C[arlton] N. WALKER is a resident of Linn County, but, as he is a pioneer and for many years resided in Benton County, he deserves especial mention in this work. He was born in Chautauqua County, N. Y., on the 9th day of March, 1829, his parents being Lewis M. and Lucinda (Wood) Walker. When he was ten years of age the family moved to Union County, Ohio, where he assisted his father on the farm and attended the common schools. At the age of sixteen he went to Lebanon, Ky., and received further instruction in the common branches of learning, his uncle being his teacher, for one year. He then returned to Ohio, and in the fall of the same year moved with his family back to his native county. When he was eighteen years of age he entered a general store as clerk, and two years later engaged in a general mercantile business at Fredonia, N. Y.
On May 12, 1851, Mr. Walker was united in marriage with Augusta, daughter of Alfred and Anna (Gore) Stoddard. She was born Oct. 6, 1833, near Brattleboro, Vt. He continued in business until May 23, 1855, at which time he had two partners — his brother, George Walker, and G. J. Cottrell — the latter is now a leading hardware merchant of Quincy, Ill. In selling out the business the firm accepted as part payment 640 acres of land in Homer Township, Benton Co., Iowa, and as Mr. Walker owned a one-third interest in the land, he, accompanied by his father, took a trip West to look at the country, and thus for the first time saw his land. He soon returned to Fredonia, N. Y., but as he was a sufferer from asthma he concluded to seek a clime where he could enjoy better health, and thus in the spring of 1856, accompanied by his wife and son, he again started westward. At Aurora, Ill., he found his former partner, G. J. Cottrell. He left his wife and son at Aurora, while he and Mr. Cottrell went in search of a business location. They traveled over a considerable portion of country, and finally concluded to establish a grocery business at Aurora, Ill., but while they were negotiating for a store-room a fire broke out which laid the business portion of that town in ashes, and so they gave up their idea. Mr. Cottrell then went to Macomb, Ill., and engaged in the hardware trade, and Mr. Walker came to Iowa to try farming. When he arrived in Linn County his wife found she had several relatives living in this vicinity, and, as she had lived in town all her life, she did not wish to settle down on the land already owned by Mr. Walker, as then they would have no neighbors for several miles. On this account he purchased, eighty acres in section 36, Clinton [sic, Canton] Township, Benton County, and also fifty-three acres adjoining, but across the line in Linn County [Fayette Township], and here engaged in farming. His health gradually improved, and tilling the soil proving a success, he purchased more land from time to time and thus became the owner of over 700 acres; he still owns 450 acres; but best of all, he now is the possessor of good health, and after a long residence in Iowa is able to say that he has never been obliged by sickness to require the services of a physician. He now has his land rented, and he and his loving and faithful wife are thus enabled to live retired from active labor, and in a manner suitable to their tastes. They have but one child, a son, Fred, who is now engaged in farming in Beadle County, Dak., where he owns a section of land.
Mr. Walker is a shrewd business man, a good neighbor, courteous to all, and highly respected by all who know him. He and his wife are believers in the Christian religion and were for many years connected with the Baptist Church. They enjoy company, and have a large circle of friends, whom they entertain in a hospitable and generous manner.A portrait of Mr. Walker will be found in connection with this sketch.
Source Citation: "1887 Benton County, Iowa Biographies" [database online] Benton County IAGenWeb Project. <http://iagenweb.org/benton/>
Original data: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Benton County, Iowa." Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887, p. 329-330.
Transcribed by: Sue Soden. Submitted to the Benton County IAGenWeb Project on February 13th, 2009. Copyright © 2009 The IAGenWeb Project.