|Charles Burke came to Dakota Territory in 1882 as a young pioneer. He became engaged in real estate, investments and law. Caroline Schlosser of Lodi, Wisconsin was his bride, and they raised 4 children, Grace, Elizabeth, Walter and Josephine.
Burke's political career began when he was elected to the South Dakota State Legislature in the House of Representatives in 1895 and 1897. In 1899 "Charlie" was elected as a Republican to the US House of Representatives and served in the 56th, 57th, 58th, and 59th congresses. He served in the same capacity from 1909 to 1915, totaling 14 years as a US congressman. <p>Charlie's background in South Dakota and his knowledge of Indian life aided him in a career later as Commissioner of the Bureau of Indian Affair from 1921 to 1929. He had been appointed by President Harding. At the time of Burke's retirement, his work was lauded as the most productive for the well fare of the American Indian in the history of the department. Advancements were made in the areas of health conditions, industrial work, legislation and educational facilities. <p>Burke was appointed by President Hoover in 1930 to serve as Commissioner to the Colonial Exposition in France, held in Paris in 1931. While there, Burke was made an "officer" in the French Legion of Honor. The Pierre area excelled in Red Cross activities during WWI under Charlie Burke's leadership as County Chairman. <p>
|Home Town (Pierre, SD)|