Biography of Samuel Walker

Samuel Walker, for nearly forty years one of the most stirring figures in the military and civil commotions which centered in the Lawrence region, was a Pennsylvanian, born in Franklin County, October 19, 1822. In 1848 he moved to Ohio and followed his trade as a cabinet maker, and in April, 1855, settled permanently in Kansas. He came with a large party of emigrants and located near Lawrence, with other pronounced free-soil settlers. About six weeks later he was urged by the sheriff of Douglas County to leave the country, but his answer was made the next day, in the organization of a company of eighty-six free-soilers under the name of the Bloomington Guards. Mr. Walker was first sergeant of the body. In the following year he was elected colonel of the Fourth Kansas Cavalry, which participated in all the campaigus of the free-state men. In that capacity he was at the sieges of Lawrence and Fort Saunders and in command at the capture of Fort Titus.

In 1856 Mr. Walker served as a member of the Territorial House of Representatives under the Topeka constitution, and it was he who, in February, 1858, found the returns of the election under the Lccompton constitution hidden in a candle box near the office of Surveyor General Calhoun at Lecompton. From June, 1861, until May, 1862, he served in the Civil war as captain of Company F, First Kansas Volunteer Infantry, and was afterward promoted to major of the Fifth Kansas Cavalry, serving in the latter post until the regiment was mustered out. In October, 1864, he became colonel of the Sixteenth Kansas Cavalry, and in 1866 was brevetted brigadier general of volunteers in the campaign against the Sioux.

Colonel Walker served as sheriff of Douglas County for four successive terms, commeneing with October, 1857. His last office, to which he was elected in 1872, was to membership in the State Senate. His death occurred at Lawrence, February 6, 1893.


Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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