PINCKNEY J. WALKER. One of the most successful and enterprising citizens of Saline county, Pinckney J. Walker, of Galatia, began life a poor boy, with no other assets than a courageous heart, willing hands, an active brain and an unlimited supply of energy and ambition, and through his perseverance of purpose has accumulated a fair share of this world's goods and built up an enviable reputation for honesty and integrity. A son of Dr. James Walker, he was born January 4, 1862, in Pope county, Illinois, of pioneer ancestry. His paternal grandfather, Rev. James Walker, was born and reared in Wilson county, Tennessee. Coming to Southern Illinois in 1845, he entered a tract of land in Pope county, and from it improved a good farm, which remained in possession of the family until sold a very short time ago. He was a minister of the Missionary Baptist persuasion and founded the first church of that denomination in Pope
county. He died at the age of sixty-nine years, and, after the custom of those days, was buried on his home farm. He was for seventeen years pastor of the Mill Creek church, which was located sixteen miles from his home, and to reach which he had to ride on horseback through an almost pathless wilderness. In addition to preaching and farming he was also engaged in mercantile pursuits during the Civil war. He accumulated considerable property, and owned, aside from his home farm, many acres of land at Bay City, on the Ohio river. He reared four children, as follows: Newton, who died in early manhood, leaving five children; James; Harriet, wife of Rev. James Weeks, a Baptist minister; and Malcolm, who went to the front during the Civil war as colonel of an Illinois regiment. He died while marching with his men, and was buried in the family lot in Pope county, Illinois. Rev. Mr. Walker also had a step-daughter, Martha, who is now living in Kentucky.
Dr. James Walker was reared to agricultural pursuits, and after his marriage took up a tract of wild land and was engaged in farming until the death of his wife. He then began reading medicine under old Doctor Crosby, a neighbor, and when proficient in his studies began the practice of his profession. Locating at Dixon Springs, Illinois, he leased a large property, which he conducted as a health resort in additon to his practice as a regular physician, and also engaged in business as a general merchant. He continued thus actively employed until his death, when but fifty-four years of age, in 1887, he, Dr. Hodge, Dr. Agnew, and Dr. Frizzell, of Glendale, having been the leading physicians of that section of the state.
Dr. Walker married first Mary Ann Glass, a sister of Colonel W. D. Glass, who commanded an Illinois regiment in the Civil war. She was one of a family of twenty-nine children, of whom Henry Glass, the eldest child, still lives in Golconda, Illinois, while Dr. M. M. Glass, of East Saint Louis, is the youngest child. She and two of her children, one a child of seven years and an infant, died within a few months of each other, and she left three living children, as follows: Hon. A. W. Walker; Sarah E.; and Pinckney J., the subject of this sketch. Sarah E., wife of Henry Lewis, an attorney at New Liberty, Illinois, is herself the postmistress at that place and proprietor of a store.
Hon. A. W. Walker was reared to habits of industry, and as a boy began to work out, receiving fifty cents a day in the summer season, and in the winter time clerking for his board and clothes in the store of Billy King at Rosebud, Illinois, and attending school. At the end of three years he entered the employ of McCoy & Son, at Golconda, and was afterwards a traveling salesman for a time. He subsequently clerked twelve years for J. C. Baker, and then, after being in partnership with Mr. Baker for a year, bought him out and was successfully employed in the hardware and agricultural implement business at Golconda for several years, being one of the leading dealers in that line of goods. He met with severe losses when his warehouses, store and stock were destroyed by fire. He subsequently served as county treasurer of Pope county, after which he was elected sheriff of the county, and still later represented his district in the State Legislature. He made wise investments in real estate, buying large tracts of new land, which he opened up and sold at top prices. He died July 15, 1909, in Golconda, and was buried with honors by the Modern Woodmen of America, a fraternity of which he was a valued member, and which erected a fine monument to his memory in September, 1911.
Living at home until eighteen years old, Pinckney J. Walker received limited educational advantages, and subsequently began the battle of life on his own account as clerk in a general store and post office, his wages to be one hundred dollars a year, but at the end of six months the post office was abolished, and he was variously employed the next few months, writing fire insurance a part of the time and clerking in Golconda for McCoy & Son, his brother's former employers, while with that firm obtaining a good experience in handling farming implements and machinery. He married in the fall of 1884, and on January 1, 1885, began farming in Galatia, Illinois, on his father-in-law's farm and raised a fine crop of tobacco on the three acres that he planted to that shrub. Mr. Walker was so encouraged by his success as a crop-grower that in the following year he bought a tract of land on credit, and he still owns that very farm, which he paid for long ago. Fortune smiled on his every effort, and he has since bought many other pieces of property, having at one time title to one thousand acres, a part of which he has sold, although he now owns three valuable farming estates in the vicinity of Galatia. For four years Mr. Walker resided in Harrisburg, where he bought houses and land, and having laid out Walker's addition to that city made thousands of dollars in a few months in the rise of property. On returning to his old home in Galatia, Mr. Walker at first operate(l extensively in real estate for Weber Brothers, later having charge of the yards of the Galatia Lumber Company, which he subsequently bought. Selling his lumber interests, he again became a dealer in real estate and purchased all the land included in a block and erected a large building, including the Galatia Opera House. An active worker in the Republican ranks, Mr. Walker was elected justice of the peace in a Democratic stronghold, and filled the office with credit to himself and to the honor of his constituents. in 1898 he was elected county treasurer of Saline county, on the Republican ticket, the election being won by a close margin, and for four years resided in Harrisburg, as previously mentioned.
Mr. Walker married, September 25, 1884, Savilla Johnson, who was born and reared in Saline county, being the only child of W. A. and Caroline (Cleveland) Johnson. Her father was born seventy-six years ago near his present home in Galatia. Mr. and Mrs. Walker have two children, namely: H. R. Walker, of Harrisburg, of whom a brief sketch may be found elsewhere in this volume; and Maude, a graduate of Ewing College, and now a music teacher, lives with her parents. Fraternafly Mr. Walker is a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Order of Masons, belonging to the Blue Lodge, at Harrisburg, and to the Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, at Harrisburg; and he also belongs to the lodge of Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks at Harrisburg. Religiously he is a member of the Missionary Baptist church.