Nathaniel Walker, one of the few men living who has the honor of having carried arms in defense of his country, in both the Mexican and Civil wars, has been a resident of McPherson county for more than thirty years and is one of the most highly honored and respected citizens. He was born in Nelson county, Kentucky, June 2, 1829, a son of John and Nancy (Hall) Walker, both of whom were born and reared in the same county. John Walker was born in 1801, his family having been started in America by four brothers who emigrated from Scotland at an early day. Two of them settled in Pennsylvania and two in Kentucky during the Colonial period, and Joseph Walker, Nathaniel's grandfather, served in the Revolutionary army, on the extreme western frontier. The Walker family moved to Morgan county, Illinois, in 1831, and located permanently near Greenfield, Greene county, in the same state, in 1833. The father engaged in agricultural pursuits there until his death in 1886. The pioneer spirit of his forbears caused Nathaniel to seek adventure, and while still a mere youth, he was one of the patriotic men who offered their services to the government during the war with Mexico. He enlisted May 7, 1847, and the necessary number for a regiment being secured, they were mustered into the army, June 21, 1847, at Alton, Ill. The regiment received its name from the state that furnished the greatest number of soldiers to its ranks so that Mr. Walker served in Company D, Sixth Illinois foot soldiers. It was during this war that the lad went, with his comrades, down the Mississippi river, crossed the Gulf of Mexico to Vera Cruz, and from there went on foot to the City of Mexico to join General Scott, but on their arrival found the main army gone and marched back to Vera Cruz, where they were occupied in protecting supply trains. Mr. Walker was promoted to corporal for his ability as a marksman, being the best in the regiment, and for this was appointed regimental gunner, whose duty it was to inspect the muskets and see that they were kept in good condition. The regiment returned to New Orleans and was mustered out of the service at Alton, Ill., July 25, 1848. Mr. Walker returned home and was engaged in farming until 1853, when he removed to Missouri, locating six miles east of St Joseph, in Buchanan county, where he learned to be a carpenter. In June, 1856, he staked a claim three miles south of Troy, Doniphan county, Kansas, and moved his family there, in 1857. The next year the land office was opened at Kickapoo, and he filed on his claim and proved it up. The disturbance of the border warfare and the troubles following the repeal of the entry laws caused him to move to Illinois in March, 1861, and there he again responded to the call of his country and, on Aug. 5, 1862, enlisted as a private in Company B, One Hundred and Twenty-second Illinois infantry, serving until mustered out of the service, at Mobile, Ala., July 15, 1865. The last three years of his enlistment he served as regimental butcher. After leaving the army, he again returned to Missouri and was engaged in carpenter work, near St. Joseph. In 1876 he began to farm in Bourbon county, Kansas, and three years later located in McPherson county, where he became the owner of a farm near Roxbury. From 1881 to 1883 he lived in Lindsborg, then came to McPherson, where he followed the trade of carpenter and carried on a contracting business until 1896, when he retired from active life to enjoy the sunset years in a well deserved and earned rest.
On July 25, 1855, Mr. Walker married Margaret, daughter of Benjamin Cornelius, a native of Tennessee, whose grandfather was born in Ireland and emigrated from the old country in 1740, to settle in the Virginia colony. He was a soldier of the Continental line during the Revolutionary war. Benjamin Cornelius was a prominent man in Clay county, Missouri, during the late '20s, and was the first American to settle in Buchanan county, where he located in 1833, Joseph Robideaux, a French trapper, being the only white man on the river at St. Joseph. Mrs. Walker was born near Liberty, Clay county Missouri, March 8, 1832, and reared a family of six children: Sarah is the widow of Arthur McMahon, of McPherson; James W. (see sketch); Mary F. is the wife of Ezra Burt, of Ingalls, Kan.; Charles Lee is a resident of Anna, Ill.; Samuel Lynam resides in Burnal, Kan.; Hattie became the wife of Warren Williams (both deceased) and their son, Edward P., survives them, and is postmaster at Hackberry, Okla. Mr. Walker has lived to see many changes in this state since he first located in Doniphan county. He is an enthusiastic Kansan, and from first coming west has had great confidence in her future. He is one of her oldest citizens, to whom the people of his city point with pride.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.
TITLE PAGE / LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I
TITLE PAGE / LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
J | K | L | Mc | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z
Background and KSGenWeb logo were designed and are copyrighted by
Tom & Carolyn Ward
for the limited use of the KSGenWeb Project.
Permission is granted for use only on an official KSGenWeb page.
Home Page for Kansas
Search all of Blue Skyways
The KSGenWeb Project