William Walker, a brief biography
William Walker (1770-1841)
William Walker and his wife, Rachel Stewart, arrived in the Western Reserve in 1802 from Virginia. Here is their story, according to the best available information.
They were married on October 30, 1799, in Hampshire County, Virginia, (now in West Virginia). Rachel was the daughter of Thomas Stewart and sister of Joshua Stewart, another family of early settlers in Stow. She was born in 1778 and died in 1860.
By 1802, the Walker family included a three-year-old and a baby. Together they waded across the Ohio River, since there were no bridges or dams then. They arrived in the late summer or early fall.
Known as the first white settler in Stow Township, William was a bear trapper. He is supposed to have caught sixteen bears with the trap that is on exhibit at the Heritage House Museum in Stow. He was also called a squatter, because he built his log cabin in Stow before it had been surveyed. Walker probably thought he was in the neighboring Hudson Township, near where his father, Robert, and four brothers had settled the year before.