Walter Walker (U.S. Senator)
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Walter Walker U.S. Senator
Walter Walker
Senator Walter Walker.jpg
United States Senator
from Colorado

September 26, 1932 - December 6, 1932
Charles W. Waterman
Karl C. Schuyler
Chairman of the Colorado Democratic State Committee[1]

September 18, 1930[1] - September 22, 1932[2]
Thomas Annear[1]
James A. Marsh[2]
Personal details
Born(1883-04-03)April 3, 1883
Marion, Kentucky
DiedOctober 8, 1956(1956-10-08) (aged 73)
Grand Junction, Colorado
Resting placeOrchard Mesa Cemetery, Grand Junction, Colorado
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Kathie Wood (m. 1903-1956, his death)
Children1
ProfessionNewspaper owner and editor

Walter Walker (April 3, 1883 – October 8, 1956) was a Ku Klux Klan advocate and newspaper owner and editor in Colorado who served as Democratic United States Senator in late 1932 after being appointed to fill a vacancy pending a special election.

Early life

Walker was born in Marion, Kentucky on April 3, 1883.[3] The son of Robert C. Walker, the owner of the Crittenden Press newspaper, Walter Walker was educated locally, and then moved to Colorado in 1903.[3][4]

After settling in Grand Junction, Walker worked in the newspaper business, eventually becoming editor, manager, and chief owner of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel.[3] Walker's staff included Dalton Trumbo, whom Walker hired as a reporter in 1920, and employed for four years.[5] In addition to running the newspaper, Walker was a civic activist, and his efforts included management of Grand Junction's successful lyceum.[6]

Political career

During the 1920s revival of the Ku Klux Klan, Walker was an early member.[7] He subsequently turned against the group, and published editorials in opposition. In September 1925, several local Klan leaders including a deputy sheriff and a police officer assaulted Walker as he walked from a barber shop to his newspaper office.[8] Others on the street eventually intervened, and before leaving to seek medical aid Walker informed the Klan members that physical intimidation would not prevent him from continuing his anti-Klan campaign.[8]In 1924, 1928, and 1932, he was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention.[9] From 1930 to 1932 he served as chairman of Colorado's Democratic state committee.[1][2]

On September 26, 1932, Walker was appointed to the U.S. Senate, temporarily filling the vacancy caused by the death of Charles W. Waterman.[3] He ran in the special election for the remainder of the term, but was defeated by Republican Karl C. Schuyler.[10] Walker served until December 6, 1932, when Schuyler was sworn in.[11]

Later career

Walker resumed his work in the newspaper business following the completion of his Senate service.[12]In 1936, he was again a delegate to the Democratic National Convention.[9] Later that year, he was a presidential elector for the ticket of Franklin D. Roosevelt and John Nance Garner. In 1940, 1944, 1948, and 1952, he was again a delegate to the Democratic National Convention.[9]

Death and burial

Walker died in Grand Junction on October 8, 1956.[4] He was interred at Orchard Mesa Cemetery in Grand Junction.[13]

Family

In November 1903, Walker married Kathie Wood (1882-1971) of Kentucky.[3] They were the parents of a son, Preston (1912-1970).[3]

Legacy

Several Colorado Mesa University facilities are named for Walter Walker, including the soccer field and the reception area at the Moss Performing Arts Center.[14][15]

In recognition of his advocacy for air service to Grand Junction in the early days of commercial aviation, the Grand Junction Regional Airport was named for Walker from 1942 until its 2007 expansion.[16] The airport's terminal, fire station, and Walker Boulevard are all named in his honor.[16]

The Walter Walker State Wildlife Area near Grand Junction is also named for Walker.[17]

In 2008, statues of Walter Walker and his son Preston were installed at 634 Main Street in Grand Junction as part of the Legends of the Grand Valley project created by several local organizations.[18]

References

Sources

Newspapers

  • "The Assault on Walker". Steamboat Pilot. Steamboat, CO. September 16, 1925. p. 1.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  • "Walter Walker Leads Democrats". Greeley Daily Tribune. Greeley, CO. Associated Press. September 19, 1930. p. 12 – via Newspapers.com.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  • "James Marsh New Chairman of Democrats". Greeley Daily Tribune. Greeley, CO. Associated Press. September 23, 1932. p. 1 – via Newspapers.com.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  • "Walker Named to U.S. Senate". Ironwood Daily Globe. Ironwood, MI. Associated Press. September 27, 1932. p. 2 – via Newspapers.com.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  • "Colorado Republican Carries Off Victory: Final Returns Show Schuyler Victory Over Walter Walker". Lincoln Star. Lincoln, NE. United Press International. November 20, 1932. p. 4 – via Newspapers.com.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  • "Takes Seat in Senate". Lincoln Evening Journal. Lincoln, NE. United Press International. December 5, 1932. p. 1 – via Newspapers.com.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  • "Earle Hitch Honored". Greeley Daily Tribune. Greeley, CO. Associated Press. May 2, 1939. p. 12 – via Newspapers.com.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  • "Walter Walker, 73, Dies Suddenly at Grand Junction". Greeley Daily Tribune. Greeley, CO. Associated Press. October 9, 1956. p. 7 – via Newspapers.com.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  • Anderson, Emily (May 17, 2007). "Walker Field Is No More". Aspen Times. Aspen, CO.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  • "MSC Receives First $1 Million Private Donation: Names Soccer Field in Honor of Walter and Pres Walker". Colorado Mesa University News. Grand Junction, CO. September 19, 2008.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  • "Sculpture Will Put Walkers Back in GJ". Daily Sentinel. Grand Junction, CO. December 8, 2008.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  • "Way Up in the Willows: Walker Wildlife Area a Haven for Animals". Daily Sentinel. Grand Junction, CO. October 18, 2009.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)

Books

Magazines

Internet

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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