Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
W. L. WALKER is the efficient
postmaster at Waukon, and he also operates a general store and a large
grain warehouse. He is well and favorably known in the community
and has done very much to forward the interests of this section of the
country, especially along educational lines.
W. L. Walker was born in Venanga county, Pennsylvania,
in 1860 the son of Elliot and Diadima (Crawford) Walker, natives of New
York and Pennsylvania, respectively. The father was a large stockman
and an active participant in politics. He fought in the Civil War
and was bugler in the Army of the Potomac under General McCellan.
The mother was a descendant of the historic character, Colonel Crawford,
who was burned at the stake by the Indians in colonial days, having been
betrayed by Simon Gerty. The mother is now living in South Dakota,
having gone there in 1878. The father died in Forest county, Pennsylvania,
in 1870. They were the parents of ten children, George G., Martha,
Gideon, Robert B., Frank, Clementine, Samuel, W. L., Walter B., and Forest.
Our subject's school days were spent in Forest county, Pennsylvania, and
when fifteen he came west to Chicago. Later, he went to Escanaba,
Michigan, thence two years later, to Dakota. He took land in that
state and about 1886, sold the same. Then he went to the Black Hills
and engaged in mining. From there he journeyed to Helena, Montana,
and was occupied in the sampling works for a time. It was 1889 when
he came to Spokane, arriving in that city just after the big fire.
He immediately took up paper hanging and painting and continued in that
business until July, 1894. On August 12th of that year, Mr. Walker
located at what is now Waukon, secured a postoffice and has been the dispenser
of the mails since. He established a general merchandise store and
soon thereafter, commenced to purchase grain. He operated the first
farmers platform in this section of the country, and now handles about
seventy-five thousand bushels of wheat annually. In addition to this
business he has an elegant six-room dwelling in Waukon and also a half
section of land near by. Mr. Walker carries a very complete stock
of merchandise and is a stirring and progressive man.
In 1890, Mr. Walker married Miss Louine Ridgeway,
a native of Missouri, in Spokane. Her parents were natives, respectively,
of New York and Missouri. The father fought in the Civil War and
Mrs. Walker is now in possession of a letter he wrote to his mother from
the battle field of Pittsburg Landing. To this marriage three children
have been born, Effie M., aged twelve, and Hazel D. and Helen J., twins,
aged ten. Mr. Walker is a member of Masonic lodge and the K. P.
He has always taken a great interest in educational matters, also has succeeded
in establishing a rural free delivery route out from Waukon.