Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Guian Leeper Walker (1841-1921)

Portrait courtesy of Find-A-Grave.

   For many years a prominent political office holder in Cedar County, Missouri, Guian Leeper Walker was a lifelong Missourian who, following service in the Confederate Army, entered politics, serving as Cedar County collector and county clerk. Late in his life he would be elected as County Judge for Cedar County, serving two years in office. The son of Benjamin Franklin and Nancy (Leeper) Walker, Guian Leeper Walker was born on October 22, 1841 near Dade County. A prominent figure in his own right, Benjamin F. Walker (1820-1906) represented Dade County in the Missouri legislature and during the Civil War attained the rank of Colonel in the Confederate Army. Following his service Walker removed to Arkansas where he served in the state house of representatives, the senate and was also a delegate to the state constitutional convention of 1874.
  Young Guian resided on a farm during his youth and in 1862 enlisted amongst the ranks of the Confederacy, joining Company G. of the 18th Missouri Infantry. As an ordnance sergeant, Walker engaged in skirmishes at Newtonia and Humansville, Missouri, and in July 1863 was taken prisoner at the Battle of Helena in Arkansas. After spending a number of months in captivity in Illinois and Fort Delaware Walker returned to service and in 1863 was transferred to a sharpshooting regiment
  Upon his return to civilian life Walker married to Mary A. Roberts in Fannin County, Texas in September 1865. The couple were wed for over fifty-five years and their union saw the births of five children: Virgil (1866-1933), Cora Etha Isabelle (1868-1952), Susan (1870-1893), Mary Lulu (1872-1902) and John Franklin (1874-1912). Following his marriage Walker and his wife returned to Cedar County and for a brief period Walker worked at both farming and teaching school.
   In the late 1860s Walker abandoned teaching and settled into life as a farmer, "owning and maintaining a valuable farm near Stockton." Active in the Stockton community, Walker was a parishioner at the Methodist Episcopal Church and was also a member of the Knights of Pythias and secretary of his local masonic chapter
   Guian L. Walker was first called to political life in 1874, when he was elected as Cedar County collector. After a two year stint in that post he won election as Cedar County clerk, a post he held for two terms (1878-1886.) In 1912 he was returned to public office, winning election as Judge for Cedar County's Southern district. Walker's time on the bench extended from 1913-15 and he died on March 29, 1921 at his home in Stockton, Missouri, his cause of death being attributed to "heart trouble." His wife Mary survived him by nine years and following her death in 1930 was interred alongside him at the Stockton Cemetery.