Lawrence Whitsett “Larry” Walker, Sr

Davidson County, Tennessee, USA
Death 17 Sep 1889 (aged 86–87)
Gallatin, Sumner County, Tennessee, USA
Burial Unknown
Memorial ID 115391330 · View Source
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Lawrence Whitsett Walker was born in Davidson Co. TN about 1808 to Alexander Drury & Sibella Whitsett Walker. They both were from North Carolina from the Orange Co. region (previously Rockingham area.) Lawrence had 2 brothers and 6 sisters and the family lived on Neeleys Bend located just north of Nashville.
When Lawrence was in his early 20’s he left Tennessee moving to Greene Co. AL where he met his wife Sophia Susan Cade. She was the daughter of Drury Budd & Susan Weldon Easley Cade, born on June 22, 1813 in Wilkes Co. Georgia. Lawrence & Sophia were married in Greene Co. AL on Dec. 18, 1827. They lived in Greene Co. until 1834 when they moved to Noxubee Co. MS. having two young sons at the time, the oldest son Alexander Drury (born 1828) and his brother John (born 1832), the latter died in 1837 and was buried in the Walker Family Cemetery in Noxubee MS. The Walker Cemetery was located behind their home and is no longer used. In 1836 Lawrence & Sophia had a daughter who passed away in 1837. This daughter is buried in the family cemetery, beside Sophia. In 1839 Lawrence W Walker Jr. was born. In May 1841 Lawrence Sr. received an inheritance from his father of land at Neeleys Bend in Davidson Co. which was to be sold and divided equally among the children. On February 27th earlier that same year Lawrence purchased, from the US General Land Office, 528 acres of land in Noxubee Co. By 1841 Lawrence & Sophia had their fourth son William James Walker and they had become settled in Noxubee Co. MS, as suggested by a traveler through the area on July 20,1843. Major David Gavin had been on a trip in 1843 from his home in Orangeburg County, South Carolina by horseback to visit friends and relatives in Mississippi. During his trip he wrote in his diary each day of his experiences. One entry from his diary states:

"Crossed running water and entered the prairies which were at first rolling with black jack and post oak, and not suitable to my fancy. It is, however I suppose, tolerable land. Five miles to Walkers near Noxubee River, who has a fine mansion and a good slue land prairie soil. He appeared quite kind and polite in directing me the way."

By 1850 two more sons were born to Lawrence & Sophia, Robert Jefferson (b-March 12, 1844-d-August 10, 1910) & James Matthew (b-1847-d-abt 1905). On December 8, 1858 Lawrence married Jane P Smith Reynolds in Aberdeen MS. Jane was the recent widow of Col. Reuben Young Reynolds, a very wealthy & prominent lawyer in Aberdeen until his early death at age 52. Eleven months after Lawrence & Jane’s marriage, she passed away on November 9, 1859.
Shortly after the death of Jane, Lawrence made a trip to Sumner Co. TN and was married to Catherine Ophelia Prince Blackmore on October 1, 1860. Catherine was the daughter of William Prince & Eliza Ophelia Howell. Catherine had two sisters who later in 1861 to be married to Lawrence’s sons Lawrence Jr. & William James. Lawrence’s oldest brother, John Alexander Walker, was living in Goodlettsville TN at the time of this visit. Lawrence may have been visiting his family at the time he and Catherine were married.
Lawrence and Catherine continued to live in Noxubee Co. throughout the Civil War. During the war years Lawrence continued the cotton & mill trades as shown in the Civil War records. At least 3 of the sons, Lawrence, William, and Robert were enlisted with the Confederacy at the time. The Walkers sold & traded cattle, pork, corn, peas, shirt collars, wood, mules & sugar with the Army. In addition they rented land for grazing and rented slaves for labor all through the years from March 1863 until February of 1864. Finally when the war was over, Lawrence had 37 bales of cotton seized by the Federal Government which after seized was left to rot on the docks (as told by one of Lawrence’s grandsons, Joynes Walker, who lived in California until his death in September 1929.) The value of the cotton amounted to $30,000. at that time.
During the years after the War Lawrence had many communications with his son Lawrence Jr. and with his daughter in law Pauline Walker, addressing the problems in Noxubee, MS with the cotton crop during 1874 through 1879. Finally in one letter he tells Lawrence Jr. to “Face the music” and either pay the Cotton House in Nashville what is owed or give them a lien on the property in MS. Problems for Lawrence Jr. were mostly caused by the share croppers who according to him, would not pick his cotton but rather pick their’s first, until his cotton had wasted.
In 1880 Lawrence & Catherine continued living just outside Gallatin (location was where the new Gallatin Hospital is located today). They lived on 1212 acres of land which Catherine advertised to rent out to be sown in wheat in 1899 posted in the Gallatin Examiner.
In June 1884 Lawrence & Catherine sold a piece of property located on E Main Street to the Protestant Episcopal Church for the benefit of the Emanuel Church at Gallatin.
The next year in October 1885 they filed a suit against the Louisville Nashville Railroad Company pursuant to a claim for a right of way along the track which crossed over their property.
Finally on September 17, 1889 Lawrence Whitsett Walker who had been ill and incapacitated for several years passed away. According to Bettie Prince Coussens (Bettie was Lawrence’s sister in law that lived in Saint Louis) wrote his memorial posted in the Gallatin Examiner which concluded the story of his life:

