Elijah Walker, a respected farmer in Nelson Township, epitomizes dedication and skill in agriculture. Born in Pennsylvania in 1832 into a family with deep farming roots, he has cultivated a flourishing 240-acre farm in Illinois, showcasing his adeptness in modern farming practices. Married to Joanna Frickey, with three children, Elijah’s life is a blend of hard work, family values, and community service, including roles such as Township Assessor. His commitment to agriculture and the well-being of his community marks him as a pillar of his township, continuing the legacy of his ancestors with integrity and perseverance.
Elijah Walker enjoys a good reputation as an honorable, hard-working farmer, who is profitably engaged in agriculture, and the fine condition of his farm on sections 24 and 25, Nelson Township, with its substantial buildings and well-tilled acres, gives ample proof of his thorough acquaintance with the best methods of carrying on his calling. He is a Pennsylvanian by birth, and in the township of Summit, Somerset County, he was born March 19, 1832, a scion of the old stock of that vicinity, the old farm upon which he first opened his eyes to the light of the world having been the native place of his father, Peter P. H. Walker, and of his grandfather, Philip Walker, his great-grandfather, Henry Walker, a native of the Keystone State, having purchased it from the Government in Colonial times when it was a part of the primeval forest. He died thereon when an old man, having spent his life as a frugal, thrifty farmer. His father was a German who had come to this country and had located in Pennsylvania in the early days of its settlement. The old homestead is still in possession of the family, a brother of our subject being its present owner. Philip Walker spent his entire life on the old home farm, dying at the age of sixty-six, his wife, who was a Somerset County lady, also dying there when past seventy years of age. Both were Lutherans in religion, and he was a Democrat in politics. They were the parents of six children, four sons and two daughters, all of whom are now deceased. Their son Peter inherited the old homestead and lived on it until he closed his eyes in death eighty-one years after his birth thereon. He was a very successful farmer, a prominent man in his community, to whom his fellow-citizens often looked for guidance and counsel. He was a sturdy Democrat in his politics, and a sound Lutheran in his religion. His wife, whose maiden name was Sarah Will, and who was born in Somerset Township in October 1800, died on the old farm May 11, 1889, their wedded life having been of more than half a century’s duration. She, too, was a faithful Lutheran.
Our subject is one of a family of eight sons and three daughters, of whom six sons and one daughter are still living, and all married and prospering. He was educated in the common schools, grew to a stalwart manhood in the place of his birth, and in due time selected a wife to help him in the making of a home, marrying in his native township Miss Joanna Frickey. She was born in the Kingdom of Hanover, Germany, July 29, 1832, and was ten years old when she came to this country with her mother and stepfather, Fred Haupt. They settled first in Somerset County, Pa., living on a farm there for some years, and then came to Lee County, locating in Nelson Township, where Mr. Haupt died December 29, 1863, aged sixty-seven years. He was a Lutheran in religion. His wife, whose maiden name was Doretta Just, died in this township November 5, 1875, when past sixty-eight years old. She was a truly good woman, a kind wife and loving mother, a sincere Christian, and a member of the Lutheran Church. Her father was Frederick Just, who died in the Kingdom of Hanover while yet in life’s prime. Mr. and Mrs. Walker are blessed in their happy marriage by these three children: Hiram P., a farmer in York County, Neb., who married Miss Ella Troutman; Sadie E., wife of J. G. Winter, an expressman in Davenport, Neb.; and Minerva, who is the comfort and stay of her parents at home.
Mr. Walker made his first purchase of land in this county in 1860, buying at that time eighty acres of his present farm, to which he has since added more land, and now has two hundred and forty acres, of which nearly the whole is highly improved. It is supplied with a good class of buildings and fine farming machinery and has all the facilities for carrying on farming advantageously, and besides is well stocked with cattle, horses, and hogs, which are the source of a comfortable income. Our subject has not only contributed to the material well-being of his adopted township by his good work as a farmer during the last thirty and more years, but he has taken a keen interest in its welfare in other directions. He has been Assessor for over twelve years and has held other local offices. In politics, he is an intelligent follower of the Democratic party. In religion, he has not departed from the faith of his ancestors, and both he and his wife are valued members of the Lutheran Church.