Andrew Horace Burke and Adoption



Governor of North Dakota

Burke was born in New York and his mother died in childbirth. He was orphaned at the age of four and became a ward of the Children's Aid Society, which sent him on an Orphan Train to Noblesville, Indiana, where he was adopted by a local farmer.

With him on the same shipment of orphans was John Brady, who became his good friend and was later territorial governor of Alaska. During the Civil War he enlisted as a drummer boy. After marriage, Burke and his wife settled in North Dakota, where he became successively a bookkeeper, bank cashier, county treasurer of Cass County, and finally state governor, from 1891 to 1892.


State Historical Society of North Dakota. "North Dakota Governors, Part I: 1889-1898." [Includes portrait]. Available at: American Biographical Archive. (New York: K.G. Saur, 1989-91) Who Was Who in America Kestenbaum, Lawrence. "The Political Graveyard: Index to Politicians: Burke." Available at: Graham, Janet, and Gray, Edward. "The American Experience / The Orphan Trains / Transcript." Available at: