Albert B Osborne.

Makers of America; biographies of leading men of thought and action, the men who constitute the bone and sinew of American prosperity and life (Volume 3) online

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centurv the name of a "Joh'i Walkar" is recorded in the treas-


urer's book of an old English monastery. At later dates in the
same century, the names of William Walker and Henrico Walkar
are recorded as those who had rendered service to the institution.
In the records of 1536-7, the name of another "Joh'i Walker" is
found, and under date of December 17, 1544, there is record of
the payment to one "William Walkar and a James Person for
serchying and mendyng of the cowndeth." The accounts of 1569-
70 show there was "payd to Willelmo Walker for settyng up ye
paschall and takying down the same" the sum of six shillings and
eight pence. Parish registers of many old England Counties
show the Walkers to have been numerous in the early part of the
sixteenth century. Many high offices were held by them, some
being prominent in the Courts of Exchange and Common Pleas,
while others were notable as authors. In the sixteenth century
lived Sir Thomas Walker, a Hereditarv Usher of the Court of

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Exchange, Marshal and Barrier of the Court of Common Pleas
until his death in 1613. He was a large subscriber to the Vir-
ginia Company of London. England's colonial possessions in the
New World then offered to the English nobility possibilities for
enrichment to those who were able to build merchant ships and
could supply younger sons fitted to command them.

The story of Captain Thomas Walker of a prominent English



family is full of adventure and romance. His wife was Margaret
McClellau, one of the most beautiful women of her time, whose
ancestors, the Bombies, were well known in Scotland as early as
the twelfth century. Captain Walker commanded his own mer-
chant ship which sailed between the West Indies and the British
Isles. On one of his return voyages his ship was attacked by
pirates, and Captain Walker was slain and his body thrown into
the sea. His delicate wife did not long survive him, and the
eldest of their four young children, himself but a lad, assumed
the guardianship of the younger three and they started for
America. They reached Philadelphia, where the young head of
the house secured a good position with a bank, with which he
remained affiliated as long as he lived, and the younger ones
went to school at Emmetsburg, Maryland.

Two prominent English Walkers of the seventeenth century
were, Clement of Dorsetshire, and Sir Edward of Somersetshire.
The former was a member of Parliament, whose forcible, out-
spoken arraignment of the period in his "History of Indepen-
dence," which appeared in 1648, earned for its writer a prolonged
residence in the Tower, terminated by his death in 1677. The
latter was well known as a royalist historian, and for his ability
and loyalty was given the positions of Secretary and Clerk~ Ex-
traordinary of the Privy Council in 1676. He was also Knight of
the Garter and King at Arms. Among English nobility from
early times to the present there have been several heads of the
family of Walker.

From about the time of the Jamestown settlement onward
colonial records show that many of these Walkers came to the
New World. On nearly every ship bound for this country was
one or more of them. The records of 1622-3 show that there died
at James City "out of the ship called 'Furtherance' " John
Walker, and about the same time, Kichard Walker died at James
City. Koger Walker embarked for Virginia in the "George,"
having stood test as to his loyalty to King and Church. In 1623,
William Walker was living at "ye colledg land" in Virginia.

From Staffordshire, England, there came to Virginia in 1650
Captain Thomas Walker, a scion of the English nobility, and a
descendant of Sir Thomas Walker, who had represented Exeter
in Parliament in the time of Charles I. Captain Thomas Walker
settled in Gloucester County, Virginia, and at once took an active
part in Colonial affairs, becoming a member of the Colonial As-
sembly in 1663, and again in 1666, in which year he was referred
to as a Captain and Major. There is reason to believe that
Thomas Walker who lived in King and Queen County, Virginia,
in the early part of the following century, was his grandson. This
Thomas Walker was married at St. Clement's Church, King and
Queen County. He was the father of three children, Mary, John,


and Thomas. The last named became famous as Doctor Thomas
Walker, said to have been one of the most remarkable men of his
day. He was born in King and Queen County, Virginia, January
U3, 1715, was educated at William and Mary College, and married
the widow, Mildred Meriwether, who brought to him the magnifi-
cent estate of Castle Hill, a plantation of some eleven thousand
acres in the heart of rich Albemarle County. It was about 1740
that he became master of Castle Hill and proceeded to practice
his profession, but the life of a country doctor did not entirely
satisfy his restless, ardent nature. As leader of an exploring
expedition which entered Kentucky about 1750 he is said to have
been the first Avhite man ever to set foot in that State, having
anticipated even Daniel Becone. The names, Walker's mountain,
and Walker's Creek, on the confines of Giles and Tulaski Coun-
ties, testify to his activity as an explorer. During Braddock's
campaign he was commissary of the Virginia troops. He as-
sisted in fixing the boundaries between Virginia and North
Carolina, and had a part in establishing the new County seat of

