Jeff David WALKER Biography
by Carolyn Sue Owens (1999)
Jeff David WALKER was born on May 31, 1861 in Polk County, Texas. His parents were Calvin WALKER, born in 1838 in Washington County, Texas and Mary OWENS, birthplace unknown. Jeff David WALKER married Rhoda S. OWINGS on April 15, 1890 in Cherokee County, Texas. Rhoda was the daughter of Grady Lewis OWINGS and Mary Jane BORDEN and was born in Frio County, Texas on March 27, 1874.
The first child of Jeff David and Rhoda was born in Hardin County, Texas in 1892. Their second child was born in Latexo, Houston County, Texas in 1894. By 1896 they were living in Gallatin, Cherokee County, Texas, where their remaining nine children were born.
On January 3, 1905 Jeff David WALKER purchased 83 ½ acres of land in Cherokee County, Texas. Little is known about their lives while in Cherokee County, Texas other than he worked at a sawmill and farmed. According to Major Lee WALKER, a grandson, Jeff David insisted on all family members being present and seated for the evening meal. He was a good provider and believed in working hard and going to bed early.
Jeff David and Rhoda sold their farm in Cherokee County, Texas and moved to San Augustine County, Texas in 1919. He farmed and taught agriculture at the college in San Augustine, San Augustine County, Texas. Jeff David and one of his sons, James William Frank WALKER, died of influenza during the flu epidemic in 1923 and are buried in the San Augustine City Cemetery in San Augustine County, Texas. Jeff David WALKER was a Woodsman of the World and has one of their tombstones.
After her one of her sons married and moved to Newton County, Texas in March of 1923, Rhoda and her unmarried children, Elmer Louis, Walter Cowan, Sam, Joe Chepis, Ted Ralph and Leah Faye, also moved there. During this time the WALKER children attended school at Stringtown and Newton schools and the family attended the Church of Christ.
On June 10, 1930, Rhoda S. OWINGS WALKER died at the age of 56. She had worked in the fields that day. Rhoda had suffered with tuberculosis for quite some time and had previously been in a sanitarium for tuberculosis. Mildred KING, a neighbor, "laid her out," and Rhoda's sons built her casket. Her long black hair had never been cut. Rhoda is buried in the WALKER Plot at the Newton City Cemetery, Newton County, Texas.
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