Jackson County

Biography - Simeon Walker

CAPT. SIMEON WALKER, of Carbondale, is one of the honored veterans of the late war who wore the blue in defense of the Union and followed the Stars and Stripes until they were triumphantly planted in the Confederate strongholds. In the history of his adopted county lie well deserves representation. He was born in Clinton County, Ill., March 3, 1831, and is a son of Simeon Walker, who was brought to this state from Georgia by his mother in 1811. He too, served in the Civil War, being appointed Chaplain of the Fifteenth Illinois Cavalry by Gov. Richard Yates. He married Elizabeth Sharp, a native of Georgia, who came with her parents to Illinois in 1811. They located where the town of Belleville now stands, but soon afterward removed to Clinton County. He was one of the circuit riders of the state contemporary with Peter Cartwright. His death occurred in the spring of 1880, aged seventy-eight years, and his wife passed away in 1846. They were the parents of twelve children, but only four are now living: Rev. Samuel, of Carlyle; Rev. William H., of Kansas; Rev. Levi S., of Chester; and the Captain. Five sons of the family were preachers, and six were soldiers of the late war. William H. was Captain of the One Hundred and Eleventh Illinois Infantry; and Samuel was a Lieutenant of the same regiment. Levi S. was Chaplain of the Sixtieth Illinois Infantry; John B. was Captain of the Fortieth Illinois Infantry, and was killed at Shiloh. Thomas C. served as a private in the One Hundred and Eleventh Illinois Infantry.

Upon the home farm our subject was reared, and in the common schools of his native county his education was acquired. He was married in 1851 to Miss E. J. Walker, who was born in Washington County, Ill., July 28, 1834, and was a daughter of Rev. James Walker, who was also a circuit rider of this state. They became the parents of ten children, five of whom are yet living: Clara A., wife of W. H. Brewster; Lora A., wife of George Schwartz, of Elkville; Corrington O., of Texas; Kate E., chief stenographer for the Standard Oil Company of Kansas City, Mo.; and Ben A., who is now attending school.

On his marriage, Mr. Walker began merchandising in Richview, Ill., where he spent one year, and then carried on farming until the breaking out of the war. He enlisted on the 10th of January, 1862, in Company C, Sixtieth Illinois Infantry, and was commissioned Second Lieutenant in July following. In February, 1862, he was made Captain of the Company. The regiment which was organized at Anna, was sent to Cairo, Ill. With his command he took part in the battle of Island No. 10, and later was in the raid after Price in Missouri. He was under fire at the battles of Shiloh, Corinth, Tuscumbia, Athens and Nashville, and was almost incessantly engaged in skirmishes. In Nashville they were employed in guard duty for about nine months while General Buell and General Bragg made their race to Louisville. Captain Walker was also in the battles of Murfreesboro under General Rosecrans, took part in all the battles of the Atlanta campaign, the march to the sea, and was present at the surrender of General Johnston in North Carolina. He took part in the Grand Review in Washington, where wave after wave of bayonet-crested blue passed through the streets of the Capitol City, and was mustered out in Louisville, Ky., in July, 1865. He now draws a pension of $24 per month as recompense for hardships endured.

After his return home, Captain Walker was elected Assessor, and for four years served as Treasurer of Washington County. He then engaged in merchandising and milling for two years, and in 1871 came to Carbondale, where for five years he carried on the dairy business. He was the efficient and popular Postmaster for a period of eleven years, was engaged in the grocery business for two and a-half years, and is now serving as City Clerk and Justice of the Peace. He has also served as Alderman, and the prompt and faithful discharge of his public duties has won for him high commendation.

Since the age of nine years. Captain Walker has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, but has served as a local preacher since the fall of 1858. He served as Sunday-school Superintendent for five years, and has ever been active in church and benevolent work. Socially, he is a member of the Knights of Honor, and belongs to John W. Lawrence Post No. 297, G. A. R., of which he has served as Commander and Chaplain. He has three times served as its delegate to the State Encampment. In politics he is an inflexible adherent to the Republican party, and is ever found true to his colors.

Extracted 22 Feb 2017 by Norma Hass from 1894 Biographical Review of Jackson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 531-532.

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