Marion Walters was one of the well-known and honored citizens of Mission township, Brown county, and was a veteran of the Civil war, who for three years loyally aided in defending the Union. He came to Brown county in 1872 and has since made his home here, so that in the passing years his townsmen have had ample opportunity to judge of his work, and that they accorded him their respect is an indication of his well-spent life.
Mr. Walters was born in Fulton county, Illinois, June 21, 1842, and is a son of Peter Walters, a native of Tennessee. His paternal grandfather also was born and reared in Tennessee. The former, when a young man, removed to Illinois, which was then a wild, unimproved region. He was married, in Fulton county. That state, to Miss Tina Roberts, a native of Kentucky, and they became the parents of the following children, namely: William; Elizabeth; Marion; Adaline; Joseph, who served as a soldier in the Civil war and is now living in Table Grove, Illinois; Nancy, Robert, Martha, John, Mary, George and Lucy. The father of our subject died at the age of seventy-three years. He had made farming his life work and was an industrious citizen, whose success was the reward of his labor. Both he and his wife were members of the Baptist church and they died in Illinois when about seventy years of age, honored and respected by all who knew them.
Amid the refining influences of a good home, where Christian principles were exemplified in daily conduct, Marion Walters was reared. He spent his boyhood days on his father's farm and through the winter months pursued his education in the public schools. He watched with interest the progress of events in the south prior to the civil war and resolved that if all attempt was made to overthrow the Union he would strike a blow in its defense. Accordingly, when President Lincoln issued his call for three hundred thousand men in 1862, he enlisted as a member of Company F, One Hundred and Third Illinois Infantry, under the command of Captain Van Devender and Colonel F. Babcock. He participated in a number of most important engagements of the long conflict, including the battle of Black River and Jackson, Mississippi, and the siege of Vicksburg. In the last named the regiment was actively engaged against General Joe Johnston and his Confederate troops. Later the One Hundred and Third Illinois was under fire at Mission Ridge, at Knoxville, through the Atlanta campaign, at New Hope Church and at Burnt Hickory. Mr. Walters also participated in the battle in which General McPherson was killed, took part in the siege of Atlanta, afterward marched against Savannah and through the Carolinas, participating in the engagement at Raleigh and Bentonville. With his regiment he then went to Richmond and on to Washington, D. C., where he participated in the grand review, the most celebrated military pageant ever seen in the western hemisphere. He was in twenty-seven battles, besides numerous skirmishes. At Mission Ridge he was wounded, being shot in the left leg. From November until the following February he remained in the hospital and then rejoined his regiment. At the close of the war he was honorably discharged, having made a good record as a brave and gallant soldier.
Upon his return to Illinois Mr. Walters engaged in farming in Fulton county and has since devoted his energies to agricultural pursuits. He was married, in 1866, to Miss Theresa Harwidel, who was born in Germany and when a maiden of twelve summers accompanied her parents on their emigration to Pennsylvania, where she was reared and educated. She is a daughter of John and Savilla Harwidel, both natives of the fatherland. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Walters have been born seven children, six of whom are living, namely: Christina, the wife of George W. Trum, a well-known citizen of Horton, Kansas; Alice, the wife of George Renaker, of Brown county; John Elmer, also of Brown county; Ernest, who died at the age of three years; Joseph, Robert and Linneus.
Mr. Walters came to Brown county in 1872, locating upon his present farm of eighty acres. He has a very large and comfortable residence here, together with good barns, orchards, verdant meadows and well-tilled fields. The property is one of the most valuable farms in the community and the owner is recognized as an enterprising and progressive agriculturist. Whatever success he has achieved is due entirely to his own efforts, for he had no influential friends or wealth to aid him on starting out in life. In politics he is a Democrat and has served as a road supervisor and justice of the peace. His life has been quietly passed, yet his career has been a useful and honorable one, commanding the respect and confidence of all who knew him.
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