Monticello, the home of Jefferson, was in the neighborhood
of Castle Hill. During the Revolution, Tarleton, the British
Officer, with his soldiers, set out to capture Jefferson at Monti-
cello. They stopped for breakfast at Castle Hill, and the raven-
ous soldiers raided the kitchen and carried off the provisions
faster than the cook could prepare them. Their conduct was
reported to their commander, who also learned that they had been
breaking into the stables and taking out the horses. For these
misdemeanors he ordered them to be severely punished. By these
delays at Castle Hill, Jefferson had an opportunity to make good
his escape.

Later, Doctor Thomas Walker's son, John, desiring to
espouse Elizabeth Moore, daughter of Colonel Bernard Moore
of King William County, he, according to the old-time etiquette,
informed his father of his intention to pay his addresses to the
maiden. Accordingly, also in conformance with the custom, his
father wrote a letter to the young lady's father, informing him
of the matter and stating that if the young man's intentions were
agreeable to Elizabeth, he, Doctor Walker, would pay for their
support "in case of a union," one thousand pounds to be paid in
1765, one thousand in 1766; and another sum later. To which,
Colonel Moore replied that he himself would give to his son-in-
law five hundred pounds the next spring, and five hundred pounds
more as soon as he could raise or obtain the monev.


Doctor Thomas Walker died November 9, 1794, and was sur-
vived by his sons, John, Thomas and Francis, and by several
daughters. John, who had been an Aide to Washington, was
consecutively Commonwealth's Attorney, Member of the House


of Burgesses, and United States Senator. He resided at Belvoir,
the old home of Kobert. He was survived by one daughter.
Thomas, who was Captain in the Revolution, lived on the planta-
tion, "Indian Fields." He had several daughters and sons who
died young; but one son, Captain Meriwether Walker, reached
maturity, married about 1817, and had male issue. Francis, who
succeeded his father at Castle Hill, was County Magistrate, Colo-
nel in the Army, member of the House of Delegates, and a repre-
sentative in Congress. He was survived by two daughters.

Besides the family of Doctor Walker, other Walker families

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became well-seated and well-known in various parts of Virginia
long prior to the Revolution. They w^ere also found in North
Carolina in colonial times. In October, 1765, an Act was passed,
appointing Commissioners to examine the accounts of the Vir-
ginia Militia, and in the list of those appointed from the Coun-
ties of Frederick, Hampshire, Culpeper, Loudoun, Fauquier, and
Prince William, is the name of a Thomas Walker, whose home
must have been somewhere in northern Virginia.

Some time during the eighteenth century, Robert Walker
of Scotland came to America, with his two brothers, and settled
in Virginia. This Robert Walker worshiped at an old church
in the Bristol Parish, and about 1745, married Elizabeth Stark,
whose mother was a Boiling. To them were born ten children,
and their descendants were widely scattered throughout Virginia
and elsewhere.

About 1780 James Walker came to America to "spy out the
land" and visit his brother, Major John Walker, who had already
settled in Wilmington, North Carolina, where he was instru-
mental in starting the first bank of that place. During the Revo-
lution, at his own expense, he raised a company for the defense
of the colonies. Other brothers of Major John Walker were
Doctor Edward, Thomas, George and William. James Walker
went back to England, probably intending to bring his family,
but died on the voyage. Later, his widow came to America with
her son, Charleton, born at Wooler, Northumberland, England.
Charleton Walker became a resident of Walker's Hill, Chatham
County, North Carolina, and was made collector of the port of
Wilmington in 1812. His wife was Maria Moseley of Virginia,
and his son, John Moseley Walker, was Captain in the Confed-
erate Army.

