2004 – The John Walker Family


Built in 1861 as one of the first houses in what was later known as the Hall addition, it was first occupied by one of the members of the Hall family. In the late 1800s, it became the home of John Walker, who housed the post office there, and was both postmaster and constable in Holland.
John Walker was born on April 17, 1836 in Rochester, New York, the son of Joseph and Aphlenda (Hawkes) Walker, who moved to Springfield Township with at least four children in 1845. Joseph purchased property next to the Dobbins family near where the present day Crissey stands. Joseph was a miller and farmer. His property in 1860 shows that a school house was located there. In the 1880 census this schoolhouse was located on the old Dobbins property owned by the Dobbins; grandaughter Ellen Crissey.
John was married first to Rebecca S. Abbot, daughter of John William and Lucinda (Corson) Abbott. Both the Abbots and Corsons were early settler in the township. John and Rebecca had seven children. After Rebecca’s death in 1864, John married Eliza Jane Wood, a daughter of Thomas and Matilda (Grant) Wood, who were also very early settler in the township (Thomas Wood was one of the first Township Trustees in 1836). John and Eliza Jane had no children. Eliza Jane died in 1893.
During the Civil War, John was a Corporal in Company D, 112th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He served from August 17, 1864 through July 7, 1865, a period of 10 months and 20 days.
Although John’s father, Joseph, died in 1866, the property near Crissey was still shown in his name. Another son, Herbert, who was a school teacher and farmer, owned property north of the original homestead. He and Joseph probably heklped their mother, Aphlenda, farm the land until her death in 1887. Sometime around this same time John moved to the house shown above.
John died on February 19, 1909, in Holland and is buried with his first wife, father, mother and daughter in Springfield Cemetery. Eliza Jane (Wood) Walker is buried nearby.