The vigorous and progressive little City of Yoakum. Dewitt county, claims as one of its representative physicians and surgeons and loyal citizens, Dr. William H. Walker, who was born at La Grange, Fayette county, Texas, on the 16th of October, 1868, and who is well upholding the professional prestige of the family name, his father, the late William Wallace Walker, M.D., having been recognized and honored as one of the leading physicians of Southern Texas and having continued in the active work of his humane profession for many years, the closing period of his life having been passed at Schulenburg, one of the important towns of Fayette County.
Dr. William Wallace Walker was born in Tensas Parish, Louisiana, on the 12th of August, 1844, and was still a young man at the time when he established his residence in Texas. At the inception of the Civil was he was a student in Emory College, at Oxford, Georgia, and he promptly manifested his youthful loyalty to the Confederacy by leaving college, returning to his native state and enlisting in the Third Louisiana Cavalry, with which gallant command he served four years and nineteen days -- virtually the entire period of the war. He distinguished himself for gallantry at the Battle of Shiloh and also that of Manassas, and in the second battle of the last title he was wounded. He lived up to the full tension of the great fratricidal conflict and gave of his best to defending the cause which he believed to be righteous and just, his continued interest in his old comrades having in later years been manifested through his affiliation with the United Confederate Veterans. That his patriotism and loyalty were intrinsic elements of his character was significantly shown when his native land became involved in war with Spain, in 1898. He promptly put forth vigorous efforts and raised a company for service in the Spanish-American war, this company becoming Troop G, First Texas Cavalry, and he was made captain of his company or troop, the regiment having been mobilized at Fort Sam Houston but having not been called out of the state to participate in the polemic activities in Cuba. The doctor himself, however, was assigned to duty in Cuba as a military surgeon, and at Santiago de Cuba he was placed in charge of a transport vessel on which sick and wounded soldiers were transferred to Montauk Point, New York. While voyaging to this destination he accidentally discovered among the troops on board his own soldier son, who was lieutenant in command of his regiment. After remaining for some time at Montauk Point, Doctor Walker returned to his regiment, with which he was mustered out, in the City of San Antonio.
After the close of the Civil war Dr. William W. Walker completed the prescribed curriculum in the medical department of Tulane University, in the City of new Orleans, in which institution he was graduated as a member of the class of 1871 and from which he received his well earned degree of Doctor of Medicine. He had previously established his residence in Texas, and after his graduation he engaged in active general practice at LaGrange, Fayette County, in company with Doctor Renfrow. From that place he finally removed to Cistern, in the same county, and later he continued in practice for some time at High Hill, that county, where he remained until the extension of the line of the Southern Pacific Railroad through Schulenburg, in the same county, when, with other residents of High Hill, he removed to the new railroad town, where he continued in successful practice until virtually the time of his death. He was alert in keeping abreast with the advances made in medical and surgical science, had a high sense of his professional stewardship and labored with ability and self abnegation in the alleviation of human suffering and distress, his name and memory being revered by the many families to which he ministered during the course of his long and loyal service as a physician.
Though Doctor Walker was essentially progressive and public-spirited as a citizen and was a staunch advocate of the principles of the democratic party, he considered his profession worthy of his unqualified attention and would never consent to become a candidate for public office. He was a Master Mason, and from 1869 until the time of his death held membership in the Baptist Church. He was a prominent and honored comrade of Camp Timmons, United Confederate Veterans, at Schulenburg, at the time when his life came to its close, his death having occurred on the 5th of May, 1901 -- just two years after the date of his departure with his troop for the Fort Sam Houston rendezvous, to make ready for active service, if demanded, in the Spanish-American war.
