Dr. Wade Hampton Johnston in his dental
In its early history Burke was large and important enough to merit a small medical community. From before 1900 to about 1930 Burke had at least one doctor in town as early as 1888.
Five doctors are known to have practiced at Burke:
- Dr. Thomas Sherwood Spivey
Dr. Spivey practiced in Burke perhaps from about 1885 (based on his marriage to Laura Arrington)
until after 1905. He had a tiny office across from the post office. He was a graduate of
Vanderbilt Medical School, and was the grandfather of prominent Lufkin physician Dr. Dan Spivey.
Dr. Spivey contracted tuberculosis and went to West Texas to recuperate. He died in 1908.
- Dr. James P. Dubose
Dr. Dubose followed Dr. Spivey about 1910. By 1920 Dr. Dubose had moved to Milam County.
- Dr. Benjamin F. Curry
Dr. Benjamin Franklin Curry was a son of Malcom and Nancy Ezell McCall Curry, the father-in-law of Dr. G. B. Wood. Dr. Curry attended medical school in Galveston. According to Wesley Ashworth, he was "a fine young doctor." He practiced only a short time before dying of meningitis at his father's home. He was buried at Ryan Chapel Cemetery.
- Dr. H. C. Cook
Resided in Burke in 1920.
- Dr. G. B. Wood
Dr. Wood lived and practiced in Burke about 1930. He was the last physician to practice in Burke. He was the son-in-law of Malcom Curry and brother-in-law of Dr. Benjamin Curry.
Other doctors who listed their home as Burke from 1882-1900 are :
- Dr. J. W. Largent - May 24, 1899
- Dr. A. J. Manning - January 31, 1894
- Dr. E. O. Deal - May 25, 1896
- Dr. W. C. Fuller - May 12, 1899 - Dr. Fuller was a dentist who lived in Precinct 2 in 1900 and Lufkin in 1910.
Dr. Largent is known to have practiced at Lufkin, and perhaps these doctors kept periodic office hours at Burke.
- Dr. Wade Hampton Johnston
Dr. Johnston was a dentist and watchmaker who practiced at Burke as early as 1888. His office was in a near the post office, and it is said that we would sit a patient in a regular chair by the wood stove to pull a tooth. At least his later office was in a small building on old Texas 35 that later became the Burke Post Office Substation, although it is said that the front door faced west in those days instead of north as now.
The author's great grandmother Emma Johnson was probably a midwife. In the family it was said that she "went and stayed with women when their babies were born."
- R. W. Haltom, "History and Description of Angelina County, Texas" (1888)
- "Land of the Little Angel"
- 1910 Census, Angelina County, Texas, Precinct 4, p. 6, Dwelling 64 (James P. DuBose)
- 1920 Census, Angeina County, Texas, Precinct 4, p. 4, Dwelling 41 ( H. C. Cook)
- 1930 Census, Angelina County, Texas, Precinct 4