From the Walkers of America have come manv of our nota-


ble men, including statesmen, soldiers, political economists,
jurists, journalists, financiers, artists, and educators, one of the
latter being a President of Harvard University. Among eminent
clergymen were the first Bishop of North Dakota, who was the
one hundred and thirty-third in the succession of the American
Episcopate, and Jesse Walker, missionary, born in North Caro-


lina in 1700, who gave the best part of his life to work in Cook
County, Illinois. Among State Governors, a prominent place
must be given to Henderson Walker, who was born in North
Carolina in 1(J(JO, near the town of Edenton, and died in the same
neighborhood April 14, 1704. Under his rule, Bancroft says, "The
inhabitants multiplied and spread in the enjoyment of peace and
liberty," while England was suffering from wars. The stone that
marks his resting place bears testimony that under his leadership
the State enjoyed "tranquility." Another State Governor was
Gilbert C. Walker, a native of New York State, who became a
resident of Virginia, and later its Governor. Our National Legis-
lature has had among its members, William Walker, Senator
from Georgia; Senator George Walker of Kentucky; Isaac P.
Walker, Virginian by birth, who became Senator from Wiscon-
sin; Daniel Walker, a native Kentuckian, who became Senator
from Arkansas; John Williams W r alker, a native of Virginia,
and United States Senator from Alabama. Congressman Walker
of North Carolina was a relative of Doctor Clifton McKinney

Doctor Walker's second name is in honor of his paternal
ancestors, the McKinneys, who were a sept of clan Mackinnon,
a lowland Scotch family.


Doctor Walker's ancestor was Thomas McKinney, who came
from Scotland, some time prior to the Kevolution and settled, in
Virginia, w r hence his family later removed to North Carolina.
In 1790 there w^ere living in Virginia three by the name of James
McKinney and their families, one in Mecklenburg County, one in
Monongalia County, and one family in Halifax County; but, at
that date, the McKinneys were much more numerous, in North
Carolina, there being more than a dozen families of them, besides
families who spelled their name, "Me" or "Mackenney."

The McKinney family included many men of prominence in
various walks of life. The Doctor McKinney w T ho settled in
Mississippi, near Holly Springs, was a relative of Doctor Clifton
McKinney Walker.

Doctor Walker's mother was Mary Elizabeth Hall, whose
family had for several generations been residents of South Caro-
lina. Her father was Zachariah Hall, the son of a Revolutionary
veteran, w T ho was probably the Zachariah Hall w T ho was living in
Caruden District, Fair-field County, South Carolina, at the time
of the 1790 census.

Like the Walkers, the Halls are an old and renowned family.


The origin of their name has been variously given. In Saxon,
"healh" means a slope. Thus the place, Rushall, in Yorkshire,
means the rushy slope. Hall is also derived from the Latin aula,
and there is a Scandinavian name, Hallr, which, on reaching
England, shed its "r." Hall is also said to be a corruption of


Henry, along with the names, Harrison, Harris, and some others.
In old English it is sometimes spelled "Halle." Its present spell-
ing was found, however, early in the fifteenth century, in the
names Kichard Hall, of Newcastle, and Clement Hall. Heraldic
visitations show many Halls among the nobility, both in past and
present days. Among eminent Halls have been Arthur, English
politician and author, living in 1571, Anthony, English scholar
living in the year 1583, another Anthony, English editor, (1629-
1723) and Gordon Hall, first American missionary to Bombay,
and author (1784-1826). Among prominent American Halls,
there are Dominick Augustine Hall, jurist and judge of Louisi-
ana; John Hall, jurist, born at Waynesboro, Virginia, in 1767,
who died at Warrenton, North Carolina, January 29, 1833 ; Rob-
ert Pleasants Hall, lawyer, born in Chester District, South Caro-
lina, December 23, 1825, who died at Macon, Georgia. Also there
was William Hall, soldier, born in Virginia in 1774, who died in
Tennessee, in 1856. Many Halls have won renown as journalists,
authors, educators, physicians, Congressmen, State Governors
and scientists. One was a signer of the Declaration of Indepen-
dence, and one an Arctic explorer.

Among the various immigrants and early settlers who came
to Virginia and w r ere known to have lived there from the time of
the Jamestown Settlement onward, there were many Halls, scat-
tered about "in the maine," at Elizabeth City, "James Island,"
James City, and on the Eastern shore.

