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2013 Cemetery Walk - Amie Carpenter Walker (1854-1931) - portrayed by Jean Smith.




Amie C. Carpenter Walker
Portrayed by Jean Smith

Good afternoon. My name is Amie C. Carpenter Walker. I was born in 1854 to Chester and Caroline Carpenter in Hamilton County. I really never knew my grandfather, Milton Carpenter, because he was the Treasurer of the State of Illinois in Springfield, IL for seven years and I was only six years old when he died.

My husband, Leonidas Walker, was born in 1842 in Butler County, Pennsylvania. He had studied law and was already admitted to the bar when I met him. I was younger than him, but who wouldn't fall for such an up and coming young man. I managed to be where he was as often as I could and he began to notice me.

We fell in love and Leonidas asked me to marry him. It was a beautiful spring day in April; the sun was shining and the birds were singing. I was only 17, but he was 29 and the most handsome man I could ever have to love me. We were married with my parents' permission.

When we had been married two years, I was proud when my husband became part of the General Assembly and being called Honorable Walker. We left for Springfield, where we spent the winter with him doing his duties as Legislator.

I was glad the winter was over and we came back to our home in McLeansboro. Leonidas had gone to work and I was washing the dishes and thinking about the day, when I began to smell smoke. I first thought someone was burning their trash. The smoke became stronger and stronger, so I went outside to see what was going on.

I soon realized there was a fire in the "Walker Block" where we lived. I didn't have much time. I grabbed some of the important things, especially as many of our clothes as I could carry, and ran out to the next block. Not only did the Times Leader office burn, but also the Grundy House, another business, and our home. They were all reduced to ashes. They thought someone had thrown a cigar in some shavings that started the fire.

Now we had to start all over again and find a new place to live and all new things. Our parents helped us get started again.

My Leonidas put his application at the new school that had replaced the Heard school on the corner of Pearl and Market Street. It is commonly known as West Side or Little School. Since my husband was one of the first trained teachers in the county, he became one of the early teachers there.

A few years later, a brick school was built in the southeastern part of town on Randolph Street, and I was proud my husband was chosen to be the first Principal who taught in the new building. This new building served as a grade school and high school. It is known today as "The East Side School."

We attended the Episcopal Church here in McLeansboro and we became members.

We were so happy when we found out a baby was on the way. It was a little boy and we named him Lawrence. He was a beautiful baby, and when he died, I thought I could never be happy again. All totaled, we had seven children, four girls and three boys.

My daughters enjoyed having their little tea parties. I also enjoyed having tea parties with all my friends also. Our sons enjoyed learning to play horseshoes, washers and marbles. My husband enjoyed playing games with his sons. He was such a wonderful father.

We moved to Colorado and lived there for awhile. One day, Leonidas decided it was time to move back to McLeansboro. I was so happy.

Leonidas, being a lawyer and also the States Attorney of Hamilton County, tried three men by the name of Schoolcraft for the murder of John Mann. It was a long trial. He had 76 witnesses and the defense had 41. My Leonidas won and found the three brothers guilty. The Schoolcraft brothers received 25 years each for the murder.

Well, life went on. Our children married and moved away. We had one daughter who never married. On March 27, 1918, my Leonidas was uptown talking to some of his friends when he fell over dead. They thought it was a heart attack. He was 76 years old. We had 47 wonderful years together.

I went on to live 13 more years when I died at the age of 77 on March 18, 1931. I had a happy and full life and now my remains are here with my husband.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a nice evening.