Autobiographical and Historical Notes

As Submitted to the

Historical Society of the Southern Illinois Methodist Conference

Copied as he wrote it in 1905

1. Birth, Parentage and Nativity: I was born in Clinton Co., Ill Sep 14th 1829. My Father’s name was Simeon Walker 54 years a Minister in the M. E. Church. My Mother’s maiden name was Elizabeth SHARP. My birth place 4 miles south west of Carlyle, Clinton Co., Ill. Where I lived with my Father until Sept 1846 when with our family I moved to Beancoup, Washington Co., Ill. And on Dec 20th, 1849 was joined in marriage to Miss Martha H. BARNES of Mascoutah, Ill, Daughter of Rev. John Barnes and Niece of Rev. Samuel H. THOMPSON & grand daughter of Rev. Joshua Barnes.

2. Childhood – Home Training: From my Birth I knew nothing but Religeous influence and training in my family home of the highest and purest type, my parrents both being truly pious. The fires were never allowed to die on the family alter which alter my Father has told me was erected the first night after moving into their caben home where the morning and evening sacrafice was allways offered.

3. High School, Academic or Collegiate Education: The schools of that day were the ordinary subscription schools which I attended regularly, closeing my school work with one year in McKendry Coledge with Rev. Erastus WENTWORTH as President with CUMINGS, MADISON and GOODFELLOW as Professors and ANDREWS as tuteror.

4. Conversion -Church membership - Religious Life - Participation in Sunday School, League, Revival and Temperance Work: I made a public profession of Religeon at the old Gum Ridge Camp meetings before I was nine 9 years old and immediately united with the M. E. Church. But long before that, indeed ever since I can remember I was trying to be religeous: going with my mother to religeon meetings, siting by her side; joning in her devotions and trying to imitate her example; and was often deeply mooved by the spirit, and as I now believe truly Religeous according to best light I had.

After my public profession, fearing lest I might be deluded I asked the Lord for a test which I would ceartainly be willing to accept viz. I had allways had a great fear of death, I asked him to take it away. And chiled as I was, there came over me more than a serenity of soul. A flood of light and Glory so that all things appear new and I felt that I could as calmly have layed down in the embrace of death as I could have fallen to sleep in my mother’s armes.

5. Call to Preach - License - Probation in Converence - Ordination - Membership: From a child I felt that some day I would have to preach but contented myself by engageing in church work as class leader; steward, S. S. Teacher & Exhorter untill on Aug 30” 1856 I was licend as a Local Preacher by the Richview, IL Conf. John H. HILL P. E. In March 1857 I was appointed by the P. E. G. W. ROBINS to fill out an unexpired year on the Richview Ct. In Sep 1857 I was admited on Probation in the S. Ill. Conf. At Lebanon, Ill Bishop L. SCOTT Presiding. I was Ordained Deacon at the Conference held at Richview, Ill October 2nd 1859 Bishop AMES Presiding and Ordained Elder By Bishop HINES at the Conference held at Salem Ill October 6th 1867.

I have continued my connection with the S. Ill. Conf. up to the present date Feb 16” 1905 and expect to untill death, with the exception of two years from Sept 1865 to Sep. 1867 when after returning from a three years chaplaincy in the Army broken in health, feeling to young to ask for a superannation or supernumenary relation. I asked for a location – when measurable recovering my health I was readmited Sep 1867.

6. Appointments Served, with experience in Pasotral Work, Revival Incidents, Church or Parsonage Building, Missionary and Benevolent Contributions of Charges, Debt-Paying, Settlement of difficulties among brethren, and other matters of interest:

1st Appointent Pinckneyville 1857 with 13 appointments including Pinckneyville, DuQuoin, Tamaroa, DuBois, Verjanes & Mulkeytown = We Dedicated the first M. E. Church Bilding that ever was in Pinckneyville this year: and I organised the first society of the M. E. Church that was ever organised in the present City of DuQuuoin = maney conversions = The next year the work was devided into three Pastoral Charges.

