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Signature of Edward B. Walker Genealogy of Edward B. Walker
1756-1838, Duplin County, North Carolina - Sullivan, Claiborne, Hancock Counties, Tennessee

 

James Harvey Walker (1855-1939)


WorldConnect: James Harvey Walkeroffsite link to WorldConnect
Spouse: Mary Adelia Phillips
Family Bible: Alternate on file
Photos: On file
Signatures: No known samples
Tombstones: On file
James Harvey Walker (left) and his brother Milton Green Walker; courtesy Vesta (Taylor) Underwood

James Harvey Walker, apparently called Jim but called always "Mr. Walker" by his wife, was born 12 July 1855 probably at his parents' home on Mulberry Creek in Hancock County, Tennessee.

The son of Edward and Sarah (Crumley) Walker, Jim would barely have remembered his own father, who died shortly before Jim turned 5. The Civil War interrupted his education, but, after the war, he received a degree in math from Tazewell College.

James Harvey and Mary Adelia (Phillips) Walker. Photo courtesy Adelia (Guthry) Knight

In 1882, he moved with his mother, his youngest brother, and his brother's new bride to Jacksboro in Campbell County. There, he and his brother Green started the Walker Brothers School. In August 1885, probably in Campbell County, he married Mary Adelia Phillips, born 21 December 1869 in Grainger County, Tennessee, the daughter of William and Emily (McConnell) Phillips. The couple would eventually have ten children, several of whom died young, including two of meningitis within two weeks of each other.

Modern look of Jim's hotel, Newport, TN; photo taken 7/3/2006 by Phillip A. Walker.

Between 1890 and 1893, both couples, along with Sarah (Crumley) Walker moved to Newport, Cocke County, Tennessee. In Newport, both were principals of the school there as well as teachers. Green went on to serve in the state legislature from Cocke County. Both Jim and Green were active in the Methodist Church in Newport and helped to start Union Cemetery.

Jim also became a hotel owner and owned two livery stables in Newport. The hotel, per Eddie Walker III, later became the Newport City Hall next to Brown Funeral Home. It was built as a hotel by David P. Click in 1867, who ran it until his death in 1895; he was killed by a train below the depot. J.A. Conway and then J.A. Denton were the next owners, and then Jim bought it and owned it certainly by 1906, calling it "The Walker House". In 1912, though, his hotel in Newport burned, and he lost everything, including apparently his father's family Bible and other family information.

The fire did not completely destroy the building though; it was later repaired and used as a hotel for a while. It then became the city hall for Newport and more recently a police station; stone siding was added in 1934, and the building likely looks very little as it did when it functioned as a hotel. Oscar O'Neil apparently bought it after it burned, and Mr. and Mrs. Press Valentine were the last owners, calling it the Newport Hotel by 1934.

Family home in Athens, TN; photo taken 9/2/2005 by Phillip A. Walker.

Shortly thereafter, he moved to Athens, Tennessee. There he lived in a house that is still standing, although it is in need of restoration. It is currently across the street from Parkway Baptist Church. Jim continued to teach and was sometimes principal in Athens and he was also involved in Democratic politics.

Tombstone at Union Cemetery, Newport, TN; photo taken 8/30/2005 by Phillip A. Walker.

When Jim died 9 October 1939 in Athens, his body was taken back to Newport and buried next to his mother in Union Cemetery. Mary Adelia died in 1945 in Athens and is buried next tohim, and several of their children who died young are buried near them. Jim was that last of Ned Walker's children to die, 144 years after the birth of his father.

All original material © 2007-9 by Phillip A. Walker or by cited authors. Submissions are welcome. Reuse allowed under limited conditions. Page last modified Saturday, 26-Jun-2010 17:45:51 MDT .