Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
JAMES THOMPSON WALKER. Nearly sixty years has passed into the irrevocable past since James Thompson Walker, deputy collector at Springfield, came to Greene county. Thus he has lived to see and take part in the great transformation of the country from practically a wilderness to one of the leading agricultural and commercial centers of the state of Missouri, and he talks most interestingly of the early days here, since which time everything has so changed as to make it seem that he is living in an entirely different country. He has not only lived to see the forests replaced by fine fields of grain, log cabins by large farm houses but an insignificant handful of buildings grow into the great city of which everyone of this section of the state is justly proud. Mr. Walker has served his country well, both as a soldier and as a public servant and citizen and now in his eightieth year, he is still active and efficient as a result of a carefully lived life, and he enjoys the good will and esteem of all classes, all well knowing that his long life has been one of usefulness.
Mr. Walker was born in Bedford county, Tennessee, September 23, 1834. He is a son of Isaac W. and Violet Matilda (Reed) Walker. Isaac Walker was born in Mecklenburg county, North Carolina, November 12, 1800. Isaac Walker was a man of much industry and devoted his life to farming in connection with carpentering and stone mason work. He and his mother removed to Tennessee in 1806, locating in Bedford county, the township in which they settled being now a part of Marshall county. There he grew to manhood and spent the rest of his life, and became a prominent citizen there, served as county commissioner for a number of years. His death occurred in July, 1888. Politically, he was first a Whig and later in life a Democrat. His wife Violet Matilda Reed, was born in Logan county, Kentucky, July 1, 1802, and died in July, 1865.
James T. Walker grew up on the farm where he worked hard when a boy. He had practically no chance to obtain an education, learning what he could in Sunday school, but later in life he became a well read man, and is well informed on general topics. He remained in Tennessee until he reached his majority and in 1855 came overland to Greene county, Missouri, reaching here November 12th . He found employment as clerk in a small store in the village of Springfield. Later he farmed in Robberson township, Greene county, until the commencement of the Civil war, when he enlisted in Company A, Twenty-fourth Missouri Volunteer Infantry, August 5, 1861. He was in a number of engagements, including Pea Ridge, Arkansas, and Tupalo, Mississippi. His fidelity and ability were soon noted by his officers and he was made first sergeant, then duty sergeant and afterwards orderly sergeant, and served with his regiment in all the campaigns until mustered out October 14, 1864 at St. Louis. He was sick for two months at Helena, Arkansas, but was never wounded or a prisoner.
After the war he returned to Springfield, and engaged in farming near here until 1885, with the exception of six years, when he served as assessor of Greene county, having been elected in 1867, and he made such a satisfactory and commendable record that he was twice re-elected. He established his permanent home in Springfield in 1883. In 1898 he was appointed deputy revenue collector, which position he has held to the present time, a period of over fifteen years, his long retention being evidently a criterion of his faithful and satisfactory service.
Mr. Walker was married December 23, 1856, to Margaret H. Mullings, who was born in Bedford county, Tennessee, April 8, 1833. She was a daughter of Hosea and Margaret (Reed) Mullings, who came to Greene county, Missouri, in 1833. She has proven to be a faithful life companion. Mr. Mullings was in the war of 1812. Mrs. Walker is one of only a few of the real daughters of the war of 1812, there being only three living in Springfield. To the union of our subject and wife, eight children have been born, two of whom died in infancy: Etta is at home; John Clay is farming in Greene county; Hosea E. is a physician in New York; Violet is the Wife of H. S. Warner, of Denver, Colorado; Maude is the wife of G. G. Beckley, who is employed by the Frisco railroad; and Isaac G. is a member of Fire Department No. 1, Springfield.
Politically, Mr. Walker is a Republican. Religiously, he is a member of the Presbyterian church. He belongs to the local post of the Grand Army of the Republic, of which he has been post commander. He was a member of the Masonic Order, but is now demited.
Springfield-Greene County Library