In Bristol Parish, Virginia, a Hall was vestryman, and wor-
shiped at the venerable church of Blandford. Elisha Hall was
a vestryman in St. George's Parish, Spotsylvania County, Vir-
ginia, during the latter part of the eighteenth century. Within
the same period William Hall was vestryman in Stratton Major
Parish, King and Queen County and King William County.
Among the early clergy of Virginia the name of Hall is frequently
found. Reverend John Hall was minister in 1777 in the parish
of St. James, Goochland County, Virginia. A Clement Hall was
missionary in North Carolina, chiefly in Chowan County. In
the course of three weeks he preached sixteen times, baptized
over four hundred children and twenty adults, and in eight years
had journeyed about fourteen thousand miles, preached nearly
seven hundred sermons, baptized more than six thousand, among
them, Indians and negroes. Except for illness his work ceased
not for a day. Probably he was the Clement Hall, Captain in the
Second North Carolina Continental Infantry, who was admitted
to the Society of the Cincinnati, for North Carolina, October 23,

In Prince George's County, Virginia, a family of Halls lived
during the eighteenth century. There appeared in a Virginia
Gazette of the year 1739, an advertisement for a silver snuff box


which had been lost, and which is described as having thereon for
coat-of-arms, three tigers' heads, and for a crest, a lion rampant.
These were the arms of Thomas Hall, believed to be a grandson
of Thomas Hall, clerk of New Kent Comity, who died in 1676.

In the year 1851', John Walker, the grandfather of Doctor
Clifton McKinney Walker, with his family, moved into Rickens,
now Oconee, Comity, South Carolina. Here one of the sons of
the family, Osmond Irving Walker, married Mary Elizabeth
Hall, and became a farmer. During the Civil War, Osmond
Irving Walker was a soldier in the Confederate Army, as were
also his brothers, his brothers-in-law, and his mother's brothers.
His father was a member of Company E. S. C. Rifles, and was
transferred to General Stonewall Jackson's Brigade. His mater-
nal uncles were in the same command.

On May 25, 1866, there was born, in the County of Ocouee,
South Carolina, to Osmond Irving Walker and his wife, Mary
Elizabeth Walker (nee Hall), a son, Clifton McKinney Walker,
the principal subject of this sketch. The boy spent his childhood
amidst comfortable home surroundings, and grew to manhood
under refining and ennobling influences. He received his pre-
liminary education in the excellent public schools of the County
of Oconee, where his parents continued to reside. There also,
after deciding on his future profession, he was prepared for
entrance to college. He received his professional education at
Atlanta, Georgia, and, after diligent study, successfully gradu-
ated from the Atlanta Medical College in the year 1891. After
his graduation, he returned to his native State, where he entered
into active medical practice at the town of Westminster, in Oco-
nee County. To the practice of his profession, and to study along
its lines, he has unremittingly devoted his time and attention,
although he finds some opportunity to take an active interest in
farming, for which he has a natural taste.

As a man of known integrity and ability, he has acquired a
position of prominence in the business life of his community,
and is known as one who can be relied on to render efficient serv-
ice in the public welfare. One of the leading business enterprises
of the thriving town of Westminster is the Westminster Shuttle
Works, Incorporated, and with this concern, Doctor Walker is
actively identified, having been elected to the office of President
of said Company.

Deeply interested in public hygiene and sanitation, in the
practice of his profession Doctor Walker has worked along in
lines broad and helpful to the community, and his work is justly
recognized by his election to the Chairmanship of the Board of
Health of Westminster, South Carolina. Previous to this
appointment on the Board of Health, he had rendered service to
his home city in the office of Alderman, and later as Mayor, which


offices he filled with unusual ability, and was well known as an
enthusiastic and disinterested worker for the public good and for
the betterment of Westminster.

From the time he cast his first vote, and even before that,
to the present, Doctor Walker has always taken a keen interest in
politics. He is a loyal Democrat, patriotic and statesmanlike in
all questions, whether affecting solely his County or State, or
matters of larger national importance. His membership on the
Democratic Executive Committee of the State of South Carolina
has been a natural sequence of his faithful services to his party.

In his early manhood, Doctor Walker became identified with
the local Masonic lodge, and rapidly rose to high rank and posi-
tions of prominence and usefulness in the order. He holds the
rank of Master Mason, having been for ten years the Master of a
Westminster Lodge. He has also been closely identified with the
activities of the well known and popular Order of the Shriners,
of which organization he is a member. He is a member, also, of
the famous Order of the Knights of Pythias, and takes a promi-
nent part in its affairs.