"Col. L.W. Walker departed this life at his residence near Gallatin. Tenn., September 17, 1889. Loving hands wrapped the drapery of his couch about him as he sank to sleep, trusting in Him whose sacred name was the last he breathed. An inmate of his house for years, an observer of his daily life, cherished by him with fatherly care, bound to him by ties of love and gratitude, from no one should be expected a richer need of praise, a more warmly tinted portraiture of his life and character than from myself. But how helpless we are in the presence of death: How inadequately do our words convey our sense of loss:
He was the benefactor of many. And has a large circle of friends in Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi who will cherish his memory. Those who knew him best, loved him best, quite apart from the extraneous circumstances of his wealth or station, for a man may boast all the insignia of royalty and lack the qualities that made him a king among men. He was so gentle and refined in his home life, so kind, patient and thoughtful, that he won every heart. I never saw in any other man so radiant a cluster of those graces of character and manner that shine brightest in the charmed circle of home. In the prosaic routine of every-day life around his own fireside, how well he illustrated the grand old name of gentleman. A typical southerner of distinguished bearing, with open hand and pure heart, courteous and hospitable; his path through life was fragrant with the white flowers of kindly deeds. I recall the impression made upon me on my first visit to his beautiful southern home.
With its wide porches, embowered in clustering vines, its avenue lined with crepe myrtles, its air of peace and plenty, it was an orphan asylum, where the fatherless met at his hands the loving care and wise guidance that made them useful men and women.
Faith, hope and charity had an abiding place in his heart, which was a fountain of perennial sweetness that nothing could embitter. The heavy losses he experienced by the war only revealed in him all the elements of heroism, so bravely he confronted the swift changes following events he could not control. In him the sturdy Scotch-Iris elements were most happily blended and though of aristocratic lineage he exemplified the truth that; “Kind hearts are more than coronets And simple faith than Norman blood”
There was nothing austere about him but kindly spirit beamed from his calm, blue eyes that little children confidingly placed their hands in his and young men just entering the prime of life found in him a noble exemplar; sympathizer and true friend. As husband, father and friend, in all the relations of life, he felt and exerted the divine influence of the truce, the beautiful and the good.
One of his noblest characteristics was his reediness to throw the silver veil of loving charity over the mistakes of others. His intellect was of the judicial order, and in all the varied interest of a long, busy and successful life he displayed infallible judgment, an unaffected dignity and under ____ circumstances, _____ unclouded serenity, that was truly heroic. When relegated to his armchair by failing health and advancing years, he retained the vigorous mind and cheerful spirit that had always made him a valued counselor. From the most devoted wives he received those gentle ministries that soothed his closing hours. He was followed to his last home by friends who breathed their sad farewells accompanied by music of the falling leaf.
Friend of my girlhood, farewell. How shall we honor his memory? By loving and helping one another, doing his errands in darkened homes, entering into the sacrifices with him, being ourselves links in the divine chain, exulting in the joy and life of it––-“Feeling the while how good it is To do his errands thus, and think. It may be in the far blue space
He watches from the Heavenly bank A Smile upon his face.”

Bettie Prince Coussens
St. Louis, Mo.
September 20, 1889


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  • Created by: Gail Fisher Walker
  • Added: 13 Aug 2013
  • Find A Grave Memorial 115391330
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Lawrence Whitsett “Larry” Walker, Sr (1802–17 Sep 1889), Find A Grave Memorial no. 115391330, ; Maintained by Gail Fisher Walker (contributor 47571214) Unknown.