JOSEPH WALTER. — Since coming from Illinois, thirty years ago, Joseph Walter has resided on his farm in section 18, and set a most worthy example as a skilful and thrifty agriculturist and a useful and intelligent citizen. As several years of his early manhood had been passed in the Union service, he had received a discipline which made him proof against average hardships and also taught him to appreciate the value of peace and stability. Like most of the other old soldiers, he has made the best kind of a citizen. Mr. Walter is a Pennsylvania man, born in Bedford county December 2, 1842, and a son of James and Elizabeth (Morse) Walter. The paternal grandfather, Jacob, was a native of Germany who settled in Virginia, where the father was born and reared. When a young man, James Walter moved to Pennsylvania, where he married Elizabeth Morse, and farmed almost to the time of his death at the age of eighty. The mother was a native of that state, of English extraction, and after the death of her husband made her home with her son Joseph until her death at the age of seventy-six.
The boyhood of Joseph Walter was uneventful and spent on the Pennsylvania farm, his service for the Union being as driver of a government team in 1862-4. In the latter year he moved west to Ogle county, Illinois, working on a farm until his marriage in 1868, when he rented a tract of land in Lee county, that state, which he operated for nine years or more. In 1879 he purchased his present farm of eighty acres, which at that time was virtually raw and entirely treeless. He has since planted shade trees, brought his place to a fine state of cultivation, made numerous other improvements, and, in fact, transformed mere land into a valuable and pleasing homestead. Besides the home farm in section 18, he owns fifty acres in section 7, of Taylor township, and is a substantial citizen who is a credit to his German, English and American blood.
In 1868 Mr. Walter was united in marriage with Miss Mary Hightman, a native of Ogle county, Illinois, and they have had five children, as follows: Irvin W., now a traveling salesman whose home is in Vinton; Irene, wife of D. L. Bryan, also a resident of that place; Emma, who married George Long, a farmer of Benton county; Albert Miller, an engineer who lives at Garrison, this county; and Anna, who is now the wife of John Myers, who also resides in the Benton county. Both Mr. and Mrs. Walter are members of the Baptist church, popular for their social traits and highly respected for their integrity and helpfulness.