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Walker Township Organized
The township of Walker originally included all that part of Kent county north of Grand river. Its first town meeting was held at the Baptist Mission school house in the spring of 1838, when these officers were elected: Isaac Turner, clerk; Harry Eaton, treasurer; Robert Hilton, Isaac Turner, Ira Jones and Josiah Burton, justices of the peace. There was never a village organization in Walker, and that part of the later city of Grand Rapids was under township jurisdiction up to the time the city charter was granted.
Walker always conducted its business affairs in the simplest and most direct ways. For a dozen years the township continued to be divided, so that its population seemingly increased very slowly. However, from the beginning those who settled on the west side of the river near the rapids showed the keenest interest in what was transpiring on the east side, and all old-time residents worked in close harmony.
The list of town officers in Walker contains the names of many men who have become most thoroughly identified with the community. Here is a list from 1838 to 1850:
Clerks--Isaac Turner, Aaron B. Turner, Isaac Turner, Ebenezer Davis, Isaac M. Watson, Solomon Corey.
Treasurers--Harry Eaton, Lovell Moore, Ebenezer Davis, Billius Stocking, Sullivan Armstrong, George P. Hogadone, Avery Brace.
Justices of the Peace--Robert Hilton, Isaac Turner, Ira Jones, Josiah Burton, Billius Stocking, Lovell Moore, Zelotes Bemis, Isaac Turner, Charles McCarty, Milo White, Elihu N. Faxon, George M. Baker, Thomas Healy, Gideon D. Graves, Jonathan Blair.
Supervisors--Lovell Moore, Ebenezer Davis, James Davis, Isaac Turner, John Potter, Silas Hall.
The number of votes cast in the spring election of 1844 was 136, and the largest number during the ensuing four years was 174. In 1844 the amount voted to be raised for general expenses was $100, and the actual expenditures in that year were $102. Six years later these figures were scarcely more than doubled. In 1847 the town voted 47 to 2 in favor of granting liquor licences. Throughout its brief existence Walker township spent money liberally, if not prodigally, on schools and highways.
Transcriber: Ronnie Aungst
Created: 14 December 1999