Robert Sparks Walker’s Trip Journal, 1897


This journal was transcribed, submitted, and copyrighted by Andra Walker Clark Moskowitz, who explained the text as follows:

This is a month-long journal of my grandfather, Robert Sparks Walker, written in 1897 when he was 17 and on his first visit via train to Hawkins Co., meeting kin (on both Moores and Walkers side). As a young boy RSW had fallen while skating on ice and broken off his 2 front teeth, hence the false teeth reference. The little handwritten booklet contains so many names and their relationship to these families, as well as other names who were friends and neighbors, that I think it might be of interest to many researchers. I have [annotated at the end] those I could positively identify.

Robert Sparks Walker’s Journal – staying at Otes, Tenn. Oct. 5, 1897.

Left Chattanooga Sat. morn at 8:30 A.M.  Arrived at Rogersville at 1:30 O.M. [sic] reached White Horn at 3:30 P.M. Sat. (eve.?) Oct. 2, 1897 – Spent the evening at Cousin Nelse Walkers

Cousin Jim Woods and I went over to Mr. Joe Grigsby’s Sat. night. Spent the same night at Cousin Nelse’s

Awoke early next morning about 8 o’clock, prepared and went to Sunday School at Pleasant Hill. There I met several people , among these were many “pretty” girls. After S.S. Cousin Virdie and I went to Uncle Campbell Grigsby for dinner. About three o’clock P.M. Virgie and I rode on horse back to Uncle John’s – met many people on our way – The whole family was surprised; none of them knew me excepting Cousin Nora after an awful scrutiny she detected my false teeth which betrayed me. And then and there I received a sweet kiss from Nora – the very charm of my visit. We had a lively chat with Miss Mary (Postrum?) and many more – After another “charm” we started for Pleasant Hill where we was to attend the Prayer Meeting. After Prayer Meeting I went to spend the night at Uncle Campbell’s.

On Monday morning, Charlie G.(Grigsby) and I started for Pleasant Hill School House. I remained there until 1 o’clock P.M. from where I went to cousin Nelse’s where I spent an hour or so. I then returned to White Horn; from there I went to Otes. Arrived at Otes about sunset. I walked to Grandpa’s about dusk; found him almost alone – Alger Spitser, a little boy of seven summers, was his companion then only. Alger prepared my supper, within a few moments Uncle Press entered the room, but did not stay very long.

Oct. 5 – Staid half a day with Grandpa; hauled corn in the afternoon and spent the night at Uncle Press’.

Oct. 6 – I left Otes early in the A.M. reached White Horn very soon, went over to Pleasant Hill & took dinner at Uncle Campbell’s. In the afternoon I walked over to Uncle Jim Rader’s where I spent the evening. I went to Uncle Sam Moore’s to spend the night. “near Greene Co. I am writing this over an old rail fence.” (added along side of page. Uncertain of which relative it means.)

Oct. 7 – Walter Moore and I went almost to Rogersville (Jc.?), this A.M. about 9 o’clock I returned. I kept up my walking until about 10 o’clock, going towards the orient. I halted at a country school house in Greene, here I was invited by all the boys to partake in a baseball game, which I did. I could see hills piled on hills in every direction – a lovely scene. Took dinner at Uncle Sam Moore’s. Spent part of the evening at Pleasant Hill. Cousin Virdie and I spent the night at Cousin Lillie Hutsell’s.

Oct. 8 – paid a hasty visit to Uncle Sam Moore’s. Took dinner at cousin Nelse Walker’s, in the afternoon Cousin Jennie and I went to Pleasant Hill. After school closed, cousin Virdie and I started for Uncle John’s, where I spent the night.

Sat. Oct. 9th – staid all day and night at Uncle John’s. Went to a spelling match at Walker’s Schoolhouse Sat. night.

Sun. Oct. 10 – staid all day at Uncle John’s. Cousin Ira, Geo. (George) and my (going?) into business, by putting up a telephone pole – resulted in disaster. On Sun. night cousin Virdie, Geo. Miss Tillie Wylie and myself attended Prayer meeting at Pleasant hill. Cousin Virdie and I spent the night at Mr. Joe Grigsby’s.

Oct. 11 – I went to meeting at Beckner’s schoolhouse, visited Celia – and met with many kinfolks. Took dinner at Uncle Campbell’s . Chas(Charles), G. (George?) and I spent the night at Uncle John Rader’s.

Oct. 12 – Took dinner at Mr. Jack White’s, went to Pleasant Hill in the afternoon, Cousin Virdie and I went over to Cousin Eta Moore’s for supper. After supper we went to Cousin Nelse Walker’s to a singing. After singing, I went home with Cousin Elbert Moore.

Oct. 13 – Ate dinner at cousin Elbert Moore’s. Went to Pleasant Hill in the afternoon, From here I went to Mr. Thos. Walker’s, then to a corn husking at Mr. C. Grigsby’s. After the husking I went to Uncle Campbell’s, where I spent the night.

