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 Charles Lowell Walker

Charles Lowell Walker

Leek, Staffordshire Moorlands District, Staffordshire, England
Death 11 Jan 1904 (aged 71)
Saint George, Washington County, Utah, USA
Burial Saint George, Washington County, Utah, USA
Plot B_7_3_5_EH
Memorial ID 51651 · View Source
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Son of William Gibson Walker and Mary Godwin

Married Sarah Smith, 12 Jan 1877, St George, Washington, Utah

Children - Lowell Walker; Moroni Smith Walker; Luella Walker; Effie Walker; Seth Godwin Walker; Mary Walker; Irene Walker

Married Abigail Middlemas, 28 Sep 1861, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah

History - Charles was one of the foremost of the Mormon pioneer diary keepers in the nineteenth-century Mormon church, as well as being the "Poet Laureate" of the Cotton Country Mission.

His father's family was converted to Mormonism in Manchester, after which Charle's oldest sister Ann Agatha came to America, where she became a plural wife of Parley P. Pratt. The remainder of Charles's family immigrated to St. Louis in 1850, where his mother died of typhus fever. Charles had preceded them to St. Louis in 1849 with a friend.

Charles remained in the Illinois and Missouri area working, trying to find a means to travel to Utah. In April 1855 he engaged to drive a horse team for P. Burgess, who was bringing a threshing machine and other merchandise to Utah. Charles arrived in the valley September 3, 1855; being a large and well-built man, he went to work at blacksmithing.

From this time on, for the rest of his life, Charles kept an ongoing journal, in which he expressed his thoughts and feelings as well as keeping abreast of current happenings. He was not professionally trained in writing, being self-educated from reading in scripture and literature at home. However, his journal and other writings reflect Mormon issues as well as political and other areas of learning in a readable style like few other writings of pioneer culture.

On September 28, 1861, Charles married Abigail Middlemiss, whose family had come from Pope's Harbor, Nova Scotia. In 1862, at the October conference, Charles and 200 other missionaries were called to go to the "cotton country" mission in southern Utah. He left with his wife on November 13 and arrived December 9, 1862. His first impression was that it was a "barren looking place...very windy, dusty, blowing nearly all the time." In what was to become St. George, Charles built up his holdings during the first six months he was there, "building me a home, fencing and grubbing my city lot, planting, irrigating and working in the blacksmith shop for B. F. Pendleton" and later with Melanchton Burgess....

As St. George grew, Charles became integrated into its society. He joined a literary club, which printed a small newspaper, "The Veprecula; he attended lectures on various historical, geographical, business, and scientific subjects; and discussed current concerns with others in the community in meetings. In the harsh circumstances of the desert country where nature was often unsympathetic, Charles continually calmed and counseled the pioneers with his prose, often in the form of songs, as well as using his talents for appropriate occasions such as funerals, marriages and birthdays.

Charles was also a part of the events of the period. On November 5, 1871, the people voted to build a temple, the first on in Utah, in St. George, and Charles was a conscientious worker on the temple. he wrote also on May 23, 1872, that the "mason work on the meeting house was completed.... I have worked on this building for over five years, from putting in the foundation to the capstone on the tower. many weary toilsome days have I labored in the St. Geroge tabernacle, lifting the heavy rocks in the wind, dust, cold and scorching heat of this climate, yet I have felt happy and contented."

Charles L. Walker died January 11, 1904. His life was an example of that type of men who sacrificed their person pusuits to a large measure to contribute their talesn and energy for their church beliefs. by Daniel McAllister

Obituary - Deseret Evening News
January 18, 1904
Page 9

Charles L. Walker, the Dixie Poet, and Others Summoned

Special Correspondence
St. George, Washington Co., Jan. 13-This afternoon at 2 p.m. the funeral services of Charles Lowell Walker, our Dixie poet, who died Monday night, were held in the stake tabernacle. The speakers, Elder Jas. L. Bunting, President D. H. Cannon, President Edw. H. Snow, and Elder Jas. G. Bleak, each spoke briefly of his faithful and exemplary life.

Deceased was born March 17, 1832, in Leek, Staffordshire, England, and later moved to Manchester, where his parents received the Gospel. He was baptized by his father, Wm. Walker, April 22, 1845, and emigrated in February, 1849, but did not reach Salt Lake City until September, 1855.

He married Abigail Middlemas in 1861, and the following year was called to St. George, where he has since resided. He labored as a stone cutter on the St. George stake tabernacle and on the St. George and Manti temples. He was called as a temple worker in 1883, and has done much work for the dead.

He was universally loved and respected and will be greatly missed from the gatherins of the Saints. Probably his best known poetical production is the Sunday school hymn, "Dearest Children, God is Near You." He leaves behind a numerous posterity.




  • Maintained by: SMSmith
  • Originally Created by: Utah State Historical Society
  • Added: 2 Feb 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 51651
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Charles Lowell Walker (17 Nov 1832–11 Jan 1904), Find A Grave Memorial no. 51651, citing Saint George City Cemetery, Saint George, Washington County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by SMSmith (contributor 46491005) .