he conducts a wholesale feed and coal business on his own account. He has proved himself a capable business man and well merits the success he now enjoys.

In August, 1910, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Burke and Miss Cornelia Betts, a native of Henderson, Kentucky, and a daughter of Moses and Anna (Swope) Betts, both of whom were reared in that state. The Betts family removed to Helena about 1901 or 1902. For many years the father was engaged in farming and tobacco growing in Kentucky and his demise occurred there. It was soon after his death that the family came to Helena. Mrs. Betts is still living and makes her home in New Mexico. To the union of Mr. and Mrs. Burke three children have been born: Virginia Goodwin, who is a student in the fifth grade of the local schools; Anna Cornelia, five years of age; and Helen Bayard, three years of age. Mrs. Burke is a woman of much culture and refinement and she is socially prominent.

Since attaining his majority Mr. Burke has given his stanch support to the democratic party, having firm belief in the principles of that party as factors in good government. Although he has never sought nor desired public preferment on his own account he is a close student of the live issues of the day and is ever cognizant of the duties and responsibilities as well as the privileges of citizenship. His religious faith is that of the Presbyterian church, and he is a generous contributor to its support. For nearly twenty-two years he has been active in the business life of Helena and during that time has wielded a great influence for good in the community. In every undertaking with which he has been connected he has achieved more than substantial success and well merits the position accorded him among the leading citizens of Helena.