He was born in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, March 4, 1804, and emigrated to Uniontown, Now Ashland, Ohio, in 1822. Shortly after his arrival he apprenticed to Robert Ralston, jr.; of Orange Township, to learn the trade of a carpenter, and served about four years. Upon the completion of his trade, in January 1827, he married Esther Robinson, of Clearcreek Township, and located in Ashland, where he has continued ever since as a carpenter. In the earlier years of his pioneer life, he endured all the privations and hardships incident to the settlement of new countries. He retained a vivid recollection of the early settlers, and their adventures, to the last. Very few of the early mechanics attended more house raisings, log rollings, corn huskings, and early military trainings, than he. From a native forest, he lived to see the site of Ashland develop into a prosperous and handsome county seat. Of the first inhabitants of the town, he retained a very clear recollection, and could relate many anecdotes concerning their social habits and customs.
In the balmy days of the old militia, he was elected captain of a company that more than forty years ago trained at Mansfield, and the prairie west of the town of Mifflin. When the war of the Rebellion broke out, though well advanced in years, he volunteered and was attached to the Eighty-second Ohio regiment, where he served until he was accidentally injured, by having the wheel of one of the baggage wagons run over his foot, which so disabled him that he asked his discharge.
Of late years, he quietly pursued his trade, and was noted for his industry and inoffensive habits. It was quite a treat to hear him relate the rough-and-tumble habits of the pioneers, their feats of strength and personal courage, and insist that we would never see their like again; for all countries have but one set of pioneers, and, when they disappear, new men, and new manners, succeed them. The hardy men that prostrate forests, construct roads, build cabins and log barns, and add wealth to communities, soon seek other localities for a renewal of old excitements, or die early.
In politics Captain Walker had settled opinions and adhered faithfully to the party of his choice, though he never pressed his claims to official promotion. He had no affinity for the tricks of political office-seekers, and concurred in the idea that a man should evince as much integrity in office as in the private stations of life.
On the morning of his decease, May 7, 1878, he felt it to be his duty to engage, as usual, at his trade. He had just ascended to the roof of a one-story building, near the shop of Mr. Fasig, between Second and Third streets, to make some change in the roof, when he was noticed to be somewhat confused in manner, and, by the time aid reached the roof, he had become unconscious. He was assisted to the ground, and carried home-only a short distance-but never rallied. In about four hours from the attack (apoplexy), he died in great distress, aged seventy-four years, two months and four days.
He was the father of eleven children, seven of whom survive, David, Mary, Hannah, Belle, Esther, Nora, and William.
His excellent lady yet retains a good deal of physical and mental vigor, though she is far advanced in life, and saw Ashland County when it was mostly forest.