Biography of Samuel S. Walker
Utah Biographies





SAMUEL SHARP WALKER
The late Samuel Sharp Walker was the eldest of the four well known Walker brothers, whose names are known, and honored and respected and who have accomplished so much towards the development and up building of Utah and its resources.

Samuel Sharp Walker was a son of Matthew and Mercy Long Walker, and was born at Yeadon, Yorkshire, England, September 22, 1835. The elder Walker was a prominent wool merchant of Yorkshire, England, and emigrated to this country in 1850, and while on his way to Utah he died at St. Louis, Missouri. His wife survived him, and passed away in Salt Lake City in December, 1863. Samuel Sharp Walker, together with his brothers, J. R., D. F., and M. H. arrived in Salt Lake City in September, 1852. After a couple of years working in St. Louis as clerks and peddling notions they finally saved enough money to move on to Utah. The brothers were natural born merchants, and came to the notice of William Nixon, the father of general merchandising in Utah, who gave them employment. The family settled first in the Third ward, where they afterwards purchased property, gradually acquiring possession of the greater part of a city block in the Seventh ward, where they afterwards lived, and there they built the handsome homes of the Walker brothers at the present day.

Sharp Walker turned his attention to farming and engaged in agricultural pursuits until 1859, when the famous house of Walker Brothers was organized at Camp Floyd. Here he joined his brothers in conducting the business and supplying the United States troops with merchandise. They soon built up a large business and became wealthy. After the departure of the troops, the brothers moved their store to Salt Lake City, and the famous store of Walker Brothers has been a landmark there ever since, and has grown to be one of the largest and most complete dry goods establishments in the entire Western country. The firm started in a small way, but soon acquired the location in which they are at the present day. This was in 1866.

The firm afterwards engaged in finance, and the present banking house of Walker Brothers was the outcome. Mining and other investments were also made, including the famous Emma mine, which was afterwards sold to English capitalists. The firm met with much success and only a few reverses, notable among which was the burning of the Walker opera house July 3, 1889. After the fire the building was remodeled and made into an office building known as the Atlas block. This was burned in 1903 and later rebuilt, and is now one of the largest office buildings in the city.

The Walker brothers were substantial citizens, public spirited and benevolent in the use of their wealth, and up to the time of the death of S. S. Walker, which occurred in 1887, he was actively engaged in business in Salt Lake City.

Samuel S. Walker was married January 5, 1857, and was the father of ten children, Samuel, Frederick, Elizabeth, Emma, Mercy, Nellie, Matthew Sharp, Fannie, Doris, and John Walker.

From:
Sketches of the Inter-Mountain States
1847 - 1909
Utah Idaho Nevada
Published by: The Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake City, Utah 1909


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