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

September 24, 1875, Spartanburg, South Carolina.

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:

  1. Distress
  2. Middlebury
  3. New Braunfels
  4. Restoration
  5. Sacramento
  6. Samanthra
  7. Webster
  8. Wondrous Love

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