For the past forty-five years Lawrence Burke has been identified with the meat business in Plymouth, Amador county, and has not only enjoyed a very satisfactory patronage, but has also won that which is of far greater value, the confidence and respect of his fellowmen. He was born in Amador City, California, on the 6th of August, 1866, and is a son of Dominic and Bridget (Mahan) Burke, who were natives of Ireland. On arriving in this country the father located in Pennsylvania and the mother in Boston, Massachusetts. Both came to California by way of the isthmus of Panama and their marriage occurred in Amador City. To them were born four sons and a daughter, of whom two are now living. Dominic Burke was engaged at mining at Amador City and helped open the famous Keystone mine. Later they sold their interest in that property and Mr. Burke became superintendent of the mine, serving for a number of years. Subsequently the family came to the Plymouth district and the father purchased the old Southern ranch. He was also superintendent of the Alpine mine and while so employed carried on the ranch with hired help. He remained identified with both ranching and mining interests until his death, which occurred in 1888. His widow survived him many years, passing away in 1907. Lawrence Burke was educated in the public schools of Plymouth and in Hopkins Academy at Oakland, his admission to the latter institution having been made possible through the kindness of his uncle, Mr. Poundstone. On finishing his education he returned to Plymouth and took a position as clerk the old Empire store. Later he drove a delivery wagon for Mr. Silva, whose daughter he afterwards married. Mr. Silva ran the meat market and also had large cattle interests. Mr. Burke joined him in the business and succeeded to it on the death of Mr. Silva. He has carried it on continuously to the present time and is numbered among Plymouth’s substantial merchants.
Mrs. Burke before her marriage was Miss Mary Silva, a member of one of the old pioneer families of this section of the state. They are the parents of two children, Thomas William, who is a partner with his father in the meat business, and Lawrence W., who died at the age of eighteen years. There are also two granddaughters and a grandson.
Mr. Burke is a Democrat in his political views and has taken an active and affective interest in public affairs. He served as a county supervisor for twenty years, during eight years of which period he was chairman of the board. He also had the distinction of being the first supervisor to go to the court house in an automobile. He has served as a city trustee ever since the board of trustees was organized and has been its president and mayor of the city for a number of years. He is a member of the Native Sons of the Golden West, enjoys a wide acquaintance and is one of the popular residents of Amador County. He is now practically retired from business, his son looking after the details of the store management while Mr. Burke is enjoying well earned leisure.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.