FRED WALKER, of Canton township, living on his farm, though now retired from active life, came with his parents to Benton county, in 1856. He was born in Chautauqua county, New York, in 1852, and is a son of C. N. and Augusta (Stoddard) Walker, the latter now residing with him, at the age of seventy-six years. C. N. Walker, who died in May, 1908, in his eightieth year, was also a native of Chautauqua county, New York, where for years he was engaged in mercantile business; although after coming to Benton county he followed farming. He and his wife were charter members of the Baptist church at Palo. In 1856 they settled in section 36, in Canton township, where they lived many years. The home is now located in sections 17 and 18, of the same township, where the farm of four hundred and forty acres upon which the family have resided since 1895 is operated by the sons of Fred Walker. They still retain the remainder of the estate, which aggregates altogether over eight hundred acres. Augusta (Stoddard) Walker was born at Brattleboro, Vermont, and came to New York as a child; her family later located in Benton county, Iowa, and she has a sister, Mrs. Thompson, residing at Belle Plaine, Iowa.
Fred was the only child of his parents, and after attending the local schools began to help with the work on the farm, which vocation he has since followed with remarkable success. He made a specialty of stock raising, and learned the trade of miller in a flour mill which his father and S. A. Bowe erected on Bear Creek in 1869. It was one of the first mills built in that section. He worked some time in his father's mill on Bear Creek, two miles east of Shellsburg. He conducted a creamery and cheese factory at Shellsburg, for four years, although he prefers farming. He is a Republican in politics and takes great interest in local affairs, although he has never accepted public office. He is a prominent and influential citizen, and widely known and respected.
Mr. Walker married, in Linn county, Iowa, Carrie A. Root, who was born at Jackson, Michigan, in 1854, and died in the fall of 1908; she came to Iowa in 1855, lived in Black Hawk county for a time and then removed to Linn county where she resided until her marriage. She left six children, namely: Estella, now Mrs. Detwiler, of Waterloo, Iowa; Lola A., at home; Alberta, now Mrs. Bowe, of Canton township; Carlton, who married Effie Williams, and lives on the home farm; Oscar L., assisting in the work of the farm; and Norman, at school.
When the Walker family came to Iowa the trip was made by rail to Iowa City and from that point by stage. C. N. Walker purchased wild prairie land which he broke and improved. The trading was at that time done at Cedar Rapids which was the nearest trading point.