W. A. BURKS. - The legal fraternity of Bentonville finds a leading representative in W. A. Burks, who also has important business interests, and in both lines of activity his efforts have been attended with a gratifying measure of success. He is a native of Kentucky, his birth having occurred in Logan county in February, 1871. His parents were A. L. and Sallie A. (Terry) Burks, who were also natives of the Blue Grass state, the birth of the former having occurred in Logan county, while the latter was born in Barren county. They were married in Kentucky, remaining residents of the state until 1891, and the father devoted his attention to farming, in which he was very successful. On leaving Kentucky he made his way to Bentonville, Arkansas, and here lived retired until his demise. Mrs. Burks was a member of the Christian church, while he was a Baptist in religious faith, and his political allegiance was given to the democratic party. In their family were three children: B. T., a prominent merchant of Bentonville; Lizzie. the wife of W. T. Dudley, who is also engaged in merchandising here; and W. A., of this review.
In the pursuit of an education Mr. Burks attended the public schools of Kentucky and on starting out in life for himself he first took up the occupation of farming. Later he entered upon the study of law in the office of C. M. Rice of Bentonville, and in 1896 he was admitted to the bar, having successfully passed the required examination. He began the practice of law in association with Mr. Rice, with whom he continued for eight years, and then organized the Fidelity Savings Bank & Loan Company, of which he was president for several years. Following the liquidation of the bank he resumed the work of his profession in connection with bonds and mortgages and the list of his clients is now an extensive and representative one. He is local attorney for the 'Frisco & Kansas City Southern Railway Company and he has been connected with a number of important cases which have come before the courts of his district. He is a man of logical mind, studious, well versed in the law and therefore highly qualified to take care of important litigation. He is a prominent figure in business circles of Bentonville. being president of the Monarch Investment Company, and he is also president of the Texas Oil & Refining Company and the Blue Hawk Refining Company, for which he likewise acts as attorney. In addition he had made extensive investments in land in Benton county and is an astute, farsighted business man, whose plans are carefully formulated and promptly executed.
In 1902 Mr. Burks was united in marriage to Miss Essie Smartt, a native of Bentonville and a daughter of Dr. John Smartt, who has for many years been numbered with the leading physicians of the town. Mrs. Burks is a member of the Presbyterian church and Mr. Burks is affiliated with the Christian church. His political allegiance is given to the democratic party and fraternally he is identified with the Knights of Pythias, of which he is a past chancellor commander. His entire career has been actuated by a spirit of progress and enterprise that has been productive of substantial results. He has constructed his own success and in business and professional circles of Bentonville his standing is of the highest.
W. A. died in February 1934 and is buried in the Bentonville Cemetery