Santa Cruz County History - People



Old Soldiers: Santa Cruz County Civil War Veterans
by Robert L. Nelson

BURKE, BARTEMUS (1845-1913)

Records of Members of the Grand Army of the Republic, William H. Ward

Photograph of Bartemus Burke
Bartemus Burke

Bartemus Burke

Was born August 29, 1845, in Richmond, Wayne County, Indiana, and is by profession an attorney at law. Enlisted, July, 1862 in Company I 67 Regiment, Indiana Infantry, and served as a private; was engaged in the following battles: Mumfordville, Ky., Walnut Hills, Arkansas Post, Port Gibson, Raymond, Champion Hills, Black River Bridge, Vicksburg, Jackson, Miss., Sabine Crossroads and Blakely, Ala. was captured at Mumfordville, Ky., and at Sabine Cross roads, when he was taken to Camp Ford Prison, Texas, where he effected his escape, was honorably discharged at Indianapolis, Ind., at the close of the war. Comrade Burke joined the G.A.R. in 1882; is a member of J.F.. Reynolds Post, at Santa Cruz Cal., where he resides; has been post quartermaster, and commander of Wallace Post, No. 32 department of California.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (November 14, 1913)

DIED: BURKE- In Berkeley Nov. 12th Senator Bartemus Burke, dearly beloved husband of Emma Burke and devoted father of Mrs. Emma D. Hayes, Mrs. Martha C. Calhoun, the late Mrs. Mary Calhoun, and Edgar M. and Dr. Richard T. Burke. A native of Indiana aged 68 years, 2 months and 13 days. A member of Admiral D.D. Porter Post No. 167, G.A.R.

Bart Burke Dies in Oakland
Was a Prominent Citizen Here for a Score of Years

And so Bart Burke is dead, an honorable man, an old time friend of Santa Cruz. He died at his home in Berkeley in his 69th years. He was born in Richmond, Indiana.

He came to Santa Cruz about thirty years ago, remaining her as a prominent citizen about twenty years. After leaving Santa Cruz we heard very little of him, it apparently being more difficult to rise into prominence in the larger city of Oakland.

He was postmaster of Santa Cruz under Cleveland. He was a state Senator, a member of the G.A.R., and a Democrat. He was several times a candidate for the office of Superior judge, but being a member of the minority party he was at a disadvantage. He failed of election. He was a member of the Torrens Land Commission and the Code Commission.

He was a member of the law firm of Burke and Spalsbury, in the Leonard building that once stood on the corner of Pacific Ave. and Cooper St. where is now located the County National Bank. After the fire, when M. Leonard erected his new building at the corner of Cooper and Front Sts. Mr. Burke moved there, occupying the offices until recently used by C.M. Cassin.

In recalling him, the old timers all pause to remark that he was a gentleman, through and through, a popular man, of high moral character and integrity.

He served three years in the twenty fourth and sixty seventh Indiana Infantry during the Civil War. He went through the siege of Vicksburg and was later taken prisoner in General Banks' disastrous Red River campaign. after six months' imprisonment he escaped, traveling eighteen days and nights before reaching the union lines.

Death came Wednesday as a result of a paralytic stroke. For the past four years Mr. Burke had been on the decline and with his wife and family had spent some time in the Sierras and at Los Angeles.

Unidentified Newspaper Article, Contributed by Phil Reader

Bart Burke was born in Richmond, Wayne Co., Indiana, in 1845. He entered a law office to fit himself for practice of that profession in 1861, but the following year found him a volunteer in the Union Army where he served 'during the war.' Returning in 1865 with his honorable discharge to his native state, he completed his studies and engaged in the stern battle of life. With the natural instincts of an American for politics, his active interest led to his selection for two terms as chairman of the County Committee. Mr. Burke was at this time, in the early seventies, residing in Liberty, Union County, Indiana. A vacancy occurring in the office of Prosecuting Attorney, he was appointed to fill the vacancy, and afterwards elected to the same office for two terms, his commission being signed by one of Indiana's most noted governors, "Blue Jeans" Williams. This office was one corresponding in its functions to our District Attorney although its scope was wider, covering a judicial district composed of two counties. In 1880 a vacancy occurred in the Judgeship of this district and the appointment of Mr. Burke was strongly advocated, but the Governor declined to create a vacancy in one office to fill another. In the succeeding election the solid delegation from his own county favored his nomination for Circuit Judge, but were overpowered by the larger vote of the other counties embraced in the district. It was shortly after this event that the precarious health of his wife decided him to remove to California wither he came bearing with him high testimonials from the Indiana State Bar Association and many eminent clients.

As a poor boy, seeking by industry and pluck to reach an honored place among the people; as a soldier, battling manfully for the preservation of the Union; as a public servant, discharging faithfully the duties of positions of trust in this and other states under any or all circumstances, Bart Burke's character stands out in bold relief as that of a man who is actuated by a high sense of honor. Measured by whatever standard he meets all the requirement of a Judge, and is deserving of the suffrages of the citizens of this county.


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