Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri

Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens

ROBERT H. WALKER. A worthy example of the progressive twentieth century business man is Robert H. Walker, president of the Globe Clothing Company of Springfield, Missouri. He is one of the potent factors in the upbuilding of the greater Queen of the Ozarks, which has been forging ahead at such noticeable strides during the past decade. As in the performance of his industrial duties, he leaves the impression of his individuality on his work, in like manner and degree he impresses his associates. He delights in good companionship, and his greeting are uniform and friendly. In his ordinary relations and contacts with his fellow men he is quiet and modest; with his intimate friends he is frank, genial and confiding. Mr. Walker's character is strong, deliberate, candid, truthful and he is punctilious in his adherence to obligations. He is a kind and generous hearted man, an inheritance of his sterling father, who never turns the unhearing ear to those who should be heard, whose acts of benevolence are not performed in an ostentatious manner, but with quiet and kindness, following the Divine injunction not to let the left hand know what the right hand doeth. Of Celtic blood, he has inherited many of the winning traits of that noble people.

Mr. Walker was born in Liverpool, England, December 18, 1864. He is a son of Ralph and Fanny J. (Wilson) Walker, the father born in the northern part of Ireland and the mother in the Isle of Man. It was in the historic Cloncanon House, November 27, 1831, that the late Judge Ralph Walker first saw the light of day. He was a member of one of the oldest families of that section of the Emerald Isle. There he grew to manhood and received excellent educational advantages, attending the preparatory schools, later Ranella College and afterwards studied in the city of Londonderry. He immigrated to the United States in 1859, locating in Philadelphia, but subsequently came on west to St. Louis to join his brother, and in the latter city he accepted a position in the office of the Adams Express Company. In 1854 he became clerk on a river steamer which plied between St. Louis and St. Paul, Minnesota, later he served in similar capacity on a steamer which plied between Louisville, Kentucky, and New Orleans, Louisiana. From 1852 to 1862 he was general freight and passenger agent of the Wabash Railroad Company in St. Louis. In 1862 he took over the first cargo of petroleum that was ever sent across the Atlantic ocean, returning to St. Louis in 1865 about the close of the Civil war. He came to Greene county soon thereafter, and in 1866 laid out the town of Ash Grove.

He was elected county judge in 1870. In the early seventies he performed one of his greatest services to the locality in assisting in the reorganization of the Kansas City, Fort Scott & Memphis railroad, thus securing a new railroad for Springfield. He became one of the leaders of the county in public affairs, and one of the most influential and popular men of this section of the Ozark region. He served as mayor of Springfield three different times, and gave the city splendid administrations, doing much for the general welfare of the same and winning the hearty commendation of all parties. He was a leader in a number of important enterprises here for years, and his memory will long be revered by a very wide circle of friends and acquaintances. In 1859 he was married in Dublin, Ireland, to Fanny Wilson, a, daughter of Major Henry Wilson. She is a lady of culture and strong mentality, and is now making her home in New York City. To these, parents eight children were born, seven sons and one daughter, four of whom are deceased; those living are Harry Wilson, who is a prominent newspaper man and author of New York City; Rev. Ralph J., Albert E., and, Robert H., of this sketch. The death of judge Ralph Walker occurred at Paris Springs, Lawrence county, Missouri, in July, 1907, at the age of -seventy-six years, thus closing a long, useful and successful life.

Robert H., Walker was brought to America by his parents when but a child. He received a good education in the common schools and Drury College. He began his business career by starting in the clothing business in 1880 with Jake Rothschilds, where the Holland Bank now stands, corner St. Louis street and the Public Square. Later he was in the same business with Jake Marx, then was associated with the Nathan Clothing Company on the north side of the Public Square for a period of twenty years. Three years ago he began business for himself and at the present time is president of the Globe Clothing Company, one of the largest clothing stores in the Southwest, occupying a large and conveniently located building at the corner of South street and the Public Square, and he is enjoying a rapidly growing business, carrying a complete and carefully selected stock of goods, standard brands of manufacture and is up to date at all seasons. He employs a large number of assistants, and courteous, prompt and honest treatment is his aim.

Mr. Walker was married in March, 1891, in Springfield, to Lottie A. Levitt, a native of Iowa, a daughter of the late Col. C. F. Levitt, for many years one of the best known and most influential Masons in the state of Missouri. Mrs. Walker was educated in the Springfield schools, having removed to this city with her parents when a child.

To Mr. and Mrs. Walker one child was born, Helen Marie Walker, whose birth occurred on December 20, 1891. She received an excellent education in the schools of Springfield and Belmont College, Nashville, Tennessee.

Politically, Mr. Walker has followed in the footsteps of his honored father and is a stanch Democrat, although he has never been active in political affairs. Fraternally, he belongs to the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and the Royal Arcanum Lodge. He holds membership in the Episcopal church.


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