Part of the American History and Genealogy Project


Utah Biographies ~ Walker to Weir

Walker, Fredrick Walter

The history of the inter-mountain country would be incomplete without the name of David F. Walker, who for over fifty-seven years has been one of the leading business men and most prominent and progressive citizens of Utah. David F. Walker was born April 19th, 1838, at Yeadon, Yorkshire, England. He was the third of the four famous Walker brothers, all of whom contributed so much to the up-building of Utah. His father was Matthew Walker, who was a wool merchant and hotel proprietor in England. He died in St. Louis, in 1850, on the way to Utah. His mother was Mercy (Long) Walker, who passed away in Salt Lake City in December, 1863. David F. Walker was educated in the public schools of England. He arrived in Salt Lake City, September 20th, 1852, being then but a boy of fourteen.

David F. Walker's first occupation in life after arriving in this country was as a peddler of notions in St. Louis, where he stayed for two years. Upon his arrival in Salt Lake he entered the employ of William Nixon, formerly of St. Louis, but then know r n as "The Father of Utah Merchants," who conducted a general merchandise store. Mr. Walker remained in this position until the spring of 1859, at which time (July 1st) the firm of Walker Brothers was established at Camp Floyd about forty miles southwest of Salt Lake. The four brothers made up the firm. David F. Walker was the prime mover in starting the business, having got the first stock of goods on credit, the stock consisting of $90,000 worth of goods. The firm, which was originally formed for the purpose of selling supplies to the soldiers then encamped at Camp Floyd, remained there until the departure of the troops, when the stock was removed to Salt Lake City and the foundation laid for the present mammoth store which is second to none in Utah in every respect. The business was continued by the Walker brothers until 1886, and on January 20th of that year, Mr. Walker retired from the firm, selling out his interest to the remaining three brothers. In 1888 Mr. Walker went to San Francisco and entered business there. He built a magnificent country residence at San .Mateo, California. It has four acres of lawn and covers six acres of rare plants and other foliage. The house has a frontage of one hundred feet and a ninety-foot depth, and is built in old Southern colonial style. Mr. Walker takes great pride in his California home and loves to work about the grounds among the plants and flowers, which is his chief recreation.

Mr. Walker was first married to Emeline Holmes, May 18th, 1859. She died in August, 1876, and their children were Emeline, Sarah, Ann, David F., Jr., Henry W., Maud, and Stella May.

On October 25th, 1883, Mr. Walker was married to Althea Hunt, who came from an old New York family and was born, in the old Ninth Ward in New York City. To them have been born three children, of whom two are living, Althea Margaret and Clarence Hollister.

Mr. Walker is a member of the Pacific Union Club, and the Burlingame Country Club, of San Francisco, and a former member of the Alta Club, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Mr. Walker's residence in Salt Lake City is at No. 75 C Street.

Walker, Matthew H.

Matthew H. Walker is one of the real pioneers of Utah, and the name of Walker is one of the best known and most respected in the intermountain region. Mr. Walker has gone through the rigors and hardships of the early settlers of Utah and by his own perseverance and industry has risen, and today is one of the leading financiers and business men of the Western country.

Matthew H. Walker is a son of Matthew and Mercy Long Walker. His father was a woolen merchant and hotel proprietor at Yorkshire, England, where Matthew H. was born January 16, 1845. When but five years of age he emigrated to America, and in 1852 he took the long and tedious wagon journey across the country to Salt Lake City, being but seven years old at the time of his arrival. He has seen the evolution of this great city from a vast wilderness to the splendid city it is today, and to him much of the credit of its magnificent up-building belongs; because he was ever foremost and the first to come to the front with his purse and brains when any progressive movement was at hand.

His education was meager, as in those days they had to do the best they could with the facilities they had for schools. But Mr. Walker managed to secure enough education to win for himself the distinction of being one of Utah 's most distinguished and successful citizens, and to occupy a position in the financial and mercantile world second to none in the inter-mountain region.

Mr. Walker is the head of the firm of Walker Brothers, Bankers, for fifty years one of the largest financial institutions in Utah, established in 1859, and a stockholder in Walker Bros. Dry Goods Company.

He is actively connected with the Opex Mines Company, Honerine Extension Mining Company, and many other mining companies throughout the inter-mountain region. Mr. Walker has never held political office of any kind, devoting his entire time and attention to his many business enterprises.

