Samuel  K.  Walker

The  Shelbyville  News
Saturday February 14, 1948
Page 4
By Ave Lewis
          Samuel K. Walker, who thinks this series of stories must be "concentrating" on men who started their life’s work by learning the blacksmith business, wonders if  Morton Bland,  Ed  or  Will Neu  still have their copies of a group picture taken in 1902—and if it brings back as many pleasant memories as does his print.
          There were 27 men in the picture but Mr. Walker and the three named are the only ones living today.  They were a drill team of the I.O.O.F. lodge that won first place in degree work at a grand lodge meeting in Indianapolis that year.  The team later went to Des Moines, Iowa, and took second place honors there.  Mr. Walker has been a member of the lodge since 1900 and while he takes no particular part now, its activities are of special interest to him.
          For many years Mr. Walker’s age work here but like many a later-day mechanic, he first started in a bellows and forge shop.  After a brief period of work at the old  Hodell  furniture factory under foremanship of Fred Hinschlaeger, father of  Miss Katie Hinschlaeger, local musician, he started learning the smithy business in 1890 at the carriage shop of the late  J. H. McGuire  on the corner of Broadway and Pike streets.  In 1895 he built his own shop on the old Rushville Road and he recalls that he and his helpers shod an average of 30 horses a day, many of them racing horses stabled at the county fairgrounds.
          His marriage to  Miss Barbara Wasson, of Noble township, took place in 1898 and they celebrated their golden anniversary at their home on West Taylor street last month by holding open house.  Pictures of this event and the many lovely gifts presented them are other treasures he has added to his picture collection.  The couple became the parents of two children but both died in infancy.
          In 1900 Mr. and Mrs. Walker moved to Walkerville and they remember there were but few houses in the area at that time. With the move, Mr. Walker also established a shop near his home and operated it until selling to  Spencer Bernhardt  and  Omer Wintin  in 1925.  During this era Mr. and Mrs. Walker built and occupied for sometime the house which now is the Trinity Methodist parsonage.  By this time there was little demand for blacksmithing work in its true sense but Mr. Walker owned and operated two more garage and repair shops before his retirement in 1945 because of ill- health.  The first, located on Fair Avenue, he sold to  Everett Rhodes  and the last, which he built on the Rushville Road, was sold to  Harold Metz.
          While they have not traveled extensively, Mr. and Mrs. Walker have taken many trips—several of them "back in the days when a 50-mile trip was something to talk about."  These included an 18-day trip to the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904 and the same length visit to the Norfolk, Virginia exposition in 1907.  Their plans those days, they say, were to take one "big" trip each three years.  Their other trips have included New York and thru the East and several winters spent in Florida.  But now their comfortable red brick home at 244 West Taylor looks better than almost any place and they do most of their "traveling" via the magazine route.
Contributed by Barb Huff

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