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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Monroe County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1890.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Capt. J. W. Walker is one of the leading planters of the county and enjoys the reputation of being, not only a substantial and progressive farmer, but an intelligent and thoroughly posted man in all public affairs. He is a native Tennesseean, born in White County, in 1837, and is a son of David and Polly (Stulls) Walker, both of whom were Virginians, and were probably married there. At an early date they removed to Hawkins County, East Tenn., thence to White County, Middle Tenn., and when the subject of this sketch was a lad, went to Van Buren County, where they resided for several years,, his mother dying in February and his father in April of the same year. The father was a farmer, of Irish descent and a son of Micager Walker, who was born in Ireland and came to the United States prior to the American Revolution, and took part in that war. After living some years in Virginia he removed to Tennessee and died in Van Buren County, at the age of one hundred and seven years, his demise occurring since the close of the Civil War. Capt. J. W. Walker, the fifth of eleven children, is the only one living in Monroe County. He acquired only a moderate education in the common schools, and upon the death of his parents, began doing for himself and made his home with one man for nine years, working for wages four years and being a partner five years, becoming thoroughly familiar with stock trading. In 1860 he married Bettie Rankins, who was born in Bledsoe County, Tenn., and died in 1863, leaving one son, who died in 1885, at the untimely age of twenty-five years. Mr. Walker’s second marriage took place in 1882, his wife being Mrs. Sallie Walls, a daughter of James H. and Eleanor D. Branch, natives of Wilson County, Tenn. They were married in 1840, and removed to West Tennessee, in 1851, living there eight years and going thence to Monroe County, in 1859, where Mr. Branch died, in 1867, and his wife in 1885. She was a member of the Christian Church. Mr. Branch was a well-to-do farmer. Mrs. Walker was born in Wilson County, Tenn., in 1847, and married Allen V. Walls in 1868. By her first husband she became the mother of three children, only one of whom is living. She and Mr. Walker had one child that is now deceased. Mr. Walker lacked one day of serving four years in the Confederate army, and during his term of service, while participating in different battles, was wounded four times and had five horses shot from under him. The first year he was a member of Branhan’s battalion of East Tennessee Cavalry, and operated in East and Middle Tennessee and Kentucky. His battalion was afterward consolidated with Company I, Eighth Tennessee, under Gen, G. D. Dibrell, with whom he remained, operating in nearly all the Southern States east of the Mississippi River, until the close of the war. During this time he served as captain and was a gallant and faithful officer. He was in many severe engagements, among which may be mentioned Fishing Creek, Camp Goggins (Ky.), Murfreesboro, Neely’s Bend, Lexington, Humboldt, Union City, Trenton, Parker’s Cross Roads, Fort Donelson, Thompson’s Station, Franklin, Shelbyville, Wild Cat Bridge, Chickamauga, Dalton, Resaca, Missionary Ridge, New Hope Church, Lost Mountain, Wainesboro, (S. C), Landersville and Marietta, (Ga.). He was wounded at Camp Goggins, Wild Cat Bridge, Parker’s Cross Roads and Landersville, and was captured at Wild Cat Bridge (Tenn.), August 9, 1863; being wounded severely he was at once paroled. He surrendered near Washington, Ga., May 11, 1865, and in 1866 came to Clarendon and was engaged in farming and rafting logs until in 1873, when he found employment in the sheriffs’ office, continuing as deputy seven years. He was elected sheriff of the county in 1884, but at the end of two years resumed farming on his land, comprising 176 acres near the town. He has in all, some 1,200 acres, about 600 under cultivation, nearly one-half of which has been acquired by his own efforts since coming to Arkansas. He raises some fine stock. He is a Democrat, though formerly a Whig, and during Cleveland’s administration served one year as deputy United States marshal. He has been a member of the A. F. & A. M. for twenty years, and is now residing on the farm formerly owned by ex-Gov. Hughes. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. His wife is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

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This family biography is one of 86 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Monroe County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Monroe County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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