Walter Falwell, who has for many years been identified with educational work in Kansas contributing to the development and effectiveness of the public-school system of the state, having served for the third term as treasurer of the Southeastern Kansas Teachers' Association, makes his home in Farlington. He was born in Labette county, Kansas, on the 14th of January, 1870. His parents, William T. and Martha A. Falwell, were natives of Lawrence county, Ohio, and in the year 1869 removed from that state to Kansas, settling in Labette county.
Under the parental roof Walter Falwell was reared, and in 1878 he accompanied his father to western Kansas, where they became involved in the Cheyenne Indian raid of that year, but fortunately escaped unharmed. He pursued his education in the schools of Independence, Kansas, and Chillicothe, Missouri, also in the West Plains Academy at West Plains, Missouri, and in the Kansas Normal College at Fort Scott, Kansas, although his course was not continuous. In the years 1883-4 he engaged in clerking in the postoffice at West Plains, Missouri, and in 1885 provided for his support by making ties in oil trough bottoms of the White river in Arkansas. The following year he was employed on the railroad in Missouri, and in 1887-88 he traveled extensively in western and southern Texas and in old Mexico. Desiring, however, to better qualify for life's practical duties by a more advanced education he entered the Kansas Normal College at Fort Scott in 1888, pursuing his studies in that institution for a year. In 1889 he engaged in teaching school in Bourbon county, Kansas, and the following year again entered the Normal School at Fort Scott. In 1891 he resumed the work of teaching in Bourbon county, remaining there for three years, and in 1894 again entered upon a period of travel, visiting many places in the western portion of this country, and in southwestern Kansas. Once more he became identified with the work of public instruction in Bourbon county, Kansas, in 1895, but in 1896 went to the northwest and operated a diving suit in search of gold in the rivers of Oregon, Washington and Idaho in the employ of the Alaskan Milling & Mining Company. During that year he also crossed the Bitter Root Mountains over the famous Lolo trail and pass.
In 1897 Professor Falwell came to Farlington, Kansas, as principal of the schools of this place. During his incumbency his efforts were effective in placing the schools of the town among the best in Crawford County. He is deeply interested in his work, zealous and energetic, and has the faculty of inspiring the teachers under him and the pupils with much of his zeal for educational advancement. He was instructor in the Teachers' Normal Institute in Crawford county in 1900, in 1903 and in 1904, and he holds a life certificate to teach in the state of Kansas. In 1901 he was elected treasurer of the Southeastern Kansas Teachers' Association, an organization covering nineteen counties in this part of the state, and in 1902 and 1903 was re-elected. In May, 1904, Mr. Falwell was appointed by the secretary of the interior to take charge of the town site work in the Creek Nation, Indian Territory, which place he held until January 19, 1905. On January 19, 1905, he was promoted to the office of United States supervisor of schools and special disbursing agent for the Creek Nation; office, room 310 Iowa building, Muskogee, Indian Territory. His home is still in Farlington, Kansas, and he will not move his family to Muskogee.
In 1891 Professor Falwell was united in marriage to Miss Christiana Belle Deesler, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Deesler of Pawnee, Kansas. Anna, their only child, was born in 1895. Mr. Falwell is prominent in Masonry, having attained the Knight Templar degree, and he also belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen of America. In politics he is a stanch advocate of Republican principles and an earnest worker in the local ranks of his party. In 1902 he served as chairman of the Crawford county delegation to the Republican state convention at Wichita. He has traveled extensively throughout this country and Canada, thus gaining wide information concerning its resources and its peoples and adding much to his fund of general knowledge. His interest now centers in his school work, and his labors in behalf of public instruction have been attended by beneficial results.Pages 611-613 from A Twentieth century history and biographical record of Crawford County, Kansas, by Home Authors; Illustrated. Published by Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, IL : 1905. 656 p. ill. Transcribed by Carolyn Ward, in November, 2003.
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