Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Biographies


From early boyhood Harry G. Walker has given evidence of those sterling traits of industry and perseverance which in the long run spell success, and the years have chronicled his continuous progress, bringing him to the important position of superintendent of the school buildings of Watsonville. He was born August 7, 1871, in Hayward, Alameda county, California, and represents one of the pioneer families of the state. His parents were Elijah H. and Emma (Weilbye) Walker, the former a native of the state of Indiana and the latter of New York city. The father made the journey to the Pacific coast in 1852, taking the Panama route, and the mother came to this state in 1853 as a passenger in a sailing vessel which made the voyage around Cape Horn. In the early days Elijah H. Walker spent some time in prospecting for gold, and he also engaged in teaming to the mines, hauling supplies from Sacramento, California, to Salt Lake City, Utah. In 1878 he moved to Watsonville and before the advent of tho railroad in this section of the country did a good business in teaming through the Santa Cruz mountains. He transported lumber to the town of Santa Cruz for shipment by water and subsequently turned his attention to the cultivation of the soil. When he arrived in Alameda county, Oakland was a small town and he lived to witness remarkable changes as the work of development and civilization was carried forward, passing away in 1909. Three sons and one daughter were born to him: Harry G.; Merrill W., sealer of weights and measures for Santa Cruz county; Clarence and Anna, who died at the age of fourteen.

Mr. Walker received his early instruction in the San Andreas and Springfield school districts of the Pajaro valley and also attended the public schools of Watsonville. He first worked for the Wells Fargo Express Company and later was connected with the teaming and draying business. For twenty years he was employed in planing mills, and he also followed the trade of a carpenter, aiding in building the Watsonville high school, the Catholic church, the Foresters Hall and many residences in this part of the valley. He developed expert skill at his trade and for the past twenty years has been secretary of the local Carpenters Union. It has eighty-five members, and his long retention in the office is proof of the quality of service which he is rendering to the organization. In February, 1923, Mr. Walker was appointed superintendent of the buildings and grounds of the ten schoolhouses in Watsonville, and his efficient work in this connection is prompted by a public-spirited devotion to the general welfare. Eighteen of the high school boys and girls act as his assistants, working after school, and they are paid forty cents an hour. This system has been found very effective, and excellent results have been obtained.

In 1905 Mr. Walker married Miss Mary Harper, who was born on the Shetland islands and was reared in California. The children of this union are Mae and Helen, both high school students. Mr. Walker is identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, belonging to Pajaro Lodge, No. 90, and is also a member of Watsonville Parlor, No. 65, Native Sons of the Golden West. He stands high in his community, and his energy, ability and fidelity to duty are amply illustrated in his career.

Source: History of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, California : cradle of California's history and romance : dating from the planting of the cross of Christendom upon the shores of Monterey Bay by Fr. Junipero Serra, and those intrepid adventurers who accompanied him, down to the present day. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1925, 890 pgs.