Born: May 6, 1809, Mar­tin’s Mills (near Cross Keys), South Ca­ro­li­na.

Died: Sep­tem­ber 24, 1875, Spar­tan­burg, South Ca­ro­li­na.

Buried: Mag­no­lia Ce­me­te­ry, Spar­tan­burg, South Ca­ro­li­na.



William was the son of Ab­sa­lom Abra­ham Wal­ker, hus­band of Amy Shands Go­light­ly, and bro­ther-in-law of Ben­ja­min Frank­lin White.

Musically gift­ed, by age 18 Wal­ker was lead­ing con­gre­ga­tion­al sing­ing at the First Bap­tist Church in Spar­tan­burg. He col­lect­ed and ar­ranged folk tunes, and with Ben­ja­min White par­ti­ci­pat­ed in sing­ing schools and com­pil­ing me­lo­dies from south­ern Ap­pa­la­chia and camp meet­ings.


After mov­ing to Hart­ford, Con­nec­ti­cut, Wal­ker pub­lished The Sou­thern Har­mo­ny and Mu­sic­al Com­pan­ion in 1835, but gave no cre­dit to White, who pub­lished The Sac­red Harp, a com­pet­ing vol­ume, in 1844. Both used the shap­ed note mu­sic no­ta­tion sys­tem.

Walker’s oth­er works in­clude:



Help Needed

If you know where to get a bet­ter pic­ture of Wal­ker,