James William Walker, the present probate judge of McPherson county, was born near Troy, Doniphan county, Kansas, Jan. 19, 1858, eldest son of Nathaniel and Margaret (Cornelius) Walker. He received his early education in the public schools of Buchanan county, Missouri, and at the normal school at Fort Scott, Kan., where he graduated with the class of 1878. He taught for three months during the winter of 1878, and in 1879 began the manufacture of patent medicines. The same year he became a traveling salesman and came to McPherson county, where he located in 1884. He was elected constable on the Democratic ticket the following year and served in that capacity for eight years, reflecting great credit upon himself. He was elected probate judge of McPherson county, in 1892, and filled the office so ably that he was elected a second time by a flattering majority, in 1896. Between the times of his service upon the bench he acted as justice of the peace, and McPherson never had a man who was more capable and better qualified for that office. After retiring as judge, he engaged in the real estate business, in 1899, but disposed of this interest on account of ill health. He served as city clerk, justice and city attorney, from 1906 to 1908, as police judge from 1909 to 1910, and in the latter year was, for a third time, elected probate judge of the county. In a county normally Republican by 1,000, he was given the flattering Democratic majority of 452. He has some twelve certificates of election, which is a fair indication of the high esteem he is held in by the citizens. He has been a prominent member of the Democratic party for years and is one of the earnest workers in its interests. In religious faith he is a Congregationalist and is one of the liberal supporters of the church. He was, for ten years, vice-president of the Farmers' Alliance Insurance Company, a corporation that appreciated his service, and he was a member of its executive board.
On Oct. 27, 1884, Mr. Walker married Christine, daughter of Andrew Sandstrom, a prominent settler and farmer of Smoky View township, Saline county, and elder and one of the founders of the Swedish church at Lindsborg. The following children have born to bless the home of James and Christine Walker: Esther May, the wife of August O. Brunsell, a farmer of Saline county; Hannah, at home; Margaret E., at home; and two children who died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Walker have a host of friends in McPherson, where Mr. Walker is regarded as one of the most substantial, upright and progressive citizens, as he supports every movement for the improvement and upbuilding of the city.Pages 1135-1136 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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