Doctor Walker, as a public-spirited man and an ambitious
physician, is interested in all organized work for public health
and human uplift outside of his own home neighborhood. As a
member of the Oconee Medical Society, he keeps in close touch
with his colleagues in that County, from whom he is ever ready
to learn new and useful things, while by his helpful advice, born
of his rich and varied experience as a practitioner, he contributes
valuable suggestions in his association with his brother-physi-
cians, who hold his counsel in high esteem. As a member of the
Medical Association of the State of South Carolina, he has taken
an active part in pushing forward those sanitary reforms in that
State, which have attracted interest in other sections of the coun-
try. Doctor Walker is a member of the American Medical Asso-
ciation, and is keenly and actively interested in the progress of
this organization which binds together all the practitioners of
the noble art of healing into one great brotherhood.

Although much of Doctor Walker's reading is, quite natur-
ally, along the lines of his profession, yet in rare leisure hours
when he feels free to seek recreation and relaxation, he turns for
pure pleasure and with eager interest to perusal of books of his-
tory and biographies of the great and noble and from such com-
munion with master minds, returns to his daily tasks, rested and

In 1903, he took another trip into Georgia, to which State he
already owed much, in that it was within her boundaries he had
spent many happy and profitable hours as a young student in
preparing himself for his profession, and to which he was about
to contract a debt which should increase with the passing of the


years, for one of Georgia's fair daughters was to become his bride.
In the beautiful towu of Athens, October 20, he was united in
marriage to Isabella Groves Turner, who, although for some time
a resident of Athens, where she was well known and beloved by
many friends, was a native of Toccoa, Georgia, at which place
she was born August 21, 1881. Her father was William Walton
Turner, an esteemed resident of that community, and her mother
had been, before her marriage, Miss Henrietta Lucas Woods.

Doctor Walker returned with his wife to Oconee County,

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South Carolina, where they have continued to reside to the pres-
ent time. Their home is one of comfort and happiness, and is
brightened by the presence of their two children, Mary Frances
Walker and Isabella McKinnev Walker.


JOHN ALEXANDER WILLIAMS, Bachelor of Science, Doc-
tor of Medicine and Fellow of the American College of
Surgeons, was born in Leasburg, Caswell County, North

Carolina, May 22, 1871. Though a comparatively young
man, Doctor Williams has already risen to prominence in his
profession. He graduated in medicine at the University of Vir-
ginia in 1895. He had previously (1888-1892) read therapeutics
and taken a post-graduate course in chemistry at Wake Forest
College, entering that institution at the age of seventeen and
graduating immediately after he had attained his majority. His
earlier education was received in Leasburg, the public schools of
Caswell County and under the tutorship of Miss Emma Bayne.
While his training has been scientific, his course of reading has
been general and diversified.

After graduation he served as Interne in the New York Poly-
clinic Hospital till the fall of 1897, when he located in Roxboro,
the county seat of Person, for the practice of surgery and medi-
cine. In June 1898 he formed a co-partnership with Doctor J. C.
Walton in the management of a private hospital in Reidsville,
which drew an extensive patronage, both surgical and general.
Doctor Williams was health officer of Reidsville for eight years.
From thence he went to Greensboro in 1906, since which time he
has devoted himself to the practice of surgery exclusively. He
has established a large private practice, besides which, he is vis-
iting surgeon of St. Leo's hospital. For a time, also, he was
Surgeon of the Southern Railway, and is ex-President of the
Rockingham County Medical Society. He is now a member of
the following societies : the North Carolina Medical, the Tri-State
Medical, the Southern Medical, the American Medical and the
Guilford County Medical ; of the last-named organization he was
formerly President. Many papers on medical and surgical sub-
jects, of Doctor Williams' authorship, are to be found in the
Transactions of the North Carolina Medical Society and those
of the Tri-State Medical Society. Transcripts of them have also
appeared in the Charlotte Medical Journal and in the Virginia
Semi-Monthly Medical Journal. As an attest of his popularity
and standing among his fellows he was made President of the
Greensboro Chapter, University of Virginia alumni, 1915 and
1916 ; President of the Greensboro Merchants' and Manufacturers'

Online LibraryAlbert B OsborneMakers of America; biographies of leading men of thought and action, the men who constitute the bone and sinew of American prosperity and life (Volume 3) → online text (page 14 of 48)