He is a member of the Alta Club, Commercial Club, Country Club, the Young Men's Christian Association, and the Wasatch Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons. Mr. Walker was married January 1, 1865, to his first wife, who died in 1896, and in 1897 he married his present wife. He is the father of two children, John H. and Frances Glen Walker.

Mr. Walker is to-day rated as one of the foremost financiers and most public-spirited citizens of Utah. The only public office he ever held was that of member of the Board of Education, elected in and holding the position from 1898 until 1902.

Wallace, Henry

From making molasses to making confectionery, and then to making crackers, until lie became the head of the National Biscuit Company, the largest manufacturer of crackers in this inter-mountain empire, and, while doing this, to look after various other matters, including a mission to the old world, would indicate that the person who did all this must have wonderful vitality and nerve and push. This is the career of Henry Wallace, head of the National Biscuit Company in Utah. Born in Somersetshire, England, April 27, 1840, his parents being of good old Scotch stock, his father a cloth-weaver, Henry Wallace soon learned what it was to labor; and, after acquiring an education in the National school, he was apprenticed to a confectioner and baker in Frome, England, which trade he mastered.

When in his fourteenth year he was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and since then has been a firm believer in that faith. At twenty-two years of age he went to London, and in his twenty-third year he left England for Utah, sailing from Liverpool, May 12, 1862, and arriving in Salt Lake City, October 5th of the same year. His trip across the plains from St. Joseph was made with the Hancel Harmon party.

On arriving here, Mr. Wallace worked with Levi North at Mill Creek, making molasses. He then worked at the carpenter's trade for about nine months, during which time he made seats for the Tabernacle at Bountiful. Then he engaged with William Eddington, who ran a general store, bakery and lunchroom. This was in 1863. Four years later he bought out the business, which he continued until 1875, when he closed up the business and entered the company of Jennings and Saddler, and at once was put in charge of the grocery department. He remained ten years with this firm, and in April, 1885, he formed a partnership with George Husler and purchased the business of the Utah Cracker Company. This business was continued until 1889, when the firm dissolved, Mr. Wallace purchasing his partner's interest, and continuing the business until 1892, when he sold his establishment to the American Biscuit & Manufacturing Company, Mr. Wallace remaining as manager. Six years later, when the National Biscuit Company was formed, the American Company in Salt Lake was dissolved and Mr. Wallace was made manager of the new corporation, which position he still retains.

Mr. Wallace has always been a business man. Politics has had no allurements for him, although he has been tendered many nominations. He did consent to serve the people twice, once as a member of the Salt Lake City Council in 1907, and as school trustee of the Seventh District. It was while in the latter position that a contest between the Mormons and non-Mormons occurred over a tax voted by the former for the erection of a schoolhouse, which was finally decided by Judge Zane in favor of the Mormon trustee.

Mr. Wallace was married on February 7, 1863, to Miss Ellen Harper. Nine children were born to them, all of whom are living. They are: Henry J., William R., Howard A., Rosetta E., George H., Mary Ellen, Walter A., Mabel K., and Ashley H.

Mr. Wallace is one of the best known citizens of Salt Lake City, and is a hale, hearty and vigorous man. In politics he is a Democrat. He is a member of but one club, the Commercial Club of Salt Lake City.

Webber, Thomas G.

Colonel Thomas G. Webber has been for nearly forty years one of the most progressive and busiest of men in Utah. He has led an active business life and, as director and general manager of the Zion's Cooperative Mercantile Institution, and many other important interests in and about Salt Lake City, he has done much towards the up-building of Utah.

Colonel Webber was born in Exeter, England, September, 1836, of an old Devonshire family living for centuries in the vicinity of that ancient town. His parents were Thomas Bray Webber and Charlotte B. Webber. His father was a scientific man, a civil engineer and government superintendent of the telegraph lines in Devon and Cornwall, and the son followed the father's profession, and was trained in that line, being placed in an engineer's office shortly after the death of his mother when he was sixteen years of age. While studying his profession the opportunities of the new world appealed to him and he made up his mind to go to the United States. Therefore, in 1855, he sailed for America and shortly after he arrived he opened an engineer's and surveyor's office. In 1857, when the Government troops, under General Albert Sydney Johnston, were ordered to Utah, Colonel Webber, then a youth of twenty, entered the United States army. He served in Arizona and California until the outbreak of the Civil War, when he went by way of Panama with a portion of his regiment, marching to Fortress Monroe, and, under McClellan, Burnside, Hooker and Meade, he participated in the Peninsular and other campaigns, including the battles of Yorktown, Williamsburgh, Gaines Mill, White Oak Swamp, Fredericksburg, Kelly's Ford, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and Williamsport, and saw plenty of active service. He remained with the army until the fall of 1863, passing through the various grades and becoming commissary quartermaster and adjutant of his regiment.

