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Alexander Stuart Walker (1826-1896)

Associate Justice, Texas Supreme Court, 1888-1889

Alexander Stuart Walker was born August 18, 1826 near Brownsburg in Rockbridge County, Virginia. His parents were farmers of Scotch-Irish descent. The Walker family moved to Indiana in 1837. Alexander Walker graduated from South Hanover College in Indiana in 1850, and taught school in Kentucky while reading law. He moved to Texas in 1852, settling in Harris County. He taught school at Manayunk and continued to study law privately under David G. Burnet and J. Pinckney Henderson. He obtained his law license in 1853 and moved several months later to Georgetown, where he was appointed district clerk by Judge R. E. B. Baylor. In 1854 he returned to Hanover, earned a master's degree, and returned to Williamson County, Texas, to practice law. He formed a practice with A. J. Strickland, and then with Col. Richard Sansom, and later A. H. Chalmers.

In 1858 Walker was elected district attorney for the Seventeenth Judicial District. He was a states' rights Democrat, and when the Civil War broke out he joined the Confederate Army. In 1862, while serving in the army, he was elected district judge of the Seventeenth Judicial District; he held the office until 1865 when he was removed from office as an "impediment to Reconstruction." He subsequently moved to Austin, where he practiced law with Judge A. W. Terrell. The firm of Terrell and Walker became the reporters for the Texas Supreme Court in 1872. Described as an accomplished scholar and among the most widely read men in Texas, Walker became the founding editor-in-chief of the Austin Statesman in 1873.

In 1879 Gov. Oran Roberts appointed Walker to the newly-formed commission of appeals, which consisted of three judges appointed to assist the supreme court in hearing cases. Walker served until the following year, when he was elected judge of the Sixteenth Judicial District (Travis County). He was reelected to the position and he held it until 1888, when Gov. L. S. (Sul) Ross appointed him associate justice of the Texas Supreme Court. He served on the supreme court for ten months. Following his service on the bench, he resumed his duties as reporter for the supreme court, was reappointed several times, and held the position until his death.

Walker was married twice; following the death of his first wife, with whom he had two children, he remarried in 1873. He died at his home in Austin on August 14, 1896, just four days before his seventieth birthday. He was buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Austin.

Sources

In Memoriam, 90 Texas reports v (1897).

Lynch, James Daniel. The Bench and Bar of Texas 354-355 (St. Louis, Missouri: Nixon-Jones Printing Co., 1885).

Walker, Alexander Stuart, Handbook of Texas Online (last updated June 6, 2001).
http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/WW/fwa14.html

Extended bibliography

Speer, Ocie. Texas Jurists 92, 126 (Austin, Texas: the author, 1936).

Additional information available in Southwestern Historical Quarterly as follow:
Volume 56, page 446
Volume 60, page 18, 19, 22
Volume 67, page 329

In Memoriam, 90 Texas reports v (1897).

Brown, Frank. Annals of Travis County and of the City of Austin 24:68. Archives Division, Texas State Library (Austin, Texas).