Harry H. Walker
Harry H. Walker,
whose ancestors came to Shelby County and took up Government land more than a
century ago, has spent most of his life in commercial affairs and is president
and founder of the Walker Wholesale Grocery Company of Shelbyville.
This very progressive and
prosperous institution was organized in 1912. Closely associated with Mr.
Walker at that time was his son. The firm was incorporated in 1917.
The business organization has a fine reputation among the larger houses over the
country and has built up a splendid business in its normal territory, comprising
about six counties around Shelbyville. The company had a modern new
building, with fireproof warehouse, affording over 27,000 square feet of floor
space. Twelve persons are employed in the business, on the inside and
outside, and a fleet of motor trucks are used for deliveries to the retail
stores in Shelbyville.
Mr. Walker was born in
Shelby County, July 24, 1860. His grandfather, Francis C. Walker,
was born in New York State, of Scotch ancestry, a son of Francis
Walker, Sr., who came to America with his brother shortly after the close of
the Revolutionary war. His brother settled in Pennsylvania. Francis
C. Walker came to Indiana in 1820 and settled on a tract of Government land in
section 13 of Addison Township, Shelby County, and the records of this
agricultural community have been impressed by members of the Walker family ever
since. Francis Walker became one of the large land owners of the
county. Henry R. Walker, father of the Shelbyville merchant, was
also born in Shelby County, and married Elizabeth Woodard, of that
county, whose family came here in the early 1820s.
Harry H. Walker was the
oldest in a family of six children. He attended the public schools of
Shelby County, and his first business after leaving school was farming and
dairying. He was in the dairy business until he was twenty-nine. In
1888 he moved his home to Shelbyville and was a retail grocery merchant in that
city until 1911. In addition to his wholesale grocery business he is a
director and vice president of the Union Building Association and a director of
the First National Bank. He is a member of the Wholesale Grocers
During the World war he
was active in all the drives for the sale of bonds and raising of funds for the
Red Cross and other purposes. He is a Republican, a member of the
Methodist Episcopal Church, and is a past grand of the Independent Order of Odd
Fellows, member of the B. P. O. Elks and Improved Order of Red Men. He
served a term or two as a member of the City Council.
Mr. Walker first
married Vanie Pollick, who died in 1880. Afterwards he
married Grace Barron, of Cass County, Indiana, whose people were in
Indiana before the close of the territorial period. Her grandfather acted
as an interpreter between the famous Chief Tecumseh and Gen. William H.
Harrison after the battle of Tippecanoe. Mr. Walker by his
second marriage has two children: George M., a graduate of DePauw
University, now general manager of the Harry H. Walker Wholesale Grocery
Company, married Mary F. Messick, of Shelby County; and
Ruth E. is the wife of J. Frank Deitzer, a Shelbyville business
man, and has a daughter, Patricia. George M. Walker
was secretary of the Rotary Club in 1926, is a Phi Beta Kappa of DePauw
University, member of the Masonic fraternity, and is a past exalted ruler of the
B. P. O. Elks.
INDIANA ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY YEARS OF AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT, Vol.
3, By Charles Roll, A.M., The Lewis Publishing Company, 1931
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming