JACOB L. WALKER. To the honest, pushing, hardworking and enterprising farmer is due the prosperity, wealth and advancement of any community, and to their zeal, energy and integrity will its future prosperity be indebted, as it has been in the past, and among the names that are prominent in agricultural circles is that of Jacob L. Walker, who, in addition to tilling the soil, is most successfully engaged in mercantile pursuits at Mt. View.
He was born in what is now Phelps County, Missouri, in 1847, a son of Col. James and Margaret (Love) Walker, who were born in Tennessee, but when quite young removed to Illinois, and later to Missouri, where they married and spent the rest of their lives. The father died soon after the war, and the mother in August, 1893, when nearly ninety years of age. Mr. Walker was a farmer, was a minister of the Missionary Baptist Church for about thirty-four years, and during the early part of his life spent some time in teaching school. He held the rank of colonel in the Black Hawk War. His father, Prof. Jacob Walker, was a teacher in the schools of St. Louis for quite a number of years, and was considered one of the foremost educators of the State in his day. He became the father of ten sons and one daughter, and is supposed to have spent his last days in St. Louis. The maternal grandfather, Isaac Love, died some twenty years ago near Rolla, Missouri, a farmer, blacksmith and merchant by occupation. He was one of the pioneers of Phelps County and an honorable and useful citizen.
The subject of this sketch was the third of twelve children born to his parents: Ellen, wife of William Colvin, of Phelps County; Isaac, who was in the Federal Army, died at Rolla, Missouri, during the war; Jacob L.; Monroe, of Rolla; Eliza, widow of Thomas Duncan; Retta, wife of HenryScott; Tesa, wife of Jacob Berrien, and Robert. The rest died young.
Jacob L. Walker received no schooling in his youth, and at the time he was twenty-one years of age was unable to write his name. During the last two years of the war, although but a mere lad, he served the United States Government as a teamster throughout the entire Price raid. At the age of twenty-one he began railroading at Rolla, but after following this occupation for a few years he began working in an iron furnace, after which he learned the blacksmith s and wagonmaker’s trades. In 1869 he came to Mt. View and followed his trade here until about seven years since, when he opened a mercantile establishment, and is now one of the leading merchants of the town, and carries a well-selected and extensive stock of general merchandise. He owns three good farms, amounting to 400 acres in all, and has been quite extensively engaged in stock dealing. When he came to this section he could have easily carried all his possessions, but that could by no means be said of him now, for he is one of the wealthy citizens of the county, and has the satisfaction of knowing that he has gained his property through his own efforts. He was first married in 1869 to Miss Mary Smith, who died in 1875, leaving two children: Frances, wife of George Overless, and Annis, wife of George Styles. In 1877 Mr. Walker married his second wife, Martha Holden, who also died, and in 1883 Martha Fisher became his wife. He is a Democrat in politics, has held the office of deputy sheriff six years, and has been constable of his township four years. He is a member of Mt. View Lodge No. 294 of the K. of P., and he and his wife are members of the Southern Methodist Church.