Emma Kyle Burleson, preservationist, was born in August 1869 near San Marcos, Texas, the daughter of Lucy Emma (Kyle) and Edward Burleson, Jr. Her father was a Confederate veteran, a Texas Ranger, and a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1875. His father, Gen. Edward Burleson, came to Texas in 1830 and fought in the battle of San Jacinto before serving as vice president of the Republic of Texas. Emma's maternal ancestors included Hays County pioneers and politicians Claiborne and Fergus Kyle. Her parents both died in 1877, leaving her and her nine siblings to be raised by an uncle. She attended St. Mary's Academy in Austin and Augusta Female Seminary (now Mary Baldwin College) in Virginia. After completing her education and traveling in Europe, she made Austin her home. Maintaining an ongoing interest in Texas history from her family heritage, she closely followed the state's purchase of the Alamo in 1905, carried out at the request of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas with a bill sponsored in the Texas legislature by Fergus Kyle. The following year Emma Burleson joined the DRT, an organization in which she remained active for the rest of her life.
Emma Burleson died in Austin on June 16, 1941. Her funeral was held in St. Mary's Catholic Church (now St. Mary's Cathedral), and she was buried in Kyle. She was survived by one sister; her brother, Albert Sidney Burleson, postmaster general of the United States in Woodrow Wilson's administration, had died in 1937.
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Austin American, June 17, 18, 1941. Proceedings of the Philosophical Society of Texas, 1941. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
Texas in the 1920s
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Debbie Mauldin Cottrell,
“Burleson, Emma Kyle,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed June 25, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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