Facts and Events
John Walker was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia
- Source:Chalkley's Chronicles
- Walkers in Chalkley's Chronicles
- List of Records for Alexander Walker in Chalkley's Chronicles
- Transcript:Will of Alexander Walker, Augusta County, VA, 1774
- The Walker Plantation on Little Run
- Ancestry Trees citing My Augusta, A Spot of Earth, Not a Woman” by C. E. May, 1987
From May, 1987
"John Walker who inherited the Walker Plantation on Little Run was a successful farmer, a speculator in land, and
owner of a number of slaves. His son Alexander III was sworn in as commandant of a company of horse September 30,
1815, by Gentleman Justice James Rankin, a neighbor. By 1830 John Walker built facing north on his Little Run, 400-
acre plantation a Georgian, two-story, four-room brick I-house with a shingle, gable roof, an attic, a basement, and a
detached kitchen with a room above it, the quarters of the slave cook. A corner stairway in the kitchen gave access to a
"The brick used in constructing the main block of the house and the detached kitchen were made from clay found on the
place and laid in the Flemish bond pattern. Through a Georgian door, a visitor entered a wide, wood-paneled hall, the
ceilings of which as well as those of the four rooms were ten feet from the floor. The floors throughout the house are
wide pine boards. The first floor rooms were the dining room and parlor; and the two upstairs ones were bedrooms.
Each of these four rooms had a fireplace framed in turned pilasters and a decorated mantel. The attic called a dormitory
was also a bedroom. A winding stairway with undecorated newel posts, rectangular banisters, and rail rose to the attic.
The Walker mansion house, like all other plantation houses of the period, had around it beside the detached kitchen
such other support buildings as a blacksmith shop, a carriage house, a wagon shed, a cow shed, an icehouse, slave
quarters, a smokehouse, a springhouse, and stables. He named the house Velvet Acres because of the luxuriant growth
of that flower on the place.
"Subsequent owners of the plantation after John Walker built his mansion house on it around 1830 have made changes in the structure. Silas Walker following the Civil War connected the detached kitchen to the main block by building a
dining room with a bedroom above between them. He replaced the shingle roof with a metal one, removed the colonial
gables, and installed a triangular gable above the front entrance. G. G. Tanner, a medical doctor, and his wife Janet who
bought the plantation in 1942, added a two-story front portico in the 1960s. Impressed by the large number of black
walnut trees on the plantation, Mrs. Tanner changed its name from Velvet Acres to Walnut Acres. Dr. Tanner's heirs
following his death in 1978 added several rooms to the ell and modernized the kitchen.
|"John Walker died in 1836. His will witnessed by Isaac Sellers of Green Springs farm on North River, George Shreckhise of Mt. Sidney, and John Hufe of Middle River, was recorded at the April, 1836, term of Augusta County
Circuit Court. He devised his wife Sarah the rent from all his land as long as she lived, his son Alexander III the Little
Run Plantation, his son John the tract of land he had purchased from Thomas Lawson, including eight acres of
timberland known as the Lawson tract, and his son Thomas 130 acres of the tract of land he had purchased from Robert
Hackman on which the said Thomas then lived. He directed that all his lands not heretofore devised be sold after the
death of his wife Sarah and the proceeds derived from their sale be divided equally among his five daughters, to wit,
Elizabeth Hooke, Rebecca J. McClung, Patsy Walker, Polly frame, deceased, and Sarah Johnston. He named his wife
Sarah executrix and his son Alexander Walker III executor of his will. According to the appraisement of his moveables, John Walker owned besides his land 16 slaves, a wheat threshing
machine, reap hooks and rakes, and a butter churn.
|"Alexander Walker III, a second generation descendant of Alexander Walker to inherit the Walker Plantation on Little Run, owned it from 1836 to his death at the end of the Civil War. Through his will dated July 18, 1865, he devised his
wife Hannah all of it on the east side of Little Run from Mathias Cash's (Kersh's) farm to the Whitmore farm, including
the buildings and one-half of the household and kitchen furniture, and $500 in cash; and his son Silas H. Walker $1,000
in cash, the lower half of the farm, and also the part he bequeathed his mother at her death. After payment of the
abovementioned legacies, he ordered the residue of his estate be divided equally among his five children, viz, Benjamin
F., James A., Elizabeth Craig, Silas H., and Hannah Mary. September 20, 1878, Silas H. Walker was deeded the
following real estate his father Alexander Walker III had died seized of, to wit, Mike's Field, an 80-acre tract of land
lying on the north side of Middle River, and a 159-acre tract adjoining the lands of T. P. Crawford heirs, Hansberger,
Henton, Kersh, and other lands of the said Silas H. Walker.
"After the plantation on Little Run which was patented Alexander Walker in 1760 had been owned by him and three
generations of his lineal descendants for 157 years, his great grandson Silas H. Walker sold it February 15, 1917, to W.
D. Flory for $26,000. At the time of the sale, the plantation contained 252 acres, was bounded by lands of J. G. Fulton
II, Albert H. Roller, D. H. Cromer, and others, and was being rented by B. F. Evans, a son of Hiram Evans who lived
on the road that connects the Keezletown Road with the Mt. Sidney-Pleasant Valley Church Road at Reedtown or
Cathay. Two years after purchasing the plantation, W. D. Flory sold it to J. H. Harshbarger of Rockingham County for
"December 29, 1942, Hattie Harshbarger, widow of J. H. Harshbarger, deceased, and his other heirs-at-law sold George
G. Tanner and wife Janet for $18,000 the Walker Plantation containing 252 acres with all the buildings thereon and
appurtenances thereunto pertaining, including all the cattle, hay, small grain in the ground, corn, ensilage, etc., situated
on Little Run near Mt. Meridian, and adjoining lands of J.G. Fulton III, Jacob Wampler, E. E. (Kit) May, and others.
George G. Tanner was a medical doctor practicing in Grottoes and a son-in-law of the late J. H. Harshbarger and his
widow Hattie Harshbarger. His wife was the former Janet Harshbarger. Dr. Tanner, a native of Madison County, was a
graduate of Bridgewater College and of the University of Virginia Medical School.
George Garland Tanner, M.D., died in 1978 survived by his widow Janet and daughter Carol T. Landes, wife of Don
Landes, basketball coach then at Ft. Defiance High School. December 28, 1978, Janet Tanner, Carol T. Landes, and
Henry Clark, executors of the estate of the late George.G. Tanner, M.D., conveyed Janet Tanner, Carol T. Landes, and
Henry Clark, trustees of his estate, a half interest in the real estate hereinafter described as tract two, i.e., all that real
estate known as the Walker Place, containing 252 acres, situated on Little Run near Mt. Meridian, and adjoining lands
of J. G. Fulton III, Jacob Wampler, E. E. (Kit) May, and others. May, 1987.
From Chalkley’s Augusta County Records:
- Vol. 1 - MAY 17, 1785. - (24) Alexander Reid appointed guardian of John Walker, orphan of Alexr. Walker.
- Vol. 1 - MAY 17, 1785. - (24) Hugh Donaho is appointed guardian of Barbara Walker, orphan daughter of Alexander Walker. (Note: records above were listed consecutively in Chalkley's, Vol. 1. The fact that John and Barbara were still minors in 1785 indicates they were born after 1764 and likely sometime between 1765-1770 [their father Alexander Walker, Sr. died in 1774]).