William Joseph Burke
Photo credit: Pennsylvania Manual, 1915; Congressional Biographies; photo ed. Library of Congress
Labor reformer, born near London, England, September 25, 1862; immigrated to the United States in 1866 with his parents, who settled in Reynoldsville, Jefferson County, educated in Reynoldsville public school; studied at home while working in the coal mines from age twelve; moved to Pittsburgh and worked for the railroad 1878; member of the Allegheny Common Council four years, and from 1906 to 1910 was a member of the greater city council of Pittsburgh until consolidation with Allegheny City; became extensively interested in the production of oil near Callery, Butler County, in 1904; identified with organized labor as chairman of the general committee of adjustment, Order of Railroad Conductors, of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad system; elected a member of the State senate in 1914 until January 1, 1918, when he resigned to become a member of the Pittsburgh City Council, serving to January 1919; elected as a Republican to Congress, March 4, 1919-March 3, 1923; unsuccessful candidate for election as United States Senator, 1922; resumed activities with organized labor and served as chairman of the general committee of the Brotherhood of Railroad Conductors; also engaged in agricultural pursuits and oil production at Callery Junction, where he built a summer home. He died there on November 7, 1925; interment in Calvary Cemetery, Pittsburgh, Pa.