Biography of George Walker
Oneida County, NY Biographies





Although twenty years have come and gone since George Walker was summoned from scenes of earth, the memory of his many kindly acts is vividly re tained in the minds of those with whom he was associated. He was born at Utica, in 1809, and died in this city, November 22, 1890, having passed the eightieth milestone on life's journey. He was a son of Thomas and Mary (Eaton) Walker, who came to central New York from Worcester, Massachusetts, about 1800 with several other families in search of a home on what was then the frontier. They lived for a short time at Rome and then Mr. Walker was selected as editor of the Gazette at Utica and they located in this place, which was then a straggling village. He had learned the printer's trade at Worcester and applied himself with marked ability in an editorial capacity, at the same time being in charge of a book store, which proved a lucrative investment. He became president of the First National Bank and was closely identified for many years with the business interests of Utica. He and his wife were sincere members of the First Presbyterian church.

George Walker was educated in the public schools and as he grew to maturity learned the printer's trade under his father and also worked in his father's book store. After attaining his majority he associated with Charles Hardy, a brother-in-law, in the hardware business at Utica and later continued in the same line at Penn Yan and Ithaca. He gave up this business, however, to engage in farming but after spending a few years as an agriculturist abandoned the farm on account of ill health and resumed his residence at Utica. He was employed as clerk by Captain Carpenter, of the United States navy, and went upon the Pacific ocean with him, later, after the captain had been promoted to the office of commodore, serving as his secretary. He was absent three years and then returned to Utica. Here he entered the dry goods business with Robert Stacy at 180 Genesee Street and later associated with Mr. Golden in the same line of business. After severing his business connection with Mr. Golden he bought the store of Mr. Bristol and during the Civil war he and Mr. Webb engaged in the drug business. After the close of the war he retired, having gained a competency.

In 1849, at Utica, Mr. Walker was united in marriage to Miss Anna Gird, a native of New York state. She is a daughter of Henry Hadden Gird, who was connected with the military service of the United States government and stationed at West Point, where her childhood was passed. Eight children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Walker, four of whom are now living: Thomas Eaton, of California; Mary Emily; Frances; and Charles H., who is now serving as pastor of the First Presbyterian church of Troy, New York. In politics Mr. Walker was originally a whig but after the organization of the republican party he gave to it his earnest support. Having passed the age for army service at the time of the Civil war, he did not enlist in the cause of the Union although he was in hearty sympathy with President Lincoln and his policy. He was a patriotic and public spirited man, always outspoken as to what he considered to be right and governed by a desire to promote the permanent welfare of those with whom he associated. In religious belief he affiliated 'with the Presbyterian church. Mrs. Walker has made her home in Utica ever since it was a small village and is now among the most honored and respected of its older residents. She is the only person living who attended the first meeting of Grace Episcopal church, which was opened for services in August, 1839.

From:
History of Oneida County, New York
From 1700 to the present time
of some of its prominent men and pioneers.
By: Henry J. Cookinham
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Chicago 1912


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