committed to historic Baptist & Reformed beliefs

 

HISTORY

OF

Louisiana Negro

Baptists

BIOGRAPHIES.

T. A. WALKER, A. M., M. D., NOTED PHYSICIAN AND ORATOR.

        The gentleman of whom we now write was born in the city of New Orleans in the year 1864. His parents were the revered and very popular minister, George W. Walker, pastor Austerlitz Street Baptist Church, New Orleans, and Mrs. Martha Jane Walker. At the fireside, listening to the reading of God's word by his sainted mother, he was imbued with higher ideals of life, and with a burning desire to give himself to the service of God and humanity. His mother and father having learned how to read through the generosity of their young master and mistress, encouraged him to go to school and prepare to battle with the stern realities of life.

        Acting upon their advice he began laying deep and broad, the foundation of a thorough education by making good in the public schools of New Orleans. After receiving a pretty fair common school education, he entered Leland University, and by assiduous attention and studious application he completed the college course in six years, receiving the B. A. degree at the early age of 17. He is among the first classical graduates of our race. After his graduation, there appeared on the scene a benefactor in the person of the Hon. T. B. Stamps, a cotton factor who offered young Walker a position as cotton clerk in his office on Carondelet street, near Poydras. He remained in this position until Mr. Stamps failed financially.

        Early in life he was converted and baptized into the membership of the Austerlitz Street Baptist Church by his father, and at once became an active church worker, identifying himself with the Sunday-school and other church auxiliaries. Unlike most college men he attended regularly the prayer meetings and the Saturday night Bible Class, conducted by Sister J. P. Moore.

        After finishing his course at Leland, becoming converted, beginning work as office clerk and teacher, he began to consider what should be his life work. Inspired by his Professor in Latin at Leland, and encouraged by one of the ablest physicians of New Orleans, Dr. E. T. Shepherd, he began the study of medicine at Leonard Medical College, Raleigh, N. C. Being studious and industrious he could be seen on Saturdays and at other spare times sawing wood on the campus of Shaw University. Here he solved many knotty medical problems and stood at the head of his class in Chemistry. After studying two years at Shaw and passing a rigid examination, he entered Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tenn., October, 1884, taking up the senior studies and graduating at the head of his class in Gynecology, February 26th, 1885.

        Returning to New Orleans he began practicing medicine. Soon afterwards he married Miss Fannie Elliott, of New Orleans, who has stood faithfully by him, serving as a source of comfort, cheer and inspiration. He first labored at Lakeland, La., away "down in the sticks," where he and his help-meet first began life's struggle. Becoming anxious for a larger field, after practicing here successfully, removed to Baton Rouge, where he is known and acknowledged as a physician skilled in minor surgery and the science of Materia Medica. Dr. Walker has shown himself an able scholar and an apt teacher by his thorough work as Professor of Gynecology at Flint Medical College, New Orleans. The lectures delivered here were always considered both scientific and literary treats.

        He was commissioner from Louisiana to the World's Negro Congress at Atlanta, Ga., in the year 1902. The following positions have also been honorably filled by him: General Superintendent Education of Fourth District Association; Baton Rouge College physician (blessing many suffering students with his healing powers); Historian of the National Medical Association, writing its history from 1895 to 1906, and reading said history at the Philadelphia session, 1906; and he has been elected honorary member Mississippi Medical and Surgical Association.

        As a writer, he has written and delivered many orations on the Emancipation of his race, and other subjects which have been looked upon as masterpieces of oratory and literary gems. His "Aftermath of the Negro Congress" held at Atlanta, Ga., was commented on by Professor I. Garland Penn to be the best he had seen on the subject, and Professor M. S. Davage, A. M., said it was the best he had heard on that subject. His History of National Medical Association was published far and wide by the Odd Fellows Journal, of Philadelphia, Pa., and many commendatory letters were sent the writer. President P. A. Johnson, in requesting Dr. Walker to continue the writing and read it at New York, referred to it as a "Scholarly Production."

        Though one of the busiest medical men in the state, Dr. Walker has never been too much engrossed with his own interests to divide his valuable time with the cause of Christian education. He has taken time from his practice and collected from white friends of Negro education more money for Baton Rouge College than any other man that has gone among them. This alone shows how he stands in his home city. The Baptists of the state are justly proud of him, because he has subordinated and consecrated his giant intellect to the cause of Christ; and now (1914) glories in the fact that he is an honored follower of the Lowly Nazarene. He and his accomplished wife live happily and comfortably in their $4,000 home on Boulevard Avenue, Baton Rouge, La., within two blocks of the Executive Mansion, enjoying the confidence and esteem of both their white and colored friends.

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