Skip to main content

Walker family collection

Identifier: L369

Scope and Contents

This collection includes correspondence, various documents, photographs, and memorabilia from the Walker family of New Albany, Indiana. The collection contains Francis Walker's Clermont (Ohio) Academy writings; his and his wife Mary's family correspondence (1851-1913); his correspondence from other Methodist ministers and DePauw University officials (1860s-1910); his and Mary's writings (1848-1901); and some letters and documents of his father, James Walker (1820-1837).

The bulk of the collection contains Dr. John Mann Walker's correspondence and documents, including letters to and from his parents and siblings (1893-1934), his fiancée and later, wife, Nora Severinghaus Walker (1894-1938), his daughters, Mary and Louise (1923-1941), and friends and professional associates (1895-1946). The collection also contains Dr. Walker's sermons, prayers and essays (1907-1942); one of his journals (1915); a book of testimonials written by the Bloomington District churches upon his retirement in 1938; his autobiographical writings (ca. 1945-1948); and his poems and hymns (1927-1952).

The collection also contains correspondence, documents, and news clippings of Earl Walker, Ferdinand G. Walker, Francis I. Walker, Herbert G. and Clare Walker, Harriet Walker, and Gene Alden Walker Crary (1873-1988), as well as family photographs, memorabilia, and genealogy documents (ca. 1820-1981).

The majority of the photographs in this collection relate to John Mann Walker and his wife, Nora Severinghaus Walker (P055). The pictures are mostly of people, but there are also photos of houses and churches and the collection spans from 1892 to 1955. The bulk of the photographs are arranged chronologically within two envelopes, with undated items stored at the end. The collection also contains four oversized photographs.


  • 1820-1988, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

Rev. Francis Walker was born October 23, 1831 in New Richmond, Clermont County, Ohio to James and Eleanor (Turner) Walker. He married Mary Elizabeth Graham (1838-1919), the daughter of Ferdinand and Abby Ayers Day Graham, on May 16, 1855 and they had 11 children: Herbert (1857-1923), Ferdinand (1859-1927), C. Nellie Adda (1860-1862), Ernest (1862-1916), Clarence (1865-1943), Abbie (1867-1918), Leland (1869-1870), Francis (1871-1921), John Mann (1874-1960), Earl (1876-1967), and Harriet (1880-1965). Walker joined the Indiana Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1857 and soon after began his ministry at Paoli, Indiana. He later served congregations in Mitchell, Leesville, Brownstown, Newburg, Gentryville, Cannelton, Kinglsey, Evansville, Mt. Vernon, and Washington before settling in New Albany in 1874. After moving to New Albany, Walker became a business owner, operating a nursery and florist business with his son. He died on March 25, 1914.

Rev. Walker's son, Dr. John Mann Walker, was also a Methodist minister. He graduated from DePauw University and the Boston School of Theology. Walker taught at DePauw and at Maryville Seminary in Missouri and he was a Methodist Episcopal minister in the towns of Massachusetts (1903-1905), French Lick, Indiana (1905), Greencastle (1908-1910), Indianapolis (1910-1912), and New Albany (1912-1917), Indiana. Walker also served as superintendent of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the Indiana at Connersville (circa 1919-1926), Evansville (1926-1930), and Bloomington (1930-1938). He married Emma Nora Severinghause (1873-1938) on October 5, 1904 and they had two daughters, Mary (1905-1983) and Louise (1911-2006). Walker died on January 1, 1960.

Genevieve "Gene" Alden Walker Crary was the daughter of Rev. Francis Walker's oldest son, Herbert. She was born January 31, 1898 to Herbert and his wife, Clara (1867-1955). A gifted artist, Gene Walker studied at the Pratt Institute, followed by study at the National Academy of Design and the studio of Jerry Farnsworth. She married Clare J. Crary (1879-1975) on June 30, 1943. Walker died on January 14, 1988.


Items within collection.

"Deaths During the Week." New Albany Public Press (IN), April 1, 1914.

"Dr. J.M. Walker." Bloomington Herald-Telephone (IN), January 2, 1960. "Gene Alden Walker Crary." Find a Grave Index. Accessed December 13, 2016.

"Gene Alden Walker Crary." About the Crary Art Gallery. Accessed December 13, 2016.


6.5 Cubic Feet (10 manuscript boxes, 8 small oversize boxes, 1 medium oversize box)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged in the following series:

Series 1: Walker family correspondence and documents, 1820-1988, undated Series 2: Walker famiy photographs, circa 1850s-1962, undated Series 3: Walker family realia, circa 1835-1903, undated

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as donations from Louise Walker in 1985, 1986 and 1988.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2016/12/29 by Laura Eliason. EAD finding aid created 2016/12/29 by Laura Eliason.
Walker family collection
Under Revision
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.