Henry Burk Edit Profile
Henry attended school only a few years, but then began to work to help his family. He was reputed to have a natural engineering ability.
The family emigrated to the United States in 1854 and settled in Philadelphia, PA. He became a repairer of shoemaking machinery and subsequently engaged in supplying this machinery to the trade. He was engaged in the manufacture of leather and in 1887 invented the alum and sumac tawing process, which revolutionized the tanning industry. He also helped to establish a meat packing company in Philadelphia with the same brothers and two others, William and Louis.
This company was known variously as Burk Meats and Louis Burk & Co. ("Burk's Franks" were known throughout the Delaware Valley well into the 1950s). He became president of the Manufacturers’ National Association in 1895.
He travelled around the world for his leather business, from Europe—visiting his birthplace in 1894—to India. Family
Burk married Ellen Carney (1851–1914) on August 18, 1873 in Philadelphia. They had six children: Mary, Charles Henry, Henry Jr., Helen, Gertrude, and Charlotte.
Burk was grandfather to character actor Henry Jones (1912–1999), and great-grandfather to actress Jocelyn Jones. Burk was elected in 1901 as a Republican to the 57th and served from March 4, 1901, until his death in Philadelphia. During the time that Burk served in , the Boer War was raging in South Africa.
Burk supported the Boers against the British. However, the United States sold the British preserved meat and hay, as well as mules and other supplies. Burk moved in the House that "mules, remounts, and other supplies be declared contraband", but by this time the war was practically over.
David, a shoemaker, made the decision to leave Germany because of unacceptable political views.
Married Ellen Carney, August 18, 1873.