DR. AMOS C. WALKER has manifold claims to recognition in a history of Fort Worth and of North Texas. In the first place he is the son of one of the most able lawyers that ever graced the bench and bar of the Lone Star state. He has himself achieved distinction in the profession of medicine and surgery, and stands in front rank especially as a surgeon, his scientific knowledge of this greatest of modern arts, and his remarkable skill and deftness as an operator contributing to his wonderful success in this work. He is, furthermore, president of the well known Protestant Sanitarium of Fort Worth, and is professor of clinical surgery in the medical department of Fort Worth University.
Dr. Walker was born at Nacogdoches, Texas, in 1852. His father, Judge Richard Sheckle Walker, was one of the most noted and brilliant men in the early history of Texas. He was born in Barren county, Kentucky, in 1824, of “good stock,” his father being a prosperous man. He received an exceptionally good education both literary and in the law. He graduated in 1842 at Centenary College, Jackson, Louisiana, and in 1844, when but twenty years old, received his diploma from the law department of Transylvania University at Lexington, Kentucky. He returned to Jackson, Louisiana, which had become his home, and spent a year in further study in preparation for practice in the Louisiana courts. But Texas had recently been admitted to the Union, and he determined to cast in his fortunes with the bar of the new state. In February, 1846, he located at San Augustine, where he began his long and distinguished professional career. In the summer of 1848 he was married to Miss Eliza J. Clark, a daughter of Judge Amos Clark, of Nacogdoches, and in the fall of that year he moved to Nacogdoches and formed a law partnership with his father-in-law. From that time his rise to distinction at the bar was rapid. In 1847 he had been appointed district attorney, and he was elected to that office at each successive term for a period of nearly eight years. In 1857 he formed a partnership with Judge George F. Moore, who was afterward chief justice of the state. During his partnership the two were appointed to report the decisions of the supreme court of Texas, and they prepared the twenty-second, twenty-third and twenty-fourth volumes of the Texas reports, which became statutory models for subsequent issues. In 1866 Judge Walker alone reported the twenty-fifth volume, and in that same year was a member of the constitutional convention, in which he took an active part in framing a constitution which should, while complying with the exigencies of the situation immediately following the Civil War, at the same time assert the rights of the dignity of the state. In 1873 he was appointed by Governor Coke as judge of the judicial district in which he lived, and, by election, he served in that capacity until 1879, when he was appointed a member of the court of commission of appeals, to which position he was subsequently elected twice. Besides achieving to such a high position in the legal profession in Texas, he was further noted for his literary attainments, which were of a very high order. His address to the Texas Bar Association in 1883, published by the Association, is a model of didactic composition, sparkling with refined phraseology and verbal elegance. He was a man of broad mind and fine accomplishments, and was greatly respected throughout the state. He died in Cincinnati, whither he had gone on account of failing health, in 1901.
Dr. Walker, the son of this prominent and high-minded Texan, was reared and has spent nearly all his life in this state. His higher education, both literary and scientific, was received in the University of Virginia. After graduation from there he went to Bellevue Hospital Medical College, in New York, where he prepared for the medical profession and was graduated in 1873. His first practice was in Rockdale, Milam county, Texas, and there he was soon ranked among the foremost of his profession, especially because of his skill as a surgeon. In 1893, he came to Fort Worth and formed a partnership with Dr. E. J. Beall, and noted physician of this city. He later joined with Dr. Adams in practice, and in 1901 these two founded the Protestant Sanitarium, of which Dr. Walker is president and chief surgeon, and, since Dr. Adams’ death, has been the principal owner of this model institution. Dr. Walker’s specialty is general surgery, but most of his practice and attention are confined to the Sanitarium.
Some facts in regard to the Protestant Sanitarium will add to the completeness of this historical work and at the same time throw light on the progressive and enterprising spirit which animates Dr. Walker in his life work. The Sanitarium is most eligibly situated at the corner of South Main street and Railroad avenue. The buildings consist of the main portion of the hospital proper, which is of two stories and connected by covered galleries, with the surgical wing on the south and the convalescent wing on the north. The ground floor of the main building contains the parlor, the reception room, the treatment room, the offices, matron’s headquarters, dining room, the offices, matron’s headquarters, dining room and culinary department. The second floor is fitted with four apartments for the sick or convalescent; the rooms have been made as home-like and comfortable as is possible by outlay of means. The north wing has a dozen or more private rooms, furnished in the best manner for the accommodation of the sick. In the south wing is the surgical department. The operating room is a model of its kinds, fitted out with all modern and up-to- date appliances and equipments known and necessary to the successful practice of twentieth century surgery. Surgery is no longer the simple matters it was when the untutored barber performed for makind the two-fold office of hair-clipper and blood-letter and limb-amputator. In fact, modern surgery is not possible without the most complete equipment in the way of sanitary hospitals, countless instruments and antiseptic and aseptic appliances, and such institutions as the Protestant Sanitarium are absolutely essential to the proper treatment of disease and care for the sick. The Protestant Sanitarium has complete sanitary furnishings, including sterilizers of the latest type and also an X-ray apparatus, so indispensable to modern medicine. Cases of contagious diseases, consumption, delirium tremens, insanity, or any cases of offensive or incurable nature, are not received in the Sanitarium. The attendance and care of patients and the cuisine and general service are unsurpassed, and the institution is of the highest class and perfectly fulfills its purposes.
Dr. Walker is a member of the Tarrant County Medical Society and the American Medical Association. He is a Royal Arch Mason and is past master of the blue lodge at Rockdale. He was married in 1900 to Miss Lelene Wright.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. I, pp. 209-210.