ROBERT J. WALKER, was born in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, on the 23d of November, 1840. Wm. Walker, his father, was a native of the same state. The family is of Scotch-Irish ancestry. He married Miss Shoup, who was of German ancestry. There were three children by this marriage, two boys and one girl. Robert J. is the eldest in the family. The sister died when she was in her seventeenth year. George S., the younger brother, is still a resident of Pennsylvania. The mother died in 1845. After the death of his wife the father married Elizabeth Hartswick. From this union there has been three children. He was a ship carpenter, and worked at his trade in Philadelphia. In 1837 he removed to Lock Haven, and died in June, 1878. After the death of his mother, Robert J. went to his uncle, Robert Walker, and remained with him until he was fifteen years of age. He spent his boyhood days in going to school and working upon the farm, and at the age of fifteen he went to work in a flouring mill as an apprentice, where he remained one year. When he was eighteen years of age, he came west to Dayton, Ohio. He remained there but a short time, and then went to Osborne, in Greene county, where he entered as an apprentice, and served four years. This brings the life of the subject of our sketch up to the breaking out of the war.
The call for six hundred thousand men was made by President Lincoln in 1862. Mr. Walker responded to the call, and enlisted in Company A, 94th Regiment Ohio volunteers, under command of Col. Frazee. The regiment rendezvoused at Camp Riqua, and from there was ordered to Covington, Ky., thence to Lexington. The regiment was first under fire at Richmond, Ky. Mr. Walker was not in this engagement. He rejoined the regiment at Louisville, where it was brigaded with the 38th Indiana, 2d and 33d Ohio, and 10th Wisconsin regiments. The brigade formed a part of the First Division, under command of Gen. Rsoencrans, and was attached to the Fourteenth Army Corps, under command of Gen. George H. Thomas. The regiment took part in the battles of Perryville, Stone River, Pigeon Mountain, and Chickamauga. At the last battle the brigade was so terribly cut up that it lost its identity as a brigade, and was re-brigaded with the 104th Illinois, 21st Wisconsin, and 42d Indiana regiments. The command still remained in the Fourteenth Army Corps. The regiment afterwards engaged in the battles of Lookout Mountain, Mission Ridge, Buzzard's Roost, and Resaca. In the latter battle the regiment sustained a loss of fifty-two men killed in almost an instant. At the battle of Chattanooga the regiment also lost heavily. After that it was engaged in almost a continued skirmish up to the siege and capture of Atlanta. At the latter place Gen. Thomas was relieved, and Gen. Sherman took command of the forces. The regiment was with Sherman in his famous march to the sea, and participated in the battles of Black River, and Bentonville, and was mustered out in August, 1865, at the close of th war, at Columbus, Ohio. Mr. Walker was in the service three years and fourteen days, and escaped unscathed, but received a shock by the concussion of a shell.
After the war closed Mr. Walker went to Leavenworth, Kansas. He soon afterward returned to Pennsylvania, where he remained a short time and then came to Belleville, Illinois, and in the fall of 1866 came to Carlinville, and worked in a mill for six months, and then came to Virden, where he was similarly employed. He afterwards worked at the carpenter trade, and tried farming for several years. In February, 1868, he was married to Miss Lucy Williams, daughter of James Williams, Sr. She is a native of Greene county, Illinois. Her father was a soldier of the war of 1812, and an old settler of the state. Four children have been born to them; three boys and one girl. In 1875, mr. Walker came to Girard mills, and fifteen months later was made Superintendent, and on the 29th of March, 1878, he became half owner of the mills. In politics he is a republican, and cast his first presidential vote for Abe Lincoln in 1864. He was formerly a democrat, but after he went into the service he became a republican, and has remained a member of that political organization up to the present time.
He is also a member of the Masonic order. Mr. Walker is regarded as a thorough and honorable business man, and as such enjoys the confidence and esteem of the entire community.