Biography - James Walton

JAMES K. WALTON, farmer, P. O. Anna. When we study the life-history of successful men, we find, as a rule, that they are men of fixed purpose and great continuity, who are fortunate enough to be able to choose a vocation in keeping with their tastes, and for which their native or acquired powers fit them. The great cause of failure, or non-success in business or professional life, is a lack of continued effort. Of this class of men who succeed in finding the avocation in which their best powers are furnished with ample scope for exercise, must be named the subject of this sketch. James K. Walton, a native of Lebanon County, Penn., was born May 18, 1825, and is a son of Isaac and Mary (Brown) Walton. The elder Walton was born in Chester County, Penn., February 9, 1788, and was raised in the State, spent his whole life and died in it, May 28, 1827. He learned the stone-mason's trade in early life, but in later years engaged in mercantile business on a small scale. He was married, December 19, 1815, and both he and his wife were exemplary members of the Episcopal Church. She was born in Chester County also, February 28, 1797, and died July 31, 1839. She was the mother of four children, of whom our subject was the youngest — Ellen, widow of John Irvin, now living at Hiawatha, Kan., the other two, William and Augustus, are dead. The former was long engaged in the foundry business in Baltimore and Philadelphia, in the firm of Isaac A. Shepard & Co.; he died in Philadelphia in February, 1883, aged sixty years; was quite wealthy, worth some $120,000. Our subject was raised on a farm, and educated in the subscription schools of Pennsylvania. He remained at home until 1853, when he came to Illinois, and located in Union County, entering upon his career in life as a hired hand, grading the Illinois Central Railroad. Before leaving his native State, he had worked on a farm by the month, and the highest wages he ever received was at the rate of $12 per month. He worked on the railroad for one year, and in 1854 embarked in farming upon his present farm. It then contained 240 acres, but he has added to it until now it comprises 440 acres, highly improved, and in an admirable state of cultivation; he also owns some 1,500 acres in the Mississippi bottoms. He makes a specialty of hay, wheat, corn and fine stock, of which latter he has some excellent and valuable animals. In 1869, he erected from his own designs a large and commodious brick residence, and upon his farm he has large barns, numerous outbuildings, all of substantial character. Indeed, his is a model farm, and displays in every design and improvement the good taste and judgment of its owner. Mr. Walton was married, March 26, 1854, to Mrs. Serena Walker, a native of Union County, Ill., born in Jonesboro, June 24, 1833. She is a daughter of Hon. Winstead and Anna (Willard) Davie; he was born in North Carolina, and came to Union County in 1820. His history appears elsewhere in this volume. Mr. and Mrs. Walton have seven children living, and two dead. Anna Ellen, died in infancy; Winstead Davie, born February 15, 1856, a farmer in the Mississippi bottoms; Mary Emma, born October 12, 1858. at home; Clinton B., born March 16, 1861, and died November 12, 1862; Edward B., born November 14, 1863, at home; James K., born February 12, 1866; William B., born July 25, 1868; Charles A., born December 28, 1870; Samuel D., born August 6, 1873. Mr. and Mrs. Walton are members of the Presbyterian Church at Anna — he is a Trustee of the same; he is also a charter member of the Knights of Honor at Jonesboro. He is a Democrat in politics, of the old Jackson school.

Extracted 02 Apr 2017 by Norma Hass from 1883 History of Alexander, Union, and Pulaski Counties, Illinois, Part V, pages 89-90.

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