Dr. William A. Walker. – Among the oldest and most successful physicians and prosperous druggists of Bullock county, Ala., is Dr. William A. Walker, of Perote. He was born in Harris county, Ga., in 1832, a son of William G. and Fannie G. (Hill) Walker, both natives of Putnam county, in the same state, where they were married, shortly after which event they removed to Harris county, where Mrs. Walker was drowned, in 1843, by the falling of a bridge which she was crossing. Mr. Walker’s second wife bore the maiden name of Missouri B. Chandler, who bore her husband four children. The father died in 1848, at Raymond, Miss., while returning home from his plantation in Louisiana, in which state he had large planting interests, as well as in Georgia. He was a graduate from the State university of Georgia, was possessed of fine talents and literary taste, and was the owner of a valuable library of several thousand volumes. William Walker, the father of William G., was also a native of Putnam county, Ga., was a wealthy planter, and was known as “Rich Billy Walker.” He reared a large family, and died in Harris county, Ga. Still another William Walker, father of him who is last mentioned, was also a native of Putnam county, Ga., was a moderately successful farmer, and reared a family of six sons and two daughters. His father was a native of Ireland, who came to America in his early manhood, and fought all through the Revolutionary war. When the war was over he settled in Georgia, and married a Scotch lady. He was a farmer, and ended his days in the state of his adoption.
The Walker family is of Scotch origin, and traces its history many generations in that country, before some of its members took up their abode in Ireland. John Hill, the maternal grandfather of Dr. William A. Walker, was also a native of Putnam county, Ga., whence he removed to Walton county, in the same state, where he was a successful farmer. He reared two daughters, and died in Walton, before Dr. William A. Walker was born. His father, also named John, came to this country from Ireland prior to the Revolution. He was quite young, but entered the patriot army, and bore a gallant part throughout the heroic struggle. He did not marry until after independence had been gained, and his matrimonial experience was unusual, and, indeed, peculiar. For him the matrimonial knot was six times tied, his last marriage taking place when he was one hundred and seventeen years of age to a girl of seventeen years. He died at the wonderfully advanced age of one hundred and twenty-six years. He was a great sportsman and hunter, was possessed of much ability and influence, and at one time was a member of the Georgia state legislature, and held, beside, various other offices at different periods of his protracted existence.
Dr. William A. Walker is the second born in a family of four sons and one daughter. His boyhood days were spent on the home plantation, but he was surrounded with good educational advantages, and after due preparation entered the State university of Georgia, from which he graduated in 1850. After reading medicine with Dr. J. W. Pitts, in Harris county, Ga., until properly qualified, he attended the Jefferson Medical college, at Philadelphia, where he took his degree in 1854. The next three years he practiced in his native county, and located in Perote, Ala., where for the first few years he had a limited neighborhood clientele, but at present there is no more popular physician in the county, nor one whose services are in more constant demand. When the call to arms was sounded, he was one of the first to offer his service to the Confederate cause. February 13, 1861, he joined company B, First Alabama infantry, and served one year as second and first lieutenant of the “Perote Guards,” at Pensacola, and in the bombardment of Fort Pickins had charge of the heaviest gun then in the possession of the Confederate army. At the expiration of his term of enlistment for one year, he enlisted in company B, Fifty-third Alabama cavalry, and was made adjutant-general of Hannon’s brigade, which carried on its operations in northern Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia. He was first wounded in an engagement at Athens, Ala., and was sent home for sixty days; it was during his confinement, while thus nursing his wound, that the battle of Chickamauga took place, but he recovered in time to take part in the fight at Lookout Mountain, and he participated in every march and engagement of his regiment from Dalton to Atlanta, and south Georgia, being again wounded at New Hope church and at Calhoun, Ga. His command was left for a time to hold Atlanta, but, early in 1865 joined Hood’s command on its way to join General Johnston’s army in North Carolina. After serving with Johnston awhile in North Carolina, the corps was sent to South Carolina, where it fought the Federals under General Potter, eight days after Lee had surrendered. The boys then started homeward, and were mustered out at Hamburg, S. C.
The marriage of Dr. Walker took place in May, 1862, at the close of his first year’s service in the army, the bride being Miss Mary V., daughter of Dr. J. W. and Mary F. Pitts, natives respectively of Jaspar and Monroe counties, Ga. Dr. Pitts was the former preceptor of Dr. Walker, as will be seen above. After marriage Dr. Pitts and wife moved to Harris county, Ga., and later came to Alabama and located at Perote, whence they moved to Salem and thence to Columbus, Ga., where they died. Dr. Pitts was surgeon of the Thirty-sixth Alabama regiment, Confederate States army, from 1862 to 1864, and was very successful after the conclusion of hostilities. Mrs. Mary V. Walker was born in Harris county, Ga., and educated at Tuskegee, Ala., and became the mother of five children, of whom two are now deceased. After the war Dr. Walker, with renewed vigor and increased success, resumed his practice of medicine, and also engaged in planting, which he now carries on quite extensively. The doctor is a member of the State Medical association and of the Bullock County Medical society, and was at one time president of the latter. Soon after his settling in Perote he united with Missouri lodge, No. 146., F. & A. M., and has been its secretary ever since. He holds membership, also, in the chapter of the grand lodge. He is one of the oldest, one of the most popular, and one of the most skillful physicians of Bullock county, is a church member, as is his wife, and the family stand in the very center of the social circle.