|Birth: ||Jun. 18, 1866|
|Death: ||Oct. 23, 1915|
Robert Michael "Mike" Burket was born June 18, 1866 in Bear Creek, Missouri. He was the son of William Wesley and Margaret Elizabeth Landrum Burket. In 1873 he came by wagon with his family to the Sylvan Dale District, just south of Nevada, Missouri.
Mike may have had some schooling there. He certainly worked to help support his family until his marriage in 1891 to Miss Rebecca Brock of the area. Mike and Becky's first five children were born in the Sylvan Dale district. They were probably tenant farmers and they were poor. When the new Cockerell zinc smelter opened up across the border in LaHarpe, Kansas, in about 1900 the family moved to LaHarpe. Two of Becky's brothers, Harvey and Milford and her sister Lula Williams also made the move.
Mike got a job as a Smelter laborer. (The smelter was an operation where ore from the zinc mines was sent through high temperature furnaces where the zinc were extracted and processed into metal ingots. It was common to find heavy metal contamination in soils, ground water, and surface water surrounding smelter.)
In 1905 the family had grown to eight children and they were renting a house. By the 1910 Census Mike had been promoted to Smelter Furnace man and the family owned a house at 308 South McKinley that was mortgage free. By 1912, the last of ten children was born. Sadly, the job that made this family financially secure, poisoned Mike and he died after a wasting illness on October 23, 1915 in LaHarpe, Kansas. His widow Becky raised their children in LaHarpe. Despite an age span of 21 years between the oldest and youngest child, all ten children stayed in touch with one another throughout their lives and Becky was the center of her family, beloved by all of her children and grandchildren. Today Mike and Becky's house has been replaced by a newer house and what was once a thriving main street in LaHarpe is now a virtual ghost town.
(Information from: A Compilation of the History and Descendants of the William Wesley Burkett and Lafayette Brock Families by Anna Pauleene McClelland Neal, Archivist, produced by Robert L. Neal, Sept. 1999)
William Wesley Burket (1836 - 1901)
Margaret Elizabeth Landrum Burket (1832 - 1897)
Rebecca Elizabeth Brock Burkett (1874 - 1947)
Lula Frances Burkett (1894 - 1915)*
Created by: helenpatricia
Record added: Mar 14, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 13612415