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Biography of Colonel Charles L. Walker

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Col. Charles Leander Walker, a member of one of the leading law firms of Rock Island County for more than a quarter of a century, is a native son of Illinois. He was born at Queen Ann, McHenry County, Illinois, December 27, 1851. He is a son of Reverend Leander Smith Walker and Miriam Lavilla Walker. His father was a Methodist minister and a leader in the Rock River conference. He was for a period of years stationed at Rockford, Winnebago County. From 1865 to 1870 he was financial agent for the Rock River Seminary and Collegiate Institute, located at Mt. Morris, in Ogle County.

The son graduated from the Rock River Seminary and Collegiate Institute in 1869, taking a classical course. For several years after leaving school his activities were varied. He taught school, worked on the farm and at railroad construction. Among the places where he lived at various times are Durand, Marengo, Rockford, Mt. Morris, Prophetstown, Tampico, Garden Plain and Clarendon Hills.

Mr. Walker removed to Rock Island in May, 1873, and the following year took up the study of law in the office of Sweeney & Jackson, supporting himself at the same time. He was admitted to the bar at Springfield January 4, 1878, and at once became a member of the firm with which he had been connected, the name being changed to Sweeney, Jackson & Walker. The older members were E. D. Sweeney, with whom Mr. Walker is at present associated under ,the name of Sweeney & Walker, and Honorable William Jackson, now head of the firm of Jackson, Hurst & Stafford.

Mr. Walker’s advancement in the community was rapid. At an early date he became recognized as one of the best posted men in his profession in the northwestern part of Illinois, and his acumen and forensic ability won him instant success before the bar: Always an ardent Republican he rose to a commanding position in the councils of the party and was entrusted with positions of honor and responsibility. He was appointed aide on the staff of Governor Richard Yates with the rank of Colonel January 28, 1901. He has been attorney for the Illinois and Michigan canal from April, 1900, to the present time. He was president of the Rock Island public library board from 1893 to 1907, and it was under his administration that the beautiful $65,000 library building was erected.

Mr. Walker early in life accepted Methodism as his faith, and in Rock Island became a member of the First Church. Fraternally he is a Mason of high degree, being a member of Trio Lodge, Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons, Barrett Chapter, and Rock Island Commandery.

Mr. Walker was married April 13, 1881, to Anna Guy Stoddard, of Rock Island.


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