Walker family papers
The Walker family papers are those of one of the first African American homesteading families in Stafford County, Kansas. The family for several decades owned a successful farm.
- Creation: 1880 - 1999
- Walker, George Washington, 1849-1943 (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
No access restrictions.
Conditions Governing Use
Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.
History of the Walker Family
George Washington Walker was born in 1849 in Washington, D.C. In 1875, while living in Kentucky, he married Catherine Harris. There they had their first two children, Elizabeth and Georgia.
The family moved to Stafford County, Kansas in 1878, where they were among the first African American homesteaders. Their nine additional children (Adelaide, Josephine, Nellie, Emma, James, Edna, Calvin, Edward, and Richard) were born in Stafford County. Along with a growing family, the Walker farm tripled in acreage, consisting of 800 acres by 1917.
The farm's prosperity increased in 1938 when oil was discovered on the property. The family farm continued to prosper into the 1970s, after the deaths of Catherine (1940) and George (1943).
5.5 Linear Feet (8 boxes + 4 oversize folders)
Language of Materials
Scope and Contents
The Walker Family Papers date from 1880-1999 and are arranged in 5 series: Business Records, Letters, Personal Papers, Unattributed Material, and Greeting cards. While the collection contains documents from several generations, the bulk of the material relates to George W. Walker, his wife Catherine, and their eleven children.
The Business records pertain to various aspects of the farm and are chiefly those of George Walker and his sons Calvin and James.
The letters are generally incoming, are mainly between family members.
Personal papers include some Walker family information, including a short history of the family, as well as materials specifically related to individuals.
Unattributed materials consist of items related to the family, but cannot be traced to a specific person. These include such items as a recipes, booklets, and quilting patterns.
Greeting cards given between Walker family members are located at RH MS 1459 and are organied by holiday or other special event.
Folder arrangement within each series is generally alphabetical by topic, with chronological arrangement of items within each folder. Some original (sometimes faint) letters and other items are accompanied by photocopies, which immediately follow the original. The few outgoing letters have been incorporated within the senders' other letters. Many letters are accompanied by envelopes, which appear immediately behind the letter.
Photographs from the Walker Family Papers are located at RH MS-P 587 and RH MS-P 587 (f). Oversize materials from the collection are located at RH MS Q106 and RH MS R105 and are described at the end of each relevant series.
The Walker family papers are arranged in 6 series:
- Business Records, 1880-1958
- Letters, 1878-1979
- Personal papers, 1903-1989
- Unattributed materials, 1884-1999
- Greeting cards, 1941-1977
- Photographic materials
RH MS 587
RH MS-P 587
RH MS-P 587 (f)
RH MS Q106
RH MS R105
RH MS 1459
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gifts, Cynthia Elliott, 1988, 1989, 2004; Edith Walker, 2005; Susan Walker, 2012, 2014.
- Guide to the Walker Family Collection
- Walker family papers
- Finding aid prepared by mbw, 2005, 2006; revised by skt, 2010. Finding aid encoded by mbw, 2005, 2006; revised by mbw, 2009; revised by skt, 2010, revised by adc, 2018.
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Finding aid written in<language encodinganalog="language">English.</language>
- Support for the processing of this Collection was provided by the Dana and Sue Anderson African American Collecting Program Endowment Fund.
- Finding aid permalink
- Preferred citation
Walker family papers, Kansas Collection, RH MS 587, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas