|Other People | Frank J. Bradley | Olive Rambo Cook | Jerry Litton ||
Past and Present of Livingston County
Volume 2. Biographies
by Major A. J. Roof. 1913
Owner of a highly cultivated farm of one hundred and eighty acres on section 6, Jackson township. Livingston county, J. William Walls, a member of an old and prominent family, has not only made a creditable record in attaining to prosperity but also has been prominent in official life in the affairs of his township. He is a native of this county, having been born in the same section and township in which he now lives, the date of his birth being December 26, 1854. He is a son of James and Elizabeth (Nickerson) Walls, the father one of the early settlers of Livingston county, coming here at a time when primitive conditions yet prevailed and Indians were quite often in evidence in this neighborhood, having their camping grounds on and near the Grand river. Wild game was still plentiful in these parts and often furnished the meat for the table. After be settled on his land he cleared the same from brush and forest, put it under the plow, acre by acre, and gradually brought it to a high state of cultivation. As the years passed his labors were rewarded with gratifying results and he became prosperous. Well known in the neighborhood he enjoyed the confidence and good-will of all who knew him. He died in 1897 at the age of eighty-seven years, his wife having preceded him in death, passing away on September 7, 1884. Both are buried in the family graveyard on the farm on which they first settled. The Walls family is one of old standing in Livingston county and members of it have resided in the United States for several hundred years.
J. William Walls received his education in the district school near his father's farm which he left at the age of twenty years although he had during that time assisted his father in his work on the home place during the summer months. He remained there until his mother's death, having, however, previously, at the age of twenty- four years, purchased forty acres of his own which formed nucleus of his present holdings. Since the mother's demise the father has made his home with our subject. As success attended the labors of J. William Walls he extended the boundaries of his holdings and gradually acquired one hundred and eighty acres of valuable land to the cultivation of which he now gives his entire time and attention, engaging in general farming and also giving considerable of his time to stock-raising, gaining gratifying success in the latter branch of his business. Mr. Walls has greatly enhanced the value of his property by making suitable and substantial improvement, including barns and outbuildings, and has also erected a handsome residence thereon, modernly equipped and comfortably furnished.
On September 25, 1889, Mr. Walls was united in marriage to Miss Annie M. Ramsey, a daughter of James and Linnie M. (Wingo) Ramsey, the former of whom was a well known settler and a man of prominence, having held many public positions including that of tax collector of the township. He passed away in December, 1887, at the age of fifty-five years, his wife following him in death on the 30th of January, 1895, at the age of fifty-five years. Both were laid to rest in the Ramsey family graveyard. Both Mr. and Mrs. Ramsey were highly esteemed and well known in this section and enjoyed the high regard of their many friends and neighbors. Mr. and Mrs. Walls became the parents of three children, two of whom died in infancy, while the son living is J. O., attending school. Mr. Walls' political affiliation is with the democratic party and for two terms he has served in the capacity of township clerk while he has also held the position of clerk of the board of education. The religious faith of the family is that of the Baptist denomination, Mr.Walls being a member of that church, taking an active and helpful interest in its local organization. Frugal and industrious, he has with the able assistance of his faithful wife attained to a substantial position and is well and favorably known in Jackson township as a man of character, esteemed as well for the material progress he has made as for the qualities which have made his success possible.