The life of this venerable and highly respected citizen has been led
along lines of honorable and useful endeavor and has resulted in the
accomplishment of much good not only to himself but to those with whom he
has been associated. He has seen the development of the West and has taken a
leading part in it, consequently in his old age he can look back over a life
well spent and for which one should have no regrets.
Joseph Hill Walker was born in Beaver county, Pennsylvania, twenty miles from Pittsburg, October 19, 1822, and he lived there until 1848 when he moved to Jackson county, Ohio, and then to Marion county, Illinois, in 1862. Our subject is the son of William Walker, who was born in Beaver county, the old Keystone state, in 1773. He was a Democrat and a Presbyterian. Our subject is one of nine children, six boys and three girls.
Joseph Walker obtained what education he could in the pioneer schools of his day. He bought land in Marion county and began farming, but when the war between the states began he gladly left his work and his home and offered his services in defense of the flag, enlisting in the army in the quartermaster's department and served three enlistments as a wagon maker, one in West Virginia, one at Nashville, Tennessee, and one at Little Rock, Arkansas, having been foreman of the wagon department at the last named place. He learned the trade of wagon making in Pittsburg, in which city he worked at his trade for many years. After the war he returned to Marion county and resumed farming. He has been a hard worker and has made all the extensive improvements on his farm which ranks well with Marion county's excellent farms. He has a good residence and barn and everything about his place shows thrift.
Our subject was married to Josephine Miles, who was born in Jackson, Ohio, September 17, 1834. She came to this county when twenty-six years old. There was no town where Vernon now stands when she came here. She was the daughter of Branson and Angeline (Sargent) Miles. Branson Miles was born in 1808, in Shenandoah valley in Virginia. His wife was born in Ohio in 1821. Our subject and wife married October 9, 1850. His wife and family drove from Ohio to Vandalia on the old National Turnpike and from Vandalia to Marion county during the war. The following children have been born to the subject and wife. Angeline, born December 3, 1851, married Abner Moore, who is in the real estate and insurance business at Irving, Illinois. They are the parents of four children. Frank, the subject's second child, was born in 1854, and died in March, 1875; Miles, born August 29, 1857, married Emily Johnson. He is engaged in the creamery business in Ewing, Missouri. They have four children. Thomas B., born February 25, 1860, married Nora Jackson, later marrying Mary Taylor, three children having been born by the first union and one by the second union. Thomas B. is station agent at Patoka. Ellen, the subject's fifth child, was born June 5, 1864. She married Charles King, a factory manager in Chicago, and they are the parents of two living sons; Henry was born April 26, 1868, married Mary Mealy. They live in St. Louis and are the parents of three children.
Mr. Walker has devoted his life to farming and stock raising with great success, and he now lives retired in Vernon. In politics he is a stanch Republican, having first voted for Henry Clay in 1844, although our subject never took a very active part in politics. In religion he is a faithful supporter of the Methodist church. Mr. Walker is widely known in this section of the country and he numbers his friends by the score, for he is known to be thoroughly honest, a fine and friendly old gentleman to meet, making all feel at home who visit him.
Extracted 27 May 2019 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 497-498.