Mark Anthony Walker was born on 24 Jun 1869, in Brownsville, Tennessee. He was the son of Squire James Empson and Ellen Anthony Walker. He married Ella Simonton on 28 Dec 1899 in Tipton County, Tenn. Ella was the daughter of Charles Bryson and Mary Andros McDill Simonton. During their marriage they had four known children. They were Mary Eleanor (1900-1902). Charles Simonton (1904-1952), Anna May (1906-1911) and Mark Anthony Jr. (1908-1991).
BY JUSTICE FRANK H. GAILOR: Mrs. Linnie Walker Womble, et al vs. Mark A. Walker, et al, Lauderdale equity. This suit involves the validity of an option to purchase a farm of 744.52 acres in Lauderdale County. The option was in writing and signed by both parties. The determinative question is a construction of the word “renewal” as used in the lease. We find that the option to purchase is not unenforcible [sic] under the Statute of Frauds. The decree of the Court of Appeals is affirmed. Opinion for publication.
Oral Contract Case Argued in Appeals Court: A suit revolving around an oral contract styled Mrs. Linnie Walker Womble et al vs. Mark A. Walker et al coming from the Lauderdale Chancery Court was argued before the Court of Appeals this morning, the chancellor having held in the case that the oral contract was not binding.
The suit was between sister and brother and involved a lease and option on 775 acres of land in Lauderdale owned by their mother who had given the son the lease a number of years ago with option to buy. the chancellor held that the option to purchase was not enforceable because it was an oral agreement, although the lease had been in force a number of years.
Major 2nd Tennessee Infantry
Major Mark Anthony Walker Sr. was in the 2nd Tennessee Infantry of US Volunteers in the Spanish American War. The picture below was taken in Harrisburg, PA in 1898.
Major Mark Walker and Press Conner Visit in Jackson
Major Mark A. Walker of Covington, who served in Cuba as commanding officer of an American unit in the Spanish-American War, and Press Conner Ripley, who as a sergeant also served in Cuba, were here today attending the West Tennessee Farmers Institute.
Major Walker has been in the hardware business at Covington for a number of years where he served as mayor and also as county trustee.
Mr. Conner was in business in Ripley for a number of years, but is now retired.
Major Walker was at one time a bookkeeper in the R. S. Fletcher grocery here.
History of Mr. Walker’s Life
Mark Anthony Walker at the First Presbyterian Church of Covington. According to a newspaper account, the wedding party and guests constituted one of the largest crowds ever assembled at that church. After the ceremony, the bride and groom and their attendants attended a wedding supper at the home of the bride’s parents. The bride was described as “a highly educated and intelligent young lady and much beloved by a large circle of friends and relatives.”
Mark Walker was born June 24, 1869 near Brownsville, Tennessee, the son of James Empson Walker and Ellen Anthony Walker. When Mark was a youngster, he and his family moved to Lauderdale County. He attended Bingham Military School in East Tennessee. He served as a major in the Second Tennessee Infantry Regiment, U.S. Army, during the Spanish-American War and thereafter was always referred to as “Major Walker”. In 1894, at age 25, he opened a hardware store at the northeast corner of the town square in Covington; this business was in the Walker Family until 1953, when it was sold to Odell Smith. Although Mark Walker owned the hardware store until his death in 1945, his son, Charles Simonton Walker, was primarily in charge from about 1927 until he died in 1952. Behind the store building was a lot measuring 80 feet by 80 feet from which the Walkers sold plows, wagons, buggies, churns, roofing, etc. Mark Walker was one of the business owners responsible for U.S. Highway 51’s being built to the west of the Covington town square, rather than adjacent to it. He served two terms as mayor of Covington during the 1920s and was Tipton County Register from 1930 to 1934. The U.S. Highway 51 bridge over the Hatchie River is named for him. He died January 25, 1945 at the hospital in Memphis. In an article published shortly after his death, the Jackson (Tennessee) Sun hailed Mark Walker as “perhaps the most influential citizen in the [Tipton County] community.”
Major Mark Anthony Walker Obituary
Major Mark A. Walker, one of the most colorful figures of West Tennessee, is dead at his home in Covington at 75 years of age.
Born near Brownsville in 1869, he came to Jackson as a young man and worked as bookkeeper for the late Col. R. S. Fletcher, then in the grocery business at the corner of Market and Lafayette.
Going to Covington in 1894, he established himself in a general mercantile store. When the United States entered war with Spain in 1898, he volunteered and became a major in the Second Tennessee Regiment, serving with distinction.
Major Walker was one of the early advocates of hard – surfaced highways in Tennessee and through his efforts there was much development along this line in the Mississippi River Counties of Tennessee. A large bridge over the Hatchie River in that section was named for him.
He had successfully engaged in business in Covington for 50 years, had served several terms as mayor and was perhaps the most influential citizen of his community. He could have been elected to any office to which he might have aspired in Tipton County, for the people had faith in his integrity and ability.
His unselfish spirit, his kindness, his willingness to serve wherever needed endeared him to his fellow citizens. Nearly every town has a man like that. His death is not only a lost to Covington, but to the State.
[Major Mark Walker Obituary, The Jackson Sun, Jackson, Tenn., 26 Jan 1945, pg 4]