The Reverend John Walker, having completed his ministerial training at Edinburgh University, Scotland, became the third minister of the Presbyterian Church of Millisle, County Down, Ireland, on April 13, 1810. His wife was Miss Isabella Boyle, and they were the parents of ten children, some of whom eventually emigrated to Coal Valley, Rock Island County, Illinois. One of these children was James Boyle Walker, who, in Illinois, met and married Mary Kelly, also originally of County Down. Of their nine children, eight accompanied their parents to Trego County, Kansas, in 1879. They settled near the Saline River about eight miles north of WaKeeney.
On April 18, 1880, Mr. and Mrs. James Walker had eight children: Cornelia, Isabel Ann (Belle) who marred George Irving Verbeck, founder of the Verbeck Lumber Yard; Margaret (Maggie); Mary Rebecca (Beckie); Hugh Kennedy (Ken); James Kelly; Francis Bailey (Frank); and William Robert (Will). Frank and Will were destined to be the only ones to live out their lives in Trego County.
James Walker was born in 1822 at Ballymacruise, Ireland, and died December 27, 1891 at WaKeeney; Mary died October 30, 1903, at Rock Island. Both are buried at Rock Island, Illinois. A daughter, Agnes Jane, died in Illinois as a young married woman.
William Robert Walker was born January 24, 1873, at Coal Valley, Rock Island County, Illinois. He came as a young boy to Trego County with his parents in 1879. He grew to manhood and settled on a farm about ten miles northwest of town on the Saline River, where his son, Irving, now lives.
On November 14, 1900, Will married Ellen Lewis at the home of her parents near Hill City, Kansas. To this union were born five children, Irving, Diantha, Adelia, Vesta and Vera. Ellen Lewis Walker was born November 8, 1876, in Osborne County but moved as a young girl with her parents to Graham County where she grew up. Before her marriage, she taught school near Prairie Home. Will died March 19, 1940, and after his death Ella moved to WaKeeney, where she lived until her death, August 2, 1961.
Irving Lewis Walker was born July 13, 1902, at WaKeeney. He grew up at WaKeeney and later attended college at Kansas State University. He has been active in many civic and community enterprises. He was a director of the original Trego County Soil Conservation board, serving as SecretaryTreasurer; was a charter member of the Western Co-operative Electric Association and served as their first president and as a director for 34 years. During this time he served on many Kansas REC boards; and was one of the original Sunflower Electric Co-op directors. He was also active in many livestock groups and served as a director on the Kansas Livestock Association, a member of the National Cattlemen's Association. He has served as Chairman of the Trego County Republican Central Committee. Irving married Catherine Platner of Ellis, Kansas, August 31, 1933. She died February 17, 1940. In 1942 he married Ruth Gehr Turkle of Lincoln, Nebraska. Irving and Ruth resided on their ranch northwest of WaKeeney. Irving died in 1985, Ruth died in 1981, both are buried in the WaKeeney Cemetery.
Francis Bailey Walker (Frank) was born May 12, 1865, at Coal Valley, Illinois. He came with his parents to Trego County in 1879. After he grew to manhood he owned and farmed land in the Saline Valley area about eight miles north of WaKeeney. On November 6, 1895, Frank married Mildred Shorthill at the home of her parents near WaKeeney. To this union were born three children, Ralph, Edna and Eva. Mildred, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Shorthill, was born May 13, 1873, at Pulaski, Ohio. Frank Walker died August 18, 1946, and Mildred died December 13, 1970, at WaKeeney, Kansas.
Ralph LaVerne Walker was born November 9, 1896, at WaKeeney. He was a farmer, living about nine miles northwest of town on the Saline River. He married Leona Rucker on March 6, 1918, at the home of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. U. S. Rucker, WaKeeney. To this union were born four children, Frances, Wayne LaVerne, Edna Christene and Sondra Belle.
Leona Rucker Walker was born April 3, 1897, at Moulton, Iowa. She came with her parent to Eastern Kansas, locating near Salina, when she was about eleven years of age. They came to Trego County about seven years later, locating on a farm about three miles east of WaKeeney. Ralph Walker died November 29, 1961. After his death, Leona after his death, moved her home to WaKeeney , Leona died in 1986.
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Gayle M. Garrett ....WaKeeney, KS
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