Bio- Sawyers

In each community are found men of business enterprise and thrift whose activity and progressive ideas place them in the front rank of the real builders of our commonwealth and among these in San Jose is A. Kieffer Burkett, contractor and builder. He was born in Jefferson, Ashe County, N. C., June 16, 1882, the son of R. H. and Elizabeth (Smithdeal) Burkett. The father and grandfather were both natives of North Carolina and the mother was born in Virginia.

A. K. Burkett was educated in the grammar school of Jefferson and at the age of sixteen, he went to West Virginia and worked in the coal fields of McDowell County for a year and a half. In 1901 he came to California, located near Santa Cruz where he was employed on a dairy ranch for three years. He next was employed by the California Powder Company, which later became a branch of the Du Pont powder companies, for seven years, in time becoming a foreman in the manufacturing department of dynamite and black powder. In 1914 he came to San Jose and spent three years with L. I. Kelly, contractor, learning the carpenter trade, after serving his apprenticeship, he began contracting for himself, specializing in first-class bungalows.

On February 5, 1918, Mr. Burkett was married to Miss Stella Stowers, a native of Bluefield, W. Va., the daughter of Stewart Stowers, a successful farmer of Bland County, W. Va. Mr. Burkett is a Democrat and has been quite active in the ranks of his party; fraternally he is a member of the Odd Fellows. Besides attending to his contracting business, he is improving an eighteen-acre ranch on the Monterey Road. He manifests an interest in questions of public concern and he has ever held to high standards in manhood and citizenship.

From Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California, published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 1134


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