It is thought to be named for George Bartrug, who settled here around 1812. The name difference may be due to an apparent misreading of the name by railway officials. Due to its distance from the county seat and other settled areas, Burton had a major role in period lawlessness lasting through the 1870s, including thieves, houses of ill repute, gambling, and saloons. A band of concerned citizens formed the Redman Gang and helped drive crime from the area. The area remained sparsely settled until the B&O Railroad was constructed through the town in 1852, but later became an important stop on the railroad, serving as a supply depot for extraction of natural resources.
The train tracks that once ran through Burton are long gone, and the right-of-way is now owned by Consol Coal. The rail bed connects to the East Wetzel Rail Trail in Hundred, WV, and is commonly used by hikers, bikers, and ATV enthusiasts.
Burton's only gasoline station is Core Oil, a full service station that offers both unleaded gasoline and on and off-road diesel fuel. In addition, they can perform minor repairs and sell, mount, balance, and patch tires. Down the street is Whitehill's Auto Body, a body shop that can perform most automotive repairs, including mounting tires, brakes and shocks, exhaust work, and is an official West Virginia Inspection Station. They also offer a 3 bay self-service car wash, and a small used car sales lot.
Burton is also home to The Discount Center, a general store offering everything from a loaf of bread to motor oil. The Discount Center also serves hot meals and has a small dining area. Across the street is a small roadside park, notable for its large quarried stone rollers that sit on stands by the road. The turnoff for the park will also place you at the former United States Post Office, which was closed in 2011 and replaced with extended delivery and a drop box. Next door is the former Burton School, now The Community Health Center, known locally as "The Burton Clinic." For more serious health care needs, Burton is served by Wetzel County Hospital, Mon General Hospital, and Ruby Memorial Hospital, all approximately an hour away by ambulance.
The town has one church, Haromony Baptist Church, which has been active for over 150 years. It is located on a knoll overlooking the western half of the town, and has a cemetery located adjacent.
Burton is currently not included in any major cell phone carrier's advertised service area, although CDMA customers may get minimal reception in the area from towers located near Fairview, WV, and Mannington, WV. There are no GSM towers located nearby.