Colonel Webber first came to Salt Lake City in 1864, by stage coach from Atchison, Kansas. On May 25, 1867, he was married to Miss Mary E. Richards, a daughter of Franklin D. Richards, who was a patriot and a brigadier-general in the Utah Militia. Colonel Webber afterwards became a lieutenant-colonel of artillery, and later adjutant of the Second Brigade and a member of General Richards' staff.

In 1864 he became, with T. B. H. Stenhouse, one of the founders of "The Salt Lake Daily Telegraph," the first issue of which appeared on the Fourth of July, of that year. Mr. Webber was business manager and remained with the paper until its removal to Ogden in 1869, when he left to accept a position with Zion's Co-operative Mercantile Institution. He was destined for early promotion, and in October, 1871, he was chosen secretary, and shortly after, treasurer of the Z. C. M. I. In 1876 Colonel Webber went abroad on a religious mission, and toured England, France, and Italy, returning to America in 1878 to assist in the settlement of the late Brigham Young's estate. He again took up the position of secretary and treasurer of the Z. C. M. I., was afterwards elected manager, and has been actively identified with its interest up to the present time.

Colonel Webber is president of the Zion's Benefit Building Society, director in the Zion's Savings Bank and Trust Company, Home Fire Insurance Company, Postal Telegraph Company, and Utah Light and Railway Company. He was councilman from the Second Municipal Ward for two years, and alderman for four years. He was president of the Salt Lake and Ogden Gas and Electric Light Company from 1896 to 1898, and of the Salt Lake Public Library from 1897 to 1904; vice-president of the Utah Light and Power Company from 1898 to 1903, and a director of the Utah Sugar Company from 1899 to 1902.

Colonel Webber is the father of six children, William T. F., Shirley T. B., Charlotte B. R., Georgiana M. B., Ethelyn E. L. F., and Mildred R. Webber. He is a member of the Alta and Commercial clubs, and resides at 131 Second Avenue, Salt Lake City, Utah. Colonel Webber is public-spirited, liberal and charitable, and a man of sterling qualities and kindly disposition, and a credit to any community.

Weir, Thomas

Thomas Weir was born February 14th, 1855, near Cambridge, Washington County, New York; his father, John Weir, a carriage maker; his mother, Agnes Glover.

He obtained an academic course at Washington County Academy, at Cambridge, New York, and graduated at the head of his class in 1876, from Union College in mining and civil engineering. Mr. Weir went from New York to Nebraska in March, 1877, and in the fall of that year was appointed the assistant engineer of the Missouri River improvement work at that point. He was transferred to the Mississippi River Commission in 1878, and given charge of work in the lower river.

In 1879 he resigned and went to Leadville, Colorado, and in 1880 was appointed assistant manager of the A. Y. Mine, and three years later was appointed general manager of the A. Y. mine and Minnie mine, both of which properties became prominent dividend-payers under his management. From 1888 to the summer of 1893, he was general man-ager of the Granite Mountain Mining Company's properties at Granite, Montana.

Mr. Weir came to Salt Lake City, February 24, 1894, and in 1896 secured the ground in Bingham that formed the basis of the Highland Boy Mining Company and became its general manager. He erected the first Bleichent tramway in Utah. In 1899 he secured the ground and became the manager of the Boston Consolidated Mining Company. He is also a director of the Ohio Copper Company, president of the Ajax Mining Company, and vice-president of Walker Brothers' Bank. He has never held political office, but he is a member of the Alta Club, the Salt Lake Commercial Club, and an elder in the First Presbyterian Church.

Mr. Weir was married June 15th, 1886, to Miss Clara Pond Treadway, in Denver, Colo. The home of Mr. and Mrs. Weir is among the stateliest of the many handsome residences that ornament that handsome street, the number being 519 East Brigham Street. It occupies an acre and a quarter of ground on the corner of Brigham and "F" Streets, the extensive velvet lawn and perfectly kept surroundings making it one of the most attractive residences in the city. The house is large and commodious, is of native, creamy colored sandstone, has a total of fifteen rooms, is of Colonial style and provided with all the modern conveniences which contribute to comfort and beauty.


Source: Sketches of the Inter-Mountain States, Utah, Idaho and Nevada, Published by The Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1909 



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