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Biography of Colonel Charles L. Walker

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....

Biography of Gen. Smith D. Atkins

Smith D. Atkins, who is a lawyer, soldier, journalist and politician, was born on the 9th of June, 1836, near Elmira, Chemung Co., N. Y.; he came with his father’s family to Illinois in 1848, and lived on a farm until 1850. He then became an apprentice in the office of the Prairie Democrat, which was the first paper published in Freeport. He was educated at Rock River Seminary, Mt. Morris, Ill., working in the printing-office and studying during his spare hours, and in 1852 obtained the foremanship of the Mt. Morris Gazette, while he was yet a student in the seminary. In 1853 he became associated with C. C. Allen, who, during the war, was a Major on the staff of Maj. Gen. Schofield; they bought this paper and established the Register at Savanna, Carroll County. In the fall of the same year he entered the office of Hiram Bright, in Freeport, as a student of law, and was admitted to practice June 27, 1855. After his admission he continued to read law for some time in the office of Goodrich & Scoville, of Chicago, Ill., and then entered upon his practice in Freeport, dating his entry into the active duties of his profession Sept. 1, 1856. In 1860 Mr. Atkins made a spirited canvass for the election of Lincoln to the Presidency and one address of his delivered in this memorable campaign, which was a careful and thorough review of the Dred Scott decision, went through several editions. He was elected States’ Attorney for the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit of Illinois, and on April 17, 1861, while trying...

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