JAMES WALKER, a resident of the village of Oneida, is one of the most successful men of the State of New York. He has always followed farming--not merely as an occupation, but as a business--and by adhering to business methods in his occupation has made it more than ordinarily successful. He has accumulated a
competency by his own exertion and good management.
John Walker, the father of James, a native of Connecticut, starting out on his own account while yet a young man, left the old farm in his native State, and came to the State of New York, settling in Herkimer County, and marrying Miss Katie Oxner. He lived in Herkimer County the rest of his life, a highly respected citizen, dying when sixty years of age. His wife, the mother of the subject of this sketch, lived to the age of sixty-nine years. They were the parents of six children, namely: William, deceased; Henry, living in Richfield Springs, N.Y.; Mary, wife of Judson Brown, of Richfield, N. Y.; James, the subject of this sketch; Cornelia, wife of William Johnson, of Richfield, N. Y.; and Lucius, of the town of Richfield. All these children were born in Herkimer County, and all have always been residents of their native State.
James Walker was born on a farm in the town of Columbia, Herkimer County, February 26, 18227, and during his youth, like most other boys, attended common school during the winter season and worked on the farm during the summer time. He was a most industrious boy, being very ambitious, and feeling that the only way to make a success of his life was to do well what came to his hands to
do. Remaining at home on the farm--faithful as a boy and as a young man--until he was twenty-three years of age, he then started out for himself, having at that time no money nor property of any kind, his previous labors having been for the benefit of others. At first he worked on a farm by the month, receiving what was then considered good wages, twelve dollars per month, and continuing thus
engaged on different farms for about eight years, in the mean time doing other work which required an educated mind. So that at the end of the eight years he had saved up two thousand dollars.
Returning to the old homestead in Herkimer County, he now purchased the interests of the other heirs, and engaged in farming as the owner of the property. After paying for the old place upon which he was born, he purchased additional lands, and was altogether successful in whatever he undertook. He
made money when others failed, and accumulated a handsome property. Subsequently he sold out the old place, and bought a farm in the town of Sullivan, Madison County, near North Manlius, containing eighty-two acres of good land. Upon this farm he remained for twenty-six years, or until April 1, 1893, when rented it, and removed to Oneida. During his residence upon the farm he had materially improved it, and erected good buildings upon it, so that it was left in excellent condition. Mr. Walker was married to Margaret Hill, by whom he has had three children, namely: Jay W., living near Syracuse; Olive, deceased; and Ida, the wife of John X. Smith, living at Oneida. Politically, Mr. Walker is a Republican and is a well-read and well-informed man. He takes sufficient interest in political affairs to perform his duty as a voter and as a citizen, but has never cared for office, preferring his own private business to the business of the public, with the cares and uncertainties of official position.
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