Biography of John J. Walker
Marion County, IA Biographies





John Jesse Walker owns and occupies a farm of one hundred and sixty acres on section 28, Swan township. The place is well improved according to modern ideas of farm life and in addition to tilling the soil Mr. Walker engages in the raising of graded stock and chickens. He was born upon this farm, on section 33, Swan township, May 20, 1867, his parents being Francis Marion and Mary F. (Harrison) Walker, the mother a distant relative of former presidents William Henry and Benjamin Harrison. The parents were married here after coming to Iowa from Indiana. Francis M. Walker was born in the latter state and died February 28, 1913, when more than seventy seven years of age. His father had passed away in Indiana and his mother aftenvard became the wife of Andrew Schirmer. They came to Iowa in the fall of 1847, bringing their family and settling on section 28, Swan township, Marion county, at which period this district was still upon the frontier. Only here and there was there a little cabin to be seen, showing that the white men were penetrating into the western wilderness to reclaim the district for the uses of civilization. Mr. Schirmer secured considerable land, and was actively identified with the early agricultural development of this section of the state. Both he and his wife died at an advanced age upon the old homestead farm which he developed, and with their passing the county lost two of its worthy and well known pioneer citizens.

Francis M. Walker was twelve years of age when, in 1847, the family came to Iowa and the remainder of his life was here passed. He spent the last twenty one years at Pleasantville and through many years he was known as a successful farmer, stock raiser and business man. He owned altogether four hundred and fifty acres of rich and valuable land, which he divided among his children. At the time of the Civil war he enlisted for active duty as a member of Company G, Fortieth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, with which he served for almost three years as a private under Captain Jenkins, during which time he participated in a number of hotly contested engagements. He then returned home and was married on the 9th of April, 1866, to Miss Mary F. Harrison, who was born in Indiana, near Ladoga, and came with her parents to this county in the latter '40s, the family settling in Pleasant Grove township, where her father secured a farm. Both he and his wife passed away here at an advanced age. Both Mr. and Mrs. F. M. Walker were members of the Christian church and for a half century he was connected with the Masonic fraternity. His life was at all times guided by high and honorable principles and measured up to the most advanced standards of manhood and citizenship. He served for ten years as constable and made an excellent record in the office. He passed away February 28, 1913, but his widow survives and now resides in Pleasantville at the age of sixty nine years. They were the parents of three children: John J., whose name introduces this review; Minnie O., the wife of John Cormany, a resident farmer of Swan township; and James U., who also follows farming in the same township.

John J. Walker was reared and educated in Swan township, attending the public schools, wherein he mastered the branches of learning usually taught in such institutions. He has always followed farming and success has attended his efforts in a gratifying measure, for his methods have been practical. Moreover, he has studied the soil and has kept informed concerning modern ideas relative to the development of the fields and the care of stock. He has made many fine improvements upon his place and it is today one of the most attractive features in the landscape. He has a pleasant residence, in the rear of which stand commodious barns and outbuildings, while these in turn are surrounded by highly cultivated fields. He annually gathers good harvests and an important feature of his business is the raising of graded stock and fine chickens.

On the 9th of April, 1889, Mr. Walker was united in marriage to Miss Hattie Shutt, who was born in Warren county, September 25, 1866, a daughter of Edward and Martha (Yount) Shutt, who came to this county at an early day. The father was born in Pennsylvania, July 31, 1837, and at the age of four years was taken to Ohio and afterward to Indiana, coming as a young man to Iowa, at which time he settled in Warren county. He enlisted in 1861 in defense of the Union cause and served for four years, having in the meantime veteranized. He participated in the famous march to the sea under General Sherman, which proved the weakness of the Confederacy, showing that the troops had been drawn from the interior to protect the border. He was ever a loyal and valorous soldier and in August, 1865, returned home with an army record of which he had every reason to be proud. He resided in this part of the state for many years and finally passed away near Winterset, Madison county, Iowa, January 7, 1901. His wife was born in Indiana and with her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Brown, removed to Warren county, Iowa, where she afterward became the wife of Mr. Shutt. They were the parents of three children: Mrs. Walker; G. W. Shutt, now living in Hartford; and Mrs. Eva Shutt, whose home is in Stuttgart, Arkansas. The mother died in May, 1874, and the father afterward wedded Miss Katie Fisher, who passed away several years later, leaving several children, who are now widely scattered. The parents of Mrs. Walker were both Baptists in religious faith. Mrs. Walker was reared in Warren county, was educated in the common schools and afterward engaged in teaching in Warren county for five terms. By her marriage she has become the mother of six children: Leila, now the wife of Lloyd Wall, of Pleasant Grove township, by whom she has two daughters, Louise and Helen; and Leitha, Mary Frances, Minnie Edna, Jessie Marian and Edwin Wayne, all at home.

Mr. Walker exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the republican party but is not a politician in the sense of office seeking. Fraternally he is connected with the Masons, belonging to Swan Lodge, A. F. & A. M., and for a number of years he has also been a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Both he and his wife are members of the Christian church and both take an active interest in its work and contribute generously to its support. Mr. Walker takes a sane view of life, has judged its opportunities correctly and has so lived that he has gained success in business and at the same time has ever merited the confidence and good will of those with whom business or social relations have brought him in contact.

From:
History of Marion County, Iowa
And its People
John W. Wright, Supervising Editor
W. A. Young, Associate
Vol II
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chiago 1915


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