Among the many talented attorneys at law in Southern Illinois few surpass the members of the bar now in active practice in
Jasper county, among whom Cecil Walker, city attorney, is one of the leaders, although in years still to be accounted one of the younger generation. He has a fine legal mind and has proved successful in much important litigation. In affairs political he plays a leading role, and from his earliest voting days has given hand and heart to the men and measures of the Democratic party.
Cecil Walker is a native son of Newton, a fact of which Newton is justly proud. The date of his nativity was September 11, 1875. His father, Alfred N. Walker, was born near Mt. Meridian, Indiana, February 12, 1849. This gentleman was a well known representative of the Fourth Estate and for a long period conducted the Newton Press, or as it was at that time known, the Newton Weekly Press, a paper of Democratic sentiment and the official organ of the county. He edited this sheet for eighteen years, and his able and logical editorials did much to influence public opinion. In 1881 he sold out to the present owners. He was also engaged in the ice and dairy business, and when his health declined he went into the business of stock raising. His stock farm was the scene of most intelligent endeavors in this line, his specialty being Jersey cattle and his was the first venture in thoroughbred cattle raising in the county. He set the pace and it is not to be gainsaid that his precedent was the chief factor in bringing about the present general excellence in stock in the county. The death of this valued and worthy citizen occurred May 8, 1893, but his influence will not soon be lost or his memory obliterated. The maiden name of the subject's mother was Ella A. Gibson, and she is a cousin of Judge Gibson. They became the parents of three children, two of whom, Edith C. and Kenneth, are deceased, Mr. Walker being the only survivor. The mother survives and makes her home at Newton, Illinois. The elder Mr. Walker was greatly interested in public matters, but was never an office seeker. In religious conviction he was a Presbyterian and he was affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
The early education of Cecil Walker was received in Newton's public schools, in whose higher department he pursued his studies for a time. After the death of his father he left school and soon afterward entered upon the study of law under the direction of Judge Gibson, his kinsman, the firm of that well-known jurist being known as Gibson & Johnson. The subject's preparation for the profession with which he aspired to become identified was interrupted by a long period of illness, but upon regaining his health he continued his studies with the firm of Gaines & Kasserman. He remained with them until 1897, in May of which year he was admitted to the bar. His recognition was speedy and in a short time he was elected city attorney, which office he held for four years. Subsequent to that he was appointed master in chancery, which office he held for eight years, and in January, 1907, he became associated with Judge Gibson in a law partnership. When there occurred a vacancy in the office of city attorney, in consideration of his former fine record as its incumbent Mr. Walker was appointed to fill it, and in the spring the people confirmed their satisfaction in the matter by electing him.
Mr. Walker was married April 26, 1902, the young woman to become his wife being Stella Hester, daughter of Joseph H. and Letitia B. Hester, of this place. They have no children. The subject is an affable and courteous gentleman and is very popular in the social circles of this place, as well as with his professional brethren and the general public.