Gov. William Walker

March 5, 1799 – February 18, 1874


The Wyandotte Herald, February 19, 1874

The distinguished gentleman whose name heads this article was for many years as well known in Kansas as any citizen in the state. He was born at Gibraltar, Michigan, March 5, 1799, and died at the residence of Mr. H. H. Smalley, in Kansas City, Mo, on Friday, the 18th inst., having accomplished seventy-five years of a useful and eventful life.

Gov. Walker received a thorough education at Worthington, Ohio, under the immediate Instruction of the venerable Bishop Chase.

After acquiring his education William Walker entered almost at once upon active life in behalf of North American Indians in general, and of the Wyandott Nation in particular, among whom he soon became leader and counselor, devoting the best years of his life to their interests.

As early as 1831 he visited the “Platte Purchase” as the agent of the Wyandott Nation with a view of purchasing a new location for it. He was at the Treaty of St. Mary’s, and rendered efficient service to all the contracting parties.

He was for some years the private secretary and friend of Gen. Lewis Cass, his secretaryship beginning after the close of the war of 1812, and the friendship continuing until the death of the General.

In 1843 William Walker came to Kansas with his tribe, where he has remained ever since, except when he was called away on business or for his health, which for some years has been feeble.

He acquired his title of Governor in 1853, when he was appointed Provisional Governor of Kansas Territory.

With him died more of Indian archaeological knowledge than has been preserved by any writer on the subject. Indian antiquities and history were his especial study, and being an Indian himself, highly educated, and with a natural taste in that direction, his success was not surprising.

He furnished Schoolcraft with a large amount of the information contained in his works on the Indians of America, and also gave General Butterfield many incidents contained in his new work on Crawford’s campaign against Sandusky.

Governor Walker wrote much himself for newspapers and periodicals, but unfortunately has left none of the results of his deep research in a form to be used by the historian or antiquary.

He was buried on Saturday last in Oak Grove Cemetery, with Masonic honors, having been one of the charter members of Wyandott Lodge No. 3, and for many years an honorary member thereof.

So has passed away one of our oldest and most valued citizens.

The following


were passed by Wyandott Lodge No. 3, A.F. and A.M.:

Whereas, Our worthy brother William Walker has by the decree of Divine Providence been called from a long life of usefulness here on earth, to eternal rest above, in that “House not made with hands, eternal in the heavens,” and

Wheras, His uniform and long devotion to the principles of Masonry as inculcated around our sacred altar, and his love and friendship exhibited on all occasions for the “Brethren of the Mystic Tie” have endeared his name to all members of the Craft, by whom the same will ever be warmly cherished. Therefore,

Resolved, That in the death of our esteemed brother the Fraternity has been deprived of one of its bright lights and ornaments, rendered venerable by age and usefulness, and entitled to our greatest respects and love; and in his loss we feel as if each of us had been severed from a warm companion, a cherished counselor and an experienced friend.

Resolved, That we hereby tender to the relatives and friends of our deceased brother our deepest sympathy in this sad hour.

Resolved, That as a token of sorrow for the loss of our brother, our Lodge be draped in mourning, and we as members of the Fraternity wear the usual badge of mourning for thirty days.

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be published in our city papers and a copy be furnished the relatives of the deceased.





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