2nd Apt – Vienna in 1858 & 1859 with 18 appointments. These were years of wonderfully sturing events in the Political world and especially in this then Border work and I could fill a moderate sised volume with insidents of these two years that are of more interest to me than aney other portion of my life = but I have not room to record them here = suffice it to say that amid all the excitement maney were converted and in less than two years after: when entering the armey as Chaplain I found two full companeys of my old Parishoners & neighbors maney of whome had differed with me as wide as the Poles: who I found then and ever after to be my fastest friends.

3rd Apt. – Greenville 1860 with 3 appointments. A pleasant year but full of ware excitement but a number of conversions among whom wer Sam & Henry MCADAMS. Sam afterwards falling at Chicamanga & Henry becoming a highley respectable citazen in Kansas.

4” Apt – Mt. Vernon Ct 1861 on which I spent but a few months untill I entered the armey as Chaplain of the 60” Ill Vol Inftr.

5” Apt. Chaplain in the Armey 1862 – 3 - 4 To appreciate the difficultys insident to this peculiar class of work where the Armey is allmost constantly on the march or in the Battle, one must have personal experience: it is fraught with incidents that are thrilling in the extreem.

Think of an Armey when some portion of it is constantly under fire day & night from the 6” of April until the 4” of Sept. And often times in the Bayonet Charge up to the verry canons mouth and then ending in a death struggle. At the muzzel of MESKERD Batterys and you may immagin the opertunitys for religious instruction or worship in the regular forms of worship: And yet under these circumstances we did find opertunity to occasionly preach and hold prayer meetings as such and as evidence that these meetings were not without fruit I mention the case of one young soldier who was converted at one of these prayer meetings where shot and shell were flying all above us and who a few days after; himself had his windpipe severed by a minie ball and while gasping in death thanking God for that prayer meeting. The diligent chaplain will find work enough to be done even under such circumstances. I was with my Regament in the camp; on the march and on the Battle field constantly from Feb 1862 to Apr 1865 and returning home broken in health I retired to rest for a year and a half. As I interpreted the voice of the saviour it was Come ye apart and rest a little,, but there was not much rest for me even during this 1 ½ years.

6” Apt. Pinckneyville & Tamaroa in 1867 & 1868 – Here we had a Glorious work both years at both of these places and maney were converted. There who are among the substantial workers in the church now = We freed the Church at Tamaroa of an embarising debt of $1600.00 that year.

7” Apt. Nashville – Ct 1869 & 1870 with 6 appointments. Held meetings for 16 weeks in succession about 100 conversions – Built one Church – Bros G. W. WALKER and W. T. BRANUM were valuable helpers.

8” Apt Chester & Palestine 1871 & 1872 on this charge we had nearly 150 conversions and built 2 churches one at Chester and one at Palestine both Brick and both now ocupied by the Church. We raised for the two church building $5208.00.

9” Apt. Irvington 1873 with 6 appointments – A revival at Irvington with between 30 & 40 conversions. Two of whome are in the Ministry.

10th Apt Richview & Irvington in 1874 with Eugene MAY as Asistant. A verry pleasant & prosperous year. Cleard up a troubleson Church debt of near $2,000.00 at Richview.

1875 – 76 – 77 Supernumerary but served Sparty one year and Mt. Vernon Ct one year in that time.

1878 – 79 – 80 Chaplain S. Ill. Penetentiany – supernumerery

81 to 86 Carbondale Ct from 87 to 91. Maney conversions & Built one Church at Makanda Cost $1500.00.

Chester & Palestine 1891 to 1896 – Improved the parsonage at a cost of $800. More than 70 conversions – Buried 64 persons – and married 64 couples –

Superanuated in 1897 and am waiting the Masters call – mean while rendering what servis I am able.

Note: A copy of this handwritten bio was obtained from the Methodist Church Archives located in the McKendree College, Holman Library, Lebanon, Illinois, with a big thanks to Linda Isbell, Volunteer Archivist.

Dorothy Falk has a copy of bio transcribed here.

Submitted by: Dorothy Scott Falk

Click on the letters below to see an index of obituaries starting with that letter

Database table Bio_Index modified: 5 Nov 2016
Page modified: 15 Nov 2011