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John D. Walker

WALKER, John D. (deceased), who was a much respected citizen of Macomb, Ill., for more than sixty years, was born in Athens County, Ohio, March 30, 1805, a son of John and Lydia (Sawyer) Walker. His father was born in Yorkshire, England, and his mother was also of English birth. The subject of this sketch utilized the meager opportunities afforded by the primitive schools of that early period. In his youth he learned the carpenter's trade, which he followed many years, although at various times he pursued other occupations, being a farmer, butcher and tanner. While doing carpenter work he had charge of the building of the court-house at Lancaster, Pa. For two years he made his home in Zanesville, Ohio. Then he returned to his father's home and gathered up a drove of horses, which he took to Virginia and sold. He remained in Virginia eight months, working at his trade and then went to Pittsburg, Pa. In 1832, Mr. Walker came to Macomb, where his first work was to build a log cabin on the site where the Universalist Church now stands. He subsequently moved to a farm east of Macomb, but returned to town and resumed carpenter work. In 1880 he built the house on South Dudley Street, where his widow now lives. At one tlme he owned considerable property in Macomb and elsewhere in McDonough County. He was notably generous, and his generosity often caused him financial embarrassment. He was a good shot and very fond of hunting, not having far to go to get what deer he wanted. In politics, he was an earnest Republican and took an active part in party affairs. His religious connection was with the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Walker died of old age, December 3, 1892, and was buried in the old cemetery west of Macomb.

Mr. Walker was four times married. His first wife, whose maiden name was Catherine Rutan, was born and educated in Ohio, and to her he was married in 1829. Jane Sample became his second wife and bore him five children, namely: Matilda, Mary, Eliza, Lydia Jane and Martha. The third wife was formerly Mrs. Gash. His fourth marriage was to Mrs. Martha M. (Reed) Taylor, widow of J. C. Taylor, who bore him five children, namely: James E., Ella Rosamond, Lucius and Lucian (twins), and Hattie L. By Mr. Walker she had two daughters — Lillian Frances and Galetta Maude. Mrs. Walker's ancestry can be traced to a remote period. The first of the family to come to the United States was William Reed, who settled in Boston in 1630. George Washington was related to the Reed family.

Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907, volume 2, pages 1035-1036, extracted 26 Oct 2020 by Norma Hass.

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