Charles Clyde Walker born in 1849 in Lynnville, Tennessee. He always said "of the poorest farm couple, in the poorest town, in the poorest county, in the poorest state." He ran away from home at the age of 14 years, hitch-hiked his way to the great big world of Texas.
How he managed to survive, and work, and kept his ambition to be a doctor would fill several books. He did however, work in drug stores and finally became an apprentice to several doctors. Saving his money, and going to medical school was a goal far away. In 1890 he received his doctors' degree in medicine from Nashville Medical University. He came back to Texas to marry a "beautiful farm girl", Roseanna Elizabeth Law, of Greenville, Texas. Great dreams of the West and the wide open spaces, drove them, along with her parents, Wyatt L. and Amanda Law, by covered wagon to Knox County, Texas, where they secured homes and lived for a while. News of a desperate need for doctors in Dickens and adjoining counties influenced him to settle permanently in Dickens.
The doctor, whose ambitions were to have a family and live quietly in his beloved West Texas were somewhat shattered by the fact that although he had a wife, his life was spent travelling between patients, so many miles apart, day or night, that it would sometime be days before he would get to go home.
Meantime his family was growing, there were Thomas Clyde, a son, then Benjamin, another son, but that was not enough, he must have a "little girl". On January 14, 1896, I made my appearance, as soon as I was weighed (4 lbs.) and covered in warm blankets, the doctor dashed into the snow covered streets, and began yelling to anyone who could hear, "I have a baby girl". He said his dreams had come true, that is I, Nina Walker Brabham Isbell.
My father and I were inseparable. He was a real Latin scholar. He began teaching me Latin to talk. I said "amo", now knowing it meant "I love". I began public school at age 5 years, but he was not enthusiastic about it for it kept us apart. He would take me from school to go with him on his horse and buggy calls. They took him to adjoining counties, once on a call to Stonewall County he was gone two weeks, there a wife and her young daughter were very ill with typhoid fever, during Mrs. Presley's convalescence, she painted an oil portrait of me.
Since there were no hospitals, father maintained a separate bunkhouse of beds near our house and I was the chief nurse at ages 5, 6 and 7. The managers of the Pitchforks, Spurs, and Matadors, always insisted that Dr. Walker bring his little black eyed daughter along to cheer up the cowboys, my father was greatly flattered and did just that. They gave me such things as rings, bracelets, dolls and such, thereby reducing the Doctors' fees considerably.
My mother and all her family, the W.L. Law, family, lived and raised their families in and near Dickens. All were members of the Baptist Church, mother often admonished my father to come and go to church so Nina will go, he told her, you attend to their souls, and I'll attend to their bodies. Father was a member of the Masonic Lodge and the Woodmen of the World. The Woodmen buried him and erected the tombstone, a beautiful monument, in the Dickens Cemetery. He died August 15, 1904.
Source: History of Dickens County; Ranches and Rolling Plains, Fred Arrington, ©1971
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