Burlington is located on U.S. Highway 77, about 10-miles north of Cameron in northern Milam County.
John and Michael Jones, who were among the first settlers in the area, built cabins as early as 1867. The community was first called Irish Settlement. Itinerant priests ministered there until the construction of a Catholic church in the mid-1880s.The name of the town was changed to Waterford when a post office was opened at the home of Timothy Gleason in 1884. In 1889 Gleason renamed the town after Burlington, Vermont.
When the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway was built through Burlington in 1891, residents got easier access to markets. Stock pens were set up to hold longhorn cattle for shipment to St. Louis, Chicago, and Kansas City. Cotton and lumber were also important products.
The population of Burlington increased from 50 in the mid-1890s to 362 in 1904. The town reached its peak about 1914, when it reported two churches, a bank, a cotton gin, a weekly newspaper, and 600 residents. The population was listed as 200 in the 1930s and 1940s. Burlington reached a post-depression high of 326 residents in the late 1960s, but that number fell to 125 in the 1970s. The town lost its rail service in 1977, when the Southern Pacific abandoned the section of track between Cameron and Rosebud. Burlington had a population of 140 in 1990.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Lelia M. Batte, History of Milam County, Texas (San Antonio: Naylor, 1956); Milam County Heritage Preservation Soc., Matchless Milam: History of Milam County (Dallas: Taylor, 1984); Handbook of Texas On-Line
Created on 15 Feb 2001 and last revised on 2 Dec 2006.