Walker, Joseph Harvey

From Lane Co Oregon

JOSEPH HARVEY WALKER, son of John and Abigail (Brooke) Walker was born in Harrison township Jackson (now a part of Vinton) county Ohio, September 12th 1831. According to an old adage "every family has a black sheep" but occasionally the member of a family who in early life is regarded as the "black sheep" developes (sic) into the whitest sheep of the fold in after life. Such seems to have been largely true of Joseph Walker. During the days of his Brat, Boyhood and Youth which were spent on his father's farm, he was a wild, rollicking, romping, "harem-scarem" boy, addicted to fishing, hunting and kindred sports, at which times he regarded the neighboring melon patches and hen roosts as property in common to be appropriated as occasion required and which was not regarded as a heinous offense in those days of "peace and plenty". He obtained such education as was usually taught in the rural schools of that era, and became somewhat proficient as a blacksmith under the tutelge of an older brother and his uncle Charles Brooke. Under these surroundings he grew to rugged manhood when at the age of twenty-two, becoming involved in some slight infraction of the law by purloining a small quantity of ardent spirits, to avoid threatened arrest he "emigrated" to the "Far West" and located near Sullivan, Moultrie County, Illinois. In the autumn of 1854, he returned to Ohio to visit old friends and home and to make amends for previous offenses, and returning to Sullivan Illinois where, on the 17th day of August 1855, he was united in marriage with Lydia Ann, Widow of John Thomas Carpenter and daughter of James and Onah Mitchell. She was born near Sharpsburg, Bath County, Kentucky, May 27th 1830. Of this union were born two children, viz: Harriet Ann Walker, born February 11th 1862 and Ulyssis (sic) Grant Walker born June 27th 1871.

In August 1862 he enlisted as a private in Co. A, 126 Illinois Vol. Infantry, Captain M.T. Van Fleet, and was in active service for fourteen months when he was discharged for disability. He came very near to losing his hearing at the seige of Vicksburg from the incessant roar of the heavy Siege guns. Later he contracted chronic dysentery and was sent to the Cairo Ill(noi)s hospital where he remained about two months when he was honorably discharged October 1863 on account of ill health from which he never fully recovered. During the winter of 1866-7 he again visited home and friends and the scenes of his childhood days. During the winter of 1867-8 he resided on the farm of William Baker near Malta Bend, Missouri. In 1872 he emigrated overland in covered wagons to Greenwood Co., Ka(nsa)s and filed on a homestead for which he obtained a patent and which he sold in 1879 together with his "goods and chattles (sic)" and emigrated by railroad to Portland, Oregon and stopped for a short time and then to the Sauries Island on the Columbia River 15 miles west of Portland where he kept a boarding house for lumbermen four months when he returned to Portland for a short time. In the Spring of 1880 he returned to Kansas determined to make that his future home. He purchased the old home place and all the necessary stock and farm implements and proceeded to till the soil for one year. On account of an unusually severe winter of 1880-81 he became discouraged and decided to to seek a more pacific climate. Again disposing of the farm he returned to Portland, Oregon where he engaged in the blacksmith trade for W. W. Espy, manufacturer of vehicles. He worked at this shop and factory for about a year and a half when he located about 16 miles south east of Roseburg, Douglas Co., Oregon and about three miles west of the mouth of Fall Creek on east Umpqua river where he purchased 150 acres of land of the Southern Pacific Railroad company on which he resided for about seven years and on which he slashed and cleared about eighty acres working from dawn till late at night. The streams were literally alive with fish and wild game in abundance abounded in the surrounding mountains which gave him ample opportunity to display the skill acquired in his boyhood days. Many deer and ferocious animal succumbed to his unerring aim with his trusty rifle. The writer was at one time the recipiant (sic) of the paw of a large mountain lion which had taken several of his lambs and which he finally succeeded in killing with his rifle. In the Spring of 1889 he sold this farm and went all alone on exploring expedition into eastern Oregon, visiting Goose Lake and other localities in Harney County for the purpose of finding a home and climate conducive to his health and liking but not being successful he returned to his family late in the autumn and in 1890 he moved to Cottage Grove, Lane County, Oregon where he resided for the remainder of his life and where he died at 6 P.M. Aug. 6th 1906 and was interred in the Masonic cemetery one mile west of Cottage Grove under the auspices of the G.A.R. Late in life he united with the church and became a devout Christian. A few years prior to his demise he paid a last visit to his old ancestral home and scenes of his childhood and bade a last farewell to his old friends and relatives. He also visited his brothers John W., Marcus H., Shelton and Benjamin M., all then living in or near Londonderry, Ross Co., Ohio in the autumn of 1891. (signed) B.H. Walker, Chillicothe, O. Dec. 1913

