JOHN SMITH BARLOW WALKER. In Mr. Walker we find a gentleman whose efforts toward the domestic improvement of Montague county have covered more than a score and a half of years, and since 1877 he has been identified with his farm on the Sunset and Forestburg road. In 1873 he settled in the rolling country about three miles west of Forestburg and his home has been maintained on the same place ever since. Farming was the vocation taught him as a boy in Cooke and Grayson counties and that and kindred vocations have claimed his time since he became a man. As a carpenter he has had a hand n much of the building done in his locality and as a farmer he has creditably improved and successfully cultivated the one hundred and sixty acres of land where he has so long made his home.
By nativity Mr. Walker is a Tennesseean, having been born in Jackson county, that state, September 19, 1850. He was a son of Francis D. Walker, born in Kentucky in 1801,and brought up there by Watt Walker, his father. Just what family Watt Walker had we cannot tell, but William, Green and Francis D. were three sons and the last passed his life as a farmer. About 1838 he married Mary J. Coundry who was born in 1811, who was his companion through all his trials and vicissitudes in the west and died in Benton county, Arkansas, in 1867.
Francis D. and Mary Walker’s large family consisted of the following children: Marion, of Orr, Indian Territory; Rachel, who died in the Cherokee Nation as the wife of Joseph Bridges; Jesse, who was killed by the Indians at Belknap, Texas, while in the military service of Texas; Mary J., of Hardy, Texas, wife of T. B. Clark; Sarah and Minerva, twins, the former married Charles Hayes and died in Arkansas, and the latter married James Craft and died in the Cherokee Nation; John S. B., and Andrew J., of Bowie, Texas. In 1856 the parents began their westward journey and stopped first in Dade county, Missouri, and in 1857 they came on to Texas and settled near Whitesboro in Cooke county, and later, moved to Grayson county. The house first built was afterward moved to the townsite of Whitesboro and was the first house of that now substantial town. After remaining in Texas about ten years, and still believing that the best place was yet ahead, the parents migrated to Benton county, Arkansas, and there the father also passed away, in 1888. Mrs. Walker’s folks were of the Virginia Coundry, and farmers, a branch of which dropped down into the state of Tennessee where Mary J. was born, in 1811. At about seventeen years of age John S. B. Walker began his life as a teamster and freighter between Jefferson, Whitesboro, Gainesville and Ft. Sill, Indian Territory, hauling lumber, supplies and grain to and fro for a period of four years. With his accumulations from this source he settled in Montague county and began his life on a new farm. He finally bought a piece of deeded land, built a toy box house on it and launched himself into the heat of the fight. Practically the whole of his farm has been brought under the plow, and cotton, corn and the stock of the farm have brought him his substantial results. Some years ago he erected a cotton gin near the Walker schoolhouse, but this was somewhat in the nature of an experiment and its owner’s hopes for it were not realized.
A year subsequent to his advent to the county Mr. Walker was united in marriage, July 23, 1874, to Louisa C. E. Box, a daughter of Cornelius and Mary B. (Wells) Box who came to Texas from Calhoun county, Alabama, in 1857. Mr. Box settled in Rusk county and there Mrs. Walker was born December 16, 1858. They then moved to Cooke county in 1859. In the order of their birth Mr. and Mrs. Box’s children are: Joseph, of Montague county; Calvin and Mrs. Julia Marteen, of Hale county; Belle, wife of E. E. Farmer living near by; Miss Linnie, still at home; Ruth, who married Arthur Teague, of Montague county, and John and Elward, still under the paternal roof.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. I, pp. 511-512.