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Pickaway County, Ohio
History & Genealogy



History of Pickaway County
and Representative Citizens
Edited and Compiled by
Hon. Aaron R. Van Cleaf
Circleville, Ohio
Publ. 1906



  WILLIAM D. WALKER, whose excellent farm of 220 acres of valuable land is situated on the Goose Pond turnpike, in Scioto township, was born in this township Jan. 3, 1846, and is a son of James and Sarah (Fretwell) Walker.
The Walker family is of old Virginian stock. of English extraction.  The great-grand-father was born in England and in young manhood removed to Albemarle County, Virginia.  where he was subsequently employed as a carpenter on the farm of Thomas Jefferson.  He married a Miss Turner at Shadwell and they spent their lives there,  rearing three children.  Thomas, Sarah and John, the last named being the grandfather of our subject.  His widow resided with her mother, whose second husband, a Mr. Morgan, carried on a mill which belonged to Mr. Jefferson. at old Shadwell.  It was there that John Walker, our subject's grandfather was reared to manhood. learned
the millwright's trade and assisted in building the large mill at Charlottesville, which in. its day was one of note.  He learned the milling business and became head miller in 1816, holding the position until 1822, when he purchased a mill which he operated until he came to Ohio in 1834.
     John Walker was a soldier in the War of 1812, belonging to a corps of cavalry which was stationed at Norfolk, Virginia. in order to protect the coast in that vicinity from British invasion.
     In June, 1816, John Walker was united in marriage with Elizabeth Wertenbaker, who was born in Albemarle County, Virginia. in 1800, and died in her 82nd year, in 1882.  John Walker was born in June, 1786, and died in 1861, aged 77 years.  The oldest brother of Mrs. Walker was William Wertenbaker, a brilliant young man, who attended the University of Virginia, at Charlottesville, for two years.  He was then made secretary of the faculty and librarian, through the influence of President Jefferson.  He remained there 55 years, or until his death, a faithful admirer of Thomas Jefferson to the last.  Mr. Jefferson reciprocated and there are many family stories of an interesting nature to testify to the esteem in which he held the Walkers and their connections.
     The children of John and Elizabeth (Wertenbaker) Walker were as follows:  Mary, who died unmarried; James, our subjectís father; William. who died soon after the family came to Ohio; Susan, who married James May and resided in Hardin County.  Ohio, until her death; Adeline, who married John Cartmell and lives in Madison County, Ohio: Benjamin F., who resides at Garnett, Kansas; Sarah, deceased, who was the wife of A. L. Vittum; Charles, who died at an early age; Louise, deceased, who was the wife of William Gibson and lived in Scioto township; Thomas Jefferson, who is engaged in rice planting at Jennings, Louisiana; Mildred, who married William Coontz and lives in Kansas City, Missouri; Meriwether Lewis, who lived and died at Circleville; Richard, deceased, who resided in Madison County, Ohio; and Melissa D., deceased, who was the wife of Edward Thomas, of Scioto township.
     James Walker, father of our subject, was born in Albemarle County, Virginia, in 1818, and was 16 years of age when he accompanied his parents when in 1834 they drove a team across the mountains, bound for Ohio.  He located with them on the farm now owned by Preston Peters, in Scioto township, Pickaway County, two miles southeast of Commercial Point, which place was formerly known as Genoa.  James Walker served from 1858 to 1864 as postmaster at Genoa.  He held other important public positions.  For nine years he served as justice of the peace in Scioto township and also was one of the township trustees for a long period.  From the age of 16 years until his death on Sept. 9, 1904, he lived in Scioto township, with the exception of five years prior to the Civil War, which he passed at Georgesville, Franklin County.  Later he returned to Scioto township where his long life closed as mentioned, being at that time aged 86 years and 3 days.
     In 1843 James Walker was married to Sarah A. Fretwell, who was born May 3, 1822, in Albemarle County, Virginia, and was seven years of age when she accompanied her parents, John and Margaret Fretwell, to Scioto township, Pickaway County, Ohio, in 1829.  Mr. and Mrs. Fretwell lived in Pickaway County and reared their children here.  After the death of his wife, Mr. Fretwell moved north of Columbus, where he lived until his death in the latter part of the í60ís.
     The children of James and Sarah A. (Fretwell) Walker were: Margaret M., who married John M. Durrett and resides on the old home place; William D., who is the subject of this sketch; Robert R., who died unmarried, aged about 25 years; John Fretwell, who resides on a farm adjoining the old home place; and Mary L., deceased, who was the wife of T. N. Gray.
     William D. Walker attended the district schools and was reared principally on the farm in Scioto township, where his father located in 1864.  Until his marriage our subject remained at home and then located on the half of the 100 acres which his father gave to him and his brother, and later he purchased his brotherís interest.  In 1905 he bought an additional 120 acres, of the estate of A. E. Brown, which was formerly known as the J. D. Mundell farm.  His land now aggregates 220 acres, on which he carries on general farming, raising corn, wheat, hay and oats and does considerable in the line of feeding cattle and hogs.  He utilizes two teams.  A considerable part of his farm Mr. Walker has devoted to grass and raises a fine quality of hay.  This land is very favorably located and here Mr. Walker has a beautiful home.
Source:  History of Pickaway County, Ohio and Representative Citizens, Edited and Compiled by Hon. Aaron R. Van Cleaf. Circleville, Ohio - Publ. 1906 - Page 686
  DR. THOMPSON B. WRIGHT, was born at Circleville, in August, 1864.  He was graduated from Kenyon College in 1883.  Three years later he was graduated from the Columbus Medical College.  After practicing a few months at South Bloomfield, he came to Circleville and entered into partnership with his great-uncle, the late Dr. Asad W. Thompson, which association continued until 1894, since which year he has practiced alone.  During the Spanish-American War he spent nine months in the service, as a surgeon of the Fourth Regiment, Ohio Infantry, U. S. Volunteers.
Source:  History of Pickaway County, Ohio and Representative Citizens, Edited and Compiled by Hon. Aaron R. Van Cleaf. Circleville, Ohio - Publ. 1906 - Page 305


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