William Harvey (Harve) Burket

21 May 1888 – 6 May 1966

William Harvey Burket was born on May 21, 1888 in Charleston located in Delta County, Texas, the son of I. Jeff Burket and Nancy Ann Sweeden Burket, three of about 450 people living there at the time.

There is no 1890 census but Harve shows up in the 1900 census to be at home with his parents in nearby Lamar Co., TX in Pct 3.

Sometimes before the 1910 census when Harve was twenty-two years old he had already married Roxie Ann Fagan and had a child, Henry, in 1909. Nearly three years later in July 1911, Roxie and Harve had another child, a daughter Charlisey Ann Burket who was to become my mother.

The marriage of Roxie and Harve was short lived because of Roxie’s death when Charlisey was only two years old and Henry five. Roxie had a severe headache and died. Medicine being what it was back then, the cause is unknown. Roxie was only twenty-eight years old when she died in 1913 and Harve was once again a single man at twenty-four years old with two small children.

His WWI draft card filled out on June 5, 1917 shows Harve lived at Howland, in Lamar County, TX and it states he has “two children to care for. “

The 1920 census finds Harve remarried to Mary Jane (Janie) Fleming and living in Farris, Atoka, OK about 75 miles from Paris with his and Roxie’s two children and Jane’s two children from a previous marriage.I recall my own mother, who died when I was twelve years old, telling me about them moving back to Paris in a covered wagon.

In 1930 Harve and Jane lived back in Pct. 3, Lamar County, TX along with their daughter Imogene who was born about 1918 with cerebral palsy and their son Walter who was born about 1922, whom they called Son all his life and Jane’s two daughters by her previous marriage. My mother had already married my father in March 1928. Henry her brother by Roxie was already married also.

Harve not only lost his first wife at a young age and was left with two young children. He and second wife Janie had a daughter who had Cerebral Palsy and she was never able to walk in her lifetime. He also lost his daughter Charlisey before he died.

Although at my mother’s death Grandpaw Burket lived about three blocks away I never saw my grandfather again after the death of my mother in 1960 when I was twelve. My father being less than friendly with anyone in my mother’s family forbade it and Grandpaw’s second wife Janie was always less than friendly from that side so essentially, we lost Grandpaw Burket when Mama died. We moved shortly after mother’s death to all of about 6 blocks away from where Grandpaw lived but with Daddy and Janie between us, it might as well have been to another continent. I was six weeks past the age of eighteen when Grandpaw Burket died but I did not even know it.

William Harvey Burket was buried at the same cemetery as my mother so when I went there to put flowers at her grave I saw his grave near hers.

Later a homemade headstone was placed at his grave and has been there for many years. I never knew who put it there but I always suspected it was his son Walter Burket that they called Son. I suspected it was Son because Harve’s older son Henry died in 1975 and there is a headstone on his grave near Harve and my mother’s graves apparently placed there by his family.

But this spring while a case of wanderlust took me to a cemetery genealogy hunt for another side of my family at nearby Rock Ford Cemetery while there I found two more homemade headstones – made just like Harve’s -- on the graves therefor Imogene Burket and on the grave of Walter Burket who died in a house fire in 1983. So since Son has a homemade stone in 1983 I have no idea who took the time to make and take a homemade stone and set them at Granpaw Burket’s, Imogene and Son’s graves.

I recently purchased a stone for William Harvey Burket’s grave and had it set at Taylortown Union Cemetery where he is buried near my mother. I left the homemade stone there too because someone, although I do not know who, cared enough to make it and set it there.

By Barba Covington McCarty