Allen Walker: County’s ‘Medal of Honor’ recipient
By Bill Patterson
Editor’s Note: during the month of May, Vevay Media Group will be sharing a series of articles about Allen Walker, a native of Switzerland County who went on to earn the Medal of Honor while serving this country. The articles are written by Bill Patterson, who is the great grandson of Allen Walker, and lives near Louisville, Kentucky. Allen Walker is buried in a cemetery in Laredo, Texas.
Allen Walker was born January 19th, 1866 in Quercus Grove, Switzerland County, Indiana. His father, William C. Walker was the son of Supply Walker, a successful hay farmer who came to Switzerland County around 1822. His mother Evaline Sisson, was born in Bennington, Switzerland County.
Even though he was born and spent his first 18 years in Quercus Grove, you probably never knew of his existence or any of his deeds prior to last May’s newspaper article. Join me now as we explore the mystery of a remarkable life of a boy who was born and grew up in Switzerland County.
Being born in 1866, Allen was exposed to a large number of Civil War veterans. All would share tales of the glory and the fantastic places they had seen. Many of the men who fought in Civil War lived their lives within 12 miles of where they born. Their time in the Army was their great adventure. It was their only encounter with the outside world and they would gladly share what they saw with anyone who would listen.
Young Allen found these stories to be a great source of entertainment and inspiration. Even though his father had enlisted in the Union Army in 1862, he was sent home with a surgeons note one month later. Still the stories of friends and neighbors fueled Allen’s desire to join the Army.
He made his first attempt to runaway and join the Army at age 11, but was intercepted in Quercus Grove. Another attempt followed at age 13 that made it to Patriot, and yet another at age 15 made it all the way to the recruiting station in Cincinnati.
Even though he was sent home he came back with the knowledge that he needed to 21 to enlist in the Army.
William Walker did not want to see his oldest child in the Army. As an attorney with an expanding practice, he envisioned Allen being a doctor, lawyer or pharmacist. This led to a lot of father-son tension at home with Evaline Walker as a moderating influence.
Join me next week when explore a Sunday afternoon ice cream social, a stroll to Patriot, a riverboat ride, and a prize fight. I promise you it was a very busy day and will not be boring.