Oct. 14 – Started out early for Rogersville accp’d (accompanied) by Mr. G.G.(Geo. Grigsby), C.G.(Charles G. Grigsby), W.G. and W.C.G. (Grigsbys) Spent the night at Cousin Nelse Walker’s.

Oct. 15 – Cousin Nelse, Jim and I took a horseback ride as far as Mrs. Mooney’s (?) – returned via Uncle John’s. In the evening Cousin Jim and I went to White Horn via of Pleasant Hill –  our resting place. After school closed I went home with Cousin Nora Guthrie where I spent the night. I had a delightful time.

Oct. 16 – Cousin Nora Guthrie and I went to Cousin Ida Belle’s for dinner. In the afternoon, I went to Uncle Campbell’s and spent a few minutes. I took supper at Mr. Joe Grigsby’s. After supper Mr. Grigsby and Richard Walker took me over to Uncle John’s where I spent the night.

Sunday Oct. 17 – Cousin Ira and I went out to Walker’s Schoolhouse to preaching. Took dinner at Uncle John’s. Early in the evening Ira and I left for Cousin Nelse Walker’s to attend a singing, from there we went over to Pleasant Hill to Prayer Meeting. We then went to Uncle Gabe W. – Greene Co. – about 3 mi. below Bull’s Gap. We spent the night at Mr. Jenkins.

Oct. 18 – Early in the morning Ira and I went to Uncle Gabe Walker’s, I spent part of the afternoon there at Ira’s school, then took dinner at Uncle Gabe’s. In the evening I started back towards White Horn. I stopped a short while at Cousin Lewis Guthrie’s and spent the night at Mr. Jake Shepherd’s.

Oct. 19 – Took dinner at Cousin Nelse Walker’s and spent the night at Uncle Frank Berry’s.

Oct. 20 – Spent the day at Aunt Katy Berry’s – Aunt Sallie Logan was present. Spent the night at Uncle Pres’s.

Oct. 21 – Spent half the day at Uncle Pres’s. Took dinner there and went up to Grandpa’s after dinner. Spent the night at Grandpa’s.

Oct. 22 – Left Grandpa’s early this A.M. Stopped at Cousin Nelse’s a while this A.M. Went to the S.S.(Sunday School) Convention at Pleasant Hill. May Thompson and I took dinner at Mr. Geo. Grigsby’s. After dinner we went to Pleasant Hill. Cousin Nora Guthrie and I took supper at Cousin Eta Moore’s. After supper we went to Pleasant Hill. Ira and I spent the night at Cousin Nelse Walker’s.

Oct. 23 – Spent the day at Pleasant Hill S.S.C. Mr. Walter Headrick and I took dinner at Mr. Will Dodson’s. After the convention, Miss Tillie, Cousin Virdie, May Thompson, Ira and I went over to Uncle John’s.

Oct. 24 – Spent the day at Uncle John’s. Cousin Nora and I went over to see Mrs. Headrick. Took dinner at Uncle John’s. Spent the evening and all night here.

Oct. 25 – I left early this A.M. for Cousin Nelse Walker’s where I spent a few minutes. Miss Tillie Wylie, Cousin Jennie and I walked over to White Horn, via Pleasant Hill School. Left here at 9 o’clock for Nashville. Arrived at Nashville at 10 o’clock P.M. Spent the night at 107 N. High St.

Oct. 26 – Spent the day and half the night in the Exposition Ground.

Oct. 27 – Visited the Cumberland River Bridge, State Capitol, State Penitentiary, The Vanderbilt University, Customs House and Blind Asylum.

Oct. 28 – Took a buggy ride with a farmer from Trenton Farms. Revisited ther Vanderbilt University and State Capitol. Spent half the night in the Exposition Ground – spent theremainder of the night at 107 N. High St.

Oct. 29 – Left Nashville at 7:30 A.M. Arrived at Chattanooga at 4 o’clock P.M. Ira and I visited the Times Building, County Bridge(?Bldg.?) and Court House. Uncle John and Ira left for Rogersville Jc.(?- Junction?) at 9:30 P.M. I reached home at 12 o’clock that night.

Finis R.S.W.


Virgina [sic] (Virgie, Virdie) Walker, dau. of Lt. John Walker, Baptist preacher

Elnora (Nora) Walker, dau. of Lt. John Walker, Baptist preacher

“Grandpa” Edward Walker of Otes, father of Lt. John & Preston Walker

“Uncle Press” Preston Clay Walker, son of Edward (above), brother of Lt. John Walker

Uncle John” Lt. John Walker, Baptist preacher

“Ira” nickname for James Edward Walker, son of Lt. John Walker, Bap. preacher

George Walker, became a doctor, son of Lt. John Walker, Bap. preacher

“Uncle Campbell” Grigsby, md. to Sylvesta Moore. Owned store in White Horn w/ brother Joe Grigsby.

Joe Grigsby, brother of Campbell Grigsby, owned store in White Horn

“Uncle Gabe” Gabriel Walker, son of Edward Walker of Otes, younger bro. of Lt. John & Preston

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