Robert E. Burke, legislator, son of James M. and Narcissa J. (Holmes) Burke, was born near Dadeville, Alabama, on August 1, 1847. Before he was sixteen he enlisted in Company D, Tenth Georgia Regiment, in the Confederate Army. He moved to Texas in 1866, settled at Jefferson, and began the study of law while working as a clerk and teaching school. He was admitted to the bar in 1870 and moved to Dallas, where he began practice. He served as a member of the city council from 1874 to 1875, county judge from 1878 to 1888, and judge of the Fourteenth Judicial District from 1888 to 1896. He was elected as a Democrat to the Fifty-fifth Congress and served from March 4, 1897, until his death. Judge Burke married Mary L. Henderson; they had three children. He died in Dallas on June 5, 1901.