On the 29th of January, 1863, Doctor Walker wedded Miss Emma Alice Routh, daughter of the late Dr. Kenzie Routh, who was widely known and honored as a successful physician in the Pinoak or Tuttle Store section of Fayette County, he having been a native of the State of Tennessee and a pioneer of Texas. He married Miss Amanda M. Murrell, and both continued their residence in Fayette County until their death. Their children were Zachariah, Joseph, William and Emma Alice. Mrs. Emma Alice Walker died in the year 1874, and of her children four are now living. Dr. Edwin R., who is a representative physician at Ballinger, Runnels County, married Miss Sarah Gussman; Dr. William Hayden, of this review, was the next in order of birth; Kenzie Wallace, who served as captain in the Fifteenth Cavalry, United States Army, is now assigned to the army commissary department in the City of Washington, D. C., the maiden name of his wife having been Helen Hobart Whitman; and Mary is the wife of Dr. Arthur L. Fuller, of Colorado City, Texas.
The second marriage of Dr. William W. Walker was solemnized February 23, 1876, when Miss Eudocia Agnes Henderson became his wife. She is a daughter of Colonel Alfred Henderson, of Schulenburg, who was one of the prominent and distinguished pioneers of Southern Texas, his wife, whose maiden name was Callaway, having been a representative of the famous Kentucky pioneer family of that name. Mrs. Walker now resides in the home of her youngest surviving daughter, in the City of Texarkana, Texas. Of her three children the first born was Kittie, who was a student in the Sam Houston Normal School at the time of her death, on the 17th of November, 1894; Emma is the wife of T. G. Stark, of San Antonio; and Felton is the wife of A. L. Burford, a prominent railroad lawyer whose home is at Texarkana, while his office is in Kansas City, Missouri.
Dr. William H. Walker, to whom this sketch is dedicated, acquired his early education principally in the public schools of Schulenburg, Fayette County, and at the age of nineteen years he began the study of medicine, his preliminary reading having been pursued under the able preceptorship of his father. He finally entered the latter's alma mater, the medical department of Tulane University, in 1886, and in this institution he received his degree of Doctor of Medicine on the 3d of April, 1889. For two years thereafter he was engaged in practice at Shiner, Lavaca County, and he then removed to Ledbetter, Fayette County, where likewise he practiced two years. The following eighteen years found him engaged in the work of his profession at Oakland, Colorado County, a place originally known as Prairie Point, where he built up a large and widely disseminated practice and where he continued his earnest and effective labors until November, 1910, since which time he has been engaged in successful practice as one of the leading physicians at Yoakum, Dewitt County. The doctor is identified with the American Medical Association and the Texas State Medical Society, besides which he has held membership in the local medical societies of each county in which he has practiced his profession.
With well fortified opinions concerning economic and governmental policies, Doctor Walker has maintained an independent attitude in politics and has exercised his franchise in support of men and measures meeting the approval of his judgment. He has been affiliated with the knights of Pythias since 1889 and was a charter member of the lodge at Shiner, his present membership being in the lodge at Yoakum. As a member of the Masonic fraternity he is past master of Oakland Lodge, No. 258, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, at Oakland, Colorado County.
At Ledbetter, Fayette County on the 20th of December 1892, was solemnized the marriage of Doctor Walker to Miss Julia Gillespie, who was born in the State of Arkansas and who was a child at the time of her parents' removal to Texas, where she was reared and educated in Fayette County. Doctor and Mrs. Walker have two children, Laurie Douglas and Frances Katherine, both of whom remain at the parental home and the latter of whom was graduated in the Yoakum high school as a member of the class of 1915, and is now attending the College of Industrial Art at Denton, Texas.
That Doctor Walker is a scion of one of the staunch old families of the fair Southland is indicated when it is stated that his grandfather, William Wallace Walker, was born in Fauquier County, Virginia, on the 6th of June, 1814, his ancestors having immigrated to America from England and having settled in the Old Dominion commonwealth prior to the war of the Revolution. The grandfather of the doctor passed the closing years of his life at Schulenburg, Texas, where his death occurred in January, 1884. -- pp. 1253-1255.
A history of Texas and Texans, by Frank W. Johnson, Chicago and New York: The American Historical Society, 1916
Submitted by RoxAnn Johnson