--- Continuing on the 2nd page is the following comment, then the chart. ---

Joseph H. Walker was a natural born mechanic. A niece recently wrote of him: "Uncle Joe seemed to be able to make anything he undertook. He made the first corn-planter I ever saw, and made his own household furniture which was superior in finish and workmanship to any to be found in the stores at that time." He would have been very successful in life but for his discontented, migratory disposition and spirit of adventure. He possessed a natural talent for music and became somewhat proficient as a self-taught violinist but discontinued the practice later. Descendants of Joseph Harvey and Lydia (Mitchell) Walker:

1) Harriet Ann Walker. Born near Sullivan Illinois Feb 11, 1862. Married in Greenwood Co., Kansas July 24th 1881. Now resides at Cottage Grove, Oregon.

+ John Marion Durham

2) Albert Durham -- Jan 1st 1882, Portland, Oregon - Jan. 1, 1882, buried at Portland, Or.

2) Onah Lenore Durham -- M(ar)ch 7, 1885, Portland, Oregon - Sept. 3 1896, buried at Cottage Grove, Oregon

2) Della Beryl Durham -- Feb. 20, 1887, Roseburg, Or. Married July 16, 1905, living in Cottage Grove in 1913

+ Albert A. Richmond living in Cottage Grove

3) James Marion Richmond, b.Apr. 14, 1906, living Cottage Grove, Or.

3) Delmas Rex Richmond, b. May 9, 1907, living Cottage Grove, Or.

2) Nelson Durham, Apr. 5, 1889, Cottage Grove, Ore. Married June 25, 1910 Living in Cottage Grove

+ Bertie Goodridge living in Cottage Grove

3) Nelson Lester Durham, Jan 28, 1913

1) Ulyssis Grant Walker. Born near Lovington, Illinois June 27, 1871. Married July 4, 1894. Now resides at 958 E. 29th St. North, Portland, Ore.

+ Synthia Jane Taylor

2) Myrtle Walker, April 22, 1895, Cottage Grove, Ore. living in Portland, Ore.

2) Alvie Grant Walker, Aug. 31, 1897 living in Portland, Ore.

2) Donald Ulyssis Walker, Aug 31, 1913, Cottage Grove, Ore.

--- My photocopy of this is very dark, but the picture of Joseph shows him to have a white beard. He is portly and looks very dignified, a nice looking man. He's wearing a hat so I can't see how much hair he has.

Source: "I'm submittting this for the Lane Co. OR Biography Project. It is a handwritten sketch dated 1913 by Benjamin Harvey Walker (1854-1931) of Chillicothe, Ross Co., OH. He sent a series of them written about his aunts and uncles to my great-grandmother, a distant Walker relative living in Chester Co., PA. This particular Walker family was originally Quaker from Richland Twp., Bucks Co., PA, but John Walker's father Benjamin (1757-1821) fought in the Rev. War and moved to Loudoun Co., VA afterwards. My Walker line descends from a brother to Benjamin, Ebenezer Jr. (1765-1833). Elaine W. Pennell" Submitted by: Elaine W. Pennell, spammy@epix.net

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